Friday, January 28, 2011

Building the Beast - Savage Opress

"He is ready sisters! Look at the strength...the POWER!"

I must admit, when Lucasfilm announced that they were introducing to the Clone Wars series another Darth Maul-like character as an adversary to the Jedi, I was were many other fans I'm sure. Fortunately I wasn't dissapointed, and the beast lived up to his potential...and in turn, inspired me to begin working on a figural sculpt of Savage Opress.

Below are a series of photos that show the early work into getting the figures' frame constructed as well as some early stages into the sculpt. I wanted to experiment a bit with articulation for this figure - I'm actually wanting to expand the boundaries of articulation with all my figures from here on...finding out what's effective and also what can hender proportion and functionality.

If you've been following along with my updates, you will recognize the image below as a very early draft of my Savage frame...well, I've made a few "minor" changes....heh, heh...

First I want upper torso articulation, preferably a ball-hinged torso...right below the chest and rib cage...but wait a minute, I also want lower waist articulation...also on a ball-hinge. Sounds crazy huh..well thankfully because of this character's size, it's not that difficult. A standard 3.75" figure may be more of a challenge, but not impossible...I will try it out in the future but we're talkin' about Savage right now!

First as you can see in the image above, I took the original frame apart and preped my first ball-hinged piece...all of my ball hinged parts will come from two figures currently out in the market...A VOTC Luke Skywalker or a Medical Frigate Luke Skywalker. You can use either one or the other, makes no difference. You will need: An Xacto knife, super glue, dremel or sand paper (to smooth, straighten and flatten edges), breathing mask, rags for cleanup and possible bandaids..for when you cut the S^%$T out of your finger for the 10th time trying to get a piece to fit LOL!

As will all my new figures, I am adding additional articulation to the hips using the ball joints from the two existing figures I mentioned previously. When I remove the lower torso from the Luke body, I reveal a large opening that, if not careful, can trap a drop of unintentionally placed super glue that can "gum up the works" so to speak as far as leg movement I ad a small "cap" from an existion torso to cover the opening (as seen above). I will be placing the first ball-hinged piece on top. ***NOTE - Later in the images you will notice I removed the cap all together...this is an option but you must be carefull about the glue getting inside the mechanism. I did this becasue I felt the additional piece was knocking off the proportion.***

I have my ball-hinged piece ready to apply...but I have to be carefull of another opening seen at the bottom of the ball hinged mechanism (see above image), that if touched with glue, can make the part useless. Take special care to place your glue away from the opening and only on the edges where the two parts meet. May not be a strong a bond you would like but don't worry...soon you will be adding FIXIT to the area which will strengthen ten fold!

So here it is...first hing applied..I let it dry for a few then work the joint around awhile to be sure no glue found it's way into the parts.

Again I do the same thing adding the second hinge. Looks strange right now but rest assured, with some adjustments it will work out fine for this particular figure frame.

Again I work the joints to make sure all fuction correctly. Finally I add the upper chest is where you will need to make adjustments and be sure of proportion. I eyeball mine...shaving a little at a time off the base of the upper chest but not too close to the peg holes for the arms. It was at this time I decided to remove the "cap" I spoke of earlier.

And here we go! I also removed the original feet and added some better articulated feet from an existing microman figure. These will also be sculpted over. So now just a test of the movement before cleaning up and adding sculpt to the frame...

Classic! - must have Savage kneeling to his master...whoever that may be. Alright! Lets clean him up and get to sculpting!!

Now I got a little ahead of myself and bagan the primary sculpt - What I should do first is to strengthen the glued attachements. But silly me waited to do that a step or two later...suffice to say I had to glue a piece more than once. :(

Alright, here we go - back on track. One that FIXIT sculpt cures around the glued areas, you are good to go and can make him do back bends if you wish LOL! Proceeded to work on the primary sculpt...Head, Shoulders, Neck.

Yes, more striking a pose...

The beginnings of a "Real World" Savage I think....Lets get those horns on!

Completed the two smaller side horns and the three frontal. Also advanced work on the upper body, chest and shoulders. Now the large should the horns be? Remember this is a "Real World" version of Savage...and his horns can have some play to them. He is considered and "animal" a "beast"...why not larger? Also I'm a fan of the movie Legend, and the character Lord of the larger horns are a little tribute to the Dark Lord.

But...unfortunately they appear to be too big...too wild. Cool but not to the proportion of the figure itself. Thanks to my Facebook fans for the vote of confidence in making the changes and reducing the you can see in the below image, majority of the fans voted for B..but it was a very close vote!

So I found a sweet spot in between..not too big, not too short...just right like Goldilocks would say.

So below is the final result - I will go forward and sculpt the remaining horns at this scale. Some additional refinement is needed but I think this size keeps Savage looking like a brute, without the stressfull headaches and neck pain he may recieve with the larger horns. LOL!

And that's where I am presently with this character. I hope to have more updates to you soon but I have some painted figures that are waiting to make an eventual debut. I have some additional work in progress reports that will be posted soon, including the Tonnika Sisters, Starkiller, Sith Stalker and Darth Stryfe.

Always check my Facebook page, Sith_fire30 Creations and Flickr photostream for additional information.

Again - thanks to the fans! You guys rock! Stay tuned for more :)


Eric LeFeber said...

Fantastic! The horns were a good compromise. It's a subtle difference but I think you made the right decision.

DanOfTheDead said...

That's looking amazing... you continue to astound with your abilities!

Totally agree regarding the character, this season of Clone Wars has taken some risks, and some of them really seem to be paying off.

rupert valero said...

i couldnt have said it better myself; amazing and inspirational on the highest degree. thank you for your talent, documenting it and sharing with us.

Sean Regalado said...

Wow I am new to your site. These are such great WIP! I am also learning about making toy customs. What kind of tools do you use and, currently I am experimenting with clay bodies/Epoxies which one do you use or would you suggest? Great Toy can't wait to see it done.

Kisho Meteora said...

utterly amazing stuff as always