2019-10-24

Captain Nemo

Today's creation is based on a comic book that is based on a novel, or to be precise, a whole age of literature. Captain Nemo appeared in Jules Verne's novel Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea in 1870. Over hundred years later, Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill adapted the character to their League of Extraordinary Gentlemen comic book series. Nemo is a son of Indian Raja, a veteran of Sepoy Rebellion against the British imperialists, and a brilliant engineer who designed Nautilus submarine, and in the comic series, its follow-up Nautilus II with amazing design reminding a sea squid gripping a sperm whale. In the comic, Nemo is interesting and conflicted character with hatred to the British empire but thirst of adventure, even on behalf of his hatred enemies. He has, of course, plenty of brilliant inventions and gadgets.

This is, in a way, my second take on Nemo, but the first one was never completed. It was an ongoing project for a year or so in around 2015, but in the end it never flew. In contrast, this model was completed in around two or three days in August. I think it mostly because the development of skill and experience, but sometimes it's just good time for certain build and sometimes not. The previous version had a dark blue coat with dark green turban; and the proportions were bit off, as the shoulder width was wider. There was a upper torso and head and some parts of arms, I think.

This new model was inspired by swirly pearl gold parts I got from LUGBULK. They looked about right for Nemo clothing with includes elements from traditional Indian nobleman attire mixed with nautical themes. Nemo has also variety of attires in the comics, and I close the dark green one in the cover of Volume I. I began with the ornate pearl gold vest. It was larger at first, using four of those swirls, and built studs facing upwards; 1x10 curved slopes in pearl gold were used on its sides. It was trimmed down to make the proportions better, making the torso seven studs wide, and allowing placing the belt and the sash on the right level. Sash in general is a cool type of clothing, and adds pleasant diagonal element to a character, but it's very hard to lay over complex surface without looking awkward: Real sashes are made of cloth and adapt, but plastic bricks hardy doesn't. Same things goes to shoulder straps for sheaths and bags. I've sometimes used small pieces connected to a string like some necklace, but it always feels compromising. In this case, I just arranged the vest details so that the sash made of 1x4 curved slopes days there.

I wanted to bring some silver to contrast with the gold. I pondered different options for the round shoulder pads, as something to fit the shoulder connection (basically a bar hole) in. I settled with couple of tube pieces, which are nicely adjustable. The connection to the arm joint is made with some TECHNIC. The sash and the belt are orange. It's quite a bright shade, but accurate to the original, and felt fitting to the Indian style, working beautifully with dark green. Under the belt hangs straps from the sword belt and the vest, using another swirl part. I'm very happy with the shape of the tail section of the coat. I also ended up making the boots dark brown. It's a beautiful shade for leather and balances the colour scheme better than backward black boots. I'm also happy with their pointy tips.

The arms were an embuggerance. Making the sleeves dark green is a challenge in itself, as the colous doesn't have too much joint pieces. I also wanted to use the swirl parts in the cuff ornaments - it was one of the core concepts of the build - and they were slightly too long for the lower arms. They ended up overlapping the joint (made with round plates and bar-with-1x1-round-plate pieces). This looks bit odd on some poses as there's a gap between them and the sleeve itself. Fortunately the swirls are so exotic pieces that they steal the limelight and hopefully draw attention away from their surroundings... The look okay on the photos.

The head was made in the early part or the progress. The eyebrows are connected under the turban and cover bit of the eyes, giving Nemo some character. Building beards is nice and this one uses variety of parts, including minifig wings (which were also used on the old WIP four years ago), hands, Star Wars handguns, battle droid arms and binoculars. Touch of dark bley and flat silver expresses that Nemo is well aged (he's around 80 in the comics). The turban it itself was challenging to shape, but I'm happy I got it made in olive green, an another nice shade. There's even a little ammonite decoration in it, being accurate to the original. The pearl gold spike thing, in other hand, is simple and straight in the comic, but this design juts looked very good, also referring to the swirly tentacle motif.

Nemo sports variety of gadgets and accessories in the comic, but as in the cover art, here he has a simple cutlass and its sheath. I've used 1x10 curved slope as a cutlass blade before, as it's shape seems essential for this purpose (except for its edge, of course, which is one stud thick and thus very blunt). The crossguard (wrong term as it isn't cross-shapes but I don't know everything) has another swirl piece, which looks great, connected to a small CCBS shell, which looks alright, which is connected to the blade in way that I'm not that happy with but I didn't have better ideas. The dark brown sheath with silver tip draws back to the shoulder pads and the boots, balancing the colours. As the final note, Captain Nemo has black gloves as I didn't have any good brown finger options in brown. Reddish brown skeleton arms would be nice recolours, however unlikely. I had brown hands with those black fingers when I started the photographing session, but as it looked simply cheap and random I switched to full gloves.

-Eero







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