Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Gold Dober's Jade

5 years in, and I've finally had the privilege of working with the guy who taught me on one of his figures. I was honoured to sculpt the head for his next figure "Jade" a 3.75 version of the Green Baron Mego figure, complete with rocket-pack.

You can read more about it and get updates on Austin's blog here:
https://micronautshomeworld.blogspot.co.uk/2017/01/jade-pics-late-monday.html

Sunday, 25 December 2016

Double Dragon rubber keshi, crystal clear minifigures, MF Gallery.

Merry Xmas or whatever you're into!

Life, if you're lucky enough to live somewhere like I (and likely you) do is like a video game - you pick your quests, your skills, and you dig deep when you get to the last stage and you think you have a chance of winning. Looking at it like this, my passion for making toys has been at an all-time high. If I have anything going for me at all, it's the fact that I enjoy the game of trying to get by as an independent artist and the variety that is an essential part of keeping it interesting.

I'm working on something you will have noticed if you follow my Instagram with a bunch of my most-trusted and serious 5.5 toymaker friends from Europe; Goodleg Toys, Peer Brauner, Ralph Niese, and Viktor's Vintage. It's a ton of work and will mean a lot of the non-fun stuff like business and money and whoring. I'll write more on it when we're a bit closer to having models finalised.

In the meantime, in the spirit of all surviving independent artists, I'm keeping the hand-cast stuff coming and bringing out designer-toys in new materials and colours all the time.

Just up in store is a super limited run of crystal clear Puppet MUSCLE (Puppet Master-inspired non official) minifigures, Double Dragon, and a re-release of my Mortal Kombat and Robocop (sculpted by Oscar Torres) minis.




Also, I'm very happy to say I've got a few pieces for sale at the MF Gallery in Brooklyn. Dave Brockie was a friend of the people running the show and had pieces displayed there. He's the only famous person I ever cried about when he died. Literally crying on the bus when I read it on Instagram. I made a special cross-hatched GG Allin bust. If I get invited again, I'll make something especially in Brockie's honour. I consider him one of the few realist workhorses to have made a success of themselves in showbiz - like Trey Parker and Matt Stone.




Also, I know you're supposed to make out like you're chancing culture forever somehow every time you make a good size art piece these days and get people to do raffles at cons to sell your stuff (fucking works too! People really will buy an idea if you convince them it's got value to others) but I made another Skeletank. 40 or so hours of 3D printing with a military paint-job, and a Skeletor headed Wo-man in hand cast resin.
BITCHKREIG!
I know everyone with Facebook is the new Bill Hicks but you know, the world really is full of desensitized people who want to see other people killed at the moment. Can't stop feeling so lucky to live where I do. There are toddlers right now who are dealing with heavier concepts than I've ever even had to imagine. So I suppose this is a little satire on the vulgarity of pursuing war.

Friday, 21 October 2016

5.5 Resurrection. Treegarr, Wo-man, and Remco-style rubber guys. Keepin the fire alive.

 As I've got a lot more time to spend in the resin room, I'm really churning out stuff and trying to keep the shop full, keep coming up with new figures, and continuing on my current lines.

Treegarr is too much fun to play with so I'm releasing 4 new colorways; Emerald Ending, Radtacular Blood-sucker, Blazing Cold, and Maxx'd-Out. 



 

I'm planning on making them ltd.to 3 of each, maybe even 2 if the molds don't hold up too well.
 I've fixed Wo-man's molds so I can at least finish the quota of 20 original colorway, and 10 Faker. I think it got to 7 original and 3 faker left (I'll have to check) so I'm introducing Slime-pit Wo-man (clear green) to give people more choice, and something for people with a complete Wo-man collection so far.



I also have quite a few flawed rubber bodies from my Remco-style buck (the static 5.5" body I've used for all my MOTU-style releases the past year or two). I'm going to stick random parts on them and put them in store as bootleg-style toys for super-cheap. I just need to clear out and I'm sure people will enjoy having a 5.5 you can throw down the stairs and never break.

On a day-to-day, BMT is growing for the first time in a long time. Having more time to give to it, I've been able to work on new ideas in the background and keep producing,and keeping the store interesting.

Inspiration is always there. Just cruising the right topics on Youtube or reading interviews with sculptors, and toymakers usually gets the juices flowing. New techniques in Z-brush, stuff people have made on Thingiverse, etc. usually stop me from picking up a joypad and procrastinating.
Before I'd ever made a single thing, San Francisco Toymakers (who made WCW and ECW figures at one poing) used to have a feature on their site in the early 2000s on how they sculpt, and tool their figures. That whole thing really excited me and I didn't forget about it until I was ready to start doing it myself.

Right, back to it. Cheers! :)

Friday, 7 October 2016

My top tips for casting toys and figures in resin and rubber. Saving on materials, preventing bubbles.

After 4 - 5 years of making primarily hand cast toys, I'm finally collaborating with the man who taught me how to pressure cast, Austin aka Gold Dober. I'm very honoured and personally very happy about it.
I've collaborate now with everyone (except for COTU world) who I looked at in the beginning and wanted to have a go at resin production myself. I'll update with details when I have them.

This isn't going to be a guide on how to cast for complete beginners, more a few things I've come up with along the way to help me with troublesome molds, and to save materials.

 SILICONE STICKS TO SILICONE. MAKE THE MOST OF IT!


You probably know what a waste mold is - it's where you make a mold using waste silicone. Any silicone that isn't covered in mold release will bond with whatever curing silicone is next to it. Think of it like hardcore and concrete. Hardcore is cut up pieces of old mold, concrete is the new stuff which bonds it all together. You will need a pressure pot for this to work though.

RECYLCLE

All of my large molds are made with a lot of waste silicone.
Here you can see the blue chunks that were used from previous molds and the pink from new silicone. They are different shores, brands, etc, but it all sticks.

SPOT FIXING

I did a quick vid on instagram how to replace part of a mold that is mostly fine: https://www.instagram.com/p/BKbE1pagMXK/?taken-by=bigmantoys

As long as the original model is strapped in tight, the mold should be perfect. The rest of the mold will still give way eventually but these weak spots can be fixed several times. Here are the results of the above video, you can see the shapes that will make the negative shoulder articulation- ive already had perfect pulls from it:

RESIN - IT'S BETTER TO WASTE A LITTLE THAN WASTE THE LOT.

By that I mean, "topping up" molds where you haven't poured enough, or having bubbles because you didn't cut fat enough ducts make the sacrifice of a bit too much resin worth it.

With really bad undercuts, like the back of Blade's hat, I use a method of letting it leak. You can see that I've sculpted him so everything except the hook (which can be vented easily as it's near the feet) is facing upwards, meaning I could in theory have just one vent from the hook to the leg, and one from the feet to the bottom and I'd be fine.
But the back of the hat is facing the opposite direction. Casting in rubber, I wouldn't havea  hope of that being bubble free...

So I drill a hole from the outside to the back of the hat's peak. The material leaks a tiny bit, but also takes all the bubbles with it. 

 Here's something you can do with fast curing stuff - stick a toothpick or stick all the way through...
 Leave it in and pour the material (resin or whatevs) at the top.

Pull out the stick - it creates a vacuum, rushing material to the hole on the side.



OTHER GUERILLA METHODS

I learned with plaster before I used resin or silicone, and then i tried casting without a pressure pot or vacuum. I learned some stuff that still comes in handy.

1: Air can't go where something solid is.

I sculpted this giraffe head (Im putting this custom in store BTW) with horns at the top, they are narrow with bulbous tips, meaning theres an area that needs resin with a small amount of space for the resin to get though. Also, down  at the bottom of the mold, air will get trapped there first. 

 So again, I put a stick there. It holds that narrow part open and also blocks anything (air or resin) from getting there.
Pour in the resin with the stick still in the mold.
Pull it out and dispose, as there is no air there to go to that part, all that can get in is resin. Obv works better with a pressure pot but helps still if you're not).

2: Poke, bang, and rock.

If you're casting something really thick, or are casting without a pressure pot, you can minimse bubbles in a few ways. You can poke the areas where bubbles happen before the resin cures, with a stick, you can bang the mold from several angles to try and smack out the bubbles, and you can pour a little resin in, and rock the mold. With only a little resin, rocking should make a shell inside the mold wihtout enough liquid to trap air (bubbles). Once that's at least half-cured, you can pour in the rest. Any bubbles will be internal, where you can't see em!


WHATS LEFT IN THE CUP

I try to always have a mold at hand with a wide opening that I can pour into quickly. All my leftover resin after a pour goes in these, and after a few pours, I end up with some bonus casts.





Also, I've recently expanded my Bigcartel store (upgraded account) and am putting in EVERYTHING I have in the studio. I'm really low on space so it's all priced to fly.  http://bigmantoys.bigcartel.com/





Thursday, 29 September 2016

GG Allin Bust, Robocop, and Mortal Kombat inspired keshi release update.

I've been out of own all week so haven't had a chance to get updated pictures of the art/toys I'll be releasing on the 1st, at Midnight. 

It's all in my Bigcartel store. The non-flesh keshi are all one-offs so grab 'em if you want 'em!
  Really having fun playing with random colorways for these new keshi. Haven't gone crazy with resin for a long time and really happy with how amazing these sculpts look in nicely polished resin. 




Saturday, 24 September 2016

Double drop from Heaven - Dream team keshi release and GG Allin bust.

Dropping Oct 1st, Midnight London time...

I'm out of town at the moment so all these pics are WIPs from a week or so ago. 

16BK (16-Bit Keshi)

Since getting into digital sculpting and 3D printing for my mini figures (most of them), I've been really into the work of Oscar Torres who I found on Instagram under the moniker "Creature Factory". The guy is CONSTANTLY busting out amazing 16-BIT gaming era-inspired keshi with his 3D printing skills. I picked up some of his stuff and was really impressed by the detail but when I saw his Robocop-inspired sculpt, I knew I really had to see this done in rubber.





At the same time, it's been a while since I have done time in the casting shed and had the mold ready for my Mortal Kombat-inpired ninja minifigure. Of course, Robocop was a movie before it was a game but the proportions of Oscar's sculpt, and the common themes of ultra-violence and cartoonish action in both Robocop and Mortal Kombat made them a pretty good marriage in my book.


They will come in a classic flesh rubber 2-pack for the MUSCLE / Kinnikuman / OMFG purists, as well as a limited open colorway run in resin of whatever I can make by the drop date.
The 2 pack will be about $25, while the singles will be $14 a pop.

GG ALLIN

In the Bigmantoys tradition of making the least commerically viable toys possible, I'm producing the GG Allin bust I started way back when I started learning Z-brush, in limited number. 
For those that don't know, GG was a very intense rock'n'roller who died in the early 90s after many years of crash-and-burn living. He also occupies the most space on my MP3 player and has done since about 2004.


The bust stands at 5", and is made in glow-in-the-dark ABS. Limited to 10 pieces and just $30 each - cheap enough for the slimiest scumbag.