Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Suicide Squad Katana [Completed] aka the 70 mm Nocturna Models Soum 13 Moons

It took a while but Suicide Squad Katana is finally done. Luckily for me, the 70 mm Nocturna Models Soum 13 Moons resin figurine turned out to be a perfect proxy for my recreation of Yamashiro Tatsu (山城 たつ) who is the super-heroine Katana's alter ego. Here then I present you with my interpretation of how Tatsu aka Katana would look like while enjoying some R&R. 

First of two Suicide Squad proxy projects completed - Katana

Below is a 360 degree view of Suicide Squad Katana uploaded in the form of a YouTube video. Be sure to choose the high definition (HD) option for the best possible view. Following the video are some still photographs of the miniature figurine taken using a DSLR camera with a macro lens.

Truth be told, Katana turned out better than I expected. Initially I had gotten stuck in this project because I was over-complicating things in my mind. During the creative process I had envisioned intricate tattoos for her skin as well as complex Japanese motifs for her clothing. While I still believe that tattoos and motifs can greatly improve the overall paintwork of a miniature, there is a time and place for such creative endeavors. But Katana wasn't it. Hers is one of simplicity and minimalism.

Suicide Squad Katana aka Nocturna Models Soum 13 Moons [Completed]
Vignette is one of a warrior at rest yet portraying an aura of sensual lethality
Diaphanous top was not overly done to mimic a natural see-through fabric and not a wet t-shirt effect
Suicide Squad Katana's sword is sharp and hungry for more souls
Curves on the figurine were expertly sculpted and provides a sensuousness which I tried to amplify via paint

Apart from the color scheme, there was another way I could linked this figurine to the Suicide Squad character. And that was the skull icon used to represent Katana in the movie posters. Fortunately the flat round surface at the back of the signage provided a suitable canvas on which to paint the said icon. Additional weathering on top of the finished icon was an option I didn't pursue as I could not bring myself to deface the painstaking freehand work. Perhaps with time such freehand paintings will become easier for me and as a result the fear of botching them up will no longer be an issue.

Putting Katana's movie inspired skull icon on the back of the round signage was a no-brainer
Back of round signage could've used some weathering but I couldn't bring myself to deface the icon
Squares of the wooden stool somewhat contrast the curves of the signage and her derrière

If anything, the only thing I would paint differently would be to apply a much lighter brown hue on the wooden stool. It came out a bit too dark for my taste. However at this late stage of the project I didn't have the wherewithal to take on a repaint process no matter how simple.    

Meanwhile Katana's soft black hair contrasts her extremely fair skin
Admittedly the wooden stool's yellow hue is a tad too dark  ... you are looking at her stool, right?
Adding a clear semi-gloss coat to her skin gave it a somewhat healthier glow
Katana's clothing comprises of whites and off-whites with a dash of red in the form of her hairband
Slight bent in her sword is unfortunate but was noticed too late for any effective straightening to take place

The eagle-eyed among you would've noticed that her mask is missing. Well there is a good reason for that. You see, I got the scale completely wrong. This being my first serious sculpt (don't laugh) meant I was too busy trying to get the proportions right that I completely forgot about its scale. As you can see from the photo below, the half face mask is way too big for her face. So as painful as it was for me to leave out the mask, I had to do it or risk ruining the entire vignette.

Scale-wise the face mask is completely off, hence it was omitted in the final photos and video

As usual, the DSLR camera macro shots can be misleading as to how small this 70 mm figurine really is. Shown below is a scale comparison of the Nocturna Models figurine with a Vallejo Model Color paint bottle, a paperclip and the smallest denomination in the Malaysian currency i.e. a five sen coin. Also this is how the completed figurine looks to the naked eye without any zoomed in effects.

Scale comparison of the 70 mm figurine using a paperclip, a five sen coin and a Vallejo paint bottle

At extreme closeups the paint job is noticeably rougher in places but that was a byproduct of bad pre-priming prep work rather than painting boo-boos. It was a case of impatience getting the better of me as I didn't take the time to adequately smoothen out parts of the figurine before applying the primer coat. This issue was amplified by my choice of a light colour scheme. That being said, all in all I'm still happy with the final results of Katana's paint job. The ability to see imperfections in ones own work is both a blessing and curse. It improves you while leaving you forever unsatisfied.

Do my nipples offend you? Well tough titties ...
My eyes, aren't they lovely ... and they are up here
Skull icon is clearest Suicide Squad reference once the half-mask was no longer in play

My next miniature figurine painting project will be taking me out of my comfort zone. I'm going to try to paint an entire figurine using mostly an airbrush and lacquer paints. Hand painting is of course still a must for the extreme details such as eyes, teeth and lips. Aside from the small details, the airbrush will see prominent use in my next figurine. And as for lacquer paints, they have inherent properties that acrylics cannot match, at least not in the same amount of time. It is those very qualities of lacquer paint which I will be hoping to exploit in the future project. Until then, thank you for your patience in seeing this project through with me - all 15 months of it. Cheers!




  1. What a Stunning and beautiful piece of art! Love the sign post.

    1. Thank you so very much Simon! I'm glad that you even consider it as art. Thank you! :)

  2. She glows like a pearl! Nice work :)

  3. Incredible paint-job ! Masterpiece !

  4. It's beautiful. Any other words would just not cover what I feel. It's subtle and sensual, yet it bears a striking pose. The work here is magnificent, you have reasons to be proud of this piece. You still speak of imperfections :O
    Well, quoting Oscar Wilde, discontent is the first step in the progress of a man or a nation. What can I say, I would be happy to match your mistakes! :D

    1. Thank you very, very much Suber. I'm so glad you like it and truly appreciate your kind words! :)

  5. Lovely work! I have been reading all the other steps as you posted them, and now it finally all pays off. Pity about the mask, but you could always add it later if you wanted.

    1. Thank you :) Yeah, the mask was an awful error on my part and you're right, I can always add it later. ^_^

  6. An another excellent paintjob done my Dear FeM ^^

    You can be proud of you : this Katana is very great ^^



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...