27 September 2015

Sir John Holland - Prepwork

Work has begun in earnest!

Unless one is completely satisfied with the product as presented (i.e., quasi-historical), there will be "some" work involved. And nearly all of it will involve the helm. . .

I won't bore you with the minutiae as I have in my previous discussion groups/forums; however, if you are interested, then by all means further the discussion via your comments. Bottom line, if Edward is your subject of choice, you will have to rework the lines of the helm AND sculpt a new crest. And please note that Andrea based their helm on the Pembridge helm, not Edwards's!

If your subject dates from the last quarter of the century, you will have to resculpt (read: convert) the helm to a prototypical frog-mouthed helm before sculpting a new crest. Given the relative simplicity of these helms, it is not as daunting a prospect as it might appear; BUT do your research and gather your references!

I have decided to take a more circuitous route in my conversion. First, I am roughing-in the lines to Edward's helm: after refitting the "faceplate", I have extended the faceplate to create a one- piece front half of the helm in MS. This will lock my proportions and eliminate any mid-plate seams. Once cured, this will provide the basis for the conversion to an early frog-mouthed helm.

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

25 September 2015

Andrea bust of The Black Prince - Review

Earlier this week, I received the 165mm Andrea bust of The Black Prince (S9-B21). This is one of two companion busts released in 2005, the other being Jaime I "el Conquistador", King of Ara- gon (1208-1276). The fact that no other busts were produced in the series suggests an unsatis- factory market reception: if that was indeed the case, then it should have come as no surprise.

The two busts are identical save for the respective helms' crests. This is the main issue with the bust of Jaime as he flourished a century before Edward! Andrea would have been better served by marketing this bust as Pedro IV of Aragon, an opponent of the Black Prince; or, better yet, Pedro the Cruel of Castile, an ally of Edward's in the second phase of the War of the Two Peters.

So much for the bust of Jaime I. What of the bust of Edward of Woodstock, Prince of Wales, bka The Black Prince? It is a straightforward, largely uninspired, classic bust, comprised of 22 pieces: the resin bust and pedestal, plus 20 white metal castings to complete the coronet, crest and mantling + the front half of the helm (1-piece). Historicity-wise, it is on much firmer ground, but the style of the helm, to say nothing of the crest, are fantasy! Given that Edward's funerary achievements have survived, there is really no excuse for this!! Hence why it is only now, a decade after the fact, that I have broken down and acquired this bust. I will elaborate on the shortcomings at greater length in the course of the prepwork of this project.

I found this bust for 55% off the current msrp: as such, it was too good to pass up! The resin castings are exceptional and the jupon is cast 'clean' (i.e., no heraldry!), so there is minimal work on the bust itself to reduce it to a mannequin for virtually whatever subject of the second half of the 14th c. one elects to depict. In case you are wondering, of the 22 pieces that comprise this kit, I intend to use--as of this writing--at most 3!

This bust will be the base figure of my rendition of Sir John [de] Hol[l]and, KG at the Smithfield Tournament of 1390, and work is already underway. . .

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

24 September 2015

Sir John Holland, KG, 1st Earl of Huntingdon

With Fall upon us, and with the advent of more temperate--if not cooler--temps and change-of-season afflictions, I have been seriously stricken with a historical 'bug'.

I won't go into what prompted this malaise: let's just say that my reasons for turning my back--publicly, at least--on the historical genre are not only alive and thriving, but gathering benighted fools and their followers to its ranks in mind-numbing numbers!

But, as always, I digress. . . In the weeks and months to come, I will round-up my scattered "friends", dust them off, and [re-]immerse myself in the spectacle of the late 14th c. tournament. And as of this writing, my subject will be Sir John Holland, KG, 1st Earl of Huntingdon (and future 1st Duke of Exeter) as he would have appeared at the Smithfield Tournament in 1390.

The research phase of the project is in full-swing, and I will [hopefully] have a better idea of how it will unfold by the end of next week. . . 

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

20 September 2015

Ned Stark - Painting: Eyes

The irises of the eyes are done! Hopefully, I will be able to proceed with the pupils and outlining by mid-week 21.09.15 DONE!, and wrap them up (glazed and sealed) by the weekend.

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

14 September 2015

Ned Stark - Painting: UCing (cont.)

Ned is now completed undercoated save for the leather and the pedestal. . . i.e., about 60% done.

Stay tuned!

UPDATE 18.09.15. . . DONE!

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

13 September 2015

Ned Stark - Painting: UCing

Let the Game [of Thrones!] begin. . .

Undercoating of the bust has begun. I decided to start with the quilted sleeves, as the Stark gambeson has the most "complex" colour: on-screen it appears as a warm, thoroughly dis- tressed blueish-grey with a strong green bias; in stills, it appears as a cool greenish-umber.

This is where production notes are worth their weight in gold--if such things are of concern to
the miniaturist in question:

"The Northmen tend to wear mostly grey and blue colored clothing, murky colors for a winter climate. Because the Starks are a warm and good family unit, however, they wear friendlier, softer shades of blue and grey. . . "

As with most complex colours, there are any number of ways to replicate the desired hues, each determined by the medium used, surrounding hues, etc. I opted for a "straightforward' base of Polly-S Fantasy Blue-Green mixed with Vallejo Dark Grey with a touch of Reaper Ultramarine. Tonal variation, temperature, etc. will be addressed in the oil phase of the painting.

I also painted the underside of the shadowcat pelt--entirely in acrylics! And mainly wet-on-wet!! As this aspect of the pelt will remain largely out-of-view, it was the perfect opportunity to play with the acrylics, and achieve a completely matte surface with enhanced absorbtivity.

So far, so good. . .

FOLLOW-UP. . . Ned's face has been undercoated. I also undercoated the outer surfaces of his mantle (Vallejo Black + Reaper Worn Navy): the Stark mantle is interesting as the surface flock- ing is a darker tone than the underlying base fabric. The lining--straight black--will follow later this week.

Movin' right along. . .  

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

06 September 2015

"The Warden of the North" - Wrapping-up, pt. 2

I am hoping to still be able to prime the bust before the end of the holiday weekend, but it will be close. . . 

I have just completed final fitting of the shadowcat pelt to to the cloak, and I am very satisfied. Once that is cured, I will continue working the quilting, which has been rather slow going. In retro- spect, it might have been easier to redo both sleeves/arms entirely. 

Ice will be finished once painting of the bust is well underway. It is not an integral element of the work, so it can be finished at any time. 

Stay tuned!

UPDATE 09.09.15. . . Save for the final once-over, Lord Eddard Stark is DONE! I plan to prime him weekend (DONE!). . . 

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

03 September 2015

HBO's "Game of Thrones"-inspired Figures

I needed an apps-related break so I thought I'd put together a list of currently available GoT'- inspired figures. Hope it is of some use. . . 


UPDATE 21.09.15. . . Yuri has just announced that Castle Miniatures will be releasing a full- figure, 75mm version of "Le petit héros" (60mm to scale), sculpted by Laurent Fabien, by the end of October. This iteration will be based on Tyrion's appearance when he killed his father in 
the season 4 finale (EP10).