24 May 2016

Jon Snow - Prepwork: Conclusion. . . POTHOLE!

As I was finishing the underside of the bust (i.e., the finish line in sight!), I paused for a moment to finalize the fit of the head to the bust when something struck me as being . . . well. . . "off". Opening my reference folder, it was immediately obvious! I had overlooked the standing collar of Jon Snow's doublet/jerkin? for this iteration!!

Adding a mandarin collar is not difficult, but it will slow things down--especially as the head will have to be refitted. Completion is still slated for this coming weekend, but I don't know if the bust will be primed before month end. . . 

Stay tuned. . . 

PS - The absence of the standing collar confirms that the stock casting represents a pre- induction Jon Snow with the wolf-skin collared cape. 

UPDATE 25.05.16. . . The mandarin collar has been roughed-in and the head refitted. Almost back on track. . . !!! 

UPDATE 26.05.16. . . The mandarin collar is DONE!

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

17 May 2016

ICM's 1/16th World's Guards -- UPDATE

By way of update to my original posting, the first issue, 16001 - British Queen's Guard's Grenadier (or Queen's Guard, Grenadier Guards), is now available Stateside! MSRP is just under US$40--you can easily find it 20-25% below that.

I hesitate to review the piece as I do not have it, but there are plenty of pics available on line (e.g., manufacturer's site). If they are released in numerical order, I am definitely in for the next release!

FOLLOW-UP. . . Some of you might have noticed the link for the Swiss Papal Guard I added last night. Based on the images provided, I am on the fence about this one; however, I don't know if this is a preview, or the production prototype. If the latter, there will be quite a bit of work required to get it up to speed. For starters: the head, leggings. and belt buckle. Having said that, ICM did do their homework. . . they just cut some corners which for this reviewer are unacceptable. If you "like" what you see, I would suggest that you start doing your research: there are more than enough hi-res images on-line to get you through this project! Full review to follow upon release. . .

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

Jon Snow - Prepwork: Conclusion

Perhaps a bit premature, but just so. . . 

I have but the front left panel of the collar to do, and the major rework of the piece can be deemed completed. UPDATE 18.05.16. . . DONE! How so fast? I found a more efficient approach: more modelling in situ; less sculptural rework after the fact!

After that is done, I will focus of the loose ends--literally and figuratively--of the collar, and evalu- ate the visual flow and volume of the same, adjusting accordingly. Then it will simply be a matter of clean-up and final finishing. . .

Assuming there are no surprises and/or mishaps, this project will definitely be on the paint bench before the end of the month. . . 

IT IS STUNNING!

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

11 May 2016

Jon Snow - Prepwork

If one is satisfied with the contents of the box, then prepwork will be nothing more than lightly scraping off some faint seam-lines and achieving a satisfactory join of the riser to the torso. 

I, obviously, am not. In my introductory post, I indicated that the likeness left something to be desired. Actually, there are two significant "issues" with this offering:
  1. The Likeness. . . or, "Is close enough good enough?" Apparently it is; but not for me-- especially as I don't feel it is that close! The problem with this likeness is that it is some- what heavy and too broad ("chubby"); the lips are at once too small and too pursed, rather than full; and the nose is too angular. Fortunately, these "misses" are a rather straightfor- ward and relatively easy fix--although, you will have to reconstruct the rather sparse beard once you are done. Finally, yet another case of a GoT "more is better" hairdo! Even if you do nothing with the face itself, reducing the coiffure--more than you would think!--will signi- ficantly improve the likeness, though it will then open the proverbial can of worms. As of this writing, I am over 80% done. . . 
  2. The Collar. Hmmm. . . During his pre-induction phase at Castle Black, Jon wore the cape with a wolf-skin collar with which he had arrived. Once he was inducted in the Night's Watch, it was replaced by one with a black Highland cattle collar. All build-ups I have seen depict a black collar [nb: if I had elected not to modify the collar, I would have paint- ed it as a pre-induction wolf-skin.]; BUT, the fur/hair provided is on the short-side and wa- vy. NutsPlanet has always played a bit loose and free with their interpretation of certain subjects--and we now see that it has been that way since Day 1! I intend to rework the entire collar and go with a black kyloe (West Highland cattle). . . ~20% done! UPDATE 16.05.16. . . ~65% done. . . 
So much for my TDL. . .  

UPDATE 13.05.16. . . The face/head is all-but-done. There are a few minor tweaks left, plus the final once-over; but otherwise, Jon Snow is in the HOUSE!

The collar is going to slow things down quite a bit. Based on the time required to finish the right front panel, it is going to take an average of 3 days/5 hours per panel, of which four remain. If I were to work on it every day, I am looking at another 2 weeks, give or take, before it can be deemed completed. I am going to shoot for a wrap-up over the Memorial Day weekend. . . 
 
When the cost of a hobby exceeds the fun and doesn't attract new people, the game is over.” -
Oscar Koveleski, August 2003

09 May 2016

Back in Black. . .

NutsPlanet's first release in its 1/10 scale Bust line was "Night's Watch", sculpted by Jun-Sik Ahn. This bust dates back to the beginning of 2014 (I acquired my issue in February), and it, along with its other two launch-mates, set the standard for not only the industry, but for what we as the end-user should expect with each and every purchase we make!

The kit is comprised of 4 pieces: head; torso; Longclaw's iconic hilt; and a thematic, scenic dis- play riser/pedestal (nb: I don't know if the thematic riser was continued beyond the first two re- leases). The castings are perfect, and the resin is an absolute joy to work--responding equally well to burr, blade, and/or sandpaper!

"Night's Watch" is a portrait bust of Jon Snow, the [so-called] Bastard of Stark. While the sculpting and finishing are precise and beautifully clean, I am hard pressed to grade the likeness any higher than a C+. The likeness of Jon Snow (as portrayed by Kit Harington) is, at best, pass- able. I would say that mold distortion could be partially at fault here, especially as this was this company's first non-SD release; however, subsequent releases appear to suggest an artistic fault/quirk rather than a procedural one. 

The overwhelming majority of the build-ups I have seen underscore the fact that with a little work and careful painting, an acceptable likeness, superior to what is provided, can be achieved. How- ever, I do not acquire these kits to mask the shortcomings of the sculptor with deft application of paint (read: cosmetic camouflage), or skillful photography. . .

I have chosen to commemorate the resurrection and return of the erstwhile Lord Commander by returning him to my bench. Not by "resurrecting" the vignette that I have invested a considerable amount of time and effort on, but by finally getting around to this bust. . . In the meantime, I have to go find my AC/DC cd's. . . 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

07 May 2016

Deadpool - Prepwork: Phase IID

I am nowhere near the home stretch. . . HOWEVER, I am at that point in the project where finishing is a dominant aspect of any bench session.

The last few sessions have been spent adding volume, tweaking the fit of components, and addressing the details. By the end of the weekend, I should be at the point where I can start focusing on individual items (read: final detailing and finishing).

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

03 May 2016

Godzilla (BatoGoji) - Prepwork II

The limbs have been permanently assembled. 

The body and tail will not be permanently assembled until all ancillary work has been completed. Once they have been assembled, I will then complete assembly by attaching the limbs.

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

02 May 2016

The "LC"

Well, it has been quite a while since I've spent any time with the "Bastard of Winterfell"--and after last season's confounding Shakespearean finale, it frankly took the wind out of my sails. . .

BUT. . . I am happy to report that all is well, hither AND yon, and we have much more of Jon Snow before us. . .Hell, I might even break-out the NutsPlanet bust and start tweaking it to celebrate!

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