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Robartes' Gaius the Murmillo

Gaius the Murmillo
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Suggested Retail Price
$10 USD


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Revision Log
31 January 2006page first published

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robartes writes:

Time flies when you're having fun, they say. And it does. Stop looking for a second and all of a sudden, you find yourself in the final round of a painting competition, having just over a week to go from several separate pieces of bare metal to a fully painted miniature. When I got voted into Round 3 of this painting competition (or more specifically, not voted out) and the Editor set the next deadline a generous amount of time in the future, I vowed to not get caught napping on this round and start early, so I would get the last figure finished with ample time to spare.

Yeah, right. I thought I just saw a pig fly by.

I had gotten just as far as hacking the miniature apart and left it like that until one-and-a-half weeks before the deadline. Fun and hilarity ensued, of course. Read on.

The choice of figure was easy this time, there being only one left - Gaius the Murmillo. Added benefit for this was that the other three painters in Round Two all chose that figure to paint, so I had lots of reference material to go by (thanks guys! grin). Of course, having three versions of the figure being painted before mine meant that I also had to do something to make my figure stand out from the crowd. Uh huh. (More on that, later....)

I decided I wanted to to something with the pose of the miniature, trying to have it look like a gladiator that had just defeated his opponent and was asking for a decision from the organiser of the games (not coincidentally called the Editor, I am told). I had no idea whether there was a specific gesture for this, so I went to an authority on gladiator fights - fellow Belgian and TMP'er WillieB - who kindly answered my query. It turns out that the most probable gesture would have been a simple raising of the hand with open palm towards the Editor.

That was what I was going to do, then - cut off the left hand, reposition the arm, and sculpt a new hand so it would look as if Gaius was raising his palm towards the Editor. Out came the trusty miniature saw:

Off comes the arm

To reposition the arm from a downwards to an upwards pointing position, I had to cut a V-shaped notch out of the top of it (which would be filled in with putty later).

One-armed gladiator

Having done that, I also drilled some holes in the arm to put florist's wire pins in (and through - my drill bit slipped grin). The wire would be used to pin the arm to the body, and to sculpt the new hand around (the inset in the picture below shows where I cut off part of the arm).

Surgery done

Next came putting the miniature back together. I was fairly confident that I could carry off the resculpt of the top of the arm (converting is actually quite easy - once the figure is painted, you have to look really close to see which parts are original and which are converted), but I was a bit worried about the hand. Well, if you believe my wife, I was right to be worried: every time I took out the gladiator with the resculpted hand, she doubled over laughing, muttering something about boxing gloves and oversized hands. It turns out that the hand I sculpted is a bit oversize compared with the figure's right hand. grin Oh well, my excuse is that the right hand is actually too small. laugh

Anyway, you can judge for yourself from these pictures (the infamous hand is already primed - and mercifully blurry - in this picture). At least it's a way for the figure to stand out from the crowd. Mission one accomplished! grin

Sculpted bits

And then it was on to painting, with about a week to go before the deadline. Priming was again done in my usual combination of grey spray-primer and black wash.

The primed figure