Sunday, 30 December 2012
Also ORANGE SAPLINGS. Why did every other colour sell out but not them? A customer told me today that they were not appearing as available internationally, that's why! I had no idea. I just thought people didn't like orange as much. Anyway, the Sapling's will be returning next year as part of a collab set but this very limited run in these limited colours is done so if you want one, now's the time!
Saturday, 22 December 2012
The Clutter action figure show next month will feature work by... basically, you name it, they are there. And I will be there. So massively honoured.
When I was eight, i used to tell a lot of lies. I saw a GI Joe (or Action Force, as we called them in the UK) with Chinese text on the box. It got me thinking about (I didn't know the word bootleg at the time) but the strange, clearly non official variations of toys I liked you can pick up very cheaply at pound shops. I told all my friends that you could get a Chinese Destro figure, with a giant head, and a penis attachment. They didn't believe me but I insisted it was for adults. This was 1988 and I was already well into bootleg toys and the features of them. I liked it when I'd buy bootleg turtles and their hands and weapons still had mold flash on them. I used to speculate how much I could sell copies of Niku, the MUSCLE figure for, If i somehow used molten plastic and a play-doh set to copy him when I was that age. This sounds like bullshit but it's true.
So I learned how to make molds and cast. First thing I did was make MOTU figures with well sculpted arses and knobs. I didn't expect to sell any but if I could have something unique and funny, that was good enough for me. They were too expensive to keep making and I wasn't great at getting joints right yet, so I scrapped the molds.
Months and months of learning and asking questions and practicing later, I felt confident i could do Treegarr. I really knew I'd had a good idea with him.
Wednesday, 12 December 2012
P.S. Did you ever play the sequel to X-com on the PC? TFTD? I did a lot. It's handy when you know incredible toymakers. You just get stuff you always wanted given life.
Sunday, 9 December 2012
It's decided - the Treegarr Sapling/Critter double drop will be Friday 14th December @ 18:00 EST/ 23:00 GMT! (Click the SHOP link above for our Bigcartel!) and they are yours for ONLY $13 EACH!! Will up pics ASAP!
I vowed never to make more. Then I got this neon resin that really works, as well as lots of requests for one last wave.
They are awesome! While doing lots of casting for (full size) Treegarr version 2 - the Galaxxor version and version 3 - the (someone really awesome you have almost definitely heard of) version, I started sculpting the Treegarr minifig - the sapling.
I sculpted him in the British tradition. That is to say, miliput rather than sculpey, and lots of old school miniature sculpting and texturing techniques that suit RPG figurines and things of nature.
I actually got into making minifigs and happened to be working with an ex-employee of Games Workshop. I was playing with some clay while talking on the phone and he started giving me tips on how the scupltors at GW do it. Little things like making texture rollers themselves, and using exacto knives to perfect any dynamic lines in their sculpts.
After the big version, it was a pleasure to sit in front of the TV and fiddle away with him every night. Treegarr Sapling.
Sunday, 2 December 2012
This month I will be all about the mini figures while my friends are working on five Treegarr collaborations that will knock your socks off! At less than two inches, Treegarr is now a treat you can pick up in any color, even when you're broke. i know that's one reason I've got six crates of mini figures myself!
Sunday, 25 November 2012
Brutal cosmic warriors from the REAL Hel of Norse mythology. They fight to honor the mystical powers of the stars in the name of Odin.
The magic mists of Asgard give them their shimmering form - by fist and by spike they fight all who deny them glory in battle or lust of the flesh.
Among them are two brothers - Uniclops and the Cosmic Paladin. although fundamentally of the same stuff, they fight throughout the worlds over women and of the bragging rights of their legend.
The header cards are a nod of honor to the great album covers of 80s metal bands. Uniclops and the Cosmic Paladin showing honor to Odin around a campfire. If you can guess the album cover parodied here, then you are a Brother or True Metal!
Friday, 23 November 2012
An intergalactic war of muscle and might.
Arrows of the Galaxy!
Thursday, 22 November 2012
Monday, 19 November 2012
...and my PC just died. forgive the lack of grammar but ihave to use my phone for updates for now. i posted some pics to the facebook page that might give you some clues as to what I'm up to. I've got one all me project I'm releasing in aweek that's pretty Fun and looks cool. I've got three mini figure projects which are all awesome but one in particular I'm doing with a micronauts buddy will definitely surprise a lot of people.
critters. I've had too many requests to keep putting it off. trutek has kept the rubber Supply up so I've remade the mold and I'm working on them until it dies. give me a week.
Friday, 2 November 2012
I didn't want to invest in polyurethane and silicone and the rest to find out I couldn't use it, so I made two part plaster molds, and bought some of this stuff.
The first batch I bought was white. I got this blue stuff from a hobby shop in Japan. You just need to heat it to make it malleable.
It actually worked. I wet my finger to avoid getting it burned and pushed the molten resin all around the inside of the mold. Making a really tough hollow cast. You can throw it against a wall and it'll bounce back.
Since I discovered resin and got a pot - I didn't think i'd ever need thermoplastic. I've never once read about a toymaker using it.
Using a heated up pair of scissors as a sculpting tool, it's been possible to shape to plastic just enough to be a good filler. It's drillable and i've given the joints a good hard tug (I've got a 250 kilo grip, by the way) and they're holding up fine.
Heat it up enough and it's re-usable too. Which makes it great for small one part molds.
Thursday, 1 November 2012
Gold Dover's made the switch from blog to website:
Marty Hansen was the first person I ever saw make a fully posable legit action figure. I was very turned onto the fact that I could now cast my own bits of coloured plastic. I did some with inspiration and a little advice from Marty (as I'm sure many did), then pro-wrestling took over for a few years and there was no time.
I stopped wrestling about a year ago. I won't go into the details why but I was pretty heartbroken. I had my best years ahead of me but the logistics didn't weigh up. I remember looking at some amazing pics of dozens of unique magno figures recast in amazing colours with AMAZING accuracy. Over a hundred e-mails later, I have a pressure pot, and know how to use it, I know how to cast joints, and cast without bubbles. He took me from having a hobby to being able to fill the hole that wrestling left. I'm glad to see my friend branching out and spreading his knowledge on.
I've just thought of the best Micronauts concept I ever have and will be working on that when time allows between my SEVEN different collaborations I've got going on (Jesus Christ whatamIgonnado?!)
Wednesday, 31 October 2012
Tuesday, 30 October 2012
Other cool stuff happening with Treegarr. I've got so many MOTU ideas I want to get done but have a bunch of Micronauts designs that must come into existence.
Something really cool happening to Treegarr. His whole world will be expanding in both toy and story form soon!
Thursday, 25 October 2012
Wednesday, 24 October 2012
My first ever dead straight, scratch sculpted and cast 5.5 figure is going up on my Bigcartel in a couple of hours. 10 pieces.
Also, I've employed the services of Mr John Santagada (radioactiveuppercut) of DC Direct fame to do the header art - so glad I did! My drawing would never have done justice to Treegarr like his artwork would. Check it out! It's my banner on my Faceook page and the Bigmantoys Facebook page, I love it that much!
Monday, 22 October 2012
Many more pics at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/78041648@N05
Standing at 5.5" of pure retro resin brutality, Treegarr despite being an art-toy features 3 points of articulation. WOAH!
This is a completely unique sculpt. This design (the original version) will be limited to 10 pieces, ever. I promise once 10 are bought, there will be be no more with the realistic brown bark paintjob, that resembles all artwork and the original sketches.
Due to be revealed before Wednesday, the amazing artwork of John Santagada (google him! Wow!) aka Radioactiveuppercut will be featured on the header card!
"Born from the blood of centuries of sacrifice in a far off desolate wasteland, 'Treegarr', known also in ancient tongues as 'Treevil', needs blood to remain animated. If starved, he must lay root and remain dormant until blood spilt by evil allows him to awake again.
Although Treegarr is only one entity, and one evil mind, there are many stories of him from across this universe and others. Farmers, knights, barbarians, and lesser monsters all have folk tales of this being. Here then, is his true form..."
Sunday, 14 October 2012
I can't deny the value of Twitter anymore so I've signed up. Not much to see yet but will post exclusive content both here and there, and on Facebook too, so worth keeping an eye out for Treegarr next week :)
Friday, 5 October 2012
Deep in the Fright-Zone, before hero or villain dared to brave its depths lived druids and necromancers who treated the deserted realm as a playground. Anything was possible.
At the foot of a tall twisted tree was the spot of thousands of sacrifices. Unimaginable suffering over thousands of years was contained in the soil, roots, and blood of the tall tree.
A mysterious mage once gave the tree a name. The blood of the humans in it's roots gave it the power to take the shape of a man.
Treegarr, the tree that bleeds. The tree that kills.
This is my proto-Treegarr v.1. I'll be holding onto this one.
This one will look a little different to the rest as it's brown paint on brown plastic. All the newer parts are brown on black plastic which looks WAY more dynamic.
I'm happy to say although it's an 'art-toy' it is nicely posable. The waist joint is tight and robust. there's 2 hollow pegs and a central screw making it fully pivotable and safe-ish to drop (please don't on purpose though).
The arms on this one are not a s good as the rest. The joints are loose. I've fixed that and will try to think of ways to further improve on it while i'm on holiday.
See ya next week! :)
Saturday, 29 September 2012
I've posted my very first Treegarr concept sketch and it's up at NerdCity!
Also, here's something for checking out my blog!
Tuesday, 25 September 2012
This is bloody exciting. At the very least, something about what I do has been deemed worthy of shipping over to America, where films and kids that go "Here we go again! Woahhhh!" come from.
I got some silicone through today and all I have to do is finish the test mold i'm making now. I mailed the maker and it's ok for pressurising. Nice.
I found out what was up with my last batch, the seller Polysil ( A GREAT COMPANY!) got back to me about why their stuff is not suitable for pressurising. Turns out that unlike the stuff you normally get accross the Atlantic, over here our catalysts are tin/condensation based. This apparently means that the need moisture to cure properly. The lovely 1:1 stuff that people use over the pond is apparently platinum based which makes it ok for curing under pressure.
They told me all this and still refunded me, even though they did nothing wrong - so the world isn't full of arseholes.
The stuff I've got in the pot now is apparently tin based too, but totally ok for pressure curing. So all the information i've been given is now a little confusing. I should just google it and stop being a shnork.
Saturday, 22 September 2012
Thursday, 20 September 2012
Wednesday, 12 September 2012
Monday, 10 September 2012
Sunday, 9 September 2012
We've made and shipped over 200 Critters in two weeks - working in the evenings, between getting home from work and bedtime.. They were very reasonably priced, well produced, and awesomely sculpted. We all worked our arses off and it felt great to know that what we did was worth doing. We didn't half-arse and waste time. No-one at any point pussied out and slacked off. We all kept in touch because we really wanted to do it. We wanted to see hundreds of different variants of this toy flying to excited collectors, like ourselves, around the world. A childhood dream come true.
It's too easy to get to a gym and be so happy you've made it there that you don't put the effort in to the actual work. It's true of so many things in life.
I used to pro-wrestle. I also did a little competitive bodybuilding when I was a teenager. I learned a lot about the value of accepting rules. Not being a sheep or being controlled - ACCEPTING rules.
When I first got interested in toymaking, I did that thing of getting rock solid advice and thinking "that's too hard, or expensive, or takes too much time - I'll find an easier way". The secret to everything worth doing is THERE IS NO EASIER WAY. It took me a lot of mails from Gold Dober before I accepted that if I do something half arsed, it will look like exactly that.
I hate Munnies. It'd be easy for me to slate peoples work in that format as it's not my kind of thing. The fact is, when people sell custom Munnies, it's because they accepted the workload that they knew it'd take, to get their vision realised.
I am not hot shit at all. This is just my thing i'm doing to make myself happy. Of all the things I do in my daily life, this is the thing that I love to build on. It's the art form I've always loved. I love reading about toymakers like Birnkrant, The Horsemen, Godbeast, Doughty, and learning all the different elements of the craft from people I write to like GoldDober and Ben Spencer. There's a lot that sucks about internet culture - but it's been great for getting to talk to people who I otherwise would never meet. I must say, the ratio of people who have a hard-on for themselves is refreshingly low. It's restored my faith in people quite a lot.
(Pictured right is the Diazombie being sent off by the last remaining legacy of the ACro-Zombie project. A bunch of imperfect parts that'll stay here with my Micronauts collection. Below are the last three one-off MicroKeshi I made. But certainly not the last ever!)
Got a sackload of toys to ship off tomorrow. One particular box had a bunch of different keshi, my last Acro-zombie, and some other bits in and it's the proudest i've felt of my toymaking since I started. I looked in that box and saw a load of awesome stuff i'd made. Some I sculpted. Some I simply cast. But it was a box of stuff I myself would have been thrilled to open if i'd bought it from someone else. We fucking rocked this Critter project and i'm glad amongst all the fellow nerds of various social ability i've met online, i'm working with people that have a real spirit of fun, but also have high standards in what they do and have the discipline to be thorough with every element of toymaking/producing etc.
My past two projects have been a free education in the art I love. Now I get to do some sculpting again.
Treegarrs arms are a bitch. But everytime I'm not happy with them, I'm cutting down and rebuilding.
Wednesday, 5 September 2012
Everyone who's 100% paid up got theirs shipped off today at the latest. got a couple more to finish up matters with. This'll all be done by friday night.
Again, all three of us in this collab have had a great time and worked our knackers off on these, but are so happy this fig has resonated so well. I myself am still working out how to use this neon pigment i've go without it going all pale. Seems to work if I don't pressurize it but that's no good. Definitely still lots of cool variants left to experiment with.
I think we've broken the 200 mark! And I haven't even made any MIMP colors yet!
Sunday, 2 September 2012
Saturday, 1 September 2012
Friday, 31 August 2012
FINAL BATCH OF CRITTERS (WITH EGGS)
SUNDAY NIGHT 9 PM (LONDON TIME)
1 PM (PACIFIC) at http://bigmantoys.bigcartel.com/
OKAY! Molds going bad on me and a really busy week with the clerical side of making toys, and a full week of horrible real world "work" work has meant that the rubber side of production (a-la man-e-toys) has been way more prolific than the resin side (that's my job!). My apologies for that. I've got two molds so I can now work double speed and will have the LAST of the EGG Critters on Bigcartel Sunday night (9 PM London Time , 1PM Pacific).
That way our American friends won't have to try and sneak on Bigcartel while at work :)
As always, mainly to stop myself getting bored, I've varied the styles as much as possible. I've got all kinds of totally cosmic holographic glitters and neon pigments to use on these ones. I'll get pics up as far in advance as humanly possible to give everyone time to get ready and get what they want before it's sold out!
Wednesday, 29 August 2012
Anyway, the other day I fluffed (ruined) my Critter mold. No probs, I got 30 pulls out of that, i'll make another. Damn, I forgot to mix one of the resins, that's ruined after three pulls. I'll make another after work before I work out. Ah, I rushed it and forgot to put mold release in because I was in a rush and fuzed the two parts together. I surely did throw stuff around the room and grind my teeth.
I found a way to recycle most of the old molds and use about 100grams in total on each new version!
The bit of the mold that matters is where the model touches. The rest also needs to be bubble free in case a thin layer on the inside of the mold has a bubble on the other side (totally invisible) which the resin will be sucked into - imagine a human penis going into a femidom - it's the reason some of my early molds which I put in a pressure pot yield figures phallic growths coming out of their backs and faces.
So I cut it out with scissors (see picture) and put it in the mold box to see where the chopped out shape touches the model. Then I cut again to make sure there are no points of contact. We want fresh wet silicone covering all of the model.
I've already made a 100% successful Critter mold this way and am working on a second to meet demand for all the orders we're getting quicker.
Monday, 27 August 2012
I'm working on orders from people that have asked for customs to ship out with what we sold on friday. Made a new mold and it ate it on day one (I was doing a marble fig and was too busy watching Jackass on my PC to remember to mix one of the colours - bye bye mold 2!) so i'm delayed by at least a day but won't leave anyone hanging.
A spark of inspiration hit me this week. I have a lot of wrestling figures that I don't really like. I used to collect very seriously when I thought that they were all likely to be unique, until I started noticing that they were making figures all with the same ridiculously over muscled body. It's ok for He-man but when I paid 15 quid for an import Tajiri figure who had HHH's body and Jeff HArdy's trousers, I realised that the dream was dead. I still keep my ECW SF Toymakers originals and all my Japanese figures. Charapro were the company that produced EVERYTHING for Japanese promotions from NJPW to FMW. They've gone out of business which is a criminal shame.I managed to pick most of the stuff they made up for very cheap during the decline of pro-wrestling in Japan. Everyone got into MMA and started jacking off in the mirror (no offense to my MMA friends).
AAAnyway, I originally had a concept for an art toy which would use the many wrestling figs I have as a base with some original casted element. Then I thought of all the cool bootlegs I have that aren't really worth anything but could certainly lend themselves to that LSD inspired Taiwanese bootleg look. Those strange toys that came out in the eighties and look like they were cast by a blind person.
While I'm not casting or sculpting Treegarr... L'Wrestleur Intergalactique! Coming real soon!
Sunday, 26 August 2012
Saturday, 25 August 2012
Also... on the MOTU side of things, he is coming...
Monday, 20 August 2012
WE'RE MAKING MORE! (stay tuned)
You can get my resin ones at bigmantoys.bigcartel.com
and Man-e-toys rubber ones at manetoys.bigcartel.com
Hmmmhmm! That's right! That series of 80s horror movies about the little aliens that roll around biting, combining, and shooting people up with spikes have their own keshi.
You may be aware of the amazing Zectron's initial annihilating assault on the keshi/art-toy scene already form his first run of awesome (I own one) rubber figs produced by EricNilla. Zectron got in touch with Bigmantoys+Man-e-toys, and asked if we might like to do our own take to add to this amazing project. Totally!
GITD - I don't know if i've used too much powder but they glow like crazy. If I put them next to a lamp, and cap them in my hand, even in a lit room, they glow like a nuclear rod.
Glitter - I love glitter and would live in a house made of translucent glittery plastic if I could.
Graf-eaty. The funky rad 80s stylings of these figures REALLY suit some graffing-up. I plan to do a few more of these.
Standard - Opaque colours.
Fruit gums - translucent citrus colours. They look like candy.
Experimental/ Gradient - because it's more fun than making opaque :)