2D to 3D



I started this project a wile back mostly for personal reason but also sort of as a way to have a three dinensional model for me to look at for some of my characters I draw more often than others.  I wanted a visual aid so I could correctly illustrate some of the more awkward angles and make it look like my illustrations where not just made up compleatly in my head with invented anatomy.  I also just wanted to have my own toys of my own characters because I thought it would be cool.


I think this project took on a little bit of its own life and most of my artist comrades have had the best reaction to this side of my work.  Most think these pieces are more interesting than anything else I have done.


Fist and foremost these pieces I would consider toys and I have had an obsession with toys for as long as I can remember.   Being that they are toys I wanted them to look kind of toy-like and remove them from the side of the current high end toy works where human figures have become ultra realistic and I Believe have fallen way too far into the uncanny valley.   I don’t know if these look uncanny or not but I tried to get them to look as much like my 2D art as I could and give them a stylized “animated” look.



There are a few companies I think are currently making toys that are very toy-like and even very art-like in their style, sculpt, and design of their end product.  The first is ThreeA headed by artist Ashley Woode.  I think their stuff is top notch as far as a designer toy company still making really cool looking stuff that id definitely not made for kids.  the only thing of theirs Im not too keen on is their human head sculpts, I feel they are too blocky and simplified for my taste but that is not even a critique, I think it is actually something that sets them apart as being unique, for me it is just a personal taste.  The second toy company is Square-Enix of Japan, I really love how their figures are over sculpted and their proportions are over exaggerated with a cross between very anime like and very statuesque.  The third company is Medicom also of Japan and particularly their Real Action Heros line of 1/6 scale figures.  All the figures they produce have a slight cartoon quality to them, even some of the figures from live action licenses.  I kept a little bit of these styles in mind when I was sculpting the likenesses of my characters.


I also feel that when designing pieces like this a little bit of the Wabi-Sabi design asthetich needs to be taken in, in the way that a piece should take advantage of the materials it is made of.  If it is resin and plastic then it should look resin and plastic.  In this way I feel if it is a toy, then it should be a toy.  It should make you want to play with it, or examen it, or evoke your child like side even if you are an adult.


Now as far as what I have actually worked on with these pieces, the heads ad feet are all sculpted from scratch and hand cast and hand painted by me.  I made them to fit onto a stock 1/6 scale body manufactured in Hong Kong.  I would have sculpted the hands as well to get them to more match my art work but I wanted them to be functional and be soft enough to hold weapons and optional pieces, so I ripped hands off of other figures.  The clothing is mostly from customizing kits from Asia, the 1/6 scale hobby market is pretty big which is helpful.  I tailored some pieces to get them to better fit the figures and also weathered everything to make it look more worn and less “fresh off the shelf” looking.  Last the actual bodies the figures are made for are stock of the shelf.  If I could have I would have sculpted them myself to get the proportions exactly on point, however like I mentioned with the hands I wanted something that was functional and could move with out the risk of it breaking easily.  Is it cheating to use pieces from the shelf? I don’t know really but I think the end result still looks pretty close to my drawings so Im pretty ok with it.


One of my good artist friends said about these, “These I want to take out and play with, take out all the pieces and switch all the extra parts around, interact with it.  A vinyl toy and something in a fixed pose mite look cool and it belongs on my shelf but in an hour I mite forget its there.”  No disrespect to sofubi toys, I really like those too but I thought that was a really interesting take on pieces like this.

Shukuteki_06Daruma went from West to East, a traveler who brought wisdom and martial arts to Asia.  Shukuteki goes East bringing mystery and firearms.

Shukuteki_05This is Shukuteki, I draw him all the time.  He’s a Westerner going East, a cowboy ronin.

Nemesis_Samurai03This is Shukuteki’ frenemy, Nemesis.  He’s from the East, a Shogun gunslinger.  These two are also more “realistically” proportioned versions of the same two figures I have been producing for sale over the last few years.

Skukuteki_Nemesis_onesixthscaleTop leaft size comparison, I didn’t just use the same body for each character.  Nemesis should be about 6’1″ and be fairly muscular whereas Shukuteki ahould be about 5’10” and slim, like Bruce Lee!  Nemesis here is about 12.5″ tall and Shukuteki is about 11.9″ making the height difference scale down pretty accurate.

I would like to put up some better pictures of these guys soon with better lighting and better backgrounds.  I have a few more figures in the scale in the works as well.  These guys also have back stories too which I will post more of little by little.

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