30 August 2017

Lady Stoneheart - Prepwork II

Save for a handful of "points of detail" to be sculpted and/or refined (e.g., button, lacing, etc.), the hair, and final finishing, Lady Stoneheart can be deemed completed! 

There is still a considerable amount of work to be done, but this falls in the "prepping the canvas" category, as opposed to prepping the figure. You might ask, "What's the difference?" A very good question! The prepping of any well-designed and cast figure--such as this--should be virtually nil; however, prepping the surface using the proposed paint scheme--and palette!--as your guide is a largely overlooked step in the pre-prime prepwork. This bust is all about the "prepping of the canvas"!  

I am hoping to have this bust on the painting bench within the fortnight. . . 

Stay tuned!

31.08.2017-- Hair is all-but-done. Once the hair is completed, I will proceed with detailing the areas of the visible scalp.

01.09.2017-- Button done.

02.09.2017-- Final finishing underway. . .  

05.09.2017-- Lady Stoneheart 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

26 August 2017

Lady Stoneheart - Prepwork I

I really don't know what it is about this bust, but it just compels you to invest effort--and most generously rewards your investment. . .

  • The pedestal is now all-but-done. 
  • The chemise is in the finishing stages.
  • The proximal end of the cloak has been roughed-in.
  • The negative shape of the cowl has been roughed-in using clay.
  • The preliminary disfiguring and distressing of the face is underway.

Movin' right along. . .

27.08.2017. . .  
  • Reduced molded hair to final proportions.
  • Cowl completed.
  • Gown roughed-in.
  • Chemise finished.
  • Cloak underway.
28.08.2017. . .  
  • Cloak completely roughed-in; finishing underway.
  • Cowl fitted.
  • Gown completed; finishing underway.

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

25 August 2017

Lady Stoneheart - Prepwork: Intro

As is my wont, involved projects usually find me diving right in, if only to undergo "deep immer- sion familiarization" with the casting and--most importantly--with what lies ahead.

So. . . I immediately broke out the the motor-tools, and started removing the excess material that would be superfluous on Lady Stoneheart. I also addressed the minimal seam-lines--and widened the more-than-anticipated peripheral air-holes: this was obviously a later casting.

Next, I tapped a 1/8"d. hole for the supporting rod (tin solder), and filled-in the air voids. I then roughed-in the pedestal around the supporting rod with MS.

Finally, I indulged in some free-hand "motor-sketching". This is where I take the motor-tool and start lightly carving into the base sculpture. In this session I started working on the pleats and texture of what will be the chemise.

Good start!

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

Lady Stoneheart

It is hard to believe that 4 years ago, Rin at Dark World Creations was putting together the first of what was to be an Anniversary Painting bash commemorating the birthday of his company. Sad- ly--but hardly surprising given today's marketplace--DWC is no more save in our memories. "For one brief shining moment. . . "

And now for something completely different. . .

This weekend will be the finale of Season 7 of GoT. That means that there are but 6(!) more epi- sodes left in the entire saga. The all-too-short Season 8 is supposed to begin filming in October, but the premiere date is at this point uncertain: there is speculation that it may not launch until sometime in 2019! Personally, I would have rather seen a slightly longer--13 episodes--seventh and final season than having two mini-seasons. . .

But I digress. . .

Catelyn, Lady Stark, is the widow of Eddard "Ned" Stark, mother of all the Stark children, and the matriarch of Winterfell. She meets her untimely end at the infamous event known as "The Red Wedding". Her corpse is disposed of in the Green Fork, but it is retrieved three days later by Arya's direwolf, Nymeria. She is then resurrected by Beric Dondarrion, leader of the Brotherhood Without Banners. The resultant revenant comes to be known as Lady Stoneheart. . .  also known as the Silent Sister, Mother Merciless, and/or the Hangwoman.

Lady Stoneheart was one of, if not the most anticipated characters in HBO's GoT. Regrettably, she was "cut" (again!), and one would be hard-pressed to see how--or why!--she might be insinu- ated somewhere in the last 7 episodes.

In lieu of a dramatic realization of this awesome character, I decided to honour it in miniature! I found an issue of DWC's 1/10th scale Jessica bust at a most compelling price, and it will provide the base sculpt of my interpretation of Lady Stoneheart.

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

22 August 2017

Jon Snow - Painting: Reflections

A few comments, if I may. . . 

Painting the face off the figure is definitely the way to go. . . BUT, I would not try to finish it until it is [permanently] attached to the torso. The all-black costume is ultra-high contrast to the overall pale fleshtone, and the latter must be moderated en suite. Off the figure, the complexion looked too ruddy; but once attached, it was just about right. Yet another reason why glazing was the optimal technique!

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

21 August 2017

Jon Snow - Painting: Intermezzo I

While 'glaze 1' settles on the face, I decided to get ahead of the game and paint the neckwrap and the mandarin collar of Jon's doublet. This is very much the first step, especially for the neck- wrap; but once the flesh is done, I will be free to permanently attach the head to the torso, and immerse myself in a tonal textural exercise in black. . . 

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 2017

Jon Snow - Painting: Face

I have completed painting Jon's eyes; and have applied a Burnt Umber/Ivory Black grisaille over the flesh. 

Given the relatively quick drying time (read: short working time) of the flesh palette, I may have to take a pure glazing approach to maximize the tones and depth that I have envisioned. . .  

21.08.2017. . . Phase I (glaze) of the face is done. This is not an easy face to bring to life--it is difficult to lay out the plan, and nigh unto impossible to follow it. Definitely a painting challenge!
FOLLOW-UP. . . Phase II (glaze) is done. Highlighting and touch-ups are next!

22.08.2017. . . The face is effectively done--and permanently attached to the torso! I can now begin integrating and adjusting the tonal values against the virtually achromatic "frame".


24.08.2017. . . Save for some minor touch-ups (e.g., outlining the eyes), the face is DONE! Final moderation was carried out with Flake White lightly tinted with transparent 'raw sienna' hues. If there was ever a miniature that was the embodiment of "It's all about the face", this is it! Do your research, and be very selective about your references!!
   
When the cost of a hobby exceeds the fun and doesn't attract new people, the game is over.” -
Oscar Koveleski, August 2003

19 August 2017

The man who passes the sentence should swing the sword. . . ” - Eddard “Ned” Stark, Warden of the North, Lord of Winterfell

Unfortunately, this project ran into the proverbial brick wall when "life" interceded on the very day of the last entry of the last posting almost 17 months ago!

BUT, with only 2 episodes left in GoT in this its penultimate season, and 8 episodes left in the entire saga, it was time to revisit our introduction to Winterfell. It will take some time to refami- liarize myself with the bust, to say nothing of the project; but in the meantime, we can address the one outstanding item to be completed: the Valyrian greatsword, Ice.

I completed finishing Ice this morning, and it is now primed and on the painting bench. I should have it basecoated by this time tomorrow at the latest; and painted/lacquered by eod tomorrow. Whether or not I proceed with final mounting will depend on the extent of patterns I decide upon.

More to follow. . .  

FOLLOW-UP. . . Save for minor touch-ups of all sorts, Eddard "Ned" Stark. the then-Lord of Winterfell and Warden of the North, is. . . DONE!

Ice went a lot smoother--and quicker!--than anticipated. The blade was permanently mounted be- fore lunch, and I was able to do the majority of the pattern-work in situ. Most of the touch-ups alluded to above will involve the final detailing on Ice; but this is the normal 3-4 week aftermath with any "medieval" metallic undertaking.

I will hopefully have some images up before the end of Summer. Winter IS coming. . .  

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 - Painting: Priming and UCing

Much as the subject was given a second lease on life earlier last year, the time has come to re- surrect this project as the onion of Jon Snow's past--and future!-- is frenetically peeled before us on the magnum opus that is the HBO series

In my last posting, I had primed the bust (Tamiya Fine Surface). Well, since acquiring Badger's Stynylrez primers, I decided to reprime and undercoat the torso using their black primer. An absolute joy! Quick, easy, eminently controllable, and eminently economical: as I said, an absolute joy! 

The torso is now curing in the oven. It will be on the painting bench before dinner. . .

More to follow. . . 

FOLLOW-UP. . . The bust is now completely UCed.

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

16 August 2017

5 months later. . .

You might recall earlier this year that I had begun to notice "losing" my most recent images. What was begun then by my storage provider has now been concluded. Which means that while my site was never the on-line photo-gallery clamored for by many, it is now even less so.

Personally, this is no biggie, afaIc. In the weeks/months ahead, I will be restoring some images (special emphasis on completed projects) as time and inclination allow; but a complete restora- tion of the site is out of the question!

If there is some aspect of a project that you would like to see illustrated, please feel free to post a request as a Comment, and I will see what I can do. . .

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 2017

THUNDERBALL!!! - Prepwork

As I see this being a rather long-term project, I am going to outline my prepwork in annotated blocks of entries as opposed to a true sbs. 

As much work as I intend to do, I will freely admit that the revamping will not extend to the tank-mounted DPU--no matter how badly it might need it! Detail and upgrade? YES! However, the kit provided DPU is noticeably under-scaled, and it will remain that way--though hopefully not as obvious.

As of this writing:
  • Separated the arms at the left wrists, yielding four individual arms. The arms on both divers have been permanently attached.
  • Removed the knife blade to refinish and fine-tune the position on the rebuilt left fore- arm of 007.
  • Removed the polygonal air cylinder on the speargun. The speargun is apparently based--incorrectly I might add!--on the 1/6th scale Sideshow Thunderball action figure speargun.
  • Have begun reworking the fins. The fins are not only significantly distorted, but they are grossly inaccurate per movie canon. 
  • Removed the hoses from the double-hose regulator, and permanently attached the mouthpiece to the SPECTRE diver after careful fitting. The hoses will be replaced with scratchbuilt items.
  • Replaced the locating bump on Bond's left leg with a piece of steel wire. Refitting to SPECTRE diver is well underway. 
  • Re-trued the circumference--as best I could!--of the SPECTRE diver's tanks.
16.08.2017-
  • Decided to "overhaul" speargun to movie specs. Will increase accessibility during course of prepwork--and improve canon accuracy dramatically! 
  • Modeled and fitted Bond's left wrist-stump.
17.08.2017-
  • Assembled Bond's DPU: removed the propeller-less propeller shroud; and drilled-out the area of the light (to be replaced with a clear MV lens of the appropriate d.).
  • Roughed-in motor cover and propeller shaft housing of DPU.
  • Bond's fins completely roughed-in; SPECTRE diver: 1 down; 1 to go.

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

13 August 2017

THUNDERBALL!!!

In a recent posting, I wrote:
I absolutely love "Underwater Struggle"! But, regrettably, I have yet to see a cast- ing that I have been satisfied with. And while it would have been a more feasible undertaking a decade ago, a white-metal, interactive vignette is now "off the radar".
It might have been "off the radar", but it did not manage to evade my sonar, and I am now in pos- session of this one-of-a-kind vignette.

The vignette is based on the movie poster of Thunderball, the fourth entry in the Bond franchise.


The casting quality of the 12-piece kit (+ plinth) is the best I have seen of this offering. Be that as it may, the complexity of the sculpture and the convoluted design have worked against the cast- ings. This would also account for the relatively few completed kits seen. . .

I received the kit on Friday, and I have spent the last two days re-engineering the kit so that each figure can be fully assembled and finished before painting begins. The main issue I have with this kit is that the respective pair of arms are molded as one piece and the fit of the arms to the re- spective torsos is less than precise. As a miniaturist who paints in oils, this is a deal-breaker. This is very much a work-in-progress. 14.08.2017-Phase I complete!

I also began reworking the fins today. The fins are not only significantly distorted, but they are grossly inaccurate. This is old-school work for me--and I've dived with both models as worn in the movie.  

My reservations about this kit have been amply justified--still, I am glad I finally broke down and got it. If I can ever finish it, it will be a most unique addition to the collection. And I will have a miniature from the movie that started a life-long love affair with Mother Ocean. . .

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

10 August 2017

Bond - Prepwork II

The legs are well over the 50% mark, and general finishing has commenced. Which means the time has come to peg the legs and transfer the figure to its workbase.

As with all white metal figures, a sharp new(ish) bit is a must! I usually drill a starter run with a smaller bit--approx. 1/2 the final diameter--before proceeding with the final run. 

The figure will be mounted on its workbase over the weekend. 

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 2017

Bond - Prepwork

This kit could be assembled and primed in an afternoon: the casting is that good!

I have already assembled and filled the body. Before attaching the arms, I have elected to tweak the legs a bit. . . The black trousers have double-forward pleats and tapered legs; however, the legs are quite "full" on the figure. Introducing a slight/moderate taper will reduce the stockiness of the pose and give the figure a better "line".
 
Other than that, a few touch-ups here-and-there (e.g., removal of the second button on the dinner jacket), and the figure will be ready for priming!

FOLLOW-UP 06.08.2017. . . The button has been removed. 

I decided to essentially resculpt the legs--at little more work going-in that will yield handsome dividends. . . 

FOLLOW-UP 07.08.2017. . . The right arm has been 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

"Shocking. . . Positively shocking."

July/August is Bond-month on STARZ, and while I have Little Nellie on the bench, and a DB-5 on the shelf, I don't have any Bond figures! It is high-time to remedy that situation!!

As one might imagine, pickings are somewhat slim: the only mainstream manufacturer to venture into this territory is Andrea Miniatures, with three offerings: "Underwater Struggle" (based on the poster from Thunderball); "Secret Agent"; and "License to Kill", the star of this project.

I absolutely love "Underwater Struggle"! But, regrettably, I have yet to see a casting that I have been satisfied with. And while it would have been a more feasible undertaking a decade ago, a white-metal, interactive vignette is now "off the radar". "Secret Agent" is a classic James Bond pose ca. From Russia with Love, but the face is horrendous! [note: see below]

Which brings us to the centrepiece of this project. . . Goldfinger is my favourite 007 film, and the figure is based on Bond's evening suit in the pre-title sequence. While License to Kill is the name of the 16th Bond film with Timothy Dalton in the lead, I believe Andrea derived the name of the piece from the Italian title of Dr. No.

I feel this is the best overall Bond offering from Andrea. While I felt that none of the Andrea offer- ings captured Connery's likeness acceptably, I thought that "LtK" at least got me in the ballpark. WRONG!!! When I received the kit today, I immediately checked the face--and there before me was Sean Connery! The likeness is EXCELLENT, and while I might decide to tweak it ever so slightly, it is good-to-go OOB! My question now is: how are the likenesses of the rest of the Bond figures?

The casting quality of the 4-piece kit (+ plinth) is SUPERB: as with most of my sojourns with Andrea products of late, it takes me back to the halcyon days of the late 20th c. when figure modelling was at its peak!

I am very pleased to own this kit--and VERY glad I decided to get it. 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