Saturday, August 28, 2010

Still Time to Enter the Name That Sculptor Contest!

No entries so far for the "Name That Sculptor" Contest, so we thought we'd give you guys another chance... and another hint! Because this Flash vs. Grodd statue is taking up a lot of room in Tim's studio, and he's been using it as a paperweight, but he'd rather send it to someone who knows their stuff.

Now, we'll admit that this may have been a hard contest. Ten tiny details to identify ten sculptures and the ten sculptors who sculpted them? Unfair! Well, we aren't going to give you any artist names, but we'll give you another full picture:

We'll also tell you that one of the pieces was not a mainstream release, but was only offered through the sculptor's Website. It's certainly a weird one. Really strange, you know? We can say no more. Or can we?

Thursday, August 26, 2010


So, you’re gleefully casting away. Things are going great. You’re a casting machine! And then it happens. The resin cast comes out of the mold missing the top third. What the heck! You try again. Same thing. And again, same bloody same. Maybe this is a loaded, or pre-filled mold? You didn’t think it was, but molds have a mind of their own. You try butterflying open the top at the pour hole, close it up and hope… maybe even send up a prayer or two. The cast is missing the top of the part again! Enter, FUNNEL CASTING! Sometimes, the configuration of the part results in a slow fill. The mold tops off with resin okay, but cranking up the pressure removes the air and compressed the resin and, in these instances, the result in an under-filled mold. Let’s walk through the process using my base for the Ultimate Showdown series as an example.

1: If I’m casting a part that needs to stay flat and true, I’ll create a foam core mother mold. Its important to spray the inside of the case with a good mold release before making the mold. This method works well if you have to cast up a bunch of parts. To date, I’ve probably cast thirty-some pieces.

2: When the RTV is cured, it’s a good idea to notch the top of the mold and case to orientate its placement later. Using a strong tape, the case is secured around the mold. You only need to tape the open side of the case. Start at the top, do the bottom and then the middle. Because I needed it to remain flat, I taped the top and bottom of each mold to prevent a possible bulge.

3: Using Krome Kote scraps, I made a couple of funnels. The bottom of the funnel should be just a little larger than the pour hole. And be careful not to let the tip of the funnel poke down too far to reach the actual part. Funnels done - give them a gentle twist to seat them.

4: I designed the disk part of the base to pivot in the hexagonal base. Both part of the base parts were cast in semi-clear resin. The disk was colored using an interference power so it would have depth, kind of like a semi-transparent stone. The hexagon part is mostly black, with a silver top. It was just easier, especially with the number of parts I’d have to cast, to cast it black and add the silver as a paint application.

5: Funnel in place, mold in the pressure pot, resin poured. Let the pressure casting begin!

6: When casting clear resin, its a good idea to let it fully cure before taking out of the mold. It has a tendency to go off more quickly than standard casting resin but takes longer to fully cure. De-molding the resin before its set up will often distort the part.

7: Fresh from the pot!

8-9: The finished two-part base. A clear acrylic spray brings out the opalescent quality of the disk. A spray of Dullcote on the hexagon, before the applying the silver, takes out all the sanding marks.
And there you have it. No more partially cast parts!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

An Overdue Tribute, and an Overdue Hint

I know we promised you a hint for our contest last week, but two passings had our minds elsewhere. The first was Tim's father, whom I unfortunately never got the chance to meet, but my sympathy goes out to Tim for his loss. The second was Eddie Wires, a prototype painter of the highest caliber and a heck of a nice guy, one I had the pleasure of getting to know during my tenure as editor of ToyFare.

I remember having breakfast with him one morning at the New York Toy Fair, along with the Palisades Toys crew -- Eddie painted most if not all of their Muppets prototypes, not to mention Ren & Stimpy, Invader Zim, Adult Swim, Alien, Predator and Transformers. He also painted hundreds of prototypes for Toy Biz, including many of the Marvel Legends, as well as work for DC Direct, Diamond Select and Hasbro. While I didn't know him as well as I would have liked, I know that he is truly missed by his colleagues and friends. And, having photographed and written about pretty much every prototype he ever painted, I think I can say with a fair degree of confidence that the man had a great talent. After all, if you just count the Muppets and Legends alone, his paint apps acted as guides for most of the action figures in my permanent collection. Here are just a few of his prototype paint jobs.

If any of you would still like a hint in order to complete your entry in the contest, here's one last picture for you. It wasn't painted by Eddie, but it is a full-body shot of the one piece that is probably giving you guys so much trouble. No name, no sculptor, but at least you've got a face. Or lack thereof.

Friday, August 6, 2010


We had so much fun doing that last contest that we want to do it again! But this time there's an added twist. After all, we want you people to prove that you love action figures, statues and the talented people who sculpt them. So what we've done is gather ten details of ten images of ten pieces sculpted by ten different professional sculptors. You need to tell us the character, the company and the sculptor's name for each, and the first to get all 30 answers correct wins. Some may be easy, some may be hard, but we have faith in you. 

The winner gets the Michael Turner-style Flash vs. Gorilla Grodd statue signed by co-sculptors Tim Bruckner and Tony Cipriano -- the only collaboration ever done between the Pop Sculpture author and contributor -- plus a poster of Tim's body of work (at left). Two runners-up will get posters, as well. Mail your guesses to, and check back next week to maybe get a hint or two. 

Below are the ten detail shots -- happy hunting!