Saturday, March 28, 2020

Crouching Figure, Hidden Potential

In addition to doing the construction on my next batch of figures for my Conan game for Barrage in September, I have been working on trying to get more dynamic leg positions for the figures, as Dale and I were discussing a little while back on replies to posts on this blog.

I tried several options, here is the one so far that worked the best.  He is a crouching fighter-type figure, sort of advancing with knees heavily bent.  Here are some pics of him unpainted.

I had to figure out a way to make a torso that wasn't too big.  The issue with the other milk bottle figures is that the torso from the shoulders down and the legs all the way to the ankle are one piece.  So I needed to be able to do a waist to shoulder torso piece and leave the legs off as they would have to be added later in their more dynamic pose.  I used an axle cap glued onto a flat plug to make the torso.  The head, arms, shoulder armor are all the same as on my other figures.

You can sort of see the right leg here.  He is lunging forward with a bent knee and foot underneath his torso. The leg and feet are all tile spacers.  I essentially decided to try and do the same thing I do with the arms with the legs.  The issue is that the elbow bend is much easier to do with tile spacers than a knee because the foot will never bee at the right angle and the end of the time spacer is always small/thin.  This works great for hands, but not feet.  But if the feet are a separate piece that you glue onto the bottom of the leg, I found through mistakes, the leg structure for the figure is way too weak and will not hold up under play conditions.  So you need to have the leg and the foot be one piece of tile spacer.  In this case it is essentially his right hip that goes straight down into his foot as one piece, then I glued on a knee/thigh piece afterwards that is separate.  Because there is no pressure on the knee, however, the figure is not too weak.

Here is a view of the left leg and foot.  Again, it is one tile spacer piece that I cut into a boot shape then the rest that is more forward is the knee and thigh of the left leg.  It is also heavily bent at the knee but for the left leg, unlike for the right, the "missing" piece is not the thigh, it's the hip.  That is easily handled with paint.

You can sort of see here that the left leg/foot is glued onto the bottom of the torso just like the right leg/foot is, it's just at a different angle.

I also took the hot glue gun and filled in any spaces and tried to create a groin area, thighs for both legs that were a bit "meatier," and overall just fill in the leg/lower body of the figure to at least represent legs and such.

And now for the painted version.

Hard to see in this picture from this angle but just above the sword is his right knee/thigh.  The left one is extended behind him in the lunge and you can't really see it well.  You can see a little bit where I filled in and made more of a groin area by using the hot glue gun over the flat plug which is the bottom of his torso.

This is a good view of the left leg and foot.  Believe it or not, the pink part which is the knee and the lower calf and the foot itself is all one tile spacer, I just cut it to be this shape to create this one piece foot/calf/knee structure.  Just like an arm, it is just glued to the side of the flat plug that is the lower torso of the figure.

Can't really see much in this picture except for his coin purse on the back of his belt.

You can sort of see the right foot which is flat on the ground.  The upper pink part is the extra tile spacer I glued on to represent his right thigh/knee, and also it is filled in with the hot glue gun to make the appearance smoother and loot more like baggy pants.

It is hard to see in the pics but for a first attempt, I think it came out pretty well.  You just have to get creative with figuring out how to shape the tile spacers to create the leg/foot all in one piece to make sure that the figure is strong enough.  My first attempt had feet glued onto legs and it was just too weak to support the figure through any play at all.  The figure would break off at the ankle and come apart.  Tile spacer to tile spacer joints are ALWAYS the weakest joints in these figures, even if you use hot glue.  So you just can't have these joints be the place where the figure connects with the base and think that it will hold through play.  It just won't.  So the trick is to figure out how to shape the tile spacer to get the foot and lower leg positioning you want and glue that DIRECTLY onto the lower torso of the figure.  Sometimes that will be underneath the torso piece, but usually it is glued onto the side of the torso piece just like the arms are glued onto the upper torso.  Then you can add it more cosmetic pieces and use the hot glue gun to fill out the rest of the leg area to make it look right.

Matt, please forgive me, but I had to add this picture. I just could not see you work so I downloaded one of the pictures and boosted the values.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Black Guard Mounted

Not to give TMI, but I ended up having to get ulner nerve surgery on my (of course!) right arm and wrist.  So I haven't been able to paint for a while.  But I'm back now, although I don't think my hand will ever be the same, so my quality of painting will likely go down a little.  But that's okay with me, I do this for fun, not to win painting contests.

Here are the mounted figures of the Black Guard for my Conan game scheduled for the next Barrage convention (September).

Quite the intimidating looking bunch!  Horses are a little different, I gave them hooves and a lower jaw this time, and I also did the manes and the tails with paper instead of the fuzzy pipe cleaners I have always used.  I wanted consistency in the appearance of my miniatures and paper for the manes and tails is a better option, even if it is less dramatic.

Some close ups!
And now for a rear shot.
I tried to make a match between the foot and the cavalry figure so I can have a mounted and dismounted version of the same guy (sort of the point of doing both!).  It was hard, but I think they look close enough.
And now some close ups.

And now, onto the Serpent Guard!



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