Ladies and Gents...
First off I would like to offer my prayers and well wishes to the people in Japan. Times like these we all need to come together and help out anyway we can. If you would like to help, below are several links to humanitarian charities...
The Red Cross
Again, all my hopes.
Alright, back to why we're here. Remember this piece below? It's my work in progress of the "Ultimate" Darth Vader figure I have been working on for months. Well....it's no more. I was never satisfied with the helmet and especially the body work. The dome was too wide, the upper legs too thick...just too many things to list that gave me such angst. I scrapped the sculpt and from it's ashes would rise a new and improved frame in which to sculpt upon.
Behold the phoenix! LOL! I know the below image doesn't look like much but believe me, as you watch the progression, you'll see how important the new frame is.
First off though I wanted to revisit Vader's helmet. For the exception of a few plastic parts from the original cast, I have reworked the lenses (making them larger), the dome and brow of the helmet (making the dome larger and the brow more menacing), the bridge/shape of the nose and widening the cheek structure, broadening the mask.
Final details will be added once the helmet is close to completion. My goal is to capture the helmet as it appeared in A New Hope...I think the image below is getting close!
I'm not calling this the "Ultimate Darth Vader" for nothing! The figure will eventually have a connecting three piece helmet, including a newly sculpted head of Anakin (Vader) as he appeared in ROTJ but with the attitude of the recent 1:1 Vader bust from Sideshow Toys. Below are some of the detailing being applied to the back of the helmet's neck piece.
Below are detailed images of the sculpt applied to the frame. You will see that Vader still contains much of the original articulation as the frame allowed - He will be able to kneel - as he would when addressed by the Emperor and he will be able to sit in a meditation position, so to include him with the scratch built meditation chamber I am currently working on.
"What is thy bidding, my master"
Many say that Vader doesn't need so much articulation being a stonch, statuesque character...I disagree. There was the Great Jedi Purge...and Vader had to move with a quickness to put Jedi down. It's only after many battles and more damage to his body that the machine began to overtake the man and eventually became the character described by Kenobi in ROTJ - "More machine now than man...twisted and evil". So I'm not minding the added articulation all too much.
Below is the sculpt as it appears today - I plan on adding more thickness to the gloves and completing the lower leg armor.
Did come upon one problem - Was working on keeping Vader's hip articulation free when I ran into a stumbling block...his cod piece. If I was to sculpt it on, would definately hender articulation...especially when kneeling. Use banding?...nahh. Then I though of the magnet trick...would allow the cod piece to move freely and fall back into place when the figure stands straight. Works great...but the image below...may look a little painfull (men you have been warned) LOL! The previous image of vader kneeling shows the idea working - I love these little magnets!
Another figure where magnets have come into play is my Savage Opress sculpt. Below is an image of the muscular structure I have built up over the frame. Difficult to see but there's two magnets embeded in the chest...
and two more embeded in the newly sculpted REMOVABLE ARMOR!
This allows for two versions of Savage to exist - one wearing the familiar armor and the other shirtless, revealing his tatoos.
Back armor completed in the image above. Strangely didn't need magnets - the back armor can literally "snap-connect" to the back! Not sure how that happened but hey if it ain't broken, don't fix it!
Below image shows the beginnings of the shoulder armor. Both shoulder pieces will be strapped under the arms and will be free floating to allow max articulation.
and here is how Savage appears as of March 13th. I have completed one of the two pieces of shoulder armor, the upper chest, back and abdomen armor. Haven't started on the lower body yet - so he looks very awkward right now...very top heavy.
Below is completed detailing to the forward chest and abdominal armor as well as the first piece of shoulder armor. The shoulder armor has been attached using clear banding.
I haven't begun detailing to the back armor yet.
Below are a sequence of images showing the upper body armor being removed piece by piece, transitioning to the "shirtless" version of Savage.
I'll begin working on the lower body to give the form some balance. I will also continue to work on the remaining body armor and bare/clothed arms.
Next is a quick update on the Tonnika Sisters.
If you recall the last batch of updates the sister's hip articulation appeared like that of the image below.
I chose to replace the current hip articulation with ball-hinged joints. This will allow for more articulated freedom and away from the static pose. The image below shows the results after the successfull surgery - both recovered just fine LOL!
If the head sculpts in the above image look very similar, that is because they are - one is a plastic casting of the original. Both sister's will have a distinct sculpt. I just used the casting to get an idea on what they may look like.
Unfortunately one of the sister's will have to go back under the knife...when upgrading the hip articulation for both I unintentionally brought them both back to roughly the same height. This just will not do and will be corrected.
Below is a shot from the back - Still need to work on the arms, small of the back, buttocks and lower legs. After the form is complete, I will begin sculpting the clothing. Some people ask why I do this, sculpt a nude just to sculpt over it again - It helps me with perspective...like creating the suggestive line art before adding the details. Just a technique - nothing more.
A few weeks ago, I was interviewed by Echobaseforums.com and provided some exclusinve images of my work. Below are the images in case you haven't seen them (SHAME!) with a bit of an update for each.
Lumbra is close to completion - working on paint detailing presently.
My first Vong Warrior is also close to completion - Taking me some time because I'm acquiring the correct color set and technique for the Vong species...once completed the others in the lineup will only take half as long to finish.
Shado was a sculpt I never thought I would finish...and even to this very day I have a few adjustments that are needed. The first head sculpt is fully painted and completed. Shado shows his curious grin...and determined glare. He will be followed by two alternate head sculpts, one with the lekku draped over his shoulder and the other with the lekku flaring outwards. I'm really tempted to add ball-hinged hip joints to Shado...but that means some resculpting and I'm really over resculpting parts to this guy...perhaps just one more time.
Finally for this update, a finished head sculpt of my Mon Calamari Bounty Hunter - which originated from a concept drawing from the Lucasarts game Star Wars Galaxies. The eyes are coated with several layers of gloss acrylic to give the appearance of moisture. Surprisingly the gloss dried solid...I've had some instances when gloss layers dry but remain soft and a tad sticky. Fortunately not this time. Still working on the rest of the sculpt which is about 90% complete.
Alright everyone, that's all for now but stay tuned for more :) - I'll say it again, I am humbled by the continued interest in my work and never take that for granted - and to all my facebook fans, we are what...three away from 300? FANTASTIC! Always check my Facebook page, Sith_fire30 Creations and if you haven't become a fan, what are you waiting for huh!?! LOL!
Also be sure to stop by my Flickr photostream for additional information tons more photos which I will be updating throughout the day. Comments, suggestions and critique are always welcome!
Sithfire30 Creations can now be found on twitter!!! @sith_fire30
I'm a bit slow with the whole twitter thing but give me some time and I'll be like a little bird!
Another update will be coming hopefully next week featuring an update of my upcoming set of New Republic Commandos from the Dark Horse comic series Star Wars Invasion...along with other update.
Take care till then!