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PiliPili Resin Kit Fox Sioux - 'Iron Hand'

 

by Stephen Jamison

 

 

Background

The Kit Fox society of the Sioux nation were in general terms the 'police' of the tribe, given the task of keeping order and paramountly, the defence of the tribe from outside attack. They were among the bravest of all Native American Societies. This kit depicts the "whip bearer" the 2nd in command of the Society whose job it was to maintain discipline with in the band and prevent abuses of power by Society members. So much for the background to the figure, what is the kit like?

The Kit

I have been hooked on Native Americans for the past four years. I saw this kit advertised shortly before the 1999 Euro Militaire at Folkestone and I made the PiliPili stand my first stop on my arrival at the show, cash in hand. I was not disappointed, it is yet another gem from them. Although Native American subjects had their heyday of popularity some 5/6 years ago they are still very popular and with figures such as this will remain so for some time to come.

Made in a neutral grey resin as per normal with PiliPili figures, this kit comes in 19 parts, although only 18 are needed, Lee van Quang has thoughtfully included an extra feather. The parts needed minimal cleaning up, with just the merest hint of a mould line on the arms legs and torso and some sharping of edges for the plugs that hold eack part in position. Iron hand is a very dramatic figure, posed in mid-turn with his breechclout and fox skin poncho flapping behind him.

Assembly/Painting

I first assembled the legs and torso, which includes the face and makes up the main part on the figure. The Kit Fox Society used similar war paint, the upper body, upper arms, head is yellow with red, and black religious marks and symbols. The Osprey book 'American Plains Indian' shows a Kit Fox although some of the details are inaccurate. I could not find any other illustrated source, but Quang's suggested scheme is based on detailed historical research, so the box art can be trusted to be accurate. For the yellow, I used Windsor & Newton Pale Naples Yellow, which was applied over a white primer to give the base colour for the upper figure. The remainder was undercoated with Humbrol "Flesh" with a little Windsor & Newton Burnt Sienna added to "redden" it up a bit. Once my base colours were dry, I glazed them this almost transparent coats of oil colour as follows:

Upper body and face:

Base colour: Pale Naples Yellow.
Highlights - Titanium White with the merest touch of Pale Naples Yellow added just to take the harshness of the white.
Mid shadow: 1 part Gold Ochre 2 parts Pale Naples Yellow.
Deep shadow: Slightest touch of Burnt Umber, well blended in.

On the "flesh areas"

Base colour: 1 part Burnt Sienna, 1 part Gold Ochre, 9 parts Titanium White.
Shadows: Base colour with 1 part white instead of 9.
Deep Shadows: Burnt Umber.
Highlight: W&N Flesh Tint.
Very high highlight: Titanium White with hint of base colour.

All highlights and shading were done "wet on wet" and proved very effective.

The arms were attached and needed a little filing around the joins. They were then painted in the same way with the yellow war paint extending half way down the upper arm.

The figure is wearing a breechclout, which is somewhat longer than you may expect but is perfectly normal for Kit Foxes. I painted it Prussian Blue with Titanium White highlights well blended in and Lamp Black sparingly blended into the shadows.

Society members tended to wear a kit fox pelt and this figure wears his poncho style. My research showed the kit fox to have a significant amount of grey fur when compared to its European cousin; however, as those seeing my finished figure would be European, I decided to use artistic licence and paint mine as per European foxes to avoid confusion with wolf skins. Over a base coat of Humbrol matt "Leather" I brushed in a thin coat of Burnt Umber for depth and then dry brushed Burnt Sienna and an orange tint made from Cadmium Red and Jaune Brilliant. I finally painted the tip of the tail white and introduced a little white "well blended" to the extreme edges of the belly. The skin was lined with a piece of trade blanket so I painted this in Cadmium Red, and when dry fixed it to the figure.

The figure's long hair and "roache" were painted and fixed in place. The black hair highlighted with a Lamp Black, Prussian Blue, Titanium White mix. The roach was constructed of black turkey feathers fringed with deer hair dyed red and held in place by a silver base plate to which two eagle feathers were attached vertically. The shield was painted and attached as per the box art and the club/whip incorporating the right hand was also painted and attached. For the whip itself, I plaited four strands of 5amp fuse wire together except for the last 5mm and painted it with a mixture of Gold Ochre and Burnt Sienna. The hand was painted black and highlighted with well-blended Burnt Sienna over the knuckles etc.

The dagger and sheath was painted in a similar pattern and using much the same colours as the box art and attached to the figure. At this point I attached the figure to a base and painted the moccasins. You may use your imagination here within some limits, tribes tended to use certain colours of beads depending on who they traded with etc. but a little research will give you many variations of colur and pattern to choose from.

Finally

The figure is such a dramatic one that I decided that any ground work would detract from the finished figure and so I mounted him on a plain base on one foot in the act of turning. It is an excellent and affordable kit, produced to a standard that other manufacturers have to match, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

This kit may still be obtained through Historex Agents





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