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Author Topic: Re: Work In Progress--Deryni Action Figure Project (was Duncan Action Figure)  (Read 314297 times)

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Offline Evie

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Re: Work In Progress--Deryni Action Figure Project (was Duncan Action Figure)
« Reply #360 on: August 15, 2012, 01:27:25 pm »

Deryni medallions by evian_delacourt, on Flickr

Today's lunchtime finds--a tiny framed icon of Saint Camber and a Chartres Labyrinth medallion like the one that inspired the labyrinth plaque that Duncan gave to John Nivard for his ordination anniversary in my fanfic "Visionaries, Part Two."

Well, OK, obviously I didn't just happen find a ready-made icon of Saint Camber!   :D  But I did manage to find a lovely frame pendant charm that was perfect for creating a tiny icon of Saint Camber.  The picture, if you don't recognize the source, comes from the cover of the Codex Derynianus.  In the original "stained glass window" artwork, the Camber figure is offering a golden crown to the Kelson figure in the archway on the left side of the picture.  After shrinking the artwork down and cropping it to fit the frame, part of the crown is now missing, leaving what looks like a golden glowing orb over Camber's extended hand.  So in the framed icon, it looks like Camber is holding handfire.  

While the picture within the frame looks blurry in this photo, that's just the scanner's focus.  It's actually not blurry in the miniaturized original.  The picture also shows the two pendants a bit larger than they actually are.  The actual frame pendant is only 1" by .8", and the labyrinth pendant is .9" across.  I am thinking of going back to the store and getting a second frame pendant so that I can use one on a "shiral" charm bracelet and use the other as a diorama prop if I ever get a chance to build a roombox of Duncan's study.  I have used a thin coat of glue to secure the picture into the frame, and once the glue is fully dry, I think I will touch up the halo and handfire with metallic gold paint to give those bits a gold-leafed look and then seal the picture with a thin layer of gloss sealer to protect it and give it more of an overall painted or enameled look.  (I'll test first on a different picture to make sure the sealer doesn't cause the inkjet printer ink to blur.)  The frame pendant also comes in a copper color to match the labyrinth, so I might pick up one in that color and see which one I like best as the shrine icon for Duncan's study, and then use the remaining one for the shiral charm bracelet.
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Offline Evie

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Re: Work In Progress--Deryni Action Figure Project (was Duncan Action Figure)
« Reply #361 on: August 15, 2012, 02:39:29 pm »

Darker background icon by evian_delacourt, on Flickr

Remembering that a lot of the medieval pictures of this sort had a darker blue background due to the use of ground lapis lazuli to make the pigment, I tried color-changing the background in Gimp to create this result.  I haven't decided yet if I prefer this version or the original lighter blue background.  What do you think?  (Keep in mind that this picture isn't glued into the frame yet, so if it seems slightly crooked, that's why.)


Icon picture comparison by evian_delacourt, on Flickr

Here is a side by side comparison of the two versions of the picture.


Better focus on picture by evian_delacourt, on Flickr

In this attempt to scan the updated picture in the frame, the picture fell onto the glass, so at least that helps put it into better focus so you can see the fine details better.  This is actually closer to what I see when I look at it, although I had it positioned straight within the frame to start out with.  Keep in mind that the original is actually only about 50% the size of what you see in this photograph.  I think if I can add some gold paint to the details that are currently yellow, it will really "pop" in the same way that gold leafed figured on a lapis lazuli ground do in medieval manuscripts.  Though I think I would paint the entire picture first in clear sealer and let that dry before attempting to paint over it with water-based acrylic gold paint, since I don't want the inkjet inks to smear.

« Last Edit: August 15, 2012, 02:42:46 pm by Evie »
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Offline Jerusha

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Re: Work In Progress--Deryni Action Figure Project (was Duncan Action Figure)
« Reply #362 on: August 15, 2012, 02:55:40 pm »
I think I like the lighter blue Saint Camber better, because the stained glass effect shows up better and the "handfire" is clearer (although the darker blue one might not be your final version.)  It would look lovely as needlepoint, though larger, of course.  :)
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Offline Evie

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Re: Work In Progress--Deryni Action Figure Project (was Duncan Action Figure)
« Reply #363 on: August 15, 2012, 03:15:43 pm »
In the darker blue version, I'd be going for more of a solid lapis lazuli derived blue or, if the black lines still show up at all, for a mosaic look.  It would be more like the background in this picture of an artifact from ancient Ur, in which I believe that blue background is made from inset pieces of lapis lazuli:



If it comes across as a solid painted backdrop to the figure in the foreground, then I'm hoping to achieve something similar to the intense blues in this medieval manuscript illumination, which were probably created by mixing ground lapis lazuli pigment into an egg tempera or some other form of paint base:



So either way, it's not meant to be stained glass at all.  Even if I do go with the lighter blue version, I'd consider the black lines to be more like outlines of mosaic pieces, though whether the faux mosaic looks to be done in thin layers of light blue "stone" or "glass" would probably depend on how the final product looks once it's covered with a thin layer of glossy sealer.

In any case, the handfire and aura ought to become a lot clearer in the final version, if I am able to touch those areas up with metallic "gold leaf" paint.  I'd probably also do the book and that yellow line towards the bottom in gold as well, just to keep it all consistent.

Yes, it would look nice as a needlepoint pattern, wouldn't it?  So, when are you needlepointers going to get started on that?  I don't do needlepoint; it takes too long and I've got a short attention span.  ;)
« Last Edit: August 15, 2012, 03:18:14 pm by Evie »
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Offline Jerusha

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Re: Work In Progress--Deryni Action Figure Project (was Duncan Action Figure)
« Reply #364 on: August 15, 2012, 03:33:12 pm »
It's in the queue.   :)
From ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggity beasties and things that go bump in the night...good Lord deliver us!

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Offline Evie

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Re: Work In Progress--Deryni Action Figure Project (was Duncan Action Figure)
« Reply #365 on: August 15, 2012, 03:57:49 pm »
It's in the queue.   :)

LOL!  :)


Playscale medieval playing cards by evian_delacourt, on Flickr

I also decided today to try making a set of playscale medieval playing cards.  My original idea was to find a picture of some online, and then actually paint a copy of the symbols and pictures onto tiny bits of balsa or basswood, since the original playing cards were made of wood rather than cardstock.  However, after thinking this through a bit more, I realized that thin wooden cards, while more authentic, would be extremely fragile and would probably break if I so much as looked at them the wrong way, if I made them at 1:6 of their probable original thickness.  So instead, I sized a photo of some medieval cards so that it would look right for playscale, and then printed it up on heavy parchment paper.  This still wasn't quite heavy enough, so I folded the sheet in half and spread a thin layer of glue between them to glue the two halves into one double-thick sheet.  Once this dries, I will cut out the individual cards and see how well the experiment works.  I'm not crazy about how the wet glue between the layers is warping the paper a bit, but I am hoping it will dry flat enough if I weigh it down with a book or two, and that any remaining warping won't be too apparent when I cut apart the individual cards.  As for the backs of the cards, I might either leave those blank or else find some tiny rubber stamp and stamp some pretty motif onto the individual cards later.
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Offline Evie

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Re: Work In Progress--Deryni Action Figure Project (was Duncan Action Figure)
« Reply #366 on: August 16, 2012, 12:31:53 am »
And now for the update on today's projects.

I didn't like the way the original set of cards warped when I put Elmer's Glue between the layers, even though I was careful to spread it very thinly, and in the meantime I had happened across an even better photo of the card set on a different website, so I printed that up on another piece of the parchment paper, and this time when I folded it in half, I glued the two halves together with very thin layers of glue from a glue stick.  That ended up with a flawlessly smooth adhesion, and after about half an hour, I started cutting out the individual cards.


Mini medieval playing cards and framed icon by evian_delacourt, on Flickr

Here are some of my individual medieval cards along with the two version of the icon I printed up earlier in the day.  These cards are based on a set in The Cloisters museum.  Instead of the four familiar suits that we have on modern playing cards, this deck has a hunting theme, so the suits are collars, horns, tethers and nooses.  You can read about the originals at http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/1983.515.1-52 .  I made these slightly bigger than 1:6 size so that the details would show up well if I should end up using them in a photoshoot someday.  But for a sense of scale, in Duncan's 1:6 study (if I ever build one), that framed icon would be the equivalent of 6" tall.  In a regular 1:12 scale dollhouse, it would be a foot tall, and the playing cards would be way too large for regular dollhouse figures.


The full set by evian_delacourt, on Flickr

The full set.


After spraying with clear spray sealer by evian_delacourt, on Flickr

This is what the icon pictures looked like after I sprayed them with some clear spray sealer.  The icons are both still wet from the water resistant spray sealer, but the sealer didn't make the inkjet colors run, so everything looks good so far.  The lighter icon looks very muted now, though, while the darker one looks like it might be slightly lighter than it was.  I left these to dry for a couple of hours before I took the next step.

I also gave the deck of cards a light spray at the same time just to help fix the inkjet colors and make the cards moisture resistant.  If I ever do this again, I will spray the cards before cutting them out.  The little cards flew everywhere!   ::)


Final touches by evian_delacourt, on Flickr

Once the spray sealer was dry, the framed picture had returned to something closer to its original colors, but it still looked a bit muted.  I decided to start with the gold paint to see if that would help brighten things up overall.  It did help a bit, but it also made the pale blue background seem too faded out, so next I made a thin blue acrylic paint mix and lightly dabbed it into each blue "cell," being careful not to paint over the black lines so they would continue to look like mosaic tile edges.  (You can't really tell in this photo, but if you look very closely at the original, you can still make out the separate cells.)  That left Camber's gray robes looking a bit faded in comparison with the rest of the retouched icon, so I took just a bit of silver paint and drybrushed over the highlights in Camber's robe to accentuate them.  Once the paint had a few minutes to dry, I sealed the work with some gloss acrylic paint sealer.


(Not sure why this isn't showing up on my Flickr in the usual way....)

Here's an extreme close view of the icon that is much larger than life, so it shows up imperfections that aren't noticeable to the naked eye when you look at the original.  Even so, I think it turned out fairly well.  I wish the gloss sealer were a little bit shinier, but I might try a second coat tomorrow night, and if that doesn't do the trick, maybe some decoupage varnish like Mod Podge would help.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2012, 01:05:33 am by Evie »
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

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Offline AnnieUK

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Re: Work In Progress--Deryni Action Figure Project (was Duncan Action Figure)
« Reply #367 on: August 16, 2012, 02:54:06 am »
For a nice glazed finish, this stuff works well http://rangerink.com/?product=inkssentials%e2%84%a2-glossy-accents%e2%84%a2  or this stuff http://www.diamondglaze.com/ . They are the two I use when I want a nice glass-like surface.

Offline Evie

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Re: Work In Progress--Deryni Action Figure Project (was Duncan Action Figure)
« Reply #368 on: August 16, 2012, 09:36:55 am »
Ooh!  OK, reading the description of that last one gave me an idea, but since I haven't worked with this stuff before, maybe you could tell me if this would be feasible?

Right now, the gloss sealer I've got on it gives the surface a shiny but only slightly textured look, so it looks more like the surface of an oil painting.  But would I be able to use something like this Diamond Glaze to build up a thin layer of clear glaze between all of the black lines of the current design, in much the same way that I dotted the gold and blue colors between the lines, so that when the additional clear glazing dries, the surface ends up looking more like it's made up of tiny bits of individual mosaic tiles rather than just a flat glossy picture of a mosaic?
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

--WARNING!!!--
I have a vocabulary in excess of 75,000 words, and I'm not afraid to use it!

Offline AnnieUK

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Re: Work In Progress--Deryni Action Figure Project (was Duncan Action Figure)
« Reply #369 on: August 16, 2012, 10:28:52 am »
Depends how big the picture is. You need a certain size hole in the nozzle or the stuff won't flow, so if you need really teeny blobs you might be better with an embossing pen and embossing powder.

If you email me the pic you are using and the size you want it, I'll try my end and see how it works.

Offline Evie

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Re: Work In Progress--Deryni Action Figure Project (was Duncan Action Figure)
« Reply #370 on: August 16, 2012, 10:38:46 am »
The entire "canvas" I am working on is roughly .5 inch high by 1 cm wide at the base, and the little divisions between lines can be as small as 1 to 2 mm across.  I figured I wouldn't be able to use it straight from the bottle, even with the applicator tip, but could it be dabbed into the spaces using the tip of a toothpick or a very fine brush?  The FAQ for the second product you recommended seemed to indicate that it could be brushed on.

I went ahead and emailed you the resized files so you can see how insanely tiny they are.   :D
« Last Edit: August 16, 2012, 10:53:13 am by Evie »
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

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Offline Evie

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Re: Work In Progress--Deryni Action Figure Project (was Duncan Action Figure)
« Reply #371 on: August 18, 2012, 12:41:04 am »
All right, tonight was Kelson's night to get part two of his makeover.  He's already had been given gray Haldane eyes; now it's time to redo his hair.


Uh oh.... by evian_delacourt, on Flickr

As you may recall if you've been following this project, when I tried re-rooting the entire periphery of a test head's hairline in order to try making a Border braid, the resulting braid was still far too thick for the proper look.  So the plan changed to simply removing the lowest row of hair plugs at the nape and rerooting those holes with long hair, and then braiding that hair into what would become the Border braid.  Since Dhugal's braid hair is still in transit, I decided to start with Kelson's braid first.  To my surprise and consternation, I discovered when I removed his head that he has a different neck joint from any other Ken I've worked with.  Oops!  This meant that the head opening was much smaller than anticipated, not to mention I was worried about the possibility of not being able to get his head back on properly again.  Too late to change my mind now, though....


Removing lowest hair plugs by evian_delacourt, on Flickr

So I removed the lowest row of hair plugs.  It took me longer than usual, because it was hard to get the tweezers and needlenose pliers into the neck opening and aimed at the precise hair plugs I was targeting, but eventually I managed to remove the bottommost line of hair.  The holes are somewhat hidden by the next layer above, but this is a good thing; if my rerooting is less than perfect, the overhanging layer will help to conceal any flaws.


Thin layer of hair by evian_delacourt, on Flickr

Using a little less hair per hole than I did with the original test head in order to try to avoid the vinyl splits I had a problem with last time, I rerooted the empty holes with long hair.  Once it was all rooted in, I trimmed the ends to an equal length, though still longer than I wanted the final length to be, since it's much easier to cut it even shorter later than have to start all over again because I rooted it too short to begin with.


Braided but not bound yet by evian_delacourt, on Flickr

The resulting braid was slightly more slender than I hoped, but not too much so, and once doubled at the end and secured with colored cords, I figured it would be about right.  I bound the ends with a clear vinyl band and cut the hair almost flush with the band.  The braid is still a little on the long side, but again, I can always trim it more if needed.


Doubled back on itself by evian_delacourt, on Flickr

Here, I was handicapped by my lack of an easily accessible copy of TBH, but if memory serves (please feel free to look up any relevant  passages and correct me on the details if I'm wrong), the Border braid is doubled back on itself so that the free end is tucked back under the nape of the neck, and then the doubled braid is bound with cords in the border man's clan colors.  Or it may just be the end of the braid that's tucked up and under, but in any case, I seem to recall that the result is a braid that doesn't have the usual "paintbrush tip" of loose ends that most braided hair has.  I also checked with KK earlier about whether the Border braid is a three or four part braid, and she confirmed that, unlike a g'dula, it is a regular three part braid.  So with all of that in mind, I have doubled the braid and tucked the bound part underneath in preparation for securing the braid with colored cords.


Bound braid by evian_delacourt, on Flickr

(Don't worry, his hair isn't blue! That's just the way the light is reflecting off the battery and onto it.)  I took crimson and gold cord, since Kelson would use his Haldane colors, and bound the braids together, starting at the nape and securing the end of the braid to the top of it, and then "cross-gartering" the braid all the way down to the doubled end, where I have just loosely tied it.  I have not permanently secured it yet because I want to make sure I have achieved the right effect and haven't misremembered or misinterpreted the description of how the braid is supposed to be styled and secured.  But eventually, once the braid looks like it's styled in its permanent position, I'll tie off the ends neatly, cutting off any excess cord and tucking in any stray ends.


From the side by evian_delacourt, on Flickr

And here is a side view of the braid.  The clear band is visible in this photo, but once I know for sure if I'm on the right track, I can re-bind the cord to conceal it better, or else if that's not possible, at least bind the cords so securely that I can cut through the vinyl band and remove it once the cords are fully in place and doing the job off holding the braid together.


Head replaced by evian_delacourt, on Flickr

Once the braid was secured, I put a bit of glue on a Q-tip and swabbed it onto the roots  (inside the head) just to help ensure they stay securely rooted.  Then I put Kelson's head back on.  Fortunately this ended up being a lot easier than I feared it might be.  Here is the rear view of the braid on his body.


Side view of braid by evian_delacourt, on Flickr

And here he is from the side again.  The braid sticks out a little bit in back, but that can probably be fixed later when I do the final styling.  That might end up being a good thing, though; falling at a slight angle like that might help it lie over any collars on his outfits rather than constantly having to be pulled out from inside his outfits.  I'd rather not be tugging at the newly-rooted hair any more often than I have to.

So that's how he looks for the moment.  If any of you have your copy of TBH handy and can look up the relevant passage(s) that describe the Border braid in detail, that would be immensely helpful!  Dhugal's new copper hair should be arriving sometime next week, so hopefully he'll have a makeover very soon as well.

"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

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Offline Evie

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Re: Work In Progress--Deryni Action Figure Project (was Duncan Action Figure)
« Reply #372 on: August 18, 2012, 07:46:50 pm »

Grub by evian_delacourt, on Flickr

She looked like Grub.  I couldn't resist.  She's actually a bit too short--more like Grub as a two-year-old, but until I can find a little black-haired doll at a good 1:6 size for a seven-year-old (or even a five-year-old, since Grub was malnourished when Sextus first found her and rather small for her age), she'll do for a stand-in.


Grub's makeover by evian_delacourt, on Flickr

Now she's got the Arilan eyes and a faint smattering of freckles.  All she needs is a change of clothes. Presumably she's had a bath and a change since her rescue, since she's not covered with grime and her hair has been pulled into a cute little side ponytail.  Not the most medieval of hairstyles, but since her hair is cut into choppy little layers, I don't think it would fare too well in a single braid or two, so I may leave it as-is.  On the other hand, maybe a crooked braid with a bunch of loose ends sticking out would be rather Grub-like? 

As for Kelson's makeover, I'm still tweaking the final braid style to bring it more in line with KK's mental picture of how it should look, although I'm happy to report that apparently it's on the right track.   :)
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

--WARNING!!!--
I have a vocabulary in excess of 75,000 words, and I'm not afraid to use it!

Offline Evie

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Re: Work In Progress--Deryni Action Figure Project (was Duncan Action Figure)
« Reply #373 on: August 18, 2012, 11:39:31 pm »
OK, after consulting with KK on the fine details, I've tweaked Kelson's braid according to her suggestions, so here is the final Author-Approved version of the Border braid:


Rear view of revised braid by evian_delacourt, on Flickr

The original version was a little too long, with the doubled braid being roughly equivalent to a 9" braid on a human.  It needed to be shortened a bit so it would look more like a 6" braid.  The wrapped braid also, optimally, needed to be a little thicker around, but since the last time I over-rooted a head, the vinyl ended up splitting very badly, I was hesitant to add more hair to the hair plugs.  So what I ended up doing instead was folding the braid in thirds rather than half to shorten the overall length, and rewrapping the cords so that the ends would end up at the nape, where they could be tied in a bow, sort of Colonial American style, which is closer to how KK had envisioned the cords being tied off.  This took the fully bound braid up to a real world equivalency of approximately 6 to 6.5 inches.


Side view of braid by evian_delacourt, on Flickr

Here is the side view of the rewrapped braid.  I left the cords long in case I needed to re-do the style, and then sent the links to these two photos off for final approval.

And yes, those are tiny ward cubes and dice you see in the background.   :D


Kelson looks over the Royal Mint by evian_delacourt, on Flickr

The hairstyle got final approval, so I trimmed the excess ends of the cord and allowed Kelson to get back into his clothes.  After his makeover, he decided to inspect the Gwyneddan Royal Mint.  The new coinage is created from Aleene's Tacky glue mixed with gold, silver, and bronze metallic paints and poured into disposable tart pans to dry for a few days.  I then used a paper hole punch to create the largest coins, and used cake decorating tips to create the outlines for the two smaller coin sizes so that they could be cut out with scissors, since the cake decorating tips weren't sharp enough to punch completely through the rubbery dried glue.  I did the large coins first since they were easier and far less time consuming, but plan to add a larger assortment of the smaller coins as time permits.  These will make nice background props for the gambling game board and the dice that Sextus has asked me for, and the large coins can also be used for my game pieces for my merelles board.

Thanks to K. Norton from the Playscale Yahoo Group for the idea on how to create the coins!



"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

--WARNING!!!--
I have a vocabulary in excess of 75,000 words, and I'm not afraid to use it!

Offline Evie

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  • Sister Evie--Servant of Saint Camber
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Re: Work In Progress--Deryni Action Figure Project (was Duncan Action Figure)
« Reply #374 on: August 19, 2012, 11:05:06 am »

Grub dressed in character by evian_delacourt, on Flickr

Here is my mischievous young maiden dressed in a little gown more suited to her station.
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

--WARNING!!!--
I have a vocabulary in excess of 75,000 words, and I'm not afraid to use it!

 

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