28 July 2012

Daimyō, Edo Jidai -- Pre-prep

My first step was to address the ill-fitting, 2-pc. jimbaori. The fit of the corresponding pieces on the base figure, while problematic, was nowhere near as bad, and it appears as if the torso shrank signifi- cantly more than the enveloping garment halves during the casting of this bust. I will hasten to add that while "fit" and "casting quality" are in the eye of the beholder, it is one of the primary reasons that this beholder has distanced himself from the historical side of the hobby.

As I have already been through this with the base figure, I can honestly say it is much easier the second time around. The torso with its fitted garment is now curing under the lamp.

If all goes as planned, I will have the jimbaori halves cleaned-up by the end of the day tomorrow. That will leave but some relatively minor re-detailing of the lacework along the trailing lateral edges of the visible dou before the torso can be deemed finished.

The next steps will be the molding and casting of the full left arm and the subsequent fitting of the same. Once that is done, I can begin final clean-up before priming--and try not to lose any sleep over how to address the medial seem on the back of the jimbaori(!), as well as plot my painting strategy: as I see it now, the only pre-assembly that will (can!) be done is the attachment of the helmeted head to the torso. As I said earlier. . . questionable design.

Finally, I have begun cleaning-up the shikoro, and have taken the first steps to fitting it to the hachi. As a sidebar, apparently nobody noticed that the built-up crest overhangs the edge of the shikoro. . .

This will have to be corrected with care. . .

FOLLOW-UP - 29.07.2012. . . The jimbaori halves are well on their way to being "finished". Unfortunately, closer inspection revealed some minor mold shifts that will require additional attention, but otherwise it's a go.

27 July 2012

Daimyō, Edo Jidai

Subject: Daimyō, Edo Jidai
Stock No.: MS-003
Manufacturer: La Ruota del Tempo
Range: Historical Busts (MS)
Scale: 90mm
Sculpted by Victor Konnov
Adapted (Modified/Converted) by Roberto De Meo
Base Figure: Pegaso Kato Kiyomasa (90-040)
Medium: White Metal.
Parts: 10 + turned wooden pedestal.

I bought this 2011 release at this year's Atlanta Show. This 90mm bust is nothing more than a conversion ("adaptation") of Pegaso's 90mm K.Kiyomasa figure, an idea apparently conceived by Massimo Pasquali, who also painted the boxart.

I believe the very broad-brushed dating for this figure has been based on the provenance of the kabuto. I am still compiling information on this item, so I will address the helmet and the dating of the piece at greater length in a follow-up posting. Regardless, it was the kawari kabuto that prompted my purchase of this bust, as it is one of my favourite designs.

The changes to the base figure (or to be more accurate, to the parts from the base figure that were used: 10 vs. 23) are as follows:
  • New crest
  • Truncated arms
  • Kamon on jimbaori
Casting quality is quite good, though decidedly "heavy"--and I am not referring to the weight! Fit is average, give or take (G 1/2+): there will be some fitting revisions to make sure the jimbaori lies as it should: this is a legacy fault from the base kit. The right arm is fine; the left arm? Not so much. No matter what the miniaturist does, he or she will be faced--literally--with a vertical stump!

I am seriously considering molding the full left arm, adding a gunbai or saihai, and taking it from there.

Can I recommend this kit? NO. This bust is based on a figure with a plethora of problems, not a single one of which has been addressed in this iteration. Add to that questionable design, and unless you are willing to accept the bust as is, or to invest a significant amount of time into the piece, you will more than likely not be satisfied with the outcome.

FOLLOW-UP - 29.07.2012. . . I will replace the unsightly truncated left arm with the full arm from the base kit. While still on the drawing board, I am leaning toward a saihai so that I can control motion and depth.

18 July 2012

BL Batman -- Pre-prep (II)

The bust is now completely disassembled, save for the head which will be worked around unless circumstances dictate otherwise. The parts- count stands at six, including the base.

The adhesive used and the overall softness of the resin has made disassembly a bit more nerve-wracking than it should. There will be some minor repairs ahead of me, but nothing untoward; and if nothing else, it will prompt me to make some improvements, if not outright enhancements. 

Final stripping is still scheduled for the weekend. . . 

FOLLOW-UP - 21.07.2012. . . The stripping is essentially done. . . 99.5%+. Aside from the head, I have discovered an additional piece (pieces?) that will be left in situ: the inner mouth.

Let the finishing--and repairs!--begin. . .

Top 10 Best Comic Book Superhero Films of All Time

What does this have to do with figure-modelling? Well, nothing. . . AND EVERYTHING!!!

In any case, with less than 48 hrs. until the release of the most anticipated third installment of a trilogy since LotR: RoTK hits the Silver Screen, I thought I would indulge in a little bit of reminiscing... Please feel free to comment, agree--or disagree!, and express your preferences. . .

In order of release. . .
  • X2: X-Men United (2003)
  • Hellboy (2004)
  • Spider-Man 2 (2004)
  • Batman Begins (2005)
  • The Dark Knight (2008)
  • Watchmen (2009)
  • X-Men: First Class (2011)
  • Green Lantern (2011)
  • The Avengers (2012)
and. . .
  • The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
Just to keep things manageable, I've limited the list to 10. And I have not seen The Amazing Spider-Man yet. . .


17 July 2012

BL Batman -- Pre-prep

This is my first DC Direct bust that has been detoured to the work- bench and the learning curve has proven to be rather harrowing. Not overwhelmingly so--at least not yet; but definitely a "stay focused" experience. 
  1. The bonded porcelain was softer than I have come to expect. This is not all bad, especially with what lay/lies ahead, but somewhat disconcerting.
  2. I cannot say for certain, but it appears that DC Direct--or rather whoever does their figures/busts--does some serious post- casting finishing. Again, good and bad. Good--GREAT!--for the collector, as the finish is amongst the best I've seen. Not so good for the re-finisher, especially if stripping is involved. . . 
  3. Accessory pieces (I do not have a final count) are music wire-pegged!
  4. The adhesive used is excellent! Yet again a good/bad issue, depending on your perspective.
The very nice display base is, alas, no more; and the figure is ready for its final stripping phase. Hopefully the figure will be ready to start being worked-on by the end of the weekend.

More to follow. . . 

16 July 2012

Black Lantern Batman

In 2011, DC Direct launched a series of "mini"-busts featuring a character from their epic arc, Blackest Night. Their first June release featured the resurrected Black Lantern Batman, based on the art of Ivan Reis, and sculpted by Jean St. Jean.

I received issue 643/3500, and it is flawless! In fact, the only visible shortcomings were the apparent joins at the deltoids of each arm and where the cowl/head attaches to the cape. Though I was sorely tempted to make room for it in the showcase, my other plans make the above minor "gigs" inconsequential.

Yes, I do like the "undead" Dark Knights. I picked up another of the Kelley Jones' Crimson Mist Vampire Bat(man) busts at the show this year, and this will complement that piece quite nicely. First thing though is to separate the bust from its thematic--and very nice!--display base. I really do wish it could be used, but it just wouldn't "work". Once the bust is removed from the base, I will proceed with stripping and disassembling the figure.

More to follow. . .

05 July 2012

Bleez (Eaglemoss)

Mid-week hiatus, such as yesterday, are something of a mixed blessing, if only because one day is too little time to accomplish much of anything. Still, it is a welcome break, and there are some things that can be done so long as ones aspirations are reasonable.

I decided to start the pre-prep work on Eaglemoss' Blackest Night, Brightest Day Special #10 from their DC Super Hero Collection, Bleez. She is the Red Lantern (RL) from Sector 33, and essentially serves as the XO of the Red Lantern Corps.

This is one of the better Eaglemoss offerings--and one of the worse. Cast in 6 pieces, everything is VG+ or better save the wings. These are the Achilles' heel of the piece. Two of the "fingers" of her bat-like wings (despite having feathered bird-like wings in her Havanian pre-RL guise) broke upon removal from the packing, and the casting of all the "fingers" is sub-standard. As basically it is the paint that is maintaining the integrity of the structures, these will have to be rebuilt. Aside from normal clean-up, this will be the only additional work required of this piece.

The wing reconstruction will be graphically documented in toto so that others might benefit from the experience: sooner or later, the "fingers" will be lost.

More to follow. . .

01 July 2012

Notable Acquisitions June 2012

Eaglemoss Classic Marvel
  • #50 Hawkeye (82mm)
  • #174 Arachne (75mm) [tbconv. to Scorpion in new costume]
  • Special Issue #4 Thanos (92mm)
El Viejo Dragon Charonte (65mm, José Ramón Arredondo)
Maelstrom Games (BaneBeasts) Euryalia, Queen of Ker-Ys (~105mm, Allan Carrasco)