Sunday, April 25, 2021

Tower: Top Section

 I wasn't feeling up to detail work today, so I went back to building the tower. I put together the top section and put the framing around the outer edges. Next step will be to cut and layout the interior beams.

As you can see in the second picture, I did the same thing with this one that I did with the last. The foam block on the bottom fits into the bottom section of the tower. Rather than gluing the pieces together, this will just sit in there so that it can be taken apart as needed.

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Jack: Pinstripes

 I've decided to proceed with Jack as he is, ignoring my concerns about the feel he's got. I'm just going to push through. He's not going to come out the way I'd envisioned, and this is probably going to be a more difficult process because of that, but I don't want to keep backtracking.

I probably should have gone with purple and red.

Anyway. I painted he lapels black again, because I have decided to go back to trying to make them look like velvet. I also added pinstripes to the rest of the jacket, and started the process of cleaning them up.

There's always some edge cleanup of freehand, no matter how simple or complex it is. Nobody paints perfectly sharp freehand  on the first go-around. There's always some neatening-up to be done. So, here he is with just the stripes, no clean up.

And here he is after the back and the side without the flower have been cleaned up.

Hopefully you can see some differences. The stripes are more evenly sized, and the angles and edges of them have been fixed as needed. 

After I finish cleaning up the stripes, I'll shade and highlight (mostly highlight, there's not much shading to be done) the jacket. Well, there's not really much highlighting to be done, either. But anyway, after that, I think I need to take care of the ruffle before I can work on the lapels and collar, otherwise I'll just make a mess of the collar while working on parts of the shirt.

Friday, April 23, 2021

Jack: Jacket

 I painted the border on Jack's lapels, and tried adding stripes to the jacket. I like the stripes, but have concerns. For starters, getting them oriented correctly, straight and parallel, is going to be a real problem. There are no straight lines on this figure, so I don't have any references I can use to keep things straight. I have a hard time making things straight and parallel when I do have a reference, so this is...probably not going to work. I'm also starting to have concerns about whether any of this suits the look and feel of the sculpt. I'm afraid it might look too modern and be lacking the proper sense of darkness.

I'm having a lot of creative issues with this figure. I think I have to decide if I'm going to continue on this path and see where it ends up, understanding that the end result may not (probably wont) be what I wanted,  or set it aside and rethink the entire concept. It's an expensive figure to screw up...but on the other hand....well....I have a lot of figures, and it's all a learning experience whether it comes out well or not.

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Jack, Tower

 I got back to Jack today. I'm still struggling with him. I put a border on that ruffle, and I think that has helped some. Next will be stripes on the jacket and maybe getting at least a base coat on the border of the lapels and the buttons.

Yesterday I worked on the second clock tower. I got all the bricks glued in and went over it with paste to fill in the gaps. I couldn't get pictures of it because it was kind of a mess and I didn't want to get the paste stuff on my photo rig.

Sunday, April 18, 2021


 Finished up Ban-Luca today.

That spear is pretty bent, but it's also pretty fragile, so it'll break off before too long. 

After finishing off Ban-Luca, I got back to Jack. All I did was finish the base coat of his fluffy ruffles, but that by itself is making me feel better about how it's looking. I'm also getting a lot of green on his chin while base coating the shirt, so once that shirt is finished I'll have to go back in and do a bunch of clean up.

Last, I worked on some gap filling on another figure I will start soon. No pictures, because the gap filling is difficult to see. Once he gets some paint, I'll have pictures, but I feel like I might focus on Jack for a while. Well, and the second clock tower.

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Ban Luca: Armor, Spear, Fur, Base

 I continued on with Ban Luca today. I finished up her armor and boots, attached her spear and painted it (and her hands), and then got a base coat on the fur and on the base. I should finish her up next time.

Friday, April 16, 2021

Ban Luca: Cape, Loincloth

 I finished off Ban-Luca's cape and..I dunno, loincloth thing? 

Next I will finish the armor including the straps and her boots, and then attach her spear. 

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Ban Luca: Attaching the Cape

 I continued on Ban Luca today, getting her cape prepped and in place. This involved shaping the cap by trimming the top edge a bit, then adjusting the shape of the whole thing by putting it in hot water for a few seconds, then bending it into the shape I wanted. Once I had a fit I was happy with, I primed the cloak and painted the inside dark blue. Then I glued it in place and puttied the gaps. Next time, I can paint it.

I didn't shade the areas under the cloak at all before I attached it. They're not going to be visible anyway, so I'm not too concerned about it.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Ban Luca: Boots, armor

 I got a base coat on Ban-Luca's boots and armor today.

It took a while because the base coat for the armor took four coats - two of the green undercoat, and two of the bronze.

Probably the next step will be to try to reshape her skirt thing and decide if I'm going to use it or not. It'll make a big difference on how/if I shade the back.

Monday, April 12, 2021

Ban-Luca: Leggings, Tunic

 I got in a little work on Ban-Luca today. I did her leggings, and base coated her tunic. Was hoping to get a little farther, but this was it.

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Ban-Luca, skin, hair. Tower.

Today I switched to Ban-Luca. I finished her skin and face, and did her hair as well. Then I remembered that I needed to prep the bits that need to be pinned on, so I did that.

I also started work on my second clock tower. I cut bricks last weekend. Today I put together the inner support and started gluing the bricks on.

I am making the bottom section of the tower a little larger. I also used my new tabletop hot wire cutter to make the bricks, which gave me more consistently sized bricks. Put together, they are both a good and bad thing. The more consistent sizing is nice, but between that and the different tower size, getting the bricks to line up right is more of a challenge. With the last tower, I had a wide variety of brick lengths to use to line up correctly. It was just a matter of finding the right set of bricks for each row. With the more consistently sized bricks, there aren't as many options. With the larger tower, the bricks aren't quite the right lengths to get around the base without adding in some small chunks, as you can see in the picture. Even with that, I've got some vertical seams that are too close together. So, this stage is turning out to be a little more fiddly than the last one. I didn't do anything specific to get the bricks sized to line up on the last tower; I just got lucky.

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Jack: Jacket, Shirt

 I was busy with other things for much of the day today, but I did get in a little work on Jack. I changed his jacket and lapels to the same very, very dark blue (it's blue, I promise). When I bring in highlights, it'll read more blue and more saturated, don't worry. I also started base coating his shirt and ruffle. Took a couple tries to get a color I liked. I'm overall happier with his direction now, though I still have doubts. But he looks less like he's going to be a circus ringleader of some kind. :p

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Jack: Jacket

 I started laying in base colors on Jack's jacket today, and immediately entered 'doubt your creative choices' phase with this figure.

I dunno, I think I want to go darker with the blue. I'm not sure what to do with the border on the collar (the skull buttons will be silver). 

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Jack: Freckles, Hair

 I gave Jack his freckles, which I think has helped with giving him some depth. I also got shading and highlighting on his hair. I think it still needs some work, probably. I was being pretty fast and loose with the highlights, and also overdid the shadows. I started them with brown, which was fine, decided I wanted to get a cool tone in there, so went over them with a heavy glaze of dark purple, which was...too dark. I knocked it back with another heavy glaze of the base color, but I think it might still be too much. It's hard to tell; I might be getting to a point where I need to start roughing in other colors to see how it will all go together.

Monday, April 5, 2021

Jack: Eyes. Ban-Luca: Skin.

 I detailed Jack's eyes. It's helped make him a little less creepy. Still kinda creepy.

I also got a base coat on Ban Luca''s skin. I found a bunch of casting flaws in the process, and tried to clean them up as best I could. 

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Jack: Face & Hair. Ban-Luca.

I got back to Jack today. I got highlights and shadows on his face, some lip color, some eye color, and base coated his hair. All of those parts need more work. On his face I want to give him some freckles and then add some glazes to give it more depth. The eyes and hair need to be finished. I went this way so I could see some of the colors together before deciding how I wanted to finish the skin.

I think I'm going to finish the eyes first, because that blank stare is just creepy.

Also got primer on my next small scale project. This is Ban Luca, an Arena Rec figure. I want to get the Arena Rex figures that I have partially put together painted and finished before I forget what all the weapons go to, She's going to be frustrating because of casting quality, so look for a table top quality paint job on her.

Friday, April 2, 2021


 Finished up the male drider today. He's not great, but he's fine for something quick that started out as a flesh tone test.

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Drider: Rest of the base coat

I finished the commission I was working on and got back to my own projects today. I didn't feel up to serious work, so I put a base coat on the rest of the male drider.

I originally had the sword and shield prepped for NMM, then decided...I don't want to do NMM on the bent sword. He's going to get TMM. It's going to be a rough paint job, but so far I like him anyway.