Field Marshal Prince Von Blücher 1742–1819. 1/9th Scale Character Bust by Pat Camp
David Grieve’s wonderful character bust of Von Blücher was, for me, one of those models that was a sheer pleasure to paint and remains one of the favourites in my collection.
I had been painting model figures for five years when I bought this from David at Euro-Militaire in 1997 and, gentleman that he is, he also let me have some additional photos of the model depicted on the box art.
Another factor which brings back happy memories was that I painted the model whilst on holiday in France the Summer of the following year. Sitting beneath the dappled shade of a tree and sipping the occasional glass of wine as I worked, I must say that it was my idea of heaven! And in the end, I could not have been happier with the final result.
The bust comes as a single, very heavy, white metal casting. The only other pieces in the kit were the base and a supporting column. All of this is packaged in a very smart box topped with a photograph of the completed model. Instructions and detail notes are printed on two sides of an A5 card are these are very thorough. I also took the opportunity to read Von Blucher’s biography before starting the model and he really was, quite justifiably, a legend in his own time. Whether you decide to build this model or not, do read about the man himself as you will feel inspired!
The model was primered using Halford’s white acrylic and colours blocked in using Humbrol matt enamels. Oil paints were applied on top of this. Blue is notorious for drying with a sheen and so it was given a coat of matt varnish before the gold was applied. This was a lesson I had learnt from an earlier model (French Hussar) because the gold paint can be reluctant to come off the brush onto a glossy surface: a little matt varnish gives it a key to grab on to. The gold was unbuffed Humbrol satin gold Metalcoat highlighted and shaded with oils. Gold printers ink mixed with a little silver was used for highlighting. This was done sparingly as it is easy to overdo the effect. I recommend you apply gloss varnish or Johnson’s Klear over the printers ink once dried as it will help to maintain the lustre.
The face was great fun to paint: there is so much character there! The eyes are big enough for you to go into great detail. Blücher is wearing a miniature of the Prince Regent over his sash. This was a fun subject to paint and the outside frame was given a twinkle by the use of silver glitter.
David Grieve’s model is indeed a high quality character study of an exceptional man. Although my model is well travelled and showing signs of wear and tear, it remains a constant reminder to me of just how much pleasure is to be had in our hobby!