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This is by far the most unique project I've ever undertaken. A couple of years ago my friend Rob, who is a big fan of old-school horror and sci-fi, regaled me with a tale of an independent sculptor who had undertaken the task of producing a limited run of Rod Serling heads to be attached to generic dolls. I'm fuzzy on the details (it was a while ago, and there was beer involved), but the story goes something like fans of Serling had wanted a collectible to be made, but Serling's widow wouldn't license the likeness rights. So came into being this rare collectible.
Rob, being the fan that he is, scored himself one of these heads. Off and on for the last couple of years, he has asked me if I'd be interested in painting it, but we never really connected to get it rolling until a couple of weeks ago.
So, there I was... gingerly disrobing a Rod Serling doll (not my finest moment in history) and trying to figure out how I was going to go about this. The first challenge is that exceptionally few color photos of this man actually exist. After a few hours of google-fu, I was able to find the following page:
custom Twilight Zone sixth scale Rod Serling action figure - Another Pop Culture Collectible Review by Michael Crawford, Captain Toy
Which was awesome, because as we all know, seeing a painted example of what you're working on makes things vastly easier. However, I wasn't totally thrilled with the sample, due to the lack of any shading or highlighting to speak of. It also put to bed a question that had been running through my mind, which was, "On a model this big, how much will the natural light take care of shadows and highlights that I would normally create through paint?" and the answer turned out to be, "not much". The major parts of the model look passable enough with a flat color, but there's a lot of subtle detail that adds oodles of personality - such as laugh lines and wrinkles - that don't come out very well, and I think the overall result suffers greatly for it.
I can see what the painter was going for with the hairline -trying to soften the transition between skin and hair, but I don't think the execution was horribly effective. I'll be trying a similar effect, but mostly using washes and some very subtle blending.
Anyway, it didn't feel right to be making any progress on this without sharing it with my favorite gamer community. So here are my photos so far:
Here's the base model, prior to priming (taken with my phone, so the quality isn't great)
Here he is after the flesh basecoat and wash, and the eyes painted white
And here's the beginning of the flesh highlights. This is just the first round. There will probably be another highlight of Elf Flesh to pick out the major areas, but that's as far as I'm likely to go with the flesh.
Comments and criticism welcome as always!
Great start to a very intimidating project. I like the more subtle look in pic 3 and think the small lines and wrinkles will show up fine without pushing too much shadow into them.
Are you using acrylics on it? I assume so and hope they adhere well and not rub off at the slightest touch. Maybe test an aread on top of the head or somewhere not noticeable. When painting that type of plasticized latex I have always had better luck with flat enamels.
Keep the pics coming - I am quite the fan of his old shows!!!
Thanks for the comments so far. I made more progress on the flesh yesterday - about double what is in the last photo up there. After I get this layer of flesh done, I'll probably tackle the eyes before moving on. I'm reaonably intimidated by the eyes, since no matter what else I do with the model, if I screw up the eyes I'll have to start over.
The head itself fits on a 12" doll, so the head is quite a bit bigger than what I'm used to painting.
I'm using standard acrylics and primers for this. The head seems to be cast out of resin or something similar, so it holds the paint and the primer pretty well. I did a few tests on it before I got started just to be sure. So far I'm sticking to basic colors, so Tallarn Flesh base, Flesh Wash, and this first layer is being done with pure Dwarf Flesh. After I finish the eyes, I'll go back and do a subtle set of highlights with Elf Flesh before moving on to the hair. It is fun seeing how much it starts to resemble him more as I get more of it finished.
After some conversations with the owner of this model, he asked that I do the eyes similar to the link I posted, so that he appears to be looking slightly up.
I think I'm calling the flesh done. I went in and added a lot of subtle highlighting which, sadly, doesn't represent horribly well in these photos. I'm hesitant to do more though, for fear of him starting to look... painted... if that makes sense.
Anyway, here he is. I'm about out of excuses to keep from painting the eyes.
Getting eager to finish him so I can start on my Dystopian Wars fleet.