Two years ago I first started looking into 3d printed stuff, both as a
source of odd bits, and a possible alternative to scratchbuilding parts.
It seemed self evident that the technology could handle nice and square
bits up to the process' resolution, but the true test of this kind of
technology is complex curves. It may be utterly sexist of me, but I know
of nothing that showcases complex curves better than a woman's body. So,
I took a walk on the grubbier side of 3d printing, and among a huge list
of very exaggerated, over-sexualised figures, I found this little critter.
She's still not wearing a lot, and she's not entirely human, but she looks
cute and pathologically cheerful rather anatomically improbable and slutty
(being a sex demon, that probably makes her the black sheep of her family..),
so I ordered up a print of the 'extra small' version (40mm; their idea of
'small' is 140mm, which is twise the size of the biggest figure on my display shelves).
So, in due time, 'Kandi' and the other test shots arrived. Only a cargo rack for a Dakota and Kandi survived the initial quality control; the rest were lesser technologies which produced useless results. So, the rack went into the after market parts pile, and Kandi, having nowhere sensible to go lurked on the bench for years. I finally decided this couldn't go on, and that I'd either have to paint her up (im)properly or toss her in the bin. I'm entirely too much of a pack rat to throw out a perfectly nice model.
The print material was pitch black, so nearly impossible to photograph, but several coats of flesh tone have helped a lot.
Flesh tone is now officially on my list of near impossible colours to cover areas with. Many more coats to go, I'm afraid.
That didn't turn out so hard, although it required a change in tactics. A few airbrush applications of the latest skin care product by MIG has her looking just peachy. Turns out this is a very hard colour to take pictures of; the weird colour of my hand should give some indication of how much I had to de-confuse the camera to get close
MIG says to let their paints dry for 24 hours (so much for high speed work with acrylics), so she gets a day off before I start working on (hopefully) subtle variations in skin colour.
I'll also have to figure out how to do a credible job with her pantyhose (is that the correct word? I'm not that well versed in girly stuff..) stockings. Right now, I'm thinking artist's oil paint at near homeopathic dilution to create a tinted film. Any suggestions will be most welcome.
Speaking of MIG paints, I find them really nice to work with. I've done some torture testing, and they'll accept both IPA and water for thinning without any trouble. Encouraged by this, I tried mixing some with Vallejo (water based) and Gunze (IPA based) paints, and found it plays nice with both. Airbrush and hairy stick also seem to agree with it. Not bad at all.
I chickened out on my original plan to do this figure entirely in acrylics; I still suck at layering, and with this much skin on display, the margins for less than stellar technique are very, very thin. So, I went back to artist's oils for the skin job.
I chose to do the demonic bits in a rather duskier colour, while the rest is going to be light bright and cheerful. I'm happy with the effect for now, but these are oils, which means there'll be plenty of time to take another critical look tomorrow, and if necessary, do some rework. At the least, I intend to wipe the skin tones out of her hair soonish; no need to drag along the problem of covering the brown with very light hair colour later.
Anyway, here she is in all her somewhat indecent glory.
The next steps (once the paint has cured, ie, probably next weekend) will be to start putting some clothes on her.
Not much bench time again, but I managed to get the sheer parts of her stockings done, and gave her a mop of lilac hair. Don't now why, but it just seemed right. I'm still trying to decide whether she's wacky enough to put subtle mint highlights in it
This concludes the experimental parts. From here on in, it's a matter of not slipping up while painting the rest of the costume and the treestump.
I've toned down the hair a bit, and put in a pair of properly forbidding very dark brown horns. Beats me why she needs/wants those, but I guess they come with the demonic territory. After that, I spent some very scary time with bright red paint and without any margin for error to paint the remaining textiles. I used oils for this, mainly so I wouldn't have to worry about paint drying too fast. The flip side is that it will take a while before I can add the metal parts of her costume; I don't want to risk smudges of red paint as a reminder of the long drying time of this medium..
Ow shoot. That last picture just told me I'm in trouble. I didn't get the tips of the fingers on her right hand when I did the skin. This is going to get interesting
Not as problematic as I feared. Re-mixing the skin tone was easier than expected. Never fails to amaze me how hard skin can be with anything else, and how easy with oils.
I painted the shinies with Citadel's "Gehenna Gold", because that seemed like the only place for a discerning demon girl to go shopping :-D And because it is a rather reddish gold, which also seemed appropriate.
This is where the project will appear to come to a complete halt for a bit. I'll let things cure properly, hit it with varnish next weekend, and only start working on the tree stump the week after that.
I've painted the tree stump, and aside from some selective varnishing, the figure is done.
Note that the gold didn't really fare too well with the varnish, which is particularly disappointing since they're both from the same brand. I may decide to re-paint the gold bits
While I'm quite certain playing around with varnishes will be visible in direct observation, I'm not so sure it will show up in the inevitable pictures later on.
Spent some time playing around with varnishes. Just a bit of gleam on the skin (and the red mushrooms), a bit more on the horns and hair, and a lot more on the gold and stockings. I'm calling this done.