April 15th 2006
- Movie Robin right arm
Fimo, Wire, Chains, a metal clamp,
Character & Intent
Once again, I revisit the long-defunct Amalgam Universe in
the oddest of ways. Lobo and Howard the Duck in one.
Who ever thought of such madness ?
I had been planning this custom for a long time.. but what
I didn't expect was that it would take me even more time
to make it. Almost every part of it was done at least twice,
as the odd proportions and small scale turned out to go far
beyond my capabilities. I think that it is still visible in the end
result that I was trying to work above my actual level...
But I've failed worse before.
Ohhh, what a long, painful process this was. Including setbacks
parts-hunting, this took me about a year - For something that others
could do in about a day. Do you read this, superior customizers around
the world ? Know that I hate to love you and love to hate you !
The starting point was an unarticulated rubber Donald Duck figure,
produced for the German market as it had a localized police uniform for reasons
that I won't understand within any foreseeable period of time. I took a ceramic
duplicate of it's head which I heavily modified to get closer to Lobo the Duck's
(in short: LTD) facial structure and then re-cast in synthetic resin for durability.
I now realize that the eyes should've been further apart (a reversal of the problem
with my Earthworm Jim custom), but that's life.
I originally wanted to use the body of the
demon that ultimately only ended up
donating his leg, but I quickly realized that the proportions wouldn't match up at
all, which put the project on the backburner for a while. Fortunately, a local store
chain carried a line of Disney mini figures (which aren't bad for their price point
at all), which quickly set me back on track. Overjoyed, I removed the little lost
boy from his confines so I could rip his head off and split his torso in order
to dissever all of his limbs.
(Yup, that was fun to write)
After some tinkering, I realized that his arms and leg would
be of no use for
me, either. Damn ! I had found out much earlier that the original muscular arm
I had picked out for him - an old Hasbro WWF Bushwacker Luke or Butch
or Luke - would be just as unusable, so I was left with having to come up with
solutions for three very different extremities. Ultimately, I decided to sculpt the
skinny parts from scratch, as their cartoony, undetailed appearance wouldn't be
too hard to duplicate. I used a base of hobby wire with a first layer of plumber's
epoxy and a surface made from Fimo. I also made sure to embed a magnet
into the left arm so that it would be easier to keep a chain wrapped around it -
A technique that I had developed for my original Lobo figure. The left hand
was kindly donated by a movie Peter Pan. At least I think that's what this
particularly poor rendition of a supposed human being was supposed to be.
I also seem to recall that the feet are casts of the Donald figure I used for the
head, but in the end, I did so much sculpting on them that it doesn't matter
anymore. The right arm with it's excessive musculature is of a Movie Robin
(YES! Another piece of evidence destroyed!) with all muscles sculpted
over for additional thickness.
The torso is quite obviously the Lost Boy base with tons of
sculpting done to emulate
the built of an anthropomorphic anatidaean nightmare that was neaver meant to be.
The tail was a crapload of work, by the way.
Fitting, isn't it ?
The neck and it's joint posed a huge problem to me. I knew
that it would be vital for
such a short character to be able to look up and down, which was very difficult to
implement with the skinny neck. I ultimately revisited my idea of a magnetic balljoint...
Only that I had no metal ball at the right size. After a lot of trial and error, I arrived
at the solution of rolling some wire into a crude ball, wrapping it with aluminum foil
(only for the shape, as it is non-ferrous) and evening the crevices and dents out
with some thick iron paint. The stuff is being sold as "Magnetic Paint" but all
the means is that it contains iron. It isn't magnetized in any way.
The vest wasn't too difficult to make once I had figured the
basic cut out. It's made
of paint-enriched liquid latex poored onto a plastic container that would give it
leather-like structure and cut into shape. I also attached a bit of wire using glue
and another layer of latex. This crude hanger is meant to keep the grenades
attached. Those are once again entirely original sculpts based on some wire.
The hook and chain are made from a hook and a chain. Well, a metal
attached to a chain and sculpted over with Fimo. It should be pretty durable.
The assembly of the parts was a bit tricky, as I couldn't
prime or seal the figure
with the latex vest on. Well, actually, I didn't prime it at all, as my primer of choice
had somehow managed to turn into a bubbling foam over the winter and getting
more of it involves an extended drive. So I went through the painstacking process
of painting bright colors directly onto plastic (the little bit that wasn't covered with
Fimo) and sprayed the varnish onto an unglued, loosely assembled raw figure.
Then, I carefully pushed the arms through the vest and glued the torso shell
Thus ended a long journey full of pain, desperation, my own
a ton of problems that I've already forgotten about at this point. The pot of
gold at the end of the golden brick road (hey, wait a second...) isn't quite
as full as I had hoped and I had to forego a few accessories that I couldn't
figured out how to create, but all in all, Lobo The Duck looks nice on the
shelf. And that should be good enough.