Monday, September 11, 2017

Count Melenth Part 4 - The Count Returns!

Wow, it's hard to believe my last post on this figure was a year ago!  I got a bit stuck on how I wanted to approach the OSL on his clothes.  My problem was the location of the OSL source. The glow on his face had gotten a bit too bright, so I couldn't get any brighter as I moved down the body. This makes it hard to have an unseen light source below the figure and thus I want to sculpt a hand holding a light source closer to the face.

By the way, for future reference, there were two mistakes I made here or at least two things I did which lead to this dilemma. Having the glow on the face too bright was one. The other was making the main light on the face so bright (and skin so light). In order for the OSL to read well, I needed it's brightness to be at least somewhere near the main light. If I'd made the main lighter dimmer and darkened the face more, then I could have more easily made the OSL dimmer and had somewhere to go in terms of brightness farther down the figure. I suppose I could try and repaint a good portion of the face to correct that, but I've done so much work I really don't want to redo it all (hence my attempt to sculpt a solution instead). Still, it's a good lesson to learn and if I do something like this again I will approach it a bit differently.

Anyway, a few months ago I made a first attempt at sculpting a hand. Well, technically third attempt, but first actually completed hand.

I was pretty happy with that, but I still felt it wasn't good enough. The figures felt a bit boxy, the pointer still looked off, and it just didn't seem to match the figure. In testing it's placement, I also felt that no matter how good the hand looked, it's positioning would still feel awkward. So I decided to try a different approach. Instead of the right hand holding a magical blue flame, I'd have his left hand holding a cane with a glowing orb on the end. I think I can position this so it won't look awkward and will still provide a logical source for the light. I started sculpting this weekend. I've still got a ways to go, but here's how it's looking...

I began with an armature, slightly different than the last one but I liked it better for positioning the fingers.

I then started sculpting over it. I began with a very thin layer for the main body of the hand and baked it so I had something to work over. I then did a second layer where I started the figures and added another wire for the thumb, then baked that. Reasonably happy with the structure, I started to flesh it out and further develop the shape and start adding details on the back of the hand. That's the current state and I plan to work on it more before baking it again.

It will be positioned so that the main view is of the back of the hand and upper part of the fingers, so those are my main focus. Once those are done, I'll do the rest of the fingers and inside of the hand. Still got a ways to go and, if it's not good enough, I'll give it another try (and perhaps another try after that). But I'm hoping if I continue slowly and carefully, this one will be decent enough that I can use it. Fingers crossed!


  1. For what it's worth, I don't think he needs a light source. I do like the idea of a big blue gem though. I also love the first hand, but I get that it's maybe not smooth enough for the figure. I have some Meirce Miniatures on my desk right now that are sculpted quite rough, but they are really beautiful.

    1. Thanks! I'm still hanging on to the old hand, so it's still an option. But hopefully with a bit more practice I can improve and make something even better. I guess we'll see!

      You could be right about the light source. I'd still like to sculpt one as an option, but when I paint the rest of the OSL on the bust I'll take a careful look and decide if I need the source in the scene or not. If it's not necessary, then I'll probably just leave it out