Toppless Apes, whatever next?

There has been much amusement at my expense here at but this is your first glimpse of the forthcoming Quorakon Shamen.

I’m delighted with the Quorakon shamen figure as it has helped me in a lot of different ways. Let’s hope she survives the master casting process (anybody who is starting out in sculpting miniatures should be worried as your babies are handed over to the one we love, respect and occasionally want to thump!). The big challenge was of course doing breasts or more importantly, a plausible female torso. Now I’m not going to go on about this too much because most of the internet is given over to the delights of female anatomy but they are different in many ways. The Quorakon having four arms was challenging enough but how should the female look? Adrian (amongst titters, sobs and belly laughs) had moments of lucidity when I could pick his brain on the subject – how many breasts, how large, hairy or not? Despite being the creator of the Quorakon he is very open to my interpretation but that carries some responsibility so naturally I did some research on the net and in the library. I went back having lost the will to live looking at female apes, chimps and gorillas only to be mircilessly taunted about “topless chimp babes” and being banned from the local petting zoo but this is all in a days work for a fearless miniature sculptor. Anyway, I quickly set on four breasts being logical despite the temptation of six or eight as this reminded me of sows (female pigs). I made a new armature to help me make the torso shape differ from previous Quorakon and set to work. I am usually quite slow and have learned the hard way that it is often better to put your model down and let it dry rather than trying to do too much in one go. However, I got on a roll with the shamen and had the torso completed in about three hours. I decided to leave the front bare for a number of reasons. Firstly, most ape females are like this – I suppose it makes sense really. Also, I felt the modelling was good and the fur of the brave ruins a lot of the underlying physiology. Finally there was a question of size. In truth this was quite easy as females of most mammal species have empty bags unless they have young to feed.

Another reason why I enjoyed making the figure was the other aspects of the Shamen. Adrian wanted her to carry her owl familiar, insisted she have at least two strings of beads denoting her age, she needed a carven wooden staff and we agreed she might have a crude skirt. After this I could experiment a little and you can see my additions on the rear of the figure namely her bag and knife. The culture of the Quorakon is quite simple and metalwork is rare and minimal. Adrian and I had previously discussed the use of stone and hides but I thought it reasonable that they might weave grasses and course fibres. This gave me a chance to try out textures like the rope belt. This was made by simply taking three thin strings of putty and twisting them together. I’m pleased with the outcome and the twist has been preserved despite my clumsy fingers. Both bag and sheath are woven and held together by platted ropes of grass or hair. If you are wondering about the head, I took the original from the brave and modified it. The original went brown as a consequence of the moulding process so you can see what changes have been made. The Shamen has new ears, a more rounded head, built up brows and of course a new set of lips.

Expect to see more “topless apes” as the Quorakon female is as mighty as the male and many a warrior is female. Don’t expect them too soon as Ice Lynx are next as well as juveniles both male and female. Having said all that, I also have some more adult armatures so there are more adults on the horizon as well. Feel free to tell me what you like and what you don’t and feel free to send me your ideas as I get started on the young ones.