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Lawrence Wells
6 articles

The Three Soldiers pt.4

July 17, 2018 · in Figures · · 14 · 1.5K
This article is part of a series:
  1. The Three Soldiers pt.1
  2. The Three Soldiers pt.2
  3. The Three Soldiers pt.3
  4. The Three Soldiers pt.4

The final display, upon which all three kits are nested, needed to be planned to be separated for transport.

My initial idea was a circle with a chevron cut out to resemble the wall at the actual location in D.C. The base would cut into sections. When the time came for reality (available resources and final size) it proved to impractical. The sectioning idea proved to be valid if it were to be moved around. The problem was going to need transport a case, which was too much. I would let the problem resolve itself after a practical, lightweight base was created.

I used 3 sheets of 2x2x.5” Styrofoam and stacked them for depth. I still wanted the chevron, so I sketched out a 170 angle on the each piece and cut few inches from the middle board, & few more from the top, meeting the top of my wedge drawn out. Now they are staggered. Cutting out the remaining foam leaves me with couple of ridges at the top. This will be covered with clay and paper clay to form an embankment. The sheets are glued with Tacky Glue (great for Styrofoam); the embankment was laid down and dimpled with a toothbrush. Air dry clay was flattened out to form a rough, faux stone wall on the edges. After a few days of drying, I mixed black paint with Gesso for a primer. The edges were rendered in a sponge technique to resemble stone.

I traced out positions of the models and scored the outline with an Xacto. I then indented the scores, just enough to cradle the models with any shake later. I then base coated the grass with medium green. Now to add texture. Without the right scenic / flocking materials, it was time improvise again. I collected a bag tea and shavings from 4 pencils. After processing the ingredients, I glued down the concocted grass and touched it up with lighter green from the airbrush. All of this while leaving the traced outlines untouched.

I glued temporary studs to the bottom of each model made from a wall bushing for wire; cut out corresponding holes in the outlines of the models and the models plopped right in.

Complete! What a joyful pain it was to build. ?

Reader reactions:
2  Awesome

8 additional images. Click to enlarge.

14 responses

  1. First, thank you for your service. This is an amazing piece. I've been to the wall and that statue. Really brought back some memories. This is one to be shown off and be shown often!

    • I never thought of this being a memory provoking piece. Thanks!

      • Definitely brings back memories of standing there looking at the Memorial and the Wall. Growing up when all that was happening...well, it was a different time for many of us. Knowing guys that were older who went and didn't come back. Not really appreciating what they went through or what they and their families sacrificed until many years later. Working along with veterans who served during that time. Yeah, it's bring back years. Bravo Zulu Lawrence!

  2. Quite a journey and very well executed tribute. Having been to this memorial twice-once with my father who found all friends & classmates lost in the conflict, and the second time 30 years later with my active duty USMC nephew, this depiction rings true on so many levels.

    Bravo friend. Keep building.

  3. Thank you. This is a dedication to my big brother who had succumb to Agent Orange two years ago. It felt good to complete, feels even better to help others connect.
    [AHEM! - I will take moment to brag - my niece just started her first day of basic @ Ft. Jackson, where my brother, sister and self landed.]

  4. An amazing tribute, sir! Thank you for sharing.

  5. Lawrence, I have greatly enjoyed following these 4 parts of the construction. The final piece is awesome in how it looks and what it signifies for you on a personal level and of course in the wider sense. It is exceptionally emotive. Well done on an outstanding project wonderfully conceived and executed!

  6. I really appreciate your modeling this statue. Three aspects of artistry really gives details that one doesn't find in the actual rendering. To say that all three really pop does not give them justice. Those would be something that any vet would display proudly.

  7. A very nice tribute. I especially like the "bronze" version - really looks like a bronze statue, and has a very stately feel.

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