The First Avenger

Ok, if you have been following this blog for a while, the title seems a bit off…didn’t I just post 3 of the Avengers in a group shot?

For those who are watching superhero movies, this should tell you exactly what I am posting.  As an aside, Knight Miniatures just released their Marvel game and re-released their Avengers.  I do have a Knight Miniatures Batman so I know they are a bit bigger than my current figs.  Now, that doesn’t mean down the road I may get them, but I personally don’t like the classic costume version they have done for Captain America…so this project will go forward anyways.

Non-Heroic Dolly by Reaper Miniatures.  Reposed to be Captain America.

Non-Heroic Dolly by Reaper Miniatures. Reposed to be Captain America.

Non-Heroic Dolly by Reaper Miniatures.  Left stock form, right reshaped.

Non-Heroic Dolly by Reaper Miniatures. Left stock form, right reshaped.

Deano by Hasslefree Miniatures.  Non-Heroic Dolly by Reaper Miniatures.  Reposed to be Captain America.

Deano by Hasslefree Miniatures. Non-Heroic Dolly by Reaper Miniatures. Reposed to be Captain America.

To start with I decided a while back to get some dollies/armatures from Reaper.  I have always made my own armatures for sculpting.  So why did I take a step back as it were?  Well basically, laziness.  When working with men in tights, a pre-sculpted musculature saves me time.

My lovely wife decided to get me some for Valentine’s Day (awwww romantic…I got her jewelry so it wasn’t a total nerd-fest).

To start with, I will showcase the non-heroic male dolly.  As shown in the first pic, I did reshape my Captain America start state from the stock shape.  Standing beside Deano they are a bit closer to heroic scale in height but the proportions are a lot more toned-down.  What is worth noting, is my dolly still has a millimetre and a half of flash to file down on his feet so he won’t tower quite so much over Deano.

Now, all the rest of these pictures are for my own selfish purposes, but I am sharing for the benefit of you.  Awww, no seriously.  I will point out what I did step by step, but first my concept.

Captain America, first stage of sculpting.

Captain America, first stage of sculpting.

Captain America, first stage of sculpting.

Captain America, first stage of sculpting.

The latest Captain America movies show him in a more modernized suit, and his helmet is obviously a helmet of some type (but without padding or stand-off, not a very good one).  What has bothered me is that he didn’t really wear armour.  Sure, the suit looks cool, and he does have elbow and very thin knee-pads in some of his suits, but where is the stuff to protect him from badguys.

Here is a bit of reality folks: armour is heavy, bulky, and uncomfortable.  From kendo bogu to simple vests up to frag vests with plates and shoulder-guards, nothing I have worn is what I would call comfortable.  Once you wear it enough you get used to wearing it.  In fact, you stop noticing it as much and learn to adapt.  But, modern armour would not let you do the high-octane rough and tumble we see in most action movies.

However, there is another type of armour worn by another type of action hero…or should I say athlete.  Both hockey and football equipment do provide impact protection and freedom of movement.  Considering the huge resources of SHIELD and the Avengers, I wonder why Captain America wouldn’t wear some sort of hybrid of sports equipment and armour.

Well, wonder no more.  The first piece of equipment sculpted is his chest/back armour which is really just a bulkier version of the chest guard used in hockey.  I added on military style shoulder-guards as they are actually lighter and give easier movement than hockey shoulder guards.  They are actually thick pieces of Kevlar anchored to the vest with loose straps.  So here is my first combination of the two armour types.  Once cured, the front and back will have a thick strap/vest connection.

Captain America, first stage of sculpting.

Captain America, first stage of sculpting.

Captain America, first stage of sculpting.

Captain America, first stage of sculpting.

Now, if you look at the pictures, you will see some differences and mistakes.  The first picture shows tool marks and errors.  I quickly fixed those mistakes and took the other pictures.  Then, while writing this post I saw some more tool marks and mistakes on the left breast-plate so fixed that too.  See, dear reader, I told you these pics are primarily for me.

The next stages will see me adding in some of the lighter padding and the elbow pads.  I will be cutting off both the “balls” and sculpting hands.  The right hand will be a “knife-hand” four finger point while the left will be grasping his shield.  The legs will get a bit of an upgrade too from the world of sports: over the front of his boots will be soccer style shin/knee guards to give him some protection on the shin, ankle, and knee as he does his acrobatic combat.

A lot of pics and rambling today, but hopefully inspirational.  If nothing else, I encourage you to try your hand at sculpting to make your own revisions to characters…if I can do it, I am sure you can too.

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