Pop Sculpture: How to Create Action Figures and Collectible Statues ペーパーバック – 2010/10/19
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Sculpt toys and collectibles with modern-day tools, techniques and applications used by today’s top industry professionals
Ever since a 12-inch G.I. Joe took toy soldiers to a whole new level by giving them the ability to pose via moveable parts, as well as interchangeable clothing and accessories, the business of creating pop sculpture icons for the mass market was off and running. Superheroes came next, followed by TV show and movie characters, most notably those from Star Wars. Today, action figures exist for sports stars, rock stars, even presidents.
With today’s blockbuster success of animated films, action figures and collectibles have become a behemoth industry—with a growing need for skilled artists who can bring these characters to life. So how do you get started?
The trio of veteran industry insiders who authored this book take you on an incredibly thorough journey that begins with drawing conceptual drafts and continues through rough sculpting and honing the final product. Along the way, you’ll learn how to research your character, shape casts from a variety of materials including wax and resin, make accessories, articulate characters so that they are poseable, paint them, and ultimately convince an art director to buy and manufacture them. Whether you want to make small PVC toys, collectible statues, or larger high-end collectibles, Pop Sculpture offers step-by-step demos and words of wisdom from the pros.
RUBÉN PROCOPIO has contributed to more than 25 Disney animated features, including The Little Mermaid and The Lion King. He founded Masked Avenger Studios in 2003 to expand his sculpting, design, and comic book illustration services.
ZACH OAT is the editor of TelevisionwithoutPity.com, a popular TV and movie criticism website. He is former editor of ToyFare magazine and was the original “toy wrangler” for Robot Chicken on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim.
TIM BRUCKNER, one of the pioneers of the comics/fantasy toy field has worked for companies such as Kenner, Gentle Giant and DC Direct, where he designed and sculpted the DC Dynamics statues.
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I have several reservations:
1. From the text I could not understand how "pivot joints" and "ball joints" would hold a figure together. It appeared that articulated figures joined in this manner would easily fall apart. Probably this isn't true, but the process as explained is not completely clear and I would like much more detail.
2. There was not much material on sculpting with epoxy clays, which I see as very valuable and versatile material, less messy and demanding than wax or clay, usable both by hobbyists making or modifying a single character and by production modelers. I find such clays to be both cleaner, less expensive (for permanent pieces) and easier to work than the materials the book primarily focused on.
3. It would have been helpful if the book had included a comprehensive resource list, identifying many suppliers and providing web site links.
4. It would have been helpful if the book had included a bibliography of recommended further readings.
5. The book did not include a great deal of information on sculpting techniques. I suspect sculpting small parts accurately and in proportion will be difficult for many beginning sculptors. Such information is important.
I suggest the Katherine Dewey book on "Lifelike figures in polymer clay" as a companion reference- Amazon apparently agrees.
I recommend the "Smooth-On" "Polytek" and "Alumilite" websites as rich sources for more information on modeling, molding, and casting with modern plastic materials. Look at the pictures, watch the viddies, and LEARN!! There is much more to RTV silicone molding than the present book book presented.
I am especially impressed by Smooth-On's epoxy modeling putties in various hardnesses and densities.
Also check out "Douglass & Sturgess" web site as a source of bulk sculpting wax and many other media and tools- they are happy to talk to you and answer your questions by telephone- and look up "Monster Clay" on the Internet as an inexpensive alternative to Castilene modeling products.
That said, immediately after reading this book I went to my friendly neighborhood comic shop (they also carry figures), and recommended they stock the book and display it prominently. Buy this book- then keep sculpting and keep reading!!
This book has some really good tips and techniques with various materials for the hands on sculptor. The main sculpting author is an extremely talented sculptor who works well in wax and the book reflects this method. He describes some of the materials that you may wish to use in your wax and then gives a couple very disappointing generic wax recipes. As a wax sculptor the author could have certainly given more recipes and it would still take the average person quite awhile to sort out what suits their sculpting style. For example I add talc as a filler to my sculpting wax for sculpting dolls. In the past I cut my teeth sculpting in wood and prefer to use some wood sculpting tools. Talc is mentioned as a possible ingredient, but after reading this book you may never really give it a second look when mixing up a batch of wax.
I wish the book had more information for the reader on joints of action figures and dolls.
The actual how to sculpt section is week, but in the authors defense for most people it is hard to describe to someone the finer points of sculpting. I would recommend Philippe Faraut, his books and videos describe how to sculpt extremely well.
Overall it seems more geared towards garage kits than action figures, if that's you bag you'll absolutely love this book. If you are a action figure or doll sculptor It's a book to own, but far from your only book.
As far as picking this book up to start a career in sculpting. There will always be a place for hand sculpted art, however the commercial sculptural art field is getting smaller and smaller each year. For commercial use laser scanners and 3-d printers are at the very beginning of the future. In ten years they will be the death of this field in all but a few old school mom and pop operations. Even then the mom and pop operations will probably use some of the newer technology. If I were a young sculptor just starting out, I would want to understand how things were done in the past, but lean more towards the newer technology.