This sculpture is 99% done! Whew! It has been an intense creative exercise figuring out how to shape and render a variety of materials, from skin and sinew to metal and cloth. I literally shaped every single round and link in the bandolier of ammunition as well as virtually all the muscles under the uniform. I can see why some sculptors stick to portrait busts.......it's soooo much simpler.
There's a couple of smaller details I'd like to point out. This is a M240 "Gulf" Marine Machine Gunner. These guys like to tuck a paint brush into the MOLLE attachment loops on the front of their Interceptor vests for weapons cleaning. The "D" ring to the right of the brush is for hanging his helmet from during a battle lull. There are two pouches for pistol magazines. One of the pouches is empty....it's mag is in the machine gunner's 9mm Beretta located in his "drop" holster. The pistol and holster are under his blouse. On his 3 day assault pack is strapped a poncho liner. Poncho liners are light weight quilted blankets that stand in for a sleeping bag while in battle. I made one of his trouser cargo pockets very full.....Marines tend to pack these large pockets with food for quick access during combat and it weighs the trouser leg down. Laced into his left boot is an extra dog tag and around his feet are spent shell casings. Finally, his trouser legs are "bloused" very low on his combat boots reflecting the constant shoot and scoot atmosphere of combat...he just doesn't have either the time or inclination to worry about how squared away he is.
Next week I'll be taking it very gingerly to the Wegner Foundry here in Fredericksburg, Virginia.