Arguably, Aelia's head sculpt is one ugly one. I could have done a lot better than that. Rather than deal with an ugly face, let's finally move away from the Mizuirogakuen Ruri head template and onto better prospects. But where to start? I first need to find a suitable model to base mine off of. The plan was to create a duplicate of the head entirely by coating it with paper and flattening it out into a template. Luckily, I had some assistance in securing a volunteer.
After a few stabs later... we've secured our base to model a new head off of. Behold, the miracles of science... and malice.
The usual process of paper and tape shell making begins. I've made sure to capture as many details on the face as possible but not too many to render the template complicated. The Ruri template consists of four elements, each with a simple assembly. I ended up with three with a slightly complicated assembly.
Clockwise from top left: Original shell, templates for the new head, assembled head, and the original base.
I ended up spending a week working on the revised head sculpt, then entirely scrapping it and redoing it. The third from the left was the one I was previously using for Aelia. The fourth from the left was too fat and reminded me of Jimmy Carr. I have no idea why he came to mind. The fifth one was actually a test build to get the scaling right. Oddly, the test builds I went through were the better looking of the lot. I aimed to replicate the test build with the second try, pictured on the far right.
So far, this is the current end result. I'm still not happy with it. The nose needs rework. For those who have noticed, this build required a lot of after-work on it than simply cutting and gluing the pieces together. I added three to four layers of 110lb cardstock over underdeveloped regions and taking a Dremel to it to get the right shape. Without a Dremel, this would have ended up very bad looking or have taken a lot of manual sanding and X-acto knife tricks.
I do however like how the eyes and eyebrows came out. The mouth needs work. Unfortunately, in her armor, she looks really fat. It's not as bad now with this thinner head, but the first one was atrocious. Practically heavy weapons girl. I'll properly finish the head sometime this week, then return to constructing the armor.