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Gokufan’s Celestial Genesis: Uzeon

Gokufan’s Celestial Genesis: Uzeon

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Project Blog by gokufan

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About the Project

The second of my Celestial Genesis painting projects. This one is for Uzeon, Wing of the Cryptick Mist

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Quick Progress Update

Tutoring 0
Skill 0
Idea 0
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So, my idea that making the base would motivate me to buy a rod to mount Uzeon on worked! Unfortunately I ordered from overseas so shipping took ages. But here he is, on his base. Looks awfully barren doesn’t it?

Good News: I found some inspiration for spicing up his base and know just what I want to do with it! I thought I was ready to finish this project but I like this idea so much I’m excited to put more work into it.

Bad News: I have to order more stuff! I don’t trust my meager sculpting skills to sculpt precise, mechanical shapes as would befit Uzeon’s minions.

So this is most likely the penultimate update, I have a feeling the next, final update is going to be very cool.

Uzeon on his baseUzeon on his base

Base

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I’ve been seriously procrastinating on finishing this guy, I keep looking for a flight base or clear acrylic rod, finding something 60% suitable, then not pulling the trigger. I thought making the actual base could help light a fire under me.

I decided to do a desert base similar to the one I made for Twilight. Uzeon is much bigger and top heavy to boot, so the base should be fairly large/heavy to keep him from tipping over. I was inspired by some pictures of erosion near the edge of the Llano Estacado. I’ve never done a base this intricate before, but I’ve been reading some diorama tutorials lately and eventually you have to go ahead and do it yourself.

I started by gluing some layers of I started by gluing some layers of "cork" (is this stuff really cork?) onto a wooden square. I tried to make a somewhat natural looking erosion pattern.
Then I added a bit of texture to some areas with a layer of miliput, and glued some plastic I'd cut out to the sides of the base to create a flat edge. In this picture it's glistening with watered down PVA glue in preparation for the next step.Then I added a bit of texture to some areas with a layer of miliput, and glued some plastic I'd cut out to the sides of the base to create a flat edge. In this picture it's glistening with watered down PVA glue in preparation for the next step.
I added some sand and rocks. Then let it dry/cure overnight.I added some sand and rocks. Then let it dry/cure overnight.
Priming. I went with a bright zenithal since I want it to be a fairly colorful desert.Priming. I went with a bright zenithal since I want it to be a fairly colorful desert.
A very thin layer of VMC desert yellow. I'm never sure exactly how much I can put down while retaining the zenithal effect, but I think it worked here.A very thin layer of VMC desert yellow. I'm never sure exactly how much I can put down while retaining the zenithal effect, but I think it worked here.
Being a proud New Mexican I like my deserts red, so I added quite a bit of red and brown pigment powders from Secret Weapon. I also added some Army Painter highland tufts. Being a proud New Mexican I like my deserts red, so I added quite a bit of red and brown pigment powders from Secret Weapon. I also added some Army Painter highland tufts.
Another shot of the finished product. The color didn't come out quite right in either of the photos, so imagine it somewhere in between.Another shot of the finished product. The color didn't come out quite right in either of the photos, so imagine it somewhere in between.

I’m pretty satisfied with how this came out for my first real attempt at such a base. There are some problems with how the plastic sides turned out (wish I had some polystyrene card instead of this much harder stuff) but it’s fine for a personal project. I do feel like the base could use something more, but I can’t think of anything cool like Edward Cullen from my Twilight project, unfortunately. Maybe something will come to me.

Head and Asembly

Tutoring 5
Skill 7
Idea 6
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My apologies, gentle reader, for the long time between updates. Work/school/holidays conspired to push this blog/model way down on my priorities list. But now the mini itself, if not the project, is done. Check it out!

There’s no new color schemes here, so I’m not going to go into detail on the individual steps.

skinskin
beakbeak
plumageplumage
cyber-yarmulkecyber-yarmulke
jowls (apologies for the blurry picture)jowls (apologies for the blurry picture)
fully painted and assembled model!fully painted and assembled model!

Of course it still needs to based before I can call it done and take some glamor shots.

Left Arm

Tutoring 3
Skill 6
Idea 5
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Short lil’ update, I painted the left arm. The process was much the same as the right arm so check out that post if you’re interested in the step by step.

Left Arm
Just the head to go!Just the head to go!

I just realized posting this update that I left one of the cylinders on his arm unpainted! 50 bafmodads if you can spot it.

Body

Tutoring 5
Skill 7
Idea 5
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So, moving on to the body.

I decided to start with the area around the back cavity, since that seems to be the focal point of this piece. I started out by basecoating the raw flesh in the middle with my scarlet-black mix and the metal surrounding it with the hot orange-black mix. I haven’t used any washes up until this point, but the fleshy area is almost the ideal surface for that kind of technique, so I hit it with a heavy wash of Army Painter Dark Tone. While that was drying I finished the orange metal by glazing up to hot orange and then highlighting with dark flesh tone and white. Once the wash dried I highlighted the flesh, also with dark flesh tone and white.

After that I moved on to the cylinders. Uzeon here is just lousy with cylinders, I counted 22 on his body and another 20 or so on each arm, plus a few on the head. Previously I had been wet blending them, since paints with a lot of white don’t glaze very well, in my experience. I decided to change to a method that would let me paint them in large batches here, since there are so many. I painted the shadows black, the highlights white, then layered greys in the in between areas. I finished up black-lining the recesses and edge highlighting with white.

Finally, I painted the rest of his back with my scarlet based mix. This area was smoother than most of the organic areas so I went for a shinier look.

back finishedback finished

After that, I moved on to the front of the piece. This area is dominated by Uzeon’s weird jet-bosoms.

I began by painting the organic areas with my black, light turqoise, basic skintone mix.

For the mystery spheres themselves, I painted the spherical shells with my orange metal scheme, the stripe of fleshy material across them turqoise, and the “nipples” are of course yet more cyber-cylinders so those were grey metal.

ooh la laooh la la

Last I painted the bits around his neck.

There was more orange armor, some of the blue, green, and purple feathers I’ve been painting on the other areas, and, of course, 6 more grey cylinders.

shiny!shiny!

Right Arm

Tutoring 8
Skill 10
Idea 6
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Time for the right armTime for the right arm

I picked the right arm rather than the body next because I thought it would be  a better place to figure out how I plan to paint the metal parts of the miniature. The arm has a good blend of mechanical and organic components, so it should give me a good idea of how the completed miniature will look.

I started by painting some of the organic areas in the same red-brown and blue-black colors I used on the tail.

From here, I started on the metallic areas. Uzeon has two main types of metallic components: armor plates and mysterious cylinders and tendrils.

For the armor plates I wanted an orangish color to contrast with the blue-black soft inner flesh and sort of mesh with the red-brown outer armored flesh. I basecoated the areas with a mix of hot orange and black. This created a sort of greenish tinted black, which wasn’t what I expected but I think it works so I went with it. From there, I blended in pure hot orange, followed by dark flesh tone and finally a bit of white for the highlights. I edge highlighted with a mix of white and dark flesh tone, although the orange parts on the arm are fairly round so there aren’t a great deal of edges.

For the cylinders and tendrils I went with a simple grey metal using black and white paint. I may come back and glaze in some other color to make them a bit more interesting, but I’m undecided at the moment.

Unfortunately I didn’t really get many shots of an individual metal part in process, but you can watch in this gallery as the metal areas sort of creep down the arm.

I'm trying to get the appropriate parts of the elbow in shadow here, but I may have to come back and fine tune this once I have the thing assembled.I'm trying to get the appropriate parts of the elbow in shadow here, but I may have to come back and fine tune this once I have the thing assembled.

After laying down some metals I went back and painted more of the blue-black onto the arm. I then realized that “crystallizations” near the elbow and coming out of the elbow-orb exhaust port are actually feathers! Well, what are feathers but crystals growing out of birds and allegedly dinosaurs, right?

From here I finished up the arm by painting the green/blue/pruple crystal colors from the tail onto the remaining feathers.

feathersfeathers
arm dry-fit into bodyarm dry-fit into body
right arm paletteright arm palette

The addition of the metal areas made the arm a lot more interesting to paint than the lower body and tail, I must say. Better variety of textures/components/colors to work with. Now that I’ve completed an arm I think I’ll move onto the body next to keep things interesting, rather than immediately painting the left arm.

Lower body and tail

Tutoring 8
Skill 9
Idea 6
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I’m starting with the lower body and tail, the largest of my subassemblies. While Uzeon has a ton of mechanical components, this section is interesting because it has none of that. There are 3 main components here: skin, organic armor plates, and crystallizations. This gives me lots of area to establish my color scheme for these parts prior to the more finicky NMM sections.

Looking at the his body I decide I’ll need to split the skin into two different colors, one  the inner parts of the body and another for the outer. This is pretty similar to the box art, and like with the box art I decide for a cool inner color and warm outer color. I also decide to use the same scheme on the plates.

I want the skin at least to be dark and desaturated, so I use black paint as a component of all the basecoats. For the inner skin I use black, light turqoise and basic skin tone. For the outer skin I use black, scarlet, and dark flesh tone (all paints are Vallejo model or game color unless otherwise specified).

Now that’s looking… lousy, honestly. I will say I was pleasantly surprised by scarlet+black creating a rich red brown. Not what I was expecting but quite nice, I’ll have to try it out on leather sometime. I decide to really punch up the color, and to add higher highlights and make them more directional.

lookit dat weird 6 pack!lookit dat weird 6 pack!

That’s more like it. Now for the crystallizations. My original thinking for this model was raven inspired, so lots of black with a sheen of blues greens and purples. I didn’t end up going this way but I still like the idea for the crystals.

I basecoat them black, then add bits of flat green, dark prussian blue and hexed lichen (purple). I then highlight each by mixing in some basic skin tone. I follow this up with an edge highlight of basic skin tone. I will say the edges on the crystallizations are softer than I’d like, which makes edge highlighting a bit difficult (where exactly is the edge?)

There’s quite a lot of these so here’s a gallery of various stages of crystal progress. I also continue to work on the skin and plates as I had established them earlier.

this guy would drop so much vendor trash in Ragnarok Online...this guy would drop so much vendor trash in Ragnarok Online...

I really like the way these are looking!… with the exception of the two horns on his back. I think I’ll come back to those later since I’m not really sure what to do with them.

Speaking of his back, here’s some progress shots of the brown skin/plates.

With that this section is pretty much done, back horns notwithstanding. I think I’ll paint one of his arms next, that should be a good change of pace.

Lower body and tail

Intro

Tutoring 6
Skill 6
Idea 9
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Time for my second Celestial Genesis project, this time it’s Uzeon, Wing of the Cryptick Mist. He’s a sort of flying serpent/bird/dragon/shrimp thing, with lots of different components and textures. I knew I wanted to paint him as soon as I saw him.

He seems to be a member of Zhurong’s faction: the Guardians of Mt. BuZhou. Their faction is the most mechanical of the Celestial factions, pre-human post-humans if you will. Uzeon himself is also covered in crystallizations and armor plates. He should be big contrast to my previous Celestial, the humanoid and organic Twilight.

You can see renders of the scultpure on Alex Oz’s artstation here: https://www.artstation.com/artwork/OyqOXK

Box art paint job, not mine!Box art paint job, not mine!

Since my first project on Twilight was maybe a little bit waaaay too wordy, I’ve decided to divide this one up in a more structured way. I’ve built the figure in 5 different subassemblies:

  • Lower body and tail
  • Upper body
  • Left arm and elbow orb
  • Right arm and elbow orb
  • Head, left jowl, and right jowl

I’m also, of course doing this intro post, and will likely do another on basing.

Since I didn’t take any pictures of assembly, I’ll write about it here briefly: This guy  was quite easy to clean and assemble. The quality of the cast is great, very few mold lines or flash. The connection points are chunky and well keyed, to the point that pinning is probably totally unnecessary (for assembly anyway, I pinned him to attach the subassemblies to corks for painting). Big Child continues to be the most impressive caster I’ve bought minis from. My one gripe is that he’s a “flying” mini and comes with no flight stand.

Intro

I’m very into the fluff of the range, what little of it there is, so I’ll go into a bit of detail here. Feel free to skip the last part of this update if you don’t care!

Uzeon, like all of the Celestials, is based on a figure from Chinese mythology. He appears to be based on the Azure Dragon Qinglong, guardian of the east. So his faction corresponds to the Four Symbols, with Zhurong being the vermilion bird of the south, and the north and west being currently unaccounted for.

His lore blurb explicitly calls out some enmity between Uzeon and G’gong, which seems fitting since G’gong is based on another draconic figure, Gonggong. Uzeon seeks to preserve the status quo to keep the Celestial safe from their enemy, the Sea of Consciousness, while G’gong seeks to burn down the status quo to gather the power to destroy the Sea of Consciousness.

There’s not a whole lot more to say at this point! The setting is still pretty nascent. It does apparently take place in the distant past of the universe the recently released Deep Madness. Deep Madness, which looks like a quality product but isn’t really my jam, is currently in the middle of a reprint campaign on kickstarter (as of 11/8/2018), so maybe check it out if this interests you.

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