View Full Version : figures on ship models

Link to this page  Printable page

Pages : 1 2 [3] 4

Posted by - landlubber7
Post date - 01-13-2009, 08:12 AM
Jerry Todd glad I could be of some help, I know the feeling :banna::banna::banna::banna::banna:



Posted by - JerryTodd
Post date - 01-17-2009, 02:10 PM
Well, I gave it a shot. It's sort of an impressionist approach to figure painting and it's actually takes some effort to stick to when you're used to painting the piping on a cavalryman's jacket in 15mm. :)

So, I present Ivan. He's a 1/35th scale WWII Soviet sailor by MiniArt that's the first crewman of my 1/36th scale. His job is to be a scale reference in photos of the model being built. He took about 30 minutes to paint, then maybe another 10 when I went back and did his beard and shoes. He's about 2 inches (50mm) tall, so the thumbnail image may be close to full size for a monitor set at 1024x768. Clicking the image will open a larger image.

Note the difference between the thumbnails and the larger image - which brings out the point of this painting style (http://www.brifayle.ca).

Primed in flat black, then 30 minutes of painting with acrylics, no flash photo.
http://todd.mainecav.org/model/constellation/pics/tivan.jpg (http://todd.mainecav.org/model/constellation/pics/ivan.jpg)
Skin darkened, hair and beard added, some touch up, flash photo.
http://todd.mainecav.org/model/constellation/pics/tivan2.jpg (http://todd.mainecav.org/model/constellation/pics/ivan2.jpg)
click the pic for a larger image

Posted by - landlubber7
Post date - 01-17-2009, 02:41 PM

I like the individual touch of the beard.

I had read quite some time ago that if you just touch the tip of the brush to the paint then wipe the brush off of any excess on the interior edge of the bottle and then apply the brush/paint to the figure that you could get the paint to flatten out, almost as if you spraypainted the figure.

Not sure if this was the exact information, so experiment.

Anyway your off to a great start.



Posted by - Denis
Post date - 10-17-2009, 07:44 PM
Hi Nicko;
I have started to add figures to my Victory and find it makes it look alive and brings out the size of the ship. I have looked at the Hat poducts figures for the British navy and crew. they look more like a bunch of pirates but the Marines are ok. but all in all they are made too chunky and spoil the effect. I have on the other hand found that
Airfix models have a World War II series of US marines that I have modified to look like navel seaman and with a bit of paint look much better than HAT products Denis

Posted by - Susquehanna
Post date - 01-05-2010, 07:46 AM
I did a little experimenting with one of my 1/96 scale Union Naval Officers for my USS Susquehanna. This is the result of the first try. I have him posing next to one of the ships 150 pdr. Parrott Rifle barrels.

Posted by - landlubber7
Post date - 01-06-2010, 02:41 PM
Hello again:

Sorry that I can't give the actual web address concerning the following, my computer crashed and the address and site went with it,. His tutorial went into depth as to how he created same, with what materials he utilised in the process to create the waves etc., But if you did come across this particular modeler who lives in Japan you would probably drool, at the photo of his work, like I did.

His creation is that of a wind swept, waves tossed ship with a full compliment of figures, manned at thier proper stations, dressed and painted in proper uniforms for this particulair model ship date and year.



Posted by - landlubber7
Post date - 01-12-2010, 03:20 PM
Check out the following archive At:


Click on "you can view them in our archive". 1st of three pages

Then Click on the word "Articles" 2nd page

Then finally on the 3rd page. Click on the following

"Figure Making Class"
Chapter I Chapter II Chapter III


This is one heck of an excellent tutorial as to how to make your own figures, dress and pose them in whatever style your after.

Take your time and follow his instructions, you'll find it quite rewarding.


Posted by - Susquehanna
Post date - 01-14-2010, 04:43 AM
Thanks for posting the article Henry. Ive always wanted to try that but never knew where to start or how to do it. I doubt that this would work for my 1/96 scale figures unless I employ "Nano Technology" but another one of my projects is a 1/24th scale Chesapeake Bay Skipjack. Ive been looking for figures in that scale wearing wet weather gear and in the right poses but havent been able to find anything so far. Ill have to try this and see how it works out.

Posted by - Clayton707
Post date - 01-14-2010, 09:57 PM
A few pictures of figured I placed on board my 1:50 model of the Swedish warship Vasa of 1628. I tried to include all types of people on board during the maiden voyage while keeping their number to a minimum. They include two common seamen, a woman, a soldier and an officer. In these times in the Swedish Navy, no uniform code existed, so people just wore what they owned.

http://shipmodeling.net/photopost/data/711/thumbs/Seaman.JPG (http://shipmodeling.net/photopost/data/711/Seaman.JPG)

http://shipmodeling.net/photopost/data/711/thumbs/Woman.JPG (http://shipmodeling.net/photopost/data/711/Woman.JPG)

http://shipmodeling.net/photopost/data/711/thumbs/Officer_Seaman_Pikeman.JPG (http://shipmodeling.net/photopost/data/711/Officer_Seaman_Pikeman.JPG)

Posted by - sandy1000
Post date - 01-18-2010, 04:10 AM

Here are a couple of Romanian Navy sailors on the gunboat "Fulgerul" and another shot of them heading into town on leave.

Posted by - landlubber7
Post date - 01-20-2010, 02:58 PM
Hi Bill:

Like yourself I haven't tried this technique as of yet, but I believe in reading/browsing/studying as many different techniques that others have developed.

Reason, you'll never know what creative idea will jump up and POP UP AT YOU that you can use in the area your currently working in.

I call it "the bag of tricks"

I've managed to track down two products that will easily work with this persons instructions, size of course or scale, is a different matter.

Have you ever given any thought to replicating your work via working with RTV RUBBER? one such product can be bought from a company, here's thier site address WWW.SMOOTH-ON.COM

The product name is "OOMOO" this is a silicone rubber, dosen't have to be "de-aired" when working with it, this saves an extremely large chunk of change especially if your not familiar with casting techniques, or the different exspensive machines you would need to work with when making molds to make casts from.

I can easily walk you through the necessary steps of making relatively inexspensive cast figures using of all things POLYMER CLAY, that you can find at MICHAELS, that you can also bake in the oven and paint.

Right now I'm toying around with the idea of replicating just the different arms, legs, torso's head etc of 1/96 scale as well as that of 1/87 HO scale figures. And once done changing the clothing or uniform to fit the scene.

Anyway interested in seeing what you come up.


Posted by - Susquehanna
Post date - 01-21-2010, 01:36 AM
Ive been working with Heat Resistant Silicon making molds for my ships Parrott Rifles and IX Dahlgrens. I pour them with Tin. I bought some 1/96 scale Civil War Naval figures for my upcoming project. I wasnt really satisfied with the quality of these figures so I am going to try and mold them using a a soft tin and re work the details. I want to try it with the soft tin so I can bend the arms, legs, head and body into different positions. They are sitting in the lower half of the mold already. My shop is a disaster right now because Im using the room to store stuff but as soon as its free again, Ill finish that little project.
I did a little experimenting with the clay fisherman figure for my Skipjack in 1/24th scale. Once the clay has hardened, its very easy to work. Ive never tried sculpting before and this was just an experimental run but I do like the results so far. Just need more experience. Ill try and post a picture of the progress I have so far later.

Posted by - landlubber7
Post date - 01-21-2010, 01:47 PM

Contact me offline, my email address is rosefever10946@hotmail.com I'll get back to you within the next few days.


Posted by - Synrac
Post date - 01-21-2010, 04:21 PM
I think that presentation is all that matters and how the intended owner/viewer likes it. In other words, dioramas down to about 1/72-76th scale can be fantastic, although putting a few hundred figures on the victory may make the actual model build itself seem easy. 1/100th or smaller would be WWWAAYY to small. If you just want to relate scale in a display then just a few would also work. I did a few armored model display sets (ie just the model with a few redesigned figures and now big diorama ground sets) that I liked.

Posted by - landlubber7
Post date - 02-02-2010, 11:55 AM
Sorry for the delay,. Will get back to you first chance I get.


Posted by - landlubber7
Post date - 02-03-2010, 05:14 PM

I recently came across the following sites http://www.ptiprototype.com/stepsinspincasting.htm

Sorry can't undo the jumble of the 2nd page.


http://www.dark-platypus.com/rtv.htm (This is excellent)

This is just a few of the instructional materials that I found across the web.

The RTV heat resistant material can be expensive but if done properly can be quite productive in the long run,. Thats where dark-platypus comes in.
Likewise all of us can't afford to purchase or spend for that matter a couple of thousand dollars just to make a hard rubber mold much less cast the figures from it.

I formulated the following thoughts while researching this topic,

1. All you need is the heat resistant RTV material This can be found on the web.
2. The ROTO TOOL or necessary "motor" can be purchased from Harbor Freight for about $19.00
3. For protection you can purchase FIRE BRICKS which can surround the mold WHILE CASTING THE METAL., you can find sources on the net.
4. You would have to purchase 2 Lazy Susan Base's which you can find at the following site, ask for a catalog.
Or doll house retailers.

As far as the hard rubber is concerned you can always substitute another cheaper material in its place, to take up the bulk of empty space. Just leaving the necessary tracks or avenues for casting the material made of the RTV rubber.

5. Jewelers supply houses sell inexpensive casting funnels in which to pour the molten metal from above.

Finally the most important part would be to make the figure you wish to cast.

All in all be creative as to how you approach this topic, and don't give up while going thru the stages of making your devise just be careful enough to wear safty glasses and proper protective clothing while casting material.

Another source specifically remarked about his slight mishaps by showing his war scars, but he didn't give up and cast some beautiful material.

Another good source is lead,. Tire companys or garages like Goodyear, give this stuff away freely, don't be afraid to ask if they can spare some lead weights.
Just have good ventilation while melting this material on your stove as the fumes are toxic.

Go to it and have fun.


[edit - links fixed by wirewolf]

Posted by - DavidM
Post date - 02-06-2015, 01:43 AM
It's your model, If you like 'em, go for it. I do agree with the use of either one for scale or many for a specific activity. I used them on plastic models but I've never used any since I graduated to wooden ships.


Posted by - McArthur
Post date - 02-08-2015, 10:03 AM
Decades ago while building Model Shipways DILIGENCE, MS supplied 18th century working seamen in 1/64 scale. Metal, nicely detailed. Years later, I found their source and bought more for MS SULTANA and MS RATTLESNAKE from: Bruno Volante-Microfusion, in Italy. Their catalog number Art.7161 in 1:64 scale. They may offer other scales. Try them.
....L. F. McArthur

Posted by - j_lefever
Post date - 02-10-2015, 01:28 AM
A quick response to Landlubber's comments on making scale figures... be very careful of lead as a modeling material. I've seen several otherwise very nice models compromised by deteriorationg lead fittings. They get fuzzy and white as the lead oxidizes.

This is especially true if the model is anywhere near humidity. Apparently paint and varnish will slow the process but not prevent it and once started it's pretty much unfixable short of pulling off the corroded pieces and replacing them.