The Phantom and Devil Resin Model Kit, Part 6

 Heroes, My Models, Resin Models, The Phantom  Comments Off on The Phantom and Devil Resin Model Kit, Part 6
Apr 272012

After a long break from modeling, Monique and I finally had some free time and got going with the models again.  She’s still working on Moebius’ Invisible Man, and I’m still working on The Phantom.
I’ve got the base done, and am happy with it.  Finished Devil, Phantom’s trained wolf, and he turned out pretty good.  Now I’m finally working on The Phantom himself.  The sculpt on this is magnificent… Lee Falk would be proud.  I’ve really enjoyed working on this model.

Now that I’ve said that, let me backtrack slightly.  Made some bad painting decisions on the Phantom, and have had to start him over.  Twice.  I always have trouble with flesh colors.  Those pre-made bottles of flesh have always seemed a bit off to me.  Too light, wrong tint, something.  Sometimes, I can mix something with them and get an acceptable flesh.  This time around, After a couple of tries, I took all the paint off, cleaned him back to ground zero, and started over.  Found a great tutorial here, that taught how to mix colors for flesh tones.  I’m decent at mixing colors to get what I want, but his directions made no sense to me at first.  Nevertheless, I mixed Titanium White, Burnt Sienna, and Raw Sienna.  (A sort of ‘rust red’ was also recommended for darker shading and warming up folds in the skin.)  Put in mostly equal amounts of all three, and stirred.  Well, holy cow… it worked!  This mix is, hands down, the best flesh color I’ve ever used.  I love it, and made up a fairly large batch for future use.

So, flesh tones ready to go, it was time to start painting (again).  Usually, I do all the broad colors first, then paint over with the detailed colors.  I am still learning a lot.  This time, I tried detailing each color as I came to it, starting with the flesh.  Face,  hand, and the part of the hand attached to the wolf.  Next, added the purple.  Using ‘Purple’ straight out of the bottle seemed too bright, especially if dry brushing later.  Mixed it with a few drops of black, for a very deep, rich purple. After that, started in with all the black.

Another problem I often have is grittiness in the finished paint surface.  With an airbrush, that might not be a problem.  We lack the airbrush, so it’s all by hand.  Most of the time, I use a large Avon makeup brush to smooth it out, with minor success.  Again, this time I really wanted my best foot foward.  On a hunch, I made sure to dampen my brush lightly with water in between strokes.

That turned out to be an excellent solution.  Maybe it’s a rookie mistake, but I figured it out on my own and am very happy knowing about it.  Don’t yet know how that’s going to work when it’s time to dry brush, but that bridge will get crossed when the time comes.

All that brings me up to date.  He’s been re-primered with a lighter coat of grey.  Has the first coats of flesh, black, and purple.  Still have to add black to his trunks, and do the detailed corrections.  (Yes, I make mistakes… usually when trying to detail a fine edge.)  Then I’ll see how the dry brushing goes.

For now, here’s the pics:

The Phantom and Devil Resin Model Kit, part 5

 Heroes, Monsters, Resin Models, The Phantom  Comments Off on The Phantom and Devil Resin Model Kit, part 5
Mar 112012

In Parts 1-4, the base was the subject.  Now that I’m pretty happy with it, Devil, The Phantom’s wolf, is next up.  To begin with, both Devil, and The Phantom, were base-coated dark gray.  For Devil, that’s a good starting point since he’s a Mountain Wolf.  I used Google Images for references on the wolf.  Plus a couple of nicely painted models of the same kit.  Gave me a starting point to plan from.

All his fur sculpted in, and the details on the face, make for an interesting build.  Really has a lot of scope for contrast and color variations.  Great overall sculpt as well, with the wolf being well-proportioned.  Very convincing dynamic pose.

So Devil started off a medium dark gray, with lighter grays dry-brushed along the way.  After doing most of the work, I took a few days off, came back, got a good look, and didn’t like it.  He looked too washed out.  Needed a darker base tone to pop out.  I’d been trying to get a gradation from darker on the back, to lighter on the shoulders, legs, and belly.  It just didn’t contrast enough.

Started over with a solid gray base.  Then roughly patched a black base-coat over his head, back, and tail, from the top to about halfway down his ribs.  I was hoping for the dark-to-light effect in the finished product.  Started playing with dry-brushing lighter and lighter tones.  Got too light on top.  Shaded it in with some more black, very very lightly.  The effect was better this time.  Played with it until the gradation looked about right.

Doing the teeth and tongue were a small pain.  The tongue wasn’t so hard, but I didn’t want the teeth to look freshly brushed with dental whiteners.  Started with the same dark gray, then just lightened them up bit by bit until they were mostly white, but with dark shadows in the crevices and gums.  Did the tongue and gums in a dark maroon, then lined the lips with nearly black detailing.  The detail around the lips was too crisp, so I blended lighter tones around it.

The eyes were nearly too small for me.  Using jeweler’s glasses, and a desk lamp with built-in magnifier, I tried several times to get the eyes done.  Finally settled for a mix of black outer rims, green eyes, and a black pupil.  If you look at the face front-on, the eyes aren’t quite aligned.  Considering the several attempts it took just to get to this point… and realizing nobody’s going to look at it up close and face on once the model’s finished…  it seemed best to leave well enough alone.

Moving to the collar, painted the entire thing black.  Then silver chrome on the studs and buckle.  A bit of dark brown where the strap fits, some touch-up here and there, and a final pewter-gray dry-brush to make the collar look worn.  Oh, and a bit of black on the nose to finish things off.

At this point, all that’s left is the Phantom’s hand, gripping the collar.  Since it’s flesh, I’ll hold off until ready to work on the Phantom’s flesh-tones.  That’s probably going to be my next step.  I usually save the flesh for last, then don’t like the result.  This time, I’m going to try and get the flesh-tones right BEFORE painting the rest of the figure.  I’ll let you know in the next installment how it goes.

The Phantom and Devil Resin Model Kit, part 4

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Mar 062012

The next stage was something of a surprise.  I expected the treasure chest and gold to be very tedious, but it was actually one of the easier parts of this project.  To begin with, I painted the entire chest, inside and out.  Might have been overkill, since much of it won’t ever be visible.  But it felt important to be complete, even if nobody else will ever see it.  In practical terms, I think the overall chest turned out better for having a complete and unified look.

The brown of the wood is only two colors, over a base-coat of black.  Started with dark brown.  The dry-brushing was territorial beige.  For the metal parts, black base-coat covered with a mix of black/rain gray.  To make it look weathered, white was added to the blend and dry-brushed in.  The final touch was to add a super-light stroke of metallic silver at the highlight points, like corners, edges, and the hasp.  Some simple detailing on the edge-work, and it was done.

Once the chest was ready, it was time to go for the gold.  This could have been very slow and difficult.  Instead, it went surprisingly fast.  Started with a very dark metallic gold, laid a thin coat of lighter gold over that, and dry brushed highlights of a very light-yellow gold.  Monique suggested doing a wash in black to add some contrast to the edges.  Sounded good to me, but I just couldn’t make it work.  The wash just wanted to darken the flat surfaces, and roll off the edges.  I suppose a base coat of black, and then dry brushing the layers could have worked.  But I really liked the way it looked, and didn’t want to risk messing it all up by starting over.  So, leaving well enough alone, the gold stayed as you see it here.

For a while, the lid and chest were glued only at the hinges.  It gave me time to think things over, make sure nothing needed to change.  Considered letting it stay that way, in case the model ever needed a touch-up in later years, but the hinges started… hinging.  The glue I’m using was Zap-a-Gap.  It’s not really supposed to flex like that.  Eventually, the whole chest was glued permanently to the base.  Seeing how the lid was bending back and forth, it just seemed more secure this way.

That pretty much completed everything except the two main figures.  I suppose when I attach them, the hole in the ground will have to be better fitted, and painted.  But that’s going to wait until the figures are both done and I see how they need to stand.

The Phantom and Devil Resin Model Kit, part 3

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Mar 052012

This next step took a while.  After some smoothing, filling in a few cracks… and even getting rid of a few thumbprints from the sculptor…  it was time to paint.  My initial desire was to paint The Phantom.  The project seemed big, and overwhelming, and I thought starting with him would be the best way to begin.  Until realizing there was no Purple in the paint box.

So, the following day required a trip to Michael’s to stock up on paint.  In the meantime, I wanted to paint something, anything, so the base got, well, base-coated.  Usually, my base coats are black or gray.  In this case, dark brown seemed good, since my first thing to paint was the sandy path.  Worked it up lighter and lighter, until it seemed about right.  Then the grass and bushes.  I really wanted the bushes to look “Amazon rain forest”, but they turned out kind of the same color as the grass.  Not intentionally, but the end result was the same.  After nearly giving up, Monique inspired me to mix a little yellow in the green and dry-brush the middle plant.  It worked well.  Broke up the monotony, and gave me some of that vivid color I’d wanted.

A little extra here and there, and the base was pretty much finished.  Not counting the treasure chest, which I’ll show next post.

Below, you’ll notice I filled in the hole where Devil’s leg was supposed to be attached.  The pieces just didn’t fit that way, unless the Phantom was tilted at an odd angle to make his arm attach to the hand.  It just looked awkward.  The solution:  fill in the hole, carve the grass across to make it look right, and paint over.  Now the wolf can go wherever he needs to, and the Phantom can stand up correctly.

The Phantom and Devil Resin Model Kit, part 2

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Mar 052012

Once the pieces were trimmed, it was time to start assembly.  It made sense to have the Phantom and Devil built and shaped before painting them.  The skull was originally solid, with part of the post sticking out of it.  I looked for the rest of the staff, but couldn’t find one.  So I used a chopstick.  Scraped and scored the stick to give it a wood-grain, stained it brown.  Drilled the skull hollow so it could rest on top of the staff.

For Devil, and the Phantom, I used Tamiya putty.  It’s great at attaching pieces together, and also building up where the pieces are short or missing portions.  Phantom’s arm needed to be lengthened a bit, and both of Devil’s front legs needed some buildup.  I’m not great at this part, but it came out well enough.  After sanding the excess down and smoothing it, took a sharp tool and continued the ‘fur’ pattern.  Overall, it turned out pretty well.

These pictures are after some basic sanding, but before adding detail:

Lee Falk’s The Phantom and his mountain wolf Devil

 Heroes, Resin Models, The Phantom  Comments Off on Lee Falk’s The Phantom and his mountain wolf Devil
Mar 042012

This is my first post here, and it seemed most appropriate to begin with the model I’m currently working on.  Since childhood, I’ve been a fan of the Phantom, eventually collecting most of the original paperback novels.  This particular model has an interesting history, having originally been designed as part of Aurora’s model series of the 60’s and 70’s.  For some reason, it never made it to production.  Years later, the same design was re-sculpted.  Having seen pictures of the original, I think I like the re-sculpt better, which is what I’m working with here.

I’ve had this model for years, but had lost interest in modeling for a while.  If memory is correct, this one came from Mojo Resin.

As these pics show, first it needed a fair amount of trimming and cutting.  Thanks go to my good friend Terry for the Black and Decker tool kit.  Makes cutting and shaping far easier!!

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