Here is a mildly wordy walkaround of a very neat osprey (Pandion haliaetus
) diorama piece created by the Taiwanese artist Skink. The figurine was released as part of a series called 'ka009ka's Aquarium
', which in turn is part of Crane's Studio. The leaflet that accompanied the figurine gives a link to Crane's Studio, but the site appears inactive. I am not sure but quite expect the [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
website already linked to on the forum a while back to be the sculptor's current website.
The osprey figurine stands just over 11cm (around 4.5”) tall with its base included; its wingtips are spaced 13cm (5") apart. The bird has been cast from a moderately flexible plastic which I expect isn't prone to chipping or snapping unless the figurine is dropped from a height directly on its wingtips. The base is composed of two parts: a small depth of hard resin 'water' atop a pleasantly heavy, black stand with make and edition information neatly printed on its underside. The piece has been hand-numbered. Under the base, tiny felt nubs have even been attached to perfectly level it and protect it from scratches. All three components of the sculpt – the base, water and bird – are permanently attached to one another.
The sculpt itself is quite gorgeous. The bird is shown swooping down with its talons extended to grasp an unsuspecting fish swimming just below the surface. The fish is actually cast in, not merely painted on, and has even been given the delicately painted detail of a visible dorsal fin catching the light – a detail I, for one, take quite disproportionate delight in. The speed and concentration of the attacking osprey are well conveyed in the sculpt; the bird's legs are maximally extended before it, its orange eyes are fixed on its target, and the force of the rushing air forces its spread tail into a convex fan. The wingtips have individually sculpted flight feathers which, too, fan out and curve up in the air.
The bird's plumage is meticulously sculpted all over, and the sharp detail is well reproduced in the cast. Overall, the quality of the casting is excellent – my copy has only the slightest hints of seams detectable, and present are no obvious signs of seam cleanup. The same goes for the base – the water, covered in gentle waves with a splash where the bird's talons touch, has no sign of seams or casting blemishes of any kind. Even the edges of the black base have been carefully rounded.
The figurine's paint application matches the meticulous fashion of its sculpting and casting. The bird's dorsal side comprises of variegated browns with semi-glossy black in a drybrushed effect applied on top, plus individual stripes painted across the tail feathers. The undersides of its wings are a lighter brown changing into taupes and eventually light cremes towards the bird's chest. Black as well as pure white drybrushing has been used to pick out sculptural detail there, too. Rows of stripes and darker spots have been individually painted on the wings and body of the bird in the appropriate locations. The eyes are a bright orange with no sloppy brushwork present. Even the beak has been done with multiple colours from greys to black. The resin water has a peaty cast, quite accurate to most natural inland waters, and the sculpted waves create surprisingly lifelike visual patterns when light passes through the translucent resin. The splash made by the bird's feet even has white ”foam” drybrushed on it.
While the detail expended on the bird's paint application is impressive, the colouration chosen isn't, I think, entirely accurate in that it foregoes altogether the bright whites typical of the species' plumage, and replaces those with light taupes and beiges. This may be a deliberate choice, though, done to better emulate the lighting aspects of the diorama's situation with the peaty water and the bird's backlit wings as viewed from the underside. I would still argue a few starker white highlights at least towards the tips of the wings wouldn't have gone amiss.
Overall, I find the figurine an impressive (and, as a fellow craftsman, bloody heartwarming) show of workmanship and attention to detail, both in the sculpt and paint application as well as overall engineering. It is one of the nicest bird figurines I've come across, and the well-executed diorama aspect of the piece with the light-receptive resin water makes the sculpt a most pleasant tabletop companion. The figurine is available through the eBay shop ([You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
) of a fellow forum member Andrew, who was kind enough to let me review the figurine. He I'm sure would be happy to supply further copies to anyone interested in owning the piece.
Onward, to pictures! Firstly, the actual walkaround:[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.][You must be registered and logged in to see this image.][You must be registered and logged in to see this image.][You must be registered and logged in to see this image.][You must be registered and logged in to see this image.][You must be registered and logged in to see this image.][You must be registered and logged in to see this image.][You must be registered and logged in to see this image.][You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
The nifty effect of the sculpted waves in the translucent water:[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
The leaflet that accompanied the sculpt:[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.][You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
Thanks for viewing (and reading, if you managed all that