Friday, 19 July 2013

G4 Firefly - adventures in reposing

I briefly posted this girl on the weekend of the Fair, as she was my contest entry for this year.  For a change I entered the Hasbro-inspired category, and very nearly bit off more than I could chew.
Firefly started as a regular-sized brushable Rainbow Dash.  My plan was to make her look as close to G1 Firefly as possible while still leaving her with a strongly G4 look.  I started by cutting the pony apart, basically severing her wings, head, and three legs and cut into the fourth to reposition it.  I rehaired her, then got to work on the sculpting.  First I did the basic sculpting to reconnect the bits I'd removed.  Then I began to fill in the joins trying to get a smooth finish.  A lot of sanding followed, then painting, then more sanding, and finally the finished painting and sealing.
Specifically, the front leg on the NDS was cut in two places, but remained attached.  It was bent at the elbow and knee to give it the bend that matched G1 Firefly.  The front DS leg was wholy removed and cut in half.  The lower half was reattached with clay, giving it the tight bend.  (Incidentally, the other half of that leg ended up inside the neck to support the join there.  Both back legs were completely removed and reattached at the haunches.  The ankles were also cut to give them an angle down to the ground and the edge that is found on the back of G1 Firefly's leg was recreated using clay.  Both wings were removed and reattached at a different angle.  The neck was elongated and the head tilted backward.  The mouth was resculpted to be open.
She was fully repainted, including the eyes, although I did leave the original eyes on as a template.  The symbols were done with metalic paint.  She even has blush on her cheeks just like the original.
It all sounds easy enough, but I learned a lot from working on this custom.  For example: the regular-sized G4s are not the best repose candidates because the legs are solid.  It's much easier with the larger-sized ponies with hollow legs that allow you to create an armature to help secure the sculpting.  One of the issues I came to when it came to sanding was that, although the sculpting wasn't as smooth as I'd wanted, I had to stop sanding or risk having the leg fall off at the join - there needed to be enough clay left to hold everything together.  They're also so small that it's difficult to get in between the legs to do the sculpting and sanding.

If I were a smarter person, I'd have chosen a much less intense repose for my first attempt.  Still, despite her flaws, I'm proud that I was able to complete this custom in time for the Fair.  It will probably be awhile before I try another repose, but I'm sure I will give it another shot.


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