News and random musings from the Sculptdude.

Friday, February 06, 2015

Jupiter Ascending


According to the Tomatometer:

From the streets of Chicago to the far-flung galaxies whirling through space, "Jupiter Ascending" tells the story of Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis), who was born under a night sky, with signs predicting she was destined for great things. Now grown, Jupiter dreams of the stars but wakes up to the cold reality of a job cleaning other people's houses and an endless run of bad breaks. Only when Caine (Channing Tatum), a genetically engineered ex-military hunter, arrives on Earth to track her down does Jupiter begin to glimpse the fate that has been waiting for her all along-her genetic signature marks her as next in line for an extraordinary inheritance that could alter the balance of the cosmos.
Ordinarily I will go for the jugular on stuff like this and call out tons of stuff about performances, cinematography, editing, and on-and-on. It's totally irrelevant, however, considering the material and the Wachowsis have unlimited resources to deliver the goods, so it's level in that regard. This is not Zero Dark Thirty. Not every thing needs to be. Sometimes things are just fun for the sake of fun. I care for Tatum less than Ron Silver as a actor and I find him completely watchable in this.

This is literally Cinderella meets Dune; with just about every other sci-fi trope thrown into the blender for good measure. The only thing missing (which I really hoped for) was the cliff-hanger ending so common with serials of the ‘30s. Here’s a spoiler for you, Pygar gets his wings back and if you don’t know what that references you will likely not “get” this movie either.



If you are going into this expecting a tromp as cerebral as The Matrix’s reality-within-reality, you’re missing the point. I think that the host of poor reviews for this completely missed the point, as well. The Matrix was a derivative of the Cyberpunk genre fuled by injections of William Gibson. The Wachowskis already did that, this is something else entirely.

This is the galaxy-spanning-empires-of-evil-corporations-threating-to-doom-the-earth with a bit of Flash Gordon thrown in for good measure. This is their take on complete space opera. Jupter Jones is our modern Flash character that is just as two dimensional as our action heroine needs to be at this point. Hell, her name even screams pulp sci-fi! Save her dark brooding reflections of the implication of galaxy-wide genocide for the sequel. A pacing deterrent like character development would only slow down the action and keep us from whizzing from planet to planet to see more interesting things and meet more fascinating characters. Like with all great pulp sci-fi, there is never time to linger too much on any one thing since there is so much at stake. Also be aware, Jupiter get rescued way more than Dejah Thoris ever does.

I would put the tone squarely between The Fifth Element and Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. The peril is real and the action is what all of the 30’s serials could never even dream to be. But the pacing zips along and never lets you question too much about what’s going on, because who cares really? This is fantastical entertainment at its purest. But it does not descend into the silly like HGG, with a wink towards the audience, because that would spoil the illusion.



So - if you want a dose of Lensman and Leigh Brackett or Poul Ansderson thrown at you at 300 miles per hour on rocket boots, this certainly hits the spot. I recommend screening Barbarella, Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers first to get you in the proper frame of mind.

I'm giving it

for effort on the Nostalgia-o-meter.




Saturday, November 29, 2014

Avatars of War Swordmaster of Lusia

Avatars of War have posted up the new sculpt I did for their Arena Deathmatch line the Swordmaster of Lusia. I'm very proud of the piece and am honored Felix invited me to contribute to their range.



Friday, November 14, 2014

Shadowscapes on Kickstarter


I wanted to congratulate Dark Sword Miniatures for the success in funding their Kickstarter project to launch the Stephanie Law Masterworks line of miniatures based on her Shadowscapes art. It was both a treat and a challenge to sculpt these pieces and I am pleased the project was so well received by the fans. I have certainly enjoyed the collaboration with Jim Ludwig, Jessica Rich and of course, Stephanie Law in bringing this exceptional line of miniatures to the marketplace.

Here is a collection of the images for the pieces I sculpted on the project well over a the course of a year.





















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Be on the lookout for more exciting news coming up in the following months.


Patrick
~The Sculptdude

Friday, October 17, 2014

YT-1300 Engine Assembly

A couple of weeks ago I had some down time and snapped a few pics of more progress on my Special Edition YT-1300 mod. The goals for this session were to seal up the openings and attach the finished main engine module.


 Since the cockpit tube had been attached to the fuselage it was time to start chopping out some detailing. This handy gizmo is The Chopper II from North West Shore Line , aptly named to make precise and quick cuts in styrene.


 I then notched the paneling with a square hole punch I acquired at the arts & crafts store from the scrapbooking supply section. They have some other handy shapes I will also need at some point.



This plating was formed and glued around the perimeter of the cockpit tubing.



The area left open by removing the cockpit and corridor from the original position was filled with a piece of sheet styrene and then detailed with assorted bits.



To make greeblies for the engine section I selected a few round and square shaped styrene strips of assorted sizes.



Again, I put these through the Chopper and cut random lengths from all the strips.



After a bout 20 minutes I had a fantastic pile of assorted shapes to use in detailing out the various sections.



Since it will likely be a while before moving on to the detail. I stored all the greeblies in a handy container to keep them organized.


I then attached a strip of styrene across the opening where the original drive housing was located and then glued the upgraded engine module to the back of the hull.


Were I more industrious I would have probably planned ahead more and installed super awesome LED lighting in the engine nacelles. Since I used some of the clear plastic domes that finally arrived from China to fill in the afterburners there would have been plenty of room to install all the stuff. Maybe on the next one.

Up next I will be sorting out all of the greeblies to super-detail out the engine components. The green bits shown here are some wheels off of a Tamiya tank kit. I will make a little press-mold to transfer the detail from the original Falcon model where the engine vent grating is modeled.

Stay tuned!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Sculpts for 2013

Just to consolidate things, here is a selections of some of the figures I sculpted for 2013. Many of them are for Reaper's Numeneria line, Warmachine/Hordes, Dark Sword, and Other World Miniatures.