Friday, September 5, 2014

Forgive Me Readers, For I Have Sinned...

It has been six weeks since my last blog entry.

While the months of June and July were very slow and I didn't have all that much going on in the way of projects, progress, or travel, August came along and completely wiped me out.

There's a lot of things to catch you up on, but it's going to take a long time to sort out all of the details and add all of the photos.  For now I'll just show you a few of the new things since my last post.

First and foremost, after nearly two years of thinking it was lost, I was finally reunited with my war pen:
Untitled
Odd things are important to me.

I stubbed a toe hard enough to give me a week-long limp:
Untitled

I made a lot of progress on my M729 Squad Automatic Weapon (aka "SAW") from Halo 4:
End of the Day

I've been helping my friend Matt with his first costume for the upcoming Star Wars Celebration next April in Anaheim:
31 July Progress17

Somewhere along the way I made a handful of these little guys for Fundemonium, a local toy and hobby store:
Five Sets of Parts

There was no shortage of randomness outside the workshop:
Hitchhiking Chicken

I got to see the SSS Compass Rose off as they left for their annual summer cruise up into the Sacramento Delta:
Untitled

While they were underway my father found a deal on a set of tires he's been needing, so I borrowed his rat rod and ran out to Napa to pick them up:
Tired

When the scout ship moored in Rio Vista, California, my friend Matt and I drove out there to deliver the unit's ski boat.  We had fun with it:
Evil Grin

I think some of the scouts did too:
Passengers

I also decided to take a very rare day off to visit with my college classmate Andreas who was visiting from London.  We hadn't seen each other in ten years, so it seemed like as good a time as any to do some wine tasting:
Wine Tasting at Cade Winery in Napa

Sometime shortly after that, the Lady Shawnon finished up her 4th semester at vet school and flew back home.  I went to meet her at the airport in style:
Whites at the Airport
If I look utterly exhausted in that pic, it's because I was.

At this point in the month, I had five big projects pop up all at once.  All with very short deadlines that a sane person might have referred to as "NOT F#**%ING POSSIBLE."

Undaunted, I dove in on all five simultaneously and somehow, with the help of my amazing crew in the workshop and a significant shortage of sleep, I managed to deliver.  Four of them were all for the same client.  If you were at the Penny Arcade Expo in Seattle last week, you may have seen these props I built to promote the upcoming video game called "EVOLVE."  They were available at their display booth so folks could pose for pictures with them thusly:
From the EVOLVE Facebook Page

About the same time as I was handing the four of them off to the rest of the crew for final paintwork, Shawnon and I flew off to Tokyo for on-set support for the final big project of the month.  It's still under wraps, so I can't actually tell you what we were working on, but I'm pretty sure I can tell you where we were working on it:Untitled

When I pause long enough to catch my breath, I'll be writing more detailed posts about the Tokyo trip, the EVOLVE weapons, the SAW build, and so much more.  There will be oodles of photos as well.

Stay tuned...

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Grey Knight Terminator Helmet from Warhammer 40K

A while back I got bored one evening and started tinkering with a maquette sculpt for a Grey Knight helmet.
maquette


I suppose I needed a new challenge, so I had to make it full-sized.  Here's the finished result: 
Angry Glare

To see more photos and details about how it was made, read on...

Monday, July 28, 2014

Sith Stalker Helmet

It's rare that I'll allow myself to get hooked on a video game, but when I do it becomes pretty overwhelming.  I'll miss meals and lose sleep and get completely immersed until I finally beat the game and I can get on with my life.

Somewhere along the way I end up with a sort of shopping list.  There's always something that comes up along the way that makes me sit up and say "Oooh, I want one of those!"

Sadly, most of the things that catch my eye don't actually exist in real life.  If only I knew someone who could make these sorts of things...

Oh, right.

When I came to the end of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, the helmet that the main character was wearing made it onto my must-have list.  After a bit of poking around online, it turned out that someone had already ripped the model out of the game and there were several different Pepakura versions of it available on the internets.  Sweet.

So I got to work and turned this:
Untitled

Into this:
Finished Stalker Helmet 2

For details about how it was done, read on...


Sunday, July 13, 2014

July UFO Sightings in the Shop

It's been too damned long since my last post.  I've got a lot of nearly finished things to brag about, but since it'll be a while before I get a chance to actually write about them, let me take you on a roundup of the latest UnFinished Objects on the bench...

First off, here's the beginning of parts I'm making for a desktop statuette version of the Funbot, the mascot for Fundemonium, a local toy and hobby store:
Funbot Pars in Standard Prototype Color
The statuette will be one of the perks offered as part of their crowdfunding campaign to help pay for their move and expansion in a bigger better location.  Details can be found HERE.

A while back I made a Space Wolf version of my Warhammer 40K space marines.  Since then the going has been slow, but I'm making a thunder hammer to go along with him.  This is the forming buck for part of the hammer head:
Sculpting Forming Bucks Continues

Speaking of 40K, I'm off to a good start on my Grey Knight Terminators.  Here's a few helmets out of the molds (the one on the left is the original prototype):
Helmet Casts Lined Up

Since I can't seem to get Ironman out of my system, I've also started work on a War Machine helmet.  I'm also nearing completion for the Mk39 "Gemini" helmet on the right:
Size Comparison

I've always said that I never make just one of anything I make.  True to form, here's the parts of my 2nd ED-209 coming together:
2nd ED Parts
For details about building the first one, including the series of videos that MAKE Magazine published showing how it was done, click HERE.

Since my girlfriend bought tickets to Star Wars Celebration: Anaheim, it falls to me to make sure we'll have suitably impressive costumes to wear to the event.  The first one I've gotten started for her is the bounty hunter Shae Vizla from the MMORPG Star Wars: The Old Republic.  This project is being done in collaboration with DW Design Studios (who makes some phenomenal Star Wars stuff).  I've made a few small parts here and there.  Here's the jetpack prototype coming together:
Almost Done


Since we'll be there for more than one day, I have to make sure we've got different outfits to wear each day.  In order to show off my insanely hot girlfriend, I couldn't think of anything better than to dress her up as Darth Talon, a Sith Twilek who appears in the expanded universe.  As it stands right now, here's the armor parts taped onto a duct tape double:

Untitled

Finally, after watching this project come together at Tested.com, I bit the bullet and picked up a Needler kit from Volpin Props.  This beauty will be a prized addition to my arsenal of HALO props:
Needler Parts

So that's what's in the lineup right now.  Stay tuned.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Custom Female Commissar Costume Inspired by Warhammer 40,000

So far I've made quite a few Warhammer 40K costumes.  The Space Marines were pretty big and the Imperial Guard were more comfortable, but none of them have been especially sexy.  I've been overwhelmed by the urge to remedy that lately.

While I'd really like to put together some of the Adepta Sororitas outfits, it'll be a while before I've got the time and resources to do it right.  In the meantime I've decided that I should make a female Commissar to keep the Guardsmen in line.

Here's the finished costume:

Commissar Eyebrow
For details on how it was made, read on...

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

June UFO Sightings in the Workshop

I have a tremendous amount of inertia.  Once the ED-209 project was finished and the Maker Faire was over, it took me quite a while to grind to a halt and get some proper rest.  When I did manage to finally slow down, it took me just as long to finally rally some motivation and sally forth.

Yesterday found me back in the workshop for my first typical 12-hour day since the Maker Faire.  Much of it was spent reorganizing the workshop, shifting back into Combat Garden Gnome production mode, and taking stock of my various projects.  There was no shortage of stuff that had been relegated to the backburner over the past couple or three months and I'm glad to finally get the chance to dust off a few old projects, get the ball rolling on a couple of new projects, and generally get back to my own amped-up version of scattered tinkering.

So once again there's a lot of irons in the fire.  Here's just a few of the UnFinished Objects that were spotted in the shop lately...


First off, another Ironman helmet variant.  I've been making a few different helmets and trading other makers for variants that I don't already have.  Since I haven't found anyone else making castings of the Mk39 "Gemini" variant, I had to go ahead and make my own.  Here you can see it in my standard lightish red prototype color:

Mk39 Ready to Mold

It will be molded and cast in four separate pieces.  The main dome is ready for rubber.  The two eye pieces will be ready to mold soon after.  The "backdoor" insert still needs a bit more fine tuning:
Mk39 Backdoor

Still, I should have a wearable casting of this helmet within a week.

Since I can't get enough HALO to keep me satisfied, I'm still making slow progress on my M729 Squad Automatic Weapon from HALO 4:
SAW Progress Finally

I'd say the main body is about 90% done.  I'm just focusing on all of the small details that are going to drive me insane by the time it's all said and done:
Detail Closeup

While I was going through the pile of stuff I wanted to work on, more stuff arrived.  It included a box from DW Design Studios.  The box was full of awesome:
Chest of Awesome
In case you're not a huge geek, that's the chest piece for a clonetrooper.  The box of awesome contained and entire suit of raw untrimmed parts to build myself a complete set of armor.  Now I just have to make up my mind as to whether I want to do a plain white Episode II clonetrooper, or one of the countless color variants that show up in Episode III.  Decisions...

Since I've just finished my Commissar costume and a set of Space Wolf armor, you'd think that I'd've had my fill of Warhammer stuff for a while.  You'd be wrong.  Instead, I've just begun prototyping a new helmet:
Test Fit Front

This is a Grey Knight Terminator helmet.  It looks a bit funny on my because I'm not eight feet tall (yet)  I'm also not wearing the huge chest armor with the collar that will make this helmet look smaller.
Simulated Collar

There's a lot of tweaking yet to be done before this helmet is ready to mold, but I'm off to a good start.

So that's just a few of the things I've got going right now.  Be sure to check back often for updates.  Better yet, subscribe so you don't miss anything.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Time to Sculpt a New Combat Garden Gnome

It's been a while since I added a new pose to my series of Combat Garden Gnomes. I've carved out a bit of time in this month's schedule and I'd like to know what version you'd like to see next.

Here are your options:


I'm partial to the "bayonet charge" guy myself, but I'd like to hear your feedback. Be sure to add your vote and, if you've got a better pose in mind, add your suggestions in the comments. 

If you'd like to see the rest of the troops and pick up a squad of gnomes to defend your own garden, you can see them in my Etsy shop at http://thorssoli.etsy.com.

Thanks for looking and stay tuned for updates...