Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Tenel Ka (Human Jedi Knight)

Tenel Ka is the daughter of Prince Isolder of the Hapes Cluster and Teneniel Djo of the planet Dathomir. A superior athelete, she was raised to appreciate both the wilderness of Dathomir and the opulence of the Hapan worlds. As a teenager, the Force-strong princess was sent to train at Luke Skywalker's Jedi Academy on Yavin IV. There she became friends with the Solo twins and Lowbacca. The four of them shared many adventures over the years. A poorly constructed lightsaber cost Tenel Ka her left arm during a lightsaber training drill with Jacen Solo. She refused to accept an artificial arm, opting instead to overcome her disability naturally. She eventually rose to the status of Jedi Knight and participated in the events surrounding the Yuuzhan Vong invasion into New Republic space. Tenel Ka was a member of the Jedi strike team sent to destroy the Yuuzhan Vong's Voxyn cloning facility at Myrkr.

Parts: Head (Bespin Leia from the Han & Leia 2-pack), Torso (Slave Leia), Arms (Slave Leia), Upper Legs (Slave Leia), Boots (Anakonda from Xyber9), Cloak (EU Leia), Lightsaber (Mara Jade).

Supplies: Dremel, X-acto knife, super glue, emery board or file, Testors Dull-Cote, Paints and Brushes.

Reference: The Star Wars Essential Guide to Characters and cover paintings from the Young Jedi Knights novel series. I also used a brief description from the New Jedi Order novel Agents of Chaos II: Jedi Eclipse and bit of artistic license because I was aiming for an older Tenel Ka than could be found in any reference pictures.

Step One: Using the Dremel, I sanded down the Slave Leia torso. I removed all of the slave-girl accessories, but was carefull not to make it too smooth. Tenel Ka is known for wearing a flexible lizard skin armor, so I wanted some texture to the torso.

Step Two: I assembled the parts using the boiling water method and then allowed them to cool completely.

Step Three: I cut off the left arm just above the elbow and then sanded the stump smooth and slightly rounded. I had to be careful not to mess up the thing wrapped around her bicep. In Agents of Chaos II: Jedi Eclipse, the author mentions that her left biceps are wrapped in some kind of guilded metal decoration, so I wanted to keep this area intact.

Step Four: I cut off the legs at the point where the boots should end and then super glued the boots in place.

Step Five: Tenel Ka wears her hair in what is described as "Warrior Braids". To make these, I chopped some braids off of the large number of Obi-Wan heads I have. The braids were then glued to her head.

Step Six: I painted the figure according to the reference pictures. Her hair should be orange and her eyes are grey. I painted the boots a dark brown color with darker brown for the ties. As far as I can tell, Tenel Ka always wears her lizard skin armor. It appears to be green with yellowish highlights. To achieve this, I painted the area dark green and then carefully dry-brushed a pale yellow over it. Instead of a brush, I used a sponge to give the appearance of texture. It turned out extremely well.

Step Seven: Tenel Ka used a Rancor's tooth to make the hilt of her lightsaber. To do this, I took the lightsaber and filed the end of the hilt down to a point. I then painted the hilt white.

Step Eight: Finally, I applied a coat of Testors Dull-Cote to protect the paint and reduce the shiny appearance.

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