Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Statue Got Me High

Well, not really. But I have been thinking about how to make a statue for a client's layout for a while, and today I tested some paints, and I think I've got it.

Here is the statue the client needs:

It's John Stevens, the man who surveyed the route that eventually became part of the Great Northern Railroad line.

My client's layout is HO scale, so my thinking was, I can use an O scale figure, and it would be "larger-than-life" compared to an HO scale figure... just about the right size of 10 HO scale feet tall. If you compare the size of the pointing fellow to the size of Stevens, the ratio sure looks to me like HO to O.

The question was, what figure to use? I searched everywhere for mountain men, fur trappers, hunters, native Americans... anything that might come close to replicating that outfit, but I came up with nothing that was going to work.

Then one day, I got a bright idea. What about fighter pilots?

Here's a different view of  the sculpture...

...and get a load of this WWI British pilot! He's in practically the same pose!

I'll have to modify or replace his head, but otherwise, it's a really good match, and it's 1/48th scale, which is standard USA O scale. Even though we won't be building that part of the layout for months, I ordered him today, since cottage companies like The Model Cellar tend to go under with no notice. 

Anyway, today I got a bee in my bonnet about testing out some painting and weathering techniques for this statue, and so I went to the craft store to pick up some cheap bronze and turquoise paint. Then I went home and dug around in my gaming box for some board game figurines I've used as tokens for Cheapass Games. I grabbed a Homies figurine of a mariachi violin player, sprayed him matte black with a rattle can, gave him two coats of bronze and a wash of thinned turquoise, and came up with this.

The base is three squares of chipboard, toughened up with a bit of super glue, painted with two shades of Badger concrete and weathered with india ink in isopropyl alchohol. I think for the final model, I'll darken that bronze paint with quite a lot of dark green, but apart from that, I think I've got it.

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