Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Making Weapon Props from EVOLVE Part 3: the Lightning Gun

In the upcoming video game EVOLVE, you can play as one of four classes of hunter going after giant monsters (or play as the monster itself).  The classes are "Trapper," "Assault," "Medic," and "Support."  Each class has its own unique skills and equipment.  In my last article in this series I detailed the building of the Harpoon gun carried by a Trapper called Griffin.  When I saw the first trailer for the game, the Harpoon Gun was my favorite weapon.

Once I'd built one weapon for each class of hunter, my favorite one to see in real life was the Lightning Gun carried by an Assault-class hunter named Markov Golushko:

That thing's pretty nifty.

Here's the Lightning Gun render that I started with:
Lightning Gun Reference Image

For details about how it was made into a practical prop, read on...

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Making Weapon Props from EVOLVE Part 2: Harpoon Gun

The harpoon gun is the first of four props I made to promote the upcoming release of the video game EVOLVE.  You can see more information about the game on their website: http://evolvegame.com/.

This beast makes a great first impression.  When I first saw the trailer for the game, this is the one that made me say "I want that."  It's massive and mean-looking and will look great hanging on my wall under the mounted heads of the monsters it's taken down.

In the game it's carried by a hunter named Griffin Hallsey.  Here's a portrait of him:

If you're someone who likes to dress to impress, this is not a bad look.  And while much of his swagger can be attributed to his jaunty hat or stylish vest, the thing that really catches folks' attention is the massive harpoon gun:

Very sexy.

Here's a shot of the harpoon gun all by itself::
Harpoon Gun Reference Image
Still sexy.

Over the course of three and a half weeks, my crew and I turned this in-game digital model into practical prop that could be carried around and shown of at conventions.  Durable enough to be handled by the convention crowd, it was first passed around at PAX Prime in Seattle so folks could pose for photos with their life-size, 2-story tall Goliath monster from the game.  Here's a quick video from the event:


Here's a studio shot of the finished Piece:
Harpoon Gun Studio Pic

For a detailed account of how it was made read on...


Thursday, December 4, 2014

Making Weapon Props from EVOLVE Part 1: Introduction


It all started with a phone call...

Back in the last days of July, I was neck deep in a handful of projects and all of them had looming deadlines.  That's when my friend Jason called me from Make: magazine.  The call started simply enough:

"Hey, are you busy?" he asks.

"Always," says I, "what can I do for you?"

"We've got this project..."

The gist of the conversation was that 2K Games was in the middle of a big push to promote their upcoming game EVOLVE, and they had a big booth going around to all of the big conventions and game expos with a lifesize statue of one of the game's giant monsters.  What they needed was a series of weapon props.  Four of them.  One for each class of hunter that can play in the game.  So they'd asked Jason if they knew anybody who could make props for them and he knew just the right guy.

He emailed me a link to this video:


After I'd watched it, I told him I could readily make any of the weapons, costumes, or creatures that appear in the trailer.  They just had to pick what they wanted and let me know when they needed them.

Once they'd made up their mind, it seemed simple enough.  I just had to build these four pieces:
Single Page Reference

No problem, right? 

Then came the real challenges.

In order to meet the deadline I'd have about 25 days to make all four.  Okay.

They had to be durable and lightweight enough to allow convention goers to pose for photos with them.  Tall order, but very achievable.

The staff at 2K was thoroughly immersed in all of the logistics and preparation for the tail end of the convention season and wouldn't have much time to answer any questions I might have along the way.  Every conversation would have to be fast and filled with very detailed questions and answers, but I can handle that.

And the best part?  Twenty days into the already short timeline, I was due to be in Japan filming a car commercial after finishing another project that I already had in progress.  Oh boy!

Long story short: it worked.

My crew and I pulled together and knocked it out of the park.  The whole project was like drinking from a fire hose, but all four pieces were built to millimeter accuracy, painted to match the in-game weapons, and ready for delivery with almost a day to spare:
Evolve Hunter Weapon Lineup in the Workshop 2

Evolve Hunter Weapon Lineup in the Workshop

If you were at PAX Prime in Seattle, you were among the first people to see these props in person:
PAX Prime Display

If you read Make: magazine there was also a spread in the latest issue that showed each of the finished pieces and a brief overview of their construction. Over the next few days, I'll be writing individual blog entries detailing the construction of each of these four pieces.

I'm exceptionally proud of the finished props and I'm looking forward to walking you through the process that I used to turn bits and bytes into real-life stacks of awesomeness.

Stay tuned...




Friday, November 28, 2014

Finally! A Real Episode VII Trailer

I'm sure there's really no need for any signal boost, but if you haven't seen this yet, the wait is over:





Now I just need a few new sets of armor...


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Monday, November 24, 2014

Combat Garden Gnomes: Gearing Up for the Holidays

I've been having fun making up meme posters for my Combat Garden Gnomes. Here's one:
Combat Gnome MEME6

If you're interested in getting some Combat Garden Gnomes of your own, you can order them at http://thorssoli.etsy.com



If you are planning on having them in hand in time for the holidays, you're running out of time to place your order!


For more (better) meme posters read on...