Brütal Legend




Fall 2010



October 26th, 2010



Marvel Legends 9 Gray Hulk



SOTA Street Fighter Ryu Legs,
JAKKS WWE Mister Kennedy hip,
McFarlane Ozzy Osbourne "Bark at
the moon" diorama



Apoxy Sculpt, Fimo, Glues,
metal rods, wood beads,
sand, pebbles, packaging
string, Citadel "Skull White"
Primer spray, Liguid Latex,
Citadel Paints, Citadel satin

Points of


~ 26

Fully uprightCloseupTo scale, actually.


Character & Intent

Brütal Legend is yet another one of those underrated, overlooked
video game classics. An involving story mode, a brilliant multiplayer,
fantastic character design, tons of humor... but, above all, there was

It would take a long time to list the ways in which this game was and remains,
quite likely, the most heartfelt love letter to heavy metal ever composed, but
know that, if you like any kind of metal music at all, it WILL blow your mind.
And then, your soul. And then, your mind again. Also your speakers.

The game, in story and multiplayer, is split into three factions. There is
Ironheade, representing Heavy Metal in its classic form, the Tainted Coil,
representing modern mutations like Industrial Metal and, finally, the
Drowning Doom, representing the dark side that is encompasses
Death - and Black Metal.

Finally getting to the point; the Treeback is the Drowning Doom's strongest
unit. Normally appearing to be a tree loaded with frenzied crows, he is capable
of raising from the ground and revealing his actual body: A lumbering monstrosity
much akin to the stereotypical horror movie hunchback. Almost of a kind that is
prone to being named Igor, if he didn't also have the metal edge to him.

Naturally, when I realized that I could make a custom figure happen...
There was no way that I could not.


Like most of my projects, this one started out looking a lot easier than it actually
turned out to be. At first, it looked like there would be very little that I would have
to change about the First Appearance Hulk in order to make him the Treeback...
But there was the posture. Very few figures are made to sport a gorilla-like stance,
and even the already-hulking alter ego of one Dr. Banner was not even close
to being articulated to assume that position.
The irony with this lies in a simple mistake in my reference material. Since I could
not find any in-game screenshots and had been too lazy to snap some of my own,
I relied on concept art, which was available more readily. What I failed to notice
was that the stance had changed to a more upright one in the finished game,
and that the grassy hill on his back had been revised into a much simpler
hunchback. So, in consequence, I ran face-first into two taxing design
problems which I  simply could have ignored to end up with
a more screen-accurate result.
...Such is life.

The aforementioned hill turned out to be fairly easy to construct, though.
it did take not much more than a cut-down yoghurt cup transfixed with
hot glue and sculpted over with Apoxy. I did mix the apoxy with quarz
sand and small pebbles for a more convincing dirt structure. The tree
was taken from the McFarlane Ozzy Osbourne "Bark At the Moon" 
diorama. Originally two trees, they were taken apart and glue
back together with some sculpting at the seems in order to create
a larger, more gnarled one. I glue it directly to Hulk's back through
a hole in the yoghurt cup for extra stability.
(cont. below picture)


The hip modification posed huge problems. I had to sand and cut
Hulk's hip piece considerably in order to make the lines of the
bent body with its disproportionate legs flow reasonably naturally
as well as to allow for appropriate articulation. An important part of
my plan was to cut apart Ryu's hip and glue the parts into Hulk's
in order to give them the right fit and clearance. Unfortunately,
I bumbled my through this task in a manner that completely
obliterated that latter hip. In the end, I had to cut my losses and
decided to just transplant hips from another figure. Fortunately,
I did have a JAKKS piece that turned out to fit the pegholes
in Ryu's legs reasonably well.
Adding clearance and articulation range to the feet was a little easier.
All I needed to do was to fix some wooden beads to the feet, using
metal rods inside for the needed durability. Then, I drilled out the legs
enough to turn them into pegholes for these somewhat primitive balljoints.

Beyond those issues, this was a rather simple custom. I sculpted a shirt
onto the upper body and re-sculpted the hip to sport a lower beltline,
emphasized with string to represent the Treeback's rope belt.
The hair was made by sculpting a "master" using Fimo, making a simple
mold and casting the final version with liquid latex (topped off with yet
more sculpting to integrate with the head).




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