Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Let's Get Kraken!

Once again I took a longer hiatus than I intended. I was off to the IPMS (International Plastic Modelers Society) 2010 National Convention held in Phoenix, AZ in early August. When I returned I had an article I had to write for the Engineering Department's internal magazine and so that occupied more of my time. Then I needed a break from all the activity!

But I am back and loaded with photos from the model contest. I will not bore you with too many images from that contest, I hope, but some models do stand out and I will cover them in the next few installments.

Oddly enough, it wasn't an aircraft that I thought deserved Best of Show. It was this figures diorama that to me encompassed not only the consummate skills of a superb modeler, but the creativity of a mad scientist and the imagination of an artist.

Unfortunately the model covered up the title of the piece - assuming it even had a one - and the modeler's name was not written down either (of course not - it was a contest). I do know the modeler was a young Asian kid from Berkeley, CA, and I had a chance to briefly talk to him. I'll post his name when I find out who he is, hopefully when IPMS/USA posts the contest results on their webpage.

Nevertheless I do know the central element of his diorama is the Kraken (Octopus). The arms are sculpted and were carefully placed in position to dry. The other figures were modified and mounted on an "oil rig platform." It is also lit with battery-powered LEDs.

The whole scene has a strong "steam-punk" element to it and he confirmed that the genre was an influence, but not wholly so. Take a look at the following images and marvel, like I did, at his inventiveness and incredible modeling ability. Capturing a natural-looking human posture, with all it's subtle nuances, is extremely difficult, as is realistic figure painting and weathering. And the Kraken ain't bad, too (note the eyes in the last photo)! That young kid did it all with this vignette and it held me in awe. I hope you enjoy his work, as well.

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