So this is part 6 in the series of posts about the entries I submitted to the Legion of Superheroes Challenge
. Today's attention is on a lady that got a lot more interesting once she surrounded herself in mistery...Sensor Girl
There has been some discussion among the classic Legion of Superheroes
fans on wether Princess Projectra
got better once she became Sensor Girl
or not. Power-wise she became far more interesting, not only generating illusions but also being able to perceive things through the ilusionary barriers of reality (such as distance or scale). Some argue that her costume worsened, though (and I actually could agree on that, I like her 70's costume more). But when I had to choose which version of the character I wanted to create in plastic form I didn't had this sort of dillema. I started reading Legion of Superheroes
comics around the time Princess Projectra
became Sensor Girl
. So for me that was the version of the character I prefered. As a reference I used pics from both Steve Lightle
's and Greg Larocque
's runs in the comic. I also used as reference the pics from two previous Sensor Girl
customs that inspired mine: the one from Great White Customs
and the one from Darth Ennis
One curious fact about this custom is that I had started it months before the Legion of Superheroes Challenge
was announced, but it was one of the last ones to be finished, as there were some many steps to be followed, many details to be added and some unexpected delays along the way. I had already selected a base figure: Mattel JLU Silver Banshee
with the hair piece from Mattel JLU Wonder Woman v1
(aka. the 4PoA one). I chose this hair piece as it was closer to the look I wanted to give to the figure. Originally I had chosen a Mattel JLU Huntress
cape for the custom, as shown in the picture below:
However, when I was going to start with the putty sculpting I reconsidered the decision. Looking at Darth Ennis
' custom I saw that the medal looked too high on Huntress
' cape if you don't re-sculpt the cape on the chest area. So looking into it carefully I realised that the Mattel JLU Doctor Light
cape would look better with the lower cape-medal connection I had in mind. In the end I used a Mattel JLU Superwoman
cape, which is already yellow, so I would not have to paint the cape's inside, reducing the odds of sticking to the body paint. I painted the outside of the cape in red early in the process to avoid its paint sticking with the hair's one later.
Having sorted out the base figure the first step for me was to adapt the hair to the head. I used putty to fill-in the empty spaces, and this actually proved to be the right decision, as we will see later. While the putty hardened I trimmed the ear rings and improved the hands' sculpt in the plastic, as it had horrible mold lines that actually gave her horrible fingers. Rest of body was sanded too to erase mold lines and imperfections.
Once the hair was glued to the head by means of the hardened putty, I sculpted the face, hair lines and fringe. I also sculpted the shoulder pads (in typical 80's style), gloves and belt. I also used some putty to reconstruct some of her fingers. At that time I didn't sculpted her boot tops because I had to decide wether I would do them in Steve Lightle
's style (v-shaped top) or Greg LaRocque
's (flat-shaped top) one.
You can see this stage of the process in the images below:
The next step was to sketch the costume lines with pencil to set up all the proportions. This was an important step, as I was planning to do the black lines in the costume with glued paper, not just paint them, and thus I would be unable to move them later if I didn't liked them. With the costume lines sketched I then sketched the boot top also with a pencil to imagine how each option would look. Finally I went for Lightle's one, and sculpted it in putty.
Then I added the black lines carefully, made by some paper strips previously painted in black which were superglued to the figure following the sketched lines. While doing this I decided that the mask lines would be painted instead, to have a smooth transition between the black line and the eye's line.
At this point I made the first paint test to see the overall look of the figure, to check if paint would scratch in the articulations and also to test which gold paint would look best with that red. My first choice for gold (a light one) was already ok and is the one I used. I gave another coat of paint to the cape's red side and varnishing it, to avoid it sticking to the hair later. I added the ring to her right fist, using the same small rounded piece I use in other Legion of Superheroes
customs. The image below shows this step of the process, which already gave a pretty good idea on how this custom would look in the end.
My plan was then to focus on the face mask and the limits between mask and hair. For that I made a first sketch of the black mask lines and the eyes and painted the hair in yellow. I was about to start working on the cape when I realised that the bottom of the hair piece was making too much presure on the cape, not only sticking but even scratching the paint on both the hair and cape. After a careful look to it I finally decided to trim the inside of the hair piece a bit, so it would fall straight down following the cape, not crashing into it. But for doing this trimming I had to take the hair off the figure again, which was strongly stuck in place due to the putty I used. Doing this created some cracks in bits of the sculpted hair around the mask, which added into the things to fix later.
The image above is interesting as it shows how using the putty to adapt the hair to the head had created a negative mold in the exact shape of the head. This was good as I could put it back later exactly in the same position. From this I learned that putty is a very good option to adapt pieces one another (in the past I used to only glue them in place, an example of this is Dream Girl
's head which was just glued in place into the hair piece, with some space left between head and hair).
In the images below we can see the improved hair once I put it back together. The side view shows how it followed the cape down:
At this point the next step was to sculpt the cape and medal connection. For the medal I used a small piece of plastic that had the exact size and thickness I needed. So all I had to care for was to shape an extension for the cape which would meet the medal. Then I sanded it carefully to have a smooth surface. The photo below depicts the result of this step:
I then painted the inside of the hair and the outside of the cape again, coated them with varnish and waited 2 days for the varnish to be completely dry. Only then I glued the hair back to the head and restored the hair line sculpting to eliminate the cracks. Then I focused on the black mask lines and the eyes, making them smoother and crisp. I also improved the paint applications in the rest of the figure and painted the S
logo in the medal.
Finally I used matt varnish for the hair and costume except for the belt, the cape medal and the ring, which were coated in glossy varnish.
And here you can see some extra shots of the final result:
If you have made it to this paragraph I hope you enjoyed the description. This is a figure that I put lots of attention and love for some months, so there was a lot to say about it. I am already working on part 7
and I can already tell you... it won't be so long!