Sturgeon King (Final)

It’s a month later now, early June, and I have finally finished the Sturgeon King model!  I started this work in October of last year so this model has been nine months in the making.  Can you believe it?  I think PKKing painted his in two full weeks.  But, the results must be satisfactory.  This work just won the Gold medal in the Creatures and Alien category of the 2012 Western Canadian Regional Model Contest.

So, here are my final WIP photos.   My last post showed that I was starting work on the human figure.  The following pictures show some finishing results.




What follows are three different views of the human girl’s face and head.





And here she is in full relief.




The next task was to finish the elf face.  This was a little different as her eyes are not open and she needed some eyelashes. These were made from the bristles of a paintbrush.  They were individually picked up with tweezers and stuck to the eye, and trimmed to length with scissors.




And here are a few pictures of the finished elf girl.





And finally, once the little cute bunny-like animals are painted and the base is covered with modeling grass, we have a completed Sturgeon King.




It’s done!  I will eventually take some studio photos with proper lighting and put some finished pictures in the gallery.

Thanks for viewing!


Sturgeon King (Elf)

Hello everyone!  It’s now early May and I have been making some progress towards finishing this model.  I have started the two figures.  One is an elf girl and the other is a human girl.  The elf girl is now mostly finished, except for the final touch ups when everything is  assembled.  I want to try and complete the whole Sturgeon King model by the end of May as there is a local model contest coming up and this can be my entry.

In the progress picture that follow you will see that I have added a little sparkle on the elf girl’s chest and navel.  A darker flesh tone paint had been layered in the cleavage area and under the arms, and the sparkle was applied as part of the shading process by mixing my medium tone acrylic flesh paint with a white pearl.



The next picture shows more of the early shading.   I have layered darker colors in the spine and underarms of the torso and under the knee and in the ankle of the leg.  Light shadows also play a part in providing color variation.



The elf ears are slightly darker and a pink over spray has been applied to the cheeks.  I wanted to add some color and break the monotony of a single flesh tone as can be seen in the background of the very first picture.




I have also made some progress with the elf body.  I used Daler Rowney pearl ink paints for the bikini.  I like these paints because  I find that they provide a wonderful depth to the pearl effect.  The trim is an acrylic silver from Tamiya.




These pictures show the pink pearl I used as a contrast color to the bikini.  I also used Alclad II chrome for the bracelet and anklet, and the fingernails are also chrome.  The Alclad chrome is backed by a gloss black and you can see where I have used this as a contrast for the bracelet by applying the chrome to only the bracelet beads.




The elf girl has a transparent collar around her neck.  I plan to paint the bottom part of this opaque with a bronze or gold metallic color so as to look like cloth.  Tamiya clear blue was applied and then over coated with Future clear acrylic.



With the other figure, the girl’s skirt is a colorful orange and brown.  The piece at the back looks like the cloth and seems to be reasonably coarse, which is nice as I certainly do not want to sand all the crevasses smooth.   But, I did want the color variations to be quite distinct.  This was fun to paint!  The piece is not yet finished as the trim still needs to be applied, but we can see how this will look when it is all done.





The last two pictures show some initial work on the human girl.  Her hat has been painted with Alclad II dull aluminum for a metallic effect.  I also expect to put a little color into the swirls and wash some black into the lines.   I am also  starting work on her torso.




This is where I am at.  I’m happy, it’s coming, so please keep the faith as I expect to show more work in a week!

Sturgeon King (Seat)

Back in December when I finished the Sturgeon King serpent I had thought to be able to show you some work on the mushroom seat.  Well, here we are in April and I finally have found some time and motivation to continue work on this fine model by PKking.

So, here are some pictures!


I finished this piece in a brown, earthy tone, as I think this will blend with the base that the figures will sit upon.  The mushroom seat (is there a better name for this?)  is mostly finished with Tamiya and Alclad metallics.  I had originally used a Tamiya titanium silver base coat for this, but the silver color didn’t really work as I thought it was too similar to the serpent’s metallic wing.  So I shaded the front and top of the seat with Tamiya bronze, and then put Alclad II copper on the top to introduce a more metallic red color shading. The Alclad copper also provides a better metallic depth and reflection to the piece.

The back of the mushroom seat was not darkened with the bronze, but instead the silver base was colored with Alclad II green to blue prismatic paint.  This gives a generally green metallic over tint to the piece that can transition to a darker blue depending on how you look at it.  The same prismatic paint was also applied to the top of the seat and this is what is giving the varied shades and slight reflective sparkle to the piece.

Alclad II pale gold was lightly sprayed on some of the textured swirls in the piece to bring them out.

All in all, I’m happy with the result.







As you can see in the last photo I now have the figures primed.  The next step is to start to paint and assemble them.  I have some well needed vacation time coming up over the next little while, so hopefully I can show more progress without another lengthy wait!

Sturgeon King (Serpent 2)

Well, it is now mid-December, and as promised I have finished the serpent on the Sturgeon King model. I sprayed some green to blue Alclad II prismatic paint along the belly of the serpent to add some additional shading and texture. The Alclad II prismatic paints have an interesting effect whereby they change color a bit depending on the angle at which you are looking at the model. You should be able to see the slight green tint reflecting off the scales in some of the pictures.


The following pictures are some close-ups of the serpent’s face. The creature has little beady eyes that I presume just had to be red, and a number of tiny little teeth just waiting to bite something. I washed some black enamel into the nose lines to draw this feature out, and also into the spirals in the things in the head that I had famously tried to paint in a copper color. I also added a little more purple pearlescent color to the scales on the top of the head as I thought this color should continue on from the back. There is a little gold enamel trim in the ear wings, and the two antenna on the head were done in the Alclad gold oversprayed with white pearl as I did with the wings.


There you go. The serpent is done.

My next posting should be in a week or two. We’re into the holiday season now and I have some time off work, so I should be able to find more time to continue working on this model. My plan is to start work on the mushroom seat (if that is what we call it).

Sturgeon King (Serpent 1)

Now it is early December and I have started work on the serpent. I am not finished, but I thought I would post some progress pictures.

I had mostly intended to follow PKking’s original color scheme as it made sense. The serpent is rising from the water and the base of the creature should be of a blue color, which means that the whole serpent should perhaps be of a blue or gray tint. And, I wanted metallic colors that would shine. The picture below shows the paints that I used. There was a metallic blue from Vallejo Model Air and another blue from Tamiya X13, and a few pearlescent ink paints from Daler-Rowney.

The base of the serpent was colored with standard blue to roughly match the shade of the water. The back of the serpent was sprayed with the darker Vallejo blue.

The head and the inside of the serpent was painted with the Tamiya metallic blue. The fins, or pointy things all along the back of the serpent were painted with the purple pearlescent paint. Now, these Daler-Rowney ink paints are hard to spray as they tend to plug up the airbrush. So, when they come they come in a big rush, and then they stop, and so on. There is not a lot of fine spray control. But, the overspray does leave a wonderful glisten to the metallic paint. Once the purple is on it is shaded and toned with a white pearl overspray.

Now, being creatively silly, I thought that a nice metallic gold Alclad II color on the wings would look good. Boy, was I wrong! But, with every mistake there is always gold in the silver linings. I oversprayed the gold with my wonderful white pearl and came out with a very fine slightly gold tint to the wings which makes them look just like metal.

And then, stupid me, I thought to repeat my mistake by looking for a copper color as highlights on the serpent’s head. Well, this didn’t work any better than the gold. So, I highlighted the top of the head with the blue pearlescent paint. And I covered this copper mess up and highlighted the blue with the white pearl. This is much more satisfactory.

What follows now are a few shots of the serpent on the clear base. There is a lot of brush work still required on the serpent to paint the eyes and teeth and bring out all the detail in the creature. I’ll post some more pictures in a week or two when this is done.

Sturgeon King (Base Construction)

Well, it’s November now. I had hoped to have the base for my Sturgeon King model completed sooner, but sometimes things happen. It’s perhaps better not to rush. But really, I messed up. I had to redo some work and this contributed to the delay.

I thought to build a simple oak base for the model. After measuring, it looked like a 12 inch diameter round base would be ideal. However, as you can’t really buy oak boards this wide, the base needed to be put together from two pieces of 1/2 inch thick lumber. The following pictures show how I pinned and glued the pieces of wood together. You will also get to see a bit of my workshop as we go through this.


The next step is to figure out where the model should sit on the base. After marking the location I cut the round base using my jigsaw with a circle guide. Unfortunately, my circle guide wasn’t really big enough for a 12 inch diameter cut and on my first attempt at this the guide slipped. I ended up cutting a spiral and ruining the piece. Nothing could be done but throw it away and try again. Also, in the photo below you can see the LED light that I plan to put in the base. I bought two simple lights at a dollar store. I am only going to use one and the second is a spare.


On my second attempt, after buying new wood and preparing the piece, I finally managed to cut out my 12 inch circle. The next step was to insert the light. I cut a hole in the wood using a circle cutter of the right size for the light assembly and drilled a hole to run the switch out to the side. After a little rewiring all was fine, and I filled the hole with a little plastic resin that I mixed up. The LEDs were protected from the resin pour with a plastic straw.


Of course, I am anxious to see what this will look like. So I decided to assemble the serpent and prime it. Once primed I dry fit the model. The picture below shows part of the process. The serpent was too big to prime all at once, so I did it in two passes.


Here are some preliminary dry fit pictures. The light does indeed highlight the clear resin and I’m pleased to see this. Unfortunately the clear resin is dusty right now. I suspect it will look better when finally finished and properly cleaned.


For my next post I expect to show my work on the serpent. It will probably be another month before I have anything to show. I plan to use metallic paints and trim with gold. Here’s hoping this works out well!


Sturgeon King (Beginning)

Well, it’s October and my summer hiatus is over. I am now starting work on PKking’s wonderful sculpt, the Balance of the Nine Skies Sturgeon King. I am really curious to see what I can do with this. There are interesting facets of PKking’s sculpture that lead to creative ideas, although I am not going to experiment too much on this one as it is my first build of one of his models.

For example, we have a serpent, two lovely figures, a massive clear resin base, and all sorts of complexity in the surface details that can be brought out.


The following picture shows the shipping box and some of the parts. I was fortunate in that the fragile and complex clear resin base arrived without damage, all the way from Taiwan. My thanks to the Postal Gods!

Oh, as an aside, I taught Computer Science at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah, which is why I have a souvenier in my workshop. The US State University system is lots of fun and much different from what we see in Canada!


I decided to start with the transparent base. The base is in two parts. One is small and the second is huge. I am not exactly sure how it was cast? You can see two massive casting sprues on the left side of the base, but there don’t seem to be any other sprues anywhere else.


The following picture is a closer look at the center piece where one of the figures sits. See all the detail in the piece? All of PKkings work is of this level of complexity. There will be some interesting effects possible through dry brushing or other painting techniques. Oh, if you look closely you can also see that there is a large air bubble hole in the clear resin spash wave in the background. This was one of the very few flaws I found in the massive cast.


When I have worked with clear resin in the past, for a clear finish it needs to be sanded with a very fine paper, almost 1200 to 1800 grit if possible, before coating with a clear gloss paint. If you do this you can get the surface as clear as glass. For Sturgeon King sanding the whole model to this level will be impractical, but I did try to improve the clarity of the wave splashes. You can see in the picture below how I sanded the piece. I used a series of Scotch-Brite radial bristle jeweler sanding discs of various grits on my Dremel tool, down to a very fine 6 micron polish. When you first start sanding with coarse grits the piece becomes quite cloudy, but as you progress to finer grits it becomes clearer.


When the pieces were sanded they need to be clear coated for a proper transparent finish. I used Future acrylic floor wax for my clear coat as this is an inexpensive acrylic paint. You can also see that I am planning on using Tamiya clear blue paint to color these pieces.


The next step is to apply the color. This is done with the air brush in a few coats, shading appropriately. When the base is dry it is clear coated again to obtain a brilliant reflection.


On my next post I plan to set these pieces into a base and adding some LED’s for internal lighting. Stay tuned! Comments are welcome.

PKking Nine Balances – Sturgeon King (2)

PKking has assembled and painted his Sturgeon King model from his Nine Balances series. I am just now starting to assemble and create my own version of this wonderful model. Here are some colored pictures from his assembly that I will be using for reference. Pictures posted with permission.


Sturgeon King

For more pictures see the Gallery.

PKking Nine Balances – Sturgeon King

I have just ordered the Sturgeon King kit from PKking in Taiwan. He released this work in 2009 and it is called “The Balance of the Nine Skies – Sturgeon King”.

I have appreciated this model since it was first released. Apparently PKking is clearing out his stock of his old works and does not expect to cast any more, so I took the opportunity to order one of his final copies. As a figure modeler I may never be able to get another one of these works.

PK King’s blog can be found at

More photos of this work can be found here.

These are the model pieces. The base is cast from clear resin.