Saturday, November 6, 2010
I've always had an uneasy relationship with soft sculpting media like modeling clay and green stuff. I love its flexibility and the infinite possibilities it offers. But as someone who has one functioning eye (well, one and a quarter, the blind one still has some peripheral vision), I have trouble seeing 3-dimensional forms. Small objects, like wargaming miniatures, look flat to me, more like photographs than real-world objects.
There are ways to compensate. Moving my head from side to side, or rotating an object slightly, gives me multiple views. Then I can use them to extrapolate what the object looks like in 3 dimensions. Most people do the same thing, but with two eyes they don't need to sway back and forth. Strong lighting and shadows are also helpful. My workspace has powerful side-lighting, so I can interpret shapes by the shadows on their surfaces.
This means that I usually stay away from free-form green-stuff modeling. I prefer modifying existing objects, which doesn't require so much frantic compensation and head-bobbing. But I want a Tervigon in my Tyranid army, and there's no good way to make a Tervigon without a healthy dollop of epoxy putty.
The finished conversion is basically a Carnifex model with a modified tail. It's not quite the same as the codex illustration, but I think it's recognizably a queen bug. Aside from the green stuff, I also modified the body so it stands taller than a Carnifex, and whittled down the scything claws, so they look like the standard "claws and teeth" instead of special weapons.
Programming note: The next two weeks are packed. I have multiple research projects due, undergraduate projects to grade and a drawing seminar to organize and teach. there's a good chance that I won't get to do much painting until mid-October. If you're one of the discriminating few who visit this blog regularly, don't lose heart. I'll be back as soon as I take care of my other obligations. And there's always the possibility that I'll need a painting break, just to maintain my sanity. So please, check back regularly.