Friday, 7 March 2014

Monty approaching - Perry special miniature painted !

Last week there was the bonus round "Favourite Character" in Curt's painting challenge and I decided to paint a very special miniature a friend of mine presented me to my last birthday:

Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery
1st Viscount of Alamein, KG, GCB, DSO, PC
Monty as special miniature by Perry Miniatures
Monty, as he was called by his troops later, was born on 17th November 1887 in Kensington, London. He was the fourth of nine children of his father, Reverend Henry Montgomery, and his wife Maud. After a colorful early life with a long stay in Tasmania where his father was bishop, Monty returned to England in 1897 and visited the King’s School in Canterbury and St. Paul’s School in London. Afterwards he attended the Royal Military College in Sandhurst and graduated in 1908. As second lieutenant he joined the Royal Warwickshire Regiment and served overseas.
When Word War One began Monty was first lieutenant and adjutant of the 1st Btl of his regiment and saw action during the very first battles of the war in Berlgium. During these days he received numerous injuries from enemy fire and was decorated with the DSO (Distinguished Service Order) for his gallant leadership. During the following years of war Monty climbed up the career ladder and in the end he was Staff Officer in the 47th Division.

Although he lost his temporary rank of lieutenant-colonel he stayed in the army after the war and commanded different battalions, served as Staff Officer again and spent some time as instructor at the Indian Army Staff College during the following years. In 1938 Monty was promoted major-general and took his first divisional command: In Palestine he commanded the 8th Infantry Division and ended an Arab revolt there.
Details of his expressive face.
But it was in World War Two that Monty gathered immortal fame. In August 1942 Monty took command of the 8th Army and competed against his famous opponent Generalfeldmarschall Erwin Rommel, the Desert Fox. After a hard campaign and the decisive second battle of Alamein the British and American forces won Africa and prepared the liberation of Europe. This major operation began with the allied landings on Sicily which Monty planned and where he commanded the British forces. During the next months Monty took part of the further battles in Italia and started to prepare D-Day in early 1944. For Operation Overlord he commanded the 21st Army Group and worked in General Eisenhower’s Supreme Command. While the war turned to its final chapter Monty lead his army group through different battles and finally on 4th May 1945 he accepted the surrender of German forces in north-west Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands.

After the war Monty scrolled through different assignments. For example he commanded the British Army of the Rhine in Germany, was Chief of the Imperial General Staff and served as Staff Officer for the NATO. Aged 71 he retired in 1958 but stayed public with several appearances and with the publication of his memoires. Not all of his utterances were unquestionable. For example his attitudes about apartheid and some statements in his memoires caused discussion. In 1976 Bernard Law Montgomery died at his home Isington Mill near Alton.

Although Monty is a difficult personality with lots of rough edges he was one of Britain most important leaders of the 20th century. His military genius and his gallant way to lead his forces has been fascinating me for years. Despite his flaws and the few backstrokes he is one of my favourite military leaders of all time and so I proudly present him for this Painting Challenge bonus round.
The miniature is by Perry Miniatures. It was delivered as bonus for ordering three sets of plastic Desert Rats but I had the pleasure to receive it as a birthday present from a dear friend of mine last year. As usual I painted the figure with Vallejo Model Colours and used Armypainer Quickshade for shading it. This time I didn’t paint eyeballs or pupils because I liked Monty’s screwing up look. It gives me the impression of an experienced leader looking over the battlefield with rough wind in his face. The base is held in sand colours because I wanted to represent Monty in the moment of success over the Desert Fox after the Battle of Alamein.
The picture that inspired me to the paintjob.
 

13 comments:

  1. That was a lovely entry Monty. I liked how people explained what their entry meant to them on a personal level. My favourite round thus far.

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    1. Thanks a lot, Anne.
      Actually I love to embellish my paintjobs with historical facts when suitable.

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  2. Both are expressive face.
    The small image identify too well this person

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  3. Great job Stefan, who else could you have done, it just had to be Monty. Amazing detail on the face, a real labour of love.

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    1. Thanks a lot, Michael.
      Actually it's one of the miniatures I enjoyed most to paint. When he was presented to me I knew that I had to save him for a special occasion to paint.

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  4. Excellent work on one of my favourite military leaders of WWII. You're right about him being a difficult character "with rough edges" and his greatest fault (and strength IMHO) was his overhwelming self belief. I've read his memoirs and they are more intersting as window on the character of the man than as an accurate history book! Certainly you have to fact check many of Monty's assertions and claims rather than take them at face value.

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    1. Hi Lee,

      I completely agree with you. I started reading his memoirs years ago but haven't finished them yet. But to me they're absolutely fascinating because they give a good inside view of this military leader. Of course he points out his merits above all but between the lines there's lot of his character shining through. Especially his invincible believe in himself...

      Anyway he was one of the most important military leaders of WW II and he' surrounded by a special charisma for me because of his complexity in character and competence.

      Cheers
      Stefan

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  5. Beautiful work, love the face!

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  6. Fantastic piece of work, on a fascinating character. The weather beaten look feels just right for the desert campaign.

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