Sunday, 27 October 2013

Hope Summers (X-Men)

The first mutant born after M-Day, Hope Summers is believed to either be the mutant messiah or the harbinger of death for humanity. She is an Omega-level power mimic, and possesses a connection to the Phoenix Force.

Hope was the first mutant born after the events of Decimation. She was born in Cooperstown, Alaska to Louise Spalding and an unknown man, with Cerebro blowing up the moment little baby Hope was born. Cooperstown was attacked by the Purifiers soon after, who had been warned of the baby's birth by the time-traveling sentinel known only as Nimrod. Hope was the only child left unharmed after the Purifiers attacked and was eventually saved by Cable. Cable claimed that the baby, Hope, was the messiah and was destined to save all mutants and all of humankind alike. However, there were those, such as Bishop and the Purifiers, who believed that the birth of Hope was the end, that she was a sort of "Antichrist," who was destined to kill a million humans in six minutes. This would be responsible for turning humanity against mutants once again, and creating a new era of mutant persecution (which would one day turn out to be the timeline in which Bishop was born).

Hope Summers was created by Mike Carey (writer) and Chris Bachalo (artist). Hope Summers made her comic book debut in January 2008 in the pages of X-Men #205. Although, Hope Summers is technically first referenced in the pages of New X-Men #36, which prophesied her coming. Hope's birth was first mentioned in the pages of X-Men: Messiah Complex one shot and it wasn't until Cable #10 that the powerful baby girl was given the name Hope Summers.

This is a very popular character in the Marvel Universe, a very contemporary character featured in quite a few major storyline's in recent years. A very iconic figure which needed a base that would reflect her perfectly. I chose the Shadowcat figurine for the base, perfect stance and shape.

I had to first re-position the right arm closer to the body, then remove the hand and position it so it could hold a gun.

For the sculpt, I started with the legs and arms, creating the bandaged look, this was followed by elbow pads, and shoulder pads, plus the metal double 'V' shaped armour that sits just below the knees. The final part of the body was to add the inverted metal knee pads.

The cloak itself was built in stages, starting with the material gathered around the neck, flowing to the shoulders, then gradually building up the main part of the cloak. The cloak in itself is quite distinctive, very worn, and frayed, but I also wanted to create some movement by making it flow to one side, as if blown by a gust of wind. The final thing to do was add the gun, and it needed to be a big gun. I happened to have a spare gun I'd removed from a Forge figurine, which fit the look perfectly.

The picture at the start of this post was my inspiration for the look of this figurine.

Below you'll find the stages in applying the paint, with various shades of green used for the costume, and various browns for the cloak, and bandages. With the cloak I wanted to create a worn leather look to it. It needed to look battered, but not just in the shape but in the texture of the paint. I used around six different shades of brown to get this look, using a mixture of Citadel paints and Vallejo Game colour paints.

Hope Summers

The following photo's are of the basic stages used in applying the paint effects on Hope, showing all four sides.

*Click on each photo to see a larger version of each of the images.

*Thank you to Comic Vine for the origin information for Hope Summers.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

1970's Captain Britain

Born and raised in the quaint English town of Maldon in Essex, Brian Braddock lived a quiet life with his family. He has two siblings, elder brother Jamie Braddock and twin sister Betsy Braddock. After his parents' death in what appeared to be a lab accident (but was later revealed to be their murder by the sentient computer Sir James Braddock had built), Brian left his family home to study at the Thames University in London. During a term break Brian worked at Darkmoor Nuclear Research Facility. Whist working at Darkmoor the facility is attacked by a villain know as the Reaver, intent on kidnapping the scientists to sell to various dictatorships. Brian escaped and tried to reach help on his motorcycle but the Reaver, who wanted the authorities to believe the scientists had died in a reactor accident, ran Brian off the road. He crashed down the side of a cliff, and was fatally wounded, but woke to find himself faced by the image of the magician Merlyn and his daughter, Roma (then calling herself the Lady of the Northern Skies).

This mystical pair offer him the chance to save his life. As the Reaver and his men closed in to finish Brian off, the two mages gave Brian a choice between the ' Amulet of Right' and the ' Sword of Might'. Deciding he wasn't much of a fighter, he selected the amulet and was transformed into Captain Britain, easily defeating the Reaver's men. The Reaver grabbed the sword and was likewise transformed, but despite this Brian still managed to defeat him and rescue Darkmoor's scientist. From then on, whenever Brian wanted or needed to be Captain Britain all he had to do was touch the amulet of right.

Captain Britain was created by Chris Claremont and Herb Trimpe, and first appeared in Captain Britain #1 in 1976.
This is a custom I've done before, and there is only one figurine that fits perfectly, that of Angel. The build, the stance, and the hair, all make it a perfect figurine to use.
The sculpt itself was relatively simple, with just the wings to remove, and costume lines to hide. I added to staff, which was his original weapon, when he first started out in 1976, later replaced with a golden sceptre, which gave him the power of flight. I also added a flick of hair at the front to give him a more traditional CB look, and finally to hide the mouth with a small amount of Milliput..
Most customs I do are more complicated with the sculpt than the painting, but not the case with this custom. The costume itself is quite detailed, and you have to make sure you get it right. His 70's costume is the most Iconic one he's ever had, and the Union Jack's on his arms, and head are very small, but need to look right. Below you'll find the stages I used to create is costume.
1970's Captain Britain

The following photo's are of the basic stages used in applying the paint effects on Captain Britain, showing all four sides.

*Click on each photo to see a larger version of each of the images.

*Thank you to Comic Vine for the origin information for Corsair.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013


Wraith's background is shrouded in mystery, he first appeared during the second part of the Annihilation Saga. He is on a mission that is his own.

Allegedly driven into a self-imposed exile by the Kree merchant houses for creating a device that could "bring light to the entire galaxy," the Kree inventor Sim-Del and his family were targeted for death by a secret Kree military society. The boy Zak-Del witnessed his parents' brutal slaughter by a man wearing the society's signet ring before the family's robot sent him off on a spaceship. The ship fell through a wormhole into the Exoteric Latitude, home to the pale androgynous Nameless Kree - survivors of a long-lost exploration team possessed by the native swarming Exolon soul parasites - one of whom stabbed Zak-Del in the heart, releasing his soul to feed the Exolon, who possessed him, making him a Nameless Kree. The former Zak-Del grew up learning their barbaric ways, discovering how intense pain was evidently all that enabled them to remember their former lives, but the need to avenge his parents' murders allowed the now-grown man to consciously recall his past. Defeating the Nameless' leader, the young man took the leader's weapon and spacecraft and escaped.

Wraith was created by Javier Grillo-Marxuach and Kyle Hotz, first appeared in Annihilation Conquest: Prologue #1.

For my base figurine I wanted a grim looking character with a slim build, and my original idea was to have him brandishing his sword. Hellstorm was the perfect choice, even though I would have to cover a large proportion of him with a cloak.

I removed Hellstorm's cloak, and trident, then smoothed away the boots, belt and hair. I started the sculpt by applying Milliput to the arms and legs, then carved lines into them to give the bandaged look. Next it was a case of adding the belt, leg strap and gun holster, before starting work on the cloak. Once the cloak was added, allowing for the longer drop at the back, and to create some movement, it was the hair next. The hair needed to be messy, and was created in three stages, first the basic hair shape, then thin strands placed on top, with a ponytail added on top of that. The final part of the sculpt was to create the gun-type-whip thing.

With the paint application, I needed to give some clear definition between all the black, and the brown parts. It depends on what art you view to what colour the gun is, sometimes brown, sometimes black, I decided to go for brown so it would stand out against all the black. For the cloak I used silver for the design on top of all the black. Skull White, Fortress Grey and Chaos Black for the streaked hair, and Glacier Blue for the skin.


The following photo's are of the basic stages used in applying the paint effects on Wraith, showing all four sides.

*Click on each photo to see a larger version of each of the images.

*Thanks to Blake Newman for the fantastic mock Wraith cover at the start of this post.

*Thank you to Comic Vine for the origin information for Corsair.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Corsair (Starjammers)

Corsair was the father of Cyclops, Havok, and Vulcan, as well as captain of the Starjammers.

Corsair started out as a test pilot for the National Aeronautical Space Administration of the United States Air Force before being kidnapped by the Shi'ar. Eventually freeing himself, he went on to lead a team of space pirates called The Starjammers.

Major Christopher Summers was flying himself, his wife and their two young sons in their private plane down the Western American coast from Alaska. During this trip their plane is suddenly attacked by a starship from the alien Shi'ar Empire on an exploratory mission to Earth. The Shi'ar pursue Summers's craft to prevent them from making their presence on Earth known to the general public. The Shi'ar craft fires on Summers' plane, causing it to burst into flame. Unable to find more than one usable parachute in time, his wife Katherine Anne put it on her eldest son Scott, told him to hold on to Alex, and pushed them both out the plane door, hoping to save them both. Thinking them dead when he saw their parachute catch fire, he abandones all hope for them. Christopher and his wife are teleported aboard the Shi'ar starship and taken to the Shi'ar Imperial Throneworld of Chandilar.

Corsair was created by Chris Claremont and Dave Cockrum in 1977 and first appeared in X-Men # 104.
Corsair, a very popular character from the X-Universe, and one I was surprised wasn't included in the collection by Eaglemoss. Very iconic, a swashbuckling space pirate that I wanted to look very flamboyant. I originally bought a Forge figurine to use as my base, but changed my mind and went for a Yellowjacket one instead, but used Forge's head. The Yellowjacket figurine has such a great dynamic stance, and great muscle definition.
As I've already mentioned I removed Yellowjackets head, and replaced it with Forges, plus removed the black fins. The hardest thing is trying to get the head to look natural once it's been re-attached to the body. The problem is trying to get the neck length right, and positioned at the right angle, lots of trial and error. Once this is done it's a case of adding the bits of the costume, using Milliput. I started with the waistband, then collar, gloves, Scarf effect hanging from waistband, headband, jewel on waistband, hanging bits on headband, jewell on headband, hair, space-gun, and sword.
Once all of the above was done it was a case of applying the paint, but rather than talk through the process, I thought I'd show each stage as I painted him.
The following photo's are of the basic stages used in applying the paint effects on Corsair, showing all four sides.

*Click on each photo to see a larger version of each of the images.
*Thanks to Blake Newman for the fantastic mock Corsair cover.

*Thank you to Comic Vine for the origin information for Corsair.