Once upon a time
November 19th, 2009
Apoxy Sculpt, hot glue,
Character & Intent
First of all, listen to this.
(( Go to page, click "Play the song" ))
Have you listened? If not, go back right away.
If you have, you may proceed.
I do not hesitate to call myself a fan of Jonathan
Few artists have ever succeeded as extensively in combining
the mundane with the strange, the absurd, the fantastic, the...
The song "Better" is quite entertaining and funny because
it only hints at the being in question, leaving the full visual
up to the listener.
So what better way to honor the song than by ruining it's
effect by the way of creating a visual?
This is another one of those projects that took ages and
largely did not store properly in my memory. Bear with me!
Amongst the first parts of the process that did not involve the
disassembling of figures was the construction of the head. I was pretty
sure that this was where the majority of the song's line "a little Darth Vader,
a little Optimus Prime" would show up, so I tried to come up with a design
that would reflect this without being slavishly-devoted to being a fully faithful
hybrid of those two characters. I think that I finally found an acceptable level
of allusion after I realized that Vader's mask is nothing more than a highly-
stylized skull and went from there. The mandibles are made from bent lego
antennas/levers with some sculpting on top. I am using the round tips as
balljoints to articulate them. The head itself is obviously made from scratch,
sculpted atop a wooden bead, partially hollowed to allow a smaller bead on top
of the neck to serve as a balljoint.
Speaking of the neck, it's made from a bendy straw, loaded with
and flexible glue. The wire was also glued directly into the aforementioned bead
to ensure stability. The neck itself remains fully bendy. Well, at least until it breaks.
The upper torso is mostly still Cyber Spawn's. I did remove
the various bits of armor
and the dremelled off the protuding bit in front. In it's place, I put some clear blue
plastic which I simply cut from Tic-Tacs packing and heated carefully to bend it.
Underneath lie cybernetic lungs which I sculpted into the back half of the torso
shell. Unfortunately, though, they're almost impossible to see.
Further modifications to the torso include some sculpted "window frames"
and Lego ..uh... tube brick things in the back to connect the wings.
The wings have obviously been outfitted with tiny Lego bricks
Her right arm is constructed from two right arms, plugged
and sculpted over for uniformity. I also added the prequisite extra thumb there.
Her left arm is Cyber Spawn from the shoulder to the elbow
below. The connection required surprisingly little sculpting to look uniform. Of course,
I also modified that gun a bit.
The thing that holds the torsos together is obviously a Lego
Bionicle balljoint, with added
bits and beads to serve as shoulder balls for the tiny cyborg arms. The hands there
were made from Apoxy Sculpt, a wooden bead and tiny magnets.
The lower torso is a simple cast of Warrior Lillith, drilled
and carved to hell to allow for the joints to attach properly.
The hip joints are constructed from scratch, as I really
disliked the original
Cyber Spawn hip shell and couldn't make it fit my idea of the finished figure.
I drilled holes into the torso cast, stuck plastic cocktail pricks inside.
...Now I have to wonder how many unwelcome google hits that sentence is going to produce....
I then drilled holes into the leg's original joint disks and inserted the pricks in a way
that would allow the legs to move freely, covered the discs with some oil and carefully
sculpted over the the whole contraption.
The actual legs are largely unmodified once again. All I did was
remove the original armor,
re-route and add some plastic hoses and addorn the legs with various bits and pieces,
as well as bring out the details with the paintjob some more.
Speaking of which, Cyber Spawn is a weird figure in regard to
There isanely intricate detailing in the sculpt, but it is obscured by flat black
paint and glued-on armor. However, when I tried to bring out all that detail
with my own paintjob, it started to dawn on me why that had not been done:
It's absolute murder to get some clean paint applications on all those lines and
curves. Since it's tech-type detailing, it requires straight, clean lines. Which will
always lead to lots of hair-pulling. Regarding my color choices - I mostly made
them up as I went along. The Vader allusions definitely called for some black
on the head, and it snowballed from there. Coincidentally enough, not too
long after I had chosen white for contrast and actually finished up, I saw that
there had already been an officially-released white repaint of the base figure.
I guess that it's a natural choice for it.