From the creator of miniatures to the soldier of the National Guard: how the war turned from art into life for Anton Derbilov
Thursday, June 1, 2023 - 13:23 (EEST)
Anton is a fighter in the National Guard in his military life, and in civilian life, he is a musician and sculptor who creates busts of prominent hetmans and commanders for Ukraine and other countries. Just a year or two ago, he couldn’t have imagined that war, represented in the details of historical costumes and miniature orders in his workshop, would become a reality and compel him to learn how to handle new weapons in order to liberate his native region. We tell the story of Anton, with the call sign Patrick, who took part in the liberation of the Kharkiv region (east of Ukraine). Anton, what were you doing before the full-scale invasion? And what are you currently doing in service? I was involved in sculpture, primarily miniatures, specifically military miniatures. That’s why I have a good knowledge of military history, uniforms, various combat skills specific to different cultures or eras. I used to learn fencing, hand-to-hand combat, and even participated in airsoft. It was mainly to understand how soldiers in the past had to perform certain exercises, fight, crawl, and handle weapons. It was very interesting to experience it firsthand. However, I never expected that I would have to do all of this myself in a real war. Source: Sirko Toys Currently, I hold the position of a rifleman in the National Guard of Ukraine. Are your works available for public viewing? Can readers familiarize themselves with them? Yes. I have pages on Facebook and Instagram, as well as a page for our family studio, which we ran before the war — Sirko Toys. We shared photos of the Cossacks we made from tin, in various painted designs: I sculpted them, then they were cast in tin, and my wife and other artists painted and detailed them. We also created busts of prominent Ukrainian figures. We made a lot of them. Sometimes I did something for other manufacturers, both Ukrainian and Western. For example, my models were ordered in Britain. It happened that the preparatory stage took longer than the actual production of the model. Because every model needs to be studied. You need to know everything about it. For example, you make a portrait of a general or a commander. But you depict him at a specific historical moment, during a certain battle. And then you can’t hang an order on him that he received for this battle. After all, at the moment you want to capture, he did not have it yet. All this needs to be studied. Often I had to ask for help from historical consultants, and specialists who know more than I do and were my curators. Who inspires you the most among all the figures you have created? Whose fate captivates you? First of all, I made busts of all the historical figures from Ukraine. They were prominent figures like Hetman Vyhovsky and Khmelnytsky. I also had to create the headquarters of various notable figures, such as Napoleon. I made the headquarters of all the countries involved in the Napoleonic Wars, including the British, Prussians, and Austrians. The most interesting part was making the busts of Ukrainian figures. We even participated with them in the filming of the movie The Battle of Konotop — our figures appeared in the shots. For example, the figure of Hetman Vyhovsky on horseback, who led that battle. When the full-scale invasion began, how did you decide to go to the front lines? How did you join the service? Before the invasion, I was working on a commissioned figure. When the shelling started in the morning, on the 24th, I was still in shock, not knowing...