This is a long-delayed post to close the series on my custom entries to last year's Legion of Superheroes Challenge
) in the Custom Justice
website. I started writing these lines 10 months ago, days before my little precious girl was born... and since then I've never been master of my time again and never found the time to finish it... until today...
Ok, so this Part 8
is devoted to a Legion of Superheroes member that has got a lot more interesting in the last years as she has become darker... White Witch
For this custom I chose her looks from the 80's. I used reference pics mainly from Greg LaRocque
, who gave her a more etherial, faerie look in the comics. The challenge was to try to pass this etherial look to plastic.
It took some time to find the right pieces for this custom. The easiest pieces to choose were the hair, that comes from a Mattel JLU Silver Banshee
, and the arms, that come from a Mattel JLU Harley Quinn
and have the hands open in a gesture more compatible with spell-casting that the standard, closed fist arms. The rest needed a lot more careful thinking and planning. It was clear to me that for this custom the standard JLU female buck, with the spread legs was not adequate, as in LaRocque
's depiction of the character she tends to stand up, levitate, fly or even spell-cast in a very rigid position. So this reduced my options to either a JLU Hawkgirl
or a JLU Wonder Woman
. I ended up choosing a Mattel JLU Wonder Woman (version 1)
that I had available, with the aforementioned JLU Silver Banshee
hair and JLU Harley Quinn
arms. You can see the piece break down below.
The first step was to adapt the hair-less Wonder Woman
head to the small, narrow hair cavity. As I was planning to trim down the top of the hair to make it more rounded, I decided to cut the head down to fit in the existing hair cavity instead of expanding the cavity for the head to fit in. The result once putting all the pieces together can be seen in the photo below.
The seams between the head and the hair were filled with putty. Then I took some time to carefully sculpt the top of the hair down in the plastic itself, giving it a more rounded shape. Putty was used again to re-sculpt the hair line on the sides, giving it the right proportions.
The body needed also some adaptations. The waist was sculpted down in the plastic, to remove the belt. Also Harley Quinn
's wrist bands were cut off and sanded carefully. For White Witch
's dress I first made a pattern made on paper which I improved until it had the right shape. It was during this dress-shaping process when I realised that it would be better to sculpt a higher waist line in the body, to serve as a base for the dress piece. I sculpted that in putty, taking as guidance the shape the dress piece formed around the waist and filling that space.
The rest of the body was sanded too to erase boot lines, mold lines and imperfections. Some lines such as the boot ones needed some extra putty to hide them. The result of all these modifications can be seen below, with and without the paper dress template:
Then I focused on smoothening the base figure. I sanded down the chest to decrease its size (White Witch
is not suposed to be as voluptuous as Wonder Woman
). I also sanded down the legs a bit more, widening the space between the tights to avoid the paint being scratched when legs were moved. Lots of extra sanding was made in the hair, wrists and ankles, to smooth their surface. Finally I added some extra putty on the legs to re-shape them a bit, and the neck gem was sculpted in putty.
As in previous LOSH customs, a ring was added from a small plastic piece in my custom fodder.
From this point on I had to paralelise the work in the different areas and layers of the custom that were left, otherwise I would not make it to the LOSH Challenge deadline. This meant, for instance, to start already painting the legs and coating them with varnish prior to adding the skirt piece.
In parallel I looked to the material to use for the skirt. Looked into several shops here in Barcelona but noone had vynil with the appropriate thickness. But then one day while doing some cleaning at my office I found a folder separator that seemed made of vynil (or something similar to it). I brought it home and then made two quick tests on one corner of the folder to check 1) whether paint could stick to it, and 2) whether suplerglue could glue it. Both tests were positive, so I dedided to use it as the material for the skirt.
Another important thing to solve was the eyes and eyelashes. A first thing to decide was how to make those thin curved eyelashes, which should be far thinner than Chameleon Boy
's antennae. The second delicate issue was a chromatic one: having a pale skin, while eyelashes and white eyes looks great in comics, but translating that to plastic was tricky, as it all would look white. I first tried to make eyelashes a light gray, as some other people has in their customs, but to me that looked wrong: eyelashes had to be white and seamlessly connect to her elfic antennae. So the only alternative was to make the skin tone slighly darker around her eyes, the eyelashes in a pure white and the eyes a bit darker. The latter I achieved by adding a stain of blue to the eye. It is subtle but enough to mark the border between eye an eyelashes.
Each eye antennae is made from a single copper wire, coming from a standard electric wiring. In the corners of her eyes I made a tiny hole in the head's plastic directly with a pin, then inserted the wire some milimiters in the plastic, added some glue, cut the wire to the right lenght and turned the tip of the wire to form a round mini-egg-shaped tip, that would be improved later by adding many coats of paint.
Below you can see a photo of the custom at that point, just after I glued the skirt to the figure.
While doing the photo I also realised that I needed a different background to take the final pictures, this was an extra item into my to-do list.
Few days were left before the LOSH Deadline so I had to use any moment available to finish this custom. In one putty sculpting session I hide the skirt connection to the body and sculpted the sleeves. The sleeves were a tricky thing to sculp, as I wanted them to look right both with the arms down and up, while avoiding crashing them into the skirt when the rms went down. I was very inspired that night and got it right in the first attempt.
Just a day before the deadline the final touches of paint were made to have all the details crisp and clean. After some varnish applications, the final result was the one you already saw:
With this post I close the series on the entries that made it to the Legion of Superheroes Challenge. Next post will show some curious facts about how did I organise the multiple customs in parallel and those entries that haven't made it.