28 March 2016

HCFR Technician - [Pre-]Prepwork II

This evening, I reduced the length of the "pedestal" and tapped the same to accommodate the length of tin solder that will act as the mounting peg. The bust is now on its work base. . .

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

27 March 2016

Deadpool - Prepwork: Intermezzo > Design

A few words about the design of my iteration of Deadpool before I get much further. . . 

As with any superhero/villain, DP has been anything but static in terms of his costume; however, since his first appearance in New Mutants #98 (Feb. 1991), his basic costume has remained virtually unchanged. But, as you've heard me say countless times before, the "devil is in the details", and it's in these details that DP's appearance changes significantly.

I missed the first 20 or so years of DP's life, so I am by no means an expert in the chronological evolution of DP's costume. On the other hand, I knew the features that I wanted to include in my iteration of the character: some are canon; some are derived from the cinematic depiction; and some are entirely my own enhancements based on 25+ years of handling and depicting tactical equipment.   

The figure as provided is an earlier iteration of "The Merc with a Mouth". I believe it is based on the design in vol. 25 of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe-Master Edition (Dec. 1992) (nb: it is interesting to note that DP's preferred cutlery were not always katana!), hence the changes/enhancements listed in the ongoing TDL.

I will hopefully be able to post an ip image in the next few weeks so that the readership can see where I am going with this project. . . 

PS--Just pulled the figure from the oven, and it immediately struck me how much of a Death- stroke vibe it has! Definitely on the right track, as DP was Marvel's answer to DC's "Terminator". 
When the cost of a hobby exceeds the fun and doesn't attract new people, the game is over.” -
Oscar Koveleski, August 2003

25 March 2016

Deadpool - Prepwork: Phase IIA

Phase II will be dedicated to the "kitting-out" of Deadpool, while continuing to tweak and refine the reconformed anatomy:
  • Continued refinement of the back harness.
  • Vambraces roughed-in.
  • Right greave roughed-in. 
  • Pistol magazine (3x) thigh rig (R) roughed-in.
  • The two lumbar pouches removed, and belt roughed-in. 
  • Left greave roughed-in.
  • The proportions of the skull/head have been adjusted, increasing the length of the cranial vault.
  • Right boot enhanced. 
    • Holster platform (L) roughed-in. 
    • Arm proportions adjusted.

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

    21 March 2016

    Deadpool - Prepwork: Phase I

    The putty-work before me will be hard-pressed to follow any "structure"; rather it will be a "free- form" approach that will maximize the available time--and already-mixed putty! 

    Case in point, I did not particularly care for the sharply defined, beak-ish nasal structure on the figure, so I roughed-in the new conformation of the mask. With the remaining putty, I began to rough-in, more at 'sketch', the back harness that bears DP's swords. . .

    Most do not care for the extemporaneousness of this approach, but it is one that I have used since I started kneading putty. I find it to be not only much more productive, but it affords the sculptor the greatest degree of latitude to make changes, incorporate options, and/or take an idea for a "test drive".

    More to follow. . .

    FOLLOW-UP. . . Right thigh, buttocks, and right arm have been "re-modeled", increasing their respective volumes as required. 

    UPDATE 22.03.16. . . The left thigh is now "re-modeled", and the left hand has been removed and supinated. Reconfiguration of the structural anatomy of the figure is all-but-done!

    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

    20 March 2016

    Deadpool - Prepwork: "Reconfiguring"

    As I indicated in the last installment of the Intro, there would be a significant amount of "reconfi- guration" involved to have the base figure approximate my vision of/for the subject. To wit, I have already adjusted the length of the legs, and removed the head and reworked the upper traps. With the research completed to my satisfaction, it was time to take it to the next level. . .

    Today, I have tweaked--and "fixed"--the length and position of the lower legs; and repositioned the right arm. As a producer, I can certainly understand the reasoning behind the pose and design of the figure; but as a miniaturist, it is perfunctory. . . "flat" and disengaging/uninteresting in virtually every respect. So I decided to "re-center" the figure, if you will, and bring the right arm into play. This was a very simple operation entailing the removal of the arm at the insertion of the deltoid, hollowing the deltoid mass, and reattaching the arm into the hollowed deltoid.

    Now the question is: do I rework the right hand? Hmmm. . . 

    FOLLOW-UP. . . I have removed the hand at the wrist and have pegged it with 16ga. copper wire. The question now is what to do with it? My personal inclination--and completely in character, I might add--is to have him sheepishly delivering the time-honoured mesodactyl salute. . . 

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

    19 March 2016

    Deadpool (cont. 2)

    The TDL has been expanded considerably. . . And by that I mean that there will be extensive resculpting undertaken before I can even begin to think about moving this figure off the work- bench! In short, I am talking about. . . a resculpt!

    Allow me to elaborate. . . To begin with, the figure is roughly "ideal"-ly proportioned (8 heads), pushing the "heroic" (8 1/2 - 9 heads) to accommodate the massive upper body and the longer legs. As you all know, I am a proportional purist/realist, so the overall height of the figure will 
    have to be reduced. BUT. . . that also means that the disproportionate muscularity of the torso and arms will also have to be reduced--considerably!

    The legs have already been reduced, adjusting the proportions to a more "normal" range. I have yet to "fix" the legs, though I have determined that, for my purposes, the ideal height for this fig- ure should be 115mm +/- to the eyes, some 5mm (~13/64") shorter than provided. I have also removed and tentatively repositioned the head. . .

    And so it begins. . . .

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

    15 March 2016

    Deadpool (cont.)

    24 hrs. in the "purple bath" should take care of the lion's share of the paint, in my sample reveal- ing an excellent casting. Once I removed the base and the harness/scabbards unit (see below), I decided to leave it in the bath one more night.

    Eaglemoss is rapidly approaching the top of its game when it comes to casting bonded resin. As I mentioned, the casting is excellent. And it is definitely not over-engineered! In fact, if anything, it is under-engineered!! The only separate pieces that I have been able to discern as of this writ- ing are: the katana scabbards/back harness; the katana blade and tsuba; and the base! While Eaglemoss has well-earned the kudos expressed herein, I would caution anybody that intends to rework this figure to "make it their own" that the resin is somewhat "soft", and it evinces the ther- mal instability characteristic of bonded Al castings. . .

    As to the TDL, this is what I have to date:
    • Rework the musculature to achieve an aesthetic "middle-ground".
    • Resculpt harness and scabbards.
    • Resculpt katana.
    • Resculpt/replace holsters + guns (and probably webbing). 
    • Sculpt/add magazine pouches.
    • Sculpt (add) shin guards/greaves.
    • Sculpt (add) vambraces. 

    I should be grinding by the weekend. . .

    UPDATE 16.03.16. . . The figure is out of the bath, and the legs have been tapped: it is now "cur- ing" in the oven. Once done, I will mount it on its work base. DONE!

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

    14 March 2016


    The long-awaited (~6+ years--or more than twice that, depending on your baseline) cinematic apologia is now in its 5th week on-screen. . . and STILL going strong! While I will await its Blu- ray release in May before indulging, ALL of my colleagues whose opinion I value give it top marks.

    So I have less than 8 weeks to go, and I will put that time to good use in securing a base figure for a Deadpool project! While the plethora of available Deadpool "figures" should come as no sur- prise, neither should the dearth of figures targeted at our "niche". In fact, there are but three: two by Eaglemoss (~75mm lead alloy and 90mm bonded resin pre-paints), and one by Knight Mo- dels (70mm white metal kit).

    Knight Models. This is the last 70mm Marvel figure released by this company. I have never seen this figure "in the metal", and I will admit that I almost 'bit' when I found one for just over US$50 just before the Atlanta Show this year, but. . . we are talking Knight Models! Personally, I find this figure to be too derivative of their earlier Daredevil release, with the design doing little to show- case the mouthy walking arsenal. In fact, this is a self-contained diorama that would have been better served by a standing, snarky DP interacting with the graffiti and/or flyers on the wall; not as a virtually "off-stage" filler.

    Eaglemoss. First released was the lead-alloy figurine in their Classic Marvel series, no. 56. The smaller of these two pieces is quite clunky, lacking any sense of style, grace--or attitude. Quite disappointing actually. . .

    Which brings us to the winner of the selection process: Eaglemoss' Deadpool Special, no. 5 in their Marvel Fact Files series. . .

    These are 120mm (to the eyes), bonded-resin, multi-piece figures. As to how many pieces com- prise the subject of this review, I will let you know once the figure emerges from the "purple bath".

    This is the best of the lot, but it is far from "perfect". The TDL is well underway. . . 

    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

    13 March 2016

    HCFR Technician - Prepwork I

    Anybody who is familiar with YMs knows that the first order of "real" business is to remove the pour sprues: this was straightforward and uneventful.

    The first of the reference images began to arrive last week: thankfully most were of the groom's face/head. So, I tapped and mounted the head on its work pedestal and lightly sketched the areas to be enhanced/reduced with colored pencils. This is no different to my approach once an original head is roughed-in. Surprisingly, Young's sculpture is a fair likeness of the subject, so this will be largely an exercise in tweaking and refinement: I will slowly begin to add putty over the next few days.

    That's it for now!

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

    07 March 2016

    HCFR Technician

    This project is a major deviation from the norm on this site, so consider yourselves warned. . .

    My "niece", I am delighted to say, is getting married this Fall, and her intended is a firefighter in  Hillsborough County (FL) Fire Rescue (HCFR). I had the opportunity--and pleasure!--to meet him when I was in Tampa last week, and I couldn't be happier for the couple.

    When her parents got married some 30 years ago--damn. . . I'm getting old!--I presented the couple with one of my favourite pieces at the time: a Historex conversion of a 15th c. Bernese swordsman. Now, 30 years later, I will be presenting their daughter and her husband with a portrait bust of the latter. I am honoured--and psyched!!!

    As of this writing, the project will be based on Young Miniatures' 1/10th scale bust of a FDNY Firefighter at the time of 9/11 (YC1801). This is YM at its best! The kit is comprised of 17 exqui- sitely cast resin pieces (including the support pedestal), and two clear resin visor halves. My on- ly niggle is the fact that the SCBA bottle is off-round, but this is hardly surprising. Whether or not I replace the bottle and harness will depend on what the references I receive indicate. . . 

    The project will entail converting a 2001 FDNY firefighter to a 2016 HCFR Technician. Needless to say, work will commence immediately upon receipt of the reference images, and it will be my main project this year. . .

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