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MatrissaTheEnchantress

Juliette, "Fan Dancer" (my "sort of" entry for the Jan-Feb 2014 Painting Excuses "Paint into Picture" Category)

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Okay, so I really wanted to participate in the Painting Excuses: Paint Into A Picture Challenge contest but I just couldn't find the time to get anything done ... until today ... the day before the deadline.  <_<
 
Well, after some dithering, I decided I'd still give it the old college try and started working on it today. Unfortunately, I'm probably not going to complete it in time to submit it to the contest since my plan has always involved major mods to my KS1 Bones version of 03547: Juliette, Female Wizard and, as I'd never actually used Green Stuff before, I didn't realize how long it takes for it to cure enough to be sanded and painted (4-5 hours, according to the instructions that came in the tube, with 24 hours to reach full hardness). :wacko:
 
In any case, since I'm waiting for things to cure up, I figure I would start this thread and post the photo's of what I've already done.
 
First, here's the photo that the finished Juliette is to be placed into. It's kind of large, so I'm hiding it behind a spoiler tag.
 

post-6838-0-09779300-1389156927.jpg

 

 

 

 

What I'm doing is converting Juliette into a Japanese Geisha Fan Dancer.  ^_^

 

 

My first step was to cut off most of her hair and then use green stuff to turn it into something more like a Geisha's hair style. Then I removed the scroll in her right hand and the scroll pouch hanging off the right side of her belt and used green stuff to smooth out the rough patches left behind. Finally, I decided to give her a high collar and change the top of her blouse from a "keyhole" to be an open, low cut neck line.

 

post-8855-0-77152000-1393816733.pngpost-8855-0-55407800-1393816738.png

 

Next I created two fans for her to hold. I did this by using short wire segments to serve as the ribs of the fan with a thin layer of green stuff laid over them and sculpted to suggest an open fan.

 

post-8855-0-79949300-1393816742.pngpost-8855-0-99368000-1393816746.png

 

So that's what I'm waiting to cure up, but I believe I have shortened the wait a little. I found some advice online noting that green stuff cures faster when in an warmer environment so one can accelerated the process by warming things up a little, even by just aiming a desk lamp at it from a close position. It also noted that some professional sculptors create a little "green stuff oven" using an old coffee can and a desk lamp. Not having a coffee can to hand, I McGyvered something together by lining an empty plastic container with aluminum foil (shiny side visible), putting the figure and the fans in there and then placing my desk lamp right above it. So hopefully things will have cured enough for painting in maybe another half an hour to an hour (I stopped "fiddling" with the various green stuff bits around 5:00 PM PST and it's 7:31 PM PST as I'm typing, so two and a half hours have already 

 

post-8855-0-68937900-1393816750.png

 

 

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Stage 2: Green Stuff Clean Up

 

Once I was happy that the GS was "firm enough" I spent some time using needle files and my xacto knife to smoothing out her "decolletage" and giving the back of the fans some shaping similar to the front (which they didn't have because I made them flat on the table).

 

I only have metal needle files but I think this would have been an easier step for me if I'd had some of those "sanding needles" others have mentioned in the past because the grit goes right to the tip while the "rough" part of a needle file tends to diminish near the very tip of the file simply because there's not enough surface for the file pattern scoring to sit on.

 

 

Stage 3: Attaching the Fans

 
First I attached one fan to her right hand by using my xacto knife to completely separate her hand from her body and then I slipped the fan into the separate with "crazy glue" on the surfaces under the top hand and along the line where it would touch her hip and skirt. The second fan was a bit more tricky. I had wanted to bend her existing hand* up and around to hold it upwards but I couldn't make it stay where I wanted even after several boil and set cycles. 
 
* Which, in the bones model, is a wafer thin fin-like appendage. I believe she's one of the small set of discontinued bones models because of this flaw.
 
 
In the end, I sliced off the misbehaving appendage and then attached the fan in a downward position by first pinning a small bit of wire into her sleeve that extended out by a few millimetres. Then I put crazy glue along the wire and down the front of her sleeve and attached the top and sides of the fan to those surfaces. After the glue set I mashed up a tiny bit more green stuff, most of which I wrapped over the wire, onto the front and back and extended along the top edge of the fan but some of which I used to create a new hand holding the fan in approximately the right way.
 
post-8855-0-96873700-1393833624.pngpost-8855-0-93341100-1393833628.png
 
You can see on the front view that I accidentally poked through the front surface of her sleeve when I was drilling the pin hole with my pin-vise drill. That totally ticked me off, but the hole was deep enough and there wasn't much I could do about it at that point. You can also see that I'm not very good at modeling hands either. {shrug}  I might poke at her left hand digits with my xacto knife once it's cured to see if I can improve how they look.  
 
In any case, It's time for bed now (12:04 AM for me), but I'm actually quite pleased I managed to get all the mod'ing done so there's a slim chance I could get the paint job done before the 11:59 PM MST deadline (= 10:59 PM Pacific, which is my time zone). It really depends on when I can get out of the office tomorrow and whether anything comes up once I'm home to cause interruptions.
 
We'll just have to see, won't we. Fingers crossed.  ^_^
Edited by MatrissaTheEnchantress
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It's official - Juliette won't be finished in time to submit her to the contest since the deadline is less than an hour from now, but I did manage to complete her base coat this evening.

 

Stage 4:  Primed

 

First I used white brush on primer over the green stuff sections, then I coated the whole thing in brown liner. I did the white primer over the green stuff first because I wasn't sure that it would be okay to just go with brown liner right over it.  

 

post-8855-0-70487300-1393913076.png

 

I'm not really sure why the area around her neck and the inside of the collar picked up way less of the liner than anywhere else. It is a section that was covered in green stuff though, so all I can think is that the surface of the primer was still a bit wet or something. {shrug}  

 

 

Stage 5: Base coat

 

The main part of her dress is a lot of "Pure White" mixed with a tiny drop of "Old West Rose". The top layer of fabric down her back with the collar I added is "Pure White". Her waist band and boots are "Old West Rose" right out of the bottle. Her skin is "Fair Skin" out of the bottle with a thin glaze of "Pure White" mixed with some glaze medium over it. Her hair is "Walnut Brown" with the floral hair band based in white with some "Old West Rose" and the "Pure White"+"Old West Rose" from her dress dabbed along it. The paper part of each fan is about 50/50 "Brains Pink" and "Pure White". The ribs of the fans are "Tanned Leather" (which seemed suitable for bamboo).

 

.... And I just realized I forgot to base coat her belt pouch.  :down:   I'll probably base it with "Walnut Brown" since I don't want to use "Tanned Leather" again and I think adding another brown to the mix might look bad.

 

post-8855-0-24143700-1393913081.pngpost-8855-0-22040400-1393913085.png

 

 

 

Unfortunately, I won't be able to finish her up by tomorrow because I'll be spending most of my evening watching my son, who is in Grade 9, performing at his high school's Spring Band Concert (he plays drums and is in the Jr. Jazz Band), so now my goal is to finish by Wednesday evening.  ^_^

Edited by MatrissaTheEnchantress
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She is awesome, great conversion thus far. It's too bad life got in the way so that you couldn't finish her in time for the contest, but maybe another contest will pop up that you can enter her in. I look forward to seeing how she ends up looking. Keep it up!

Edited by ub3r_n3rd

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Despite not being able to make the deadline you've still got a wonderful piece being worked on.

 

Absolutely! She's also my first ever conversion, and, in a way, I'm kind of glad that I wasn't able to get past base coating because, had I gotten closer to "finished", I might have been tempted to rush parts of the job and ended up with a paint job I wasn't 100% happy with.

 

 

She is awesome, great conversion thus far. It's too bad life got in the way so that you couldn't finish her in time for the contest, but maybe another contest will pop up that you can enter her in. I look forward to seeing how she ends up looking. Keep it up!

 

That's a good point and one I hadn't thought about. At the very least, I could probably submit her to the next Painting Excuses contest in the "single figure" category.  ^_^

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She's looking great! I think I hear that yard long section of Green Stuff in my fridge calling me... Soon.... 

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Total Aside: I was just looking at the last photos I posted and it struck me exactly how different she looks from the original, unmodified model, even disregarding the fans she's holding. It's actually kind of amazing how something as small as a different hairdo and the removal of some molded elements totally changes the character of the piece.

 

Total Aside #2: Green stuff is weird. It isn't sculpted so much as ... I dunno ... stretched and prodded into place. I always had a lot of respect for the pro model makers out there but now I have about ten times more. Are all the other commonly used modeling materials similar (brown stuff, white stuff, milliput...)?

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In regards to your asides:

 

1 - It really is awesome what some modifications/conversions can do to a little figure. I had to look at the title of your thread again about it being Juliette to remember what she looked like beforehand, I painted mine up quite a while ago, but had to give her a painted on mask because the side of her face was mis-cast.

 

2 - Green stuff is much sticker than most of the other mediums out there, I make sure to handle mine with a petroleum jelly on my fingers/tools like vaseline (others use chapstick I've heard). 

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In regards to your asides:

 

1 - It really is awesome what some modifications/conversions can do to a little figure. I had to look at the title of your thread again about it being Juliette to remember what she looked like beforehand, I painted mine up quite a while ago, but had to give her a painted on mask because the side of her face was mis-cast.

 

2 - Green stuff is much sticker than most of the other mediums out there, I make sure to handle mine with a petroleum jelly on my fingers/tools like vaseline (others use chapstick I've heard). 

 

1. I guess I was kind of lucky then, that her face was fine, because of all the figures I considered her outfit was the closest to being "kimono like" although, as I mentioned earlier she had something more akin to a fin than to a left hand which you can kind of see this in the first pictures I posted (in fact, the flash and the angle of the photos actually make what little definition was actually there in the ways of fingers and thumb appear more prominent than they really were!)

 

2. Yes, I had read the tips on handling GS and used Vaseline - which made it less sticky but harder to hold onto! I also used a homemade tool I made out of a bamboo stick (as described in this article) which sort of worked, but I think, if I plan to do more of this, I should look into getting some actual sculpting tools. And since I bought one of the "tubes" of GS, I guess I'd better do more!  ::D:

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