Author Topic: Coronavirus Theme, Part II: RNAS Pilot Figure, 1915  (Read 754 times)

Offline rhallinger

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Coronavirus Theme, Part II: RNAS Pilot Figure, 1915
« on: June 04, 2020, 12:48:47 AM »
Since I completed the M-S Type L Parasol paper model recently, I decided to complement it with another stalled mini-project, a 1/32 figure of an RFC pilot which I started paint about a year ago, then gave up for some reason I can't remember.  I also do not remember the lineage of this casting, but it is a somewhat obscure company as I recall.  Although this is nominally an RFC pilot, it's close enough in terms of the uniforms and flying kit to pass as an RNAS pilot.  Here is where it stands today:



Still a lot to do on this.  Looks like I need to clean some dust and lint off before proceeding. :o

My first conundrum is the proper uniform color for an RNAS Flight Sub-Lieutenant in June 1915.  I have references to both field khaki or olive, or navy blue.  I have this book from Osprey by Mark Barber:



However, I have so far only looked at photos, captions and drawings (I should probably read the text!) ::)  Here are some early photos with Moranes:





. . . and some general RNAS groupings:





Then there's this illustration of a 1917 pilot that appears remarkably similar to my figure (except for the Webley in his boot):



All of this indicates that there was a fairly wide assortment of uniforms and flying kit in 1915 (and even later) among RNAS pilots at the front.  I probably can't go too far wrong with either olive/khaki or navy.  Any chance that khaki or olive was the summer uniform, and navy the rest of the year?  I would greatly appreciate having the accumulated knowledge and wisdom of the group on this, as I have no strong preference.  Any thoughts?  Thanks.

Cheers,

Bob


Offline rhallinger

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Re: Coronavirus Theme, Part II: RNAS Pilot Figure, 1915
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2020, 01:38:05 AM »
Further research has revealed this photo of Warneford and the Parasol, but it doesn't show the uniform under the flying kit.



These two Warneford photos show what appears to be both types of uniform, but who knows?





My figure's uniform appears to be closer to the first photo, so that's probably the way I'll go.

Cheers,

Bob


Offline rhallinger

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Re: Coronavirus Theme, Part II: RNAS Pilot Figure, 1915
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2020, 12:58:46 AM »
I broke out the Windsor & Newton oils this morning to take up this project again.  The primer and initial layer on the leather flying coat and face are Vallejo acrylics, but I decided to try oils as they dry much slower and allow easier blending.  I am trying to follow the techniques described and explained in Shep Paine's book on painting miniatures:





I find that I enjoy all of the mixing and playing around with variations in shade that oils allow, as shown by this morning's palette, a plastic dessert plate!



I think I have the face to where I want it, not perfect or dramatic, but passable.  This is my first one in a long time, so I'm learning again.



Remarkably, this figure looks rather similar to the photo of Warneford in flying kit:

 

I may need to go back and darken the eyes a bit.  The casting there is imperfect, so it may be a challenge, but I can always repaint if I am unhappy with it.   

Time to go to work, so I have placed he figure under my make-shift dust cover to dry a bit.  Second-best use for a pint glass! ::)



Next, I'll have to figure out a good mix approximating British khaki olive.  The text of the RNAS book indicated that the khaki olive uniform was commonly used in the field in 1915, so that's what I'm going with.  Any thoughts on whether the leather flying coat should be black or dark brown?  Hard to tell from the photos, and I don't have a strong preference. 

Cheers,

Bob



Offline Monty

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Re: Coronavirus Theme, Part II: RNAS Pilot Figure, 1915
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2020, 04:04:16 AM »
Nice progress! It looks very good to me! Please show us more as you procede! Regards, Marc.

Offline rhallinger

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Re: Coronavirus Theme, Part II: RNAS Pilot Figure, 1915
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2020, 01:17:23 AM »
Here we are with the base colors laid in:





I will need to add highlights and shading and some details, and to get everything to a matte finish.  From what I have been able to glean online, the best approach for flattening the finish for oils is to first seal with a gloss varnish, then apply an acrylic matte coat over that.  If anyone has better ideas, I'm all ears. 

This is pretty much how Sub-Lt. Warneford will appear next to his Parasol, except with a bit more definition and detail, and not shiny! 

Cheers,

Bob   
« Last Edit: June 10, 2020, 03:43:14 AM by rhallinger »

Offline rhallinger

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Re: Coronavirus Theme, Part II: RNAS Pilot Figure, 1915
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2020, 11:14:22 PM »
Sub-Ltn. Warneford is now finished and on his base, ready to be displayed next to his Parasol Type L:





I'm glad to have finally gotten this figure finished, and to have taken the plunge back into figure painting.  The Coronavirus Shutdown theme has helped me get another project completed! ;D
I probably could have added more shading to the figure, and the khaki is a little light to my eye, but I like the overall effect anyway.  This is how I will learn for the next one, and it's a vast improvement over the the first photo above, which stared back at me with only a flight jacket and headgear for more than a year! ;) :D

You will probably see some additional shots of this figure along with the Parasol as soon as some backdrop material arrives and I have a better site set up for aircraft photos. 

Now, back to the paper Berg D.I.

Cheers,

Bob


Offline RAGIII

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Re: Coronavirus Theme, Part II: RNAS Pilot Figure, 1915
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2020, 07:13:27 AM »
Nicely done figure! Like I said in Przemos  thread I have been Negligent in eeping up on this section. Sorry for such a late response!
RAGIII
"A man has to know his limitations": Harry Callahan

"Don't slop it on" Lynda Geisler