Saturday, 24 September 2016

Double drop from Heaven - Dream team keshi release and GG Allin bust.

Dropping Oct 1st, Midnight London time...

I'm out of town at the moment so all these pics are WIPs from a week or so ago. 

16BK (16-Bit Keshi)

Since getting into digital sculpting and 3D printing for my mini figures (most of them), I've been really into the work of Oscar Torres who I found on Instagram under the moniker "Creature Factory". The guy is CONSTANTLY busting out amazing 16-BIT gaming era-inspired keshi with his 3D printing skills. I picked up some of his stuff and was really impressed by the detail but when I saw his Robocop-inspired sculpt, I knew I really had to see this done in rubber.





At the same time, it's been a while since I have done time in the casting shed and had the mold ready for my Mortal Kombat-inpired ninja minifigure. Of course, Robocop was a movie before it was a game but the proportions of Oscar's sculpt, and the common themes of ultra-violence and cartoonish action in both Robocop and Mortal Kombat made them a pretty good marriage in my book.


They will come in a classic flesh rubber 2-pack for the MUSCLE / Kinnikuman / OMFG purists, as well as a limited open colorway run in resin of whatever I can make by the drop date.
The 2 pack will be about $25, while the singles will be $14 a pop.

GG ALLIN

In the Bigmantoys tradition of making the least commerically viable toys possible, I'm producing the GG Allin bust I started way back when I started learning Z-brush, in limited number. 
For those that don't know, GG was a very intense rock'n'roller who died in the early 90s after many years of crash-and-burn living. He also occupies the most space on my MP3 player and has done since about 2004.


The bust stands at 5", and is made in glow-in-the-dark ABS. Limited to 10 pieces and just $30 each - cheap enough for the slimiest scumbag.



Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Exhibitions, and Death Adder.

Hiyas,

Yeah, it's been slow-going. Got a new full time job BUT with the GBP taking a hit recently, I might be able to afford to go part time again as your US Dollars are worth a ton more over here now :D Every cloud!

So first thing - I've got work in a couple of exhibitions at the moment - The "Skeletor and the Henchmen of the Universe" show at the hallowed ACME Superstore/Gallery in Florida (if I remember correctly). It's the same place that ran the BOSS KRANG exhibition last year - Enzo Garza's the guy. I consider it to be the most legit non-comic-con exhibition of from-the-heart nostalgia pieces.
It's my MK1 Skeletank - available for $145.



Interestingly, before MOTU had the title it has now, the "Masters of the Universe" was going to be the moniker for Skeletors Henchmen. 

I also have a few pieces in my own town of Brighton (UK) at the Dynamite Gallery. A clear-yellow resin Treegarr, and an 8" prismatic glittered pink Bimmy (from Double Dragon - in case you're not a fan). You can buy them online here - http://dynamitegallery.com/collections/all-toys

 Death Adder.

22cm tall, posable, and fucking brutal. My continuation of my Golden Axe 5.5 series carries on. I didn't make him 5.5 because in a 5.5 universe he wouldn't be. He's bigger than everyone else. Dropping later this month - Every 3D printed figure will come with several gimmicked out resin thunder fists.



Saturday, 28 May 2016

Mortal Kombat Keshi, more Double Dragon stuff, conventions... Too much fun I guess. More 3D printing evangelism.

Got a shipment through from Shapeways. Proof-copies of my Mortal Kombat-style ninja keshi, and treated myself to a Spinning Head Sunshine keshi from Brownnoise in the same shipment. Gotta love 3rd party production. I bought something someone else designed and something I designed made in the same factory and shipped in one. 3D printing in toys (aside from the mech/ MOTU community) isn't really believed in yet. I understand. Why buy something that's still got a reputation for being rough in finish from before various polishing and smoothing techniques were invented, when people are pooping out really nice chunks of resin using gimmick resin pigments - that stuff looks nice! Even a rubber ball looks pretty swish with enough glitter in it. I feel the reasons behind the apprehension!



3D printing has its limitations. Definitely. But if you approach the design from a practical toymakers' perspective ... are you still reading? ... If you do that, you can sculpt and optimise the figure to look good in its designated format. Same as vinyl toys vs PVC. The material matters to the sculpt.

So I picked up the first 3D Printed figure that I saw and thought "This is legit!". Brownnoises' SHSH.
First off, the spinning top (blue) fits MUCH better into the 3D printed part (orange) than it looks here. The plastic is flexible and after taking this pic, I fit it in super tight. Still poseable, no sign of potential damage at all. REAL sturdy. More than most resin, definitely.

Also - and I know this attitude of mine won't win me many friends outside the community of fellow toymakers - for the cost of Shapeways production and a tiny cut for the sculptor, you're buying a legit art piece. No, it isn't endorsed by a rapper who wants to make money from Kidrobot collectors, but this was designed really REALLY well.  That's hours of sculpting, trial, and error. It's not an old MUSCLE figure. Pretty revolutionary if that's not too dramatic. Isn't it? I think that's worth the price of a handul of old MUSCLEs you can get any time.

 That spinning top - the same one I've had since '89,  has a body now. Thing looks like a beast. If I get another top, I'll likely get another sometime.

Onto my stuff. The Mortal Kombat keshi. I sculpted it to be 3D printed. Making sure there were no points less than 1mm thick. I dunno, I think it's pretty sick, isn't it? Looks pretty cool to me, anyway. I'll keep buying them for myself. They're available in my Shapeways store in every available color for not much at all.
I spent at least a thousand hours having mass MUSCLE vs Ninja MITE wars as a kid. Effing loved ninjas. Still do. Incorporating characters inspired by video games into the design mix was definitely fun.




Toy blogs aren't big hyping 3D printed keshi it would seem. There's enough of them out there that have had no coverage to suggest as much. Maybe it's a debate of how artistic it is to design, and have a machine make something, vs casting it by hand, whether you designed it or not. Probably being too analytical. Not cool, man.

Been invited back the toy convention with heart, Roll Out Roll Call, as a guest again. Really happy about that. It's in London this time too. If you have a legit interest in toy history and behind the scenes in how all your favorite lines were made, I can't recommend it enough. Plus, FLOORs of Takara, Hasbro, Mattel, and even stuff by little poopers like me.





Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Tanks and statues. 3D printing is the pajamas!

Been a while again. Counter says I've got 42 thousand visits. That can't be right? I'm calling bot shenanigans, unless people are genuinely interested in what goes on behind the scenes of an indy toy-making house.

Been busy as flip here. Actually decreasing time in the resin room to focus more on sculpting, and got a better paid day-job with more hours so I can drop some skrilla into mass production. Also talking to some people about getting big stuff done with some legit licenses. Not sure if it'll happen but I'll definitely give it my best shot.  If I can put in 30 hours a week on TOP of my day-job to to make hordes of resin toys that may or may not sell well, I can definitely graft the role of project manager and marketing on a crowd-funding project,which may see affordable PVC toys of my favorite horror characters to the masses. Think MWOTR but with horror and game characters.

So, I'm basically making the art I want to make project-by-project on the weekends and trying to work on bigger, long-term projects in the background. I am DONE casting other people's sculpts. I'm not "dissing" the bootleg scene at all. I am a customer and fan of it, with the exchange rate being what it is (me being in England and most collectors being in the States), casting and sanding for a living is no lark, I can tell you.

So here's a little info on two recent projects I have started. Might make more down the road, but for now it's been a labor of love seeing how far an imagination and a 3D printer can take me.

SKELETANK

I sculpted this to see how big I could go, how sturdy a 3D print of this scale could be, and because I like to do something original. 

I got Ralph Niese to help with gimmicks, such as having the idea of pivot-able axe-cannons on the sides. I was mostly sculpted as one big piece in Z-brush, then cut into sections with pegs added, and finally printed out bit-by-bit, and assembled using an ABS and acetone mix as both glue and filler. Sanded it to hell and coated in acetone to smooth the striations. Already one of the best things Ive ever made.


I took a lot of inspiration from The Action Force Roboskull I had as a kid, and Skeletor's head, of course. This thing is STURDY!! Really amazed with the quality of it. Gonna be proud to have it at a few shows.


MYSTICAL WARRIORS OF THE RING STATUE. WOLFROM vs SABRE.

 As I learned quite a bit about how to re-pose and kitbash models in Zbrush, I was pretty sure I could come up with something cool using Simon Grell's original MWOTR minifigure sculpts.
I got in touch with Mark Vasquez and run the idea by him, he sent me the STL files for the figures, and I got to work!

One thing I love about sculpting in 3D is that without an armature, you don't have to think too much about supports. The ABS material I use is pretty tough and you can adjust the density of parts. On this statue, which was printed in sections and assembles with ol' fashioned garage kit skills, the legs are much heavier than the top. To make sure it's nicely weighted and that the bottom structure can support the top easily.
 Wolfrom is hitting the "Wolfpack" (double underhook powerbomb) on Sabre. After drawing 4 issues of the comic, I know the characters well and as these two fought in the first issue, they have stayed in my mind the most as the alpha hero and villain.

Later versions, if they get made, will hopefully see full color paint jobs. But in case you couldn't tell, Wolfrom's standing with one foot on a ring mat, and the other on concrete. Thought it'd be more interesting that ring canvas, or gridiron.

Right. Gotta get painting. Dropping a select number of Double Dragon, Mortal Kombat, and Puppet Master ONE OF A KIND pieces in the Bigcartel shop this weekend.

Cheers!








Sunday, 13 March 2016

New Puppet MUSCLEs, Fugg the Slayer flesh edition, Double Dragon figures and 3D printing.

New Puppet MUSCLE rubber keshi, Pinhead and Leechwoman, will finally be available in my Bigcartel store from March 19th, Midnight London time.









I don't mind telling you, Leech Woman has been a pain to make. Her thin legs combined with the cold conditions in my casting room have been making life difficult to say the least. But I've finally got a good workflow on and enough of a buffer to deal with demand in good time.
The variants of these two I have in my Shapeways store have been available for a little while  and happy to see people people picking them up, but I understand the purist's desire for super high detail rubber minifgures so will keep them coming.

Also, available in the Shapeways store as a print-to-order figure, I've added Jack Attack from Demonic Toys as an adversary for the Cyber Puppet variants you can order there. 

Also been adding more stuff to my Shapeways shop. I have a 3D printer now but it can't compete with Shapeways on small scale figures. I've worked out a way of getting full playsets to customers through Shapeays for little more than the price of a single figure. I attach a sprue. It reduced the price by about a 1/3, and I also include large but hollow accessories like the oil drum and the log.

Each set comes with a Billy/Jimmy/Jeff/Sonny style character so you can pick what colors you want to match the characters they represent. Really happy with how they came out. Especially the hair styles - real nice.

Finally, I've taken the plunge and got a 3D printer (got once in a lifetime deal on it too!). As someone who spent a bit of time as a kid putting together garage kits, printing out models in parts, assembling, smoothing, and painting took no learning at all. 


I don't want to sound like a negative Nelly Furtado,  but the past couple of years have seen the bootleg resin scene get huge, and kind of a price-point competition for who can churn out the most one-part-mold pieces for the least money. So... you know. I'll definitely kitbash and do customs and collabs with 5.5 guys from time to time, but when it gets to being a an exercise in stir and pour labor, I'm kind of pulling back a bit. Not saying it's not fun, cool, and an art form, it's just become tough for guys like me who've gone part time in the day job and want to at least pay rent without worrying. I'm a big fan of bootleg resin and own a lot of other people's work, but the bottom line is I enjoy sculpting more than casting.

Speaking of which... Made a small run of Galaxxor's Fugg character in flesh rubber and resin that'll be available at C2E2. Always an honor to work with Ben, and never been disappointed with the outcome of our collabs.


So the Z-brush sculpted keshi will keep coming, but I'm moving to larger, original pieces now. I've had a week with my 3D printer, and this is some of the stuff I've come up with so far.


Friday, 22 January 2016

Abobo minifigure! Free DIY Toulon's Chest for Puppet MUSCLE figures.


Buildin' up my Shapeways store bit-by-bit. Really happy to see people aren't shy of plastic 3D printed figures and what a great format they can be for minis.
Abobo is my first fully-exclusive 3D print mini. I modelled him in Zbrush to look like the NES version. The flesxible plastic feels really good in hand and Shapeways' polishing is very impressive - especially at the price! Will hopefully get some time to do more figures in the line soon. He's already available at my Shapeways store, in a ton of colors.

I played Double Dragon at the local leisure centre as a kid so much, my mum got me my first console to play it on - the Sega Master System. I know it probably wasn't as playable as the NES version but I think it had nicer graphics. I can honestly say over the course of my life, including other platforms, I've played Double Dragon through about 100 times, and played it many more.

I've also made something fun to accompany the Puppet MUSCLE figures. TOULON'S EFFING CHEST! This is completely free to download and make, and really pops a Puppet MUSCLE display. Have a look, will you?


video
And here's the one-sheet printout you need to make it, with a step-by-step guide here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.933203013422722.1073741856.351655254910837&type=3



Other than that, yeah, the resin side has been quiet. The landscape of the "art-toy" scene has changed quite a bit since I started making stuff. I'll never quit but definitely sticking to my guns on making stuff I want to. Whether that means it will be considered less "art" despite having more craft to it or not, is not something I've never made enough money to worry about. Got a couple of toys (one as BMT, and another I just designed the character for) going into mass production this year which will hopefully take the heat off my need to spend tons of time casting, and focus more or using my imagination, sculpting, drawing etc.
New issue of Mystical Warriors of the Ring I can't wait to get started on too!