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Display Eagles

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I don't really collect much any more but I can't seem to resist a nice looking Iron Cross or two. I still wander around military shows when I can and also trade the odd bit for my artwork. I've had a shadow frame sitting in the loft for a bit and as I've a few WW2 EKs hanging around I thought it was about time to get them displayed rather than hiding in the back of drawers along with those other few bits and bobs.

So here was the plan, find the frame in the loft (Jeez, there's a lot of stuff up there) give it a clean, find out that I'd used it for something else previously and had to cut a new back for it:

 

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Find and arrange the Iron Crosses artistically (wow, found an EKI as well lurking in a drawer):

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Ok, looks pretty nice but there's that gap under the EKI. I needed something to fill it. I've a few various breast and cap eagles but..........aha, I remember having lokked around a show a few months ago I saw some awards mounted alongside what looked like a small train eagle. I'll get one of those I thinks.

No chance, can I find one on Mr Google? No. Can I find anything similar? No. 

So, whatever, I'll make one. There's some very talented people on here making their own small figures, tanks, ships etc. I'll therefore have a go at making my own.

Thinking back to school days playing around with clay, how hard can it be? I tried the air drying clay from the local art dealers - rubbish, it just broke up once dried. I tried carving the next one with the oven hardened clay - it was gonna take weeks.

So, I sculpted one out of the modelling, sculpting clay available at the art store:

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With a wingspan of 145mm it turned out ok. So I did another:

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This one is an SS eagle with a wingspan of about 170mm, again not too clumsy.

Rather than just paint them and use, I thought I'd have a go at moulding them (as the moulding stuff was next to the clay in the art shop). Here's the moulds complete with the pesky little air bubbles:

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having done a bit of research with Mr Google I added aluminium powder to the resin when casting. Here's the SS before any cleaning up:

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And here's the miniature train eagle after some cleaning up and some polishing. Also a picture alongside an EKII.

Not bad for a first try but I need to get those flat surfaces better. And I have a fair bit of modelling clay left.  

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Thanks Chris :)

And here's the SS Eagle alongside an EKII with a bit of patina added.

I can feel skulls, crossed machine guns, stick grenades and badge type things coming on. 

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Don't forget Waterloo medals. Just kidding. Simply amazing work. Your posts (with pictures, of course) are among my favorites. Your artistry is unbelievable. Keep it coming. Mike. 

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Thanks Mike, maybe not a medal but how about one of the French Eagles captured at Waterloo, or maybe a Roman Eagle from the lost Ninth Legion?

Just the thing to fill that gap in your collection until a real one comes along.  :D

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Cold casted a few more to try out the mix. The aluminium powder will give off a gas if mixed too thickly (just as in cement when going for water proofing) and gives an Aero bar density. About a quarter of one half of the mix seems to be about right (that'll be an eighth then).

So, I have a few miniature eagles now: 

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And here's the prototype all ready for the display (I might do another concentrating on trying to keep the flat surfaces flat) but it looks sort of beat up, which is fine as it's only 5 inches wide:

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The completed shadow frame with eagle and EKIIs, looks pretty good but still to get onto the wall :cool:

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Thank you Peter. I thinks it's about getting stuck in and having a go, and realising that it's not going to be done in an hour or so. These took two or three days each after a couple of massive failures and me balling up lumps of clay that took hours to form into ugly ducklings instead of proud eagles.

Same as those uniforms you do, invest the time to learn something new. You never know when someone may need an eagle sculpted (as long as it isn't an emergency). :P

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Wow... :o Just wow...  I feel so inept... :blush:

Great great work as usual. :beer:

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Thanks Gents, thanks. Hopefully they are inspirational, they certainly have been for me. I've jumped in and even ordered more resin mould type stuff. 

Go to your local art dealers and jump in. It's really not that expensive, no matter what you are interested in, have a go. There's always Mr.Google, Mr. Youtube and even me to ask for help. 

But I've found that getting older automatically unleashes a want to get to the 'devil in the detail' no matter how long it takes. Just have a look at Peter's uniforms or Brian's furniture or even Chris's trench in his garden.

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Great job!

I can only confirm making moulds is addicting.

It has been a long time since I made something, because the new home needs the most of the attention, but here are some of my die casts;

Here is a polyester crest ment for a, pre WWI, transitional Belgian helmet.

The original die on wich original crests were pound, can be seen in the background.

 

 

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A polyester Wurt,

 

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And dozens more, just not able to find the pic's this momment...the photobucket problem....

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They are very nice, one a bit on the rude side and probably best to display in the man cave. Some are very large pieces and must use a fair bit of material to both mould and cast.

Are some of them concrete? or are you using a material to fill and then painting. It would be good to see the process in action with some stages pictures. 

Do you do the sculpting as well as casting from original items? it all looks pretty interesting.

I'm impressed, although your brickwork could do with some pointing :P 

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Thanks! 

Great compliment coming from you. ;-)

I did a lot of concrete. The biggest (and heavyest) things I made were resting lions like you often see in gardens.

But it needs a forklift to make them.

The chemeney is in concrete as well, ment to stand the heat of a fire place.

The bust of the knight was one of my first experiences to use "fill up's", the outer layer is a rather exensive car filler, that gives beautifull details, (like used on the ss skull), and then filled with foam. But I did put the foam on top of the car filler to quickly....

I used to have stage pictures of the process in action, but having troubles to find them with photobucket closing my account...

In fact I am missing lots of pictures, but I am not going to pay to hoste them....

And about my brickwork, you are totaly right, and that is the reason of me not being able to cast anything.

Have to demolish, rebuild and restore several buildings on the new property....:-(

I'll add new pictures when ever I come by them, if you want.

I can also ad that I generaly use the products coming from Vosschemie, a Belgian retailer.

 

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Impressively large pieces but I don't have a forklift handy so I'll stick to the smaller pieces I think. It would be good to see some progress pictures.

I found it difficult to decide on what materials to use for mould making and casting. There seems to be a lot out there, all saying that theirs was the best available. I didn't really want to have a lot of trouble de-casting so I went with a silicon that doesn't seem to stick too much to anything. It takes 24hrs to go off but I think worth the wait rather than ruining the sculpture or mould. It is quite expensive though.

Here's the next sculpture - about 180mm (7") high - that's going into the mould box and getting the silicon poured over it. I'm going to try to brush the silicon onto the details as I start pouring so hopefully minimising those weenie air bubbles that hang onto them. Fingers crossed that I don't bugger it all up otherwise that'll be 5 days of sculpting out of the window. No stress...:( 

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Nice job,again.

At the time I made my large pieces, I didn't had a forklift eighter, I used other trics.

Now I have one, but no time to make large castings...

To avoid the air bubbles best is to drip the silicon on to your object and form a thin layer by holding it in different ways until the silicon gets dry. You can speed up the process of the silicon by adding a catalyst. When that first layer is dry, you can fill up your mold box, whitout having to wurry for air bubbles. The silicons will hetch one to a other just if it was done in one time.

Or you have to put your mold box on a wobbley table and make it shake during the process of drying. You can make the table shake by different maners. 

I would love to show you "in progress pictures " but I'll have to make them again. Also showing what I used to make a table shake is impossible at the momment, as I don't know where they ended in during the move.

 

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Your advice worked very well, brushed on a thin layer into all the crevasses and dips. Waited with crossed fingers and all came out very nicely, thank you.

No need to shake the table, unless I get on to mammoth stuff like yours, as the thin layer works just fine. (And they are selling before I've had a chance to cast them - which is nice).

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Glad I could be of any help.

I have always been buissy trying to improve this or that part of the moulding job.

Kept me awake many nights. 

And one day I stumbled on a booklet that held the notes of a unidentifyied student who was a apprentice and worked with several artists in the 17 th century....every tric I tought to be my impovement to the job was explained in the book....;-)

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And here is a pic of my EK's,made for a other forum I am on.

But they are showed with what to me could have been a part of a WWI army stove, a thing I bought many years ago in orther to mould and improve in a way or a other...but it didn't happen until now.

cheers

Kris

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I expect moulding is a lot easier now than in the 17th century. But good that you are still using those old techniques, which are probably needed on the bigger items.

I remember when you posted that pipe stove door. I thought it was a strange item to buy but now I see why you have it.

Some nice EKs there, even one that has been de-nazified. Don't tell me you made these.

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The aprentice book didn't treat about moulding alone.

It covered a very wide range of themes regarding the making of art work. And specialy the copying of it.

I'll have to find the title again, it was originaly a Italian book.

 

Two de-nazified EK's in the pack, the EKI and the RK. I didn't touch them,...yet! But always planned to restore them. All ready did some work on de-nazified belt buckles, and it worked quiet well. Again, no pictures for the momment but I'll try to find some asap.

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