THE TERMINATOR

TERMINATOR00The Terminator mini-bust for Watsoncon. Based on the T800’s appearance in TERMINATOR 2: Judgment Day, this 1/6th scale mini-bust was sculpted with Sculpey Firm over an aluminum foil and apoxie armature, set on a wood-block based (which has been distressed to look like it’s taken gunfire). Photos by Tony Martins Photography.

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PROFESSOR X AND MAGNETO

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Marvel’s Mutant fremenies mini-busts for my friend Kait’s birthday. These were made with Sculpey Firm and Apoxie over an aluminum armature, finished with black matte spray primer and silver and metallic red leaf.  The X emblem in the stand was hand-carved, stained, and polyurethaned. Each bust is about 3″ high.

Professor Charles Xavier and Magneto were created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.

 

THE UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL

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THE UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL a.k.a. Doreen Green, is Marvel Comics’ heroine who possesses all the powers of squirrel and girl, seen here charging into action, with her best friend Tippy Toe at the ready.

Designed by my friend Erica Henderson, current artist of USB, whom I pestered for this  design as soon as she was announced as the artist. (Erica and I have collaborated before.) It was designed to be in-scale with the Batgirl Black & White sculpture I did, and is about 7″ high by 11″ long (Tippy Toe is about the tiniest thing I’ve ever sculpted and I had to bust out the magnifying lamp to work on her). It was sculpted with Sculpey Firm, Apoxie Sculpt, and the finished piece was cast using Smooth On Mold Star 30 and Smooth Cast 305.

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Erica, writer Ryan North, and colorist Rico Renzi are creating some of the most fun, exciting, and fresh superhero comics in years. A collected edition of the first story will be on sale August 19th at your finer comic book shops!

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl was created by Will Murray and the legendary Spider-Man co-creator Steve Ditko.

The A-TEAM (after Mt. Rushmore National Memorial by Borglum and Borglum)

A TeAm Sky01Last year I auctioned a sculpture commission to raise money for a friend. Within moments a kind soul bid (a fair bit over the minimum, too) and won his choice of anything he wanted me to sculpt.

And then he asked for something awesome.

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In 1972, a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn’t commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire the A-Team.

The A-TEAM, created by Frank Lupo and superproducer Stephen J. Cannell  was supposedly the most violent show on TV when it was airing in the mid-1980s, but I don’t remember a lot of bloodshed or onscreen death. When I was asked to replace the presidents on Mount Rushmore with these four great American heroes, I felt I was asked to solve a problem and no one else could help.

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Joss Whedon’s FRAY

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From the comic book series by Joss Whedon and Karl Moline, this is Melaka Fray, Vampire Slayer of the future. Closely tied in with Whedon’s TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Fray tells the story of a Slayer disconnected from the lineage of Slayers, in a world that’s forgotten what vampires are.

Fray’s look here is taken from her look in issues #5 and #6 (although artist Karl Moline alternated between giving Melaka a holstered laser gun and omitting it- deadlines!), my favorite of her several looks. I tried to copy the weird glyphs on her t-shirt without having any idea of what they mean. I was amazed when the Scythe, which  first appeared in the FRAY comic book, appeared in live-action on Buffy. In the comics it looked slightly different, so I went with the more finalized, real-world prop’s appearance.

Down at Fray’s feet, you can see a tile floor depicting martyred saint Margaret of Antioch slaying a dragon. Wires, insulation, and machinery have been clumsily threaded through, the future intruding into the past.

Fray was sculpted a 1/6th scale; I made a guess at her height based on Moline’s drawings, but made her taller than Buffy star Sarah Michelle Geller. This turned out to be wrong when Fray and Buffy finally met in Buffy comic books, where Buffy was a bit taller. It was sculpted with Sculpey III, Sculpey Firm, and Apoxie over an aluminum armature. The Scythe was carved wood and a brass rod. These were molded in Smooth On urethane rubber and cast in Smooth Cast 300 resin, primed, and painted with acrylics and Tamiya enamels.

My friend, photographer Patrick Lentz, shot reference photos of a model, Sue, for this piece. I wanted Fray to have a kind of weary but still defiant look here, and I couldn’t have done it without them. Thank you, Pat and Sue.

Grr. Argh.

Frankenstein’s Monster

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How can I describe my emotions at this catastrophe, or how delineate the wretch whom with such infinite pains and care I had endeavoured to form? His limbs were in proportion, and I had selected his features as beautiful. Beautiful! Great God! His yellow skin scarcely covered the work of muscles and arteries beneath; his hair was of a lustrous black, and flowing; his teeth of a pearly whiteness; but these luxuriances only formed a more horrid contrast with his watery eyes, that seemed almost of the same colour as the dun-white sockets in which they were set, his shrivelled complexion and straight black lips.

Based on Mary Shelley’s description of the literate, bilingual, articulate monster of her novel, Sean Downey and I designed this piece which I sculpted. It took us a while to finalize this design, which we wanted to be true to Shelley’s description above, but also possess some visual appeal.

The black lips we decided to make a kind of blue-black, like the lips and tongues of bears or Chow Chow dogs, and we extrapolated that his nipples (which, shockingly, Shelly failed to describe) would be, too. Scarring isn’t described in the book, but we utilized the popular idea of the monster being composed of the parts of dead humans as well as animals, which was suggested, hence scars. The scars we did were mostly cosmetic with not a lot of thought given to how they’d actually work (Sean added circular, almost branding-like scars on the shoulders).

We wanted our take on the monster to have a youthful quality, despite looking like he’d racked up a lot of mileage, so we gave him slightly oversized eyes and fine features, including too-small ears and nose set too-high on his head.

His eyes, described as “watery […]that seemed almost of the same colour as the dun-white sockets in which they were set” are alternately described as yellow, which seemed contradictory. We decided to make the corneas an unnatural yellow and keep the whites of the eyes white.

The monster is depicted here after having been rejected by Frankenstein and living in the woods for a while.

The sculpture was made with a mixture of Sculpey III, Sculpey Firm, and Apoxie over an aluminum armature. The original was molded in Smooth-On PMC (forgot which number) mold rubber and cast in Smooth-Cast 300, primed, painted with acrylics, and given a loincloth and crepe hair, set with clear fabric glue.

Howard the Duck Redux

I’m thrilled that Marvel has tapped the hilarious Chip Zdarsky and nicest-guy-in-comics Joe Quinones for a new HOWARD THE DUCK comic. I’m, uh, kind of a fan from way back. I based this Sculpey Firm relief sketch on Joe’s cool development sketches.

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Howard the Duck was created by Steve Gerber and Val Mayerik.

ROSE THE HAT

I just read Stephen King’s DOCTOR SLEEP, his semi-sequel to THE SHINING. The villain, Rose the Hat, is an immortal psychic predator who feeds on the “steam” of children with the shining. Seemingly beautiful, her true face has one long, tusk-like tooth and, serpent-like, she can open her jaw so wide it touches her chest.

I was probably too literal in visualizing it, but the image of the saber-like tusk struck me and wouldn’t leave.

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I made this mini-bust with a mixture of Super Sculpey, black and white Sculpey III and Sculpey Firm over an aluminum wire and foil armature. I also used a mixture of Super Sculpey and Apoxie, the recipe for which can be found here. This combination created a self-curing, water-thinned, more durable material that I used for the tooth and the hair loops, which would have been difficult with regular Super Sculpey. It’s a great material with the only downsides being a shortened working time and less self-adhesion.

CAPTAIN AMERICA (After Kirby)

DSC02997My 3D rendition of Joe Simon and Jack Kirby’s Captain America. This is based on Kirby’s cover for CAPTAIN AMERICA’S BICENTENNIAL BATTLES

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(He gets a little John Buscema-esque when viewed from the side.)

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DSC02991DSC02990DSC02996This piece is dedicated to my late friend James, Cap’s biggest fan.

Apparently there a new Captain America movie out. I don’t know how it could top Albert Pyun’s masterpiece.

(I’m really looking forward to it! If you enjoyed it, consider making a donation to The Hero Initiative in Jack Kirby or Joe Simon’s name. )