Saturday, May 31, 2008

Toph Action Figure WIP part 3

Just a quick update on the current state of my Toph action figure.

Shes about 70% done in the sculpting stage. Next I need to smooth the surface, cut up the joints and make some mold.
This is going to be a looooooooong weekend.

Toph action figure wax sculpt wip 053108/><br/><br/><div align=

Zgok Custom into Airman

A great step-by-step custom video. Zgok into Airman. Pay attention in making those hand and fingers.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Toph Action Figure WIP part 2

Just a quick update on the current state of my Toph action figure.

Doing this in wax sure is a whole new learning experience. To get a smooth surface I fist rake the surface of the wax. Then using heated sanding pad, I scrub the surface smooth. For polishing, I use water and t-shirt rag, I find that using sanding pad also work beautifully (don't heat the pad this time).

In the last post I said that I don't want to so ball joints. Well, scratch that. Toph will have at least 2 ball joints on her. I'm still trying out the mechanism though. More soon!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Toph Action Figure WIP

Just a quick update on the current state of my mystery action figure.

Toph WIP

If you watch Avatar: the last air bender, you probably know who she is. She's Toph Bei Fong, my favourite character in the avatar universe. As you can see this is still a very rough sculpt. For this figure I'm going to go simple in the articulation department. So Toph will have at least 10 articulation points. The joints are in the neck, shoulder, elbow, hand, hip, and knee. I might add more though, but I don't think I'm going to include ball joints in this figure, because I don't know how to make them :p

More to come in the coming days.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Mystery Action figure! articulated! OMG!

I should have uploaded photos on how to work with wax, at least how I work with it. But I think that a video might explain it better then words or still photos. So I'm going to postponed the wax working photos and make a video of it.

As a subject for the video, I've planned to do a mystery action figure. Articulated and made in wax. Then I'll transfer the wax sculpt to a more sturdy material for finishing and painting. For those of you who asked about doing some articulated figure, either anime or not, you'll gonna love this.

For now I leave you with this very early, and fugly, WIP shot. Try to guess the figure I'm trying to make ;) here's a hint: Rock Loli

rock loli action figure wip 01

Stay tuned, and subscribe so you don't miss out :D

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Nendoroid Vocaloid

This is too cute to pass up.
I think I'm going to go and sculpt some nendoriod-esque character...hmmmmm

Wax figure tool works

Working with wax can be tough if you don't know how the material works.
One of them is working with heat or heated tools. I'm a beginner in doing wax, and most of the pro that I've know suggest to invest on a waxer pen. It cost a lot too, fortunately some cool guys made a DIY waxer pen using cheap soldering iron. I haven't tried that, but will if I had the time (already making plans to build a dimmer box). In the mean time, I'm doing my wax sculpt with these...

The only thing that I consider hi-tech and expensive in my arsenal is the small butane torch (it's $15). The oil lamp (filled with Alcohol) and the stove lighter can be obtain easily.

I mainly use the lamp to heat my metal tools and heat up small chucks of wax for patching. The stove lighter and the torch is used for blending the wax and make it smooth and shiny. I've taken pictures on how I use the torch to blend the wax, but it came out blurry. So I need to retake those photos again. I'll post them on Friday, so if you're interested look forward to it.

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

M.WaxZ Trial Run part 2: Sculpt test

Well, I though what better way to test a modeling/sculpting wax than to sculpt with it. So I've started to sculpt this bug babe for the clubhouse 55th sculpting jam. I'm using a modified version the S00 wax. To make the wax pliable, I use a desk lamp with a 40 watt lamp to heat it. If I see the wax becomes too liquid, I turned off the lamp and rest the wax.

Here's what's done after a couple of hours of wax 'testing'.

bug babe wax figure sculpt WIP
The armature is made from aluminum wire, a simple armature that I'm very fond of. I add small balls of wax to build up the body and define muscles. I then use a small butane torch to blend the wax balls up. At this stage I rarely use my tools, but then again your fingers are your best tools. I need to make a rake tool to further blend the wax together. From here on out I may need to use heated tools. I'll cover that in tomorrow's post.

What I find is the S00 wax is fast to cool but not very strong for small, thin pieces. It's stiff, but not strong. It's also doesn't retail heat very long. So you need to constantly warm the wax. The warm wax sticks and blends to the cold wax just fine, which is great although I probably like it to be more sticky.
The cooled wax carved and cleans well. Haven't had the time to polish this yet, but earlier experiment shows that S00 can be buffed with alcohol and even better when it's chilled.

Sculpting with modeling wax is fun! It takes some learning curves, but every mediums have one. I'll post more picture in the near future. Now I need to make a batch of hard wax to get my Toph sculpt ready.

Friday, May 16, 2008

M.WaxZ trial run

In my ongoing quest to make myself some good modeling wax, I've finally able to say that,"I think I found something!"
Inspired by Gary Overman and his wonderful waxes (visit I start my journey on the land of waxdom. Gary has been a great guy in giving me some pointers on mixing my own wax, so I want this chance to thank Gary for his help. Thank you Gary!

Unfortunately some material that Gary suggested isn't readily available where I lived (Indonesia), so I need to find alternatives, substitute, and experiment with various material to get something that I can call a modeling wax. My main motivation is to produce a modeling wax for local sculptors that is readily available locally, uses local ingredients (as much as I can), and is safe to play with.

After much experimenting and even more failed formulas...many I tell you! I've picked 4 formula that I'm happy with (thank God!). Do note that the color are to make it easier for me to recognize them. I'm planning to make them all light grey in color if they ever go to production. They are:

the 4 M.WaxZ flavor. Soft (white), firm (tan), hard (green), and WTF! (dark chocolate)
  • M.waxZ-D00 the hardest of all, tends to be sticky but very pliable when warm, the dark brown one.
  • M.waxZ-L00 The softest of the waxes, tend to crumble easily when cooled, the whitish one.
  • M.waxZ-S00 My current workhorse wax, firm at room temperature, but soft and pliable at body temperature, the light brown one. This is the stuff I made Nariko of, I did her hair using D00.
  • M.waxZ-K00 a harder variant of S00, take detail and carve quite well when cooled, the green one.
I've already sent samples to my testing team, and hope to get feedback from them soon. In the mean time. For those of you who are interested in these waxes, please be patient. I'll surely keep you all posted on them. In the mean time, in the next few postings we'll be exploring more about modeling wax, their properties and how to use them. I might even make a video of it in the future. How about an anime head sculpt video using wax?!?

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Family Guy: Asian Trix Comercial

This is the video that go me in the groove to sculpting the Crazy Trix Rabbit from the last post.

Yeah, you should share...greedy kids!

Doodle Sculpt: Crazy Trix Rabbit

Did this for the Clubhouse Sculpting Jam #54. The theme is Cereal box.
I've come up with a concept for the Silly rabbit on those Trix commercials, with the slogan "Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids!". He finally snaps! Combining elements from the Batman Dark Knight's Joker and Kill bill I've sculpted this.

Now imagine he's saying,"Silly kids, why so serious? You know no Trix will make silly rabbit go CRAZY!"
He is holding a crumpled box of Trix in his right hand and yeah, that's a severed hand :)

Friday, May 2, 2008

Current figure WIP: Nariko from Heavenly Sword

Finally after a long testing and experimenting, I think I've found myself a nifty modeling wax formula. YAY!

To test drive this formula, I sculpted a figure of Nariko from Heavenly Sword for The Clubhouse 53rd Sculpting Jam. It's a slight departure from making the usual anime figure, but this was much fun!
That and mostly I'm still giddy from excitement because I've finally found a wax recipe (and ingredients) that works!! :))

I am poor at documenting my progress. So forgive me for the lack of progression steps in the photo.

The first step I did before making the figure is to gather references. A Lot of references. You can't have enough references :D I found Creative Uncut to be, indeed, a treasure trove for video game reference. I've gathered up pictures of Nariko from various concept art, in game footage, and fan art to give me the information that I need. Even then I still lack the details on her belt strap thingy :(

I printed out the pictures and made a wall of reference in my sculpting station. With this step done, I can get to the actual sculpting process.

I start with the usual aluminum wire armature as the core of the body and legs. Then it's just a matter of slapping a way the warm wax all over the armature, fleshing out the major muscle groups and tweaking the pose. The picture shows the fruit of about 2 hours of wax pushing labor.

A note about the armature. I construct my armature a little differently. I start by doing the core body and legs, up to the top of the ribcage where the clavicles are. I modeled over it with material, pose it and them made a separate armature for the head and the arms. This method is influenced mostly from Burne Hogarth's Dynamic Figure drawing book. In it he describes that the first thing you that you must implement is the trunk of the body, followed by the legs, arms, and finally the head. I don't necessarily follow this on every project, but it's a good rule of thumb for me.

Next we jump way way WAY forward with the sculpt. During this period I accidentally nudge over the sculpt over the table causing it to break. The major damage was on the legs therefore I decide to just cut them off and made this into a 3/4 statue. By this time I've added modeled the majority of the costume and fix her pose. I did the head after fixing up the rest of the body, and wouldn't you know it the head was to frikkin big. It throws off the proportion for the rest of the body. The funny thing is I didn't realize it at first because I've used calipers to measure the proportion and it checks out... at least on the vertical proportion. The problem was the head was too wide. So I scrapped the head and made a new, much smaller head and start there.

The smaller head size fits wonderfully with the body. JOY! The picture on the right shows the new head sculpt.

If you're wondering about the different shades of material in this picture, allow me to explain. These are the waxes that I was talking about earlier. I made 3 shades to help me differentiate them. The whitish wax is the softest, I used it as a practice wax to see how something look before I commit myself with harder waxes. The yellow-brown colored wax is my work-horse wax. It firmer and does the bulk of the modeling. The dark colored wax is my hard (yet flexible) wax. It's mainly used for details and parts that is just plain pain-in-the-ass. Billowing capes and flowing hair comes to mind. In the future, I'm going to color them in a neutral grey shades. A slight blue/green tinge perhaps, so it's easier on the eyes.

This final image is the current stage of this sculpt. I've added more details on the costume, resculpt the hair using the firm grade wax, and alter her pose a little bit. The next stage will be more tweaking, refining, and smoothing of the surface. I'm also going to make mold off it, since you cant have a 'permanent' wax sculpt, and I wanted to paint her up.

And thats the end of this part of the WIP report. I can assure you that this an ongoing project (Cloe is ongoing too!), so there will be more of it in the near future. I've already have several project lined up to be written and posted, so stay tuned!

As a reminder, I need your help in improving Midztoyz! So do vote at the poll that I've set up (if you cant find it, it's below the shout box, on the right). If you have other suggestion, feel free to give me a shout or drop me a mail!

Good luck on your sculpts everyone!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Help me improve MidzToyz!

Hi gang!

Sorry for the lack of updates (again) in the past few weeks. I've been caught up with my wax-making experiment, and are now busy preparing samples to be shipped to tester and stocking the shelves.

Anyway, as you might read from the title, I need your help to improve this blog. For this purpose I've added a poll to help me achieve the goal. The poll is about what content you would like to see more in the blog. Do you like to see more tutorials/guides? more WIP shots of the project that I'm working on (the ones where I can show WIP shots that is), or something else. This will help me plan regular updates a little easier. I'm also going to add some reviews about toys and books that has something to do with sculpting and toy making once in a while. There's also a new look for in the works.

The poll will be up until the end of the month. It'll give me a comfortable time space to adjust and make preparation for giving this blog a makeover. So don't forget to vote, people! Your vote is very important to me and the continuation of this blog. If you have other suggestion, just give me shout :lol:

Vote.. Vote.. Vote!


Got the poll working.
Note to self: Blogger use YY/MM/DD as a valid time format.