Wednesday 18 March 2015

Step By Step Sculpt Part 06!

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5,

Before I cook the clay for the second time I have decided that I want to do some work on the feet.

The first thing to do is bulk them out to get a reasonable idea of size. It is very easy to sculpt hands and feet out of scale, put in a lot of work and then realise that they are too large or too small, and have to scrap them. When working on 28mm wargames miniatures there is a bit more tolerance on this as many wargames figures have developed their own style which has led to heads, hand and feet being oversized quite a bit. When working on this larger scale miniature though it is very important that the whole figure is in proportion.

I plan to work on the soles of the boots later on (after baking), so I have just roughly built them.
Initially I started work on the left boot. Getting it basically boot shaped and building up the cuff around the ankle.

I was building the ankle part into quite an open style, however I wasn't very happy with that, so I will change it later.

Overall I am happy that it looks like a left boot, and is the correct scale for the figure.

I tightened up the cuff and brought it in around the ankle, then started work on the front detailing.

The clients drawing shows detail down the front of the boot that looks like a similar plate design to that on the figures left side and right shoulder. However, with the positioning and the small scale of the detail I am concerned that it looks like he has lace up boots. I don't feel that this is very in keeping with the high-tech design, so I may add a strap across the ankle later on. Also, I felt that the boot needed more of a definite division between it, and the trousers, so I am trying a rib around the top of the boot.

I didn't want to get to far ahead with the left boot without doing the right one. So I have started to build that one up too. I have found that while I add clay to the right foot I have caught the left foot once or twice with the sculpting tool. It is annoying to damage finished areas while working on other pieces close by, so I can see i am going to have to bake it soon...

Monday 16 March 2015

Star Trek Attack Wing Vs. X-Wing

As a quick break from the sculpting posts I am going to look at Star Trek Attack Wing and it's sister game X-Wing.

I initially resisted jump on to either Star Trek Attack Wing (STAW) or X-Wing, as I felt the cost of building a meaningful fleet was prohibitive. However, due to my gaming pals having picked up those games it seemed only right to give them a try. We tried STAW first, and the simplicity and effectiveness of the system really caught our attention. I do have Wings of Glory, or to be more precise Wings of War, it's predecessor, which is the origin of the system and is a World War One fighter game. So the basic concept wasn't that new, but the execution in this instance is very well done.

I have played a few different star ship combat systems over the years, and I must admit that they usually leave me cold. They are either far too complex or have nonsensical rules that just don't attract me. However with STAW I found it gave a reasonably quick game that had a enough complexity to be interesting, but didn't get bogged down in endless tricky rules. The thing that really struck us was the effective way that the rules gave the feel of large capital ships taking on each other in a slugging match.

X-Wing on the other hand, using very similar rules, give the feel of fighter, or small ship combat, very well.

At this point I had pretty much about faced and decided I wanted to break into one of these games. Now, it has been a long time since I considered myself to be either a Trekkie or a Star Wars fan, so I didn't have any particular reason to swing either way. I had to decide on other grounds. The first consideration was factions. With X-Wing, realistically there are only two factions, The Empire and the Rebels, whereas with STAW there are many, many different races and factions, and there are the options for alliances too! This would mean that my gaming group would be able to build up our own forces without too much overlap.

Also I personally preferred the larger ship combat system rather than the fighter combat, not for any particular reason, just the way I would prefer to go!

So as you have probably already guessed I have plumped to Star Trek Attack Wing. I have picked up three Romulan ships so far. Jeff has jumped in with both and has growing fleets of most factions, but he ignored the Romulans (and the Borg to some extent). Del has gone with the Borg. It is my birthday next month and so I will be getting the basic game then. I quite fancy picking up a few Klingon ships at some point, and I am not too familiar with some of the later races from DS9 (I lost interest in the Star Trek universe when Babylon 5 started and captured my interest, oh for a B5 version of this game)...

Tuesday 10 March 2015

Step by Step Sculpt Part 05!

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

Slow and steady with the detail. It makes for fairly boring posts but it is what really takes the time...

 I have worked up some detail on the right arm, building up the fabric with some bunching and folds. I have also started work on the "plates" over the right shoulder. I have scored in the divisions between the plates and once I have cooked the clay I will sand them down to achieve a more "plate-like" feel to the area.

 As I rotate the figure, I often jump back to parts that I had worked on previously. Slowly refining the detail on the fabric, or smoothing out areas. This is one of the great advantages with the polymer clay, as until it is cooked I can keep returning to the same area over and over again.

I have also done some work on the coat under the  right arm. Adding some folds into the fabric. The brief from the client (Wild House Models), has allowed me some creative input, letting me take the design sketches and develop them into the 3D form with some flourishes of my own. So I have added some more extra flow to the fabric, and broken up the smooth lines a little, I feel that this adds to the overall detail of the figure, and add some realism, without removing it too much from the original concept...

Next up I started to work on the fabric where it is fastened at the front of the coat. Adding littll stresses in the fabric, where concealed fastenings are pulling at it...

 I have also started to add the seams to the left side of the coat.

In these photos they are at a very early stage, literally just scored into the soft clay.

At this stage it is relatively easy to correct errors, if I get the lines in the wrong place... However, I am reasonably happy with the positioning, and I will move on to smoothing them and shaping them a little more next.

I am aiming to cook the figure again very soon, to set the new work in place, but before I do that I will do some more work on the coat and probably add some detail to the left arm.

The brief also requires that figure to have two alternate heads. So once I have cooked and set the existing work I will remove the head stump and work on the neck locating joint. Removing this part could be quite tricky as the the core of hard epoxy and copper wire may be difficult to cut through. I want to do it at this stage so that I don't damage the figure after I have added to much detail around the neck...

Tuesday 3 March 2015

Step by Step Sculpt Part 04!

Part 01, Part 02, Part 03.

Not much progress in the last few days, I have had a few health issues and they have meant I haven't done much sculpting.

I have done some more work on the doctors coat, which is starting to take shape quite nicely. I have also started to work on the arms, but more on them in the next post.

I am not totally happy with the smoothing of the polymer clay, and I have read that a soft brush and some oil (possibly baby oil) is good for this. I am going to have to do some more research before I try this as I don't want to ruin the work already done.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...