Robota Sumo Maquette

Discussion in 'Studio Scale Models' started by Duncanator, Feb 3, 2019.

  1. Duncanator

    Duncanator Well-Known Member

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    Robota Sumo droid.jpg Hi Y'all!
    I was digging through some old boxes the other day, and I came across some castings of a maquette that I made for Doug Chiang when he was developing his Robota book (and pitching it as potential movie project.)
    While we were working on the Star Wars prequels, I had already made a maquette of the Kantuur Set robot, which is one of the main characters for that same project.
    This robot was intended to be a henchman of Kantuur, and Doug wanted him to give the impression of a sumo wrestler. A big, imposing and menacing brute. The loincloth is one of my favorite parts. I think it came out really well - it was inspired by a segmented watch band.

    Here's the pen art that I was given as inspiration.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
  2. Duncanator

    Duncanator Well-Known Member

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    So I figured I would do a build up of the Sumo robot parts that I'd had in storage. It'll be a little over a foot tall when done - which is technically studio scale since this is made from actual castings of the studio maquette. I think that qualifies, doesn't it?

    When I visited Doug at his home, I noticed that he had a number of maquettes from various projects he had worked on, and they had all been painted to look like bronzes. I thought it looked really cool, so I want to paint this guy up in that same style. We'll get to that after the build...
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2019
  3. Duncanator

    Duncanator Well-Known Member

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    Sooo.... Most of the castings were in pretty good shape. After a little sanding of seam lines, it was time to start assembling.

    I started with the feet. I wanted this model to display in my office, so I mounted it to a small display base.
    Next it was time to assemble the legs and hip barrel. I'm going to pose it like the drawing, but because I molded it in so many parts, it can be posed in many ways.
    For strength I used brass pins in all the joints. Simply butt joining all the parts wouldn't hold under the weight of the torso.
    IMG_8006.jpg IMG_8007.jpg IMG_8008.jpg
     
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  4. Duncanator

    Duncanator Well-Known Member

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    Many of the original parts were carved from Renshape, which is a modeling board that is like wood with no grain. It comes in many densities - everything from lightweight foam, to dense versions; some of which are filled with powdered stone or aluminum.
    The version I like is about the density of basswood.
    Finer details were made with styrene. Only a few model kit parts were used.

    The next part to attach is the skirt or loincloth. I kinda surprised myself with this piece. The whole thing is cast as one piece! I think it adds a cool look to this fella.

    IMG_8010.jpg IMG_8011.jpg
     
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  5. D48thRonin

    D48thRonin Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    This is fantastic. Also warms my heart to hear that it was an old school, done by hand pattern. Kudos! (y)

    And I love me some Ren as well - it's my go-to material of choice.
     
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  6. Fett_Ish

    Fett_Ish Well-Known Member

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    I have the book and love his art, looking forward to seeing this guy...
     
  7. Duncanator

    Duncanator Well-Known Member

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    This one is definitely old school. Mostly hand carved. The round parts (joints. etc...) were turned on my mini lathe, but the rest were all done with saws, knives and chisels - and of course lots of sanding!
     
  8. Duncanator

    Duncanator Well-Known Member

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    I have to give Doug Chiang a lot of credit for giving his artists free reign to take the designs and run with them. Some art directors can be very precious about their designs. Doug admitted to a level of that early in his career, but he says he learned that the designs got better, and took the pressure off of him when he trusted the talented folks that he had surrounded himself with. He would tell me what design elements were important to him or key to the storytelling, and then let me make up the rest - trusting me to keep with the design aesthetic. There was a lot of open back and forth, and checking in with each other to make sure we were on the same page. It was a great collaborative environment.

    The maquettes became 3D blueprints. John Goodson came up with that term when we were doing concept design models for Star Wars. The maquettes would be used as the point of reference by all the different production departments: the Set dept. would use them for full size pieces, the Model shop would refer to them for shooting miniatures, the CG dept. would scan them or rebuild in the computer to animate them. So we took them a little farther than we would have in the past for concept design models.
    The maquettes for Robota followed the same vein; plus, Doug wanted them as display models too. They are a useful tool to show to would-be investors. Having a physical object grabs peoples attention on a visceral level more than 2D art.
     
  9. Duncanator

    Duncanator Well-Known Member

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    IMG_8013.jpg

    The Chest/Torso/Belly section comes next. This piece is made up of 6 separate castings - probably more complicated than I should have gone, but "Oh well!" The lower toilet-seat shaped object is the backside of his belly. We are looking up into his torso as if we were under his seat. You can see pretty much the only kit parts used in this model. They didn't need to look complicated. They just needed to give the impression that there were some mechanical bits inside.
    There are several points of articulation in here too. You can see a little locator pip on the center of the belly oval. This is for side to side tilting of the waist. At the top of the oval, you can see the two ball joints that allow the torso to tip forward from the belly. There are alignment fins on the belly that mesh with fins on the torso that you can see in the front view. (Coming soon) You may notice that he doesn't really have any twisting ability to his waist. I try very hard to give the robot designs as much range of motion when converting the art to 3D, but sometimes the design doesn't allow it. So this guy will just have to move like Michael Keaton's Batman.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
  10. Duncanator

    Duncanator Well-Known Member

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    I tested the limits of my casting skills with this guy. If you look at the legs, you can see some of the difficult parts.

    All the detail in the calves are cast as one part. Even the spikes and ribbing. Was surprised with how well the castings came out. For the record, I did use a pressure pot to cast them; but even with that, there are a lot of potential bubble traps built into these parts.
     
  11. Duncanator

    Duncanator Well-Known Member

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    IMG_8189.jpg

    There are a few tiny bubbles in the calf ribs, but all-in-all they came out really good!

    For posing the legs, the thigh arch can slide over the knee cylinder. I again used brass pins to lock the joints in place.
     
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  12. Rick Deckard

    Rick Deckard Well-Known Member

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    Pretty cool!! Awesome model!!

    Adolfo
     
  13. Duncanator

    Duncanator Well-Known Member

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    Getting further along! The torso assembly goes on, and you can see the inter-meshing fins in the chest. They can actually slide past one another to allow tipping of his chest.

    IMG_8185.jpg

    There are also balls in the shoulder and a cup in the upper arms make them positionable as well. I've just tacked the arms on for now. I'll need to pin them before paint. I just couldn't wait to see how he'd look.
     
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  14. Fett_Ish

    Fett_Ish Well-Known Member

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  15. joberg

    joberg Master Member

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    Beautiful work Duncanator...and Doug(y) Love the stance of the statue; it'll look good in "bronze" finish:cool:
     
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  16. Duncanator

    Duncanator Well-Known Member

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    Thanks so much! The bronze paint job has me a little intimidated, because I'd like to have some color variation in it like some statues/sculptures I've seen. More than just patina low lights and high lights. I'd like to play with some copper-y and silver-ish areas on it too.
     
  17. Duncanator

    Duncanator Well-Known Member

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    The arms took a little fussing with to get them posed the way I wanted them. There are a bunch of parts to them, which gave me a lot of options for positioning, but makes it challenging to hold all the parts up when they are loose.

    The hands make me think of bear paws. He's not going to be doing any needlepoint, but you wouldn't want to be grabbed by them!
    The upper arm is made up of 3 pieces, the elbow is its own piece, the forearm is a 3 part sandwich with extra long wrist piston rods that can be trimmed to whatever length you want for positioning the hands.

    IMG_8186.jpg
     
  18. Duncanator

    Duncanator Well-Known Member

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    .....And here he is all assembled!

    IMG_8198.jpg

    I'm pretty happy with the pose. The artwork has him looking down more, but when he is sitting on the shelf I wanted him looking at you.

    Here's the back...

    IMG_8188.jpg

    ...And a 3/4 front....

    IMG_8199.jpg
     
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  19. Duncanator

    Duncanator Well-Known Member

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    Now it's on to primer and paint!
     
  20. joberg

    joberg Master Member

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    Love the different design styles put into it: a little bit of Art Deco, a little bit of modern design (specially the armor and its curves)
     
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  21. Duncanator

    Duncanator Well-Known Member

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    Yes, and there's some Star Wars Battle Droid and Super Battle Droid in the design too.
    We were designing those around the same time as the Robota designs. Or maybe the Battle Droids have a
    bit of this guy in their designs. Depends on how you look at it.
     
  22. Duncanator

    Duncanator Well-Known Member

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    All primed and ready for paint!
    I always love how primer makes the details on a model become a cohesive design.

    DC Front.JPG
    DC Side.JPG
    DC Back.JPG
     
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  23. Duncanator

    Duncanator Well-Known Member

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    Just noticed that his left ankle is supinating slightly. Maybe I should send him to the podiatrist?
     
  24. Fett_Ish

    Fett_Ish Well-Known Member

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    This is so cool, Cant wait to see him painted up!
     
  25. Duncanator

    Duncanator Well-Known Member

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    First pass at paint.
    It looks a bit too brassy in person. I want it a little darker, so I'll mix a little more and try again.
    I'm trying to create the base bronze color that I'll be able to build highlights, color variations and then give it a dark wash and patina layer.

    Paint 1.JPG
     
  26. Duncanator

    Duncanator Well-Known Member

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    But it's great to see him in paint finally! :)
     
  27. Duncanator

    Duncanator Well-Known Member

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    Paint 2.JPG

    Standin' in the paint booth - with attitude!
     
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  28. joberg

    joberg Master Member

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    Very cool indeed! Wouldn't mind one of those on my desk;)
     
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  29. DaddyfromNaboo

    DaddyfromNaboo Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Love the book, love to read your work related stories, love that project!
     
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