23 December 2012

Catwoman and 'Pod (1)

Initial assembly has begun if for no other reason that the Bat Pod must be essentially completed before any real work can begin on Selina. The Chassis (Frame) subassembly is all-but-done, and I have begun prepping pieces for the "wheel" subassemblies.

So far, so good. While all of the pitfalls found in the original 1/25th scale kit are still present to a greater or lesser degree, the larger size makes them easier to negotiate and address. On the flip side,
  • sink marks and "soft" details are much more prevalent on this kit (read: my sample), and these will annoyingly impede progress. 
  • the tires, at least in my sample, came with dimpled sink marks on one side; and on one of them, the polyvinyl was "blistered" on the defective side.
Once the rear wheel subassembly is "functional", I can begin to work on Selina. The main focus will be the boots: the stock, short "kitten"-heeled boots must be converted to the serrated stilet- to-heeled, platform "kinky boots" of the character. . .

Stay tuned. . .

21 December 2012

Holiday Greetings '12

For what has been what at times seemed like an interminable year, it sure went by quickly! But as is the wont of this time of year, nowhere near as fast as this last week+ will fly by. . .

But I'm getting ahead of myself. . .Be sure to take some time for yourselves this Holiday Season: plot out a new project; or make some inroads on an ongoing venture; or simply wrap-up that poor soul that has been desperately clamoring for completion! Make this Holiday fortnight truly memorable!!

Above all, enjoy whatever time you have with family and friends. Even though the much-bally- hooed end of the world came and went without so much as whimper (the veracity of this state- ment will vary upon location, but I think it is safe to say that in eschatological terms, this was a non-starter), I would not be celebrating even if I had put any stock in such nonsense. Especially as the world is no less scarier than it's been. . .

And with that, I would like to take this opportunity to wish the readership a joyous, restful, peace-ful--and, yes, productive!-- Holiday Season; and a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year.

Thank you for your patronage and support.



20 December 2012

Notable Acquisitions December 2012

What with the port strike in LA, the Holidays, etc., I really didn't expect to have an entry for December, but I was pleasantly surprised today. . .
Moebius Models Catwoman and Bat Pod (1/18th scale, Jeff Yagher(?) and ???)

By way of a quick review, the Pod is little more than an up-scaled version--albeit moderately better detailed: a dozen or so additional pieces (e.g., separate engine)--of the original, 1/25th scale offering. It is still a relatively petite--and I imagine, delicate--model, but much easier to "work" given the larger size.

As to the figure, beautifully cast in resin; but if you expect to build it straight OOB, then think again. Don't get me wrong: the fit is near-perfect, and the castings near-flawless, BUT. . . this is not a particularly well-designed, sculpted, or detailed miniature--think Marx toys, or low-mid end polystyrene. In fact, unless you are willing to invest a considerable amount of time, research, and effort, it would be best to forget about Selina and enjoy the Pod as a stand-alone model. Me? I enjoy a challenge, and I am looking forward to spending a lot of time getting Catwoman to slinky purr-fection. The research is essentially done, and with 3-5 more viewings of the movie, I should be ready to break out the burrs and putty. . .  

18 December 2012

The Silver Samurai in the new Wolverine outing

Earlier this year, as a prelude to the launching of my Silver Samurai project, I made mention of the forthcoming second Wolverine solo movie, where his primary antagonist will be the Silver Samurai. My initial objective was to reconstruct the SS as a canonical, albeit “historically accurate”, Silver Samurai.

That was then. While my original goals have not changed, the first apparently-leaked images of the on-screen SS have made it to the web--in spite of the studio's best efforts--and I am most impressed, to say nothing about really wanting to see this movie B-A-D!!!!

Admittedly it is only a rear-view, but the shape of the kabuto and the sweep, shape, and construction of the shikoro are enthusiastically commendable!!! And the gusoku is equally satisfyingly "realistic". 

I might not be happy with the casting for Viper/Madame Hydra, but the Japanese elements in the story look spot on!!! 

Before closing, in deference to the studio's wishes, I have not posted a direct link to these images, but all you have to do is Google "silver samurai wolverine movie", click on images, and you'll see what I'm talking about. . . 


PS--This is this blog's 500th posting! BANZAI! BANZAI!! BANZAI!!!

09 December 2012

"Broken" - The setting #2

This weekend has been pretty much of a write-off for everything, so I decided to get a bit of unpleasantness out of the way, and get the "groundwork" primed and undercoated, and moved
to the painting bench. As I am reluctant to subject the grate to any heat stress, the primer and black lacquer undercoat should be well-cured by the time I subject the grate to the metallic lacquers, graphite, oil washes, and rust weathering. Stay tuned. . .

UPDATE - 10.12.2012. . . The  groundwork is now assembled! To test the bonding of the lacquer- based primer and undercoat to plastic, metal and wood, I began "colouring" the grate last night. Nothing extravagant or harsh, simply controlled applications of graphite, highlighted with Polly-S metallics (Oxidized Al, Graphite, and Pewter), and then toned with MIG pigments. Upon my return from work, I realized that the grate was in fact ready to attach permanently. Admittedly, this means that I would be limiting my approach to the final finishing, but why not?!

First I simulated the wet surface beneath the grate with Liquin Light. This provides a nice reflective surface that bounces the light off the grid of the grate, creating a subtle sparkle. After that was done to my satisfaction, I glued the grate in place with 5-minute epoxy. While there are still some final finishing and details to be addressed, the groundwork and the display base are essentially done!

05 December 2012

Musings from the Bench: Bane

Assuming they've maintained their QC, and invested in molds and resin as they should, this is without a doubt one of the best releases from KM! It is also one of the biggest at 80+mm to the eyes: apparently scaled to the canon height of 6'8".

There are numerous instances of "artistic license" (read: haste, indifference, or laziness). Fortunately, assuming that we, the end-user, do not follow in their footsteps, we will be able to successfully address their shortcomings without much ado. It entirely depends on how "movie-accurate" we want our rendition to be. Or is it good enough OOB and using the boxart as a painting guide?

I am enjoying this project immensely! It goes to show what a[n overall] quality product can be had from a company better known for it's over-priced abominations. I might actually buy a second one at the upcoming Show in February to convert more extensively -- IF I can find one that is as good as the one I am working on now. 

That's it for now . . . more to follow as it comes to mind.

04 December 2012

"Broken" - Pre-prime Home Stretch - UPDATE (2)

This should hardly come as any surprise--especially from this manufacturer(!), but as we draw closer to the transfer to the painting bench, more things that need to be done pop-up. . . Sound familiar?

In any event, this evening I started a list. . . it is that time of year after all. . . 
  • In order to stabilize the grating into the foreseeable future and hopefully beyond, I decided to add a brass crossbrace between the mounting rails. DONE
  • Once again, licensee--and licensor!!!--have not failed to disappoint: it appears that KM lost interest in the sculpture somewhere below the knees. The groundwork has already been discussed; but the boots have not! KM elected to leave off all the buckles on the boots. . . that's 6/4? buckles and 4/2? straps! DONE
  • The armored vest and harness have already begun to be upgraded to movie specs, but there is more work ahead! DONE
  • Fragments of cowl.
I'm sure that I will find any number of tweaks-to-be-done on the trousers and mask, and I will add to the above list as warranted.

Back to the bench!

03 December 2012

"Broken" - Graphic update

I give you the first preview of the self-contained vignette. . .

By way of comments, the left leg, a separate piece, was cast in a different resin. There were some minor issues involving the "mixed" media, but nothing really to speak of. The cowl is not quite done; and the grating is still undergoing finishing. . .


02 December 2012

Dragon's Avengers - UPDATE (2)

Nick Fury, the next-to-last announced release in the initial(?) series, is now available Stateside (still waiting on Hawkeye), and while I am reluctant to read too much into this, there is now a glimmer of hope where once there was none: on the boxart, there are three other protagonists in a graduated fade: Hawkeye (already announced), Black Widow, and SHIELD Agent Maria Hill!!!

Good news indeed--if Dragon follows through! If so, that would leave but SHIELD Agent Phil Coulson to be done. . . and LOKI!!!!

As an aside, for those of you unfamiliar with the kits, all except Iron Man are primarily, if not entirely, vinyl. "Shellhead" is polystyrene.

Stay tuned!

"Broken" - Pre-prime Home Stretch - UPDATE

While clean-up is still an ongoing task, the movie-accurization has been completed, and the figure is now completely assembled. The only modification of any real concern remaining is the "footprint" of the figure: on normal groundwork this would be inconsequential; but on a hard level surface, this can be a deal-breaker. Just one of the "dividends" of hasty, premature demolding.

Back to the bench!

FOLLOW-UP. . . In a follow-up to my initial posting, I mentioned that, "The iconic accessory piece that provides the title of this self-contained vignette is about 60% done. Finishing and detailing will continue until it is ready to be attached to the groundwork (more on this in a future posting), but it looks "right". 

Well, that "piece" is now all but done, but I find myself at a crossroads: in the promotional poster, the "piece" was shattered, but most of its defining features remain intact; in the film, the "piece" is essentially broken in half lengthwise, but otherwise little the worse for wear. I have decided to exercise my artistic license and go with the promo poster version: it not only suggests a greater degree of damage, but it provides more of a "full-round" (vs. bas-relief) image.

And for those of you still wondering what the blazes I am talking about,  this is roughly what I have reproduced in miniature:

AMFS 2013 Theme

The theme for the 2013 Atlanta Show is "Lawmen and Outlaws". This prompted two of our readers to contact me to ask whether this would be limited to historical subjects/personalities (e.g., SWAT, RCMP, Wyatt Earp, etc. etc. etc.), or would "fantasy subjects/personalities" also be eligible (e.g., Batman, Joker, Steampunk themes, etc. etc. etc.).

As I have no official--or unofficial!--standing with the Show, and I will not even be participating in the Show in February, I contacted Lou Coroso, who in turn was kind enough to forward my inquiry to Pete Garrison, the Show/Club Seminar/Training Chairman. This was his response:
The theme for the 2013 show is anything [my emphasis] that can be considered to be a lawman or an outlaw (or groupings of these characters) - I would consider a "Villain" to be an outlaw; and fantasy or Comic-book Heroes, as long as they are crime fighting, would be lawmen. Remember there are no cash prizes in this category, only an award for "best of show theme".
There you have it. Admittedly, this has not come from the Show, Judging, or Awards Chairper- sons; but even if it had, I would be prepared for last-minute changes.

Before closing, I would like to thank Lou and Pete for their accessibility and quick response. And I would like to thank the two individuals who contacted me re: this matter, and hope that the above addresses their concerns to their satisfaction. If they, or anyone else, have any further questions, I would ask that you please contact the appropriate individual/officer at AMFS.

01 December 2012

Notable Acquisitions November 2012

Moebius Models Cylon Centurion (1/6 scale, ???)
Quarantine Studio The Dead Reich: Oberschütze Senfgas (1/4 scale bust, William Paquet)