Friday, 17 August 2012

Crafting Roundup: July/August

So I spent a brief fortnight out of my busy life house-sitting my boyfriend’s parents in sunny Norfolk. During this period I took the opportunity to remember how to ride a bike, watch every episode of Jonathan Creek and do a lot of crafting. I thought it would be the perfect time to open myself up for commission work on the UKofEquestria forums. Alas nopony seems to be biting and I am still working on personal and to-sell projects.
[Once I have more pieces made up I intend to create an Etsy shop to sell from, and maybe that will bring in the revenue I need to pay the rent].
So in an effort to be more open about my WIPs I am going to dedicate this post to my process and half-finished works.

The closest thing to a finished pony I have at the moment. She started life as a Rarity blindbag and it based on a, not yet played roleplay character for the MLP tabletop game. She is a voodoo Zebrah from the ancient, griffin kingdom of Kemet. The voodoo influence on the Zebrah as a nation came from an initial NPC, heavily influenced by the villain from Princess & The Frog. So my brief for Cal was ‘good Dr Facillier.’
I thought her tail would be the biggest nightmare, but I got that done first. The mane was simple once I got the right clay for the job, and her accessories were just a bit of fun free-styling. The picture I had was from General Zoi’s Pony Creator, which turns out really nice pictures, but the accessories are a little flat and dull.
All I have yet to do is draw in guide lines for the stripes and do a hero coat of paint. (And varnish, of course).

Other Ponies
I had the idea that I wanted to make a Soarin figure and he was the test subject that taught me I could bake the Hasbro blindbags. His tail came together fairly quickly and his head has been reshaped. However, his mane is proving to be a bigger challenge than I initially thought. He is on hold at the moment until I feel inspired. Also I thought I had a picture, but it seems not.
His wing donor was a Rainbow Dash blindbag and I decided to totally strip her for a future project. So I thought it might be worth sharing her here to indicate my method. First, I took off her wings with my craft knife, staying as close to the body as I could. Next, with my knife I severed the tail from the body and peeled it off the back legs. Unlike the wings I didn’t care about preserving any of the bits of tail so I focused on keeping the leg shape as uniform as possible. Finally I went in with the knife and my shears to take off the mane. Using the knife for delicate work around the face, ears and neck and the shears to take off big chunks at a time she was left looking a little... frightening.
Here begins the most important part: reshaping her. I like to do this before even starting a new project so the pony is blank canvas for future ideas. Using Sculpy I rounded off her head and filled in the missing chunks on her back. Then I remade her back legs.
As you can see, without her tail, the pony formerly known as Rainbow Dash can’t balance. To fix this I build little bases out of Miliput and a 2p coin which looks quite fetching and can also be used to paint a larger cutie mark on the bottom.

Moof Bot
My other half ran his first ever game of D&D in Norfolk and has really caught the bug. DMing is an entirely different experience to Storytelling or GMing. Statting encounters, calculating CRs and exp costs: none of it can be done on the fly. So following the first session of our new game he spent a lot of time on the laptop writing notes and using the PFSRD. During this time I set myself the challenge of crafting entirely with Sculpy, something I had never done before. I usually use baking clay as a tool in pony customs or to make bases for Miliput detail (see: Custom Homestuck Kid Figure).
So I had about two hours while dinner cooked and the oven was heated up...
A robot was the perfect choice, I wasn’t about to leap into a complicated human or equivalent. It was simple enough once I got started, making the head, body and arms. Then I got clever and thought about putting a little heart inside an exposed ribcage. To do this I had to make the body with the heart and bake it before adding the legs and ribs.
Thankfully I’d taken a skeleton kit of paint to Norfolk and one of them was my silver. I dry stippled some grey/black over to make him look a little beaten up. Then he was given as a gift to my sweetheart, who dubbed him ‘Moof Bot’... because it sounds cute.
Not bad for a pre-dinner effort.
Moof Bot...

Or Müf if you prefer.

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