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Usagi Miniature Sculpt in progress

A place for Dojo Members to post Usagi Yojimbo "Otaku" art and fiction. Display your artistic and/or literary works based on Stan Sakai's Usagi Yojimbo here!

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Usagi Miniature Sculpt in progress

Postby Warren » Sun Sep 25, 2016 18:39 +0000

Once upon a time I was very interested in the comic creation process. I bought books by Scott McCloud, Burne Hogarth and Gary Martin, and armed myself with a lot of basic drawing and drafting equipment. The ambition mostly petered out thanks to a lack of skill and any real purpose; but since I turned up here, browsing the step-by-step board and watching the Sensei in video demonstrations (and other Rabbit Bodyguards here!) I decided to have another try.

Image

Deliberately aping Stan's style, obviously! As much as I'm able, that is.
I'm a little disappointed that I won't have the opportunity to even try a Koh-i-Noor artpen or old-formula FW ink with this kind of thing - I love trying different materials - but you don't miss what you never had, and I blew the dust off some brush pens, dip nibs, and an old bristol pad. I also picked up a bottle of Dr. Martin's Bombay black ink on an impulse, and I'm glad I did. All of a sudden, lines started going where I wanted and stayed there. It flows better, bleeds less, and dries quicker than the FW acrylic and especially the W&N drawing ink I bought before. Although it's not foolproof - I had to dig out that old bottle of white ink too. ;)

Anyhoo, after all the Master studies and taming of dip pens to get here, this isn't the finished product but the jumping-off point for another little project I've planned. Should be able to get started, now.
Last edited by Warren on Sat Oct 08, 2016 7:42 +0000, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Usagi turnaround

Postby Steve Hubbell » Sun Sep 25, 2016 22:11 +0000

Looks great to me, so obviously " lack of skill" means totally different things to you and me.... :D
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Re: Usagi turnaround

Postby Mayhem » Mon Sep 26, 2016 0:32 +0000

Yes, quite :lol:

(if you haven't guessed, Steve and I think that's pretty good!)
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Re: Usagi turnaround

Postby maichan » Mon Sep 26, 2016 7:57 +0000

Mayhem wrote:Yes, quite :lol:

(if you haven't guessed, Steve and I think that's pretty good!)


Me too. :D
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Re: Usagi turnaround

Postby Warren » Mon Sep 26, 2016 8:01 +0000

Steve Hubbell wrote:Looks great to me, so obviously " lack of skill" means totally different things to you and me.... :D


Well, it was some time ago. :) Though I'm still practising and learning, and it helps to have great reference material. ;) Thanks guys!

I've just been browsing through the comicartfans.com galleries, looking for something for Randy's coloring challenge, and stumbled across another useful reference - these character lineups from 2003. They might throw a spanner in the works, though! For this piece I've concentrated on issues from more recent years, where Usagi seemed closer to six heads tall rather than five. On further inspection, I might have got that wrong...
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Re: Usagi turnaround

Postby Maka » Mon Sep 26, 2016 13:56 +0000

I think they are great too! Peace, maka
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Re: Usagi turnaround

Postby Warren » Thu Oct 06, 2016 15:03 +0000

Thanks Maka. :)

I redrew the first part, with proportions at five and a half heads tall. Comparing the two versions in image software, the difference is negligible. :)

Image

So, ready to start... One of my hobbies is figure sculpting and modelling, which comes from interests in art and gaming miniatures. (small, small sculptures) Lately I've wondered if I could sculpt some of the UY characters, and how well. This turnaround is a guide for my first attempt.

Cheating a bit: since this is a piece of fanart I've bumped the scale up from 28mm gaming scale (1/48-1/56) to 54mm (1/32) - more of a 'display' scale. The tweaked art was photocopied at 50%, reducing it to the right size as a guide for the wire armature. Making and posing a pair of armatures for Usagi's ears was a learning curve!

Image

I cracked up a brand new packet of Milliput epoxy putty and covered most of the armature. This stuff gives you a couple of hours of modelling time, and then cures rock-hard. A good base to work on. Now the hard part begins...

Image
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Re: Usagi Miniature Sculpt

Postby Steve Hubbell » Fri Oct 07, 2016 10:55 +0000

Looking very interesting, and I have to say that I am looking forward to your next post.
Am I correct in saying that 54mm (1/32) will be approximately 2 1/4 inches tall?


Warren wrote:Thanks Maka. :)

I redrew the first part, with proportions at five and a half heads tall. Comparing the two versions in image software, the difference is negligible. :)

Image

I love the expression on Usagi's face in the first drawing above! :D
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Re: Usagi Miniature Sculpt

Postby Maka » Fri Oct 07, 2016 15:11 +0000

That's awesome! There are so many talented fan here. Awesome! Peace, maka
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Re: Usagi Miniature Sculpt

Postby Warren » Sat Oct 08, 2016 9:09 +0000

Thanks again!

Steve Hubbell wrote:Looking very interesting, and I have to say that I am looking forward to your next post.


I edited the topic title, to avoid any... false advertising. It might be a while before that next post is up.

Am I correct in saying that 54mm (1/32) will be approximately 2 1/4 inches tall?


About that, yes. Although I'm using the convention of measuring to the eye, which is about 58mm to the crown, but still 2 1/4". And trying to come up with a concise explanation of how and why is making me go cross-eyed. :lol: Best I can come up with: scale in all kinds of miniature figures is a hot mess.

I love the expression on Usagi's face in the first drawing above! :D


The way I was feeling at the time - "What, you didn't get it right the first time?"
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Re: Usagi Miniature Sculpt

Postby Gaffey » Sun Oct 09, 2016 20:21 +0000

Steve Hubbell wrote:I love the expression on Usagi's face in the first drawing above! :D
Reminded me of this cover. Very cool.

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Re: Usagi Miniature Sculpt in progress

Postby maichan » Tue Oct 11, 2016 8:58 +0000

Too cool. Looking forward to watching this progress. :D
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Re: Usagi Miniature Sculpt in progress

Postby PJaensch » Tue Oct 11, 2016 9:52 +0000

Pretty cool, and nice to find another mini sculptor in the dojo (I started my own line at www.facebook.com/spacebunnyarts earlier this year). I've also started a scifi miniatures group page. If you'd like to share your work there, it's a great way to connect with other sculptors and painters. I'm looking forward to seeing how your sculpt progresses.
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Re: Usagi Miniature Sculpt in progress

Postby Eltanin » Wed Oct 26, 2016 10:26 +0000

Wow! It looks great! Can't wait to see how it will be.
When I see posts like this, I become aware of how talentless I am. :lol:
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Re: Usagi Miniature Sculpt in progress

Postby Warren » Tue Nov 01, 2016 5:02 +0000

Thanks again, all!

Gaffey: that's a coincidence, because that's the cover I used as reference. ;)

Thanks PJaensch. Another reason to finally get on facebook!

Eltanin: in my experience talent is a little bit of interest, motivation, or obsession, backed up by observation, practise, and a lot of trial and error. Not always easy, but far from unattainable. I'd recommend anyone to give something a try. :)

In my case, it sometimes feels like more error than trial. Case in point: after a long wait I don't have a lot to show off. When I tried explaining scale I thought "Well, why am I measuring to the eye?" I wasn't happy with the slightly botched job on the ears, too, so I whipped up a new armature at 'proper' 54mm, to the head.

Next, I thought I'd finish this off with milliput, but if I'm trying to translate Stan's 2D style into 3D (and scared of messing it up), maybe I'd need something where I can scrape back the inevitable mistakes more easily. Out comes the oven-bake polymer clay. I don't have much experience with it compared to epoxy putty, but here I'm using Uro Hot Set - a polymer clay produced here in Britain. It's quite firm (something that's useful when sculpting tiny details at these scales, IMO) but it's also a bit more elastic than other polymer clays like sculpey or fimo. A wee bit more like the consistency of epoxy putty.

That said, the ability to cut away came in handy right away, when I decided I'd need more of a solid base to sculpt over. Especially with those wide hakama wobbling every time I tried to blend in more clay! What I have here are some rough shapes and proportions, with some space to add more layers after this stage is baked. It's not very interesting to look at; but hopefully to make up for that, I couldn't help getting ahead of myself and doodling Usagi's face on it:

Image

Or, considering the date yesterday, breaking out another classic cover reference:

Image
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