2017-04-13

Iron Builder VIII: Palutena

 Build number eight, Lady Palutena, is the third creation based on existing IP and defintely the most challening and time-consuming. I've build Palutena, goddess of light from Nintendo's Kid Icarus game series before, couple of years ago. I was inspired by the character's complex attire and odd elegance. There were some good parts on the old version, but it felt somehow too rigid and lifeless. After that I've played quite a bit of SSB for Wii U and learned to somehow master the character. This was inspired by those matched with them boys. I think I played some with the seed part hiding in my trouser pocket...

Overall, I wanted to make more elegant version, with better, more flowing shapes without losing the importance on details. I began with the torso. The overall shape came out painlessly, but the brown belts with all the golden accessories were hard. I had two of those pneumatic hoses, one in old brown and one in reddish brown, and they were almost too short. As you can see, they sort of end too soon, but fortunately that isn't too visible. It also took some tinkering to connect them sturdily enough. But it looks pleasantly realistic.

Another challenge was the dark red line representing the layer of the dress. The old version utilized a minifig cape in strange position, but this one uses less interesting tricks with better results. New-ish 1/4 square tiles help here; great pieces. Ninjago daggers (Sais?) present the ornaments of the white underskirt.

The hands were serious pain in the arse. The layers of gold and tan are not easy, especially as the joints had to support the weigh of the shield and staff. They're alright but not that good. The left arm has irritating grey liftarm on the elbow. Neither of them are sturdy. They stay intact, they're not terrible, but they were not fun neither. But nobody has complained so far... At least the shield hides a lot and there are more interesting parts to look at.

The head was challenging, having the wing tiara and a gem on the forehead, but once I got the fringe work, the rest was relatively easy. Use of trans-medium blue tube as the halo is straight from the old version, but this one also uses a pulley. The face is similar to other recent builds - Red Lady of the Stream, Robin and Mistral Nereis. It can be packed on smaller scale than old Batarang variant and has separate eyes, which is a nice plus.

The hair is important part here as it uses the seed part, 2x8 Dublo grass block. It's quite a realistic presentation of the end of Palutena's weird long hair flock which is, for a reason or another, bright green. The hair is connected to the back (it's very heavy) and has a curve to add sense of of motion and portray the use of the seed part better. The uppermost part has a ball joint to make it look more natural with the head.

The legs are mainly hidden by the dress, but bits of them are visible. These were among the weakest part of the old version, and have been improved here. Rubber bands still function as the straps around the stocked leg. I was afraid that the legs couldn't bear the build, so I ended up making a floating pose which shows the shaping of the legs better. The pole of astral energy is sort-of reference to Palutena's cool and very nicely ranged Up Smash. The trans-medium blue colour also looks good with the halo and astral wings, build using Wonder Woman's invisible jet wings and some Atlantis portal slopes. The halo is visible for example in Up Aerial, which is, combined with down thrown, Palutena's most reliable KO option. There is a 32 studs long axle inside 2x2 round bricks. It gives them a nice glow. The base has two boat weights for extra stability.

Photographing this was interesting. The first session was cut short due to the weather: It was too dark and too windy. I took the photos on my balcony, fourth floor, and had to use so long shutter time (almost half a second) that the wind rocketed the goddes, making the photos blurry. Next day was better, but I took pictures both with black and white backdrop. The black was better, but I had to extend the cardboard all the way up to make the tall MOC fit it, and the stressmarks and folds on it looked too distracting. So I ended up cutting the MOC to another layer with polygonal lasso tool and adding some heavy gaussian blur to the backdrop. It looks interesting. I hope you like it.

And, of course, extra thanks to them boys for giving me that Zamor sphere, I've got plenty but they're currently in Joensuu. Big hand!

-Eero.






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