Monday, 20 July 2020

"I'm still only in Saigon."

Having hinted that this post might have reference to Stanley Kubrick's work, I am acutely aware that I have served up a helping of Francis Ford Coppola instead!   Rest assured, gentle reader that the likes of Joker, Cowboy and Animal Mother are inbound, but first a collection of miniatures reminiscent of characters from, Apocalypse Now.
Young, Master Awdry was left confused and bewildered after his first viewing of the widely acclaimed masterpiece.  Now more aware of the subtle nuances, there is a greater appreciation of the Director's vision, one that seemingly increases with age.  Not to get bogged down in a hackneyed review here, I shall move, swiftly on to the miniatures themselves.  Three character pieces from three different manufactures, the first from 'Wargames Illustrated', Giants in Miniature range.  Listed as Lieutenant Colonel Will Killmore, there is no mistaking the likeness for the surfing aficionado, Lieutenant Colonel William "Bill" Kilgore.  One of the more memorable characters from the film, with his often misquoted monologue ending with the immortal line...
Smelled like victory.
Next up a manic American photojournalist, portrayed in the film by Dennis Hopper, with this version available through 'The Assault Group'.  It is interesting to see the development of sculpting and casting in comparison to the other, more recent efforts, but that doesn't make this offering any less enjoyable.  In fact of the three, this proved my favourite to paint, not least because of the opportunity to try and replicate the tiger stripe camouflage effect.
Finally a sculpt available from 'Studio Miniatures' listed as Abel Kane, a possible leader for their Street Gangs range.  On closer examination this is a wonderful likeness of the infamous Colonel Walter E. Kurtz, as portrayed by Marlon Brando.
Kurtz being the target of the operation as a Special Forces officer that goes rogue, running his own unit based in Cambodia and feared as much by the U.S. military as by the North Vietnamese and Vietcong.
Purely as an aside, I have treated myself to the rather wonderful PBR from 'Empress Miniatures'.  Pure indulgence, but I included the crew, so expect more Apocalypse Now, before the end of the summer! 

47 comments:

  1. Lovely painting and very evocative of the movie.

    You do seem to be having fun sir!

    Cheers Roger.

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    1. Thank you Roger, fun is definitely the order of the day at the moment.

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  2. Wonderful renditions of movie classics, and the boat and crew look excellent

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    1. Thank you Dave, the boat crew are lovely Paul Hicks sculpts and really looking forward to tackling them.

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  3. Very cool, Michael. Looking forward to seeing what you do with the PBR.

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    1. Thank you Mike, me too, but there are so many pieces to put together I am slightly in awe of it!

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  4. Nice to see you branching out intoa slightly different genre, especially as the Schloss Itter build has bern taking up you time of late. Will your erstwhile partner in crime in that be providing a few choice laser-cut buildings for this project, or has he been given the Summer off?

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    1. I am thinking of this very much as a break and a chance to do something completely different. James has definitely been given the summer off, but having fun with his model railway project. That said I am tempted to see if he can rustle up some sampan.

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    2. I'd be really happy to rustle up some sampan. I've no idea what it is however.
      Is it a Vietnamese curry?

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  5. Evocative and wonderful minis Michael, congrats!

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    1. Thank you so much Phil, it was nice to get this little group done.

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  6. Great trio of characters, interesting though that it seems no single manufacyurer does all three.

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    1. Thank you Joe, a good point too. I wonder if there is an unwritten rule that says that id one company makes a certain character then the others don't? That said it has been a lot of fun finding the miniatures to begin with.

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  7. Very interesting post ( quiet a review !)
    I didn't look the movie since many years but it made me want to see it.
    Of course, the painting work is perfect. I like the camo of the second guy. I will try to not forget to see the next posts ..

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    1. Thank you Sam, having a lot of fun with the project and hopefully have more for you to see soon.

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  8. Great stuff, Michael. I'll be sneaking a peek at "Studio Miniatures" as a result of this posting ;-)

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    1. Thank you Simon. Studio Miniatures are one of my favourite companies and have backed a number of the smaller Kickstarters. Be warned there is a lot to see and some you might just have to have!

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  9. Your definately getting down in the dirt on this project Michael! Jungle boots & booney hats aside, I am looking forward to seeing your PBR done! If you haven't seen the extended version of Apocalypse Now, I highly recommend it!

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    1. Thank you Terry, looking forward to tackling the boat but somewhat overwhelmed by the amount of extras that come with it.

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    2. Don't forget you will need to add some Mango's too!

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    3. 🤣 Never get out of the boat!

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  10. Some great additions Michael. Watch out Charlie...
    Cheers
    Stu

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    1. Thank you Stuart, speaking of Charlie, his first troops rolled off the production line today, might even have to try a game soon!

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  11. Woooow! Another masterclass work!

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  12. Fantastic work on these characters, Michael, from a favorite movie of mine. I'll spare you most of the quotes, but in honor of your Dennis Hopper figure, "You're looking at the heads...sometimes he goes to far, but he's the first to admit it." :)

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    1. Thank you Dean, so many memorable lines from the film and so many sequences that leave an indelible mark.

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  13. Wow Michael! Those figures look absolutely fantastic, especially the photojournalist, great likeness to Dennis Hopper 😀
    *also just received my issue of Wargames Illustrated, congrats on the fantastic Schloss Itter article, amazing stuff!*

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    1. Thank you Ivor, really enjoyed working on the Hopper character, which was my least favourite sculpt to begin with, becoming a firm favourite by the end of the process. Thank you also for the kind words, we were thrilled to get the recognition, just wished it had all been finished.

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  14. Super work Michael - lots of fun! I did a Colonel Bill in AHPC 9 and loved every moment of painting him while thinking of the movie :-)

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    1. Thank you Paul, he is a wonderful character piece and great fun to do.

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  15. Lovely looking trio of characters! Tiger stripe is ace!
    Best Iain

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    1. Thank you Iain. I was worried about the tiger stripe, but knew I needed to tackle it sooner rather than later. Happy that I have a formula to try it on a small unit now.

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  16. Lovely work on those characters Michael. :)

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  17. Flight of the Valkyries running through my head as I read through this! Really nicely done Mike.

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  18. Col Killgore is such a recognizable character, but you've really made him stand out. Well done on this batch of figures.

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    1. Thank you Rod, such a great sculpt to work on.

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  19. They're all good but the tiger strips on the photographer are extra good, :)

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    1. Thank you, I needed to have a go at the stripes at some point so this was very much a test piece. Couldn't be happier with the result though.

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  20. That bald-headed mini does indeed have more than a close resemble to the late actor. Great paint job by the way.

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