I "fake-swapped" (i.e., worked on a themed project without actually exchanging it with anyone) this figure for Craftster's Monster Swap Round 6. The object of said challenge was to make some creature-themed artwork, which is pretty much all that I churn out 90% of the time anyway.
This is an "Arachne", half woman, half spider monstrosities that can be encountered prowling about amongst the dusty bookshelves of the Study area in Konami's 2003 Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow video game. Arachnes attack by . . . um . . . lactating high-pressure streams of silk webbing from the nipples of their breasts in a machine gun-like fashion (I don't even want to know how that works, but somebody may have been thinking of Austin Powers' Fembots). If nothing else, it's a highly unusual and creative way to produce that substance!
In Greek mythology, Arachne was a mortal woman so skilled at weaving that her masterpieces rivaled, and even surpassed, that of the gods, and she was none too shy about boasting of her skill at the loom, nor did she show proper humility in crediting and thanking said deities for the artistic ability and creativity that they had bestowed upon her. Naturally, this did not sit very well with the gods at all, and Athena in particular, thus, She challenged Arachne to a weaving contest in order to teach her a lesson. However, much to Athena's dismay, not only did Arachne win the ensuing competition, but, in her boundless arrogance, Arachne foolishly chose to antagonize her divine opponent even further with the tapestry that she wove, which depicted the loves and transgressions of the gods. Like most deities, Athena was a very poor loser and didn't take insults lightly. Enraged, She destroyed Arachne's creation, slashed the woman's face, and transformed the prideful Arachne into a spider as punishment for her hubris (pissing off a god or goddess is never a good idea). In another version of the myth, Arachne lost to Athena and, shamed, committed suicide by hanging herself. Feeling pity for the dead woman, Athena brought Arachne back to life, albeit in spider form. Beyond its value as a parable, Arachne's sad tale was also the ancient Greek's explanation for how arachnids (her name is also the Greek word for spider) came to be such experts at weaving webs.
Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow Arachne in-game bestiary entry.
Got spider milk? Don't want any? Too bad. She insists!
On the first night of work, I roughed out the human torso, spider head/face, and one pair of legs in papier-mâché. It's debatable, on the game sprite, whether that's really a human face on the spider's head or not, but, once I began to think of it that way, I couldn't see it otherwise, and I really liked the idea of a pair of spider fangs coming out of the eye sockets.
The protagonist of Aria of Sorrow, Soma Cruz, narrowly avoids an attempt by a pair of Arachnes to web him to death in the Study.
I forget, am I playing Castlevania or Clue?
By stealing their souls (never mind that some of his unholy foes shouldn't even have souls to pinch), it's possible for Soma Cruz to utilize his monstrous opponents' abilities against them. In this case, Soma has turned the tables by creating an Arachne web attack of his own. Soma's got some modesty though, so he shoots the sticky snare from his hand, a la Spider-man, rather than his perky nipples!
During day two, I shaped the rest of the spider anatomy, further modified what I'd done the night before, and applied the first coat of paint.
The last day was mostly devoted to finishing/polishing work. I completed painting the figure, applied hand-made decals, glued all the components of the figure together permanently, and attached her embroidery floss hair. Just cutting out and gluing those 54 yellow stripes onto her spidery appendages took roughly an hour-and-a-half!
Here are several photos of the finished Arachne. I feel that I wrapped/applied the yellow strips too thickly, which makes them a bit too 3-Dimensional at this scale (painting them on might have been the better choice), but, otherwise, I think that she came out okay.
Newsprint, tissue paper, white notebook paper, wire twist ties, acrylic paint, ink, embroidery floss (hair), and white glue.
7.2 cm (2.8") wide x 5.0 cm (2.0") long x 4.6 cm (1.8") high.
Three days; May 29th-31st, 2016.
Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow Nintendo Gameboy Advance video game (2003).
Mr. P's Castlevania Realm Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow overview/index page.
Wikipedia Arachne and Spider articles.
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The MIDI music playing is the "Study" theme from Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow.