When a veteran calls...answer.
Lou and I were, at the time, colleagues at Metters, Inc. which is now unfortunately closed (Lou is starting a new security company Barnes Security Solutions, LLC if you need assistance in the Orlando, FL area). Lou had originally asked our model shop lead if he could be of assistance, but was redirected to me given my hobby of small toy soldiers. Now Lou's soldier statue stands about 18" high all told, so a far cry from the 1" figures I usually manage.
The other concern was the damage to the foot. This was mainly a concern because it was a more complex area with the laces and boot sections. The gap, while relatively small, was combined with a crack that went from one side to the other then across the front to the toe. The crack was thin and already glued back together so fixing that area was concerning.
The statue is made of plaster, so the material was not too much of a concern. The larger issue was the paints. As I stated pretty clearly, I am colorblind so I had a significant concern with selecting the correct colors to match the under color and the and the bronzing. This was after some especially difficult times at Metters with work on one of the military trainers where we had a major issue with the customers original selection for a copper pipe versus what would actually be seen in the real world.
|Reporting for duty|
I started with the easiest first, the base. This was to get the mix of plaster (Merlin's ) correct and to gets my hands dirty again with the plaster. Once I had the mix right, I was able to apply using my dental picks. These were the perfect tools to work the plaster. After filling in the space, it was a matter of letting the plaster dry a bit and then marking it to look much like the other scratches.
|Firm base support|
The flag being the most difficult, was saved for last. I started with some plaster work to fill the largest of the gaps. The size of the space and the empty space within the statue made for some shrinkage. I had to go back with a second set of plaster after the first batch had dried. This didn't address all of the issues though and a significant crack remained along the fold of the flag nearest to the statues head.
The paint match, my personal biggest challenge, took much more time than the fixes to plaster and cracks. After going through every paint that I had for my tiny soldier painting, I starting going through the color ranges of Reaper, Vallejo, and P3. My search was fruitless. I spent the better part of 3 weeks looking at paints online, at Walmart, Target, Lowe's, Michael's. Pretty much at any location where I could see paints. Finally with a trip to Hobby Lobby for some Christmas decorations with my wife and the Command Master Sergeant statue in tow, she was able to help me find a match.
|Bearer of Arms|
The other day, I got to meet up with Lou and discuss how things were and present to him the Command Master Sergeant statue once again. He was thrilled and hopefully it will complete his home office. I am glad I was able to do a small bit of good for Lou, who did so much for our country over his career with the Army.