Verlinden 200mm Roman Bust - WIP [Part 1]

All through the years, the largest figures I've painted ever are in 120mm scale. This is my first attempt painting a much larger 200mm scale bust. From what I understand, the larger the scale, the more challenging it is to paint (espacially the human face).

HISTORY REFERENCE

I've collected and simplified the below information from the internet to show the military position or ranking of a Roman TRIBUNE.

Roman soldiers were call LEGIONARIES. 8 legionaries organized a CONTUBERNIUM. 10 contubernia formed a "CENTURY" (80 men). Next were the "COHORTS". These were made up of 6 centuries (480 men). Finally, the largest group in the Roman Army was the "LEGION". There were 10 cohorts in a legion. A full-strength legion contained 6,000 men.

The Roman legion was commanded by a LEGATE and the TRIBUNEs served as second in command of the legion, behind the Legate.

THE KIT

This is the 200mm scale bust from Verlinden titled: "Roman Centurion Bust" (kit #1276).

Simple break down of parts are the head, bust, 2 pieces of cheek guard, standard base plinth.... and of cause all with mould plugs (I hate these things).

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Since the kit is sculpted with Roman attic helmet (Hollywood beloved) with feather topping and muscle breastplate body armor, I presume (based on my understanding)that this bust is supposed to be a Roman TRIBUNE rather than a CENTURION.

CONVERSIONS

Personally I think the face is too thin for a Roman Tribune. I've added some putty on the jaw to puff up his face.

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I dislike the kit's original cheek guard (PIC C.) which in my opinion are too small and the carved on design looks like carrots. I've made the replacement with aluminium sheet (PIC D.) and added thin rolls of putty for the border. High rank Roman officers were well-known to have flourish design on their military gears (espacially helmet and breastplate)... I've sculpted some simple flower design on the new cheek guards (PIC E).

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Next, the detail of the feather of the kit is quite good (PIC F). Taking the suggestion from fellow modeller "Beachbum", I've tried using hair from brushes to replace the whole piece as horse hair, but later I found out that handling "real hair" is way too much for my inexperienced skill. I've decided to fall back using the kit piece. Enhancement were made to jack up the feather's base with plastic cards, further adding detail with twisted wires (PIC G.) and putty rivets (PIC H).

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There were 2 nicely sculpted scorpions and some rounded design on the helmet front (PIC I). At first I've sand off the rounded design thing and sculpted a lion head on it (PIC J). Later, I've found those tiny beads (looks like ruby) in the woman accessories department (while shopping with my wife)... and decided to remove the lion head to replace it with a piece of "ruby" (PIC K).

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Moving down to the chest. I've sculpted another lion head (bigger and more detail, with eyes detail and tongue) on the center of the chest plate, and modified the leather belt to make it look like it's on top across the lion head piece. I added  Roman victory laurel wreaths as decoration on the shoulder plate and removed the original detail of the tassels under the shoulder leather straps (insert small pic), replacing them with twisted copper wire.

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COMPLETED

Here's my upgraded ROMAN TRIBUNE BUST, ready for painting.

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Comment and feedback please :)

Happy modelling, CPTan

Images & text by CP Tan