WIP: Daddy Figure

22nd July

New project – Keos Mason’s “Daddy Figure”. I’ve been wanting to have a go at this for a while.

First impressions: the production is absolutely superb. Came in foam lined case with extra foam padding in delicate areas. Small parts individually wrapped in a cotton wool type material. A small part of the dog’s mane, delicate hair strands, snapped off. Otherwise perfect. No mould lines at all that I’ve seen so far and super sharp.

One objective with this project is to experiment with image transfer – specifically tattoos. I’ve printed out a sheet of Japanese designs on both ordinary and special transfer paper, but I don’t think they’re right. I wanted this to be muted tonally in feel. Need to do more research. Ideally LA gangster tattoos – Crips style – but not too crude.

July 26th

Primed with a little bit of white zenithal shading. I used rattle cans again. Decided to use a green blue base for the skin colour – an experiment


5th August

Too hot to paint so I’ve been experimenting on transferring images using two primed toys. The only time I ever tried this before was using Decal-it which no longer seems available but most methods seem to be similar. I’ve seen people using PVA glue, Modge Podge and other things on YouTube.

With Decal-it, I applied lots of coats to a b&w laser print letting each dry, put it face down on the surface and after it dried, rubbed the paper away. It transferred the image using a transparent film created by the multiple coats – a decal in effect. The Zen Bench Steampunk design is an example.

With these, I used a photo transfer gel for the top example but only applied one coat to the surface and one to the paper ( a colour laser print). Rubbing off the paper was a pain. You have to go slowly or risk removing the design. I recommend a hog-hair fitch and lots of water. It didn’t work well on curves but quite well on the flat. More coats might help – will try again.

Next I tried some special Tattoo paper for creating fake skin tats. This wasn’t easy to grasp but you put a sticky sheet on the print, then flip it over and rub the paper off. It leaves a thin skin on the surface held on by glue but I should have cut around the tattoo as you see. It would work because the skin is so thin but I prefer using gel if I can get it to work.

It’s also unlikely I’ll use full colour tatts on this model but I wanted to see if it was possible to get decent results because it opens up a lot of possibilities. This first experiment was a bit half-arsed but I’ll try to do it more seriously next time.

8th August

This time I applied several coats of photo gel to the images – laser prints – and let them dry before I applied them to the figures. I had to wet the paper to make it conform but they seem to have transferred quite successfully. I sprayed the figures with Dullcote too. The painted bust was the acid test.

Had to dry off the images several times to see all the paper still on the surface – it looks like a ‘bloom’ when dried. The gel does create a skin – and I didn’t cut in as carefully as I might – but it’s still less thick than a proper decal and I think I could integrate it with overspray. If I wanted to be super cautious I could also put a coat of liquid wax in the area to make it smooth and hard (better for transfer) but I’m not sure it’s necessary.

Starting to build up skin texture with speckling. I learned this from a Jordu Schell tutorial but a guy called Bully who sat next to me at a recent Alfonzo Giraldes masterclass and gave me some useful airbrush lessons, has done quite a nice YouTube on speckling and veining – worth checking.

15th August

Torso after airbrushing and a little bit of shading with olive green ink. More to come, perhaps with oils and/ or alcohol ink.

I’ve chickened out of the whole transfer idea. I tried moulding bits of paper around the arm and couldn’t do it without creasing the paper. I’m also worried that however I do it, I’ll end up with ridges from the edges of the transfer. So – I might try a freehand design or possibly using some of the tribal tattoo stencils I have.

17 August

Used a set of vinyl tribal tattoo stencils which were very tricky! Rubbed off a lot of the paintwork on the chest and shoulder which didn’t work. These are not right either but hopefully can be knocked back. I will probably repaint them in a much paler blue grey before I seal them.