The Mighty Mugg challenge! (part 2)

As I mentioned here: The Mighty Mugg Challenge part 1, I have received a blank Mighty Mugg from the mighty Jon Schindehette and I decided to turn it into a tiny Strahd Von Zarovich with a big head. (Edit: there is now a Mighty Mugg Challenge part 3 that can be found here.)

There were a few challenges, for one, we never get to see Strahd’s feet on the Caldwell illustrations, in fact, we don’t see a heck of a lot of his feet even in the more recent images. Also, I like Strahd because he looks dignified and melancholy, his whole point is that he  made a choice that turned his existence into a tragedy, so even if some of the new Strahd illustrations are perfectly competent and enjoyable, I can’t imagine Strahd as a young punk in colorful clothes. It’s hard to speak of dignity and tragedy with a short big-headed cartoon silhouette but I’m doing my best. I also decided that Strahd is not Strahd without a billowing cloak, so I decided I would sew a tiny cloak for him. I’m a pattern designer by training but I have never done anything like that. We’ll see how that turns out.

I'm Strahd, I eat sparkly emo vampires for breakfast.

I’m not convinced I will keep the Louis XIV style buckle shoes, I feel that they might clash a little with his end-of-the-19th-century type suit. Strahd was a forward thinker, always before his times.

I also did some research on DIY toys and found a lot of advise. But I’m not entirely sure the figure I have is vinyl, I don’t know much about those but I was under the impression they were slightly soft and rubbery. The little guy I have is hard plastic, he’s also light gray and not entirely all of the same color, unlike the blank Mighty Muggs I saw on Hasbro’s website. Maybe he’s a production Mugg who just didn’t get painted? Nevertheless, I have figured that plain gesso should do the trick as a primer. But first, he got a dunk in the sink with dish soap and a good scrub to make sure the chemical stuff that goes into mold to make the plastic release easily is gone.

The mighty mugs...

The next step was primer. I used regular acrylic gesso that I already had instead of buying something specific that I might never re-use. I just brushed it on in 4 thin layers letting him dry properly between layers. Then I gave him a light sanding with 220 sandpaper and when he was cleaned of gesso dust and dry, I drew the lines on him with a colored mechanical pencil.

Reproducing my design on the figure.

I never entirely assembled the figure because I didn’t want to pry it apart with a knife or something if it got stucked, but I did assemble it partly to have a good idea of how the parts fit. I painted him with normal acrylic paint. I was careful to mix enough of it that I wouldn’t have to remix the same color, since I wanted him in rather flat colors. His body parts were stucked on skewers to dry.

Strahd gets skewered.

Strahd's torso and legs

Finished head of Strahd, doesn't sparkle in the sun.

Painting precise lines on a curved surface is harder than it looks.Now I just did a layer of varnish and in the next installment, I’m going to show what he looks like assembled, and I’m going to figure out how to give him a cloak.

I’m also planning a complete Mighty Mugg how-to for Jon’s ArtOrder blog.


One comment

  1. Pingback: The Mighty Mugg challenge! (part 3) « Qitsune: Chantal's rants and musings

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