The idea I had was for a German Fallschirmjäger, celebrating his successful shot in the defense of Monte Cassino. The base figure is from the DML set 6005.
The body language and facial expression were the key to getting this figure to look right. I experimented and came up with the basic pose that I feel conveys the story. A suitable head from the Hornet range gives the perfect expression for the scene.
The base figure out of the box needs a lot of work to correct the soft molding (It is about 20 years old, after all). The parts were separated into the usual breakdown (legs, torso etc.) and rescribed using the tip of a Swann-Morton #11 blade. At this point, I would advise practice on a scrap figure. The angle and inclination of the blade tip will give different results, so plenty of practice is in order before you use this technique on your chosen figure.
Start by scribing, VERY lightly, using the existing seams, lines etc. to guide the blade point. As the line becomes more pronounced, use a little bit more pressure until the desired result is achieved. It took me about four hours to re-scribe the detail on this one but, the results are well worth it.
I paid particular attention to the boots on this one. Strangely enough, the boots, along with the face, hands and weapon, are parts that the eye is naturally drawn to. Extra care should always go into these areas.
The legs were then glued together. As the base figure is leaning forwards and I wanted him to be leaning slightly backwards, I filed down the back edge of the legs to the required position, taking the belt as the datum, leveling up the torso as I went along.
The gaps in the front and back of the 'Bonesack' were filled with putty. After about 20 minutes or so of curing, the creases were laid in with a shaped cocktail stick and needle. The putty was then smoothed out and blended to the styrene with a nylon brush and water. The trick here is to only work on a small area at a time. There really is nothing more soul-destroying than continuing to work on the figure and then finding a dirty great fingerprint in your perfect sculpting job!
The tabs above the pockets and the buttons were made from pewter foil. The buttons were made using my trusty old home-made punch. It's simply a sheet of 1mm thick aluminum, folded over. 3 matchsticks were glued underneath to make a stand-off from the ceramic tile it is used on. Simply drill through the folded sheet with the correct diameter bit, then reverse the bit in a pin vice and use the flat end as a punch, sliding the foil between the folded sheet.
The head was added next. This was a part that I had tried and discarded on 4 or 5 different figures. Fortunately, it was perfect for this one! The helmet was a kit part and the chinstrap is a PE item from Aber. The head was then attached to the torso with copper wire, so I could adjust it to the proper pose.
The ammo bandoliers were next. Each individual pouch was rescribed and buttons added. A thin strip of foil joined them together. This had the advantage of being able to conform them to the torso due to the foil's flexibility. A stick grenade was added behind the bandolier and a PE belt buckle added from the spares box.
The arms were tackled next. Hands are Historex resin items attached to bare forearms from the spares box. The resulting forearms were attached to the shoulders with copper wire to enable correct positioning. The pose was then 'locked in' with a bit of left-over putty. When this had cured, the sleeves were sculpted.
The bread bag was sculpted from putty and the water bottle, a Gen2 item, was pressed into the soft putty. These items were then further detailed with PE and bits of foil. The rifle is also a Gen2 item with a scope added from the spares box. The sling was made from PE Brass.
Finally, the boots were laced. VERY fine stretched sprue was used for this, fixed into place with thin CA glue. Do not use styrene cement for this, the sprue is far too fine and will be melted by the cement! I speak from experience here. When the CA had dried thoroughly, I cut the sprue to fit and added eyelets by pricking a hole at either end of each lace with a needle held in a pin vice.
The ruins were made from a slab of wall filler, scibed and dressed with a piece of 'I' beam from Plastruct. The door is styrene sheet, distressed with the #11 blade and the grain added by running the teeth of a razor saw over it to simulate rough wood.
I won't go into details with the painting. There are many 'how-to' guides out there that can inform you much better than I ever could!