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Cyndaquil in the TV series. Mine is not that smug.

Cyndaquil in the TV series. Mine would never be that smug.

The most important decision for players of the Pokémon games is which starter you pick from the Pokémon Professor’s lab at the very beginning of the game. Each generation has three unique beasties, corresponding to fire, water, and grass, and this creature is your first buddy and protector. Cyndaquil is my favorite starter of all time (Chikorita is a very close second), and in my story, he is the rookie member of my team, given to me as a newly registered trainer arriving in Johto from Kalos.

Starter Pokémon are always cute and toddler-like, probably because they are supposed to grow with their trainer. But this trait made posing Cyndaquil difficult, because he suffers from a serious case of T-Rex Arm Syndrome and has a snout that gets places 15 minutes before he does. But my little napalm-spewing shrew is resourceful, and will MacGyver whatever he needs in the mini scene.

Reference images made for the TV show. I really wish I'd known about these when I was sculpting mine!

Reference images made way back when for the TV show. I really wish I’d known about these when I was sculpting mine!

cyndaquil1

Yes he had a stick toothpick up his butt, and I’m still fighting with that epic schnozz.

His sculpt was the first and surprisingly difficult, making me have a deeper appreciation for the people who design toys based off of 2D characters. It taught me to stick to reference pics, even if Cyndaquil’s nose defies the third dimension.

Actual internal conversation I had follows.

Me: I should give him some cheeks, to look more like a real animal, like this one:

shrewimage

Pygmy shrews are totally tiny Cyndaquils.

Myself: But Cyndaquils don’t really have cheeks…their heads are like perfectly round.

Me: I’ll try anyway. (10 minutes later…) Hrm, that doesn’t look much like a Cyndaquil.

Myself: See, I told Me. Hrm, but now that it’s round again it looks pretty boring and expressionless.

Me: Don’t say I didn’t warn Myself.

I was going to show each Pokemon sculpt with their final paint jobs, but since everything in the scene is going to be painted, I’m going to wait. Like a blank canvas turning into a finished piece, the miniature scene is going to go from flat white to full color, and I think it will make for a fun before and after.

If digital Japanese creatures aren’t your thing and you came here for the dollhouses, here’s a spoiler of the build.

cottagemontage

The Parade of Homes, Johto edition.

Houses in the Pokémon games are eerily similar, especially in the older games. One room downstairs, door on the left, big window on the right, attic room if you’re lucky. Since my scene is in a forest, I went with a log cabin (like the top right image).

Here is the current mockup, cut out of Gatorboard and dressed up with basswood like the mill cottage, held in place with lots of masking tape. The house is only a couple of inches deep because it will be fitting inside a shadowbox when all is said and done. It’s funny that I’m making it with wood, only to cover it in white and paint it to look like wood again.

cabinspoiler2cabinspoiler3In other news, I am on my last semester of my Masters of Public Health (yay!), but that means I’m going to be buried in papers the next couple of weeks.  Believe you me, once I have my free time back I will be doing a lot of crafting!

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