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Michel Verschuere
39 articles

Second reveal: Arco dei Fileni, Libya, 1941 in 1:35, Scratchbuild

This article is part of a series:
  1. First reveal: Arco dei Fileni, Libya, 1941 in 1:35, Scratchbuild
  2. Second reveal: Arco dei Fileni, Libya, 1941 in 1:35, Scratchbuild
  3. Final reveal: Arco dei Fileni, Libya, 1941 on 1:35, Scratchbuild

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 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 was advancing towards the British lines of defense in :

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.

Reader reactions:
11  Awesome

1 additional image. Click to enlarge.

19 responses

  1. Really a shame all that posting was lost Michel. I write my first posting on subjects and updates using MS Word. I tend to type a little faster than most which lends itself to typographical errors and incorrect grammar. Using Word, I can spell check and review before post, plus I save the document along with all the photos.

    To be honest, at first I was pretty lazy about using it all the time. After I witnessed what happened to you and Maarten, I made sure I always use this procedure.

    It has been a pleasure watching your builds. Hope to see many more in the future.

    Happy New Year!

  2. 🙂 … Greetings … 🙂 :
    This is one subject I was afraid to miss as well as the Mirage 1 by Marc.
    I will have to look back too see what I have missed, hopefully the electrical system here will hold,
    allowing me to have some quality time too do so and enjoy this forum.
    Overall good work Michel, looking forward for this one.

  3. This is really a fantastic build Michel @michel-verschuere

    ... and a shame your original article work log was lost. It was an incredible build journal and a testament to your skills. I also like what you have done with your T-34... It looks spot on !

    Happy New Year to you and your family.

  4. Thanks @lgardner All the best wishes for Sandy and you. Good health, love and success in everything you undertake (on four wheels or less)

  5. Fantastic work Michel. I'm really looking forward to see the finished model!

  6. Have been following, and glad to see the progress! You are a better man than I for sculpting those figures! Looking forward to when it all comes together. Happy New Year!

  7. Thanks Greg @gkittinger, your support has been there all the time and I very much appreciate this my friend. To you and your family a fabulous 2020 and I hope the New Year will add further to the tribute you are making to your father. Best from Belgium.

  8. i really can't wait to see those statues finished. please post some wip images of the sculpting if you can, that would be super interesting

  9. Congratulations indeed, a great job ... if they can serve you, here are some photos that I also have.
    I would love to do it ... nice also the photo of the interior arch where you can see the bas-reliefs and the central entrance door .. but where did you find them 🙂
    best regards
    Simone from Italy

    4 attached images. Click to enlarge.

  10. Haha Simone,

    Good one, these pictures I made of the model, they were not on the internet...
    Some pictures of the remnants are on this site:

    That is basically all I had...

  11. I really thank you for the answer .. also the photo of the internal door is on the net?
    Best regards

    • @egysminiatures

      I don't remember where exactly I found it, but it was on the www I believe. Here is the best pic I could get about the entrance:

      There are some more however:

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