Faces of War

Without a doubt, painting headsculpts is often greatly improved when one refers to visual references. With the right contextual reference images, the various painting techniques all come together to serve a purpose – that of rendering in 1/6 scale the emotional state of the man-of-war. The Life magazine photographs below speak volumes about the horrors of war.

Photographer Hank Walker took this photo of Major Carroll Cooper in Korea after Cooper had gone three days and nights without sleep in bitter cold weather while pursuing North Korean troops through the gorges of the country’s Yalu River, 1950. Cooper had a job to do. He was a soldier, so he did it. Photo/text: Life.com

A grizzled and weary American soldier smokes a cigarette during the final days of fighting on the island of Saipan in World War II. The Allied victory on Saipan led to Japanese Prime Minister Hideki Tojo's resignation. Photo/text: Life.com

An American soldier -- his face blackened with goo concocted from soot and shaving cream, prior to a night mission -- relays info to his platoon commander on the Itallan front in 1945. The great war photographer Margaret Bourke-White's pictures, like this one -- taken in Italy, North Africa, Germany, and other hot spots -- provide an unparalleled, deeply personal portrait of of men before, during, and after battle during the second World War. Photo/text: Life.com

Real Life G.I. Joe, Normandy, 1944. Second Lt. Kelso C. Horne has his picture taken after his parachute drop into Normandy, on Aug. 14, 1944 -- a photograph that became one of LIFE's most iconic war covers. Like the nation itself, the soldier here -- as captured in Bob Landry's deceptively simple, unadorned portrait -- looks worn, but in no way ready to quit. When Horne's wife, back home in Georgia, saw his photo on the cover, she was happy to see he hadn't taken off his wedding ring. Photo/text: Life.com

Ball Turret Gunner James M. Abbott, 1943. Abbot and his B-17 crewmates are about to fly a mission in the Sahara. All of the portraits in this gallery were taken by LIFE's Margaret Bourke-White, among the greatest of all the photographers who covered World War II. Photo/text: Life.com

US Army Engineer, Germany, 1943. One of hundreds of U.S. Army engineers employed rebuilding bridges demolished by retreating German forces. Photo/text: Life.com