Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Progress Update: The Long and Heavy Road

Time for a bit of backlogged progress notes. I kept these progress images unpublished since I figured I might actually fail at making the Heavy, leaving me with a lot of disappointment and wasted documentation. It's now looking very feasible after doing a few revisions, so I figured it's a good time to show you the progress behind making the Team Fortress Heavy Weapons Guy action figure.

First off, I used this very misleading but useful poster sold at Valve's site as a basis for figuring out how the body was laid out. Naturally, nothing really matched the body structure of a Soldiers of the World figure. Hands were too small, arms and legs of different lengths and girths, and the massive gut. Naturally, I used the tried and true method of tracing the profile images off my LCD (don't try this at home kids, unless you're crazy!) to get reference sketches.

Here's the base figure, with masking tape to cordon off the regions to be sawed off with a hobby saw. You can see the shins, thighs and chest marked off.

The Heavy was planned to be 34 cm tall, 4 cm taller than the base figure. Since I was shortening the legs by about a centimeter or so, I needed to extend the chest by 5 cm in height. Wondering how to do that?

Well, it's Magic!

Here's the first attempt to flesh out the chest. I do say "first" as I redid it properly the second time to correct shape and design flaws. The Heavy's neck is not straight like the other characters, but angled forwards. I estimated it to be at a 30 degree slope from the floor, with the Heavy standing straight. For these older images, it's a really ugly hack job.

Speaking of hack jobs, here's the arms being made. I used tape to mark off boundaries to assist manual saw cutting. Dremel users can probably do this in seconds. Us who like using Amish methods will have to deal. The white tube is the core from thermal printer paper rolls. Why? I had a case of them at work that was going to be thrown out anyways. Now they're my modeling fodder.

Here is the first revision of the Heavy body. Glaring problems with this model:
  • No waist or protruding gut.
  • No transition from the waist to the crotch. Left a sharp edge.
  • Neck at improper angle
Note: I've deleted the previous posts regarding Heavy Progress to mesh better with chronological documentation. Gripes and complaints from said posts will be abridged and retained for your reading dis/pleasure.

Build Revision 2
There was a long lull between Heavy revisions. I bought epoxy from ebay, which took 2 weeks to arrive due to a week long delay before it was mailed out.

I still hold my resentment and hatred of Gamer's Workshop for selling overpriced things, hence refused to waste my gas money to find out where to properly buy epoxy and get it myself than wait for a really slow ebay seller. GRIPE OVER. Epoxy came the day after my gripe, so back to work.

You can see the new gradual transition from the crotch to the chest, and the thicker wrists. The wrists are hollow underneath the Magic card, supported by the ends with rolled up strips of 110lb cardstock. The shape was redone with small 110lb cardstock tubes underneath and Magic cards to form a stiffer outer shell. This photo shows the new angled neck position, with the chest slightly misaligned off center. That has been redone.

1 comment:

Melissa Evangeline Keyes said...

Amazing. My old college friends are sci-fi guys. I went to Art school thinking Renoir, Picasso! and here my classmates were drawing Shadow comics, and idolizing Frank Frazetta.

Your guys are carnivors, smaller guts that Humans with vegetarian based digestive systems.

Go for it! Love your stuff!