As alluded to in my previous post, an underlying concept of propagandic media creation will form the basis for a whole series of Star Wars-themed mini-vignettes, which will fall under an all encompassing project umbrella titled Star Wars: Join the Empire. And it kicks off with a simple piece comprising the Race Queen from atelier iT and the Imperial Stormtrooper from Bandai. There is a story behind this mini-vignette. Can you guess what it is? If you can't, fret not as all will be revealed later.
|Star Wars: Join the Empire mini-vignette No.1 featuring the Race Queen and Stormtrooper |
Scale-wise the atelier iT Race Queen figurine seemed a tad too small for the mini-vignette despite it being in the same 1/12 scale category as the Bandai Star Wars Stormtrooper. However, a number factors easily explain away this pseudo-discrepancy. For example if one took into account the fact that she is likely of East Asian origin then it's perfectly natural for her to be petite. Add to that a soldier of the Galactic Empire is likely to be at least six feet and above in height - Luke Skywalker was indeed too short to be Stormtrooper - then the size differences between both figurines become natural.
|At first glance the Race Queen might seem too small when compared with the Imperial Stormtrooper ...|
|... she is actually accurately represented in terms of scale, when you consider the fact that ...|
|... she is a petite, young East Asian woman standing next to a young, strapping model soldier of the Galactic Empire ...|
|... and if one assumes a height difference of about 20 cm between the pair of them, then ... |
|.. the both of them are correctly and accurately proportioned with respect to each other|
While I believe this mini-vignette can stand on its own as is, I won't yet discount the possibility of adding background terrain to the piece. Actually I did consider adding a wall and make it look like the interior of the Death Star, but in the end I decided against it as the said wall would've completely blocked the back view of the figurines. I had wanted a clear 360-degree view of the mini-vignette.
|Look closely at the Race Queen's hair and you'll notice something about the figurine's paint job ...|
|... that might seem trivial to the casual observer, but it's something I am extremely proud of ...|
|... namely how individual strands of hair managed to stand out from her mass of black hair ...|
|... a feat preferable to having a monotone flat look to the Race Queen's black hair ...|
|... so volume is what those highlighted individual strands add to her black hair|
Colors in this mini-vignette are mostly in the neutral and cool range, which is in line with the more lighthearted approach I wanted to take on this propagandic photo shoot mini-vignette. The story I'm trying to tell here isn't the serious, hardcore recruitment style videos that one would expect from an authoritarian regime under Emperor Palpatine. For this particular mini-vignette it's more of the backstory behind the photo shoot which I'll explain in detail a bit later in this blog post.
|Contrast is what mini-vignettes with the Star Wars: Join the Empire theme will provide ... |
|... that is a stark disparity between the cold, hard armor worn by soldiers of the Galactic Empire ... |
|... and the warm, soft skin tones of pretty lasses from across the galaxy ... |
|... in addition, it's also a contrast between the hard edges of a soldier's armor ...|
|... versus the beautiful, natural s-curves of the women in this propaganda effort |
Although the Race Queen figurine is static with her posture fixed permanently in what I call the "car show pose", the Stormtrooper is far more flexible in his/her posing possibilities. Despite having limited freedom of movement due to armor constraints, the Stormtrooper can still take on a far greater variety poses than the Race Queen. Moreover an added possibility of arming the Stormtrooper with a variety of different weapons (here he/she is holding a Heavy Blaster Rifle) allows for further creative posing.
|In terms of mini-vignette poses, there is actually a variety of different ones I could've adopted ...|
|... with the caveat being the Race Queen's posture is permanently fixed in her "car show pose" ... |
|... thus leaving responsibility of all heavy duty posing work on the shoulders of the Stormtrooper ... |
|... with a further caveat that the Stormtrooper's freedom of movement is in itself ...|
|... restricted by the inflexible white armor which encases the soldier's entire body ...|
|... while ironically the Race Queen is attired in a skimpy outfit and yet can no longer move|
So what story am I trying to tell with this mini-vignette? Have you guessed it yet? Well, it's a tale of a young soldier far, far away from home who has fallen head over heels in love with a model who poses in propaganda pieces for the Galactic Empire. In this mini-vignette, the Stormtrooper is trying to get the Race Queen's attention by crooning a love tune while she is trying to focus on her job of getting into character for the propagandic photo shoot. Also notice how the Stormtrooper is holding his Heavy Blaster Rifle incorrectly, using it as a microphone stand instead of a weapon. Not entirely the appropriate time and place for such amorous acts but what is a poor love struck fool to do.
|As the Stormtrooper gently bent his knees to whisper his undying love to the Race Queen ...|
|... he noticed that his Heavy Blaster Rifle was positioned in an exquisitely unique way ...|
|... closely resembling that of a microphone stand ... |
|... so a nascent thought begins to form inside his innocent head ...|
|... of a new way to woo |
As a color comparison, included below are a select series of photos of the pair against an azure background. Because I didn't want to flood the post with more photos of essentially the same thing with a different background, I only choose a few representative photos for the sake of comparison. It could all be just an optical illusion but both the Race Queen and Stormtrooper seem to adopt ever so slightly warmer hues when posed against the brighter background. The differences here are much less than my initial photos of the Race Queen, which means I did a better job with the lighting.
|Star Wars: Join the Empire mini-vignette shown here against an azure background|
Seeing that I am running out of captions to write, I'm just going to insert lyrics of an overly romantic love song into the ones below. And they are as soppy as they come. If you know what song those lyrics belong to, then by all means let me know in the comments below. Do enjoy. Or not ;)
|Thanks for the times that you've given me, the memories are all in my mind ...|
|... and now that we've come to the end of our rainbow, there's something I must say out loud ...|
|... You're once ...|
|... Twice ...|
|... Three times a lady ...|
|... And I loooooooove you ...|
Hmm, maybe I should name this piece "The Crooner". As at this moment in time, I still don't have a name for it apart from the boring one you see in the title above. Mini-Vignette 01 doesn't quite cut it for me. With the weekend almost over, I hope you've had a good week and will enjoy an equally good if not better one ahead. As good as it can be in these trying times anyway. Cheers and take care!