Monday, March 31, 2014

Model Madness: Frank, the No-show?

Yes, it has been a while. I was beginning to think that I'd start to lose my mojo regarding this kit. But, it has been such an uphill battle that, with the end sort of end sight, that I pretty much HAVE to finish it now!

Last night, I went forth into the breach, the challenge that I'd secretly dreaded: painting their faces.  I knew that in the past I'd always depicted the Monster as green-faced, as he appeared in the Karloff color home movies.  Of course, the green face has sort of become canon, even though it MAKES NO SENSE.  Anyways, I know that the reason his face was green was just so that it would film the correct value in black and white.  Like George Reeves's early Superman suit, it wasn't really meant to be those colors; it was just so that it would look in black and white as they thought it would be in color, if that makes sense.

Well, I decided to think about how these two would really appear if they were indeed dead bodies that had been re-animated.  They would have damaged circulation, and little touch of putrification, and a little added touch of grossness.  I wanted a paint scheme that you could practically smell.  I ended up mixing white, a hydrangea blue, red, yellow ochre, and a little voilet color.  The end result was a truly gross rainbow of hues, all of them looking cold and discordant.

I applied the paint in blotches, so that the faces had a patchwork look to them, as if there was something unpleasant and chaotic going on under their skin.  I applied the same idea to Frank's arms, and loved how the blackened blotches give the indication of rotten flesh.  I still need to paint his fingernails black, though.

I would probably be done now, if not for an unfortunate development.  I was experimenting with different glazes and things, trying to achieve a look for his clothing.  I was happy with it, and decided to spray some dull cote to flatten everything down.  Well, I found out that no matter what I did, he would not go to a matte finish.  He was glossy.  I tried everything:  brush-on dull cote, even rubbing steel wool all over it to rough up the finish.  But no.  I knew it was over; I'd had this happen before with my Aurora Frankenstein kit.  As a matter of fact, that kit still sits on the shelf, glossy and annoying, a reminder.  I decided that I would not settle for that this time.

So,...  I submerged his entire body in a bath of engine degreaser.  The last time I checked, it had eaten down to the primer layer, so it's almost done.  It's really sad to have to go back to square one with him, but in the end, I'm the one who'll have to live with the final results forever, so there might as well be no regrets!
I strove for a dead, poor-circulation look.
I'm really happy with the dead limb look, as opposed to the good ol' Greenie look.
I made sure to not have their faces be one hue.  There's a nice blotchiness that hints at decay.  Nevertheless, her lipstick is just right.
I included this pic because it more accurately shows how the paintjob really looks.  Doesn't that one arm look nasty?
..and for now, she's stood up.  The Big Guy has run into some, uh, "challenges."

Friday, March 14, 2014

Model Madness: Accessories and Textures

I worked some Super Sculpey over the bottomside of a metal measuring spoon, removing some out of the center in order for the candle to feed through the bottom.  When I put the Sculpey in the oven, I also put the spoon in as well.

Check out that smooth surface, after being cooked!
A preliminary fitting, right after it cooled off.  The candle has just enough room to slide through.
After flat-sanding to achieve a flat edge all the way around, I then took some cardstock and rolled it into the shape of a curled handle.  I then glued it to the bottom edge of the bowl, and then painted the whole thing (obviously).
The end result.  Not too shabby, though I'll probably still do some more work on the candle.
Ah, yes.  After letting the Paperclay dry for a few days, it was time to paint.  I went for a slightly dead look to the grass;  it's still green, so it's a lot like the stars of this model: they are sort of dead AND alive.  Now you can see where the grass is parted; this is where the two rats will be.  Also, I think the patterned wood trim turned out very stone-like after painting.
And here's the craggy rock siding, created with Paperclay.  There's about 4 different paint colors in there, and it took quite a bit of work before suddenly I hit that sweet spot and it looked like a large mass of stone.  You can also see the dark, dry floor, which is actually barely visible once the figures and accessories are put in place!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Model Madness: Primed Up and Ready to Go!

Isn't it amazing what happens when everything is suddenly a uniform color?  We are now officially into the truly FUN stage!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Model Madness: The Base

Well, after much delay and wringing of hands, and apprehension, I finally dived into building up the sides and front "garden" of the base. I'd read around alot, trying to find an alternative sculpting medium to Super Sculpey, air-dry clay, or even Bondo. Originally, I'd intended to go intense and use Bondo, but I like to work with my hands, and of course Bondo isn't nice to skin (and I can't sculpt with gloves on). Super Sculpey is nice, but you have to cook it; so attaching it to a wooden base eliminated that option.

So after much investigating, I learned of a product that I'd like to tell you about. It's from this company called "Creative," and the product is called "Paperclay." It comes in various size packages (I bought the 12 oz), and can be found at Michael's stores. Wal-Mart's website even says that it carries the stuff, but I went to my local store and they don't carry it. Anyways, what's cool about this stuff is that you just take it out of the package, work it with your hands, make what you want, and then set it aside and let it dry. No kiln, no oven. I built up the "garden" last night with the stuff, and got up early this morning and took a peek, and it looked exactly the same; it didn't appear to have shrunken. Not only was it dry, but it was HARD as well, and had become stuck to the wooden base. While working with it, I found that it was simultaneously soft and easy to manipulate while also being able to hold its shape. Check out the blades of grass... they remained upright and didn't droop.

 It's safe to say that I'll be buying this stuff again. I wonder where it has been my whole life so far. Once it's totally dry, Paperclay will take paint very well.

Anyways, tonight I built up the sides of the base, attempting a craggy granite mountainside feel. When you look at it, it might not seem too good, but I believe that with the right painting, it'll be great! The next (and final) fabrication step will be to build two rats to be placed in two spots on the "garden" portion. After that, it'll be time to prime and PAINT!!!!!
In between the blocks you'll notice two little stone shapes.  That's where the rats will go.  And check out the grass texturing, which was easy to do with the Paperclay.
The left side of the base, with rocky texture.  I also decided to use the stuff to add a little broken stone to the edge of the backwall, on both sides...
The right side.  I am drooling at the thought of painting this now...

Model Madness: Finishing some stuff

Here's the back of the "generator."  I chopped a big hole and made a mini-tunnel out of paper and Bondo so that the LED would stay in place while the other LED was fed up into the shaft above.  For some reason, this was a real sticking point for me; I couldn't get past lighting this device for a couple of weeks.
The camera overexposes things a bit; the voltmeter isn't as blasted as it appears.
Here's the device, lit.  It actually does glow pretty brightly...
And here it is in the dark, in the middle of the base, and you can see how it's lighting the wall, even when it's that far away!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Model Madness: Couch Finished!

Here's some images of the finished couch. I might still do some texturing work to mute the gloss a bit, but overall I'm very pleased with how it came out, particularly the wood finish....