15 October 2011

Building Avatar Sonnia Criid: part 4

Read Part 3 here

At the end of the last installment I had finally pinned Sonnia onto the dragon, now I had to make it look like she was breathing fire!

I added a long pin, glued in place at the resin fire end. The other end I rested on Sonnia's bottom lip and secure with a spot of glue. This gave me the frame on which to (re)build the flame spout.

I fleshed out the shape of the flames roughly in greenstuff, with the intention of adding more detailed sculpting later. I paid particular attention at this stage to make it look like the fire was coming out of Sonnia's mouth, and to cover all evidence of the long metal pin.

When I went back later I added small amounts of greenstuff at the lower parts of the new spout to add shape and some texture. At this point I decided to call it a day – model complete.

However, looking at the photos now it still looks a little awkward so I MAY add a little more greenstuff tomorrow to help define the shape of the flame spout more. Then again, once I've slept on it, I may not.


How do I feel about the model now it is built?
How do I feel the build went?
Is there anything I would do differently?

I think the model is fantastic. Now it is built I'm very eager to get it undercoated and painted – but that's a whole other set of blog posts. The beginning of the build (ie. the dragon) went together quite well. The individual pieces didn't match up exactly and a lot of greenstuff was needed but, to be honest, you have to expect some of that in a model this large and complex and cast in different materials.

Having said that, the model is fundamentally flawed in one area – there is no obvious or natural place for Sonnia to go. No peg or socket to indicate where the sculptor intended her to be positioned and this is something of a double-edged sword. For the advanced modeller it gives you a certain freedom to put her where you want to and go from there, however, for your average gamer this freedom will pose a problem and I know many who will be afraid of building this model as a consequence.

For me the problems started with the Sonnia figure from the get-go. The arms don't have an obvious way to go and I had to find reference images online to see what it should look like before I got it right. At the time I felt like an idiot but with hindsight this was inevitable without a lucky guess or reference. Similarly the position, angle and shape of the resin fire spout meant it was almost impossible to get Sonnia at this eventual angle without some major surgery – followers of this series of posts will have seen the traumas I went through to get her looking right.

At the end of the day, despite going 'around the houses' I am very happy about how this model turned out. All I would say to someone else looking to build it is learn from my mistakes. I would also reiterate that this model does allow you some freedom with positioning, so go with what feels right for you – you always have greenstuff to patch up the gaps!


  1. I have really enjoyed this series. Thank you. I am looking forward to seeing this with paint.

  2. Cheers Brian. It has been an adventure building this model but the painting should be more fun.

  3. The end result of the modeling looks fantastic! I agree with Brian in the fact that I can't wait to see this one painted up.

    I also will have to remember this series if I ever get into trying this model out.But that will be quite a ways down the road as I am still building my Arcanists and Resurrectionists crews. :)

  4. I have to say that Avatar Kirai was an absolute breeze compared to this.