[Open-Box Review] The Devil by Jason Martin
When Benny Sa from NutsPlanet was given permission by the incredible illustrator exPix, Hyunjoon Kim, to use his artwork of The Devil, Eye Collector to create a 75mm scale resin kit, there was really only one choice when it came to assigning the sculptor. exPix is a former illustrator at Cygames and is now a freelance Artist Illustrator, his fantastical creations are sublime, full of colour and emotion, his concept for Red Riding Hood was also turned into a kit by NutsPlanet back in 2015. In fact it was that figure which introduced me to the incredible talents of the former Andrea sculptress Nelya Vivitska!
The kit arrived in it’s sturdy blue box adorned with the boxart by Myeong-Ha Hwang, the eight parts contained within ziplock bags and nestled between layers of shaped foam. This is a traditional sculpt, cast in polyurethane resin and first impressions when opening the box are very good!
CULPT AND CAST
The sculpt by Nelya is wonderful, highly detailed, delicate, seductive and sensual. It has the feel that this is sculpted by a woman, because of these qualities. Beginning with the base, which in itself has a lot of details and textures.
WONDERFUL ANATOMY AND NICE TEXTURES
This mound of skulls she sits upon is nicely detailed, with care being taken on each and every skull. A nice touch is that some of the skulls have empty eye sockets whilst others still have eye balls within. There are two holes to accept the pins to the figure and a further hole to locate the exact position of the arm resting upon the skull adorned with a King’s crown.
There are five parts that constitute the figure itself, the main piece has sockets and pins to attach, right leg, left and right arms and the head. The head itself is beautiful, slender jawline, delicate nose, full lips, angled eyes and pointed ears. The hair is finely rendered with individual strands and clumps presented with flows and curls framing her elegant, elf like face. There are little details throughout such as the jewel stud to the forehead and the skull ear ring. The head attaches via a peg and hole assembly and there seems to be no need for gap filling.
The anatomy of the body is very nicely done, showing good design and the pose and silhouette of the sculpt is nicely balanced with good composition. Our Eye Collector is lithe, slim and athletic with a charm and beauty that probably belies her cold and dark heart. The fine detailing really brings life to the figure, for instance the ribs are not exaggerated, the creases to the skin on her stomach due to the twist of her positioning, the fine fingers and toes.
The “scale” texturing shows great attention to detail and must have been time consuming, it has also been done in such a way that it complements the form of the figure whilst at the same time is not regular for it to look superficial.
The two wings are stunning, they attach via a peg and hole assembly near the top of her shoulders and the fit is very good. This is ideal as it means they can be painted separately and attached afterwards, thus making it much easier to paint. The wings despite being tattered and thorny perfectly suit the figure and her character, it seems they act as a reminder to her daemonic nature.
The veins of the wings look very organic, sprouting spines and thorns along their length, the membranes are torn and frayed with enough variation to the size and shapes of the holes that they look random and natural. There some excess bits of resin at the end of the vanes and edges so take care, the nature of the wings is such that you may accidentally remove bits you shouldn’t or vice versa not remove something that you should.
The cast is very good as always with NutsPlanet releases and preparation is minimal, there are no major defects such as air bubble holes or casting slippages. There are small remains or casting lugs that need removing from quite a few parts which will also need to be filed smooth.
DESIGN AND ORIGINALITY
I really enjoy seeing the concepts of artists not normally associated with figure painting being realised into 3D form. The design is perfect and the composition, with the wings framing the figure is really well balanced. The “throne” of skulls allows the pose to be created, keeping her balanced and raising her up forcing her face to become the focal point.
I think this is a nice variation to the typical archetypes of the fantasy genre. It seems to cross the boundaries between gothic noire and anime, taking certain inspirations and creating a rather unique addition to the NutsPlanet catalogue.
I would like to see not only more of exPix projects brought to life in this manner but also the work of other digital artists too, there is some incredible talent out there creating wonderful creature and character concepts, it is time for the world of figures to embrace this source of opportunity.
The work of Nelya is always warmly received by the figure painting community, predominantly because of the beauty of the subject matter and the incredible workmanship of her sculpting and this piece is no exception. It will appeal to fans of her work, as well as those that follow exPix, throw in to the mix, the paintability and diversity of the kit, the quality of the sculpt and cast and I am sure, NutsPlanet have another desirable and successful release on their hands.
We all know that with the downturn in the pound sterling against the Dollar, that our hobby in the U.K. has become more expensive but in my opinion, this kit at $65 still offers good value for money. The kit could become a very good project and it offers the painter a wonderful canvas to paint on, considering its volumes, surfaces and textures.