Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Rocket Girl Part One

I supported the Hanger 18 Pinups Kickstarter and backed for Dive Girl, the Panzer girl bust, and the Cosmonaut. I hadn't done anything with any of the figures except to pull them out of their bubble wrap and then put them back in. Looking for the latest issue of Lady Thor, I wandered into my local comic book store, Time Warp, and saw a large poster for Rocket Girl.

Looking at the markings on the helmet, they made me thing of Soviet style lettering and I immediately thought of the Cosmonaut. I bought the trade paperback, went home and read it cover to cover in one sitting. It's about a 16 year old time traveling cop named Dayoung Johannson. It's really good, and I felt better about my decision to turn the Cosmonaut into Rocket Girl. If you like comics and stories, check it out.

First thing, of course, was to clean the model. Since it's resin, and resin dust isn't the best thing to be breathing in, I made sure to wear a dust mask while I filed and sanded. Cuz I have kids, I made sure they weren't around and cleaned the figure outside, just to be sure. For the most part, the body was pretty clean. There were few mold lines and only a little bit of flash on the torso. The major change was to take the sickle and hammer off the right breast. I did kind of a half-assed job at first and had to go back, but that happened later so you can still see a bit of the outline in this picture.

Here's the head. The ear things require too much work to remove, so they'll have to stay. The lock of hair had to go, since Dayoung has short hair, and the microphone (not pictured), also had to go. The face also needed a change. The cosmonaut has a sharp face with a lot of angles. Dayoung has a button nose and lacks the cheekbone definition.

Before gluing the head on, however, something needed to be done about the shape of the figure. The cosmonaut is done in a pinup style and that's reflected in the model's ample bosom and shapely lines. This presented, conceptually, the most difficult part of the conversion. I wanted to do justice to the Cosmonaut by painting her in the style of Rocket Girl, but also didn't want to produce a hypersexualized 16 year old pinup. On the other hand, I wanted to maintain the pinup lines and the posture for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the whole scene I'm trying to portray. Also, it would be a shame to convert a model to the point where I may as well have tried sculpting a whole new figure.

The first step was to reduce the size of the figures breasts. Dayoung is portrayed as not having a ton of cleavage when in her uniform. Since I'm painting her as Rocket Girl and not in civvies, I thought it best to make her a little less prominent. I took out my knife a whittled away. The shape was awful so out came the needle files and sandpaper (and mask).

At this point I decided that in order to get everything looking the right size, I should probably glue the head on. Turned out this wasn't exactly the best idea, but the head was sort of rolling around the hobby box and needed its permanent home so on it went. Here she is, looking pleased, despite her jagged underboob.

You can see from the frontal view, she still has too much cleavage. That's okay, we can fix it so it doesn't look like she's wearing a uniform that doubles as a wonderbra.

 Kinda reminds me of this gem:

At this point, she was dropped and her index finger broke off. Not sure where it went so I had to fix it. I also started updating the face. I'd filed off the nose earlier, while removing bits from the face. Dayoung's nose seems to be more of a button nose and the Cosmonaut had a sharp upturned nose. I flattened and widened the nostrils and filled in the cheeks. I also did a slight reshaping of the forehead. After all that, I began a subtle shallowing of the cleavage.

A better view of the new face.

More finger and face reshaping. I'm really happy with how the face is turning out. I need to smooth the right cheek, but overall, the face looks different enough that I'm pleased.

I noticed some inconsistencies in the surface in and around her breasts so I went ahead and put a super thin layer of green stuff down and made it really smooth. I've added the base strap for the holster for her mass reaction gun and started gap filling on her hips. Also, more work on the finger. I'm really impressed with how fine the fingers are and am annoyed this one broke off. Sculpting it back is a totally pain and what I ended up with was only a facsimile of the original.

I forgot to take more progress shots, but one of reasons for smoothing out the chest region was to make the work on the neck region more natural looking. Dayoung's uniform has these straps up in the neck and I needed to put those on. I was able to do that, but was only able to get two straps instead of what looks to be three. I need to add buckles and improve the lines between the straps.

Next is the rocket pack itself. I spent a bunch of time looking at the rockets and decided to build an armature and then sculpt the backpack off the figure, the glue it on. After much bending and clipping, this is what I ended up with (it's being held on by a bit of blu-tac).

This is as far as I've gotten. Working time is pretty limited so I expect this project to take a good long while. I'm excited by the work I've been able to do and am looking forward to getting all the little touches done. I'm hoping it'll look really neat, even with the broken finger.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Longmont Paint and Take

On Sunday there was a Cultural Resource festival at the Longmont Museum. It was hosted by the Grey Havens YA group and the theme was Geek Day. Spreading and encouraging geekdom (geekhood?) being a cause near and dear I volunteered to run a Paint and Take. The idea being to introduce people to my primary hobby by letting them paint a miniature and then take it home. I got some donations of old RAFM and Grenadier miniatures from the community at large so I used those, some GW Fantasy figures (skeletons and goblins I had laying around), and some Reaper Bones from the Bones II kickstarter (I'm never going to be able to paint all of them).

I arrived and got setup. I only had two lights so table coverage was a little sparse, but there were huge windows behind the table that more than made up for the lack by providing amazing natural light. I'd totally paint here again. At least during the day:

I should have had the foresight to request more than two chairs as things spiraled out of control pretty quickly and we had to steal some:

The table remained full throughout the day with one little lull right around 3:00.

Everyone came curious and seemed to leave happy. I had a good time helping people choose colors and helping them with their math (we learned about piecewise functions). Since it was the first time painting for most people, I didn't spend much time talking about technique. The only blot on the day was I didn't manage to get pictures of each and every miniature painted. Some of the kids painted two, and I only got the chance to take pictures of one. Other children ran off before I remembered to take the picture. Here are the rest of the pictures. I think the vampire is my favorite of the figures I photographed, but they all look great and I couldn't be happier about the turnout. It prevented me from checking out the rest of the fair so something went right.