Second reveal: Arco dei Fileni, Libya, 1941 in 1:35, Scratchbuild
This article is part of a series:
Most of you have been following this WIP thread under the Armor section. Unfortunately, something went wrong in the back-office of this site, so the entire build report was lost. This is an attempt to give a short recap of how this work came about, where it is now, what I learned in the course of working it and finally as a tribute to the year 2019 in my modelling experiences.
I reported earlier in the main thread about this build:
This year was filled with so many other things than modelling (amongst others things, in April this year, I became father for the 2nd time, a son called Laurent) that I did not get to match my self-imposed annual target of four builds. I did complete an early Panzer III and a T-34 in the Berlin section, but only reported on the former to-date:
The T-34 / 85 is the Tamya kit dating from the seventies (yep, with the holes in the underside to fit motors, batteries and switches). I still need to finalize some figures to go with it, so here is just a sneak preview.
The main project for 2020 must have been this Arc, erected in the – then Italian colony – of Libya in the 1930-ies. As it usually goes for us modellers, all started with a picture of the Arc at the time that the German Afrika Korps was advancing towards the British lines of defense in 1941:
This arc intrigued me because its story, and its architect and so I decided to build it despite the challenges…
The challenges were:
1. Reconstruct 1:100 drawings from pictures and some main dimensions I found on the WWW,
2. Engineer the construction for strength as in scale 1:25th, this thing is almost 1m (3 ft) high,
3. Devise a way to reproduce the travertine (marble) surface detail on the finished model,
4. 3D print and paint the main inscription on the Arc “ALME SOL POSSIS NIHIL VRBE ROMA VISERE MAIVS” (“Oh amighty sun, may you never look onto a city greater than Rome”),
5. Devise a technique to stencil the remaining inscriptions on the front, back and inner corridor of the Arc,
6. Sculpt the bronze statues of the Fileni brothers (2) to be placed above the Archway,
7. Recreate the bas-reliefs on the inner walls of the archway. There are no plans for it, just some pictures I found and, alas, Khaddhafi destroyed the original…
This started to become a challenge but I can report that all is under control and I hope to soon finish this piece. I completed the steps 1-5 and am in the course of step 6 and 7. Here are some recent pictures of the Arch.
I decided to sculpt the figures on a skeleton of 0.8mm steel wire (usually for garden applications) reinforced with some green stuff on the pelvis and shoulders. The sculpting material itself is Staedtler FIMO which oven sets at 100 degrees Celcius for 45 minutes. I borrowed a book on anatomy intended for art sculptors to help me in the process. This is not the first time that I sculpt, but the statues on this Arc are about 12cm tall so you need to care for the detail more than in scale 1:35, where figurines are about 55mm tall only.
I am happy about the result so far. I sculpt in stages: Body first as well as upper arms and legs. Using reference material, you add layer after layer of Fimo making sure to highlight the muscular texture of the model. While looking for references on male anatomy, I stopped short of buying the last issue of Men’s health however 😉
Here are some pictures, hope you like it and also that I will be able to report on the final form soon, many more projects are planned for the New Year. If only I had more time for this great hobby!
Happy Modelling, Michel.