Thursday, 29 May 2014

Havok (X-Men)

Havok is the son of Corsair and brother of Cyclops and Vulcan and has led both the Brotherhood of Mutants and X-Factor. After a stint as leader of the Starjammers, Havok returned to Earth and to his former team X-Factor. He currently leads Captain America's new Uncanny Avengers.

Alexander Summers is the younger son of Christopher and Katherine Summers, and younger brother to Scott. Christopher was a test pilot for the air force, and was flying a private plane with his family on board when the plane was attacked by a spaceship from the Shi'ar Empire. There was only one parachute, so Katherine strapped it to Alex and Scott before pushing them out of the plane.

Both boys survived the crash, but Scott suffered a serious head injury upon landing. Taken into care with the belief that their parents dead, Scott and Alex were separated. Alex was adopted by the Blanding family who had recently lost their son. Todd Blanding had been killed in a car crash. His new parents tried to make Alex the same as Todd, and Alex tried his hardest to please them. When the boy who caused Todd's death attacked Alex, Alex's mutant powers surfaced. However, raging out of control, his plasma blasts accidentally incinerated the boy. No one was aware that Mr. Sinister had been monitoring Alex ever since he had been adopted. He then placed genetic locks on Alex to stop him from developing his mutant powers again. As a side effect of the blocks, Alex also forgot what had happened and how he had killed a boy.

Havok was created by Arnold Drake and Don Heck and first appeared in The X-Men #54 (1969).

Havok has a certain iconic pose which I wanted to capture when creating this custom. This particular costume is his original, and most popular, which many feel should have been the costume released by Eaglemoss. I chose the Atom figurine for the base for a couple of reasons, first the stance, and secondly the body shape.

To prepare this figurine I had to remove it from it's DC base, and position on to a Marvel one, then hide any costume lines with a thin layer of Miliput.

The only real bit of sculpting needed was the 'Egg-beater' shaped headpiece. I built this in three stages, first the band that runs along the centre of his head, then the two side pieces, and finally the gem in the centre of his head.

A basic set of colours needed for this one, Chaos Black (Abaddon Black) for the main costume, Mithril Silver for the head-piece, and collar, Skull White for the chest circle, Blood Red for the gem, and Elf Flesh for the skin, with Dwarf flesh for the skin tone.

The hardest part of painting this figure was painting the circle in the middle of his chest. When you buy a new paint brush, the brush part is protected by a tube of plastic, the tip of one of these I dipped in to the white paint, then pressed it against his chest, which gives you an almost perfect circle, with only a small amount of touch up needed. To finish, carefully paint the outer circle, evenly around the edge of the main circle.


The following photo's are of the stages used in applying the paint effects on Havok.

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

*Thank you to Comic Vine for the origin information on Havok.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Maggott (X-Men)

Maggott is an unusual mutant, with the power to digest anything through the use of two slugs that inhabit his body, as well as the power to gain strength from that energy. He was an X-Man and died at the hands of Weapon X.

He was born in South Africa, Japheth was one of five brothers. Since he was a little kid, he was always sick, and pretty weak. His stomach grew in abnormal proportions and the doctors told his parents that he had stomach cancer. His father worked very hard at the mines to support the family and to pay the medical bills for Japheth. But despite his efforts, it wasn't enough to support a family that big. One night Japheth acidentally heard his mother praying to God, she asked him to spare Japheth and them the agony and take him away fast.

The very next day, he stole the family jeep and went far into the desert until he ran out of gas. He wanted to die right there, far from his mother and release them from the agony and economical loss he represented. But what Japheth didn't know was that his little brother was sleeping in the back of the jeep. He wanted to save his brother, that was clueless on what was really happening, he thought it was an adventure with his brother. They walked and walked until they couldn't move, he was giving up, and blaiming himself for killing his brother. Suddenly Magneto appeared and using his powers stopped the pain in the boys bodies. He also used his powers on Japheth, and two big slugs came out of Japheth's oversized stomach.

Magneto accompanied the boys that night. He told Japheth about mutants and their destiny to lead the world, and how they are persecuted just for being born, but Japheth didn't fully understand what he was saying. The slugs seem only to eat, and each time they did, Japheth turned blue and got stronger. At morning Magneto took the boys home. When they returned home, they discovered that their older brother, whom Japheth admired like a hero was killed by the militia. His father went to look for revenge and Magneto accompanied him. When they reached the military base, Magneto killed them all, and left, telling Japheth that one day they would meet again. The slugs returned to his body, since they are actually his digestive system. For them to return they needed to eat through Japheth's skin, it's a very painful procedure.

The character of Maggott was created by Scott Lobdell and Joe Madureira for use in Marvel comics. The first appearance of Maggott is in Uncanny X-Men #345 which was released on June of 1997

I needed a large character as a base for Maggott, one that had a dynamic pose. I decided to use The Rhino, big and a great stance, one which would also allow the slugs to be highlighted.

For the preparation of this figurine the only bit I needed to remove was the horns on his head, and any raised lumps on his hide/skin armour. I then had to cover a large proportion of the body in a thin layer of Milliput to hide the rough texture of the skin, to create a smoother finish.

When customising a figurine you need to work out the layers of a piece, and build from the bottom layer up. With Maggott I had to start with the clothing under the trench coat before even considering how the trench coat would look.

I started with the boots, hiding the Rhino toes, and building the Milliput up to just below the calf muscles. I then added a toe-cap to the boot to give it shape, and height, and finally carved a line around the base of each foot to create a sole. Next up, I started on the trousers, building up from the boots, so they look like they are tucked in to the boots, then the groin area, carving a fly area, and creases around the leg joints. I added the belt next, sitting it just above the trouser sculpt, and finally the knee pads, which are built up in two stages, first the bulk around the knees, then the triple discs on each pad.

The next stage was to add the straps around the wrists, for the edge of his fingerless gloves, and then to top it off with two small discs on each side of each glove.

Next it was to turn my attention to the trench coat. I started with the open edge, laying Milliput along his chest to the point just above his thighs. It's then a case of building the shape of the coat in stages, following the shape of the body, and trying to make the material look natural, taking into account gravity, and any perceived movement. Once the main body of the coat had been achieved I added the collar, then the rolled up sleeves. The final stages were to add the shoulder pads, similar to the knee pads, in process, first the pads themselves, then the three discs on each shoulder. The discs on each shoulder and knees needed lines carved into them to match the art, looking like they'd been scratched.

I added the hair, and the round glasses to finish off the main figure, leaving just the slugs. The slugs were a simple case of carving the Milliput in to the correct shape, then adding the eyes.

Applying the paint was a real challenge in itself, trying to get the right shades to mirror the art. For the base colours I used Ultramarines Blue, Warlock Purple (Screamer Pink), Sunburst Yellow, Skull White, Fortress Grey, and Midnight Blue for the slugs. The skin colour was a mixture of Ultramarines Blue, Glacier Blue (Vallejo), a touch of Regal Blue, and a touch of Skull White.

Shade and tone was achieved by using Blue Ink and Liche Purple for the trousers/gloves, Blue Ink and Regal Blue for the coat, Blue Ink and Midnight Blue for the boots, Ice Blue and Glacier Blue for the T-Shirt, Vermin Brown and Golden Yellow for the shoulder discs, collar, and cuffs, a mixture of Chaos Black and Fortress Grey for the knee pads, and for the skin, Ultramarines Blue, mixed with a Glacier Blue. For the slugs I used Blue Ink, for the shading, and then Midnight Blue to highlight, with Red Gore, and Skull White to highlight the eyes. The same effect was used on the lens of his glasses


The following photo's are of the stages used in applying the paint effects on Maggott.

Here's a photo showing Maggott side-by-side with The Rhino, which shows how much was added to the original figurine to create the finished piece.

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

*Thank you to Comic Vine for the origin information on Maggott.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Angel - Yellow Costume

A mutant and original member of the X-Men. Warren received his angelic wings at a tender age, as well as a unique healing factor in his blood.

Warren Worthington III was born into an extremely rich family, but his comfortable life changed in his late teens when his mutant powers developed and he began to grow wings. Warren kept them hidden under his clothes and even wore a special harness that bound them down to his back to make them harder to notice. One night at school, a fire broke out and Warren had no choice except to jump out a window, in the hope that the wings would slow his fall. He found out that he could fly with them, and saved the other boys in his dormitory from the fire. The rescue inspired Warren to fight crime as the Avenging Angel, which brought him to the attention of Professor X). Xavier ran a school for mutants of which he secretly trained his mutant superhero team, the X-Men. When Angel first met the other X-Men, Cyclops and Iceman, he thought at first that they were thieves after a vial which he had retrieved from some thieves that night.

However, it turned out that the "vial" was actually a miniature nuclear bomb. Angel was able to fly into the atmosphere, where it was cold enough to deactivate the bomb. Angel then became one of the founding members of the X-Men.

Angel was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1963 and made his first ever appearance in X-Men #1. The first appearance of Angel in this costume was in X-Men #39 in 1967.

I used the original Angel figurine released by Eaglemoss for the base, for obvious reasons.

The only preparation needed for this one was to hide the costume lines, and then remove the wings so I could add the belt, and straps.

I added the belt first, followed by the shoulder straps, and finally the belt buckle, then re-attached the wings.

I used Sunburst Yellow, Blood Red, and Ultramarines Blue for the costume, Elf Flesh for the skin, and Skull White for the wings. Sunburst Yellow/Vermin Brown, Midnight Blue/Blue Ink, and Blood Red/Blue Ink for the shading on the costume. Chaos Black for the stripes on the wrist bands, Dwarf Flesh fir the skin shade, and a Vallejo Glacier Blue foe the wings.


The following photo's are of the stages used in applying the paint effects on Angel

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

*Thank you to Comic Vine for the origin information on Angel.