Sunday, March 21, 2010

Bazooka Joe

Quite some time ago, I bought a bag of short wooden cylinders from a Jap thrift shop. Didn't know what they were for but they looked like they would make nice little bases for 1/72 figures. The wooden cylinders though nice and smooth were in an unfinished light basswood color. More work needed to be done, and of course I needed a figure. That was almost a year ago, a few months after that, I bought a box of valiant miniatures 1/72 WW2 American GI in hard plastic. Even though I knew they were a bit overscale I just couldn't resist.
Fast forward to 3 weeks ago, I came across some nice maple colored varnish from the same thrift shop. I quickly bought some and tried it. I loved the results and this provided the momentum I needed to do this little piece.
Another idea that languished in my mind was to show how a lone infantryman can take out a giant mighty tank. The best way I thought was to use a tank's drive sprocket as a base for the guy to stand on. I initially wanted to use parts from an airfix sherman kit which I suspected I'll never build, but the detail on those sprockets were a lot worse than I expected. I then turned to a spare ESCI sherman but decided that these sprokets were too small. I need something big to emphasize the David slaying Goliath theme. So hard as it was, I eventually relented and raided my unbuilt dragon King Tiger kit. The sprockets were twice as huge as the sherman's and were perfect for the job at hand.
Some day I'll try to build that king tiger and I'll have to somehow find a replacement for those parts.
What you see in the photo is the base before painting. The ground was built up with styrofoam covered with celluclay. The sprocket and roadwheel was embedded while the groundwork was still wet.
The figure will eventually become a GI in winter gear (long coat), set somewhere in the Ardennes region in 1944. I need to dig up some reference.

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