Mar 16 2010

What a tease!

Brain Teaser

Oh my!

Whatever could this be all about?

Mar 3 2010

“In the works” A step by step guide to the making of a toy. Part 2

The Turnaround.

This is the artwork which will be used by the modelmaker to actually create a 3D version of the figure as a prototype.
Sometimes it will be sculpted by hand, sometimes turned into a virtual 3D render and then outputted to a rapid prototyping machine which generates a resin master form which can them be cleaned up by hand. (But I get ahead of myself.)

I start the turnarounds in pencil in a sketchbook to get it clear in my head and then draw the whole thing out from scratch in a vector drawing program on the computer.
A Turnaround is just what it sounds like. Its views of the figure from various angles to show all the details of the piece and how they relate to each other.
I was sent the vector files of the existing body part I had to build on so started there and built up the rest.


I generally work on all views at the same time so they evolve together, rather than draw the front and then work out the others from that. Its a back and forth process generally refining the details over many passes until it all looks right.
There may be changes that need to be made once the modelmaker starts to work on the piece and finds possible problems such as areas colliding when articulated etc. I have been trained in technical drawing and Industrial Modelmaking though and worked on other peoples prototypes from that perspective for many years so I hope I can forsee most of the problems which may come up and weed them out in this early stage.
The artwork also shows the different parts needed for the toy, but not how each part may have to be broken down further for manufacture.

This artwork is then sent off to the toy company for review.

You may also notice I have locked down the name of the character too by now and had a provisional stab at a packaging logo layout.
It is quite clearly a Gnome. The idea being based on the mythical beings who look after rocks and generally live underground.
I liked the idea of Gnome being an Acronym but felt that was too modern a concept for the design so it became a bit less obvious.
Now he is called the Gyroscopic, Non-Ornamental Mechanised Excavator.
I will give him a more personal name and a backstory later. I am still working on that.

Mar 3 2010

“In the works” A step by step guide to the making of a toy. Part 1

I get asked a lot about how toys get made. The actual process involved and so forth. So I have decided to chronicle the details of a toy I am currently working on.

This is a production piece not a custom work.
I dont show my work-in-progress on my artworks..
I think it spoils the magic.

Luckily these days I get approched by companies who are interested in working with me. Not so long ago I would draw up complicated multi-page idea pitches for new toys and send them out to every company going to see if anyone was interested.
As it was, some were, and various projects got made.
Now people more often than not come to me, which is jolly flattering really.

So it was with a new UK company RAJE Toys. They only set up in November 2009 and intend to hit the ground running.
I know they have other artists on board designing for them right now but I cant talk about that.
Now being a new company it is a bit of a risk going with them as they have no track record. There are a lot of things that can go wrong in the manufacture, packaging, shipping and ditribution of a toy and its all new to them. However they are collectors them selves, have a lot of experience in different areas of the production and retail world and are very enthusiastic. Plus its quite rare to have a company try this in the UK so I thought it a good idea to support them..
Hopefully it all works out.

Their first toy to the market will be Dr. Brain created by artist Jim Frenckingham. (based on an original Munny custom he once did I believe.)
Dr. Brain will stand 7.5″ tall and should retail for $59.95, £39.95 when he is launcged this May. There will be two colorways with a production run of 450 pieces for the regular version and just 50 pieces for the chase.
I think it’s quite an adventurous piece for your first toy. With its transparent parts and ineterchangeable pieces. And should make people take note if they pull it off well.

They asked me to come up with an idea for a design which would use the same body form, but I could add my own new pieces to it.
I chucked around a few ideas and came up with this :


A Steam powered Gnome.
I love the idea that Gnomes are hiding heavy drilling gear under those ubiquitous long pointy hats.
The drawing above is literally a scan from my sketch book with text added. It is purely to give them a very basic idea of what the toy would be about. I didnt spend too long on it or render up a finished digital painting or anything in case it really wasn’t what they wanted.
As it happens, they loved it.
So we moved to the next part.

Drawing up a turnaround……………….

Mar 2 2010

SuperPunch Tarot

The Super Punch website is three years old. And to celebrate they asked a whole gaggle of artists to create a Tarot deck for them.

I got to do one of the Major Arcana……


Hmmmm. Maybe a whole Mechtorians Tarot would be nice…

Pop over to Super Punch and check out the rest of the deck.

Mar 1 2010

Upcoming show