29 June 2014

Judge Fear - Prepwork: First Steps (cont.)

I have relocated the two shrunken heads (center buckle and right hip), and filled in the areas undercut during removal. I also reworked the removed padlock, and once the putty has cured, I will relocate it (left of the buckle), and refill the undercut area.

More to follow. . . !

UPDATE 01.07.2014. . . The padlock has been pegged and fitted. I need to do some additional putty-work as the last go-round didn't quite take. . .  

Judge Death - Painting (IV): Left Pauldron

With the head all-but-done, I can now begin to address the "accessory" items. First-up: the left pauldron. 

The Mega-City One Street Judges' left pauldron can probably best be described as a pad with ho- rizontal rectangular rolls. Death's left pauldron was a pad with human bones taking the place of the rectangular rolls. It is usually depicted as moderately-to-extensively weathered. 

I applied the oils directly onto the primed surface--no undercoating. This approach works particu- larly well on small leathery items. The pad was painted with Umbers (Raw and Burnt) and Lamp Black. The bones were stained with the pad colours, and wiped clean. These will be painted individually once the pauldron is permanently attached.

NEXT: "The Greens"

UPDATE 01.07.2014. . . The left pauldron has been permanently attached.

Notable Acquisitions June 2014

Dark World Creations Judge Fear (70mm, David Richardson)

28 June 2014

Judge Death - Painting (III): The Head

With the jumpsuit essentially done, what remains are a series of short 1 or 2-day sessions (save for "the greens") that will ultimately breathe life into Judge Death.

Whether it be Fear's winged helm, Mortis' sheep's skull, or Death's portcullis-visored helmet over a Joker-like rictus, all the Dark Judges--unlike their live Mega-City One counterparts--are readily identifiable by their likenesses. As such, much of the success of this undertaking will ride on how less-than-25% of the head is rendered. 

Phase 1 of the head is now completed; i.e., all the un-helmeted area. My base colour for the flesh areas was Grumbacher Greenish Umber--strong enough to impart a sickly greenish cast to other colours, yet transparent enough to be easily modified. The toothy rictus has been blocked- in and will be mostly finalized in the next session.

UPDATE 29.06.2014. . . The 'flesh' areas were workably dry this morning, so I decided to pro- ceed with the lacquers: the helmet trim and the portcullis visor are now "metallized". I will hope- fully have some time this evening to finish the overall touch-ups to the helmet itself. DONE!

25 June 2014

Judge Death - Painting (II): The Jumpsuit

As with Dredd, I decided to tackle the jumpsuit in two sessions. Whereas Dredd could have been done in one sitting if not for the engineering workaround, Death's jumpsuit is definitely a 2+ ses- sion garment. "+" in that this one will absolutely require a revisit, once everything is done, to deepen shadows, punch-up highlights, and, in general, do a wet outline with variable blending to integrate the various elements of the "robes of office".

So. . . the jumpsuit legs are now 'done'. This may be the last time I pick-up a paintbrush until the first weekend in July, but we can always hope. . .

UPDATE 26.06.2014. . . "Hope springs eternal. . . " Caught a break today and was able to call it a day early enough to get some brush-time in. . . And the jumpsuit--or rather, Phase 1 of the jumpsuit--is now done! 

22 June 2014

Judge Death - Painting: UC'ing - Graphic Interlude

With Tyrion done, the time has come to shift my focus back to Deathhhhhhhh. . . 

Death is ready to roll. A couple of days of normal hours at work, and the oils will be broken out!
More to follow. . . !

21 June 2014

Tyrion -- Painting (IV): Wrapping-up/Home Stretch

"The Imp" is now mounted on its permanent display pedestal, and as such, the project can be deemed completed.

While virtually everything is done (or nearly so), the hair and final detailing remain, emphasis on the former. The basecoat has been glazed, so the foundation is in place--now for the oils. . .

UPDATE 24.06.2014. . . "The Imp" is FINISHED!!! Images should be up in 3-4 weeks. . .

17 June 2014

Tyrion -- Painting (III): The Face

This is where the rubber meets the road. . . 

For all its simplicity of design, this bust is a rather daunting undertaking. . . IF one is intent on a screen-accurate depiction. Of course, I fall in the latter. . . Why else do it??!!!

The main shortcoming of this offering is the likeness. In this respect it is at best a C/C-: it simply does not look like Peter Dinklage! As a caricature, perhaps; but as a portrait of the character? I don't think so. Those who have been following this project know that I spent a considerable amount of time and effort reworking the face. And while I was pleased with the work I had done, some nagging doubts remained. Fortunately, for once I decided to trust my instincts and let the painting carry the load the rest of the way. 

I thought that getting the face done would take 3-4 sessions: Session 1 is now over, and I am delighted!!! I think that it will take 2 more sessions to finish the fleshtones [UD 21.06.2014 - DONE!]; and 2-3 additional sessions to get the eyes squared away (NOTE: these are the lynch- pin to this portrait! ) [UD 18.06.14 - Session 1: Mr. Dinklage has very interesting eyes. The best description would be hazel with a strong gray bias, or gray-green-brown. As of this writing, the irises have been base- coated with acrylics. UD 19.06.14 - Session 2: Oils basecoat; preliminary highlights. UD 21.06.2014 - DONE!] After that, 2-3 sessions should get the hair done. I will then put the figure away for 2-3 weeks to see how the colours settle before wrapping it up.

Please allow me to apologize in advance, but there will be no images prior to completion. Work will be first and foremost through the week of July 14th, and by that time the bust will be on the home stretch. Hopefully, the gallery of the finished bust will make up for the dearth of ip shots.

Stay tuned!

UPDATE 18.06.2014. . . The bust has been fitted to its permanent display base.

15 June 2014

Judge Fear - Prepwork: Intro & First Steps

As much as I am less-than-thrilled about the work-intensive month that lies before me, there are a few positives to look forward to. One of these is paring away at the to-do list of pieces on the bench. . .

As some of you might recall, I mentioned that there are some interesting/curious deviations from canon on this figure that require evaluation: 
  • Belt buckle: Fear does not normally wear the usual winged, fanged skull belt buckle-variant adopted by the Dark Judges. Instead, his buckle was a shrunken head. How- ever, in the must-read Batman/Dredd crossover, "Die Laughing" (sequel to "Judg- ment on Gotham"), Fear does in fact wear the very thing. As a sidebar note, the shrunken head is revealed to be an explosive weapon (grenade) in "Die Laughing".
  • This iteration of Fear does not have knee pads. AFAIK, the only depiction of Fear without the de rigeur knee pads is in "Die Laughing".
  • Fear usually carries a gin trap on either side of his belt buckle. These are curiously absent in the kit (NOTE: There is a chained, set/un-tripped trap molded onto the base. . . perchance a nod to "Die Laughing"?).
All the evidence suggests that this is in fact the Judge Fear from "Die Laughing"; however, this is not "my" Judge Fear. So for starters, I have removed two of the three shrunken heads, and one of the padlocks. . .

More to follow. . .

14 June 2014

Tyrion -- Painting (II): Doublet & Fur

As this will probably be the last weekend where I will have any amount of dedicated time to myself at least through mid-July, it was time to get some projects to a watershed stage.  .  .

I decided to start with Tyrion. Not only is he the furthest along, but tomorrow is the season finale of GoT. I painted what is visible of his arming doublet late last night, using tonal variations of Indian Red, which is a near perfect match. The tonal variations were effected with Pthalo and Prussian Blue, and Mars Black. I also primed the fur mantle.

This evening, I stained the underside of the mantle (no UC--directly onto primer), waited an hour, and then permanently attached the mantle to the bust. I then applied foundation washes to the fur (again directly on the primed surface). 

Tomorrow, I will hopefully have the opportunity to complete the assembly of the bust, and undercoat the face, and. . . well, let's see how far I get.

UPDATE 15.06.2014. . . The bust is now completely assembled.

FOLLOW-UP. . . UC'ing has been completed.

10 June 2014

Tyrion -- Painting: UC'ing 2 - Garments and Head

This will be a three-part posting addressing the remaining items to be "de-primered".

First-up, the arming doublet. Tyrion is known for his embroidered, oxblood-coloured arming dou- blet. Save for the standing collar, relatively little of it is visible on the bust. It was uc'ed in a mix (to taste) of Andrea Brown Leather and Reddish Brown. DONE

Next will be the neckband/cravat. This is a dark, warmish green that I uc'ed in Reaper Muddy Olive.  DONE

And finally, the head. DONE

Stay tuned. . .

Ned Stark -- Prepwork 1 (cont.)

I have not touched this piece in WELL over a month, and as today will be a light painting day--if that, I decided to reevaluate my progress to date. 

After about thirty minutes of grinding, I hit what I believe is the turning point in the resculpt! For the first time, it is beginning to have the character, if not the sought-after likeness (YET!), of Ned Stark. WHEW!!! There is still loads to be done (including at least 2-3 more putty sessions), but I finally feel like I am on the right track.

As I said in the last posting: patience and pacing. . .

More to follow. . .

09 June 2014

Tyrion -- Painting (I): Armour - Phase 2A

Part 2 of the russeting is done! And it looks GREAT!! In case you are wondering "how?", yester- day's application was essentially dry by the time I went to bed: I substituted Schmincke-Mussini Casslerbraun, which is an alkyd resin-based paint, for Burnt Umber.

This step addressed the mid-high range highlights of the cuirass, essentially manipulating the light source with mid-range siennas and ochres, and punching these up with transparent orang- es. The final highlighting will take place after the figure is completely assembled and mounted on its display base.

Finally, I began the weathering of the latten trim and the pauldron using a mix of Rembrandt Transparent White and Raw Sienna. Things were going well, so I proceeded with the acrylic "dirty" washes and pigments on the pauldron--PERFECT! The pauldron is now curing in the oven, and I will seal it with Dullcoat before calling it a night to protect the pigments during handling--the pauldron has yet to be permanently attached to the bust.

NEXT: Finishing the undercoating. . . 

08 June 2014

Tyrion -- Painting (I): Armour - Phase 2

Now comes the fun part!!!

As a miniaturist, chromatic armour has to be one of the most enjoyable--and demanding!--under- takings that we will ever encounter. Successful renderings require that one understands the actual process, and is then able to convert the outcome to miniature--without the use of heat or noxious chemicals!

Before continuing, some of you might be wondering why and how I fast forwarded this step, since in the previous posting I mentioned that I would allow the lacquers to cure for a week before sub- jecting them to the stress of staining. This being quarter-end month, I know full well that I am not in control of my daily schedule, so I decided to accelerate the curing process (overnight in the oven) and jump-in first thing this morning. . .

And the basic russeting is now done! Images will follow as soon as the oils settle. As to the hows, that is for every miniaturist to work out for him- or herself--but if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me and I will attempt to help as best as I am able.

What comes next will probably be more harrowing than the basic russeting, as it will involve the weathering and ageing of the armour. But in the meantime, there is undercoating to be finished!

More to follow. . .