Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Use a proxy for your favourite characters or go original

Be it sourced from books or movies, memorable characters form a large part of what inspires us miniature painters to recreate them artistically. But there are occasions when the characters we want to paint are just not available in miniature for. That's when we look for proxies or replacement figurines that best capture the spirit of the character we want to recreate in paint form.  They aren't easy to find, but when you do it's a glorious feeling.

Harley Quinn and Katana from the Suicide Squad - characters worthy of a search for proxies to paint

An example of such a proxy hunt revolved around characters from the latest superheroes (or more accurately supervillains) comic book adaptation movie Suicide Squad. More specifically, proxies were being sought for Harley Quinn and Katana [see above]. There were found in the Nocturna Models 80 mm resin figurine collection, namely the Nocturna Models 80 mm Alice (Fairy Tale Girls) and 70 mm Soum, 13 Moons (Malefic Time) [see below]. 

Nocturna Models 80 mm - Alice (Fairy Tale Girls) tin box packaging
Nocturna Models Alice (Fairy Tale Girls) unboxed
Resin miniature parts of Alice, Fairy Tale Girls
Nocturna Models 70 mm - Soum, 13 Moons (Malefic Time) tin box packaging
Nocturna Models Soum, 13 Moons (Malefic Time) unboxed
Resin miniature parts of Soum, 13 moons (Malefic Time)

What made these resin miniatures so suitable as proxies for Harley and Katana? Well, features of the Noctuna Models Alice figurine which lend itself perfectly to a Harley Quinn-Joker themed diorama piece were, in no particular order:
1. A teacup in hand (from a scene in the movie);
2. Pigtail-like hair for Harley's iconic tri-coloured hairstyle;
3. Large leg stockings which can painted to resemble her in-movie ones;
4. Playing cards which offer the opportunity to paint Joker cards; and
5. A large mushroom which can be painted in purplish Joker hues.

The scene that produced a light-bulb moment linking Nocturna Models Alice to Harley Quinn
With Katana it was all about finding a miniature with an Eastern Asian look and a ... well ... katana

Meanwhile for Katana it was more a case of finding a miniature with oriental features who happened to be holding on to a traditional Japanese sword i.e. the character's namesake. Cue the Nocturna Models Soum, 13 Moons figurine from the Malefic Time series. She also had some workable similarities to her DC counterpart which made her a good proxy:
1. Soum's katana which is self explanatory;
2. She's of East Asian ethnicity, also self explanatory; and
3. Round signage offers an opportunity for some Suicide Squad-related freehand painting.

But all is not doom and gloom in terms of finding an accurately sculpted superhero miniature to paint. Shire Works carries some of the more iconic Marvel characters from Knight Models some of which are shown below. Pictures courtesy of our resident painter who blogs at

Knight Models Logan
Knight Models Spiderman
Knight Models Iron Man
Knight Models The Hulk

Coming back to finding proxies for your miniature painting projects, the following are some miniatures from the Nocturna Models and Ax Faction line which has been used as proxies for a popular book and TV series i.e. Game of Thrones. These miniatures were also painted by out resident painter FourEyedMonster.

Nocturna Models 70 mm Crusader, painted as Ser Gregor Clegane
Back view of the Nocturna Models 70 mm Crusader, painted as Ser Gregor Clegane
Nocturna Models 70 mm Akelarre Enchantment, painted as Daenerys Targaryen
Ax Faction 32 mm Giant Hunter painted as the wilding Ygritte

So don't fret. If you can't find the actual miniature of a character you want to paint, then look for a proxy. If you can, all the better to go original. Either way, remember to have fun!