Character & Intent
Yet another character from the Legacy of Kain
series rears his head, and it is a rather spiky one.
Vorador has been one of my favorite characters in the series ever
Soul Reaver 2 introduced me to him. Even though his "screen time" in the
games is limited and usually only serves as a guide to bridge cornerpoints
of either Kain's or Raziel's path, his short appearances hint at a surprisingly
multi-layered character. Even the way he walks and talks is telling us a lot
about his personality - Upright, proud, commanding.
The vague hints at and glimpses of his personal history show an idealist-turned-
fatalist who has lived too long and seen too much to hope that he is going to keep
up the fight for what he used to believe in.
Still, he is not beyond helping the select few who might make a difference when
they seek his council. After all, all he has left to lose rests on his very shoulders.
Vorador has been far up on my to-do list for quite a while. In
fact, I was so
interested in making him that I kept going through my fodder until I figured
out a way patch him together from less-than-obvious parts. As always,
the head was the key.
The aforementioned head base was easy to find, for obvious
Vorador's face is rather distinct and unlike any realistic human standard.
So I decided to focus on finding the right eyes and rebuilding the rest of
the face around those. This approach paid off upon closer inspection of the
Viper King. His eyes were appropriately sunken into bony sockets.
Working with a ceramic duplicate as usual, I carved away until the eyes
and an already heavily modified nose were the only details left, then sculpted
the rest of the face back on. The ears as well as the spikes were only "suggested"
and made seperately because casting them for the resin hardcopy wouldn't have
For the body, I chose Akuma because he had the right bulk and
lacked any special
features that would get in the way of the simple, but elegant clothing style of the character.
In true fashion of my humble self, I expected only minor
sculpting to be required end ended
up sculpting over most of the body, anyway.
I also couldn't use Akuma's arms, as the short lower arms
couldn't accomodate Vorador's
bracelets while remaining in proportions. Also, I really disliked the lack of double elbow
joints. Thusly, I built up bulk on Remy's arms, trying to stay coherent with the shirt I
sculpted onto the upper torso. I also adapted the pegs for the arms not only fit, but
also to remain removable, as a means of making the coat removable.
The hands obviously came from movie Nightcrawler. Again, the pegs
had to be
adapted. I actually ended up sculpting the bracelets twice, in part to properly
adjust them to the hand articulation.
I used the waist cut to seperate the cummerbund from the
shirt. Or I used the
cummerbund to make the waist cut look natural. Anyway, I used with
reasonable success. The dangling ends were made out of latex and
partially sculpted over to integrate them seamlessly. More or less.
I originally planned to leave the pants in their original state,
them to my reference material made it clear that they're just too puffy and
wrinkly. So I dremeled the outermost surface down and smoothed everything
out with copious ammounts of apoxy sculpt.
The boots turned out to be a lot more difficult than
I thought. At first, I tried
going with old Toybiz WCW wrestler (sorry, no idea which one those
legs originally belonged to) boots, but that articulation just didn't satisfy me.
Vorador needs to be able to stand really straight, and those simple ankles
hinges just couldn't provide that option consistently. But since they were
more or less the only feet bulky enough I had and already were
sculpted over to smooth the surface out. I simply decided to cut the ankles
out and fill the hole with ankle joints transplanted from a movie Mr. Fantastic.
This also gave me the opportunity to sneak him a little additional height, as I
envision Vorador to be a very tall fellow.
The coat was another huge hurdle. I had to adapt the
accessory several times to fit. First of all, it had raised areas that just didn't
fit. Surprisingly enough, sanding those down turned out to be a much more
successful approach than cutting them off. Next up, the fit wasn't right around
the shoulders, and even gave the appearance of a hunch, so I had to cut it
open and some bits off in that area and fill some gaps with B-Yellow.
The shoulderpads and their odd extension in the neck area (backstab
security measure ?) were based on Magic Plastic and sculpted over
with Apoxy and B-Yellow, depending on the flexibility needed in
each particular area.
Finally, I realized that I was just unable to paint the dragon insignia
on the back, so I came up with a convoluted way to copy them from
a game texture: I printed the symbol out in the appropriate size.
Then I glued the prinout on a piece of blistercard and cut the
symbol out. Then, I glued this now symbol-shaped piece of plastic
onto another piece of the same packaging, creating a raised version.
Then, I coated this with a bit of water and pressed some soft Magic Plastic
onto it, which gave me a negative mold. Finally, I filled the mold with liquid
latex, giving me a postive again. After cleaning the positive up again, I glued
it onto the back of the already-painted coat. It's not a perfect solution, but
it looks better than my attempts at painting that symbol.
The sword, on the other hand, was fairly simple. I made a
printout on Shrink Foil
to get the shape of the blade and hilt right. The handle is a piece of a cocktail
prick wrapped with tape. And the bird's head on the base of the handle is a wooden
bead sculpted over.
Needless to say, the paintjob took quite a while.
But I'm fairly satisfied with the result.
As usual, this figure still leaves a lot to be desired,
but it is the best I can do, and that's not all that bad.