Doc Zoff's WIP
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  1. #1

    Default Doc Zoff's WIP

    Despite being a veteran modeller (I remember when Matchbox 1/76 tank kits retailed for 35p... yes, I'm that old!) I've never acheived the level of skill shown by many modellers of far fewer years. I did consider breaking their fingers to level the playing field, but after-school club security has been tightened over the years (I wonder why?) so that's no longer a viable option (plus they've grown up and are tougher than me now - bah!).

    Most of my modelling career has been quite isolated, which I think has limited the opportunity to learn from others, and also caused my interest and motivation to frequently waver. It's fine during the initial excitement of a new project, but once a build starts to stretch out, I start to wonder what is the point of another model that at best will sit in a display cabinet for only me to look at, and at worst will be added to my stash of half-finished shame. That isolation and the periods of demotivation have also lead me to stay within my comfort zone and not actively push to develop my skills.

    But maybe this new fangled inter-web thingy might help? (kidding here, I sure hope I'm not quite that bad or my systems analyst job might get shakey!) Having lurked CMoN on and off I've been utterly astounded by the quality of the best contributors (and just consider how good they would've been had I not broken their fingers all those years ago) and not much less impressed by the quality of most of the rest. But I've been equally struck by the strong support and community shared between many members.

    As my kids (adults now) head off on their own life journeys I find myself with more time on my hands, so maybe now is the time to see whether I can re-engage with the hobby and, with the positive feedback and support of others push myself to find out if I am capable of achieving the standards that I have always aspired to.

    I suspect this WIP may end up being rather sporadic, so I ask up-front for any readers to bear with me and show patience and understanding, and I in turn will try to show positive progress and more importantly my gratitude (even if old habits make me yearn for the cracking sound of delicate finger bones).

    So first WIP photo...
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    Last edited by Doc Zoff; 02-04-2019 at 04:42 PM.

  2. #2


    Addition to above post (still new to the edit interface)...
    Above WIP photo is of a conversion I started a while back after seeing a freeby 'paint your own' My Little Pony on a kids comic. "Ah ha" I said, "You're coming home with me (to be beheaded!). Oops did I say that out loud as well, why are all the children in this shop screaming?"
    (one custodial sentence later...)
    The head is a squishy vinyl which has very soft detail and is impossible to sand or resculpt, but fine for the cartoony style of the head. Other parts are various GW left overs, with merges, legs and tail scratch built from sprue and milliput, then partially base coated in a GW light gray. I've still got the original pastel coloured paints which are doubtless dreadful quality but a good reference pallette for the cutesy look. I'm thinking the head and neck will retain that doe eyed sugary cutesyness, but the pallete will get suddenly darker and dirtier on the corrupted flesh with harsh Frankenstein style transitions (maybe sculpt in some stitch work?). Should the sugary cuteness include the horns and impaled torso? This seems particularly messed up and twisted to me, so I guess that's a 'yes' then .

    I can't promise the next photos will be that soon as I'm generally rather slow, plus I've only got a mobile phone camera so have to wait for good natural light (British winter, enough said!).

    No cutesy ponies were harmed in the making of this mini!! (Yeah right, like bollux were they!)

    Looking at the photo afresh I've just noticed that I've thinned the furthest wing membrane but the closest is still armour plating thick with ugly seam lines, plus I'd intended to add a scorpion sting to the tail... and so it begins!
    Last edited by Doc Zoff; 02-04-2019 at 05:44 PM.

  3. #3


    Well, although I'm as fresh to the crowd as you, I say, "Welcome!" I look forward to seeing your interesting concept move forward.

  4. #4


    Quote Originally Posted by DaBeebs View Post
    Well, although I'm as fresh to the crowd as you, I say, "Welcome!" I look forward to seeing your interesting concept move forward.
    Hi DaBeebs,
    Thanks for the welcome and a warm "Welcome!" back you to. Also thanks for showing interest, it's already encouraged me to make a start (apologies for the poor quality flash photos)...
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    I've hacked away some of the 'wool' on the legs (I was trying for a fur texture but ended up with a sheepskin leggins look) to expose some areas of raw flesh, and then thrown on a very quick base of GW Screamer Pink on the flesh to see whether it works (even rougher than I thought looking at these photos). Overall I'm pleased with the results as it adds interest and also thins the legs a bit hence reducing the comic sheepskin look. I might extend the fleshy areas or maybe add some flaps of loose skin hanging off, depends how it looks once I've got some colour on. I've also thinned the wing membranes on the edge of the nearest wing so that they look less like thick sheet metal. Turns out I hadn't done either wing but it's only a five minute job so no biggy. Hacking and shaping dried milliput involved some rough handling and the tail inevitably broke off, but a blob of CA has it back in place. Shouldn't be a problem unless I decide to carve in extra detail (on reviewing the photo I can probably paint it as a deeper wound, yeah right that was always my plan, NOT!). OR, I've mentioned I'm considering adding a scorpion sting which should involve adding material rather than carving, so either way I think the job's a goodun!

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    Also thought I'd add a front view of that cute face, plus the less cute nurgling face burrowing out of it's chest. Hmm, 'it' should probably have a name.. Tony the Pony? It's really corny, but it's out there now so welcome Tony, may you have a long and ('happy' seems inappropriate) interesting undeath! Tony's little friend's face and the surrounding wound has been base coated plus a quick drybrush, again just to see if the sculpt works. I generally brush paint using GW paints greatly thinned with GW Lahmian Medium giving very thin coats, so I don't seem to run into problems with multiple coats building up and obscuring detail, always reassuring to know that if I get it wrong I can just paint it out.
    Last edited by Doc Zoff; 02-05-2019 at 03:28 AM.

  5. #5


    Welcome! Off to a great start and an awesome concept! Very entertaining narrative as well. Have you decided on your colors yet? Curious to see the route you take it. Not sure if i should expect rainbows and skittles or death and decay, but eager nonetheless.

  6. #6


    Quote Originally Posted by StephanW0lf View Post
    ...Not sure if i should expect rainbows and skittles or death and decay...
    Hi StephanW0lf (great name... is it a nod to the Hermann Hesse novel?). If possible I'd like to incorporate rainbows and skittles with death and decay but it'll be as much a journey of discovery for me as it will be for you. I think the head has to stay cutesy with the body macabre and befouled for the whole 'innocence corrupted' theme to work, but how that translates into planning a colour palette... not a clue! I saw another WIP with links to colour wheel tutorials so I'll start there....
    And thanks for the encouragement, always appreciated!!

    I had moment of inspiration triggered by SW's 'rainbows and skittles' quote. I've decided on my paint scheme but my wi-fi's on the fritz and I keep losing posts, so for now 'to be continued...'
    Last edited by Doc Zoff; 02-05-2019 at 04:45 PM.

  7. #7


    Try to quickly post another preview, this is the basis for my 'rainbows' pallette
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    and this is a 'one I did earlier' blend on a wing sourced from the same kit...
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  8. #8


    Welcome to the forum

    very interesting sculpt indeed, not something you usually see...
    The paint work is looking fantastic, some really nice blending across that wing. I’m looking forward to seeing more of the progress

  9. #9


    Welcome to the forums.

    Ha, awesome Chaos/My little Pony/Unicorn conversion! And the paint you did on the previous wings looks amazing, or hey at least better than most of my stuff.

  10. #10


    Thanks Doc. Mostly meant as a play on the band name combined with my name being Stephan. Some coworkers started calling me it and it ended up becoming my handle. Wasn’t aware of the novel, but I may have to find a copy sometime. Definitely a tough look to tackle, but i’m sure it will turn out great. Color theory and application is one of my problem areas and i struggle with picking my colors and finding the right ones to compliment each other.

  11. #11


    Wing looks great and smooth color choice looks great too. What colors do you have on the wing bone things? I like the contrast of it but can’t define dark colors very well and can’t figure out how you made that. Blue over purple over red? Looks awesome though!

  12. #12


    Hi everyone and thanks for all the positive encouragement!
    That was a mare of an evening with most of my hobby time lost to losing CMoN postings. Things was easier in my day, desktop publishing?... we got by with a kitchen knife a potato and some poster paint

    Interesting fact: All of the 'CGI' in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings fils was actually post production potato printing poster paints directly onto the negatives!

    I'll let you ponderthat while I go and check whether I've confused my medication again (seems wise).

    Nope, I'm not mad!

    So I took my techno frustration out on Tony (flayed off a bit more skin and inflicted an axe wound) but he was otherwise okay when I left him last nght. But Oh Tony!! This mrning I found him much the worse for wear face down in a pool of his own skittles ("barf the rainbow"). I couldn't get any sense out of him, but his facebook page revealed a sordid story...

    Not happy with the casual flaying Tony rolled a fat one or four then went out on the town, apparently via a paint factory for some 'war paint'. No photos of that little incident but then he hit the clubs...

    on the dance floor...
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    'pulling some moves'... (think it's a back flip?)
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    falt on his back, passed out...
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    Do you guys ever find that some projects feel like they are working against you? Tony, you're really not helping me here mate!

    These photos are a first colour sketch, and the brush work is deliberately quick and dirty. The colours are a shocker, and give a feeling of disharmony and unease that might actually work well with the forthcoming Hammer House of Horror make-over.

    Reveiw update:
    Have just reviewed this post and the evidence is clear... I am absolutely barking aren't I!!
    Last edited by Doc Zoff; 02-06-2019 at 03:59 AM.

  13. #13


    Grabbed time for a quick flick of the brush during my luchbreak, and continued sketching in the wing colours, deliberately rough at this time, will build up density of colours and transition blends with progressive glazes...
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    Stephan, here's a detail of the wing bones from previous project, it's glazed with various GW reds and purples (sorry I can't be more specific)
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    Edit: replaced links with images, still no idea what I did differently to cause links.
    Last edited by Doc Zoff; 02-06-2019 at 02:45 PM.

  14. #14


    Haha! Your narrative is glorious! Looks to be coming along fast. Those wings are looking really good already. I paint slower than molasses in January. Looks like i will have to pick up some GW purples. I can’t get those last two attachments to load for some reason.

  15. #15


    Hi Stephan, glad to hear from you! After role playing as a six year old painting my horsey like a bad acid trip I was worried that my friends parents might think I wasn't 'the right sort of play mate' for their kids. Back to reality (and maybe I should clarify that I'm really not on medication) the only reason the paint is going on fast is because I'm slapping it on with very little care at this point. While I've got lots of creative ideas firing of it's nice to test them quickly while they are fresh. I've decided that I'll stick with the colour scheme on the wings so I'll probably work them up to near completed quality and then review if it changes my thoughts re the rest of the mini. Gotta admit the current acid rainbow scheme is going to present a lot of new challenges, is it brave or stupid, time and photographic evidence will tell. But I do plan to enjoy the journey!

    FYI Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse is an early 20th century novel presented as the journal of an aging loner who believes he is half man and half wolf, and how this attitude makes him feel like an outsider viewing and judging the actions and values of common man. First half of the book is a bit slow, sort of dark and a bit gothic, but then it becomes increasing surreal and bizzarre. I first read it in my 20s, then spent weeks after just trying to understand WTF was that all about? Finally it fell into place which was a real 'Holy crap!' moment.
    I got into the novel after hearing Hawkwind's track Steppenwolf which has a great lyric that (coming back on topic) I'd love to try to emulate on a mini one day
    "Under skies heavy with snow my eyes are convex lenses of ebony, embedded in amber. I am a wolf man!".

    Signing off to hit the paint station now... have a good one!

    Update: Really made some progress on the blending tonight, another session should finish the top surfaces. One of those nights when the paint flows well.. really enjoyed it!

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    Last edited by Doc Zoff; 02-06-2019 at 05:18 PM.

  16. #16


    Another idea... I've never been sold on the leg texture which is more like tree bark than fur... How about scaly skin (irregular scales like cracked clay in a dried river bed). That way I could retain the flayed areas of raw flesh while having a more promising and interesting texture to paint. I'd welcome any thoughts, recommendations or alternative ideas. Cheers!

    Triggered another thought... Scaly skin with chameleon like colour transition would give more credibility to the acid trip pallette. I think I like!!!
    Last edited by Doc Zoff; 02-06-2019 at 06:01 PM.

  17. #17


    Damn! You made some serious headway on those wings. Looking great! The book sounds interesting too. I dig the idea about some scales on it, but would have no clue on how to go about incorporating it. I’ve wanted to try the colorahift stuff from greenstuffworld for that exact purpose. Seems to have high reviews and people are happy with it. I think the fur looks good, but would recommend maybe taking some off or sanding down some areas to help shape it a bit more, but my experience is very limited in that and the approach would probably be a pain in the ass.
    Last edited by StephanW0lf; 02-07-2019 at 12:04 AM.

  18. #18


    Nice job-try this smoke a fat one to the grill and it will seem like the paint flows right all night!!!lolololol

  19. #19


    Quote Originally Posted by StephanW0lf View Post
    Damn! You made some serious headway on those wings. Looking great! ... I’ve wanted to try the colorshift stuff from greenstuffworld ... maybe taking some off or sanding down some areas to help shape it a bit more...
    Thanks buddy! Fast progress was because I was still applying less dilute glazes (maybe 3 Lahmian Medium : 1 Paint) so getting reasonable coverage from each layer, as I progress through finer transitions the dilution will steadily increase (up to 10-15 LM : 1P) and thats when the progress really drops off. Even slower when I forget to add the paint element, this has happened more times that I'd like to admit. Colorshift looks really cool, plus thanks for putting me onto greenstuffworld could easily spend a crapload there (if I actually had said crapload) Sanding to improve shaping... totally agree and shouldn't be too tricky, milliput dries much harder than greenstuff and cuts/sands much like finecast resin or brittle polystyrene parts. Turns out that decades reshaping shonky Airfix parts (older Airfix always fitted like a hand in a dove' where the mis-quote is entirely deliberate) has provided skills that readily transfer to sculpting... or not? We'll find out eh?

    Quote Originally Posted by BloodASmedium View Post
    ...smoke a fat one to the grill...
    "To the grill"? Not a term I'm familiar with, but I think I remember Foxtail referring to BaM's infamous autocorrect? If I'm right is the legend continuing? There again, given the deranged nonsense I've been posting, "Smoke it to the grill man!" fits pretty well. Unless you've picked up on my Hawkwind interests and thrown me a reference to 'Hall of the Mountain Grill' in which case major kudos!!"

    Hi Eki and CC, Just spotted that I never answered to say thanks. My bad, I got caught up in my enthusiasm for creating my four legged acid delerium. Glad you like it!

    I'm away to stick my face in the trough now, then it's on with blending the wings. Depending on progress I may post another progress shot later tonight! Won't start reshaping tonight to avoid dust on the wings (and already the excuses are starting...)

    Cheers all!

  20. #20


    Tonight's glazing session got really interesting!! I previously mentioned that the light blue is a GW dry paint and tricky to thin to a diluted glaze, and it just didn't want to blend smoothly into the white.
    By pure luck I took a photo right at this stage...
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    I figured mixing blue and white for a mid shade would solve the issue, dried excess off the brush to avoid pigment dots in the blend transition, and then set to it gently with brush side on... and started getting a dry brush effect. So I just went with it and did the same with lightened purples and reds (my phones colour balance is way over on the blue side, the actual colours go through to blood red)...
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    That ridged texture has really popped out of the blend!! (the difference in shade is mainly my shonky phone camera again)
    I'm right back on the learning curve here, wicking the brush to just remove excess and painting with the brush tip gives a smoother blend, drying the brush further and painting with the brush side increases the dry brush effect. Also moving the brush parallel to the ridges (or using the brush side parallel) reduces dry-brush effect, while doing the same perpendicular to the ridges enhances it.
    That already a lot of control available, and then we can add the option to adjust the dilution ratio of medium to paint to control the transparency providing further control over the amount of pigment being added.
    There's the further option to adjust the white to colour ratio to control the contrast between the original colour and the new blend/drybrush.
    I also 'dry glazed' (for want of a better description) the wing edges in pure white, this was also really controllable and worked a treat (but did make a couple of tiny strands left from thinning the wing edge really scream out).

    Interesting indeed!!

    This is frontier territory for me, but I've not even scratched the surface of CMoN shared wisdom yet... has anyone else tried or seen this approach before?

    I'll also note that I'm using GW paints thinned with GW Lahmian Medium. I always thin with Lahmian because I prefer the flow characteristics over diluting with water, however the medium may be a far more significant factor with dry glazing. I've read that diluting with water only works with low dilution ratios, and the paint will start to split and go chalky as dilution increases. Because the Lahmian is effectively paint without pigment (I'm simplifying here) it stays stable at any dilution factor, and tends more towards glossy at high dilutions where there's minimal pigment to roughen the mix.
    I saw no evidence of the gritty, sandstone effect that excessive drybrushing can produce, just a smooth satin finish.
    Last edited by Doc Zoff; 02-07-2019 at 05:39 PM.

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