Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Striking Scorpion from Warhammer 40,000

This post brings the blog up to date! This is my most recently completed project, a 1/12 scale figure of an Eldar Striking Scorpion from Warhammer 40,000. Warhammer was definitely an important step on my road to where I am today, and although I don't play or collect the figures I'll always have a soft spot for the universe. The Eldar were my favourite race, and the Striking Scorpions my favourite Aspect Warriors. I nearly made a full-size Scorpion helmet whilst at uni, but decided on the Bubble Bomber instead.

I actually started this way back in 2009 at the same time as the Wesley figure - he was a great way to use up leftover magic sculpt. Once I got my job though, my time spent commuting stopped my working on it and he was stuck in the WIP box for years before I dug him out in 2012 and decided to finish him.

I went all out, took him way more than any other figure I've done. The base figure is a Spider-Man, chosen for his lithe frame and great poseability. The armour is sculpted, as always, with magic sculpt. Where he deviates is on some of the details - the mandiblasters, weapons, runes, wargear and dreadlocks were all drawn in Rhino and 3D printed by Shapeways. This allowed me to get a crispness of detail I wouldn't be able to achieve with sculpting by hand. My hat goes off to those who sculpt at 28mm, I don't know how you do it! The dreadlocks were paired up, moulded in silicone and cast in rubber, so they flex around very nicely. I bought gold links to connect the runes and wargear to his belt, and printed custom waterslide decals for his thigh armour and kneepad.

He isn't entirely accurate to the mini. I'm never usually very fussed by complete accuracy, I believe entirely in artistic licence. I'm also a fan of practicality, which became tricky when I was considering his pistol, the pouch/holster, and the cable connecting the pistol to his arm. None of that seemed to work together, so I compromised and went for aesthetic appeal.

First time I've used pigments to simulate mud, I'm definitely doing that again! Once the weather warms up a bit, I'll take him into a forest and get some shots there. I'm chuffed to bits with him, and the best bit? I get to keep him!

Wedding Cake Toppers

Gonna combine two projects into one post now. I've had some good friends of mine get married, and jumped at the chance to create unique cake toppers for them.

Nicole and Gary went for a traditional look, and I was able to sneak a peek at the dress she'd chosen to represent it accurately. Sculpting her dress really limited her poseability, so I went for a full statue (though their heads can still turn) and was able to get a really tender pose as a result. Once upon a time, he was a Quicksilver figure, and she was a Witchblade.

Hannah and Jonathan went off-piste, going for a superhero-inspired theme. It was really fun interpreting Hannah's dress in a way which didn't impede her poseability, and meant I could incorporate things like her garter and her 'something blue'. Yep - she wore blue shoes at the wedding! He started out as a movie Joker figure, while she was a Wonder Woman.

Before anyone asks, right now I have no plans or desire to do any more cake toppers. They take a very long time and there's an awful lot of pressure to get them right!

Wesley Gibson from Wanted

Fresh out of uni and looking for work, I had a wonderful email asking to commission me to make a custom figure of Wesley Gibson from the graphic novel Wanted. I love that comic - the film doesn't exist in my eyes - and Wesley is a great character with an awesome look. I was commissioned because of an older figure I'd made in my second year at uni of him... I'm not even going to post the side by side shot, he's so bad. It was so damn hard letting this guy go - he has an interchangeable head, his pistols can be stored in his holsters, and the knives in his backpack are removable so you could even replicate his fantastic finishing move from the book. If you haven't read it, I'm not going to spoil it for you. But trust me, this guy is badass.

I converted a Marvel Legends New Goblin figure, used a Captain America head, and swapped the hands from a Nick Fury figure. The rest of the detail is all hand sculpted, as were the knives. Aside from the four clip pouches on his front, all the pouches and pockets are removeable and can be placed in any of the holes across his webbing, to mimic the various ways he's kitted out through the book. I supplied him with a veritable arsenal of weapons and waved farewell as he departed.

Spectre MK.IV

Hoooooo, so, this is a big one. In terms of the work that I've done over the years, Spectre is what my friends know me for. I've been designing this guy since I was 16 (I'm 25 now. Crikey, he's almost due an anniversary...) and have revisited him a bunch of times. I guess when the ten year anniversary comes I'll post a retrospective piece and go through the history, but this isn't the time.

What Spectre is or means or stands for has changed a couple times. I'm not really sure what I want his/their story to be yet. Originally he was one robot. The first 3 iterations were all of him as one specific character. I knew from before I started uni that I would revisit him for my final major project at the end of the course, my final hurrah, but I wanted to do more than just one. I came up with three variants on the Spectre blueprint:

The Wolf is the guerrilla combat variant. He fights close range, a brawler, utilising speed and surprise (along with a short-hop jumpjet) to spring upon his targets.

The Rhino is the heavy support unit. With longer range weapons and thicker armour, he lumbers into the fray cutting down enemies with withering firepower.

The third was the Hawk. An airborne sniper, he would keep far from the battle, picking off choice targets and communications arrays. Except I ran out of time. I had made the parts, they were moulded, but the time I had planned in to cast them ended up having to be devoted to writing my dissertation. It's always bugged me that I never got to finish the project, but I have something in the pipeline that will remedy that for mark V.

As for his construction - I drew him in Rhino, and he was 3D printed by Stephanie Wood Design, who were super helpful. I sanded the parts, moulded them in silicone, and cast them in resin. Each model has over 85 individual parts and has a number of shelled, interlocking parts. I had originally intended for them to be fully poseable, but time constraints coupled with the need to ratchet all the joints to cope with the weight (these are 15 inches tall and weigh a ton) ended that. The joints are glued into position. The light piping in the eyes works a treat though!

Lost in Space Bubble Bomber

I'm gonna post a bunch of older work first, I'd like to keep it chronological! This is a piece of uni work from my second year. When I was a kid, I loved the Lost in Space movie. I still love the ships, both the designs of them and their action sequences. I had a toy of the Bubble Fighter, which I loved despite it being lumpy as hell compared with the on-screen version. I wanted to expand the universe a bit - ok, so they had Bubble Fighters. It really works as a design for a ship. But what if they had a bomber too - what could that look like?

So I built one.

It's a full toy prototype - the cockpit bubble rotates, the turret bubbles rotate too, and the missiles fire from the rack. The ships in the film had fantastic paint jobs, so I followed suit with a look inspired by the P51 Mustang. That chequered pattern on the big gun? Painted by hand. Ugh...never again.


Hello and welcome to Angry Hedgehog! My name's Sam, and I make toys. Toys have been my passion for years now, and I'd love to worm my way into the industry. Currently I'm employed as a modelmaker for a product design consultancy in London, working on my projects after hours and on weekends, and I think it's about time I set up a page where I can share with the world what I've been doing!

Thanks for visiting, feel free to leave any comments or critiques!