Build up: Bloody Marie



Bloody Marie

(I actually completed this kit last year but just realised that, although I put build up pics on Planetfigure, I forgot to put them up here).

I really like the dimensions of this figure. The sculptor has given her an almost Masai physique, tall and very graceful with her cape swirled about her. She’s also appealingly ‘butch’ with her leather basque and roughly textured cloak.  (Of course no monster-killer, fantasy or otherwise, goes around in a state of semi-undress but I think this one is slightly less improbable than the usual busty archetype)

November 2012

Pictures of a Sol vinyl kit nearly completed. This build up was started six years ago, and, after a six year break, I’m finally finishing it!

I set out to do a couple of things with this kit. Firstly, I wanted to give her rosy-pale skin tones to go with her red hair. So many fantasy female kits have bronzed suntans like Californian beach babes. I wanted her to look more Celtic – and I’ve always thought pale skin was sexier.

I also wanted to get in more practice with the air brush and I did use it but I also admit I cheated quite a lot. I was still having trouble avoiding ‘spidering’ when I did this and I had to keep blotting with a big soft brush. In the end I didn’t get quite the shading definition I wanted but at least it’s fairly naturalistic.

The skin tones were the bit I applied six years ago and it’s sat on my work bench ever since. I just had to finish it so there was something of that feeling of ‘don’t be hard on yourself – get it done – and have fun!’. I did enjoy painting the dead monster on the base – it was nice to get back into the skill of picking out detail that’s not that brilliantly defined.

Vinyl kits

Vinyl kits were a new thing for me but, after building a couple now, (this is my third) they have definite pro’s and cons.

PROS: Much cheaper than resin or metal – a kit this big would cost a fortune.

Crisp detail and easy to cut up – you just need a sharp knife. There are few ‘undercuts’ though, for obvious reasons, which limits their three dimensional quality a bit; the detail tends to be surface detail.

Easy to manipulate – you just warm them with hot water or a blow dryer; they’re quite bendy and stretchy. This is a good thing because the parts don’t always fit that perfectly.

CONS: The hollow body should be filled for strength. I have used foam, the two part mixture kind from Tirantis, which works well and makes the figure firm but very light. It’s difficult to judge the amount however and there’s often an overflow – be careful it doesn’t distort the figure! Also this stuff is  incredibly toxic – so do it outside. Some people, I’ve heard, use plaster or even screwed up paper.

You often need to fill a section for base pinning. The soles of the feet in Bloody Marie are hollow. I had to push Milliput into them to ankle height to have something to hold the pins.

Some advice on buying vinyl kits: there are lots of cheap eastern knock-off out there. You can tell the originals by the quality of the accessories – they should be metal or good quality resin. The knock off version of a kit like this would have cast the sword in resin – and done it poorly.

David Clough 2012