Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Painted Ladies, "Undead" Sith and Sculpt work!

Being this the first day of my vacation, Geek Pride Day, the the 34th anniversary of Episode IV:A New Hope and the 28th anniversary of Episode VI: Return Of The Jedi as well as being my Birthday (woohoo!) I though I would share my excitement with a reveal of several fully painted head sculpts of the Tonnika Sisters, the awesome Sith Lord Darth Malgus and many more.

Here are the two teasers images I posted of the sisters on my facebook page last week...

Below are new images of the Tonnika Sister's head sculpts. Not 100% movie accurate likenesses but I never intended them to be - I'll leave that to Hot Toys LOL! Have you seen that new Superman Christopher Reeve sculpt? Outstanding! Anyway, about the sisters...Funny how they share the same facial head sculpt yet their likenesses are completely different...just shows what you can do with a slightly different paint application.

Now, I'm working on a second set of the painted heads just to see if I can improve on them a bit. Not that I'm unhappy with the ones I've currently painted but it's practice so I'm not knockin' it. The bodies aren't complete as you can see - thinking wether I should add holsters to the smalls of their backs...at this point I highly doubt it. Never seen in the film so it's an option I may consider closer to completion.

Another couple of completed head sculpts are that of the Old Republic Sith Lord Darth Malgus as see in the Bioware cinematic trailer "Deceived" as well as featured in Paul S. Kemp's novel Star Wars: The Old Republic - "Deceived". Below is the teaser I posted on facebook this week...

The first Malgus head sculpt reflects his appearance at the beginning of the "Hope" Trailer. He is seen wearing guards on either side of his face, ready for battle.

Some of Malgus' physical features easily seen in the trailer are that of his pale "death-like" skin and visible blue veining through his forehead that reaches across to his temples. A side effect of the Dark Side I suppose - can't give yourself to such power without something being taken away.

I captured this look by first applying a standard flesh tone base, then added very fine veining using a intense dark teal/blue. Next, I began applying several light coats of Off White to give Malgus the pale, anemic appearance. With each coat, the dark teal/blue veining bagan to lighten and gave off more of a light blue, translucent appearance, as if the veins were just below the skin. Next I added a couple more drybrushes of the Off White, heavier in some places than others to show the veining "fading" in and out through the skin. I finally added a drybrush of white around the brow line and top of the head to intensify the colorless flesh of the Sith Lord.

Next I shadowed under and around the eyes, cheekbones etc. with suggestive blends...you'll see a close up shot below of what I mean by suggestive. I don't blend each color together all the way...I try, but at this scale, there really is no need. Just adding the colors you require then a light wash (VERY LIGHT) will give depth. Plus, if you try to blend and mix acrylics too long on this type of surface, it will begin to peal away as it drys..leaving a clumpy mess. Very close up you will see the suggestive lines and applications, but take a few steps back and the colors run together...similar to a mild painterly effect.

Below is the image showing the blending. Close up you see the lines are a bit more distict around the outside of the eye sockets and the creases of the cheeks from the corners of the nose to the sides of the mouth. Pan back a couple inches from the subject, they all run together. Since your working in an aread as small as the head on a dime, y0u need to be patient and conservative with the heavy paints.

The next Malgus head sculpt is my favorite so far...It's Malgus as he appeared in the Hope trailer after the second grenade goes off close to his face near the end of the cinematic. One grenade to the face is enough....but two? You're asking for a world of hurt Jedi!

The above shot is my favorite! Reminds me of the old Dawn of the Dead poster for all you zombie fans out there (me included)!

Same paint application I did for the first one applies to this as well - the flesh damage was achieved by taking a dremel tool's bristle brush to a plastic casting...very carefully.

Below is an image showing both sides of the sculpt (same sculpt by the way - not two of them) - You can see in his expression he's not happy and looks a bit determined in the eyes. Wouldn't you be!?!

I have two more head sculpts to paint for Malgus - the "Korriban Triumph" version and the "Sacking of Courscant" version where he appears in his mask...the most head sculpt variations I've ever done for a figure! Fortunately the Malgus creators have made it easier on me by allowing him to remain in the same costume...and for that, I thank you!

Quick update on Malgus' body sculpt - Getting close to completion! Working on his cape/cowl which will fit under and around his armor. Currently working on the back of the legs, buttocks and boots. I have casted the shoulder and chest armor to create a battle damaged version to go along with the head you see above.

Next let's switch "Gears" to an old soldier...well, not so old in this version. That update will be later. Up next is a finished painted head sculpt of Solid Snake as he appears in MGS2:Sons Of Liberty.

I gave the sculpt a bit more facial hair and a heavier doo on top to be more accurate with the concept sketches and not that of the actual game play.

Next the images show the completed articulated frame Snake will sport on his adventures! A combination of Microman and Hasbro joint systems...guess you would call this a hybrid! Maxed out on articulation but such a way that it will not hender the sculpt. This may be a direction I take with future figures...a couple concerns but nothing serious. Gray fox 2.0 will be sporting the same concept.

Speaking of Gray Fox - the ninja is going through a complete overhaul. After seeing the Play Arts version of this fantastic character I had to go back to the drawing board. Some parts will be brought over but what you have seen to this point has changed dramatically - stay tuned!

Alright - One final painted head sculpt to present but in a tutorial form!!! Below are the steps I take to paint facial features of a head sculpt...using Deliah Blue as the subject!!

Step 1. - Choose your base coat and apply several thin layers to you primed sculpt. I prime my figures with several coats of Floguil Undercoat Light Gray. I use Floquil and Polyscale acrylics for all my pieces. Now, back to your base coat - apply each thin coat and allow to dry. Do this repeatedly till you have a nice, smooth, even coat. Many people make the mistake of applying one thick coat..bad idea. Acrylic at this scale isn't as forgiving - allowing a thick coat to dry may reduce details of the sculpt underneath and set up bumps/clumps that your brush will have struggle to go over when adding the small details. Be patient, add thin coats and all your hard work will pay off in the end.

Step 2. - Time to take a fine brush and add the eye detail. First I fill in my eyes and the lids with black. Then allow to dry. You're setting up the outlines of the whites of the eyes, lids and lashes at this point. Don't be too heavy depending on your subject - we're working of Blue and she requires heavy lashes but for a male sculpt, not so much.

Step 3. - Next add the whites to the eye. Be sure to use a thin coat a little at a time. This is where you can really mess things up if the white is too thick...allow to dry. Now go back and add points on the whites of the eyes where your iris' will go, as well as fine tune the outlines of the lashes and whites of the eyes.

Step 4. - Before I add any further detailing to the eyes, I want to go back and add shading/shadows to the face...around the hairline, the cheekbones and the chin. I use a slightly deeper color than the base coat, depending on your subject. I don't use black to deepen my colors - for Blue's pinkish base coat, I use red to deepen. If I was working on a caucasian flesh tone, I'd use browns, same for African American skin tones. Black is too intense and can muddy up your base very quickly. Be subtle. Okay, back to the eyes...time to fill in the Iris'! I use black for this which will help with the outlining when you add your eye color. This needs a steady hand! If you mess up, you have a couple attempts to correct before the acrylic becomes heavily layered and lifts from the sculpt (bug eyes). Allow to dry.

Step 5. - Time to add the eye color! Again, a steady hand! You want to add a drop to fill most of the area where you previously added black. When completed successfully you should see just an outline of black going around the color you just applied. If you're like me this requires a magnifier. Don't have one? Get one - It's a great investment and not that expensive.

Step 6. - Pupils and reflections. Remember the magnifier I mentioned? Good luck with this if you don't have one!!! Have fun with that migraine you'll get an hour later LOL! Alright - again, a steady hand. I use a very fine, customized brush just for this application. Drop a touch of black paint as best you can in the center of the iris. Got it? STOP! Let dry..next is a challenge. You need to add even a smaller drop of white or an off white to give eyes relection. This is optional...some don't dig the look. Hasbro has a history of heavy reflective applications that are horrible! I'm talking about a singular touch of white off set the center of the pupil - same position in both eyes. It takes practice, more practice and unbelieveable patience! I'm still learning but don't dread the eyes as much as I used to. Once this is accomplished, the lips are all that's left.

Step 7.- Lips - again, depends non you subject. With Darth Malgus, very simple. A few thin lines of grays and browns. With a female such as Blue, you need to coat her lips with a darker base color first. She sports a funky blue lipstick so a dark blue is appropriate..this will give a liner for the lips and shadows to the corners of the mouth. Let dry. Next add a lighter color blue to the parts of the lips that protrude. Let dry. Later you can ass a thin coat of gloss to give the lips a wet look if you wish - I usually only do this for the females.

There you have it! That's the way I paint head sculpts...a simplified version. A tutroial such as that of Malgus would take several blog entrys to instruct - you will learn those steps through trial and error. The more you practice, the more you learn. Below are some images of the finished Deliah Blue head sculpt.

I have two additional Blue head sculpts in the works - one will be a similar sculpt with hair drapped over one of her eyes and down her face. The other shows her sporting a bandanna that she wears when working on Cade's starship, the Mynock.

Hope tis painting tutorial comes in handy and helps you achieve better quality paint applications. I'll post more tips and tricks as I go and if you have any questions , please let me know! Just email me at sith_fire30@yahoo.com or hit me up on my facebook page - Sith_fire30 Creations on Facebook.

Back to some sculpt updates - First, the Imperial Trooper Helmet sculpt from the upcoming game Star Wars: The Old Republic. The sculpt is close to being complete, then I will make a few copies for my small sculpted army of four. Yes, I'm sculpting four of them! Similar to the Republic Shocktroopers I'm currently working on. What you see in the image below are several views of the same sculpt, front, side and back.

An update on the Darth Stryfe sculpt - finally got back to finishing Stryfe's hair! May add a few more details around the ears but other than that, headsculpt complete! Working on the back armor and the lower body and leg armor.

Final update for today is of Savage Opress...or more specifically his "Boom Stick". Yea, I know - "Boom Stick" usually reffers to a gun or explosive weapon...seriously though, have you seen this staff in action in the hands of Opress? Might as well contain explosives the way the staff throws poor clone soldiers that happen to be in his way.

The staff's base is cut from styrene and is incased in FIXIT sculpt. Still a work in progress - I am adding details to the blade right now. Since this will be a "non-animated" version of the blade, it will not be a rated G version - not bright and shiny, but will look heavy and beaten...the punishment from it's victims. A little blood staining isn't out of the question - Listen, Savage is an animal!...and this blade should represent an extension of his brutality. Below is some of the details being applied...

and That's it for today!

Hope you guys enjoyed the update - I plan on another one soon since I have some free time to work a bit more on the projects. Thank you so much for your continued interest in my work!

Speaking of continued interest, Sith_fire30 Creations facebook fans are slowly approaching 600! WOW! Sith_fire30 Creations

You guys - each one of you - are awesome! Shame on you if you haven't become a fan LOL! Seriously, your interest and enthusiasm is inspiring! Thank you!

Also be sure to stop by my Flickr photostream for todays images plus many more. I'll be working on an update to the images on my phtostream later tonight. I'll also break down those step-by-step images of Blue and have them available if needed. :)

Sithfire30 Creations can now be found on twitter!!! @sith_fire30
be sure to check it out!

Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend! Looking forward to sharing with you what I have in store over the summer months! You guys/gals have questions, suggestions or comments, please feel free to contact me here, my facebook or my e-mail - sith_fire34@yahoo.com.

Thanks again!


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Little Tease of Blue...

Been very busy and have become a bit late with my blog posting - Got one coming later this week!

Till then, a teaser of a WIP paint app of the head sculpt for Star Wars Legacy's zeltron femme fatale - Deliah Blue. Yes a bit blurry, but then it wouldn't be a tease would it :)

I'll be featuring step-out images of the process I take to paint facial features of characters such as Blue so you'll get a better look at her on the next update.

Much more to come!! - Thanks for your continued interest in my work! Always gratefull!