My latest is a fantastically, detailed 1/6 scale sculpt from ManoGK (sculpted by Iceberg ... one of the talented Siji Bros), called Lotus Angel Warrior. As always, she is hand-painted with acrylics. As I understand, she is based on a character from the Todd McFarlane Series, Spawn: The Samurai Wars. I tried to combine a number of influences to produce the image of our heroine in a Japanese garden complete with pond and lotus blossoms which seemed all too appropriate. I wanted her to have an ancient feel and went w/ a lot of copper / patina tones on her armor. I also used a painting of Guan Yin holding a lotus blossom as a guide for a free hand painting on the back of our heroine's skirt. If you have good eyes, you can see the lotus blossom in Guan Yin's hand. For the background, the kit came w/ a complex base that I interpreted as a dragon shrine and I tried to extend this notion by sculpting a bonsai-style tree around the shrine and used some of the swirls in the structure (along w/ some additional sculpting) to look like a small fountain and had it all collecting in a peaceful pool complete with lily pads and lotus blossoms that I sculpted as well. There were a lot of terrain effects created in this piece ... I will give some small details about what went into them.
Sorry about the wall of text ... it should keep you busy for a while ...
1). Tree - The tree armature was created with strands of heavy gauge wire. To build a tree that is 16 inches tall, you need to cut strands of wire 2 1/2 times 16 or 40 inches long. Depending on the "thickness" of the branches you want, you'll need anywhere from 9 to 16 strands of wire. Let's go w/ 9. Bend these 9 strands in half. So, now you have 18 ends together. Hold the wires at the bend and make a loop large enough to fit three or four fingers ... this loop forms the base for the tree. Twist the 18 strands together to make the trunk ... the more twists you make the longer the trunk will be. You can then start dividing the wires into sections that will form the major branches of the tree. To make the base, you'll divide the wires in the original loop into 3 groups of 3 loops ... twist each group and bend at right angles ... this will give you the structure for the "root ball" of your tree and allow the tree to stand on its own. Now back to the branches ... take the 18 wires that you've twisted and start "branching" them out in groups of 3 or 4 wires each and start twisting these together for an inch or two. You keep doing this branching technique ... splitting off groups of wires and slowly thinning the size of the branches by having fewer wires until you have a pair of wires forked at the end to make the final small boughs. Now you have a very movable / changeable skeleton for your tree ... you can bend and twist any of the branches to give the tree the shape you want. If you need more branches or thicker ones, you can use more wire to wrap around the existing branches / trunk. Once you are happy w/ the skeleton, it's time to create the bark. Use a "strong" plaster of your choice ... I use either Durham's Water Putty or Vatican Art Stone ... you don't want the plaster to be too runny or too lumpy (this will take some practice) and holding the tree upside down from the base, start brushing the plaster onto the tree .. it'll be a bit messy, but eventually it'll all be covered. You have to work somewhat quickly ... working time for plaster is in the 10 min range or so. Before it gets too hard, use a hobby knife and create a bunch of vertical cuts into the plaster to sculpt the bark pattern onto the tree. This doesn't have to be too accurate to get the right feel. Let the plaster dry completely. Now paint the tree to your liking ... I'd recommend priming the plaster white ... paint a light yellowish/greenish brown as the first layer and then a dark brown black wash over this to get into all the bark cuts. It's a 2 step process for the foliage ... 1). to create a nice depth at the ends of the branches, I use some cocoanut fiber and glue that to the ends in some clumps and 2). a product form Woodland Scenics called Foliage which is some clumpy stuff sprayed on a fibre mesh that you can tear and stretch to create very realistic clumpy/airy foliage.
2). Pond - The waterfall effects was a two-stepper ... one take the gloss of your choice (I used Woodland Scenics Water Effects) and brush it liberally onto some clear plastic wrap (yep the stuff you wrap up your leftovers with) and use the gloss to hold it in place on your base. Once it dries and you've painted and secured all of your base elements, a two-part clear resin was poured into the finished / painted base ... I added a couple drops of yellowish/greenish/brownish paint to simulate the murky water of a pond. As the resin was setting up, I dropped in my lily pads so they appear to float on the surface.
I hope you enjoy the piece. If you'd like to see more pics, please visit my website at: [link]
or checkout this collage on deviantArt: [link]