Friday, August 23, 2013

Ultimate Wolverine vs Hulk Sculpture WIP #1

As you know, I am doing a private commission on an amazing Hulk vs Wolverine cover.  It is an exciting commission and one that I am having a lot of fun doing.

Since I promised to show you work in progress, I thought I would start today with an interview I did with Eric, the fan who wants the piece. And, of course, I can’t write a post about this piece without wanting to share a few pictures of the work in process.  During this whole process, questions and comments are welcome.

Here is the Hulk in the armature stage. The wolverine figure is one I did a LONNGG time ago for the Ultimate Heroclix set. I am using this as a proxy right now to get the scale right. I will be sculpting a new Wolverine for this piece when I get to that stage. The other Hulk in the photo is my hulk from the Avengers’ set. I included that just to give Eric an idea of the size. This is the first step in the process;  the armature will set the pose and give me a foundation to work on. I will have to Bulk up this quite a lot to get the size, and I will also need to make adjustments at the next stage.

Here is the interview...

JVS: How long have you been playing heroclix?

Eric: On and off since the beginning, so about 11 years now!  I originally started with Mage Knight and when Wizkids started making Heroclix, I couldn’t resist the allure of playing my favorite comic book heroes and villains.  I actually quit the game for a while but came back with Web of Spider-man.  I was hanging out at the comic book store and randomly bought a booster which contained Red Hulk!  I picked up the game again and have been playing ever since.

JVS: How long have you been interested in comics?

Eric: Even longer than I’ve been playing Heroclix!  I’ve been actively following and reading comics since the early 90’s, starting off with the X-Men, Spider-Man, Hulk, and Batman.  I later got into the Vertigo stuff like Sandman, Preacher, etc. while looking for something that was a bit more mature.  These days I read anything and everything, and I think Marvel and DC have gotten really good at producing engaging stories that cater to a more adult demographic than they’ve traditionally targeted, so that makes it easy for me to stay interested.

JVS: What made you want your own unique, one-of - a-kind figure?

Eric: One part nostalgia, one part realizing that Wizkids would likely never do something that I’ve been hoping they would do, and three parts being a fan of your work.

JVS: Why did you choose to have me do the piece?

Eric: I thought it would be fitting that the sculptor of the figure that drew me back into the game brought to life one of my dream figures.  I knew from your past work that you could do this piece justice so it was an easy choice J

JVS: How and why did you choose the figure you wanted?

Eric: I knew I wanted something big with a strong visual impact.  If I’m going to show off a custom figure, I want it to be noticed!  I’m a fan of the Hulk though and always hoped that Wizkids would make something based on the dynamic art of Leinil Francis Yu’s Ultimate Hulk vs. Wolverine.  When I realized that probably wasn’t happening, especially portraying something as visceral as Wolverine getting ripped in half, I decided to go ahead and commission what I’d like to see in the game.

JVS: Where there other choices you were looking at? If so how did you choose between that and the Hulk figure?

Also excellent choice.
One of my all time favourite books.
Eric: I briefly considered a Batman figure based on my favorite comic of all time, The Dark Knight Returns, but decided that it was likelier that Wizkids would make something like than a Hulk that was a) of the appropriate size and b) brutally tearing Wolverine to pieces J

JVS: What is your favorite comic character?

Eric: My favorite character is probably Batman, but that’s followed closely by Hulk, Thor, Wolverine, Morpheus of the Endless, John Constantine, Loki, Thanos, Dr. Doom, and Sinestro.  I could actually go on but those are the ones that I thought of off the top of my head.

JVS: What is your opinion on the new digitally sculpted figures vs the traditional, hand sculpted figures?

Eric: I think the digital sculpts are okay but in general, they haven’t really hit the heights that the really great hand sculpted figures reached.  None of them really have the detail that some of the older figures had, and I guess that was part of the impetus in me commissioning a hand sculpted figure.  In the end, I think the digital vs hand sculpted debate is similar to the digital vs film debate for movies.  There are certain things that you can do in digital that are really neat and it can result in a very clean product of consistent quality, but there’s a certain life that non-digital mediums possess.  Film has a grain to it and its imperfections give it character in the same way that hand sculpted figures have a personality that digital figures don’t.  That’s just my opinion though and I’m sure others would beg to differ.

JVS: Which do you prefer?

Eric: Hand sculpted all the way!

JVS: Do you have a favorite heroclix miniature? If so, what is it?

Eric: My favorite keeps changing all the time.  Mostly it’s figures that give me options and allow me to make choices during a game in a way that it’s not necessarily the same from one game to the next how I would play them.  Figures like Nico Minoru, Xavin, and Stranger are great examples of this.  I also like fielding a Hulk every once in a while and just SMASH EVERYTHINGGGGG!!!  That's fun too.

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