Author Topic: Re: Work In Progress--Deryni Action Figure Project (was Duncan Action Figure)  (Read 314483 times)

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Online Evie

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Thanks, KK!  I shall pass your compliments on to the "chef."  :)
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Online Laurna

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 :D There is a nice feast to be had. I like the bread platter and the cheese platter too.  My, isn't Dhugal a doll...hmmm...good looking... or um, a doll.  ;)

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My, isn't Dhugal a doll...hmmm...good looking... or um, a doll.  ;)

LOL!  Yeah, that's what I thought when I first spotted him (or one of his identical twins) on eBay.  Dhugal started out as a Tim McGraw Ken.  I had to give him a slight makeover--his eyes have been repainted a more amber color, and his hair has several very dilute washes of reddish-orange acrylic paint combed through it in order to try tinting it more "copper-bronze" colored--but otherwise he is pretty much in original condition, down to the nicely articulated body that he already came with.  I was originally planning to reroot him with a more obviously coppery shade of doll hair, but once his head came off, I discovered that the opening in his neck joint was too small for me to get tweezers or even needlenose pliers into in order to remove any of his original hair, so I ended up just adding some extra (brown) hair in at the nape of his neck, and then dyeing it to match the newly dyed hair on top of his head for the Border braid.

And speaking of Borderers....


The newest member of my 1:6 medieval household by evian_delacourt, on Flickr

Meet the newest member of my Deryni Action Figure Project collection!  This was an eBay customized figure, and I am very happy with him so far.  I bought him for this lovely wardrobe, which he will probably get to keep (for once!), since I also think he has a nice head sculpt that I can work with.  I love all the little accessories, although my favorite isn't visible in this photo....


Rear view by evian_delacourt, on Flickr

You can't really see my favorite accessory in this photo either, although it's barely visible if you know just where to look.  The leather jerkin has a bit of staining at the front and back of the hem area, but I can live with that; it just makes him look a bit travel-stained.  I don't expect Kelson's soldiers keep their clothes in pristine condition all the time.  I think this guy might make a good  Borderer.  He doesn't have a Border braid, but I think I could figure out how to add one on at the nape of his hair.  It would need to be glued in place, but a thin glue line could be concealed under the braid wrapping cords.


Closer view by evian_delacourt, on Flickr

Here's a closer view of his face.  Nice strong features, but not looking angry at the world like a lot of the military action figures out there.  Now look just at the top of that right shoulder.  See the teeny metal links?  Yes, he's wearing a mail hauberk under that jerkin!  *happy dancey feet*  I'm in luuurrrve with the costuming details!


Possible Jass by evian_delacourt, on Flickr

I'm considering trying to turn him into Jass MacArdry, now that I've got an Ailidh for him to court in my collection.  Granted, his eyes and hair would need to be repainted, but that's easy enough to do.  I don't think KK ever gave Jass a canonical hair or eye color; if she did, I missed them when I tried to look those details up a few years back.  In my fanfic, he had whiskey colored eyes and dark reddish-brown hair with chestnut highlights.  I like that this guy has a face that looks serious and attentive, but not scowly like so many action figures.  I wouldn't want a grumpy looking Jass!  But very smiley faces are also harder to work with in a photostory--especially if you are trying to portray a somber moment with a character who can't stop grinning!--so it's nice that he has a more neutral expression.

And you can see the chainmail peeking out from the side in this shot.  Makes my heart melt, that hauberk does!
« Last Edit: March 07, 2013, 03:57:20 pm by Evie »
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Offline Jerusha

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Quite the find, Evie!  Does he have an articulated body? 

For some reason, in the first photo, he face makes me think of Nicholas Cage.  I'm not sure that is a good, thing, but that was my first impression.
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Quite articulated, since he's an actual action figure rather than a doll, so he's designed to be very poseable.  I haven't had a chance to put him through his paces yet, so to speak, but he seems to have pretty good balance and range of motion from what little I've been able to test him.  I wish I could put Duncan and Alaric on better bodies, but I lack the skills necessary to modify the head/neck join so that their Ken heads will sit properly on an action figure body.  Maybe someday.

He doesn't really look all that much like Nic Cage except in that particular photo.  I suspect that the guy who customized him took this figure, kept his gray undershirt and green trousers, and then changed out and added a bunch of other accessories:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Dragon-Timeline-Chris-Johnston-73094-/350436779558#vi-content

So the head sculpt is supposed to resemble Paul Walker.  Not that it really does, more's the pity. I'm not sure that he can act his way out of a wet paper bag, but at least he's no hardship to look at....    :D
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Offline Elkhound

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  It is still possible to find purple and white carrots, though.  I think specialty growers still keep those lines in stock.

What is the difference between a white carrot and a parsnip?

Online Evie

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I don't know, having never tasted either.  I imagine there would be some genetic differences in addition to whatever flavor differences the two root vegetables might have, although I think I remember reading somewhere that they are closely related.  I'd be curious to find out, though.  I know it's possible to get either seeds or cuttings (not sure which) of the older varieties of carrots, though I've got a notoriously brown thumb when it comes to gardening, and I can't keep potted plants indoors because of my silly cat who thinks that anything of that sort is a "tasty nom."   ::)
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OK, so remember the gittern (a medieval instrument with a round back, sort of like a lute but smaller) that I had Dhugal playing and Duncan trying to remember how to play in the last chapter of Visionaries?  Well, here's my latest adventure in trying to turn a tacky Dollar Tree lute-shaped Christmas ornament into a (roughly) 1:6 scale gittern.  First, here's how it started out as:


Lute Christmas ornament deglittering by evian_delacourt, on Flickr


Side view of lute/gittern by evian_delacourt, on Flickr


These were actually taken after I cleaned off some glued-on iridescent glitter that was crusted all over the strings and obscuring the fine details.  That mostly came up with some non-acetone nail polish remover.  I was afraid that using acetone would dissolve the plastic as well as the glue, so I went with the milder chemical to dissolve the glue.  It took off most of the glitter, but there was still a bit left stuck inside the deeper crevices no matter how much polish remover I used or how hard I rubbed.


Painted playscale gittern by evian_delacourt, on Flickr

OK, not the greatest photos, but I'm too tired to hunt down my good camera.  Here's that tacky old Dollar Tree ornament painted up to look like wood.  After using the non-acetone polish remover and then washing the residue off, I let the ornament dry out for a few days so the moisture that got inside it could have time to evaporate.  I also had to wait for a day sunny and warm enough to allow me to prime it.  Our temps got into the 70s this weekend, so I figured that was ideal.  I used Krylon's brown spray-on plastic primer on the ornament, spraying several light coats on both front and back to completely cover the plastic, then set it aside to dry for 10-12 hours.  This produced a medium reddish-brown base coat.


Painted playscale gittern by evian_delacourt, on Flickr

When I got around to painting it last night, I used a fan-shaped brush with stiff bristles to dry brush several coats of raw sienna over the entire surface of the ornament, going in one direction along the length of it to simulate wood grain.  The lighter color stood out quite nicely when it was wet, but dried darker than it went on, so the overall look of the gittern once it was dry was still a darker wood color than I wanted.  So I got out some other shades from my kit--two slightly different shades of burnt sienna from different companies, a metallic bronze, and a sort of goldenrod color (can't remember the paint color name at the moment).  I used my fan-shaped dry brush to go back over the instrument with the goldenrod color, and once this dried, it looked much closer to the color I wanted.  I used a small brush to get inside the small crevices with this base "blonde wood" color, and then started dry brushing in other details--the darker bits on the front of the gittern, the hole in the center, everything but the strings, which I left until last.  Those were dry-brushed with a champagne pearlescent paint. 

I haven't sealed the instrument yet.  I want it to dry overnight, and then I'll take a closer look at it, see if there's anything I need to fix or change, and then once I'm satisfied, I'll use some matte sealer to protect the paint.  It's my first attempt at doing anything like this, so while my inner perfectionist sees a few flaws I wish I could have avoided, I think it turned out all right for a newbie effort.  I still have the spare ornament somewhere, so maybe I'll make a second gittern sometime in the future, now that I have a bit more of a clue on what to do with it.
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Offline Jerusha

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Nicely done, Evie!  You continue to amaze with the "little" adventure.  You'll have to find some lute/gittern music to play in the background for the next photo shoot.  :)
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I don't know, having never tasted either.  I imagine there would be some genetic differences in addition to whatever flavor differences the two root vegetables might have, although I think I remember reading somewhere that they are closely related. 

Carrots & parsnips are in the same family as Queen Anne's Lace, Cow Parsley, and Poison Hemlock (what killed Socrates.)

Here in Appalachia, drinking an infusion of Queen Anne's Lace seeds is said to be a guard against unwanted pregnancies.  (Not an abortifact, though; one takes it before.  For after, local folklore call for pennyroyal, slippery elm bark, and a couple of other plants.  "Oh auntie, auntie, I'm in BIG trouble!"  "It can't be that bad, dear; let's talk about it over a nice cup of herbal tea.")

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OK, so now that KK has confirmed that this floor plan comes closer to how she envisions Duncan's study than my first attempt at a floor plan sketch, here is a 3D rendering that I created, using the descriptions of the study found in Deryni Rising to arrive at this room layout.  Of course the online 3D rendering software doesn't come pre-loaded with medieval furnishings, so you have to use your imagination quite a bit.  I had to substitute modern furnishings of the approximate sizes and shapes.  Still, this should get across the basic dimensions and furniture placement. 


Duncan's study 1 by evian_delacourt, on Flickr

I used Sweet Home 3D to come up with this layout rendering.  This is a 12' by 15' room.  I got these dimensions by converting the book description of the room as "4 paces by 5 paces" into yards, estimating a pace as 1 yard since that is roughly the length of my husband's pace, and my husband is the same height as Alaric Morgan.  I also figured that a "1 pace = 1 yard" approximation would keep measurement conversions as simple as possible.

I don't know if the window in the north wall is meant to be flat or have a window seat, so I picked a picture window just in case it had a window seat.  It doesn't affect the measurement of the room itself.  The sliding doors represent the area where the hidden Transfer Portal niche and the secret door to Saint Camber's Chapel are concealed behind tapestries.  The corner shelf unit represents the prie-dieu and corner shelf.  There are waist-high book shelves beneath a "tapestry."  I didn't know if the desk described in the books as being in front of the window is meant to be a flat top desk or a slant top writing desk that a scribe might stand in front of or sit at on a stool, but since the more medieval-style slant top desk wasn't in the furniture library, I used a regular desk instead.  I chose a small round table for the central table in the room, since a large table would overwhelm the space.  The book describes two chairs at the table and 'several" in front of the hearth, which is opposite the window wall.  Due to the size constraints of the room, I only put a couple of chairs in front of the hearth.


Duncan's study 2 by evian_delacourt, on Flickr

In the books, both of the long walls were flanked by waist-high bookshelves.  So I replicated that layout in this first room design.  You can also see a glimpse of the door into this chamber, which is to the side of the fireplace diagonally across from the prie-dieu and the hidden niche and door.


Duncan's study 3 by evian_delacourt, on Flickr

A better view of the fireplace and door.  I used a fairly narrow door style due to the size of the fireplace, figuring it would be a similar style fireplace to some I've seen in medieval castles in Europe rather than a smaller, more modern-style fireplace.  This was the smallest fireplace in the picture library that looked at least somewhat medieval-ish rather than more flush with the wall.

KK has mentioned a small, possibly folding, bed sometimes being used in this room, and also that Duncan might not have needed bookshelves against two walls of the study, given the relative scarcity of books at that time.  So for the second set of room floor plans, I replaced one set of shelves with a settle or wide bench that could double as a daybed.  (At least that's what the futon in these renderings is meant to represent.)


Duncan's study 4 by evian_delacourt, on Flickr

The round table could also be moved to the empty corner on the side of the hearth opposite the door (especially if the table folds or comes apart for storage, as many medieval tables were designed to allow), and this would allow for more space in the center of the room. Or if Duncan does have some sort of foldaway cot, then that could be stored in the empty corner, and the bench or settle against the wall could be a little narrower, since it wouldn't need to be wide enough to accommodate a sleeping adult male.


Duncan's study 5 by evian_delacourt, on Flickr

I also added a couple of human sized figures to the room to check out how Duncan and Alaric might look in this small, furnished space.  It's on the cozy side, but they still have enough room to move around.  (It would help to push the chairs closer to the table, of course!)

The furnishing colors are all wrong--the window is supposed to be "curtained from floor to ceiling in rich burgundy velvet."  The fireplace should be of gray stone, and the mantel should be unadorned except for pewter candlesticks with fat yellow candles and an icon of Saint Hilary.  (Granted, this may have changed by 1136, which is the year I want to recreate in my diorama.)

The "intricately carved" prie-dieu needs to have burgundy velvet on the kneeler and armrest to match the drapes, and there should be a corner stand with an ivory crucifix flanked by two ruby glass votive candle holders.  The desk is of dark wood, although it's not clear from the description if it's the flat-top sort of desk we are more used to using nowadays, or a slant-topped writing desk frequently found in pictures drawn in the Middle Ages.  Since it is covered with books and documents, though, I will guess it's meant to have a flat top, or at least some sort of edge to keep books from sliding off an angled top. The desk chair isn't mentioned in the text, but I inferred it since Duncan probably wouldn't stand at his desk unless he's got a high, angle-topped scribe's writing desk, but then he'd be less likely to have it piled high with books and documents.  And in either case, if he didn't have a chair there, he'd at least be likely to have a stool on hand.

In the center of the room, "a heavy, round oak table dominated the rest of the chamber, claw-footed legs resting solidly on the polished marble floor," but I made it a small table due to the space limitations.  Trust me, even a small solid-oak table would be quite heavy!  I am hoping I can find a suitable claw-footed round table, but if not, that might be a piece of furniture that Duncan got around to replacing by 1136.  (Furnishings can be replaced; room dimensions can't, or at least not as easily, so I'm more concerned for now with getting the dimensions and door/window/fireplace right, and hopefully the rest will fall into place eventually.)  Two matching chairs with high backs flank the table.  By "matching," I have taken that to mean that they also have claw feet, but given the difficulty of finding 1:6 scale claw footed chairs that I can afford, I might just go with the assumption that the wood they are made from matches the table's.  There is a heavy tapestry rug partially covering the polished marble floor.  Color is not mentioned, but I assume it either matches or complements the burgundy curtains and cushions mentioned earlier.

I know that the window has "amber leaded glass" that distorts a view, but I don't know if it's all amber, or if the amber is part of a stained glass design that has multiple colors.  I also don't know if it is flush with or closer to the inside surface of the wall, set into the outer part of it enough to create a niche suitable for any sort of window seat, or if it actually juts out a bit from the wall into the space beyond.  So unless KK weighs in on that, I guess it's open for artistic interpretation.  With amber glass in that window, though, it's little wonder Duncan has positioned his desk to take advantage of whatever light he can get in that small room!    The stone wall is likely quite thick, and definitely thicker than any glass window that is set into it, so there's lots of room for interpretation of that space. My inclination is to go with a pale amber for that window glass; either that or hang a lantern or two nearby so he won't go blind at his studies.  (Of course, he could always use handfire to help augment the natural light if he needs to; by 1136, keeping his powers a secret wouldn't be an issue.)  The text says he has a candlestick on his desk as well, which come to think of it would also argue for a flat-topped desk rather than a slant-topped version, unless it's of a style that has a narrow flat shelf top and then angles downwards for the writing surface.  But let's go with Occam's Razor and assume it's flat.

I also don't know what the walls are like, besides them being partly hidden by tapestries on two sides.  Are they whitewashed stone, or unpainted stone, or wood-paneled, wainscoted, or plastered and painted?  (Yes, paint was used in the Middle Ages on walls as well as furniture, not just whitewash on stone, and ornamental motifs were often added as borders.  There are only a few surviving examples of such painted walls left today, but that's no surprise; if your home was roofless and exposed to the elements for a few centuries, you'd be lucky to have outer walls left, much less home decor!  If paneling was used, it might have linenfold carving, though maybe Duncan's use of tapestries as wall coverings is meant to conceal unsightly walls and provide more color and warmth (literally as well as figuratively) to the room, not just to hide the TP niche and chapel door.  If that's the case, then maybe he does just have simple stone walls, plastered/whitewashed or not.  The fancier the walls, after all, the more likely he'd be to want to show them off.)  The polished marble floor suggests to me that the stonework of the walls would probably be more finely dressed rather than just crude stonework, but still, whitewashed or plastered smooth-hewn blocks would be plausible, or even just plain block walls, if the stone is attractive enough on its own.  Or since it is a Basilica study and not just some chamber in a fortification like Rhemuth Castle's keep, might the walls be of marble or limestone block as well?  Not necessarily the same quality of polished marble as the floor, but maybe some creamy Travertine marble or the Eleven Kingdoms equivalent?

Another puzzle to solve is exactly where the opening to the secret chapel is in relation to the Transfer Portal niche.  Pressing a series of studs on the prie-dieu opens up the Portal niche, which is "no more than four feet wide and two deep, as high as a man."  Now, on a 15' wall, a 4' section opening up is a pretty big section, which I have indicated with the sliding doors in the rendering.  (I need to go back to the program and make sure the doors are 4' wide, since I didn't have this written description in front of me when I did the rendering and had forgotten that detail.)  Is there an additional 2' to 3' section that opens up beside that when the series of hidden indentations that reveal the chapel door are pressed (which may mean having to move the bookshelves closer to the fireplace)?  Or is the back of the TP niche also the doorway to the Chapel beyond it, and if one presses the indentations rather than the studs in the proper sequence, both the niche and the door behind it open up to reveal the Chapel, but if only the studs are pressed, you only find the TP niche?  I think this might be the more likely reading, architecturally speaking--it would be similar in some ways to the short passage leading to the Library Annex, for one thing, but without the garderobe branching off to the side--but only KK could say for sure if that interpretation of the text is correct.  It would also make building a diorama around that feature a lot easier, though that's beside the point.  :D

Of course, that section of wall is also hidden behind a tapestry, which I take to be separate from the one hanging over the bookcase unless Gwynedd has odd L-shaped tapestries, but I didn't attempt to hang a picture over the sliding doors.  Just imagine that this section of wall is properly hidden behind fabric.

I'm not even going to consider trying to do a Saint Camber's Chapel dio for the moment.  One thorny problem at a time!   ;D
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Offline Jerusha

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Wow, Evie!  The finished project will be amazing.  Though in my mind's eye, in this modern rendition, I kept expecting Alaric to toss his car keys on the table.   ;D
From ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggity beasties and things that go bump in the night...good Lord deliver us!

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LOL!  Yeah, I can see that.  I also think Duncan looks quite nice in a suit.   :)  Maybe this is what the Rector's study might look like in the rebuilt Saint Camber's Schola in 21st Century Gwynedd?  ;-)
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OK, hopefully everyone here is grown up enough to handle a wee bit of action figure nudity.   ;)


Untitled by evian_delacourt, on Flickr

Here is an action figure style that I am hoping to be able to use to rebody my current male figures on more poseable bodies so that they can all do such things as sit properly on a horse.  And they'll want that ability, since I have just acquired two more Marx horses for the Royal Stables!   Unfortunately, the body above is a bit too tanned to match my current character heads, but it is available in a variety of skin tones, so hopefully I can line up a few others with fairer skin that will be a better match for the heads.  I might not be able to get an exact color match, but I'm hoping to get at least in the ballpark. 


Untitled by evian_delacourt, on Flickr

Here he is wearing a tunic (I forgot to bring his belt along) so you can get a better idea of how he'd look clothed.  The standard long-sleeved medieval tunic will help to conceal slight differences of coloring between face, hands, and feet (if the figure isn't wearing shoes), and if I can't find a better match in skintones, then a hood or some other high-necked accessory covering up the neck area will also help to hide skintone discrepancies.  Though I might want to save the new bodies for my clergy, in that case, since they are the ones most likely to be covered from chin to toe.

There are a few other body styles available that have a similar neck style to this one and that will work (with minor adjustments) with a Ken head.  This one just happens to be both one of the more nicely sculpted ones and also one of the less costly options.  Another one I looked at costs nearly twice as much and is a bit too "muscle bound," and another style is available pretty cheaply but it's less attractively sculpted.  And of course there is the style body that Denis has, which I love, but unfortunately it's both way too pricey and has too much of a gray undertone that won't match any Ken heads, or for that matter won't even match a lot of action figure heads, unless they are made by a particular manufacturer or two.

I can hardly wait to get the two new Marx horses in the mail.   Now Alaric can stop grumbling about having to ride a Barbie Dream Horse!   ::)
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Offline Jerusha

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Yes, it is hard to imagine Morgan in full battle harness paused for the charge on "Buttercup".   ;D

Looking forward to seeing the new arrivals.  :)
From ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggity beasties and things that go bump in the night...good Lord deliver us!

 -- Old English Litany