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Custom Kitsune Sorcerer Mini (WIP)

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#1 Matrix Dragon

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 01:13 PM

Hey, I'm new around here and would like to share some WIP pictures of a custom miniature project that I've been working on lately. This is the first time I've done anything like this, so suggestions are appreciated :D

I recently created a Kitsune Sorcerer character for Pathfinder and have been driven crazy by the complete lack of suitable miniatures to represent him with. After doing a lot of searching and some research I finally decided to attempt some 'miniature surgery' to create one of my own. The pictures below are of the best 'prototype' I've been able to come up with so far. I'm planning to eventually redo this once I've perfected my methods (hopefully with nine tails instead of three, but I'm not sure if that will work out too well).

Akari before prime - angle small.jpg Akari before prime - side small.jpg

Basically, I took two Reaper miniatures (a werefox and a "Piers, Young Mage"), cut their heads off with a jewelry saw, and glued the fox head to the mage. I made a few mistakes here: the mage's pony tail wasn't cut off properly and I didn't use the same metal types for the minis, but I'm hoping to correct that in a final version.

After that, I coiled three copper wires together, drilled a hole for them (set so it looks like they come out from under his robe of course), and glued them to the mini to serve as a base for the tails. Then I used some Procreate putty for the tails themselves. Yea, someone with more experience could have done a better job with the fur and shape of the tails themselves, but I'm relatively happy with how it came out ;)

I'm going to prime and paint this mini to serve as a placeholder until I perfect my methods. I'll post the finished pictures at some point.

The main thing I need to figure out is a way to remove the ponytail from the Piers mini without creating a messed up area on the back of the 'robe'. I'm currently trying to shave it off with a dremel, but the thing skips around way too easily on even the lowest setting. Maybe I'm using the wrong type of dremel head for this kind of metalwork?
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#2 Jordan Peacock

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 04:13 PM

I love how it's a MULTI-tailed kitsune/fox guy. I figure that's the surefire way to say "this is a kitsune" rather than just "it's a fox-guy." :D So far, very nice!

As far as shaving off the ponytail, I would just use a dulled Exacto blade, or boxcutter blade to shave the bulk of the detail off, THEN go back in and "buff" whatever remains.

Also, if you're having trouble with the Dremel skipping around "even on the lowest setting," you've probably got it backwards. Running the Dremel at its lowest setting is MORE LIKELY to skip. If you want it to be less likely to shoot off when you hit something, have it at a HIGHER setting. You will have to use more force to hold it in place, true, but in my experience it's more likely to buzz through a bit of lead rather than sticking and kicking back. Of course, the problem is that if/when it DOES skip off, it's more likely to buzz through some details you didn't want to grind down. As someone told me, "The Dremel can be your best friend. The Dremel can also be your WORST ENEMY."

No, I don't have any good reason why that would be the case, other than purely anecdotal "evidence" based on my limited experience.

#3 haldir

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 05:55 PM

looks great so far

might try a chisel exacto blade as well or even the curved blade.
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#4 Bruunwald

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 06:13 PM

Very nice! I was making one myself not too long ago: a kitsune bard made with the Pathfinder iconic bard (a halfling), with a fox-person head and legs grafted on.
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#5 Corporea

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 07:21 PM

what a fantastic idea! watching...
oh, you mean I can put stuff here?  cool!  now to think of something...

#6 Matrix Dragon

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 08:11 PM

I love how it's a MULTI-tailed kitsune/fox guy. I figure that's the surefire way to say "this is a kitsune" rather than just "it's a fox-guy." :D So far, very nice!

As far as shaving off the ponytail, I would just use a dulled Exacto blade, or boxcutter blade to shave the bulk of the detail off, THEN go back in and "buff" whatever remains.

Also, if you're having trouble with the Dremel skipping around "even on the lowest setting," you've probably got it backwards. Running the Dremel at its lowest setting is MORE LIKELY to skip. If you want it to be less likely to shoot off when you hit something, have it at a HIGHER setting. You will have to use more force to hold it in place, true, but in my experience it's more likely to buzz through a bit of lead rather than sticking and kicking back. Of course, the problem is that if/when it DOES skip off, it's more likely to buzz through some details you didn't want to grind down. As someone told me, "The Dremel can be your best friend. The Dremel can also be your WORST ENEMY."

No, I don't have any good reason why that would be the case, other than purely anecdotal "evidence" based on my limited experience.


Thanks! Yea, I could have just made this simple by attaching the fox miniature's tail instead of trying to add my own, but it wouldn't have felt like it was a kitsune ;)

I would never have thought of running the Dremel on max power... I think I'll have to try that (carefully).

Very nice! I was making one myself not too long ago: a kitsune bard made with the Pathfinder iconic bard (a halfling), with a fox-person head and legs grafted on.


Mind if I ask which 'fox person' legs you grafted on? I tried doing the same thing with the same with the minis that I mentioned above, but it didn't really look right. Then again, maybe you got it to look right by replacing the entire legs instead of just the lower parts...

looks great so far

might try a chisel exacto blade as well or even the curved blade.


what a fantastic idea! watching...


Thanks!

#7 Matrix Dragon

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 09:53 PM

I'm already wishing that I had come to these forums earlier...

I began work on another of the mage minis. This time I dealt with the ponytail with an exacto knife and then just used the dremel for cleanup. The results were soooo much better.

After trying to prime the one above with spray on primer, I think I'm going to use some reaper paint on primer for the final one. Those tails just add on way too many weird angles for the spray on stuff to apply properly.

I'm pondering if I actually should try to make the final mini into a 'Nine-Tailed Fox'. Fun concept, but actually fitting nine tails onto the mini might have to violate some sort of law of physics in order to look right.
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#8 Pole

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 11:07 PM

To get nine tails on the mini, they will most likely have to be much thinner. I really like the look you have going right now. Nine may crowd it a bit.

Watching this one with interest. Keep it up!

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#9 Matrix Dragon

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 11:27 AM

To get nine tails on the mini, they will most likely have to be much thinner. I really like the look you have going right now. Nine may crowd it a bit.

Watching this one with interest. Keep it up!

Thanks!

The real problem with nine tails would be finding a way to implant nine wires into the back of the mini while keeping them close together so it looks like they all emerge from a single point. Three wires coiled together already matches the thickness of the biggest drill bit that I have, lol.

Yea, I think I'm going to just stick with three tails for now.

#10 Panzer_Engel

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 04:51 PM

For the nine tails, you could probably get away without support for all of them, or even with all of them being 'complete', as you'd probably have to sculpt them as a single unit (take a look at nine-tails in art, and you'll see they're either depicted as a fan shape, or flowing back as a single unit.) Also, remember that the tails bulk is mostly fur, which will easily compress where they're in contact with each other.

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#11 Jordan Peacock

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 08:18 PM

If you went with nine tails, you'd likely just end up with something like a peacock tail (ha!), fanned out, in order to fit them and for it not to look rather silly (although even then, it'd be a challenge). Anyway, personally, I think 2-4 tails is more appropriate for an "adventurer" type. 9 tails I think would be more appropriate for *THE* boss-fox. :D

#12 klawzie

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 08:28 PM

If it helps any (maybe not), in my stories/art, my kitsune character has earned three tails, but only "displays" one for various reasons excepting for formal (or perhaps fighting) occasions. If your kitsune has earned up to nine, perhaps he only "displays" three so that he shows he has experience, but the rest don't get in his way.

It goes without saying that I'm following the thread, but I don't really have enough sculpting experience (and no modding experience) to help you out with.

#13 Matrix Dragon

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 11:45 PM

For the nine tails, you could probably get away without support for all of them, or even with all of them being 'complete', as you'd probably have to sculpt them as a single unit (take a look at nine-tails in art, and you'll see they're either depicted as a fan shape, or flowing back as a single unit.) Also, remember that the tails bulk is mostly fur, which will easily compress where they're in contact with each other.

. . . And that your sketch-pad is your best friend when converting models, and should be the first tool you reach for.


Hmmm, that method might work and would probably be more manageable than what I'm doing. Unfortunately, I don't think I have the sculpting experience necessary to get that to look right yet :(

If you went with nine tails, you'd likely just end up with something like a peacock tail (ha!), fanned out, in order to fit them and for it not to look rather silly (although even then, it'd be a challenge). Anyway, personally, I think 2-4 tails is more appropriate for an "adventurer" type. 9 tails I think would be more appropriate for *THE* boss-fox. :D

If it helps any (maybe not), in my stories/art, my kitsune character has earned three tails, but only "displays" one for various reasons excepting for formal (or perhaps fighting) occasions. If your kitsune has earned up to nine, perhaps he only "displays" three so that he shows he has experience, but the rest don't get in his way.

It goes without saying that I'm following the thread, but I don't really have enough sculpting experience (and no modding experience) to help you out with.


Hah, true, nine tails could easily end up being unmanageable and funny looking. Also, saying that he is 'hiding' some of the tails would be a good workaround. Still, I've been becoming a fan of the way a nine tailed fox has been displayed in various video games and mangas lately, so I'm going to have to at least try it and see how ridiculous it looks on a miniature. ;)

I know I said I was going to stick with three tails for now... but I thought of a good way to fit more tails in that I had to try out. Right now I'm waiting for the glue on a 'six tailed' version to dry so I can apply the clay. Basically, I realized that the tails for the three tailed version I posted earlier are actually coming out way below the waistline. Simply raising the hole would look weird because of the way the robe is set up, so I decided to cover the area by adding more tails (two birds with one stone).

Maybe six tails will be a good balance between 'awesome' and 'silly looking', hah. I'm also hoping that since I have the tails coming out over a single vertical line it will hide that they're not coming out of the same spot, but we'll see how that works.

Akari Six Tail wip.jpg

I'm surprised by the number of people interested in this... maybe with some luck Reaper will take notice and start making some kitsunes of their own for Pathfinder (muahaha)
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#14 Jordan Peacock

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 09:16 AM

Heh. Seeing those six wires radiating out reminds me of the Brotherhood Mystics from Mutant Chronicles. (They had "power stabilizer" packs on their backs with these vanes/pipes/whatever radiating out -- typically 4 or 6 of them.) Yeah, I know, that was way off topic, and a bit of a non-sequitur ... but it was the first thing to spring to mind.

Perhaps if you could find a figure of a seated figure, the "fan" of tails might be easier to pull off without looking too awkward? But then, I don't suppose I see too many of those.

#15 Matrix Dragon

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 01:07 AM

Heh. Seeing those six wires radiating out reminds me of the Brotherhood Mystics from Mutant Chronicles. (They had "power stabilizer" packs on their backs with these vanes/pipes/whatever radiating out -- typically 4 or 6 of them.) Yeah, I know, that was way off topic, and a bit of a non-sequitur ... but it was the first thing to spring to mind.

Perhaps if you could find a figure of a seated figure, the "fan" of tails might be easier to pull off without looking too awkward? But then, I don't suppose I see too many of those.


Hah XD

Hmmm, I can see how a seated figure would make more sense, but I can't help but think it would seem even sillier to be moving around something like that on a playmat ;)

Started working on putting Procreate putty on the six tailed one. Since the tails are so close together it is next to impossible to work on one without bumping into the others, so I'm going to have to work on these two at a time. After completing one set I'll give them a day to harden so I don't mess them up when I work on the next set. Maybe I should get one of those 'ovens' I keep hearing about to get the putty to harden faster.





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