Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Hasbro Booth and Kerr Ultra Waxer...

Finally!!! It took a few weeks but I've finally fully recovered from Celebration V and it was a blast! Got to meet up with and old friend and his son (which I haven't seen in twelve years) and had a great time geeking out to Star Wars for 4 days. Hope to go to the next one - so much to see you need to attend a couple of them to experience it all!! LOL!

One of the highlights was visiting the Hasbro booth and getting the opportunity to speak with David Vennemeyer, their head sculptor. It was fantastic to see him at work, and witness the process he uses to create. The photos below are from and

By the way, I've got to get me one onf those "head stands"! LOL!

So, after taking it all in and picking my jaw off the floor (LOL! ) I took advantage of the little time I had with him and explained what I do and the process I take to create my pieces...first thing he asked was why I was still taking the long road when creating my sculpted work- basically why I was working in FIXIT when I could just work in wax and create my castings from that. With all the work I do I should be working almost exclusively in wax.

Honestly, FIXIT sculpting is a process that I've enjoyed and something that has worked for me - I've used wax on a regular basis when refining my work, but I've never used it as the primary sculpting medium. I agree though that I should begin working much more with wax...get a feel for the material and the wax carver (which I scored a new one recently -sweet). I'm not a stranger with working in wax, but I guess FIXIT has spoiled me a little...I still feel though, with my current work, instead of exclusively working with wax, that I continue my familiar process and simply add more refining options using wax.

After speaking with Dave and learning much about the creative process that goes on at Hasbro, I asked about the freelance process and how it works...suffice to say, I am very interested...and a reason all the more that I am fitting wax work back into my daily routine. Also I am working a bit more with 3/D design...especially in Zbrush and Maya...I've worked with Zbrush before, just not on a regular basis. Seems the industry is working more and more with these programs...just hope they don't leave us sculptors in the dust! :)

It was great talking to Dave and getting a sneak peak into the work that is going on at Hasbro!

As I said earlier, I recieved my new wax carver yesterday, the Kerr Ulrta Waxer with foot pedal control...and can I tell you, the foot pedal is awesome! It gives you so much more temperature control - it's insane! If you plan to invest in one of these waxers, get the foot pedal accessory. Also the hand grip is much more comfortable...I was cramping up using my old one!

The Kerr is more expensive than the competition, but it's a good investment in my opinion.

Finally my apologies for the lack of updates over the past several weeks - ever since Celebration, it's been one thing or the next...the house went through some rennovation, my grandfather passed away and my daily workload has become more's been rough but all is well and things are getting back to an even flow.

As well as working on various Star Wars characters, I am getting back to work on the Metal Gear line as well as working on some Gundam models that have been staring back in the face for I've got much to do and many updates to post in the furture. Thank you all for your continued interest - the next post will be an update on my Star Wars work - Need to get Dass Jennir finalized as well as some Vong from Invasion.

As always, any comments and suggestions you may have - please e-mail me or post a comment.

For more images of my work, as well as new Metal Gear images of existing sculpts I will be working on, check out my photostream on FLICKR at

Thanks again to all those that have become a fan of my Facebook page - I'm over 75 fans now!! AWESOME!- Let's keep it going! If you haven't become a fan, please click on the banner to the right if you'd like to join in! Take care till later!!



Road Warrior said...

Too much cool stuff to comment on!;) i'll just say good to see you expanding your horizons. AND good luck with doing freelance work-very cool. Hope to see more awesomeness from you soon Dayton!

Sith_fire30 said...

Yo Road Warrior! Thanks! I hope to one day get a shot at a freelance job with Hasbro. Getting my resume together right now and we'll see how it goes:)....

Chris said...

I'm in the same boat as far as wax work and fixit. I always start any head/helmet/weapon/jointless piece in fixit, and if I can't nail the detail I make a mold and cast in wax for refinement.

If you ditched fixit altogether, you'd have to do a lot more work, or buy a lot more figures for the ball joints -- unless you're now making/casting your own!

As you alluded to, the plus of switching to pure wax work may be the difference between Dayton the Art Director and Dayton the freelance toy sculptor. BUT, if you become a freelancer for the big H, they'll likely send you a big friggin' bag of ball joints of all sizes. That's what they did for Paul Brooke when he contracted to sculpt the ultimate Chewie that we all know and love.

Side note: Paul Brooke's website is down. Damn. I used to check it out often, if not for updates, for inspiration.

Ken said...

I am looking at waxers, and there are so many out there! Now it's the: "Ultra Waxer 2" (w/o foot pedal!). Tell me, the Kerr Ultra Waxer is expensive, is it really better - quicker, more versatile? I will get what ever it takes to do my best work, money is not the main issue, I just don't like wasting money. Some waxers have a loop type tip, would I want that? seems like it would heat quickly. The other type with brass slip on tips also look good because I could shape the tips with a file as needed. But I wonder how controlable the temp is. It looks to me that a lot of sculptors just use a waxer to quickly slap on some wax for build up, and then carve it cold. But wouldn't a very controlable waxer allow precise hot sculpting - perfect placement of the just-right temp wax, and perfect carving away as needed? So far I have been useing an alcohol lamp to heat tools - it gets tireing, and slow. So.....I would appreciate all the advise I can get concerning purchase of a waxer, (including good sources). THANK YOU, Ken

Sith_fire30 said...

Ken - The Kerr Waxer is outstanding and with the foot control pedal, you can measure the amount of heat you apply to the wax, so you have a better time carving and building up. I owned waxers before this one and must say this is the best - the tips i use are the ones provided for the Kerr, though I have seen the wire ones you speak of...I think David V from Hasbro was using that type when demonstrating.If you can afford it and are serious about working in wax, it would be a great investment Ken :)