Nautilus – An In-Depth Review (Zaba Art)

Nautilus – the PRELUDE

Lukas Zaba (Fischy) came to my attention at the start of 2014 for his stunning figure painting and then recently I realised he was also a talented sculptor too. The formation of ZabaArt has culminated in the first two releases in a Sci-Fi series of 75mm figures, the first of which we will review today: Nautilus.

The kit arrived in a stunningly designed box, with outer sleeve adorned with the box art by Lukas himself. The kit is limited to 100 copies, mine is no 22. On removing the sleeve, we are presented with a plain box, containing  a business card, two stickers and the parts nestled in shredded wood shavings, first impressions are very good.

The kit consists of just three parts, the body and two arms. Let’s take a closer look!

SCULPT AND CAST

As soon as you take the parts out you notice that there are mold lines to the inside of the legs and along the outside of the arms but these are quite superficial and easy to reach, cleaning them up should not be too much of an issue. There are no major defects such as air bubble holes or casting slippages and the dry fitting of the arms to the body shows a perfect fit with no need for any gap filling.

Nautilus

the full kit and packaging

The body shows nice creases and folds to the diving suit, realistically done, not overly worked or stylised, with bulges here and there hinting at what is constrained within. Indeed in select places you can see small tentacles emerging from rips in the suit – Nautilus! The details are sharp and crisp with the belt showing nice working to the buckle, the diving helm along with the other elements hint at a B movie influence or sci-fi programmes from the 70’s. Panel lines are suitably deep and the tubing is perfectly rendered. There are small lamps either side of the face plate although some extra detailing like hinges and clasps would have been a good touch. The heavy boots are a nice design too with panels and sections to make them more interesting than plain one piece item.

Nautilus

close up of frontal view

The left arm is held low and relaxed and at the end of the suit sleeve we have a bulky looking utility glove, mechanised and powerful looking. Top of the sleeve we have a chevron of rank, which hints that Nautilus was not the original incumbant of the suit. Then again maybe he is the original owner, some type of Cephalopod, naval officer, fighting the good fight against the cruel greed of man. Who knows? The choice of narrative here is all ours! The right “arm” is the clearest sign of what resides within, being as it is a muscular Octopus arm, nice detailing to the suckers as it wraps around a harpoon. Again this could hint at the event prior to Nautilus taking this shape and occupying the suit, maybe the hunted became the hunter? The harpoon will need straightening using a hair dryer or maybe some warm water but again the sculpting and detailing is very nice. Once the arm is attached it completes the illusion of certain body parts bursting forth from the suit.

Nautilus

both arms show crisp detailing

DESIGN AND ORIGINALITY

One of the messages Lukas is trying to deliver adorns the box and is:

“from sculptor and painter to painters and collectors”

and I believe that is what makes this new range so exciting. He knows what us figure painters like to paint, he knows the difficulties we have with certain forms, he knows what makes a good design. I think this kit is particularly unique and I believe will be a lot of fun to paint. Definitely on my to do list! The pose despite being somewhat static is brought to life by the concept that the suit contains an organism we wouldn’t expect. The tentacles add movement to a stationary pose. There is a great silhouette to the piece and the figure offers a wealth of painting options, indeed any number of different environments and ambient settings can be devised.

When we actually look at what is original within the Fantasy genre of figure painting, it is very little. I spoke about this recently, I consider Aradia Miniatures, Siren Miniatures, Twisted, to be some of a limited few that produce original figures based on their own original concepts and I hope I can add ZabaArt to that small list too, time will tell!

DESIRABILITY

What a wonderful project, looks like a lot of fun to paint and assembly will be particularly straight forward. The joins of the parts is perfect and despite some preparation needed to make ready the parts for assembly the cast is particularly good too! I can imagine painters and collectors with an interest in horror movies, sci-fi and such genres will be particularly interested in this new range. The scale also affords us the opportunity to apply textures and freehand work too, making this a great project for the serious figure painter.

It will be interesting to see how this new range develops and finds its own place in our little world of Figure Art.

AFFORDABILITY

I was pleasantly surprised by the price point of €35 which I believe is particularly competitive. It certainly helps being able to sculpt and paint your own releases in that regard, the quality of sculpt, cast and presentation speak of a high end product yet Lukas has kept the cost of Nautilus down and indeed the other release, to a meagre €35!

Dates, Figures and Stuff

Cost                                       €35

Material                               Polyurethane Resin

No of Pieces                         3

Release Date                        Available Now

Where Can I Get It?           HERE

Jason Martin

Jason Martin is an award-winning painter, student of the arts and head honcho at Figurementors. His heavy metal listening, ex-forces exterior belies his true passion – to help you succeed on your personal journey to become a better figure painter.

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