Sunday, October 16, 2011

Happy Monk - scoring of the casting

Casting score card.

Materials - A mid grey resin, the carves off quite easily, and sands well.

Parts break down is as follows; upper and lower torso, left foot, gourd/ drinking container, branch, 2 x resin runners with 4 x flowers & 1 x butterfly. No base included, although the right foot has a pre made peg that will allow for drilling out and mounting.

Air bubbles - found one (and just 1) under the right elbow. a 15 second fix. 2 marks
Texture - smooth on the skin, robe and necklace of beads, texture on the soles of the sandals (where raised) texture on the branch is okay. 2 marks
Fit - very good, torso joins along a natural seam line, as does the left foot/ sandal. The gourd/drinking vessel will need a bit of gap filling, however there is a peg & hole to help with fit on this also.(it fits to the right hip, just under the sash). 4 marks for the torso fit, the left foot, and branch

Mould lines - only visible under a magnifying glass - so don't be that up tight, it's a hobby!

Mould slippage, short pours or rough casting? none present.

Overall view. Minus the 3 marks for lack of instructions, subtract another for the single air bubble I found, I'll give this a score of 22 out of 26 marks.

A off beat and interesting subject, within the 54mm range. I have already contacted Ernst with a quick impressions review, and advised him that I would also do a review.

For a first figure, it is nicely sculpted, cast with a logical part separation (and better, a smart way of hiding the seam on the torso)

I do this review to offer feed back to Ernst & his team of co-artists, he stays in communication with queries (he can be contacted via Planet Figure, via private message. I'm not aware of other websites he attends, although Cool Mini or Not is likely) and to see more of his work in the future.

I would buy from this person again, and if the subject matter appeals to you, would encourage you to buy with confidence also.

From Latvia to Australia is a good test for a mailed package, both for potential damage, and time for delivery. It arrived intact, and in a realistic time-frame, for a good price.

There is a link to "White Rabbit" on the box - this website is under construction, I had to Google search for a image of a completed figure. Ernst and his team are working on this for the future.

The lack of instructions or images is understandable, for a first run or limited run kit, the lack of a base helps keep the cost down. This kit is not a table top gaming figure, and I cant recall too many Tamiya kits where a base is included for each soldier.

Recommended with confidence.

Note - reading back over this, I will have to rework the scoring system. Errors are mine, it's still a nice kit, and an excellent first start.

Happy Monk - scoring and image

Images - top, the lower half of the figure, the foot, branch, drinking gourd, and 2 x resin runners with flowers and butterflies. Next, upper and lower torso of the monk. There are pour stubs on the belly, underside of the sleeve and top of the raised knee. The figures in the bags, to ensure against loss. The bagged parts in the plastic clam shell box.

The Review.

The figure I first saw on the Planet Figure sculpting forums, and it caught my eye as different and novel.
I sent a private message to Ernst, and arranged for a copy, and paid through pay pal.
Ease of ordering, 2, secure payment, 3 mark. total, 5.
IT arrived approximately 2 & 1/2 weeks later. quite acceptable, Europe to Australia. Well packed in a padded bag (the type lined with bubble wrap). Additional 2 marks.

Total 7 so far.

Packaging and security.
See above photos - for a smaller scale figure (well, smaller for me) the clam shell style plastic box kept everything together, and resisted delivery bruising very well. Sealed bags kept everything together. 2 marks for packaging, 2 marks for security (bagged and taped shut)

Instructions and images - I am torn on marking this down, as a smaller figure, these are uncommon. But I have seen (& purchased) other figures that have a least one picture on the front of a completed, painted figure. So had to mark down the three points for that. Tank line of figures spring to mind, as that company has images on the boxes.

Still on 7.

Next post, casting score card.

"Happy Monk" 57mm tall kit.

"Happy Monk" is the first commercial relase for the sculptor Ernst Veingart, of Latvia.
It depicts a monk, holding a branch, that is flowering and attracting butterflies. The monk is a well fed fellow, wearing a robe, and shown standing on one leg.

Nice animation, and a different subject. The image is from the blog, Massive Voodoo.

No base is included, so it is up to you on how you base it.

Onto the next post, images of the figure, and the scoring system.

Doing a review - a scoring system of some kind.

OK, first of all, let me set down my qualifications for doing a figure review.

None. Smallish grey army, and have painted 8 figures to date. So my experience is limited.

So this will be a semi - objective opinion piece, and I have tried to assign some values to the process, so the evaluation process can be sorted out, rather then ...."hmm, I really like this subject, so I'll rave about it".

Here is the process I am going to follow.

Subject - no marks, just the title. Potted history, or back ground description.

Ordering and Delivery
Ordering - how easy was it to order on-line (or over the phone, out of a catalogue, via fax, carrier pigeon, etcetera) and then get what was ordered within a decent time at a decent price.
Ordering - 2 marks. 1 mark for ease of ordering., 1 mark for timely (within 72 hours) replies
Payment - 3 marks. 1 mark for ease of paying, 1 mark being for able to pay securely, 1 mark for acknowledgement of payment
Delivery - 2 marks, did the item ordered show up? and did it show up within a reasonable time frame? (3 - 3& 1/2 weeks for a surface economy order)

Was the figure (or paint, putty, reference book, brushes, tools, gadget, gizmo, do-dad or essential 'bit of kit') securely packed, padded or boxed to guard against the casually incurred damage sometimes viewed when items go through the mail or courier system?
Packaging - Figure protected from transit damage and 'bruising'. 2 marks (box and padding)
Security - reasonable steps taken to ensure small parts are not lost, and resist damage (ie, zip lock bags, backed onto cardboard) 2 marks

Simply, How do I put this together, and then paint it? And in what colours? was it red cuffs for the cavalry, or the blue cuffs for the grenadiers, those kind of things. Is there a image (or two) that helps with the instructions
Instructions - text, line art work, combination included. 1 mark if present.
Image for reference - photo of at least front and back view. 2 marks if present. Additional marks for images (painted or otherwise) on how to put the figure together, or additional views. maximum additional 4 marks.

What material is this made from; resin, metal, combination of materials for different parts, quality of casting also

Casting - No air bubbles present? 3 marks. (or!) Air bubbles present, in easy fixed places? 2 marks. Good textures, 2 marks. Good fit, 2 marks

Loose marks for the following
- mould slippage - 2 marks
- air bubbles, more then 11 over the figure.* 2 marks
- rough casting or short pours. Where a casting is in complete. 2 marks

*I had to think over this number, and I have started with this figure of 11. Some air bubbles are almost inevitable in most figures. I chose to build on some lee-way, yet balance that against a number that still allows a figure to approach sale worthiness.

Fit - How closely do the parts fit? I'd allow a 2-3 mm gap for figures above 70mm, 1-2 mm below that. 5 points maximum, loose a mark per poor fit, per part.

*For the 30mm size minis (and lower) I dont usually see these in multiple parts, so I'd automatically award the points.

So a quick tally.
Payment & Delivery - 7 marks
Packaging - 4 marks
Instructions - 3 marks
Casting - 7 marks
Fit - 5 marks

Total - 26 marks.

And of course, there will be the human element added back in, to compensate for rigidly applied markings

Onto the review.