19 July 2017

LCDR Worf: "The Sword of Kahless" (DS9 ep409) -- Review, Project, and Prepwork I

I recently watched an episode of Deep Space 9 that has inspired my next foray into the world of Star Trek. . . LCDR Worf!

While TOS--and DS9!--were handled by AMT/Ertl, TNG was the exclusive domain of GEOmetric Designs. How ably these were rendered by the respective companies is open to discussion; but as full figures, none rated more than a B-/C+. Having said that, GEOmetric was not only the pio- neer in the field, but would eventually release 16 figures in a five-year span (1992-97); AMT/Ertl would release 4 TOS and 2 DS9 offerings from 1994-1995.

This project will revolve around GEOmetric's second release in the series, LT Worf. This rendition depicted Worf as Chief Tactical Officer and Security Chief on the Enterprise-D under CAPT Jean-Luc Picard. Sculpted by John Dennett, it is comprised of 8 pieces beautifully cast in black vinyl: I intend to use 4 of the stock pieces to create a bust of LCDR Worf.

LT Worf was promoted to LCDR in 2371. While awaiting reassignment following the destruction of the Enterprise later that year, Worf took an extended leave of absence from Starfleet to evaluate his future.The following year he was reassigned to Deep Space 9--soon thereafter, he embarked on the quest that is the inspiration of this project. . .

The most obvious difference between this iteration and the stock kit--aside from the conversion 
to a bust--will be the "red" Command tunic in lieu of the "gold" Operations tunic. This is hardly a simple chromatic conversion as the TNG tunic must be reworked to the upper portion of the DS9 Starfleet Utility jumpsuit. In addition, I intend to:
  • Resculpt the hair; add a pony-tail.
  • Replace the Klingon baldric insignia with sculpted emblems. 
  • Rework the communicator.
  • Sculpt the Sword of Kahless, a bat'leth.
  • Sculpt the support pedestal.

To date, the pieces have been trimmed, and the bust dry-assembled--yes, the fit is that good! 

More to follow. . . 

When the cost of a hobby exceeds the fun and doesn't attract new people, the game is over.” -
Oscar Koveleski, August 2003

16 July 2017

"Bones"--Prepwork III

Just completed roughing-in the neck, and tentatively fitting the head. Positioning of the head will probably not be finalized until the medical smock is at the very least roughed-in.

When the cost of a hobby exceeds the fun and doesn't attract new people, the game is over.” -
Oscar Koveleski, August 2003

15 July 2017

"Bones"--Prepwork II

The second step of the prepwork is devoted to the resculpture of the head/face. This is progres- sing quite nicely, and I would say that I am a little over 50% done. . . 

Moving right along. . .

When the cost of a hobby exceeds the fun and doesn't attract new people, the game is over.” -
Oscar Koveleski, August 2003

11 July 2017

"Bones"--Prepwork I

As with Kirk, the assembled bust was filled with PUR, per my usual MO with hollow-cast, vinyl figures. I then bisected the upper limbs a little below their respective elbows. Finally, I ground- 
out the neck join, and pegged the head. 

So far, so good. . . !!!

FOLLOW-UP. . . Just finished removing the Division insignia from the left breast. . .

When the cost of a hobby exceeds the fun and doesn't attract new people, the game is over.” -
Oscar Koveleski, August 2003

10 July 2017

"Bones"--Review and Intro

The kit is comprised of 7 light-grey vinyl parts, a black vinyl tricorder, and a black polystyrene circular display base. The casting quality is superb!

As with Kirk, the proportions are to scale at 8 heads. Likewise, most of the problems I see in the build-ups stem from the modeller, not the kit!
In this instance, however, unlike Kirk, the likeness does leave something to be desired. That being said, the shortcomings are exacerbated by an evinced lack of fundamental modelling skills--or indifference/complacency.

While Kirk aimed at enhancing--and improving upon!--the stock kit, this project will essentially be an extensive conversion using the stock kit as a base: I intend to depict "Bones" in his medical smock.

Anticipated [re]constructive work is as follows:
  • Resculpt portions of the face to enhance the likeness. IP
  • Resculpt the hair. IP
  • Rework the neck join. DONE
  • Resculpt the duty tunic to depict medical smock (S2 specs).  
  • Sculpt the support pedestal. IP

The project, as planned, will use but 4 pieces of the stock kit: head, torso, and arms.

To date, I have removed all the "sprue" funnels and assembled the torso.

When the cost of a hobby exceeds the fun and doesn't attract new people, the game is over.” -
Oscar Koveleski, August 2003

06 July 2017

Leonard H. "Bones" McCoy, MD, LCDR

I am enjoying the Kirk project to no end! So much so, that I decided to undertake a comparable project for myself, revolving around none other than Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy, the second release in AMT/Ertl's 1/6th scale vinyl Star Trek character series. 

Full review to follow upon arrival. . .  In the meantime, I will say that I intend to likewise convert this figure to a portrait bust.

When the cost of a hobby exceeds the fun and doesn't attract new people, the game is over.” -
Oscar Koveleski, August 2003

23 June 2017

The Joker "TwE" - Prepwork II

The reworked roughed-in face was essentially completed after last night's posting. This amounted to little more than mirroring the work done on the left onto the right.

Today, I roughed-in the neck, as well as enhanced the rather sparse hair. I also reduced the over- all length of the torso by removing about a 1/4in. from the distal end, as a prelude to tapping a hole for the support rod: the bust can now "stand alone". 

Once I get the neck the way I want it, I can begin working on the face in earnest. Stay tuned!
 
FOLLOW-UP. . . Though still very much a work ip, the neck is now over 80% done. And it is fit- ted! I also adjusted the "angle of presentation" of the overall bust, and it looks. . . AWESOME! 

UPDATE 24.06.17. . . The one drawback to sculpting a turned head en suite with the torso is that the neck/collar is usually unflatteringly skewed. In most instances this is hardly noticeable, es- pecially once painted; but if the head is removed, the truth is immediately apparent. And thus, with the neck all-but-done, I devoted myself to rebuilding the left side of the collar. And then fol- lowed-up with launching the finishing phase of the torso. . .

When the cost of a hobby exceeds the fun and doesn't attract new people, the game is over.” -
Oscar Koveleski, August 2003

22 June 2017

Capt. James T. Kirk - Prepwork III: The Phaser

The Phaser II, as provided, is very nice. Unfortunately, in my sample, there was a significant pro- duction flaw (read: sinkhole) on the right side of the Phaser that simply could not be ignored! 

It is not hard to correct, but it is tedious. I decided to "fill" the depression with MS, and then re- store the structural elements with blade and burr once the putty had cured. I am now about 80% done; and so far, so good. . . 

As a sidebar note, the grip of the Phaser, which is molded en suite with the hand, is arguably one of the weakest aspects of the figure. This has since been replaced with a scratchbuilt resin grip that slides into the gripping fingers. Final detailing and finishing await. . .
 
When the cost of a hobby exceeds the fun and doesn't attract new people, the game is over.” -
Oscar Koveleski, August 2003

The Joker "TwE" - Prepwork

The project has begun!

The first thing I did was carefully cut-off the head, which is molded en suite. This is not hard to do, especially given the durometer of the resin; but it is not something to rush into. Decide how best to cut to minimize the work that will follow. 

Next, I hollowed the neck opening. This will accommodate the neck that will be sculpted after the conversion of the face is all-but-done.

So much for the torso. Time to embark on the journey that will be the face/head. I am all-but-certain that the face/head can be converted from the stock head. My first step was to roughly sketch the salient features to get an idea of where to begin cutting. I decided to begin by reduc- ing the lower lip in its entirety; and then augmenting the left cheekbone and enhancing the chin and the mandibular insertion of the masseter muscle with MS.  The additions were intended more as roughing-in structure and volume than any formal resculpting.

So far, it's unfolding quite nicely. . .

When the cost of a hobby exceeds the fun and doesn't attract new people, the game is over.” -
Oscar Koveleski, August 2003

19 June 2017

The 2017 Project, pt. 2

The bust arrived today, which underscores why Steve is one of the most reliable, trustworthy fig- ure retailers/manufacturers across The Pond! Thank you, good sir!!

Regrettably this is a "good news, bad news" scenario. The good. This is a late production version of the bust: rather than the terracotta-coloured resin, it is cast in the light blue-grey resin. The casting quality is superb! I do believe this is a pared-down-version of the bust; i.e., if memory serves, the original offering included a top hat; this one does not. No biggie, as it would have gone straight into the spare parts bin. 

The bad. This is supposedly a 1/9th scale (200mm) bust. If that is the case, then Harley is a 1/8th scale (250mm bust)! Which means she would significantly dwarf Mr. J. . . Which means, in turn, that the joke's on me, and the diptych project is no more. . . 

BUT. . . that does not mean that I cannot proceed with creating a most formal, 'white tie' Joker based on Alex Ross's masterful renditions!

Stay tuned!!

When the cost of a hobby exceeds the fun and doesn't attract new people, the game is over.” -
Oscar Koveleski, August 2003

14 June 2017

Capt. James T. Kirk - Prepwork: Update (2)

Some significant progress to report! 

The head was ABD (all-but-done). . . technically. In short, it was undoubtedly better than what was provided in the kit, and for most it would have been "good enough". BUT. . . was it good
Or better than "good"?? And the answer was--not really. To that point, I had gotten off the ground floor and had taken my initial steps onto the first floor. The time had come to commence with the fine analysis of texture and form. . . 

And after about an hour analyzing stills from the show, and another hour at the bench with the putty, the head is on the home stretch! It will be a rather lengthy lap, as I intend to resculpt ALL the hair; but once that is done, I can then begin the final finishing. . . 

Stay tuned!

When the cost of a hobby exceeds the fun and doesn't attract new people, the game is over.” -
Oscar Koveleski, August 2003