Friday, March 28, 2014

Lead Time Lords: The Sixth Doctor

“He’s a loathsome, offensive brute – and yet I can’t look away!”

For what it’s worth, I like the Sixth Doctor. This is the only version of the Sixth Doctor anyone has made, as far as I’m aware. Harlequin’s model hits most of the notes, but leaves something to be desired. It’s definitely the Sixth Doctor at his most haughty (no bad thing), and the pose strikes an appropriately Hartnellesque air – something Baker was keen to hint at.

The sculpt’s a bit off in places, though – as AnEvilGiraffe has noted on his blog, the head is a bit skew-whiff; I purchased a fine saw with the intention of decapitating the model and putting this right, but I’m still too squeamish to do it! The coat has also needed work. True to the most fussy and deliberately garish ensemble of the show’s history, there’s much that’s frustrating here, in chief that the various panels lined out on the figure don’t match the TV version, meaning that the resulting paint job would reduce the clashing colours and textures. In addition, there’s no rear venting button or front lapels (I made both in green stuff). The hands cover the Doctor’s cat badge – not a big deal, it’s one of his signature accessories, but beggars can’t be choosers.

As you might expect, this challenges the painter somewhat, and believe me when say I’ve watched a LOT of Sixth Doctor stories trying to get the colours right and not too noisy, nor too subdued. It’s been an education – I didn’t even know until now that his coat sleeves are different colours, but they are! And I feel as though I could reproduce the various panels and their colours in my sleep now. As if that’s not enough, there’s both tartan and stripes to do. Here’s an early attempt at the cuffs: Technically they’re great, but they highlight a no-no when painting small scale models. On small areas the width of these stripes are good enough, but on a larger area (say, the trouser legs) the detail would swamp the colour and darken the shade, so the detail has to be dialed back. It’s an interesting dilemma! Finally, the base. As the pose again seems to be struck from Baker’s first full story, the unloved The Twin Dilemma, this base references the slug-ravaged surface of Titan 3, as the new Doctor contemplates his future as an outcast pariah, cut off from space and time. Famous last words, eh?

And now, with the Sixth Doctor completing the set I have struck my own hiatus! Heresy and Crooked Dice are, I am assured, currently producing their own model stand-ins for Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor, while CD are also striking ‘Professor Kane’ - their version of John Hurt’s War Doctor (Heresy have done him already but I don’t have him yet) and “Marwood – an Edwardian scientist trapped forever in New Year’s Eve”. Looks like I’ll get my better McGann wish granted after all! I may have more to paint come the middle of the year and winter’s approach, so until then, in the words of John Nathan-Turner: ‘Stay Tuned.’

No comments:

Post a Comment