Wednesday, October 23, 2013

WIP: 60mm WWII Marine for Cunnyngham Collectibles

I have been enjoying sharing some of my work in progress with the Hulk vs Wolverine sculpt and I am excited to have the chance to show you another work in progress series.  One thing that many people ask me is why I don't show WIP.  The reason is that I take NDA's seriously.  While I rarely sign them, I assume that my clients don't want their work shown before they get it up on their site.

In the case of the Hulk, I have permission to use it as a work in progress series on my blog and I also obtained permission from, Cunnyngham Collectibles, to do a WIP series on this model. If you know me, you already know that I am a huge WWII and Military History fan and buff.  I have bookshelves, upon bookshelves, of reference material for military history and I always enjoy getting more books on the subject.

When I was given this project, I jumped at the chance to do it.  I love when I get WWII on my desk and having a larger size made it all the more exciting.  Since this figure is quite a ways, I thought I would do the WIP taking you through everything from start to where I am now.

The very first thing that I do when I get a new piece is to research and gather reference. I sent the reference to Beau and then we discussed the pose and other details.  Here is the reference that I gathered for this figure.

Once everything was agreed upon, I started posing out the armature for the piece. Again, it was photographed and sent to Beau for approval so I could make sure the posing on it was approved.  Scale is also checked beside one of Beau's other figures.

As I have mentioned in the Hulk vs Wolverine WIP, I always bulk out the armature so the figure has a nice 3D shape to it that is in the right proportions.  Again, I will add as needed when I do the top layer.  These photos show it half and half.  I bulked it out underneath and then I added the pant details, you can see the underpinning in the top half.

You may notice missing pockets and a pocket outline, those are details that I will fill in later.

After this stage, I started adding the pockets and sculpted on the coat.  At every stage, I am sending these to Beau for approval.  10 points to the first person who can spot the mistake that I made.  Actually, neither Beau nor myself had noticed and it was a person on his blog who pointed it out.

So...we realized that I was actually sculpting the wrong pants.  During that time, pockets were seen on late war uniforms but they were rarely issued.  Our pants should not have any pockets and I was using conflicting reference, which is actually easy to do with military subject matter.

With that realization, I had to go back and fix my mistakes and the end result was this.

Because the pockets affect the flow of the fabric, I had to cut off and resculpt the whole area, including his backside to fix my mistake.  I am still not 100% happy with his butt area, which I told Beau, so I will be making some adjustments to the piece as I finish it up.

And the final photos are his face.  To research the expression as he aims down the sight, I grabbed a Nerf gun and practiced looking down the sight to be sure I had the expression right.  I know, hi-tech.  :)  The face was a lot of fun, more so than I am used to.  With such a large area to work with, you can really get the finer details in the expression.

So, if you have any questions or comments, just post in the comment section and I will answer them.  I do recommend that you check out Beau's company,

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Space Marine and my Trip to Games Workshop

So about a year and a half ago, I had the opportunity to go up to Games Workshop headquarters when they flew me out there to apply for a sculpting job in their studio. It was quite the experience and I had a good time - although it was a bit of a fog having traveled from Canada to England and back in 4 days.

It was quite interesting.  The flight to England was pretty uneventful but my plane was delayed due to the strikes happening with Canadian Airlines.  When I did land, I didn't get a chance to see much of the countryside as the car took me all the way to the hotel in Nottingham.  The next day, I had the day to myself and I took a tour of Nottingham.  I saw a lot of cool things.  Went to the castle, a WWII bomb shelter.  Walked for the entire day and really enjoyed the atmosphere of the city.  I would have loved to stay a few more days but we were on a very tight schedule.

The second day in England, myself, and two other candidates were picked up at the hotel and brought to Games Workshop.  I would love to tell you everything that we saw when we were there but, unfortunately, I did sign an NDA agreement so there is nothing that I can share.

All I can say is that we took a tour of the sculpting studio, the manufacturing warehouse and the game center before going to lunch.  I also went through a series of interviews through the day.  At the end of the day, the two other candidates and myself went to dinner and then I was up bright and early to get to the airport.

The flight back was a nightmare.  I was supposed to be on at 7am and home by the middle of the day.  I spent the entire day in the airport and finally got onto the flight at around 6pm.  During the flight, some guy started yelling and screaming as we were halfway over the Atlantic Ocean.  He was about 2 feet from me and he started screaming that he was going to open the hatch and jump out.  The flight attendants were trying to calm him down and I was quietly slipping off my seat belt.  I figured if he took one more step towards the door, I was going to tackle him and beat the crap out of him.  After the day I had had, which everyone had shared with me, I was not going to let some idiot make it even worse.

Thankfully, they got him calmed down by offering him first class seating and the rest of the flight went well...outside of him being arrested when we landed.  But I guess that ruined the end of his flight and not mine.

When I got back to Canada, Games Workshop asked me to do a sample piece so I spent some time doing up the piece I am going to showcase today.  I was told to make a dynamic Space Marine so I researched some of the Warhammer 40K video games that were out and chose a pose from the game.  I was really happy with how it turned out and sent it in to Games Workshop.

Unfortunately, it wasn't what they were looking for and chose a different candidate.  I don't mind though.  It was an interesting experience but I realized after I had sent it in and before selection that I wouldn't be a good fit with Games Workshop.  I like the range that freelance affords me and I can sculpt anything from superheros to monsters in a given month.  While I have always enjoyed Games Workshop, and loved doing the Space Marine, I would have gotten sick of sculpting nothing but shoulder pads and skulls after a while.

Another reason why I was happy not to move is that it was a huge move. I have done the international move before when I worked in Cincinnati for WizKids.  While it would have been fun to explore England and every place I could, I would be dragging two kids, a wife and a very large dog with me.  That would make it more difficult and I worried about how it would affect them.

With that being said, I am glad I experienced the process, it really taught me a lot.

And...I get a really cool Space Marine miniature out of the bargain.  I made some copies of it so I could enjoy painting them up and give them to a few friends who are big Games Workshop fans.  I also thought it would be great to offer a chance for some of my fans on here to pick up a free Space Marine.  I will have the details over the next few weeks so please stay tuned.

On a side, I entered this in my local Games Workshop store Bronze Demon painting contest in the conversions category and won first place.  It is currently on display there, in the Games Workshop White Oaks, London, Ontario, for those of you who would like to see it.

Without further ado, here is the miniature.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Drizzt Do’Urden

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to sculpt some D and D figures for a company and was assigned this Drizzt and Guenhwyvar.  Unfortunately, I ended up clashing with the company over terms and the company and I parted ways.  I did send them the finished pieces of Drizzt and Guenhwyvar but the figures never made it into production.  It is a bit sad that this happened as I really enjoyed working on the D&D figures.  Anyway, I thought would share photos of a figure that will, more than likely, never be released.

So here he is.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Ultimate Wolverine vs Hulk Sculpture WIP #6

Well, the Hulk is coming along really well and I thought I would post another update of him. Before I do, however, there are a few questions I wanted to answer.  As you remember in the last post, I said I would answer any questions when I post the next update. Thank you to everyone who asked questions, either on here, my facebook page or by email.  So here are my answers to your questions.

Are you using greenstuff just to bulk it out, and pro-create for your detail?

Yes, I am using green stuff for the bulking out and I make a pro-create mixture for the gray stuff so it isn't quite pro-create but the blend is a secret.  Most sculptors have their own secret blend that works for them and I am constantly trying different blends.  I have gone through hundreds of different combinations and used everything from Fimo to milliput.  As a rule of thumb, any two part putties (epoxy putties with a softener and a hardener) are usually mixable, you can't mix polymer clays with epoxy putties as the curing is different.

Do you do additional bulking when you add that final layer?

I try to get the musculature as close to what it is with the green stuff but it is a balancing act.  If you bulk it out too much, your proportions get messed up when you add the surface detail.

Are you finding the bigger scale harder?

It is harder in ways but I absolutely love the bigger scale.  You can really go all out with detailing as you have a much bigger canvas to work on.  It does take longer though.  The biggest challenge is the putty as it dries faster.  If I were to do more big stuff, I would have to switch to a polymer clay.

Now that I have answered a few questions, here are some more photos of the Hulk.  I have the legs done and next week, I will be posting photos of him with his skirt done.

So right now, I have the legs done and you can see that I have started to do the underpinning with the skirt.  I have also roughed in the areas where I want the cloth to flow away from the figure.  Before adding the skirt, I will underpin that more so there is a foundation for me to put the cloth on.  One thing that is very important is movement.  Everything on the figure should flow in the same direction so you really have to know how drapery flows with motion.

As I did last update, feel free to ask any questions as I am always happy to answer them.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Exciting News!

It has been a long time coming and while I can't share too much information with you, I wanted to let you know that I haven't forgotten about you or the blog.  I have just been extremely busy getting a website finished up...

Yes, you heard that right.  I am finally going to be entering the new millennium and launching my own website to showcase my sculptures and my services.

In addition to the website, I have a few things in the pipeline and will be launching some opportunities for fans of my work or people who just want to learn more about this thing called sculpting.  Lots of news over the next few weeks as I shuffle between getting my website up, finishing up some projects and getting more of that gigantic Hulk done.

I will also have a big reveal for the website so make sure that you keep up on the latest developments.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Daisy, The Fairy Princess

Sadly, my wife dresses up my big dog.

End of today's post.

P.S. Don't mess with this fairy princess.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

WWII Marine

Thought I would share a WWII Marine that I sculpted for Dust Tactics.  I did everything except the gun, which the company sent me.  I really liked working on this figure.  It has a Hollywood or comic feel to it reminescent of Sgt. Rock, which I also sculpted for WizKids by the way.  

However, as I was sculpting it, I really started thinking about how I would love to do some my own WWII figures.  When I get the time, I love playing WWII miniature games.  I usually use the Warhammer WWII rules that was free on the web. Pretty good rules system and if I can find the link for it, I will post it up on here later.  The site that it was on was closed and I can't remember the guy's name.

Anyway, here are the shots of the marine.