Hello there everyone !
The time for the official release of the Sludge Demon is coming very soon, I'm super excited and want to thank everyone for the kind words and support ^_^ !
I've been waiting to post up a full recap on this guy from start to finish before the official release. Now that he is in the vinyl stage and soon to be in my hands I think its time to do so.
First off I would like to say that I wish I had some concept sketches, but I just don't. I never actually drew up anything design wise for this guy. Like the Cyclops monster I pretty much just grabbed the clay and started sculpting with the ideas I have in my head.
For the Sludge Demon I knew that I wanted a toy that was smaller in size, but not to small. I knew I wanted it to be organic and free flowing. I knew that I wanted it to have a human face. And I knew that I wanted it to have that Yokai monster feel.
So with this in mind I decided the size I was looking for, and decided where the figures joint would be and got started.
Knowing that I wanted to keep it a simple 2 pieces design, upper body lower body I decided to create the base first. I wanted to have a good solid footing for the rest of the figure to sit on. So I created a rough base, then moved on the the upper body. Once these where established and roughed in I went onto the face.
To me the most important feature on a toy is the face. Its the face of a toy that I connect with first. I had been wanting to create a toy with a laughing Buddha head for quite some time. I saw that the body and all its boils and bumps where taking shape and realized that Buddha head sculpt I had been wanting to make with its huge ear lobes fit with the boils and bumps of the body, it was the perfect fit for this.
Once I roughed the head in, it was all down to the detail now of making it all work and flow together . Adding and taking away until I thought it was as good as I could get it.
I know I made this sound simple, but its much more involved and time consuming than anything else I have done. Through out this process I grew an entire new respect for sculptors and just how hard this can be. It is a very involved process with plenty of rules, as well as a thin line between making the figure just right and going full overboard. With this said, this has got to be the most rewarding endeavor I've done as an artist to date. Sculpting is my new found addiction and I look at all my toys in a new light.
So take a sec and took a look at a picture time line of how this guy became a figure.
Lest go way back to the beginning and start out with the original sculpt.
This is the oldest picture I have, I know its not a total breakdown, but you will get a feel for the changes made from the beginning up until the end.
Now like I said this isn't the earliest baked sculpt, but the earliest images I have. It was at this stage though that he was pretty much close to finish and will give you a feel for what I had described above.
It was from this point that I positioned the upper and lower exactly how I liked and pegged it. From here it was onto small changes to get the upper body and lower body to flow into each other just that much more.
Here are images of the next stage where if you notice the upper body is set back just a tad as well as the additions mentioned above.
Like I said earlier its very hard what to know to remove or add without overdoing it. But it was from this point that I felt happy that my thoughts where exactly as what I now saw in front of me.
The next step was getting this to the right person that knew how to convert this from sculpt to toy.
Out it went and here are images of the wax prototype. You will now see where the prototyper added the joints to the upper body and lower body so that the figure connected where I had planned and was actually able to swivel.
Now these wax protos are used to make the metal molds ( which I do not have images of) . The joints also serve another purpose, this acts as a pour spout for the master toy maker to pour the vinyl into.
As many of you know making some toys in Japan is still a 100% hands on process. Each part is still hand poured and pulled from the mold by an actual human.
I'm VERY proud to say that I have who I feel is one of the best alive making my toys. Its takes years of knowledge to know how to get the vinyl to the proper thickness needed. Its a science that is only learned by feel and practice and of only which a human hand can produce. Its factors like this that makes Japanese vinyl the best product humanly possible. It still amazes me to know this and just what a master of his craft can produce. I feel there is no machine that will ever be made that can reproduce this.
Take a look at the first two toys pulled from these molds. I'm also VERY happy to say that these where also painted by Maruyama-san. In case you did not know hes the producer and who has also painted quite a few RxH releases. It was an honor that he liked my figure so much that he took to time to throw a little paint on them. It was not asked for, he decided to do this on his own and I'm still amazed by this.
The finished toys stands at 3.25 inches tall by 3.25 inches wide by 3.50 round base wise. Its roughly about the size of an apple or tomato.
I really wanted to have a foot stamp like the vintage toys have. This was my first time creating a toy so the stamp came out a little differently that I had planned. But I think with a possible rub these will look pretty wild.
Now you may also notice that in production we made the decision to position the top half back just ever so slightly to help with stance and balance, as well we smoothed down a few of the boils on the lower back almost unnoticeable to avoid possible air bubbles.
Its changes like these that are almost unnoticeable to anyone besides myself, to get this figure just right. Its small stuff like this that no one knows about that help make the toys you collect that much better.
As for now that's it for Sludgie images. At this point all the pieces I have order are in production as I write this and possibly all finished.
But this is not it ....... !
Maybe your asking well, what did you order for vinyl ? what will some of the releases vinyl look like ?
Well check it out ^_^
First off, I have always been a huge fan of old 70's choppers and the wild paint jobs. A while back I decided that I really wanted to do something with flake vinyl, this was before it was being done by a few toy companies and before I actually had a toy created. Now that is being done a lot I wanted to make my toys a little special. I wanted to incorporate exactly what it was that got me to like heavy metal flake. I have always been a fan of Ed "Big Daddy" Roth, the Rat fink and his crazy creations. Roth is what I feel is the originator of crazy flaked American customs.
If you don't know about Roth, please don't let anyone know, just watch this video :
The metal flake that is going into my toys is made by the Roth family, its Eds son "Lil Daddy" Roth brand !
If anyone knows flake its these guys and I feel its a great way to tie in a Japanese vinyl toy with American metal flake.
I also showed the Roth guys a sample of the LARVAGON I did a while back that I used to test a sample of the flake and they loved it.
Here are a few samples of the heavy metal flake that will be infused in crystal clear vinyl :
Clear with this crazy mix of yellow, red, green flake :
Clear with a cool shade of greens, and blues :
Clear with a mix of purples, blues and silvers :
And clear with a SUPER micro Black metallic dust :
I want to try to bring something new to the flake vinyl toy. I'm really excited to paint these and have some great ideas planned.
In addition to these 4 clear infused, I will also have :
-Glow in the dark
And which finally brings me to a release schedule and pricing ....
The first official release will be a run of 25 different 1 offs painted across these listed vinyl bases. The release will be a blind bag lottery.
Each will come with a surprise little package of goodies. limited edition flyer's, prints, tags, all will be bagged with a 1 off header, possibly even more goodies ! Each will sell for $85.00 plus calculated shipping for either US or outside US.
Regular releases will run between $55.00 to $85.00 depending on the run and its contents. Prices vary due to run size as well as, contents, artist releases, or shop colab.
Releases will also vary between lottery, planed date and time, and surprise attack. I would like to make sure that at some point everyone that wants one will definitely have the oppertunity to do so.
I'm very excited to share this new info with all you guys, much more coming soon in the next 2 months. I hope that you all like what you see ^_^