End in sight

Well, I\’m nearly done. Today I painted the ent and although I\’m not altogether happy with the result, I\’m also not terribly displeased with it either. It\’ll do. Tomorrow I\’ll begin sculpting the human who will stand in front of the ent and provide some scale. For now, here\’s some pics of the ent.

Bad artist, bad.

OK, so it looks like I still haven\’t learned to discipline myself very well. I should have finished my latest piece over the weekend but I had a huge setback. I ended up not liking the paint job I did. I just couldn\’t get it right. Layer after layer it just didn\’t work and eventually the paint was becoming thick and acquiring it\’s own texture. So, I could continue painting or I could begin the slow process of stripping the paint off. I chose the later. I figure I could have continued painting but in the end the paint job would have really distracted from the overall piece and it\’s just not something I want to settle with. However this route of stripping was a major pain in the ass. Rather, is because I\’m still working on it. In fact, it would have been quicker to just start completely over. I just don\’t want to waste supplies. I did actually try to remove the paint by using acetone but the sculpey just doesn\’t hold up. So here I am days later slowly pealing the paint away. I think it would be relatively quick and easy if it were not for the intricate wood grain that the paint locks into. Once I\’m done, I\’ll also have to repair all the little nicks and scrapes that occured through the process. Am I the only dumb ass out the who has this problem? Got to remember to do my paint studies. I thought I was going to do the same paint process I had used on the last project but for some reason it didn\’t work. Well, maybe I\’ll be done by the end of the week.

The good news though is that the Mega has been received by KidRobot and successfully survived the shipping process. Just 3 more weeks until the show!

Done The Mega

Well, all done the Mega. Finished it Saturday and shipped it out today. I hope and pray that it\’ll make it through the shipping process without damage. I suppose that\’s one of the advantages of just doing a simple paint job and not doing a sculpted custom. Overall I\’m very pleased with the Mega. It\’s another step up for me in my execution but as always there\’s plenty of room for improvement. Now I just need to wait another month before I can show anyone.
How anti-climactic.

So I guess all I can do now is move on to the next piece. I want to create a few more customs before the MunnyWorld Custom Toy Show. But then I have to move on to the Evil/Naughty Toy show I\’ll be submitting 3 pieces to in December. No time to rest, gotta keep it at full speed.

Hopefully by the end of the week I\’ll have another custom that I can actually show pics of.
That\’ll be nice.

Painting the Mega Munny

So yesterday I painted the Mega. I didn\’t quite finish but I got far enough that I\’m excited. I started the day by testing some color choices on a Dunny. Once I got my colors, I headed over to Michaels and picked up some paint and some paint jars. Then I began mixing color. In the past I\’ve just mixed color on my palette and that ALWAYS gets me into trouble because I\’m bound to run out and have to mix more. And of course matching the previous color is such a hassle. Knowing that the Mega was going to require a bit of paint I pre-mixed about 4 oz of my base color. Having already decided on my color choices it was relaxing to simply paint on the color knowing that is was going to work.

I\’m not the best painter. I\’ve got sooo much to learn and one of those things is to always plan out the color. Being that the Munny is such an important piece to me it was an easy thing to force myself to do, but I need to make this a habit on all my pieces. So when I finished putting on my based coat I pre-mixed my color I had planned to scumble on the base. Once I had my color I began and soon realized what looked good on the dunny for some reason did not read well on the mega. I took a moment to try some new colors on the dunny and decided on a color closer to my base. This time I had it and the Mega started to come alive and my frustration soon turned into glee. I swear, art can make one feel sooo miserable with oneself and moments later so proud. It\’s certainly NOT the reason why I choose to do it.

SO in the end I got the guy finished. Today I\’m going to touch up a few areas that didn\’t quite get done yesterday. I also need to paint his accessories before I am completely done. I still don\’t have the best studio set up yet and when evening came my light source was lacking.

So close to being done. I wish I could post pictures but can\’t until the show. I\’m actually very ready to move on to the next piece. Just not sure what that will be. So many choices.

Mimobot for Infectious Contest

So along with the KidRobot contest, my brother has also told me about a few others. Today was the deadline for a contest held by the Infectious web site. They\’re a community designed site where anyone can submit a design for various products and if they like it enough they\’ll pay you for it and they give you a percentage of the profits each time an item is sold with your design. SO they\’re adding a new product to the catalog, the Mimobot, and they decided to have a contest. Grandprize is $1000 and anothe $400 in merchandise, including your mimobot. So cool. So here\’s my entry. Please do my the favor and check it out and if you like vote on it.

Thanks much!

Click here to vote on my design.

SUCCESS, I think.

OK, so yesterday was a long frustrating day.
After thinking it out for a while I decided to just use the heat gun and manually cook the Munny. It seemed that the only reason I wanted to use the oven was to make sure I thoroughly baked it and the only reason why I didn\’t want to is cause I was afraid of it caving in and not being able to monitor it. I decided if I hand baked him first I could then throw it in the oven and finish it off. In hind sight that would not have worked either. So here\’s what happened.

I spent 5 hours with the heat gun slowly baking the Mega. I have a oven thermometer I purchased specifically to adjust the heat gun to optimum temperature. So after a few minutes I finding 200° F from about 3-4 inches away I began and immediately learned my first lesson. Don\’t stay in one spot for too long. BUT, I also learned how to create an interesting texture. So as I was saying, I learned that if you keep to much heat on one spot, the sculpey will start to bubble. SO, my Mega has what looks to be a rash on his belly. That\’s cool though as it looks very organic looking. So on I went, baking and baking. I decided to use that bubbling technique on the feet, to make them look kinda warty. SO far, SO good. Then I started getting to the chest area and here\’s where the problems started. The warnings I had heard from another artist were true. The head is to heavy for the neck and chest to support it. The first sign I saw of this was the crease between the head and neck on the back side stared opening up. At first it was only about 1/16 of an inch. But over time it separated up to about a 1/4 inch. The vinyl heats up so much through the baking that the head weight makes the chest droop. Even while spot baking. The heat transfers so much through the vinyl that there\’s no avoiding it. If I had baked this in an oven and the entire Mega vinyl was equally soft, it would have been destroyed I think. So, in the future, if I even do a Mega again, I\’ll definitely take the time to reinforce the inside before I start. More on that later.

On I went, and as I continued I found cracks happening. Mostly on the chest due to the flexing of the next. Eventually I finished baking the entire piece. It took as I said about 5 hours. When I was done though I had to address the few cracks that had occurred. And the now permanent gap in the back side of the neck. SO I got the sculpey out and did some touch up, baked him some more. I thought I was done now and made the mistake of moving him around to inspect the piece for more cracks and in turn created more. More touching up and more baking.

After discussing with a friend about my troubles he made a suggestion which I think is pure genius. I had mentioned that someone on the KidRobot forums had claimed there was foam in the head and he said that if there wasn\’t it would be a great way to add support. \”Why don\’t you completely fill the entire inside with spray foam so that when it hardens there\’s no way for the vinyl to flex?\” Me…\”Where were you 2 weeks ago before I started sculpting?\”

So I ran to the store and purchased me some spray foam, drilled a hole in the back of the body and sprayed that Mega full of foam. Now, I don\’t know if this particular foam will greatly help my cause at this point now that the Mega is cooled down and the vinyl is strong again but I feel that had the foam been in the from the start it would have saved me from the flexing and cracking during the baking process. And for those of you who may be worried about the foam getting too hot during baking, they sell heat resistant foam spray as well.

So anyways, now that I was done baking and I patched the hole in the back I took the Mega outside and applied some gray primer. After an hour I polished the primer will an old face cloth and finally I was done for the day.

Soo, it does seem like baking a Mega Munny is possible and now that I\’ve got my first one out of the way I think that if and when I do another it\’ll be a breeze.

Baking the Mega Munny

So I\’ve been working diligently on the Mega Munny for the KidRobot show in Nov. The deadline for the submission is next week which means in order to ship it on time I really need to be done by the end of the week. The mega is pretty much done in-so-far as the sculpting, but now I have to bake this thing and I\’m terrified of ruining all the hard work. I\’m super happy with my results so far and it would really suck if this didn\’t go well. The mega is just too big for my oven. It would require an industrial pizza oven and that\’s not something I expect to own any time soon. I purchased a heat gun and I\’m thinking that I can make my own oven out of a cardboard box and tinfoil. It works well, something I learned in boy scouts soooo very long ago. BUT, I\’ve heard from another artist that when she tried to bake her Mega the head sunk in due to the extra weight. I can believe this as it happened with the totem pole. So I can try baking it in my tinfoil oven and then possibly pull out my creation with the head sitting inside the belly. The other route is to just use the heat gun manually all oven the Munny. But to go this route would take a very long time and it would be difficult to judge whether or not I had thoroughly baked the entire piece.

What to do? Well, I\’ll post the result (no images of course) by the end of the day.