I Know What You Did CAST Summer

(Maybe the worst pun-title on this blog ever, and that’s saying something.)

Last summer I drew an Autobot symbol on my co-worker’s son’s cast. You can see that HERE.

Well, as it happened, he had to have his cast re-done before his arm completely healed, so I ended up doing a second cast-drawing for him. However, I was in the midst of the commission-frenzy last summer and had no time to post a photo of it. And then I just plain forgot about it. Well, here it is (and don’t worry, the kid’s arm is totally okay now!):

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Art by me. Child courtesy of Blabidibla, photos by Ruth666.

This cast was a different material, and the deep blue color made drawing on it difficult, so I put down a layer of white paint first. After that dried, I sketched out my drawing, and filled it out in marker. The first cast-sketch was definitely better executed, but this one has a better concept (AUTOBOT GAUNTLET OF POWERRR).


(After this one, 4 missed posts to make up!)

5-Second Review: "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" (Plus Bonus Art!)

Did you know that I’m that guy? I’m the guy who whenever there’s Transformers related news (new film, new cartoon, new video game, etc), everyone I know comes to me. I’m like… the only Transformers pundit my circle of friends is acquainted with. So how could I not review…

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Transformers: Dark of the Moon (In theaters now!)

Man, after watching this movie, I’m all: O_O

As in shellshocked. Very intense.

Basically, it’s Michael Bay, you should know what you’re getting into, so don’t be hating. This one is better than the second one, and not as good as the first. If you’ve seen the other two, you have a good idea where your opinion will fall.

It’s a 4 hour plot crammed into a ~2.5 hour movie, and I felt like we were only watching every other scene–the burden is on the viewer to fill in the blanks in many instances. But you get what you’re there for: crazy intense robot battles, hot cars, one hot girl, and plenty of ‘splosions.

As promised by Bay himself, the toilet humor is pretty much gone (there were maybe three toilet humor jokes, and some innuendo, but nothing even as bad as the masturbation conversation in the first movie). And with that little modification, I did find myself enjoying almost every joke that was cracked.

Like the second movie, this one suffers from too many new robots with too little characterization. Let me rephrase that… there’s no such thing as too many robots, but let’s see some personality, yes? The old school cartoon had a cast of dozens, with distinct personalities established within the first handful of episodes. On the Decepticon side, the hordes of grey Genericons (some of whom were supposed to be “somebody”) were pretty dismissable.

Another notable downside carried over from the second movie–Optimus Prime’s moral compass goes beyond the Mortal Kombat mark, when it should really be closer to the Superman mark.

My last two complaints:
1) Why are Transformers so hairy and gooey? You’ll see what I mean.
2) They are referred to as Transformers in dialogue, which is a huge faux pas to me. Transformers is the name of the franchise dude, not the race. They’re Cybertronians. I know, pretty nerdy, right? Hi ladies.


Verdict: Come on, who are you talking to here? It’s me, Transformers fan numbah one. It was Awesome. Good pacing, intense action. I’m not downplaying the movie’s faults, but like I said, we all know what we’re getting into. If you can acknowledge significant flaws without letting it bum you out, and you’re looking for some robo-centric eye candy, then go for it.

For More Giant Robots Getting Blowed Up Good: Real Steel is coming out in October, and oh my god it looks stupid and also, why do I have to wait until October??? ROBOTS NOW PLZ. K thx.

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That was more like a 500 second review, but oh well. In unrelated Transformers news, I did this for my co-worker’s son:

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Autobot insignia drawn by me. Child courtesy of Blabidibla, photo by Ruth666.


I set up another Sculpey project for my niece and I, very similar to last year’s project. It’s not just the Year of the Rabbit, it’s the Year of the METAL Rabbit, so I chose a robotic rabbit as our subject. Here are the results:

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The gold rabbit with the red eyes is mine, the silver one with the dark blue eyes is my niece’s, and the terra cotta one at the bottom is the prototype that I made while planning the project. If you’re curious about the process, please check out last year’s project (the process we used for this year was very similar). I would point out that my rabbit has extra “rivets” in the ears–I wasn’t sure how I felt about that (maybe it’s too busy?), so I didn’t have my niece add that to her sculpture. All in all, I think these turned out nicely!

One of my brothers-in-law observed that the rabbits have a Cylon-esque quality. However, knowing myself, if there’s any subconscious sci-fi influence at work here, it’s probably from the Daleks! For the record, if this post had been made a month later, the title would have been EASTERMINATE!!!

I’m back, but more importantly: TRON x STAR WARS

Very briefly: I’m going to start posting again, but I think I’m going to ease into it first… let’s see how one post a week goes until I get back into the swing of things, shall we? I’ll talk a little bit about my hiatus in a future super-boring post, but for now (if anyone still reads this thang), let’s just get right back to the main event: ridiculously dorky nerd art.

So, Dave and I were talking about Tron and Star Wars action figures, and the following happened:

6:40:11 PM ME: so i opened my white light cycle
6:40:14 PM ME: and it’s awesome
6:40:21 PM ME: but i had two thoughts
6:40:39 PM ME: 1) white light cycle would match ackbar’s white uniform
6:40:42 PM ME: or
6:41:12 PM ME: 2) blue lights would match a blue mon calamari, but i would have to put the mon cal head on a tron body w/ blue lights
6:41:16 PM ME: ._.
6:41:18 PM ME: just sayin

6:41:35 PM DAVE: lol
6:41:37 PM DAVE: oh man
6:41:46 PM DAVE: you ponder that some more
6:41:47 PM DAVE: or DRAW IT
6:41:52 PM DAVE: and put it on your sketch blog
6:42:06 PM DAVE: omg
6:42:13 PM DAVE: i basically just gave you that for free

6:42:15 PM ME: O_O
6:42:18 PM ME: NICE

And thus was born a custom figure created from Star Wars action figure Ibtisam (info/figure) and Tron: Legacy action figure Sam Flynn (info):

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I’m not an experienced customizer by any means, so this was a pretty basic head and arm swap. First, I used the boil-and-pop method to remove the relevant body parts from the original figures. Ibtisam’s forearms plugged right into Sam Flynn’s elbows, but as a result the custom’s arms are a bit short. The socket in Ibtisam’s head was too big, so I bummed some Epoxy putty off of Hammers to partially fill in the socket, and then used the superglue method to make the ball joint fit tightly. Aaand then I drew this:

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So, for those of you keeping track at home:

  • I have purchased Tron: Legacy toys.
  • I have made a custom Tron Calamari figure.
  • I have drawn dorky fan-art of Tron Calamari.
  • I am listening to the Tron: Legacy soundtrack at home, in my car, and at work.
  • I have been flipping through the pages of the Tron: Legacy artbook.
  • I have not seen the movie yet…
  • … but have tickets for a 3D IMAX screening on Saturday morning.

It feels good to blog again. If you’re reading this, thank you.

Not Quite Cuckoo

I’ve been itching to get back to some sculpting, and finally had a chance over the long weekend. This was supposed to be a cuckoo, but the crest got a bit too big, and instead it looks like some kind of gold-colored cardinal:

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The burnt tips on the crest and tail feathers are strictly a happy accident–I let this thing cook for too long! The gold Premo Sculpey that I used was a bit harder and slightly more crumbly than the other types of Sculpey I’ve tried, and unfortunately there were a few cracks after the baking. I don’t think volume or size was the problem, as my previous tiger project had no cracks whatsoever (the bird is just under 2 inches tall, while the tiger is closer to 3 inches tall, and obviously much longer). The transition between the neck and chest is somewhat awkward, and the head got flattened a bit along the way, but overall I’m pretty happy with how this turned out.

Sculpting is a lot of fun. Maybe it’s because it’s a change of pace, or because I’m not so familiar with the process of it, but I find the whole experience to be really relaxing. Hopefully I’ll be able to set aside some more sculpting time in the near future!


Changing it up a bit today–step into the third dimension with me, won’t you?

Knowing in advance that I would be watching over my seven-year-old niece on the day of of Chinese New Year’s Eve, I planned a little art project for the two of us. All it took was some Sculpey (colors: terra cotta, white, and black), thin wooden dowels (to internally support the connection between the head and body), some beads (for the eyes), two wooden plaques, and some high-strength adhesive (to glue the beads in, and to glue the finished tiger to the wooden plaque):

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The top two rows are photos of the tiger that I sculpted, the third row is my niece’s excellent work, and the fourth row is the partially finished prototype that I sculpted a few days prior to project-day.

To break it down quickly–I sketched out the rough geometric shapes that would be necessary to build the tiger, and then built a partial prototype to make sure that it would be do-able, and made some basic notes about how much Sculpey would be necessary for each part. I planned out the project so that I would sculpt along with my niece, showing her along the way how to make each component.

On project-day, the first components that I sculpted with my niece were the claws, teeth, nose, and inner ear. We baked those pieces first, so that they could be easily inserted into the un-baked components. After that we sculpted all the white parts, then the orange (terra cotta) parts. Next, we assembled the components, and lastly sculpted the black parts and added those last. It was important to move from the lightest colors to the darkest, because Sculpey leaves just enough residue on your hands to stain the other colors. It was inevitable that some of the white would get stained, but the results would have been a lot messier if we had started with black.

My niece did a great job–she really didn’t need much help creating the components, except for the stripes, which were all cut by me. I think you can tell in the application of the stripes that she and I were both starting to feel fatigue, and I sort of rushed us through that part because I just wanted to finish the project while I still had her attention.

After the sculpting and assembling, we made indentations in the head with “decoy” beads in the spots where we wanted the eyes to be. We removed the beads, and then baked our almost-finished sculptures. I didn’t want to bake the beads, because I didn’t know how the heat would affect the plastic. And I threw away the “decoy” beads, because they now had residue from the black sculpy on them.

After the sculptures baked, we let them cool, and we each picked out eye colors from the bag of multi-colored beads. My niece chose a lighter sky-blue, while I opted for a mid-range blue/cyan. I don’t trust seven-year-olds with high-strength adhesive, plus at this point her attention was fully absorbed by Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets playing on TV, so I attached the eyes for both sculptures, and then fixed each tiger to its wooden base.

If you compare the finished pieces to the prototype, you can see that the prototype actually has a better, more defined torso. I can only attribute this to the fact that I didn’t have the time to fine tune each piece on project-day, but overall I think things turned out well, and it was a lot of fun. I’m a so-so sculptor at age thirty-decrepit, but my niece is advanced at age seven!

Cardboard and Co-Workers

A little something different for today…

If you work in an office anything like mine, there are two realities that you will understand. Co-workers and impromptu crafts.

Any office will experience occasional lulls, and it’s during these times that you look at whatever materials are lying around the office and find a way to craft them into artifacts of boredom reduction. In the case of my office, we often receive and send things, which means boxes, which means cardboard. Sometimes I simply put a cardboard tube on my arm and pretend I’m a cyborg, but other times I draw Skeletor’s torso on a cardboard poncho, and pretend I am the Lord of Destruction. There have been paper moustaches, dioramas of Peeps murdering each other, styrofoam capes and boas, dog snouts made of paper cups, and more. For years, two cardboard box lids with happy faces hung on the wall in front of my desk. I only recently took them down because I want to preserve them somehow (perhaps by having them mounted on wood blocks).

Accompanying you on these lulls and cardboard larks, are your co-workers–the people who are in the trenches with you everyday, the people who you see more than almost anyone else, and the people who understand your countless in-jokes. In my case, these are the people who understand that when I walk up to their desk, and they ask me how I am doing, I will punch myself in the stomach, make a fake barf noise, and they will reply, “I hear ya.”

Yesterday was the last day of a co-worker and good friend of mine, who’s moving on to bigger and better. Erroneously, she had decided that she was sad about leaving–so I realized quickly that I am by far the awesomest thing in the office, and manufactured this cardboard android as a substitute co-worker to accompany her in her new endeavors:

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I had always intended to make an occasional foray into three-dimensional art on this blog, but here I am finally doing it. This crude standee stands about a foot tall, was sketched on a dismantled Fed-Ex box, detailed with magic markers, cut with ordinary old scissors, and assembled with packing tape and a single conspicuous brass brad.