I haven't posted about her in a while but my 1/6th scale version of my Skyrim character Skara has been taking shape over the last couple of months. She still has a looooong way to go though but she at least now has a head!
I started off by taking some photos of her onscreen - difficult when I'm playing on PS3 as I have no way of taking direct screenshots other than taking photos of the tv! - resizing them on the computer and printing them out so I could refer to them as I worked. Alas, I didn't take particularly good ones until after I'd already finished most of it but here's what she looks like. Depending on the lighting she has really dark eyes and grumpy eyebrows.
I used Tony Barton's method of sculpting direct onto a tile and building the rest of the head up in stages.The eyes were small beads I bought for the purpose as I didn't want to faff about with making my own and have them end up uneven or wonky.
Those nose is wrong I know but it's too late to change it now.
Having no prior experience with making a headsculpt to fit a neck post, I did what I usually do and bodged it. I made a negative of the post in sculpey, baked it and using copious quantities of superglue/baking soda, epoxy and more sculpey, managed to get it to fit comfortably. It's still a bit fragile so in future I will have to come up with a better process. It is removable and I put some sticky wax around the post so it'll hold position without being too loose.
I also added her facial scarring which, while in game is subtle, for me it forms an integral part of her character. I knew now that the sculpt didn't bear a fantastic resemblance to her so I thought making the scars look more 'raw' and recent might help. In the end, she looks quite young so I may just have her as Skara, but pre-Skyrim which could be fun to write photostories around.
Anyway, next to go on were the ears. I'm not going to lie, I absolutely loathe sculpting ears so I cheated a bit with this by making a couple of negatives of my Martha Jones figure's ears so I could get the basic shape right.
I think I could have salvaged the likeness better if I had made the eyebrows better as Skara always looks mildly pissed off but hey-ho, you live to learn right? Once she was completely baked, I used pastels to give her a little more colour. I'd run out of spray sealer so I dabbed on matte sealer with a paintbrush instead. It gave a nice bit of texture to her skin and although the final finish was a little uneven in places, I felt it added to the Skyrim feel as let's face it, no one in Tamriel has a perfect complexion. :P I also blocked in her hair, which would be added later with mohair.
(This is pre-sealing)
(...and after, with eyes added. - I fixed that stray blob of black on her right eye afterwards btw)
Adding on her warpaint was a little stressful because I knew that if I screwed it up, I'd have to strip back all the paint and effectively start from scratch. Luckily, although it turned out a little darker than I'd originally intended, it worked really well.
The more I looked at her, the less I saw of Skara and the more I saw Rooney Mara from The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo!
Before I haired her I stuck her up on Inky for a photo - I think she approves. :P
I mixed up a combination of black and brown mohair (which ended up being a much redder brown than I thought it was when I mixed it) and applied it using a variant of this tutorial.
While I really liked the long strands at the front, they weren't quite short enough so I trimmed them.
I have never been any good at plaits (a simple ponytail does me fine, heh) so her complicated combination braid was a little tricky for me to get the hang of, especially at such a small scale so I improvised and just made something up.
So, without further ado, here she is! Normally I'd take loads of photos outside but it had been raining and the ground was soaking so I didn't really want to lie down. XD
The clothes are placeholders for now until I can make something better. The trousers I made from some faux suede fabric and look fine from the front but I have no idea how to make the back look any good so she's stuck with a bit of a saggy arse at the moment unfortunately!
Her top is chamois leather from a £1 shop for cleaning cars. I exaggerated the stitching to loosely resemble the 'rags' you can find in the game but I'll make her something better eventually.
For a first sculpt I'm pretty chuffed with her but she's still not exactly what I want longterm. That said, I think I'll make another once I'm sure I can get the likeness better and keep this one as the younger version of the character before she's had all the experiences of the game - an origin story in the making I think!