Friday, March 25, 2011

The Sith Sacker of Cities....

...try to say that three times fast! HA!

Hey guys! It's the weekend and I'm out and about writing most of this blog update using my iPhone so please excuse me for any grammatical expertise in using the thumbpad is limited LOL! :)

So this week marked the release of the Paul S. Kemp novel Star Wars: The Old Republic "Deceived". The story centers around Darth Malgus, the sith lord that sacked Coruscant and laid waste to the Jedi Temple over 3500 years before the rise of Darth Vader. It's a must read if your a fan of the EU or simply curious about events that happened yesrs before that of the Original Trilogy.

To celebrate the novel's release, I thought it would be appropriate to center on my work in progress of the central character - Darth Malgus. I haven't read the novel yet, but I've definately become a fan of the Sith lord, as you can see with my most recent updates below...

The image above represents Malgus before the Battle of Alderran (Hope Trailer). A head sculpt without facial battle armor, cleanly shaven with a face only a Sith witch could love.

Before I get any further let me bring you up to date what has been completed since my last update on Malgus. Both shoulder guards are completed and work properly, using clear bands glued together in loops to the upderside of each guard, then wraping around the arms up to the shoulder joint.

The removable chest armor is completed, still working on the details to his back. I have made a mold/cast of the armor to recreate a battle damaged version.

I have completed both arms, as well as the detailing to the forearm keypads which are very complex. I removed the old hands and upgraded them with hands that are ball jointed and hinged for additional articulation - they are also thicker which compliments the rugged forearm armor.

The lower abdomen is still bare but the legs are finally beginning to take some shape with the upper legs having the first phase of sculpting completed while the boots are beings added.

Above is the second alternate head sculpt - Darth Malgus: Alderran Invasion. This version you've seen before - includes the facial armor or protctiove glove that wraps around his jaws up to the sides of the face...that is until he gets up close and personal with a stingy grenade...

Not once, but TWICE does Malgus take it from close range of an explosive device - it's the second explosion that causes the damage you see in the photo above. Shoulder armor has not been casted yet but once completed it will reflect damage as well. I did this simply by using a 442 Carbon Steel Brush attachement on my dremel and carefully shreading away the areas of the plastic casting that received the damage...and that's exactly what the explosives are designed for...shread. Carefully though, because the metal wire does not forgive, and will cut the plastic cast in half if not careful. It's the first time I used this well as some others to add pings and pot marks. I think it worked out pretty good.

Not seen in this photo below but added to the facial sculpt is just a bit of the "jaw guard" that remains just below the ear and lower jaw then shreads away. It was completed last night after the photos were taken and will be seen with my next Malgus update.

Now we get to the breathing mask everyone is familiar with - Alternate head sculpt number four!!! Darth Malgus: Sacking of Coruscant. Can't believe this figure has 4 different head sculpts..HA! Thanks to the creators for keeping the Sith Lord's costume consistent or I'd be in BIG TROUBLE!

The early images show the mask in mid sculpt - the latter ones show the completed mask.

The images above show how the mask can tuck down behind the collar guard similar to what we see in the "Decieved" trailer...the below image shows the free range of motion up and around the collar guard. Still though, I think I will be revisiting the collar guard and reduce the size and height - it actually slopes a bit further down on the armor.

Some detail of the forearm tech - did my best to keep each side identical although I'm sure there will be some big deal - sculpting is a fluid thing and since I'm not working in a toy factory where I can use a 3D printer...I guess I'm allowed a bit of artistic suggestion.

The image above shows Malgus as he appears at the time of this update - The upper half looks top heavy but will even out once I begin to fill in the blanks below. Happy to say he still retains full articulation as when his frame was first built.

Here are images of the completed mask - still needs some refinement but the sculpt is complete. Added the vents to both sides and the small decorative strips on the main "filter" I guess you would call it.

I cannot wait to paint this guy! All the veins running through his head and the sith fire in his's gonna be fun!

Finally to top off my Darth Malgus update for this week...I made some adjustments to a Vintage Sidious hood and will have it as part of the accessories for Malgus when finished...

"...and now...finally...we have returned!" - Darth Malgus.

and if you haven't seen the trailers that feature the Sith Lord - check them out. Below are links...

Next up - An update on my "non-animated" Savage Opress figure. The image above shows the work in progress on the arms of the shirtless version. The hands are pegged and can be removed and added to the armored version. If you see some irregularities in the abdomen sculpt, that's just the dark imprints of the magnets showing through the very thin layers of FIXIT that cover them...once painted the irregularities will vanish. The waist will remain small so to affix the soft goods and belt and not interfere with hip articulation...

...and here is Savage all armored up and ready to kick the ass of anyone who gets in his way...anyone. Completed the other shoulder guard - still need to complete the forearm armor then I will have the upper body complete.

Uhh...Savage? I think you forgot something when getting dressed this morning?...How about putting some pants on dude?! HA! You'll notice he appears very top heavy at the moment but again, like that of Malgus, everything will even out once the lower body sculpt catches up.

Unfortunately because of the top heavy armor, I will be needing to replace the articulated microman feet with more of a standard ball jointed set. The microman feet simply can't stand the weight and isn't substantial enough to withstand a sculpt over to create the sized boots needed for Savage. Will be replacing them with the feet similar to what I'm using for my Vader sculpt.

Onto the Tonnika Sisters - who are looking more devious every day HA! Head sculpts are complete!! Finished the last one early last week. Working on the body sculpt of each now and will soon begin working on the costumes.

You remeber that I changed the hip articulation to both figures in my last update and in doing so they both ended up the same height. This week I shortened the sister closest to the camera and highten the sculpt of the hips a bit.

I think the adjusted heights of each figure works well, so does the different looks for the hairstyle - keeping each sister a unique piece and not just a carbon copy of one another.

Can't help thinking that they a secretly plotting against me!! HA!

Below is a quick update on my Darth Vader sculpt! Working on shoulder armor right now, thinking of how to attach each piece...possibly similar to what I'm doing with Malgus and Savage.

Detail added to the shoulder armor as seen in the image above. Below, I am needing to extend the chest armor slightly over the shoulders - one side has been completed. Once the other side is done, I will trim both sides back a bit to allow complete arm rotation across the chest...or at least the best to my ability. Some areas of articulation become limited due to the accuracy of the sculpt - I understand that - sometimes it can't be helped....but I hope to keep that from happening here.

Finally a look into a very rough head sculpt of Darth Vader: Anakin Skywalker - Based on the sculpt Sideshow Collectibles did for their 1:1 Darth Vader bust.

1:1 to 1:18 - talk about a scale down!! The sculpt will be totally seperate from the rest of the helmet armor and will be ball jointed.

Several new sculpts are in the works!!! - Below are TEN new characters that you will be seeing on my workbench in coming updates...

Sith Trooper from Star Wars: The Old Republic - will be making two of them!

Sith Warrior from Star Wars: The Old Republic - also multiples in the works.

Eleena Daru from Star Wars: The Old Republic - Can't have Darth Malgus walking around without his girl right??

Satele Shan also from Star Wars: The Old Republic. Malgus has to have a enemy to pick on every once in awhile.

Captain Juno Eclipse from The Force Unleashed 2

"Maulkiller" from The Force Unleashed 2 DLC.

The ORIGINAL Darth Sion from Knight Of The Old Republic II: The Sith Lords!!

Darth Malak from the DLC of The Force Unleashed 2 Edor pack. Some of you may remeber that I began a Malak sculpt a few years ago but never completed it.

Darth Krayt from the Dark Horse comic series - Star Wars: Legacy - WAR

Darth Wyyrlok from the Dark Horse comic series Star Wars: Legacy - WAR

I'll have many other suprises along the way...including some updates to my Metal Gear Solid series of figures and other non-Star Wars related figures such as hmmmm...

King Leonidas and other characters from 300

Baby Doll from Sucker Punch - regardless what you think about the film (which I found to be a very entertaining fantasy film) you have to agree these gals look sweet with swords and machine guns LOL!

Sweet Pea was my fave in the movie so she would have to be in the lineup.

Sorry for the late post by the way, hoped to get this up earlier but life throws you off center from time to time and well...better late than never!! To my facebook fans, we just broke through 400 in less than a week! For me that is so great words can't describe! Thank you!

Always check my Facebook page, Sith_fire30 Creations and if you haven't become a fan, please click on the "like" button when visiting.

Also be sure to stop by my Flickr photostream for many more photos of Malgus, the sisters and others listed in this update.

Sithfire30 Creations can now be found on twitter!!! @sith_fire30
and if you haven't noticed me posting much, that's because I'm not used to doing so...just give me a bit and I'll work into it.

Will be walking away from the figures I have been working on in this update and get caught up on others that have been warming the workbench. Don't worry though - work will continue for these figures but the updates will focus on others for now. AVOIDING BURNOUT! HA!

Comments, suggestions and critique are always welcome!



Thursday, March 10, 2011

Vader, Savage, some cantina chicks and others....

Ladies and Gents...

First off I would like to offer my prayers and well wishes to the people in Japan. Times like these we all need to come together and help out anyway we can. If you would like to help, below are several links to humanitarian charities...

The Red Cross

Salvation Army

Samarian's Purse

Again, all my hopes.

Alright, back to why we're here. Remember this piece below? It's my work in progress of the "Ultimate" Darth Vader figure I have been working on for months.'s no more. I was never satisfied with the helmet and especially the body work. The dome was too wide, the upper legs too thick...just too many things to list that gave me such angst. I scrapped the sculpt and from it's ashes would rise a new and improved frame in which to sculpt upon.

Behold the phoenix! LOL! I know the below image doesn't look like much but believe me, as you watch the progression, you'll see how important the new frame is.

First off though I wanted to revisit Vader's helmet. For the exception of a few plastic parts from the original cast, I have reworked the lenses (making them larger), the dome and brow of the helmet (making the dome larger and the brow more menacing), the bridge/shape of the nose and widening the cheek structure, broadening the mask.

Final details will be added once the helmet is close to completion. My goal is to capture the helmet as it appeared in A New Hope...I think the image below is getting close!

I'm not calling this the "Ultimate Darth Vader" for nothing! The figure will eventually have a connecting three piece helmet, including a newly sculpted head of Anakin (Vader) as he appeared in ROTJ but with the attitude of the recent 1:1 Vader bust from Sideshow Toys. Below are some of the detailing being applied to the back of the helmet's neck piece.

Below are detailed images of the sculpt applied to the frame. You will see that Vader still contains much of the original articulation as the frame allowed - He will be able to kneel - as he would when addressed by the Emperor and he will be able to sit in a meditation position, so to include him with the scratch built meditation chamber I am currently working on.

"What is thy bidding, my master"

Many say that Vader doesn't need so much articulation being a stonch, statuesque character...I disagree. There was the Great Jedi Purge...and Vader had to move with a quickness to put Jedi down. It's only after many battles and more damage to his body that the machine began to overtake the man and eventually became the character described by Kenobi in ROTJ - "More machine now than man...twisted and evil". So I'm not minding the added articulation all too much.

Below is the sculpt as it appears today - I plan on adding more thickness to the gloves and completing the lower leg armor.

Did come upon one problem - Was working on keeping Vader's hip articulation free when I ran into a stumbling block...his cod piece. If I was to sculpt it on, would definately hender articulation...especially when kneeling. Use banding?...nahh. Then I though of the magnet trick...would allow the cod piece to move freely and fall back into place when the figure stands straight. Works great...but the image below...may look a little painfull (men you have been warned) LOL! The previous image of vader kneeling shows the idea working - I love these little magnets!

Another figure where magnets have come into play is my Savage Opress sculpt. Below is an image of the muscular structure I have built up over the frame. Difficult to see but there's two magnets embeded in the chest...

and two more embeded in the newly sculpted REMOVABLE ARMOR!

This allows for two versions of Savage to exist - one wearing the familiar armor and the other shirtless, revealing his tatoos.

Back armor completed in the image above. Strangely didn't need magnets - the back armor can literally "snap-connect" to the back! Not sure how that happened but hey if it ain't broken, don't fix it!

Below image shows the beginnings of the shoulder armor. Both shoulder pieces will be strapped under the arms and will be free floating to allow max articulation.

and here is how Savage appears as of March 13th. I have completed one of the two pieces of shoulder armor, the upper chest, back and abdomen armor. Haven't started on the lower body yet - so he looks very awkward right now...very top heavy.

Below is completed detailing to the forward chest and abdominal armor as well as the first piece of shoulder armor. The shoulder armor has been attached using clear banding.

I haven't begun detailing to the back armor yet.

Below are a sequence of images showing the upper body armor being removed piece by piece, transitioning to the "shirtless" version of Savage.

I'll begin working on the lower body to give the form some balance. I will also continue to work on the remaining body armor and bare/clothed arms.

Next is a quick update on the Tonnika Sisters.

If you recall the last batch of updates the sister's hip articulation appeared like that of the image below.

I chose to replace the current hip articulation with ball-hinged joints. This will allow for more articulated freedom and away from the static pose. The image below shows the results after the successfull surgery - both recovered just fine LOL!

If the head sculpts in the above image look very similar, that is because they are - one is a plastic casting of the original. Both sister's will have a distinct sculpt. I just used the casting to get an idea on what they may look like.

Unfortunately one of the sister's will have to go back under the knife...when upgrading the hip articulation for both I unintentionally brought them both back to roughly the same height. This just will not do and will be corrected.

Below is a shot from the back - Still need to work on the arms, small of the back, buttocks and lower legs. After the form is complete, I will begin sculpting the clothing. Some people ask why I do this, sculpt a nude just to sculpt over it again - It helps me with creating the suggestive line art before adding the details. Just a technique - nothing more.

A few weeks ago, I was interviewed by and provided some exclusinve images of my work. Below are the images in case you haven't seen them (SHAME!) with a bit of an update for each.

Lumbra is close to completion - working on paint detailing presently.

My first Vong Warrior is also close to completion - Taking me some time because I'm acquiring the correct color set and technique for the Vong species...once completed the others in the lineup will only take half as long to finish.

Shado was a sculpt I never thought I would finish...and even to this very day I have a few adjustments that are needed. The first head sculpt is fully painted and completed. Shado shows his curious grin...and determined glare. He will be followed by two alternate head sculpts, one with the lekku draped over his shoulder and the other with the lekku flaring outwards. I'm really tempted to add ball-hinged hip joints to Shado...but that means some resculpting and I'm really over resculpting parts to this guy...perhaps just one more time.

Finally for this update, a finished head sculpt of my Mon Calamari Bounty Hunter - which originated from a concept drawing from the Lucasarts game Star Wars Galaxies. The eyes are coated with several layers of gloss acrylic to give the appearance of moisture. Surprisingly the gloss dried solid...I've had some instances when gloss layers dry but remain soft and a tad sticky. Fortunately not this time. Still working on the rest of the sculpt which is about 90% complete.

Alright everyone, that's all for now but stay tuned for more :) - I'll say it again, I am humbled by the continued interest in my work and never take that for granted - and to all my facebook fans, we are what...three away from 300? FANTASTIC! Always check my Facebook page, Sith_fire30 Creations and if you haven't become a fan, what are you waiting for huh!?! LOL!

Also be sure to stop by my Flickr photostream for additional information tons more photos which I will be updating throughout the day. Comments, suggestions and critique are always welcome!

Sithfire30 Creations can now be found on twitter!!! @sith_fire30
I'm a bit slow with the whole twitter thing but give me some time and I'll be like a little bird!

Another update will be coming hopefully next week featuring an update of my upcoming set of New Republic Commandos from the Dark Horse comic series Star Wars Invasion...along with other update.

Take care till then!