In 2008 Simon Lee, (aka Spiderzero), of Big Blue Tree released a piece of Art named 'Butterball'. I'll discuss Butterball at another time, but let me just say that that piece replenished my faith in the possibility of original designs still having a pulse in the post Fewture Models era.
With the purchase of Butterball, Simon also included a bonus piece along with the first run of castings of the kit: a small resin mini bust of a Mantis creature. The Mantis mini bust is 3.25" tall and the largest of the succeeding bonus creature designs, and was cast in an opaque off white resin.
After painting several of these amazing creature busts I began to fantasize of the possibilities of working with one of these pieces cast in a clear or translucent resin. I went on to plead my case to Simon, and after pestering him for some time about it, he finally buckled and sent me castings of both his Mantis and Spider creature busts.
After combing over some photos of Praying Mantids I opted to go with a very simple, pale color scheme with a subtle green cast. I experimented with a incomplex dark pattern, but I felt like it was far too distracting. The antennae 'stalks' were sculpted using translucent Super Sculpey, and the antennae proper were made from guitar string. I finished it off with a scrap piece of 2x4 which was stained with dark acrylic colors.
The Mantis is my favorite of the mini creature designs Simon has released. It's bulbous eyes and extraterrestrial looks are so appealing to me, and I hope that one day Simon will realize this creature study as a full figure piece. To see more of Simon Lee's wonderfully original artwork, visit his website at: bigbluetree.com