24 August 2015

"The Warden of the North" - Wrapping-up

Though there is still quite a bit to be done, it is safe to say that I am into the finishing stage of things--and well on-track to have this primed over the Labor Day weekend. 

Once the quilting on the left arm is completed (about 60% done), all that remains to be done is the pommel and the final finishing on Ice, and final clean-up on the bust itself. . . 

Stay tuned!

UPDATE 27.08.15. . . Ice has been fitted to the hands and the constructive putty work is done! I permanently attached the pommel to the lower (left) hand, where it will serve double-duty as the locating peg for the hollow grip of the sword. Over the weekend, I will decide whether to perma- nently attach the left arm, or leave it off until it is painted. Once that has been decided, all that remains to be done is final clean-up!

Almost there! 

UPDATE 29.08.15. . . The bust has been permanently attached to the pedestal. After a number of reworks, the left arm is all but done, and the critical decision will be made tomorrow. . . 

FOLLOW-UP 30.08.15. . . I have decided that the left arm must first be painted, then attached. The thermal instability of the resin medium dictates otherwise, but the design of the bust pre- cludes a complete pre-prime assembly. This may delay the priming by a week +/-, since the 
fit of the arm must be perfected after the conclusion of all oven sessions.  

FOLLOW-UP (2) 01.09.15. . . I decided to beef-up the attached right arm and enhance the quilting of the resin portion of the arm, which was rather sub-par. Other than that, finishing is progressing nicely, and the main hair sections have been fitted and tweaked. (nb: these will be attached with the undersides painted once the face is completed, to be finished in situ.

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

20 August 2015

"The Warden of the North" - Prep: Arms & Ice (cont.)

By way of a brief "catching-up". . .
  • Basic construction of Ice is all-but-done-- blade, cross-guard, and grip have been permanently assembled. Finishing--and the pommel!--remain to be done, but it is otherwise 'functional'.
  • Arms have been fitted. All that remains to be done is resculpting the quilting on the sleeves, and finishing the gauntleted hands. 
  • Began reworking the pedestal to achieve a less angular, 'fixed' appearance.
More to follow. . .

UPDATE 22.08.15. . . The basic pommel has been modelled and fitted: it is now ready for detail- ing and finishing. The shadowcat pelt that serves as the collar of Ned's cloak has been reworked and enhanced: the uncredited sculptor obviously took it for a wolf's pelt. There was also some distortion of the pelt that precluded a "tight" fit: this is not at all unusual in this type of accessory item, and with some careful tweaking and judicious application of heat, can be corrected in short order.

UPDATE 23.08.15. . . The right arm has been finished and permanently attached.

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

15 August 2015

"The Warden of the North" - Prep: Arms & Ice

Since last night (this morning?), I have:
  • "wedged" the left elbow joint
  • tapped and pegged the left hand for repositioning
  • finished the hand openings

With the above done, it is now time to consider "Ice". Ice was a House Stark heirloom: a greatsword forged in ancient Valyria measuring close to 5' in OL, with a 42"L blade.   

To date, I have begun work on the blade blank, and I have roughly shaped the grip from walnut stock. My next step will be the cross-guard -- once that is roughed in, I will have all the main components needed to assemble the sword.

Stay tuned!

FOLLOW-UP. . . The arms are now tentatively attached by means of 1/8" tin solder. I normally do not "pin" figures, but in this instance, the need for a stable assembly upon which to construct and position Ice dictated otherwise. 

FOLLOW-UP (2). . . I began to fill the "cuts" of the repositioned left forearm and hand when something struck me as not being quite right. So I stripped away all the putty, and remeasured all the skeletal proportions: sure enough, the left forearm was too long! I had almost made a critical beginner's mistake: proportions are predicated on a nude individual, not--in this case--a fully armed one. Less than 15 minutes later, I was back to square 1, though I will not fill in the cuts until sometime layer in the week.

Also,  the cross guard is now roughed-in and I have begun to finalize the shape of Ice's blade.

UPDATE 17.08.15. . . Ice is now provisionally assembled, and final finishing has begun on the cross-guard, and--to a lesser extent--the blade. I have replaced the walnut grip with a brass tube, as the latter will allow me to make a one-piece sword (comprised of 4 components), as well as provide a tighter fit/"grip" in the hands.  

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

"The Warden of the North"

The Game of Thrones family continues to grow!

While I already have a "Ned" Stark bust in the works, my dear lady has surprised me this even- ing with Andrea's latest release, "Warrior of the North"!

This is arguably Andrea at its best. Handsomely and lavishly packaged in a sturdy "presentation" box, the 9-piece (3 resin and 6 white metal) 1/10th scale casting is pretty much spot-on. 

Some might quibble about the likeness--and I would not entirely disagree; but most of the devia- tion is due to the painting, not the sculpting. Judiciously reducing the somewhat jowly jaw to taste will provide you with a near-excellent likeness of Sean Bean.

My only real objection to this otherwise excellent piece is Andrea's choice of featured weapon: Ned is depicted wielding his [unnamed] bastard sword. I intend to replace this weapon with his iconic Valyrian greatsword, Ice, depicting the execution of Will, a deserter from the Night's Watch, in episode 1-01. To this end, I have already removed the stock blade, as well as sepa- rated and tapped the hands. . .

“The man who passes the sentence should swing the sword. If you would take a man's life, you owe it to him to look into his eyes and hear his final words. And if you cannot bear to do that, then perhaps the man does not deserve to die.”--George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones 

FOLLOW-UP 30.08.15. . . I have been hesitant to comment on the quality of the resin medium used in the production of this casting, but my sample exhibits a pronounced thermal instability. Given that it is a two-part resin, it might simply be a bad batch; nevertheless . . . There is really nothing to be done about it: just be sure that all "accessory" pieces fit before you prime, and do not heat your bust until it is fully and permanently assembled. Finally, if you plan to "heat-treat" your bust, final assembly should be done with a 5-minute epoxy gel. 

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

07 August 2015

"Swan Knight" -- Prepwork - Intermezzo 1

In a word. . . WOW!

The figure is tentatively assembled before me and IT IS IMPRESSIVE! Here's a teaser shot. . . 

The sub-assemblies have been finalized and there will be four:
  • Head/Torso/Arms/Mantle
  • Legs
  • Cappa "Skirt" 1
  • Cappa "Skirt" 2
Assuming my skills are up to the task, this is going to be a centerpiece of my collection: he will stand solemn vigil over Éowyn in the display case.

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

05 August 2015

"Swan Knight" -- Prepwork 1

Everyone will have their own approach to a large-scale (>154mm) resin figure. These approaches will be largely determined by:
  • modelling experience
  • familiarity with the subject 
  • familiarity with the figure(!)
  • degree of comfort with the medium
Hence what might work for me might very well appear like nonsensical rubbish to someone else-- and that is fine! À chacun son goût!! That being said, the initial goal is one of reduction: reduce the number of pieces to paintable sub-assemblies that can be assembled with little or no filling. My goal for this project is to end-up with 4-6 sub-assemblies + accessories (shield, weapons, etc.).

To date, I have assembled the legs (2-pieces; aligned and joined with a piece of 1/8" tin solder), permanently assembled the torso (2-pieces); and permanently assembled 2 sections of the 3- piece "skirt" of the cappa.

Next, I intend to permanently attach the arms, and permanently assemble the mantle. . . DONE! [nb: I have also begun to shorten the sleeves of the cappa.]

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

03 August 2015

Pegaso 200mm Templar Confanonier - REVIEW and PROJECT

The recent near-parity of the Euro with the US$ forced me to reassess the relative affordability of currently available pieces . . . and the end result was the purchase of the subject figure, as well as a second bust of the "St. Lazarus Knight". As a brief aside, the bust in question is a slightly modified truncation of the subject figure.

I've always liked this figure. It is far from "perfect", but it puts the historically-minded miniaturist squarely in the ballpark, and provides a solid foundation for historical enhancement--if one is so inclined. AFAIC, it is the ideal base figure for a Hospitaller (brother-knight or sergeant) during the second half of the 12th c. (Hattin, fall of Jerusalem, etc.). Having said that, it can be built straight OOB as it is into a very respectable representation of a senior sergeant of the Order--hence the unarmoured arms and legs, and the short hauberk. [nb: without indulging in too much pedantry, the "Standard Bearer" was anything but. Firstly, he was one of five "senior" sergeants; secondly, he was essentially the "Master of the Squires". The honour of bearing the Beauséant in battle belonged to the Seneschal, the Master's surrogate.]

The kit, the second in Pegaso's "Artistic Statues" series, was released in Aug. 2013. It is com- prised of 28 pieces, masterfully sculpted by Viktor Konnov: 18 resin (incl. 2-pc. groundwork)-- cast by YS Miniatures; 9 white-metal--cast by Pegaso; and 1 wooden dowel for the lance haft. The white metal castings are perfection(!); the resin. . . not so much. On a scale of 1-10, I would give it a 6.5 +/-. My main "problem" is that the castings are rough in the areas of the joins, with noticeable mold shifts and trapped air along the edges nearest the pouring sprues. This means extensive clean-up and repeated dry-fitting until you are satisfied. There will be some filling no matter what you do: the goal is to minimize the putty-work to a swipe here, a swipe there.

As tempting as it might be to go back across the Rubicon into the realm of Clio (if only to paint it correctly!), alas, it is not to be. This figure will be the base figure for a subject dear to my heart, and one I have wanted to do for a long time: a Swan Knight of Dol Amroth at the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, 15 March (T.A.) 3019.

Enhancements currently under consideration:
  • resculpt helmet
  • rework the mantle (omitted hood unit)
  • shorten the sleeves of the cappa
  • sculpt vambraces
  • resculpt footwear
  • sculpt mail chausses and schynbalds/greaves
  • resculpt/re-detail/enhance the belt and scabbard
  • re-haft the lance
  • sculpt a new standard 

This ought to be a fun one. . . 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