Labels

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Mechanical Heart

So I've known about this material for awhile, and I've been itching to try it out. At WonderCon this year (first time going, fun nerd times all around) I got a chance to talk with some extremely talented sculptors, and they all had one thing in common. They used Magic Sculpt.

It's not the cheapest thing ever, but after using it, I see why the first choice for the fine artists at studios like Dreamworks and Pixar. This stuff is crazy awesome. To test this magical material, I decided to manifest one of the ideas I've had rolling around in my head ever since I made Wayne. A mechanical heart.

To begin, I started with a lump of expanding foam. This would allow me to get the basic shape, without wasting a whole bunch of expensive clay.

Always have a backup.

After letting it expand and dry overnight I busted out my french fishing knife (yes, it's actually from France, I'm so fancy) and roughed out the shape in the foam.

This is a pear!

Next I embedded some doodads into the foam. (This was actually a second attempt. On the first one I tried to attach components after the clay had hardened as an afterthought, and it proved to be difficult. This way worked much better.)

This is a pear on drugs!

Next it was time for the Magic Sculpt. The clay comes in two parts, a Resin and a Hardener, which after combined will harden in about three hours. And by harden, I mean it creates a substance that is equivalent to Iron man covered in diamonds. It pretty much refuses to break. What's also interesting is that it goes through various phases of plasticity as it hardens, which allows you to achieve finer detail as time goes by.


After the foam was completely covered and some of the details were etched into the now leathery clay, it was time to add some rivets and other gizmos.


After it was dry there was some minor sanding, a few dremel touch-ups, and finally a coat of metallic primer!

Ew... sticky.

Then it was time for the details, involving lots of paint and a tiny brush. Oh, and of course it needed a nifty display stand. Quite a fun project, definitely look forward to improving my sculpting technique and getting better detail because this stuff can certainly handle it.

And now, pretty pictures!


www.flickr.com/matthewelium/

Monday, September 6, 2010

Wooden Robot

September 5th, my nephew turned one! To celebrate his year on earth I decided to make him his first robot. Why not right? Every kid needs a trusty imaginary companion.

As always I started with some sketches. The cute factor needed to be pretty intense so I settled on a subtle happy-contented-amused-aww sort of face with exaggerated proportions to match.


The tricky part began when I realized I didn't have any properly sized carving wood. In the end I had to mix and match some scraps, then assemble them with wood glue and smooth the sides with a dremel. Then came a ridiculous amount of sanding until they were baby-safe smooth.


The arms and neck were made with a series of various sized dowels, 1" for the actual visible part and .5" for the small peg that would allow it to articulate. Drilling the holes into my nice smooth blocks caused some nail biting moments, but in the end (and after a lot more sanding) it all came together.

This little fellow seemed to be a hit. My nephew has since dubbed him "Jah-Jah". How's that for ridiculous cuteness?

Happy Jah-Jah is happy.