August 20th, 2011
Marvel Legends Sasquatch
Toybiz WCW wrestler boots,
Apoxy Sculpt, Fimo, glues,
Character & Intent
I think that it is probably safe to say that most who read this do celebrate
it in some form or other. And more often than not, that form will probably be
the popular, modern, wonderfully kitschy way. You know the setting... A calm
and festive December night, snow is falling gently on the winter landscape.
Children pressing their noses against the cold glass of the windows to catch
a glimpse of the magical being known and loved as Santa Claus. What's that
noise? It sounds like so many tiny bells, jingling happily as they come ever
closer. Could it be...? It is! The bearer of gifts and joy approaches on his
sled drawn by enchanted flying reindeer.
But he is not alone.
There is something else. Something old. Something almost forgotten, surpressed
deep in the darkest recesses of the memories of those old enough to remember.
But it has crossed the treshold from the darkness on the brink of oblivion to
the darkness of the night. It is out there. It has a purpose. The bad ones!
Yes... There are so many spoiled, rotten, unruly children. They
must be punished. And those that will not learn...
Those will be taken.
Indeed, christmas hasn't always and everywhere been an entirely
happy and carefree festivity. Some cultures saw it fit to not only reward
and praise the "good" children but also to punish and scare the "bad"
ones. Thus, Santa Claus (or, more accurately here, Saint Nicholas)
was not always alone in the alpine region that connects Germany
and Austria. In his company, there used to be a truly fearsome
creature (or even groups thereof) known as the Krampus.
Demonic and satyr-like in appearance, a Krampus' was the ultimate advent
nightmare of any child unfortunate to be told the tales of their gruesome
deeds. Depending on region, the actual nature of those deeds differed, but
the most common ones appear to have been the whipping of ill-behaved
kids with rusty chains and the act of dragging those kids straight to hell,
never to return.
It should surprise nobody who knows me at all that I quickly
took a liking
to this nearly-forgotten mythical creature when I first heard of it. It's such a
fun thought to juxtapose the jolly festiveness of modern christmas with a
medieval horror lurking just below the surface, ready to pounce on the
slightest stray sliver of belief and return to wreak havoc once again.
Visually, as often with myths, there was a lot of room for
The most recurring concepts in descriptions and depictions of the Krampus
seem to be a devil-like face, an absurdly long tongue, a dark-fured body and
clove feet. Well, to be honest, it's quite common to show him with one goat hoof
and one humanoid foot, but I missed that detail until I was well into the creation
of the goat legs. Fortunately, this detail is still optional.
Of course I did attempt to put my own spin on things, which lead to his scarce
clothing appearing to have been made of the discarded bodies of the children
whose souls he had dragged to hell. Or maybe just the ones who couldn't
handle a good chain-whipping.
All in all, I'm pretty happy with the final result here.
Standing at an impressive
twenty-seven cm (ten inches) horn-to-hoof, his somewhat old-fashioned
presence is imposing on the shelf and bridges the days between
Halloween and Christmas beautifully.
This one was a rather straightforward built.
I started out with the head. After a few aborted attempts to
heads into a more or less generic demonic entity, I realized that I could not
accept anything less than a classic woodcut devil look. Besides, those other
heads were too small, anyway. So I did end up sculpting the head from scratch
and casting the result in resin. The tongue and horns were sculpted over wire
seperately and glued on afterwards. I would have liked for the tongue to be
removable, but I wasn't able to find a way to make it work in the small
space left amidst all those teeth.
The Sasquatch body did not require much modification at all. The right wrist
was dremeled down and sculpt over for his broken restraints, and the calves
were replaced in full. For this, I chose some random old Toybiz WCW
wrestler feet, cut them down to leave nothing but the jointing and
sculpted the rest of the legs and feet over those. I also cut some Lego
or probably Mega Bloks, not that it matters) bricks apart and glued
them on to provide a stable basis to sculpt the hooves around.
The loincloth was made of liquid latex mixed with pain,
applied to what I believe to be Marvel Legends Asgardian's
scarf. The original part only served as a mold here - The final
piece is pure latex and paint. I would have liked to have a little
more variety in the Krampus' patchwork of human skin, but
since his area of influence is severely limited, it made the most
sense for the colors to stay largely caucasian. The backside of
his loincloth was retained from the Sasquatch figure and is meant to
appear to be made from human hair. Waste not, want not!
The belt of chains is literally nothing but glued-on, painted chains.
The cape is taken from an LOTR figure, but I'm not sure which
one it was.
The same is true for the hands that form the clasps, though I am not entirely
sure if they don't come from a different toyline, after all. The assembly of those
parts is basic dremel-and-glue work. It might be worth pointing out that I embed
a (thinly sculpted-over) magnet into Krampus' chest to keep the chain of the cape
in place a little better.
Finally, his bag-oh-bad-ones is a sheet of liquid latex wrapped
foil and spare bits from the parts box. and glued together. By the way, the hand
poking out of it belongs to young John Connor from Kenner's Terminator 2 toyline.
I felt that he'd been bad enough to warrant it.