January 09, 2015

Art Imitates Life - A collection of Dioramas, Figures and Models that were inspired by original photographs and illustrations

Came across the posts on Military Modelling and Planet Figure sites by gothic geek (Mark Bennette) on his painting of the box art for the Stormtroopers kit based on the John "Barney" Hines image below.. This is a fantastic kit from the 1/9th Pedestal Piece series from StormtroopersFollow the links above to see this beautiful work of art in Step-by-Step process by gothic geek. To view our Art Imitates Life gallery of similar works click HERE

 The "Wild Eye", "Souvenir King"
John "Barney" Hines (1873–1958) was a British-born Australian soldier of World War I, known for his prowess at collecting 'souvenirs' from German soldiers. Hines was the subject of a famous photo taken by Frank Hurley which depicted him surrounded by the loot he had captured during the Battle of Polygon Wood in September 1917. In the image he is counting money stolen from German POWs, wearing a German Army field cap and sitting amidst German weapons and personal equipment.

Hines' enthusiasm for collecting German military equipment and German soldiers' personal possessions became well known and earned him the nickname of "Souvenir King". While he collected some items from battlefields at Ypres and the Somme region, most were stolen from German prisoners of war. He kept the items he collected for himself, and there are no records of any being handed over to the Australian War Records Section, the AIF unit responsible for collecting items for later display in Australia. Hines sold some of the items he collected to other soldiers, including for alcohol. The photograph of Hines at the Battle of Polygon Wood was published in late 1917 under the title Wild Eye, the souvenir king and became one of the best-known Australian photographs of the war. Many soldiers identified with Hines and were amused by his collection of souvenirs. The photograph was used as propaganda, and a false story developed that the German Kaiser Wilhelm II had become enraged after seeing it.

Born in Liverpool, England in 1873, Hines served in the Royal Navy and King's Liverpool Regiment, as well as working in several different occupations. He arrived in Australia shortly before World War I began and volunteered for the Australian Imperial Force in August 1915. Although discharged due to poor health in early 1916, he rejoined in August that year and served on the Western Front from March 1917 to mid-1918 when he was discharged again for health reasons. Following World War I, Hines lived in poverty on the outskirts of Sydney until his death in 1958.

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