miercuri, 14 ianuarie 2015

Hachiman Haru - Comander of a tekko group of ashigaru.

This was one of my first serious worked figures. It also virused me for big scales. If at airplane models I'm stubborn to remain at 1/72 scale, in figures I appreciate the spaces where I can tell the story. Big scales gives you the opportunity to play with textures of materials and to make details credible without oversize them.
A samurai sword in 54 mm scale will be either to thick to be realistic or too thin to resist accidents.
And above all, my sight is no more what it used to be. Maybe that is the reason that I tend to think that scales from 75 up draw all the attention in an exhibition.
Well, this figure was sold by Pegaso models as a 90 mm one. After a few years when I purchased the 90 mm Viking from them I found out that all samurai series from Pegaso is in fact 120 mm.
I was so inspired by this figure that I conceived a whole story for it. As a good omen, at that time I was reading the Taiko saga by Eiji Yoshikawa, in which it was described the begining of the use on a large scale (by Toyotomi Hideioshi) of the fire arms. The archebuse was known to Japanese as Tekko.
In my imagination this guy properly armoured, with sandals and even exquisite accessories could not be a simple ashigaru, how Pegaso named it. Instead he might be a bushi with quite some hopes for a good position in the clan hierarchy. Willing to please his Daimyo but somehow frustrated that he was asigned to lead a group armed with those strange new weapons that will keep him away from any glorious involvement in an important combat, he is trying to make the best and influence the course of the assault by using himself a tekko.

The work at the figurine was a provocation due to it's weight. It can be considered fitness for the left hand to keep it steady or turn it slowly during the painting process.
I painted the separate head and arms but eventually it had to came together and I guess after the final assembly it weights around 300 grams.
The process of building and painting is revealed in the following pictures:

I accorded A special attention to the base.
The idea was to combine the atmosphere of a beautiful warm spring with the destructiveness of the human conflicts. For that reason I had in mind a defective wooden ashtray that I saw on a 1 dollar kind of shop in my neighborhood. I guess it was a piece of pine root. The defect served well my purposes, representing a fracture in the land due to the seismic activity of the Nippon islands. Also it creates a certain dramatism to the scene - the subject is on the edge of this ravine so the future that lies ahead is uncertain.
The metal base from the kit was integrated on the upper surface with an equivalent for Milliput.
Vegetation was represented with various forms of moss gathered from my yard in the countryside.
The tree tries to picture a quince tree or a malformed wild peach tree.
The trunk was made from a piece of oak root. For the buds I used unexpanded polystyrene granules (those are warmed and pressed to form the PS foam).
I had to cut and attach every leaf and bud, but the result was pleasing.

The model was awarded in several occasions and that was a very encouraging start for me.

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