Saturday, December 26, 2020

Phone booths: Done. More on Drusil's face.

 I finished constructing phone booths last week, so this week I worked on cleaning up edges, and then yesterday and today was painting them. They're all done now.

They are really...not very good. But I learned a lot, which was the point. I got faster and more consistent with construction. I learned some about the best ways (and not the best ways) to work with different materials. And I learned what I have to work on going forward.

The biggest problem? Texture. The ones I made out of chip board have a very distinct texture on the surface, and very rough and messy cut edges. The clear coat to help seal them did not help that at all; it might have made it worse. I think if you were making a stucco building or something like that it would be fine, but since these are meant to have a smooth surface, it's not so good here. The plasticard has a very smooth surface, but the edges and joins were still a problem. Even in places where I added putty to try to smooth things over, it's very obvious that's what I did. I know it's possible to use putty to smooth a join, I'm just not great at it in smooth planes. Usually when I do that it's at the join in a mini, which is often recessed and will hide some flaws from you. I think what I should have done was made the edges just slightly proud, sanded them flush, then puttied, then sanded again.

Also, all the rough cuts and spots where the knife got away from me and cut into the surface show. For that, I need to get better at doing those kinds of cuts, and I might have been able to clean them up with putty.

Scoring actual grooves for the edges of the door and/or taking more care with painting them on would have been good. 

There are various other minor things - the signs needed to be a bit higher on the booth. The one with the open door is a little wonky. I'm not sure if using the shiny plastic for the windows was worth the extra care needed when painting that one - but it wasn't actually that much extra work, either.

Most of the problems are clearly a lack of skill on my part. That's no surprise, I haven't done much of this kind of thing, and it takes time and practice to get good at it, like anything else. But I also think doing a piece that it a modern item, meant to be made with modern materials and construction, might be inherently more difficult than doing something like a fantasy building, run down sci-fi terrain, or things like rocks and trees. Or at least, it might be more particular as far as the specific issues I ran into go. For other kinds of end product, it doesn't necessarily need to be as exacting. A house made of thatch and plaster doesn't need to be smooth. A weathered and beat up mining operation will have a lot of rough edges and broken areas. And a pile of rocks doesn't need to be smooth, or square, or symmetric, or any of that. Those things have their own different challenges, but I do have to wonder if I made things harder for myself with what I chose to build.

Anyway. After all that, I got back to work on Drusil. I've added a bit more detail to her face, got a base coat on the hair, and started highlights on her chest. I think the face is better now, though I'd still prefer if she had more of an expression. I might come back to that once the rest is farther along and I have a better idea for what kind of mood she wants to have.

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