Saturday, January 29, 2011

RtC: Slow and Steady... is Boring!

Weekends are great. I don't really get a big block of time to work on stuff, but I get plenty of small slots to get stuff done. Today is a good example of that. In addition to the work in this post, I also got some work done assembling Annyssa Ryvaal, and some work on my upcoming SPQR series. More on that later.

First of all, I wanted to start getting the main body together. One of the challenging pieces to line up is arms that have these sorts of indentation sockets. I read a tip once of using a drop of paint to line up holes, which is what I'm (sort of) doing here. Unfortunately I ended up with a bit too much paint, but it will still serve my purposes. While that dried, I moved on to other parts.

Putting together the torso looked easy enough, but of course I chose to make it more difficult. The tail was the real reason. I wanted to pin the tail but quickly discovered that the bottom half of the torso has quite thin metal in the slot designed for the tail. So I opted to use a technique I've used before where I run a single pin through the middle of the torso to hold everything together. This photo is the before shot, with the pin obviously too long. The process is simple enough though. Drill the holes, put green stuff at the joins, put a bead of glue on the pin, and jam the whole thing together. The glue dries quickly enough to hold everything in place while I then proceed to smooth out all the green stuff. In this case, I went ahead and added on the tail as well.

Next was the head, which I kept simpler. Again, I ran a bead of green stuff around the edge (after scoring the surfaces to improve the join) and smashed it all together. Because part of this join included his mohawk, I added some extra green stuff and did some very basic sculpting to make the join look relatively seamless. The big problem I ran into here was the gaps around the neck. Rather than knead up more green stuff, I decided to let this part harden a bit first before I decide to tackle those spots and smooth things out.

Lasty, I went ahead and assembled the leg and arms. These were straight forward pinning and placement (with the aid of paint drop marks). There's some putty work to do to make those joins look a little nicer, but at this point I'm running out of time and need to get some sleep. I also finished the last of the assembly work for Annyssa Ryvaal at the same time which was a nice bonus.

The next step will be to start building a base, put on the remaining two pieces, and do the putty work to clean up joins. Taking my time to pay attention to all the assembly details is taking additional time, but I definitely feel it will be worth it in the end.


David said...

I'm looking forward to seeing what you're planning to do with the base. Another good tip for competition pieces is that something a little more elaborate than your standard gaming base will really help the model pop. But don't go overboard - you don't want your base so elaborate that it pulls focus away from the miniature itself.

The best bases, in my opinion, are simple ones that help paint a scene. Where is the warhog? Try and give the piece some atmosphere. An adventurer might be among ancient ruins, or a dragon hunter in a treasure-filled cave. Imagining where your subject is will help you come up with a base that helps create that scene. If you're stumped, reading some IK fiction from the new minions book might provide inspiration.

Scott said...

Thanks for the tips! Ironically, the judging for KublaCon's painting competition is supposed to exclude basing, but that isn't going to keep me from coming up with something good for this model. I'm really aiming to make this my best effort yet, so I really appreciate the ongoing feedback.

David said...

"Ironically, the judging for KublaCon's painting competition is supposed to exclude basing."

Be that as it may, the base certainly adds to the immediate impression of the model, and it's often hard for judges to separate out what part of their opinion of the model comes from the miniature, and what part comes from the base. For miniatures that clearly deserve a bronze, or a silver, or a gold, the base won't make a difference, but I'd be willing to bet that for a mini right on the edge between, say, bronze and silver, the base could push it over the edge, even if the judges are trying not to consider it in their judging.

Speaking of interesting bases, I posted a step-by-step recently for a base I built for Nemo. You might want to check it out, if you haven't seen it already.