Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Batten Down The Hatches!!

Welcome aboard the poop deck!

Ladies and gentlemen, toys and squirrels, today we have the exciting account of the gloomy events that led to the attack on the good ship Lollipop and Capt. Red Beard. So, batten down the hatches! This is how my artwork "Ahoy!" was made.

They say the captain always goes down with his ship, so first things first - I had to incorporate some sense that he was actually aboard a vessel. I accomplished this by suggestion, merely adding a mast and rope ladder. I used some rope-like string and knotted it up to look like this:

To get a visual blueprint of what I wanted I laid out the bare pieces. All hands on deck! In this case, all tentacles. I wanted the tentacles to wiggle and puppeteer the figure's arms as he held them. Three of the tentacles were pre-mechanized so I had to add a hub to power them with a single power source. The hub is stowed away and hidden under the captain's coat. I apologize for the poor quality of the picture. I threw my old camera overboard already.

Next, I sculpted and painted the head, attempting to give him a look of knowing fear. Also, I attached his sweater which I made from a scrap of fabric. Below you can see I began to add his beard whiskers. 

I attached a little more and checked his look with his hat. I had yet to paint his eyes.

I attached the hair in a specific direction to emulate a hellish wind storm blowing through it!

He looked pretty cool bald, but I wanted to add my moniker to his captain's hat so he was going to wear it regardless dammit. 

Almost ready to swab the deck! After finishing attaching the hair I trimmed it down a bit and scorched it very lightly with a small torch. This causes the plastic hair to shrivel and curl, giving it a more realistic pattern and look. 

I didn't want this guy to walk the plank to his final doom while he was still blind so I went ahead and painted his eyes. 

I forgot to mention that I sculpted his hands with Super Sculpey and posed one to hold onto a tentacle and the other to hold against his face as he calls for help. But in the Zombienose universe there are no happy endings. Sorry, Charlie.

I sunk the figure into his frame and made sure the electronics would have enough room to be stowed. He already looked like he was trying to escape before I added the tentacles.

Holding course due South, I had to navigate a latitude and longitude for the tentacles to be placed. You can see below where I had already redressed the skin of the tentacles and made them red. I also altered their curves a bit.

Next up I added my Zombienose moniker to his Captain's hat. I simply made it with a black piece of fabric with some gold thread glued onto it to resemble my moniker. Then I had to add the mast. I placed the tentacles where I thought they looked good (for now) and drilled some holes where the rope and mast parts would penetrate through the frame. Then I slid in the wooden dowel that I was going to use. As luck would have it, bad luck that is, it was too small!

So I used a larger gauge and inserted a crossbar to support the rope ladder. This looked better so I removed it and painted it before I permanently attached it. 

This was coming along nicely. I then realized I was going to have to cut out a section on the opposite side of the frame so one of the tentacles could be moved over a bit and give the Capt. a little more room to wiggle when the electronic movements were turned on. You can see where I removed the paint and sanded it (the white area on the inner edge of the frame). Please don't mind the dust on his coat. I was almost done and at this point of the process it was sink or swim.

Now I spotted this project's end just 10 degrees dead ahead! I secured the Captain's coat to look as if it was blowing in the same direction as his hair. All that was left was to secure the figure and make sure the electronics worked ok. I positioned all parts and took some photos with some different lighting. Behold.

Ahoy! I posted a link to my YouTube channel where you can see the video I made of the tentacles at work: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8v5iE0F820&list=UUAJ81O55ELcyQmn_PGn1vLw

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