Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Burak the Dwarf bust

So much of the reasons I have not been on the blog as much as of late is the big push to enhance, and grow the Miniature company that has been created recently. Mr Lee's Minis was recently created and many of the products thrown up to show off.

One of them in particular is the above Dwarf bust. Though not originally for sale, but as a gift for a regular person on this blog, Burak from Izmir. In our traditional yearly "lets go somewhere in Europe and get drunk off our faces for our birthday" tradition, we also exchange gifts. He being a huge dwarf fan ( regardless of the face that he can't grow a beard ) I always try to find a suitable dwarf model to give him.

One year it was a Scibor Dwarf slayer. Another it was a Scibor Dwarf berzerker bust.

So this year I wanted to up the ante a bit more.. and worked with Giorgos from Greece to sculpt a custom Dwarf bust for Burak as a gift! Taking inspiration from multiple sources, and working together with the concept we came up with the following piece.

Grumpy, with a large beard, and massive shoulder pads showing that he is as wide as he might be as tall.

It was not long after chatting with Giorgos that I receive the first images. Something that he was like "Oh I just whipped this together in the last hour or so.. what do you think?" ....

Honestly Giorgos has improved in leaps and bounds as of late with his sculpting. And this is just one of the examples of his ability to nail down facial features quickly.

Though he had thought this was "wide" enough for a Dwarf.. so we had a quick conversation about what a Dwarf stance really looks like, and how this was far too thin :D

Although we talked about going wider.. the concept of wide in Greek was not translating properly :) He was still far too thin overall... but thankfully Giorgos has the patience of a saint, and puts up with my continued requests for more putty to be added!

Soon we were making progress on the piece here. The Shoulder pads are now of a proper dwarf sizing now.. and we began to work out some of the details. The massive door knocker on his left pad was intentional, and I did like how Giorgos came together with making it. The multiple layers of plating on the right were also nice, but the neck guard was too thin and elfish. Though the extra banding on his left were a nice touch. 

So we had many discussions about the neck guard between us... and it kept getting mistranslated. 

Thankfully I am an expert artist and could do some mock ups in MSPaint to give a better understanding of what I was looking for. Along with the understanding of some damage along the bottom edge of the pad. 

Although parts of it were understood.. the point of it being thick and massive were still not there.. 

This by the way is not to slag on Giorgos here.. cause he was making these changes within minutes of us talking! So the entire exchange to make this happen took literally minutes, and a short Skype call to get it back on track. And all this was nit picking as well. 

And with one photo we had lift off! A great collection of studs and pure reinforced metal sitting there to protect a non-existent neck :) 

The last section to get finished were the stand it would sit on. I wanted it to have a thinner back section to the model to make it a bit more unique, but the stand that Giorgos made was again quite small. How he was able to hold this at times was too crazy. 

Dunno how it got to this small at one point... but afterwards we talked about a kind of plinth built into the model itself. 

And this was awesome. A nice solid piece for the model to sit on when planted on a socket. But still something that if someone wanted to use a sloped socket they could hack it off, and mount it at an angle. A win/win for me!

And in the end we have this great hand sized bust packed with character that Giorgos was able to create from my meagre concept ideas and images that I sent him :) Much of the actual direction came from Giorgos himself in the end with me just asking for slight tweaks here and there, but with the actual implementation done via Giorgos's skillful hands! 

What was really cool was we were able to get all the sculpting done, and then get it over to Kris at BrokenToad to get it cast. With just enough time for me to do up some painting on a copy for Burak for his birthday! So not only did we get it sculpted, cast, we also got it painted up in time to take with us to Kiev where we spent the weekend roaming the city historical venues and drinking at Canadian Bars :) 

Unfortunately in my hurry to get it done in time for Burak, I didn't get the best photos of the piece before heading out with it. The above are the only photos I had of it before finishing it up the night before leaving! 

But it now sits in Burak's cabinet in Izmir alongside the other Dwarfs! And now I need to figure out a better plan for this years birthday bash trip.. any ideas? :D 

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Batman the game...

So to try to keep the momentum going ( albeit slowly ) on writing up on here.. let's show off a few of the gaming figures I have been painting up as of late..

I am still not able to really get into any major or larger pieces due to moving soon ( again ) and space in the studio at the moment. But small skirmish teams or infantry sections are doable!

First gang up was the Penguin gang. I have to say that after painting this up though, I really wish to have this gang for myself. As it was a lot of fun to paint up the parkas, and I love how they came out.

A comment I received about them was that although the contrasts are super harsh, they still look primarily white! Which I will take as a compliment, and something that I will endeavour to do more of.

It was a push out of my comfort zone with these guys as I was really going up to white for some extreme highlights before a slight glaze back down on areas.

No areas had metallics used, which is a first, but I used some super simple versions of NMM for some of the metal areas like guns. Nothing massively great, but works for the gang and the style of paint I think?

After being emboldened from the Penguin crew's attempts I then painted up Gordon and his boys in blue as a rival gang. Very differently from how I normally would have done them, and taking a lot of inspiration from the box art of them all. Just like the Penguin crew, a lot of very stark contrast and maximum highlights in areas to give it a high sheen or what not look to them.

I did take more photos of the individuals here on this gang than I did with the Penguin crew.

Commissioner Gordon is up first. In his brown suit, with brown trenchcoat. I worked in some other tones here and there to it, but they didn't turn out as well. But the piece came together nicely in the end.

I did have to work out how to do his moustache to not look like Hitler, but I think I pulled it off in the end. Again lots of glazes over the pure white top level, which made it work nicely together I suspect.

These 2 thought were my favorite out of the bunch here. The blues really came together for me for a change.

The baton also was replaced from the flimsy pewter version to a paperclip superglued to the model. It should sit better and be strong but will see over the long term. I also painted him up as Officer Carl from an old TV sitcom with Eurkle. He seems to have the same physical atmosphere as Carl did..

Last up are the SWAT boys.. I had issues with them in the beginning ( post assembly of course ) in that they came out far too dark. So I have to lighten up the jackets and cloth on them further. The armor sections are still a bit "meh" but they do the job for them in the end.

All in all, a nice experience to paint up something different. Green Arrow(s) and some of his cohorts are coming next. Along with what I can only think to be associates to some of the other crews already in play.
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