Monday, June 13, 2011

The Many Faces of Malgus, Savage, Snake and much more...

So I got bit by the painting bug about a week or so ago and decided to knock out some much needed paint work. But instead of working on painting figures that are already close to completion (Vong, Furlag etc), I decide to do paint work on head sculpts to figures whose body sculpts aren't complete...some of which I've just begun work on. Logical huh? - well I've never been one known for logical thinking..especially where my art is concerned LOL! Nevertheless, I have plenty of progress to share with you and yes, a good combination of paint and sculpt...a little of everything. Lets get to it starting off with some Metal Gear...

Now if you follow my facebook, you've probably seen most of this - but for those that haven' painted head sculpt of Solid Snake from Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty.

I had a choice to go with either the concept art Snake or with the game render - I chose the concept. I simply liked the rougher appearance - looks like a guy gone rouge..and will be a more easier transition when I begin work on a Iroquois Pliskin variant.

Below is an image of the completed frame for the body of Snake - a mix of both Microman and Hasbro joint systems...He's got a little bit of everything and max articulation. Now I'm not fooling myself..I'm gonna loose some of that articulation when the sculpting is worked in but I'd rather have too much and loose a little that vice versa. :)

The image above shows the progress of his shoulders and arms - I want Snake to have a natural postioning when holding a pistol in front of him - the ball shoulder joints will allow that - so they will not be covered up completely but rather painted over. It worked for my Darth Talon figure so it should work fine here.

On to Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. I have updated both PMC soldiers lower hip and leg articulation for a wider range of movement. For the remaining two PMCs which I haven't started work on, they will both get the same treatment.

Old Snake is going to have an updated head sculpt with changes to the hair and addition of the Solid Eye as a variant. Also working on updating the face camo mask variant. Above and below are images of the sculpt itself - may need to reduce the shoulders a bit but not much -the muscle suit tends to look a little thick in some places for a reason of protection. I added some additional wrist articulation to his gun hand - details will be sculpted back. Legs and feet need some work next. Hope to step up work on this old man very soon.

Now I about had an accident when I sat a tweet from Hideo Kojima the other day showing a production piece of a 12" version of Gray Fox - the Cyborg Ninja from the original Metal Gear Solid. Below are the awesome images...

Suffice to say I was hooked - that piece is as good as bought! I've been so excited that I have gone back and began a total rework of my 1:18th scale version - using the Play Arts images as a reference. So far I have completed the neck, upper chest, left shoulder/arm, lower abdomen and lower back detail...

Some of the detail is so exact that it may have to be simplified or left out for the smaller version - I will try to include eveything I see and translate it to the smaller scale to the best of my ability. Very exciting!!

Finally for this Metal Gear update I have some finished frames to share...

1. Raiden from Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty sporting his "Skull Suit".
2. Gray Fox from Metal Gear Solid - just mentioned in the update.
3. Psycho Mantis from Metal Gear Solid - A foxhound fave of mine and yes, he will have a
removable mask.
4. Meryl Silverburg from Metal Gear Soild 4: Guns of the Patriots - Just dig this character
so much. After her, I'll only lack two more members of Rat Patrol 01 - Johnny and Ed!
5. Screaming Mantis from Metal Gear Solid 4 : Guns of the Patriots - This is the frame for
her "beauty" form. Working on a special frame for the "beast" as well as the two little
puppets she holds...

That's it for Metal Gear - Onto some figures in a galaxy far, far away...

I have completed the sculpt for Starkiller: The Force Unleashed 2 - Arena Combat Gear. He will soon find his way to be primed then painted and ready to take on the Empire. I've really enjoyed working on this piece - especially the belt and the removable shoulder guard! I look forward to adding more versions of Starkiller to the set.

Below is the completed sculpt - ready to be primed.

The soft goods are from a vintage Bib Fortuna! And the lightsaber hilts fit into two clear sleeves attached to either side of the chest. Clear so they won't be seen as much and distract from the rest of the figure.

Next is progress on my Darth Stryfe from the Dark Horse comic series Star Wars: Legacy. I am presently working on his waist, lower legs, boots and armor. A special shout out to Rémi Ravaz who sent me some much needed reference images of Stryfe's back and somewhat less than impressive leg armor.

Your were a great help Rémi - thanks! May take a little creative license to his lower leg armor - just a bit - not much LOL! After the armor is completed, I will begin work on his unique looking lightsaber hilt.

Alright - has everyone seen the new Cinematic trailer to Star Wars: The Old Republic? The trailer is entitled "Return" and sports the best lightsaber battle in any Star Wars production...ever. Haven't seen it? Don't read anymore till you get up off you butt and have a look - you'll understand my enthusiasm about this figure once you see it...Return Trailer

Just be sure to come back once you've seen it :) I'll wait (watches the clock)...

Cool! You're back! - Now that you've seen it, let's proceed with a Darth Malgus update starting with a few detail shots of the body sculpt so far...

This is the most hard detail I have placed into a single figure - I enjoy all the technology - the straight lines and shadows that are produced. I only hope that the paint application will still allow the detail to show through. Getting close to completion of the main sculpt but will go back and do some minor corrections to the forarms and chest armor - nothing dramatic, just a little tightening up is all.

As I mentioned in previous posts, I planned on doing a battle damaged version of the chest and shoulder armor to go alongs with the battle damaged head variant - the image below shows a very white cast of the battle damaged version - so white in fact that it's difficult to see the details - they will stand out clearly once painted.

Below is the four variant finished head sculpts of Darth Malgus...

1. "Return"
2. "Hope"
3. "Hope" Battle Damaged
4. "Deceived"

Number two and three you have already seen. Below are some detailed images of the "Return" sculpt...

Malgus goes through a very dramatic transformation upon becoming a Sith Lord and killing his master - In "Return" his flesh tone is stone cold white...with only the sith fire of his eyes showing a striking contrast.

The eyes for Malgus are a mix of black filler, then a white coverage for the eye ball, next a black pupil highlighted with orange and yellow with a small dot of black for the iris. A little orange around the lining of the eye itself and some reflective accent to the iris with a yellow touch. It's not an easy task and I NEVER get it on the first try...and I always make adjustments. I just know how limited my attempts are - don't want the bug eyes!

Next are some detailed images of Malgus from the "Deceived" trailer - you can see here his flesh tones have darkend and have becomed stressed - with blood vessels protruding and brusing emanating from behind the mask caused by the injuries he sustained in earlier battles. His eyes are more determined, more anger is seen - his eyes are blood shot and buring with focus of the vision he had of Coruscant buring (from the Paul S. Kemp novel).

At one point I thought of having the mask removable but reconsidered...what would be the point. I am however doing one more head sculpt of the Dark Lord...capturing his morbid grin as he slays Republic Troops in the "Hope" trailer...It's become the staple image for malgus in my opinion...who dare I say - Is more true to the Sith religion than Vader ever was...but that's another discussion all together.

Whose ready for a major Savage Opress update!!!

Although his body sculpt is still a work in progress (yet almost complete), doesn't stop me from proceeding to paint his head sculpt!

First though are a couple images of Savage's COMPLETED Enchanted Blade - given by the Nightsisters. I like to simply call it his "Boom Stick"...

Now to the painted head sculpt! the first couple images below are the two base colors I used - Dark Brown and yellow.

I began with a light gray undercoat acrylic primer, then several light layers of yellow across the entire sculpt. Once dry I began to add the dark brown markings - first across the back of the head then the detailing to the front.

Before adding the eyes, I darken the areas around with a darker brown hue then black.

And finally, using the same method I've spoke of before - I add the eyes...

I am so pleased about the amount of the detail I was able to capture in the eyes with this piece...he has a look of focus yet at any moment can be set off into a rage. I also like the irregularities in the tattoos - it's has a look of scared and not perfect...even though it's nothing more than layers of thin acrylic...I'm looking forward to painting the rest of the body.

The paint work for the head sculpt isn't complete - still need to tighten up the browns and do the horns.

I will be doing a battle damaged alternate, with his eyes a bit wider with possibly a snarl to his mouth, some singed and cut horns and a bloody lip. Really look forward to completing this guy!

Some final updates...I am working on a second version of Delia Blue ( haven't even completed the first one yet!), below is the finished frame.

Also decided to go back a rework my Mara Jade figure - giving her ball hinged hips and reducing the thickness of her legs, thighs and buttocks...I feel like a plastic surgeon LOL!

I also want to clean up the paint job just a bit...retouch the eyes and the hair, and clean up the arms.

I completed the two frames for Darth Krayt and Darth Wyyrlok from the Dark Horse comic series Star Wars Legacy: WAR.

Also completed the second frame to my small Imperial Troop set from the upcoming Bioware Game Star Wars: The Old Republic.

Speaking of the Imperial Trooper, I have completed the helmet sculpt! At this point, it's made for a ball jointed neck...not sure if I will make these helmets removable yet. I will make a mold and cast a couple to test it out.

While we are talking about troops - a brief updated on my New Republic Shock Troopers from the Dark Horse comic series Invasion! The basics have been sculpted - meaning most of the uniform items neccessary for each solidier has been completed. I will begin working on several different pouches, weapons etc to help differentiate between each soldier and give them some identity.

And finally and update on my Darth Vader's all about the helmet!

I began sculpting the inner top cylinder of the helmet and embedded a magnet within the piece that will attached to the dome and hold in place.

The image below shows the detailing I've put into the inner frame of the helmet. Not 100% accurate but close enough at this scale. Dome still fits nicely in place. Next I am planning stage three of the sculpt, breaking down the piece into three components and adding my Anaking head sculpt to the mix. I still am planing to paint up a version of this stage.

And for the final update for this entry is the beginnings of Vader's Meditation Chamber from ESB. I just started and already I am making some adjustments - the chair the figure is sitting in is a bit too large...needs to be tightened up some.

When complete, the dio will contain the revolving chair, the chamber itself, a step up entry, the outer wall with door entry/view screen and a holo communication area. Gonna be a challenge! Will be focusing on the chamber first. :)

Alas, we've come to an end of another busy update - Hope you enjoyed it! I want to get some more finished pieces on the table for the next update! I appreciate that you guys enjoy the works in progress but a finished piece every once in awhile would be nice I'm sure. Like I've said many times before, thank you so much for your continued interest in my work!

Wanna know who are the greatest fans on the face of the Earth? Sith_fire30 Creations fans on Facebook that's who! Over 600 followers and counting! These guys are some of the most creative and enthusiastic bunch of guys and gals on the planet and I'm happy to have each one of them aboard! Wanna join in on the maddness? Stop by my Faceboook page and become a fan! Sith_fire30 Creations

Dare I hope for close to 1000 fans (or more)by the end of the year?...a man can dream. Hey - I'll keep pumpin' out the work and you keep spreading the word - Deal?

Also be sure to stop by my Flickr photostream for todays images plus many more. I'll be launching these images as soon as this blog entry goes live so please stop by - I will be adding more images which will NOT BE SEEN ON THIS BLOG so bookmark my FLICKR page and check in often.

Sithfire30 Creations can now be found on twitter!!! @sith_fire30
be sure to follow! I'm a "tweet" lazy but again - I'm trying to get better!

I usually try to post these updates on weekend but was a bit late this time around - My apologies. If any of you guys/gals have questions, suggestions or comments, please feel free to contact me here, my facebook or my e-mail -

Alright - back to the real world (sigh)! Thanks again!