Monday, March 19, 2007

Rockman, Shmockman Part Three: "Head Trauma"

Before I begin to talk about how we made the head, let me first comment on how we decided on which Rockman to make:

Even though The Thing himself is technically a human in form, we were able to take a few liberties on how tall, wide & large he is because of how many styles/versions/incarnations the character has gone through over the years. You can see how many different kinds of Things there are below:

As you can see, each Thing is completely different from another. In some, the hands are enormous & the head is tiny, others have jaws & brows protruding out more & some of the Thing's muscles are so large he looks like a sumo wrestler. & these are only a few of them! When deciding on which version of the character to use for the sculpture, we decided to go with the classic 60's Thing like in the picture below.

Once we got the design downpat, we were able to start construction.

Along with the hands, the head was probably the biggest pain in the ass. Like in all paintings, photos, & in this case sculptures, the face is the first (if not the only) part that the observer focuses on with the most concentration. If the head is even slightly "off-model", it will throw off the rest of the piece, especially if it's supposed to be a human one.

Now it's time for the juicy stuff:

We decided to start off with a metal ring since that is what the head is shaped like (duh). Using various lengths of metal rod, we estimated where the eyes, jaw & brow would be on the head, as well as how wide & how deep it is.

In this picture, I am heating & bending the mouth into shape. Here, the mouth is nearly as wide as the head itself. My father & I both believed later on that he looked too much like a fish, so we chopped the mouth in thirds, threw out the middle piece & reattached the ends to make a smaller, better looking mouth like this:
At first, we added the nuts just for reference on where the eyes would be positioned. Eventually we kept them in. Why?... 'cause it looks good.

After we reinforced the wireframe...
...& shaped the eye sockets, mouth & cheeks...
...we began to plate the head:
Like the hands, the face/head was extremely difficult to work around. Even though there aren't as many nooks & crannies as the hands, it still filled us both with frustration.
It took us about 3-4 hours to get to this point:
& another 2-3 to plate the rest. We then added a temp. nose made out of an old pipe connector & VOILA! The head was done!
-Now that the hands, feet & head were complete, it was now time to start making a body to put them on. More on that next time! Stay tuned!

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