Monthly Archives: March 2011

Things from Giant-Moon Saturday

Since it’s been some time since it was created and made viral, I was quite tickled to see my Cherokee Anti-Zombiemobile get a mention on Reddit (and then Failblog took it as well). I remember walking out of 7-11 and seeing the guy snap that picture on his phone, which still happens almost every time I go out. And speaking of blogs, I saw this great idea for Japanese style low sawhorses. I typically work sitting on the floor, so I quickly grabbed a scrap board and made myself a quick [no-measuring so they’re a bit uneven] set from that inspiration.

I thought that we were all done with creating the army of tippy pigs, but last night Nefarious told me she had an idea for another one that she wanted to make herself. I cast a base model for her and kneaded up some Apoxie Clay for her (this is actually the first time she’s used it, only having used Sculpey before now) and she turned it into a witch pig riding a broom as well as sculpting an awesome one-off black cat familiar. In some ways I’m actually more impressed by the cat because it’s tricky to work Apoxie as it’s quite sticky and soft, and hers turned out almost as well as the mini-pig I made.

[You can click and zoom that, but none of the other pictures]

The paint cracked, probably as I didn’t let it dry long enough before clear-coating, but it still makes a very nice addition and I think she did a top-notch job. Now that I’m looking at the closeups I can see a few missed spots in the paint as well, but that’s easy to fix if it gets fixed (I didn’t notice it with the naked eye). Oh wait… I’m dumb. Now that I look even closer, they’re not missed spots, they’re reflections of our ceiling lights. Haha. But anyway, seems that I could have just left the sculpting to her, instead of me doing it on commission!

Finally, I’ve been absentmindedly painting bits of the child solider slash kid-in-a-box toy which is quite effective at consuming far more time than is reasonable. It might even be a little embarrassing just how slowly my brush moves. Speaking of, when I dropped Caitlin off at school this morning Nefarious and I stopped at the art supply place and picked up eight itsy-bitsy (four 00, two 5/0, and two 10/0) brushes for the awesomely low after-tax total of twelve dollars. They cost hugely more everywhere I looked online so it was a super score (online I did however pick up a load more Vallejo paints because I’m a big fan of the waste-not eye-dropper packaging).

Tomorrow we’ll get Nefarious packed up for the second half of her March Break, visiting her mother down south, but before she leaves she’s going to see a hockey game with a friend. I’ve never managed to get into watching puck-sports of this sort (making me a bad Canadian?) but she seems to like watching them a lot more than me (always wanting to be a spectator at baseball and soccer games when we see them in the park in the summer), so I’m interested in hearing her report. Well, enough rambling for now.

Oh — and I almost forgot! Nefarious and I made this grody microwave sunny-side-up egg to prank Caitlin. Other than the strangely large uber-yolk, it’s quite real looking. It was made by pouring some liquid plastic into the inside of a duct tape roll, and then when it was half hardened (a gelatinous texture/composition), lifting up the roll, causing the liquid part of the plastic within to spread. Then it was painted and placed strategicly on the floor near the stove.

I’m not sure what we expected, but it was mostly met with “WTF… is that real?” confusion.

Our collection of custom Tippy Pigs

As you may recall, Nefarious created a character called “Tippy Pig”, on account of his difficult centre of gravity resulting from an oversized head. A silicone mold was taken and plastic clones were made. So now we have a dozen new toys to play with. Here’s a “class photo”, and you can see them all in detail after the break. As I mentioned, they’re plastic, and the modifications were done with Apoxie Clay (a two-part self-hardening polymer clay) and then painted with Vallejo acrylics and given a gloss coat over that to protect them.

Go ahead and click on the pictures to view them all nice and huge.

The base toy was sculpted by Nefarious and all the sculptural changes via Apoxie Clay were done by me, although in most of them it was Nefarious’s idea — she would sketch the modifications on paper and I’d follow her directions. Painting is by me unless specified otherwise (the gypsy fortune teller pig is by Caitlin, and the boar is by Nefarious). Making these has been a lot of fun.


The death of cardboard boy

As I think I mentioned, I even found uses for toy bits that didn’t come out of the mold quite right. When I cast this torso/leg unit, there was a gap at the bottom of the mold and the liquid plastic ran out the bottom, leaving the top half filled with air and thus non-existent. So, I added some ribs, stuck it on a base, and poured some leftover plastic onto it which became blood and guts. It’s been sitting on my desk all week but I finally got around to painting it when I got home from the hospital this morning.

Cardboard Knight Toy, Done

The molds I made turned out nicely, so here is the first toy that I cast from said molds and painted.

Here’s another couple views of the toy unassembled with all of its accessories, front and rear view:

I’ve got a growing stack of parts ready to make more of them, and whenever a piece doesn’t turn out right (say because an air bubble got trapped in it) I fill in the error with clay and sometimes do minor customization, so many are a little bit different and has unique character of its own. Anyway… I stayed up too late last night painting, and then had to get up very early to get Nefarious to the bus as she’s in ski camp all week, so maybe I can add a half hour nap before she returns to the three scant hours I got last night.

Plastic Left-overs

I’ve just finished the final sanding of the little child soldier toy in the previous entry and have attached a pair of sprues to each of the component parts (two arms, a body, a head, and three accessories). With any luck I’ll make the molds (out of tin catalyzed silicone putty because it’s so easy to work with) and cast the first toys tomorrow… So if anyone wants to make a suggestion on a good next project, I’m listening. As to sales, yes, it’ll happen… I am just so horrible at fulfillment. I wish I knew someone who wanted to do that for me. Speaking of “I’m listening”, go ahead and volunteer in trade for a cut.

With a sword, mwahahahaha!

Since I’ve switched to two-part self-hardening synthetic clay, any clay I prepare will be rock hard by the next day and can not be re-used like things like Fimo or Sculpey. Rather than let the clay go to total waste, here is how I’ve amused myself:

That’s a casting taken off one of Nefarious’s Barbie dolls. She now has a tool that can stamp them out of plasticine as you can see. As well as that face, I did quite a few others, including one that’s quite tiny and certainly small enough to make nice shirt buttons (or beads) out of.

When I’m pouring plastics, that of course has any even shorter cure time, so if I don’t use it inside two or three minutes of mixing it goes (potentially uselessly) solid. It’s much harder to find a casual use for, so below is the amusement that came from the last thing I made (a gunmetal — metallic — version of my recent USB stick case). It is exactly what it looks like — perpetual pouring, the cup being emptied at the very instant that it went solid.

I remember enjoying a similar sculpture as a child. In the local mall they had a functional faucet that was suspended in the air. A pipe brought the water up, and then it poured back down all around said pipe, meaning that it looked like it was hanging there, some doorway to another — extremely watery — world.