Happy Bew Year!

With the new year comes a new Scottoons character figure… Bew. Bews are fun-loving spooks that like to play, laugh, and sometimes cause mischief. The first set, Micro Bews, are 1 inch tall resin figures. No two Micro Bews are ever the same. Each one is hand-cast and hand-painted with an expression of its very own. Pricing and availability coming soon. Keep watching to see what else comes out of the Scottoons Bewery!

Sketchbot Custom Show V2

It’s high time for an update. I’ve been busy busy busy. The Monmouth Museum opening was fantastic!
The Summoner is still there. If you are in or near New Jersey, go check it out! There are some very cool pieces in this Art from Found Objects juried show.

Some new Scottoons pieces are in the works for some upcoming events. The main one is a custom piece based on the Sketchbot blank by Steve Talkwoski. My piece will be just one of many in the Sketchbot Custom Show V2 which features over 70 artists! Sketchbot is a cool figure in of itself, so the show should be phenomenal I can’t wait to see all the different takes by all the participating artists.


Here are some sneak peeks at my customization:



Scottoons Custom Sketchbot teaserSketchbot custom vinyl figure teaser #2Sneak peek #3 of Scottoons custom Sketchbot pieceScottoons custom Sketchbot teaser #4

BEFORE:

photo by Steve Talkowski

AFTER:

?

Stay tuned... >:)

Snooty the Panic Bot

Snooty the Panic Bot

“Snooty” the Panic Bot is a robot assemblage sculpture made from recycled found objects. Snooty detects surrounding situations which register on his Calm-O-Meter. He warns everyone when danger is present. He even taught Doctor Zachary Smith’s Robot how to panic. Ironically, when Snooty blasts his vuvuzela-esque warning horn it causes his Calm-O-Meter to detect more environmental chaos making him freak out even more, throwing him into an infinite loop of pure panic.

Snooty the Panic Bot

Snooty's Calm-O-Meter

RUN AWAY! RUN AWAY!

Toy2R 15th Anniversary World Tour – Qeeology 2.5

From the Qee blog:

Toy2R USA and Local Hero Design proudly present the Qeeology 2.5 Exhibit on May 7th, a unique show featuring over 100 customized 2.5″ Qees from more than 70 artists from across the globe. From Poland, Germany, Canada, the United Kingdom, Spain, and multiple states in the USA – this is truly an international event. The first “little” Qee show is the next leg of the 15th Anniversary World Tour celebrating Toy2R’s milestone anniversary in the designer art toy genre.

This exhibit features some highly recognizable artists as well as new up and coming stars. Qeeology 2.5 presents original Qee customs by Pocket Wookie, RSIN, Plaseebo, DrilOne, Leecifer, WuzOne, Gawein Customs, OsirisOrion, Tony Depew, Aaron Jarzynka, Albert Art, babyvtec, Sneaky Raccoon, Fried Gold Productions, Audrey Smith, Ben Swift, Lysol 13, B.A.L.D., Caroline David, Robot Luv, Cathy Solarano, Chris Dyer, KiLL!, Chris.o.saur, ciah-ciah, Colin Mohnacs, CRZ PRZ, Drew Hoffman, Erik Jorgensen, SINNED, Slobot, Dr. Krinkles, Hans Yim, A Little Stranger, Fuller Designs, Jamie Fales, Jan Huling, Jason Ables, Bleeding Edges, Jeremie Memming, Jim Koch, Joe Scarano, Oakley Jason, Rampage Toys, Joemm Blanche, Kelly Vetter, Acrylicana, Kim Mayhem, Kyle Meyer, Larry Greyczik, Barry O’Neil, Groucho, Lisa Rae Hansen, I Got Sole, Matt Connelly, Nicole Gustafsson, Owen Dewitt, Peter Worth, Quan Vu, Phil T Hunter, Blinky, Rio McCarthy, Roger Buchholz, Ryan Glass, Droppixel, Sandra Sommers, William Long, Monsterbot Studios, Scott Sauer, Todd Robertson, Ryan Minard, Valerie Gudell, and Ryan Holt

…and here’s the piece I entered:

The completion of ChefBot

(continued from The making of a ChefBot)

From the work in progress report of ChefBot, I had just attached his arms and was describing his hands. As I mentioned I had been experimenting with copper tubing, rivets, and washers to come up with some hands. In the picture you can see the result.

After assembling two hands, I dipped the fingertips in Plasti Dip by Performix. It’s mainly used for making rubber handle grips for pliers and other hand tools. I taped off each finger about a quarter-inch from the end and dipped. Once dry, I cut around the edge of the tape to get a clean line and removed the tape and excess plastic.

A note on the holder in the photo: I needed the hands to dry in a specific position so the liquid plastic wouldn’t run down the fingers. I didn’t have anything that would hold them inverted so I made something. It was simple, yet very effective. All I did for this was to loop a length (about two feet) of Romex 12/2 wire in a circle (which becomes the base) then bring the ends up and bend them 90 degrees. This is just some wire I already had. I stripped the outer shielding off to reveal the three wires. This worked great and cost me nothing! Even after this build I’ve used the wire to hold pieces for painting, gluing, etc. I’ve used the Third-Hand type of mechanical holders before, but the wire allows me exact positioning without having to loosen or tighten wing nuts. Any semi-stiff wire you have around could probably work just as well. The Romex works great with the multi-wires serving as fingers.

The many arms of ChefBot
ChefBot eye

While waiting for the hands to dry, I primed and painted the mixer-body and assembled all the hands/tools. I used hot glue to fix the utensils in place. I popped the arms together and got ready for the more challenging part, the uniform. I put that off in a master stroke of procrastination by concentrating on ChefBot’s eyeball. While I zoned out on the painting details, I let my brain work its imagination engine on a solution for the clothes.

That kinda-sorta worked. A definite well-formed solution had not come to fruition, however I did have a quasi-plan for making the outfit. I first researched chef wear online. So I knew I wanted the checked pants and plain white shirt or jacket and white toque hat (had to stay away from the cliche poofy chef hat). All the fabric stores I visited didn’t carry a suitable hounds-tooth pattern that was small enough for ChefBot’s scale. Once again, when I can’t find something I’m after, I make it. Going back to our pal, the Internet, I downloaded a hounds-tooth swatch. I scaled it down, duplicated, and patched it together in Photoshop then printed it on T-shirt transfer paper. That got ironed on to an old shirt and cut out to wrap around the lower portion of the robot. While not super easy, it was fairly simple. The jacket, not so much.

A bit of nostalgia floated around as I drew and cut patterns for the little chef jacket. It took me back to my puppet making days when I was much younger. Mom had taught me how to use her sewing machine and that’s when my monster making really took off. The Muppet Show was a huge influence. I made all sorts of people and creatures. So the actual pattern making and sewing were no problems. It was a teeny bit tedious making eight tiny sleeves with cuffs. So as not to stray too far off the robot-path, I decided on rivets instead of buttons for the sleeves and front panel. After the intricacies of the jacket, the hat wasn’t so complicated after all, just a pleated strip with two cuffs.

My chef friend, Matt, and I have always joked about the corporate world and their superfluous use of fancy-pants terms that don’t particularly fit their products or services. The main trend we saw was the use of the word Systems. Any time you want to sound like a big shot, just tack on the word systems. Instead of a garden hose, you can now sell a Landscaping Watering System! Voila! We saw it in movies too: Cyberdyne Systems Corporation from the Terminator series, for example. Another gem from corporate America is Synergy. After further joking and bantering we came up with SynerMuffin Heavy Industries, which, I am sure, offers a complete line of Industrial Culinary Cybernetic Systems! So I made a logo and printed out a tiny shirt transfer.

I finished off ChefBot with a TransBeam ThermoScanner (old indicator light which happened to fit perfectly), a headband, an egg, some trim around the bottom of the pants, and finally a signature.

Matt, thank you for a great and challenging assignment. ChefBot was a lot of fun to work on and spurred some more great ideas (and impromptu tools) during his assembly. ChefBot is my biggest robot sculpture to date.

The making of a ChefBot

A good friend of mine, Matt, is an excellent chef. He’s always refining his cooking skills with more and more culinary studies. He has commissioned me to create a chef robot, which we aptly named ChefBot.

One of Matt’s requests was for ChefBot to break the cliche chef statue attributes: short fat guy with a mustache holding a plate of spaghetti. I knew right off that this robot’s main parts would need to be something found in a kitchen. It only makes sense, right? So in keeping with Matt’s request and my gut feeling, I went in search of a kitchen item that would fit the bill. A drink mixer!

On a warm, sunny weekend I went to a flea market that was having a swap meet in the front parking lot. I found some cool, wonky wrenches, but no mixer outside. After getting the wrenches I headed inside knowing I’d find the main part of the new robot. Sure enough, past the musty smelling Barbie doll graveyard and around the corner from the lacquered slabs of wood depicting loverly scenes of cabins and barns with clocks where waterwheels would be, I found it! There he was, the unsuspecting future ChefBot. It was meant to be.

I picked up some other treasures in the flea market as well… some kitchen utensils, skewers, and a tackle/organizer box with miscellaneous washers and metal bits. I passed on the decaying Barbies. I’m sure it’s safer for everyone if they stay taped in their individual sandwich baggies. With my new found robot parts I was able to get started. I needed arms though.

New idea for robot arms...

New idea for robot arms… by Scottoons

I have a vision of ChefBot with several long, serpentine, metal arms flailing all about with surgical precision dissecting meats and vegetables, prepping a whole meal in a matter of minutes. The FUTURE of COOKING!

So, yeah… arms. My original thought was the bendy parts of gooseneck desk lamps. I found a few lamps at a thrift store. I quickly found out it was going to be tough to get just the bendy portions apart, much less find several more with the same lengths. I remembered a whole different material I saw on a post from a tool blog, Toolmonger (great site, by the way). It was a modular hose which came in separate Lego-like pieces that you could use to shoot air at your drill press or other piece of machinery to blow the waste debris away from your work. I did some searching and found Loc-Line pieces which work great for the arms!

I sculpted a chef’s knife out of a two-part compound clay called Magic-Sculpt. Great stuff! You mix equal parts resin and hardener and work it like modeling clay. Then you simply let it dry over night and it cures extremely strong. You can then carve and sand it and paint it. Like I said, great stuff!

I’ve added two more arms, making him an octo-bot (maybe he can get on Oprah). I carved on a wooden spoon for one hand, chef knife for another, whisk becomes a third hand, and a hand mixer beater for a fourth. I cut down one of the skewers so he has an opposing fork hand to compliment the knife. Hm, haven’t quite decided what the sixth hand will be yet. I am designing the remaining two robot hands to have finger-like pincers. I’ve been experimenting with riveting copper tubing together to create two fingers and a thumb that hinge. ChefBot needs to be able to crack eggs and add spices… how can you have a pinch of salt if you have no extremities to pinch with?!

While the robot-manufacturing is going on, I’ve been dreaming up his outfit. It’s not easy coming up with a pattern for a chef’s jacket to go on an eight-armed robot! We’ll just have to see how that comes out. As I continue working on him, I’ll continue to document the creation of ChefBot.
(now continued on The completion of ChefBot)

Tituz – Scottoons collab

tituz_scottoons_collab

tituz_scottoons_collab, originally uploaded by titus leibing.

Tituz (www.tituz.de) has started a great collaboration project with select artists and character designers. It’s called the Monster Totem Pole Fun Project. I am honored to be a part of it. I am anxious to see what the other artists add and to see the other pieces!


Making of Impy: a Scottoons custom Mini Munny

I always enjoy seeing the process and individual steps artists take when they create their pieces. Not only is it fascinating to see what goes on “behind the scenes” of their pieces, but it’s quite inspiring too. There’s something wonderful about seeing the creative process that gets me motivated to do some creating of my own. Since I take such pleasure in viewing others’ techniques, I thought I’d share mine. Who knows, maybe it will inspire you!

Scottoons custom devil Munny

Impy
The initial concept was to modify a kidrobot Mini Munny into a swingin’, martini drinkin’, cigar smokin’ hip-imp, one who’s too cool for full-fledged demon status.

I started out sketching directly on the vinyl figure. Once I had the face laid out I began sculpting the main features; nose, brows, horns and beard. I also added points to his ears.

For the relief modeling I use Magic-Sculpt, a two-part epoxy putty that comes as separate resin and hardener. You mix it 1-to-1 and it hardens at room temperature. It’s truly some wonderful stuff. You can smooth it with water and work it with your hands and art tools. After it’s cured (in about an hour depending on room temp) it is easy to sand and paint. After the face, I shaped hooves and a tail.

The stock Mini Munny arms can rotate forward and backward a bit and allow room for the accessories they come with, but not necessarily for a martini glass. I cut the peg off of the right arm and sculpted my own fitting at the end so Impy can hold is ‘tini out to the side. While the new arm piece was curing I sanded and painted the other pieces. I use acrylic paints. I like the quick drying time of acrylics. Tool handles and paintbrushes in the small holes of the pieces worked great for handling and drying. It allows you to rotate and paint the parts without touching the wet paint. To dry, just put the tools in a cup or jar with the parts sticking out the top.

After the purple base coat dried, I applied the base blue for his suit, and white for his devilish toothy grin. I also primed his eyes. This figure came with the pitchfork accessory. I didn’t want to leave it stock so I carved and nicked it up and painted it to resemble wood. Later I decided he was too cool for toting around an old wooden pitchfork. Wouldn’t want to cramp his style, so the pitchfork got pitched. Suit details came next. I painted cuffs, shirt, tie, and buttons. The eyes took a few painting and waiting-to-dry steps. First a yellow tint going more opaque toward the edges, then a green iris, and finally a darker green ring around the iris.

I painted light purple highlights on his brows, horns, and beard. When everything was dry, I used a Faber-Castell PITT artist pen (size B) to outline his eyes, define his teeth, and stripe his suit. I like that marker because it’s filled with waterproof Indian ink and has a brush-like tip. I then painted the shadows in his teeth. The cigar is made out of Magic-Sculpt and painted with acrylics. I used the same marker-pen on the ashes. I created the martini glass from a small plastic part for the stem and layers of clear packing tape for the top. I made a tiny olive out of Magic-Sculpt and whittled down a toothpick to the proper size. The martini is a cocktail of awful smelling Quick Hold Craft all-purpose contact adhesive.

That sums up this peek into the making of a Scottoons custom Mini Munny figure. I hope you enjoy reading about it as much as I do others’ works. Cheers!

New arrivals: Mini Munny and Mythos Buddies



Some new blanks recently arrived! Yay! Ideas are already spinning in my head. The glasses accessory for the Mini Munny is new to me, so that will be neat and fun to create something with them. This will also be my first Mythos Buddies custom. I’m not quite sure what I’m going to do with him yet, I like his wings and claw hands. Since they shipped together, they’ve probably already formed some kind of talking box-to-box kind of bond. So perhaps they’ll be created as a pair.