Life Miniatures have sculpted a much loved and controversial figure this month. They have released in 1/9th scale the bust of none other than former Prime Minister of Great Britain Mr. Winston Churchill. We look him over - and his three head choices - in our review
Material: 7 pieces of light grey resin
Features: Three head choices
Available from: Life Miniatures figure distributors
The fifth instalment in the Live Miniatures catalogue has caused some old fashioned political debate amongst some on history forums – who would have thought the choice of one of the greatest Englishmen in history would be as controversial as just say an SS figure? Well in this case we don't mind at all about what people think as we have been too busy putting the bust together.
Just quickly before we start I am really impressed with the box art – the packaging nad the presentation of this kit. Others could learn from this example which is secured in a rigid box and with lots of black padding to hold it in place – the smaller parts are also secured in a zip-loc bag. Cover art is panted by Sang Eon Lee himself – why hire someone else when you are pretty handy with the brush yourself don't you think???
This bust – sculpted by Sang Eon Lee in light grey resin – which I re-iterate, is a smelly in a nice way resin. The smell of it reminds me of modelling which is a good thing. There are seven parts of resin – all bubble free and with some really very fine detail to them.
The parts in this kit include:
This is a really interesting and very smart break up of choices and generous as well. Life Miniatures could have just given us one choice of head with two hats, but sang Eon has given us THREE. One bare head to add to the cropped head on which you can mount the two different types of hats on. What good forethought to give bust makers that little bit more variety and choice to their latest kit. I like model companies who think like modellers.
Let’s look at the two head choices then. We will look at likeness later on in the review, for now I will focus on detail.
The two heads are exactly the same minus the top of the head on one of the choices. This is meant to house the headgear of which we will talk about next.
What I am very impressed with is the lines, wrinkles and marks on this sculpture’s face. Every crease in the forehead, the jowls and the bags under the eyes conveys age and time. The weight of the face that was carried by Churchill is sculpted here and would be a joy to paint. The face even shows a slight squint in the eyes as Winston chews on his cigar.
This has got to be one of the most lifelike sculpts of a head I have seen on 1/9th scale. Not just the face and skin texture is excellent – the hair – and especially the hairline on the bareheaded figure along with the ears which are long like the ones your granddad has – only the ear hair is missing!
The cigar that Winston often chewed on is here – not much to say about it but the lit end’s texture is porous and the cigar – once removed from the small square casting attachment fits into Winton’s mouth without even any glue. The good part about this is that if you want to use two heads at any time (or even three) well you can swap them between those. Excellent!
Included in this kit are two headwear choices for this figure – a Brodie helmet and a Homburg hat – I will explain these names and look at them a little more later – but here we have them from all angles, and even underneath .
You can see underneath that the hollowed out insides matches the flat head shaped of the figure perfectly and it just sits in there even without glue.
The torso of the figure sits on a resins stem which slots into the underside of the sloped base – no cutting or drilling required. The body of Churchill is seen here in an old looking suit which has interesting thick seams on the arms and down the centre of the back of the figure. The seam is slightly pinched in places, sagging and thin and very slightly wrinkled as an old man’s suit normally is. It looks great and there are nice additions like the lapels which have some air underneath them, there are sculpted as an addition not as part of the body.
The body is added to by a lovely folded handkerchief in the left breast pocket and a lovely bow-tie which sits proud of the shirt that is under the jacket. In-between the sheet and jacket as well is a rumpled vest with fine buttons which sits just perfectly inside the jacket and over the midriff section.
Lastly the head joint is sloped and the pictures I have here are without the head even being glued into place. Any slight crack you see will not be there in the final product but I wanted to show all the alternate head choices to you.
So here is the figure with the bare head so you can see the likeness of the piece. Sang Eon has got is man here - the slightly overweight, aged and weary look of the man who lived hard as a drinker and smoker is caught here better than I have seen him replicated anywhere else. The Bulldog features are really evident here in this sculpt.
The “Tommy” style Brodie helmet (as it was officially named in the UK after it’s inventor in 1915) is one of the head choices on offer here. The rough texture of the surface of the helmet has a few chips out of the surface just like many in real life.. The helmet also has the chin strap with wrinkles and fastening buckles here that looks realistic and just like the fabric it is made in.
The second hat choice I thought might be a Cambridge Bowler – but actually Churchill often wore a Cambridge Bowler, which he nicknamed his "Bowker. " the hat in THIS sculpt after some looking around is a Homburg hat. This hat had a dent running along the crown and a stiff edged brim all around the hat – here are some pictures of the man…
Ruffled and a little worn this hat sits on the flat head section in a very well carved out hollow that allow the hat to just sit right in there, a little like the helmet. The shape and look of the bow and brim is captured spot on here.
So there we have it - the quality of likeness of this figure and his expression is dead on, whilst adding elements we all identify with the iconic man - the distinctive bowtie, cigar, hat, helmet and bulldog like features – well it is amazing to me that someone can make this in a mainstream kit.
I dislike gushing reviews – I think to myself – “what is he hiding” or that the reviewer is just being nice to curry favour with the suppliers of the kit – but you can see for yourself in the pics I have taken and the comparisons I am not jive talking you. This is a superb bust that I cannot think of any improvement being made to.
Keep them coming Sang Eon…
This figure is available this month at all good shops that carry Life Miniatures figures thanks to them for this kit.
The Pinstripe suit, spotted bowtie and cigar are all trademarks of the man and beautifully painted here by Sang Eon Lee in the art that accompanies the kit – this is how it CAN be painted folks! To see more pics, Please visit http://lifeminiatures.kr/