The Plague Doctor from Scientific Models

Scientific Models I can only describe as highly original within the sort of miniatures that I usually look at. Taking a look over their web site you'll find busts and people like Charles Darwin and Auguste Piccard alongside creations like a tribute to female aviators, child having a hair cut, and the limited COVID-19 Operator which was sold with all proceeds going to a hospital in Rome (and sold out quickly too).

That sounds fairly normal... and then you find the 1/1 scale scientific range which you're more likely to find in museums. Combine that with a range of diorama details including some dogs and a 54mm scale elephant, and a large range of sculpting, casting, and modelling products; you'll find something that'll tempt your funds.


For this review I have the 1/12th scale Plague Doctor bust which initially seeing the 70€ price tag had me wondering. Variants of this sculpt are also available as a 54mm diorama for the same price and a stand alone 75mm figure for 35€. Interesting to see some different options.

I'm sure anyone into steampunk or fantasy has seen something along the lines of the Plague Doctor look but the thinking behind this from Scientific Models is that essentially what you see here is the earliest form of an NBC suit from Venice in the 1600's.

Box contents


I really forgot that this kit isn't just a bust. Feels a bit more like many film themed garage kits with the plinth and extra large detail. Quite a fair bit of resin.

Nice thank you label attached to the string tying the box shut and interestingly drawn box art rather than a painted version on the miniature contained.

Few leaflets are included in the box including a diagram from the digital sculpting render and with a QR code which stupidly I haven't tried out. Not really needed as there isn't really anything confusing with the assembly but it's still a good thing to include.


12 parts in total with the 3 large sections being wrapped in paper. Stops them coming into contact with each other and nothing was able to rattle around during the journey from Italy to the UK.

Closer look


Straight in with the most recognisable section. The crow mask. Apparently the beak would be filled with herbs to mask the stench of death and decay.

Fairly plain and smooth which has pros and cons. On one hand it's essentially an large flat area but on the other it leaves it up to you to decide how you paint it.

Bit of a stepped mould line which you'll see a bit across the kit. Not sure if that's common with their products but the 240 grit sandpaper had them all gone pretty quickly. Then you just move up some grits  until you're happy.


His hat has some interesting surface texture across it. Not sure what the material used would've been but a little research will give you more info.

Bit of a shame the the pour point is in a textured area. It's on the rear of the hat which is a good thing but it's a little shame.


The main section does leave me thinking that perhaps the sculpt was more destined to be for the figures rather than quite so big. Maybe that's partly due to seeing so many highly detailed figures and busts and I suppose there's only so much that can be done with heavy protective robes, cross necklace, and bag.

There is some slight texture on what I think could be a strap which would either hold the hat in place or cover the gap between the robes and the mask.

Good thing is the caster has cut down one side so mould line removal is fairly simple, again with the 240 grit to start. Though the underside isn't flattened. Luckily I make some of my own plinths so out cant the 60 grit sheet of sandpaper to work on that. Few minutes and done, though many casters and companies do that for you on larger sections.

Last thing to mention are the slightly diagonal lines running through this section and the sleeves. I'm more thinking that they are print lines rather than sculpted which is a shame as a slight filler primer would need to be used.


Speaking of sleeves, here they are.

Again, the stepped mould lines with both running along the underside/ inner of the sleeve which is a good place for them. Keeping away from the sculpted stitching.

The cuts and keys are really solid and fit well. Always helpful.


Arms really aren't complete without hands are they...

I really like the hands on this bust. Bit strange I know. Even though these look like they're in thick gloves they have good positions and shape.

The right hand which holds his wand (don't know the proper terminology, sorry) even has a classic English tea drinking "pinky out" (little finger sticking out) which is an interesting choice). I'll talk more about the hands in my final thoughts later.

Mould lines aren't as stepped on these which is good with the surface texture.


Last parts for the main bust is the small pouch and his wand. Good the see the wand left with a good piece of resin attached to help keep it straight.

The work needed on the pouch is fairly minimal and in hidden areas too so you don't need to be too fussy really.

Wand wise, a bit of gradual cutting then a light sand had that sorted quite quickly so zero issue there at all.

Plinth!


Now this is where thinks do get different compared to what I'm used to. Though not a bad thing by any means.

Sculpted plinths can be a great thing though also tricky with people having such differing views about what makes for a good looking plinth. I like the look of this plinth though at the same time feel it's perhaps a bit small and too detailed for this particular bust with all the skulls and stone texture.

Had to get the 60 grit out again for the bottom to smooth it off.


Last up is possibly the creepiest part of the whole kit. A heavy looking sheet covering a dead plague victim. Pretty cool and also large in size. Bit odd for a bust though. Must get out of my comfort zone.

Lastly too; the underside needed some smoothing off as well. Luckily this wasn't rubbish resin.

Final thoughts


As you can see the finished assembly is pretty imposing and asks for some serious shelf space. Being attacked to an oval wood base could work well for a display.

Remember those hands... well; being that the face is completely covered on this sculpt it makes any emotion or character almost impossible to show. However; this is where hands can be brought in to play. We all communicate with body language and our hands often play a big role in that (some people much more than others). For me the posing gives a good feeling of uncertainty and hesitation. what is he seeing under that sheet. Not sure I actually want to know at all.


I can see what Scientific Models were aiming at with this sculpt but I think for me it lacks a bit in some areas that I like to see. The head for example could've been brought a bit more into line with looking under the cloth. More subtle changes to add a little more curiosity to the design overall.

Do find myself drawn away from the bust and to the plinth too. That could partly be down to me positioning it with the skulls front and back rather than the sides, but perhaps it's just a little too ornate for me. Would make a great scenic piece for a diorama though so would not go unused.

Quality wise; the resin is good and locations of mould lines in general are well chosen. But I do feel for the listed price a little more cleaning on those large flat areas on the body, plinth, and sheet wouldn't hurt. Not suggesting a full polish as that takes time but a quick rub on a low grit to remove the most of it could be good.


Where to buy?


The Plague Doctor and many other miniatures and products are available directly from https://scientificmodels.shop and I do recommend checking out their range for something a little different.

You can also find Scientific Models on Facebook and Instagram so give them a like/ follow to see what else they have coming up.

Once again, thank you for your time and hopefully you find these reviews helpful. You can of course subscribe to receive reviews via email so you don't miss any in future.

And please... no drinking the paint water.


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