OK I admit it. I had no idea what I was going to paint next after the end of our “Forgotten Heroes” month. While everyone else seemed poised and ready to leap into their next project I’d been rushing to meet the end of the month deadline and so had put not the slightest thought into what I was going to do after it finished. First job was to catch up on all the blogs I follow and comment where I saw fit, and that’s when it struck me as I perused Jez’s rather excellent “Carrion Crow’s Buffet*” blog, I saw the picture of “Sam the Eagle” he uses as a proxy of himself to people who haven’t seen him in the flesh, (he used one of Jasper Carrot to represent me, but obviously only because he couldn’t find a decent one of Brad Pitt, stop laughing!!). Anyway, this got me thinking (as it does), that he would make a rather fine figure, in fact it would make a rather fine base for a “Chibi” figure, (for a description of what a Chibi figure is, check out the excellent ones over on Vampifans also excellent blog)….
I bet you can see where this is going now can’t you. I decided that as Jez was busy turning out “Chibi” versions of all and sundry at the moment I’d make a “Chibi” version of “Sam” as a bit of a thank you for coming up with the whole “Forgotten Heroes” challenge. Now usually when I get to the end of one of our monthly challenges, where I’ve had to convert some figures with the old “greenstuff” I can’t wait to get away from the stuff for a few weeks, but now I was inspired!, but rather than searching out a base figure for conversion I decided to start from scratch, so I started by sticking a piece of florists wire into one of my bottle tops full of blu-tac and rolled a ball of putty and plonked it onto the top of this, a bit of rolling and smoothing later and I had the general shape I’d need for “Sam’s” head, I pushed a couple of dents into this at eye level and popped two smaller balls of putty into these as…well eyes!, then taking one of my precious two pence pieces I glued a couple of layers of card onto it and then rolling out another tapered ball of putty superglued this “point downward” onto the card.
Once dry I smoothed another layer of putty over the head and built up the eyelids around the eyes, then taking the body added two flat ovals at the base around the front as the soles of his sandals, I then put two smaller balls of putty on top of these and added a groove at the front and two diagonal grooves on the tops, as his feet. Then taking the small amount of putty I had left I added this to the top of the tapered “body” as I felt it was a little too short.
Next day it was time to add the rest of his facial details, so I began by adding his beak this was just a tapered sausage of putty stuck onto his face and then shaped into the classic hooked beak shape, I then added the lower beak with a triangle of more putty. Then turning to his “all important” eye brows I ran a thick sausage of putty across over his eyes and using a spike and small knife to add the details and wild hairs teased them into shape, that just left the semicircle of hair that runs around the back of his head, this was just another sausage of putty pushed into place and then using the blade of my small knife I tapped the hair effect into this. Finally I added the straps on his sandals with four tiny sausages of putty run from the front of his feet over the grooves I put there yesterday.
I carried out the major work on his body today, first running a strip of putty around his lower half and shaping this into the bottom half of his robe (Master Crow, has to have a robe!) once I’d added all the ripples to the fabric I repeated the process on the upper half tapering both halves in the middle where his tied belt would be, this was just a long thin sausage of putty run around his middle and then flattened slightly, then a tiny ball was added at the front as the knot and two short lengths were run downward and to the side as the flowing ends of the belt. Lastly I added a collar and another blob of putty for his lower neck, as I thought he was still a little short (He’ll be forty millimetre’s tall by the time I’m finished at this rate!).
Well he all started coming together this morning, I began by drilling a small hole down into the left hand side of the top of his neck (as the wire coming out of his head is off set to this side) and then after cutting down the wire his head was glued into place, then I built up his neck and blended it in at the top and bottom. I decided that there was too much neck on show so I built his collar up again to hide some of this excess. I then set to work on his left arm, I began by popping a blob of putty on the side of his belly and shaped this into his hand, adding another tiny blob on top of this as his thumb (note he only has three fingers as I was going for a cartoony style). Then a tapered sausage was run from his hand to his shoulder in an “L” shape and folds and ripples were pushed into this till it formed a loose “wizards” style sleeve.
That just left his right arm to add, I could have just repeated what I did on the left but to add a little bit of interest to his pose I decided to add a tree stump that he could be leaning against, so a bent piece of wire was wrapped in greenstuff and some “bark effect was dragged into it with the tip of a knife, I also added a broken branch stump out to the side. Then drilling a hole into the figures right shoulder area a piece of wire that I measured to the right length (against the left arm) was pushed and glued in place and the other end of this piece of wire was glued to the “stump”. Then as with the left I started with a blob that was shaped into his hand and then his sleeve was built up as before but around the wire, and he was done.
Painting came next, (after he was based and undercoated of course), so working from his now matt black appearance I began by painting his robe in dark red that was then highlighted with some pink burgundy. Then turning to his flesh, I nearly painted him black (he is a crow after all), but in the end decided to paint him in the classic “Sam” colours so a base of blue grey was applied and then highlighted with some light blue, I did deviate a little with his brows and “hair” as I dry-brushed both areas with a little light grey (his hair should actually be blue like his face but I thought that was a little too plain. His belt and sandals were left black just highlighted with a little dark gray and the tree stump was painted chocolate brown and then dry-brushed with some butternut. That just left his robe to be detailed so I added a flower on his left breast and a larger one on the back then after also adding his socks and the edge of his robe in the same coffee colour I highlighted these and added some flecks to his robe in cream, and he was just about done. He was then given a coat of “quickshade” (because it wouldn’t be me if I didn’t!) and after his base was painted in my usual fashion I finished him off with a coat of matt varnish.
Then it was off to the post office to send him to his new home with Jez, I hope he’s pleased with him.
Till next time, Cheers Roger.