I’m Mike Vaillancourt, and I hate books.
I don’t dislike reading books—I actually love reading. But what I do hate is trying to figure out the logistics of designing a stack of oversized books that are fanned open and spiraling in a way that they can be producible as a miniature without needing to be a billion parts.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way…
In this week’s Insider, I’ll discuss the visual development process for the MiniCrate exclusive Seeker of Silence, a gender-bent version of Sylys Wyshnalyrr as an Elven magic librarian with a late 1930s classic pinup influence.
Andrea Uderzo got to work and sent me the first round of sketches.
Production and visual presentation work hand-in-hand when part count is absolutely critical. This model in particular was going to be challenging in these regards, so several design decisions were made specifically from a production angle. The feedback on these was broad:
– Slim the book pile mass down to the minimum we can get away with artistically.
– Part count is a bigger deal here than mass, and opening the collar to align the right side of the collar with the right arm to fill the gap will help keep the right arm attached to the body.
– To keep the left arm attached, we would need to change its position to something like holding the magnifying glass flat against her left thigh.
– To help save mass with the hair, going with a bob haircut could also help and be used to fill the gap between the head and ears.
The two primary contenders on the design are #1 and #4.
In this iteration, we were getting closer, but the pinch point needed to be eliminated in the cape area, with book stack from #1 being the most ideal. With those changes implemented, the character on her own was finished.
The only thing left to do was to draw the back view so that we had solid reference for the sculptor.
As per the norm for the concept art, the last task to establish was the color scheme.
Of course, once this made its way into the sculpting stage, the stack of books became a new problem for engineering, but our team did a fantastic job of solving that problem in conjunction with production. Overall, I’m rather happy with this nod to classic bomber nose art, and I think she’ll make a great table proxy for one of my favorite solos!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this look behind the scenes of the concept art process for the Seeker of Silence. To ensure you get your copy, make sure that you subscribe in time to get the April MiniCrate today!