24 June 2012

Hawkeye -- Pre-prep

As you can probably imagine, the figure has been removed from the branded resin display base, and stripped.

The statuesque proportions of the sculpt really scream at you once it's stripped: the piece is a full eight heads tall! I've never been a fan of statue proportions, and in this figure it is a significant distraction. So the first thing I did once all the paint had been removed and the figure washed down was separate the torso at the upper beltline, and countersink it ~2mm into the legs unit. The improvement is immedi- ately evident, though the legs are still somewhat on the thin side.

I also began preliminary scribing of the laminae on the left arm.

That about wraps it up for today. More to follow. . .

23 June 2012

HAWKEYE!

In case I haven't had this fanboy geek-out moment in the past, please indulge me. . . Clint Barton, bka as Hawkeye, has been one of my favourite Avengers since as long as I can remember--literally! And after seeing The Avengers today, I have been given no reason to reconsider. BTW, if you haven't seen this Summer's (to-date. . . ASM and DKR will claim their pence next month!) blockbuster, do yourself a favor and immerse yourself in 2 1/2 hours of pure escapist joy! This is a near-perfect comic-book movie!!!

Back to Hawkeye. While I strayed to "the other side" today, spending some time at the Atlanta stop of the "Tumbler Tour" getting up close with the vehicles featured in Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy, upon my return, Eaglemoss' Hawkeye figure was awaiting me. Casting (5 pcs.) is overall as good as I've seen from Eaglemoss. As an observation, the bow appears to be cast in a harder tin alloy: great call on the part of Eaglemoss, as this is probably the most critical--and most fragile and exposed--element of this piece. My only criticisms are directed at the: 1) quiver--somewhat unrefined and definitely under- sized; and, 2) the boots--again unrefined and lacking in volume: SAS!

Unless Knight Models releases a pre-Ultimates' Hawkeye, this will probably be a fanboy's only opportunity to render a Hawkeye in collector's-miniature scale. And even if they do, it will certainly not be anywhere near the price point--nor is there a great likelihood that the casting will be any better! A great acquisition that I look forward to "making my own". . .

14 June 2012

Dragon/Shizuoka update -- UPDATE

In my last posting, I stated that, ". . . I would have to conclude the the 1/9th scale Action Hero Vignette series is a ready-to-display (i.e., pre-painted) series aimed primarily at collectors, not modellers."

True. . . but, fortunately, not entirely so. The Action Hero Vignette series is indeed comprised of pre-paints w/ some assembly required; however, Dragon is also marketing these as 1/9 scale model kits! HLJ has just posted the pre-order info for these kits.

KUDOS to Dragon! The vigil for Hawkeye has begun!!

PS--Here are the parts breakdown for Iron Man and Thor. Still no word if the series will be distributed Stateside, but they are/will be available through HLJ, BBTS, etc.

Ngila G'rnt -- Pre-prep

By way of follow-up, pre-prep is well underway. For the most part, this is not delicate work as such, so it tends to go fairly quickly--at least in the early stages.

To date, the right upper arm has had the sword removed and has been permanently attached; and the right lower arm has been removed. The attachment sockets for the tendrils/tentacles have been filled; and the head has been bereft of horns, and pegged and roughly repositioned: she will be looking up at her right fist. The prehensile tail has also been removed. Finally, all the chains have been removed, and surface finishing has commenced.

So far, so great!

FOLLOW-UP . . . Surface finishing continues, and the putty-work has begun--namely, filling in voids and minor surface imperfections; the clefts in the hooves; and any remaining attachment sockets.

UPDATE - 20.06.2012. . . Surface finishing and putty-work continues. I have begun the mod-ing and detailing of the torso and things are coming together splendidly! In fact, she is barely recogniz- able as Euryalia! While I am just about ready to permanently attach the head, I do not want to get ahead of myself as I have yet to start working on the tentacled aural stalks. Movin' right along!

13 June 2012

Ngila G'rnt

I've just received Euryalia, Queen of Ker-Ys from Maelstrom Games. She is the tenth release in their BaneBeasts series.

While she is an intriguing character, doubtlessly inspired by some of Clive Barker's fantastic creations, I did not acquire her to make a tortured Cenobite. Rather she is to be the base figure upon which I will develop my interpretation of Ngila G'rnt, Green Lantern of Sector 542.


The character of Ngila did not exist prior to the cinematic debut of the Green Lantern, though she was featured in "Emerald City", the second story in the Green Lantern Movie Prequel: Hal Jordan.

But lest we get ahead of ourselves, a quick review of Euryalia. Save for the fact that some of the molds are fast approaching the time for replacement, this kit is everything you would expect from a Bane-Legions offering. Which means that although some of the 11 pieces comprising the kit are not quite as "clean" as one has come to expect, they are still beautifully cast. And all the vital, deeply undercut detail is crisp and clean! In fact, the worst part of this project will be eliminating much most of that sublime detail!

The oven timer just went off, so I will leave you with this little teaser and let you do some digging on the Web, as I go back to Thanos. . .

Thanos - UPDATE

For the sake of clarity in the forthcoming posts, the 4-piece casting is comprised of the following:
  • head/spauldler
  • torso w/ right arm (complete) and left arm
  • Infinity Gauntlet (i.e., left forearm)
  • pelvic girdle/legs
As I mentioned in my introductory review, the figure is stripped, disassembled, and any remaining paint removed--in short, it is ready for prepping.

I began by fine tuning as best I could the waist join: torso to legs. It is barely adequate, so I shimmed the waist-edge of the torso with some MS, and carefully joined the two pieces--it is now curing in the oven. Once cured, I will finish the MS shim so that the join will be seamless. I also rebuilt the left distal forearm stump and fitted the Infinity Gauntlet.

Finally, I took the opportunity to fill in some of the more glaring "dings" (the one disadvantage of a primarily lead figure), as well as redetailing some of the features of the costume.

More to follow. . .

FOLLOW-UP . . . The shim and stump have been all-but finished: there is still a little bit of tweaking to be done on the join of the IG to the forearm; but the waist shim is just about there.

12 June 2012

"The Mad Titan"

Without any ado -- and I'll say no more -- I managed to find for the listed srp what will soon be- come, if it hasn't already, a grail figure in the Eaglemoss CMFC series: Thanos (Special Issue #4). These are not yet impossible to find, but be prepared to pay a 50-100% premium on the srp.


To the matter at hand. The figure is already stripped and "broken out". The 92mm casting (to the eyes) is cast in 4 pieces + the branded resin display base. I'll admit that I expected a 5-7 piece casting, but unless I've overlooked a very clean join, the folks at Eaglemoss worked their magic by under-engineering the piece!

Clean-up is progressing nicely. The only area that will require additional attention is rebuilding the left distal forearm stump to seamlessly accommodate the Infinity Gauntlet. As to the latter, this will be a mini-project onto itself: I plan to detail/enhance it as much as possible, possibly replacing the six Infinity Gems.

Other than the Infinity Gauntlet, the work on this piece will be limited to a thorough clean-up and redetailing where necessary. In short, this project will be just a repaint of the stock figure.

More to follow in the days to come. . .

07 June 2012

Charon?

By way of preamble, most of you are aware that I reserved the right to revisit my historical underpinnings from the outset of this venture. This is one of those times. . .  sort of. . .

While looking through the latest stuff on Chuck's site, I stumbled upon this little gem. As most of you know, the history of gladiatorial combat is one of my passions (I have had the privilege to handle a provocator's open-faced helmet back in the day), and the enigmatic persona of Charon, is right up there on my "short list".

"Charon" was one of two costumed members of those assigned to the spoliarium, who, wearing the costume of his namesake, would dis- patch the fallen (or ensure their demise) with a blow of his maul. That is an acceptable general description of this character; however, this description has undergone some scrutiny relatively recently, and doesn't quite hold the water it once did. . . if ever.

Most everyone knows Charon is the ferryman who conveyed the souls of the dead across the River Styx/Archeron in Greek mythology. But one would be hard-pressed to find any description of Charon as a hammer-wielding demon!

Yet that is precisely what the chthonic Etruscan psychopompoi, Charun, was. Undoubtedly, the name was adopted from the Greek, but the Etruscan version of the protector and guide of the departed was quite different from his Hellenic namesake. And it is very likely that it was Charun--and not Charon--that was wielding the hammer in the Roman arenas of antiquity.

Or was it? There is a third candidate that must be considered and that is "Dis Pater", a Roman deity of the underworld subsumed by Pluto, and with considerable more clout than Charun.

While I am inclined to ascribe the identity of our subject to Dis, no argument to date has proven to be conclusive--any more than the actual role, or even the existence of the character, have. Hence my hedging in my opening statement as to the historicity of the subject.

To the best of my knowledge, this is the second commercial release of the character of Charon. The first that I am aware of was a 54mm casting released by Monarch Miniatures back in the late 70s-early 80s. If memory serves it was a brutish character with a gorilla mask and wielding a hammer.

Which brings us to our subject and future project. This figure is the 11th release by El Viejo Dragon in their "Serie Roma": it was designed by José Ramón Arredondo, the artist behind all the currently available figures in the series. The scale is said to be 1/30th (60mm), but the figure measures 65mm to the eyes, with an overall height of 77mm. The figure is comprised of three pieces (+ groundwork plinth) cast in a grey PUR, not white metal! Casting quality would be superb if not for an occasion of moldshift along the back seam: though annoying, the resulting step is slight and easily addressed.There is but a handful of contained, isolated air bubbles that can be quickly dealt with. Overall, I am very impressed!

With so little known about the subject, one can hardly make a defi- nitive appraisal as to the historicity of the depiction. Personally, I find it too "gladiatorial" for my tastes, and I will attempt to diminish the combatant aspect in the course of the project.

I will begin prepping the piece over the weekend, so hopefully there will be a follow-up with images in the near, if not immediate, future.

UPDATE - 08.06.2012. . . The right arm has been pegged and fitted; and I've removed the crest of the helmet. I am still debating whether or not to remove the greave: on the one hand, one could argue that he would have no need of a greave; on the other, a nice way to avoid a lower leg injury from someone not quite ready to pass into the Underworld. Hmmm. . .

Next. . . putty work!

FOLLOW-UP . . . The putty work, save for the maul (or was it actually a dolabra? more on this later), is now done! No more than 20 minutes worth of work!! Movin' right along. . .