28 June 2015

KSLJ (Bust) -- TDL

I'm starting to very much look forward to the arrival of this piece, even though I have no idea what is in store for me. . . or it!

As is my wont, I have begun the "laundry list" of things to be done:
  • The torso appears to be hollow: fill-in, and sculpt pedestal.
  • Removal of the stylized crosses.
  • Replace the sculpted crosses with Greek or Latin crosses, or crosses pattée.
  • Decide on face to be used and enhance/modify accordingly. If I opt for the skeletal extreme, develop a suitable backstory.
And that's about it! Assuming that the casting is up to snuff, this should be on the painting bench before the first nip of Fall is in the air.

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

27 June 2015

Knight of the Order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem (Bust)

June saw Pegaso's return to the Levant and the Crusades with two new offerings: a 200mm bust of a Knight of the Order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem (OSLJ), and a 90mm Knight of the Holy Sepulchre. We will concern ourselves with the former.

This is an interesting release in that it includes three--count 'em, 3!--faces: a somewhat unattrac- tive bare face; a rather roughly-sculpted bearded face; and a skeletal face that some have con- cluded represents a zombie! I don't know what the manufacturer intended; but FWIW, I believe Pegaso intended to provide a progression of the disease associated with the Order. The final stage, however, transcends any semblance of reality, and it is easy to see how it is associated with "zeds": it could step-in quite nicely for a 1/9th scale version of [a bust of] a knight from Tombs of the Blind Dead!

Now, two points of reference re: the OSJL. Firstly, they followed first the Benedictine Rule, sub- sequently the Augustinian Rule, and as such would have worn black, not white. There are further arguments to support the use of black, as well as period iconographic evidence. That being said, there is some evidence, largely circumstantial AFAIC, to support the use of white. . .

Secondly, the design of the crosses is extremely stylized! Technically, they do indeed represent a cross pattée, but then again so does a "surfer's cross"--which is what these remind me of! The first order of business will be the removal of the appliquéd crosses, and replacing them with an ordinary cross.

And now for the wait. The bust is on order, and will hopefully be in my hands within the fortnight, give or take. 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

18 June 2015

Hammer time!!!!

For those of you who haven't heard, DWC is now accepting orders for their fully licensed (as are all their 2000AD projects), 70mm to scale (110mm actual height), limited edition (100 worldwide) rendition of the primus inter pares of the ABC Warriors. . . Hammerstein!

More regarding this landmark release that has "classic" written all over it in the weeks to come, and of course, a full hands-on review as soon as it arrives; but not before MAJOR kudos to Rin and David Richardson for making this available to the fans of their work, to say nothing of Pat Mills' and Clint Langley's work.

And if my word isn't good enough, read what the author/co-creator and the artist have to say about this magnificent offering!

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

Bonnie Parker - Prepwork

By way of update, the prep on Bonnie is about 85% done:
  • The head has been resculpted (note: cigar has been eliminated).
  • The skirt has been lengthened and "re-cut".
  • The shoes have been resculpted. And. . . 
  • The Colt M1917 has been resculpted. The main issue was the distorted barrel which has been replaced with a length of 22ga. hypodermic tubing.
These are the major issues with the figurine. In addition to the final finishing of the above, there are another 4-5 points of detail that are currently in-progress of being addressed.

I am hoping to have her primed by the end of July, but this is at best a hopeful guess-timate.

UPDATE 20.06.2015. . . The additive putty-work has been concluded. Now comes the final clean-up and detailing, with the attendant touch-ups. . .  

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

07 June 2015

Bonnie Parker

I have always been taken with the "Public Enemy Era" of American history. And Bonnie Parker, the gun moll of Clyde Barrow, has always been at the top of my list for any number of reasons. I have at least two major projects "on the list" involving this diminutive Texan, and when Andrea released a figure of Parker in their Gangland America series (Black Hawk Toy Soldier line), I thought it would be the ideal prelude to the more involved projects to follow. 

This figure is a pre-paint. As such, it is not the worst I have seen--but I have seen better. Consi- dering the srp, it provides excellent value--especially if you intend to refinish it yourself.

Casting quality is quite good, and the medium used--a hard, high-tin content pewter--is excellent! On the down side, pre-paint finishing leaves much to be desired, with most of the surface flaws hidden from view by a heavy coat of acrylic primer. Be that as it may, I would rather deal with an unfinished figure than a poorly finished figure with obliterated detail.

The figure is designed in three pieces: the one-piece figure; the display plinth; and the cigar. One- piece, mass-produced castings are inherently limited, and this one is no exception: the revolver, while adequately detailed, follows the contours of the skirt! I have yet to decide whether to work with what was provided, or replace it outright.

The likeness leaves something to be desired, but reworking the nose--as well as losing the cigar butt and reworking the lips!--will address the more obvious issues. Parker did not smoke cigars: the iconic photograph was from an undeveloped roll of film found in Joplin, MO, and it was one of a number of light-hearted "gag" shots taken during a break in the couple's frenetic life.

The other main drawback to the rendition is a somewhat immodest (for the time), relatively short, slide-slit skirt. The only reason for this gross exercise of artistic license is to give the subject a racier aspect. 

Back to the bench!

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

06 June 2015

Catching up. . .

First of all, I would like to thank those of you who have written to express concerns over the pro- tracted and uncharacteristic silence of the last 8 weeks on this site. Very kind--and very much appreciated!

By way of recap, work has been the dominant activity in the day-to-day, and will likely remain so in the foreseeable future. While I would rather it be otherwise, it simply is what it is. Spring was also rather demanding in terms of home repairs, and this effectively monopolized what little dis- posable time would have been available.

Hobby-wise, the events of the first quarter of the year--along with the dearth of imagination in 2015 releases and the inexorable rise in prices--eliminated any wiggle room for rationalization: I have finally made my break with figures! At the very least, this is a much needed hiatus from what had become a rather uninspiring routine--and I have enough of those in my life!! Sadly, I haven't missed it; but I am willing to concede that I haven't had time to miss it. 

Since I last posted, I have spent my idle time working on armor. . . No, not armour; but 'armor' as in combat vehicles. It satisfies virtually all of my modelling requirements; and, for the most part, I can still feel a sense of accomplishment with as little as 10-15 minutes per day. Sit down, enjoy, and walk away. In short, a hobby.

That being said, I am a miniaturist, not a scale modeler! And I am very happy to be a miniaturist. What I was not--am not--happy about is the direction my beloved hobby has taken. And thus I decided to get off the bus, as it were. But that does not mean that I have ceased being fascinat- ed by what can be realized in this hobby. Most of my armor projects involve figures, and they are critical to the "snapshot in time" I am attempting to capture in 3-D, not groundwork accessories employed as visual garnish. 

And, yes, I am still working on stand-alone figures. In fact, today I have begun the rework of one of Andrea's latest releases: Bonnie Parker. This figure is a pre-painted "toy soldier" from the company's Black Hawk Toy Soldier line in the latter's Gangland America series. The figure has now been stripped, and preparations for the enhancements have begun: unfortunately, the figure has some serious historicity issues. No surprise there, eh?

Back to the bench! And again, thank you for your concern and interest!!

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