I take any and all sorts of commissions, I've even painted military insignia on a wobble-headed Darth Vader so I am no stranger to non wargaming painting. This rugby player was for a friend of my client as a going away present. He is a rugby fanatic and a long time follower of Leicester Tigers. The first challenge was finding a suitable model. This is where problems began, just try searching for suitable sports miniatures. Hard isn't it? In the end I hit upon trophies as a possible source of the model. Lots of sports trophies have a representation of the player on them and with a little searching I found this fellow:
"Perfect," thought I, "fairly nice sculpting and probably a fair size". I ordered one and started researching the Leicester kit. Then the trophy arrived and looked great:
Until I turned it around:
Darn, it's one of those designed to sit flat against the wall. Of all the bad luck. No word of this on the web site where I bought it of course but hey ho. Time to fix the problem rather than grumbling about it. First, remove it from the base so it can be worked.
A razor saw is an invaluable tool for this kind of work. The wide, thin blade is held rigid by the folded metal spine and the tiny teeth allow lots of smooth cutting action with minimal pressure applied. Once removed I could identify the areas of the resin that needed to be shaved away from the model.
Carving away the resin and texturing it to match the sculpting of the socks was a fairly straightforward matter of carving with a scalpel and thin needle file. Once this was completed I needed to sculpt the flattened areas of the model to be properly three dimensional.
The flattened areas were scored with the razor saw to help the green stuff key to the model. The main bulk of the buttocks and heel were roughed out and left to dry. I carved the green stuff smooth and then added the detail of the folds etc. Finally, the model was ready for painting, he was huge too so lots of room for detail. To show how large, enter Ms Funnymoney:
Painting started with the Tigers strip, through a good deal of google searching I had got about twenty reference shots of the relevant kit.
The stripes of the kit were the first challenge, I roughed them out with strips of masking tape to help keep them parallel and then tidied them by eye later.
[The pixallated area is to protect the privacy of the client whose name is underneath] I had a photograph of the person the model was for and spent some time matching his skin tone using custom mixes of some very odd paint tones. I will use this moment to ask an open question to all manufacturers of miniature paint: WHY IS YOUR ONLY FLESH TONE CAUCASIAN!? That is all.
Oddly enough, it is not really the colours of the strip that make it recognisable as genuine sports kit but the logos of the sponsors. I can honestly say that the CAT logo gets kinda boring after a while! Worth it though as the little details like the Heineken Cup patch and all the other logos give him that authentic feel. The close up of the face shows all the extra subtle detail that you can put into a model at this scale. Stubble, eyebrows, irises, twelve or so blended layers for the highlights. Lots of fun to produce the result.
It is nice to finally publish this as it has been a while since I finished him! I always sit on present commissions until I have confirmation that the intended recipient has got their surprise in! Hope he likes it. Until next time: