Would a Calvin and Hobbes model be welcome here?

Discussion in 'General Modeling' started by Mysta2, Apr 19, 2015.

  1. Mysta2

    Mysta2 Member

    Trophy Points:
    162
    Hello, I'm a professional model maker in Dallas (If you're curious what that means: I work here www.buzzwerk.com as a "master" model maker)

    I spend a lot of my free time building random stuff that finds it's way into my head: usually scale machines, helicopters, planes, toys, cute characters, or some mix of all of them.

    The point of this thread though is the project that I'm working on right now. My dad and I have always been huge fans of Calvin and Hobbes, and for a Christmas gift I wanted to make a little display model of Space Man Spiffs red saucer (Admittedly I'm a few months behind schedule)

    I'm pretty proud of how it's turning out so far and would like to share it, and I could also use some input on some of the details that I'm still figuring out (mainly forming the canopy, and sculpting the seat) I could also use some encouragement to get the thing finished up and shipped out.

    It's a prop from a comic strip... is that wierd?
     
    TooMuchBBQ likes this.
  2. kruleworld

    kruleworld Well-Known Member

    Trophy Points:
    635
    I'm sure it'd be fine. if no one is interested, the silence will be deafening.
     
  3. Mike J.

    Mike J. Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    3,355
    Of course that would be welcome!

    Who doesn't love Calvin & Hobbes?


    -MJ
     
    Hopson and Mysta2 like this.
  4. Mysta2

    Mysta2 Member

    Trophy Points:
    162
    Good point.
     
  5. NS4

    NS4 Well-Known Member

    Trophy Points:
    511
    Not weird at all - would love to see your progress.
    Build threads are what the RPF is about, whatever the subject. Post away!
     
    Mysta2 likes this.
  6. JediMichael

    JediMichael Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    2,465
    I'd love to see anything C&H. I once built 80 small snowmen in my parents front yard when visiting them, based of course on one of the comics. Oddly, I was wearing a coat and hat that Calvin was wearing in the comic.
     
    Mysta2 likes this.
  7. Mysta2

    Mysta2 Member

    Trophy Points:
    162
    Love it! I've always wanted to do that, but I grew up in Portland Oregon, and now live in Dallas Texas neither of which get much snow.

    I was looking for some progress pics of the build so far and I can't believe I haven't taken any. I'll post some pics up tomorrow when I get to the shop of the breakdown as it sits now and some of the screenshots of the early stages. It's got all of the typical prop issues concerning inconsistent and non existent source material but maybe even worse considering it never actually existed. I'm trying to keep the exterior look very accurate but there's no shortage of holes to fill, and that can be the fun part.
     
  8. SmilingOtter

    SmilingOtter Master Member

    Trophy Points:
    2,560
    Now you're just teasing us... :D

    I'd love to see what you're working on. Tracer Bullet was my favorite persona, but I loved Spiff as well.
     
  9. Mysta2

    Mysta2 Member

    Trophy Points:
    162
    Tracer Bullet didn't have the cool toys though.

    The project started in the digital realm. It took me quite a few tries to get the curves right.

    [​IMG]

    without the canopy:
    [​IMG]
    I’m still really unhappy with the seat so far, it changes constantly in the comic so I basically have free reign on the design. I want it to look like a beat up leather, half way between a fighter seat and a lazyboy. That kind of natural look is really hard to achieve digitally (at least with my modeling skills)

    Orthos:

    [​IMG]

    Some of that paneling comes from the strips (such as a slot on the underside that would house the ladder that is used in one of the strips), most of it I just had to make up. I'll do a little breakdown of what some of the panels and doors are when I get a chance.

    You may recognize many of the displays:

    [​IMG]

    From the amazing work done for Oblivion. I hope this doesn't offend anyone, I certainly wont be making any money from these. I sat on the fence for a long time on how to do the console panels, I do feel like I cheated a bit by making them basically touch panels when I feel that the ethos of the comic would have had them all analog switches, levers and knobs. The touchscreens are a compromise made to get the schedule a little back on track. I will be adding a good bit of detailing to bring some switches and knobs back into it.

    I've got a bunch of half inch acrylic under my workbench that I rescued from our dumpster a long time ago that I use for a lot of my personal projects. It's perfect for the look that I need to get from this model. I actually cut everything that I needed to make three ships out of one sheet of my acrylic
    Parts knolling:

    [​IMG]

    And the assembly
    [​IMG]

    Once the clearcoat goes on all of those panels and the headlights should really pop out. One of my favorite tricks to detail headlights and the like is to cut out the backside and polish the front. I’ve been playing with coloring the insides of the lights with sharpies, but so far an having a tough time achieving the look I want.
     
    Burke likes this.
  10. Mysta2

    Mysta2 Member

    Trophy Points:
    162
    Some details I forgot to mention: to get the panels to look like that I just printed them out on decent paper, squeezed some clear silicone (E6000) onto the bottoms of the panels and squished them down onto the printouts, trimmed them out, and masked and sprayed the faces.

    Also the tanks at the rear of the cockpit I turned on our lathe out of aluminum and then dry brushed yellow. You can barely see it, but you can see the brush strokes a bit. I wanted them to look like fire fighters breather tanks which have a woven look.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2015
  11. division 6

    division 6 Master Member

    Trophy Points:
    3,045
    There are a few C&H kit's out there including Spiff but nowhere as nice as what you have going.
    Looking forward to seeing more progress. :thumbsup
     
    Mysta2 likes this.
  12. Mike J.

    Mike J. Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    3,355
    That is unbelievably clean! How are making the saucer halves? Are they CNC'ed?
     
  13. Mysta2

    Mysta2 Member

    Trophy Points:
    162
    Mike J
    Yeah, I've got a bunch of great cheat-y tools at my disposal

    Toolpaths:
    [​IMG]

    I did this one on one of our HAAS VF3s

    Devision 6
    I didn't know there were kits for it, but I have seen a number of models online that I assumed people scratch built. None of them have ever quite captured the sleekness of what I always liked about the one in the strip.
     
  14. division 6

    division 6 Master Member

    Trophy Points:
    3,045
    They are fairly rare like with most garage kits usually done in small runs.
    They tend to be lacking in accuracy.

    There are a few pictured near the bottom of the page on the Club House Model Museum.
    link

    There is a guy on the CH forum currently doing several 70's Hanna-Barbera figures that look nice.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2015
  15. Booyotch

    Booyotch Active Member

    Trophy Points:
    261
    My god. I want that with the fire of a thousand suns...
     
    Mysta2 likes this.
  16. Burke

    Burke Member

    Trophy Points:
    191
    And.....subscribed.
     
    Mysta2 likes this.
  17. SmilingOtter

    SmilingOtter Master Member

    Trophy Points:
    2,560
    That's looking fantastic! You should consider doing a battle damaged one, spewing smoke, since that's normally how we see it... :)

    "I keep two magnums in my desk. One's a gun, and I keep it loaded. The other's a bottle. It keeps me loaded."
     
    Mike J. likes this.
  18. dcarty

    dcarty Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    1,980
    Living the dream, man, I envy you :cool

    What a great project and a terrific thread!
     
    Mysta2 likes this.
  19. Mysta2

    Mysta2 Member

    Trophy Points:
    162
    Small but satisfying step forward

    I've been working on a batch of simple architectural models this last week (that I will share with you if I get permission back from the client). So I had the perfect opportunity to lay some clear coat on my dashes at lunch.

    Tools of the trade:
    [​IMG]

    It's hard to really capture what these look like before vs after
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    But basically the clear coat obliterates anything finer than a 600 grit scratch, and makes all the screens crystal clear.

    Now I've got to go back and build up all the detail and wear, and matte the console back out.

    Thanks all for the enthusiasm. You're helping to keep the pressure on to get these suckers done.

    Smiling Otter
    Oh, it certainly won't be factory fresh. Not spewing smoke, in theory I'd like it to be "playable", that's usually how I like to build things.

    dcarty
    Thanks, I definitely chose my career out of what I love to do. That doesn't mean every day is a joy, but I can't imagine what else I would want to do.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2015
    TooMuchBBQ and Randy13 like this.
  20. joberg

    joberg Master Member

    Trophy Points:
    2,900
    Great work Mista 2 and finally, someone making my fav fliying saucer. Calvin is my favourite character and I cannot wait to see that baby flying!
     
    Mysta2 likes this.
  21. Mike J.

    Mike J. Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    3,355
    So, about how big is this?
     
  22. Mysta2

    Mysta2 Member

    Trophy Points:
    162
    The knolling picture is laid out on an 11x17 card. The assembled one is sitting on a half used roll of masking tape. I think it's about 4.5" in dia.
     
  23. G W Zipper

    G W Zipper Active Member

    Trophy Points:
    361
    Why can I not see any images with this post? I can see them on every other post. I really love Calvin and Hobbs, and I'd love to see this!
     
  24. moffeaton

    moffeaton Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    3,860
    Oh man this is wonderful! This is on my "wish list"! I'd love to make a crashed one around 10" across - love what you're doing!!
     
    Mysta2 likes this.
  25. rbeach84

    rbeach84 Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,406
    Awesome work, Mysta2! Yes, "where do you get those wonderful 'toys'"? [Joker reference...] Spaceman Spiff is right up there with my favorite 'fantasy' roles Calvin takes. Too bad Watterson is nigh impossible to contact, you might otherwise dial him in just for his enjoyment & commentary.

    Keep it up!
    Regards, Robert
     
  26. Mysta2

    Mysta2 Member

    Trophy Points:
    162
    G W Zipper
    If you can't see the images, try copying the image address and pasting it into the top of your browser.

    rbeach84
    I definitely considered the idea of trying to send one to Watterson, if I thought he'd appreciate it, I would in a heartbeat. He's made his level of desire to be contacted pretty widely known.

    I didn't get a chance to work on the Spiff today, took a shot of my workbench at work though that y'all might find amusing. With just a few of my unfinished projects (which doesn't even include any of the motorcycles, although there is a triple tree up there) I've got the Spiffs, my acrylic Seattle Ferry hot wheels carrier, and a whole squadron of Brio Train cargo helicopters that I'm really trying to get wrapped up soon.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jun 22, 2015
  27. rbeach84

    rbeach84 Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,406
    Cute family (I'm assuming your's), Mysta2!

    R/ Robert
     
  28. Mike J.

    Mike J. Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    3,355
    And the Ospreys?
     
  29. joberg

    joberg Master Member

    Trophy Points:
    2,900
    I would advise to contact Watterson on that one. He doesn't like people taking his work and making T-shirts, toys, etc with it; that's why, when proposed with this idea at the time, he refused to "sell" Calvin & Hobbes" in any shape, way or form. Let's keep this under the radar:behave
     
  30. Mysta2

    Mysta2 Member

    Trophy Points:
    162
    rbeach84
    Yup, that's my 2 year old, my 4 year old, and my 34 year old. Thanks

    MikeJ
    Those are part of my Brio train squadron. That's another project that I'm pretty excited about, and would love to build a thread around. We got a Brio train table for the kids and it came with a helicopter pad, a crummy little helicopter, and a couple of little magnetic cargo containers to be carried by the trains and crane. I really wanted to have some cargo helicopters that could pick up those containers, so I made some.

    Joberg
    A friend of mine recommended the documentary to me. I don't think I'll be trying to contact Bill.
     
  31. rbeach84

    rbeach84 Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,406
    I was under the impression that these are for your own enjoyment... so no worries.
    Begs the thought: how can you ask permission if there is no one to ask?
    R/ Robert
     
  32. Mysta2

    Mysta2 Member

    Trophy Points:
    162
    Yeah, they are.

    I'm sure you all know the adage "Measure twice, cut once" well apparently there's something to that.

    I started my canopy process today on the lathe.
    [​IMG]
    That's straight off the cut (this is where I should have put the calipers on it)

    I tried to take a nice video since the cut took only 7 minutes, but ever since upgrading my OS my phone is crammed full and will only take about 30 seconds of video.

    Wet sanded with some 2000
    [​IMG]

    ...some buffing compound
    [​IMG]

    ...and a turn on the wheel
    [​IMG]

    Ready to form
    [​IMG]

    Formed
    [​IMG]

    and it's way too big.
    [​IMG]
    Something got screwy when I setup the tool on the lathe and it was outside where it should have been by about an eighth inch.

    Anyway, I've reset the lathe and it's literally cutting another one as I'm typing this.

    Never enough time to do it right, but always enough time to do it twice.
     
    Haystack Hair likes this.
  33. Mike J.

    Mike J. Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    3,355
    Awwww.... and it was so shiney....
     
    Mysta2 likes this.
  34. Mysta2

    Mysta2 Member

    Trophy Points:
    162
    Big and little

    [​IMG]

    and they're friggin perfect this time. They slide on to the cockpit ring with just a little tension
    [​IMG]

    Awesome

    Oh and sorry if some of my pictures are in weird orientations, they're all taken with an iPhone (as you can see) and it does weird stuff. When I look at this thread on my phone the vacuum form picture is right side up. On the PC it's on it's side.
     
  35. Snow Builder

    Snow Builder Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    1,626
    Freakin' gorgeous -a true work of art.
     
    Mysta2 likes this.
  36. Apollo

    Apollo Legendary Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    5,035
    Man oh man, lovin this!! :thumbsup
     
    Mysta2 likes this.
  37. Chaank

    Chaank Well-Known Member

    Trophy Points:
    916
    Sweet!
     
    Mysta2 likes this.
  38. joberg

    joberg Master Member

    Trophy Points:
    2,900
    Perfect! Any thought about Calvin himself in the cockpit?
     
  39. Mysta2

    Mysta2 Member

    Trophy Points:
    162
    No figures, the first thing I always did as a kid with a new toy was throw away all the figures to play with the vehicles.

    I have thought about leaving a pair of his "goggles" on the seat though.
     
  40. joberg

    joberg Master Member

    Trophy Points:
    2,900
    I guess we are at the opposite of the spectrum on that one Mysta2. If I had a toy without a driver/pilot, etc, I would simply take on figure from another toy and try to cram it into a cockpit or a car or...you get my drift (even if it meant cutting its legs off:D)
     
    Mysta2 likes this.
  41. Hagoth

    Hagoth Well-Known Member

    Trophy Points:
    536
    Wow Mysta2, this is awesome work! Goggles on the seat would be a fitting touch.

    All the tools you have available to work with... Cool stuff.
     
    Mysta2 likes this.
  42. Mike J.

    Mike J. Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    3,355
    Maybe a little sign that says "Back in 5 mins," for when it's on display.
     
  43. Mysta2

    Mysta2 Member

    Trophy Points:
    162
    Yeah. I have a co worker that lives and breathes 6th scale action figures, so I kind of understand that interest. I know of course this isn't universal, but for me putting a figure in the cockpit kills the realism, because it freezes time since people never stand still. I can't really explain it but to me a static model without a person just has more motion or (ironically) life to it because it could be sitting out on a runway somewhere ready to fly at any moment or just back from a mission, it's less frozen.
     
  44. Ravenville

    Ravenville New Member

    Trophy Points:
    17
    Love Calvin and Hobbes and loved following this thread.One question,what type of plastic did you use to vacuum form the canopy.Thanks.
     
  45. Mysta2

    Mysta2 Member

    Trophy Points:
    162
    Honestly I don't know. We had a big roll of it in our store room and it was unmarked, I think it's acrylic. It had blue protective sheathing on either side of it, and it was probably about a 16th inch thick.
     
  46. rbeach84

    rbeach84 Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,406
    Yup, that sounds like acrylic w/ the blue film... I wonder if the 'too big' dome buck could be used directly on a saucer body instead of a clear one? It turned out so nice... seems a waste to not display it! ;^)

    RE: figures, I like 'em in small doses (unless for a diorama) just to show scale in an easily understood form. In some cases, simply a 'gray painted' figure is enough to do the trick. Most folks can readily relate to a human figure when looking at miniatures.

    Regards, Robert
     
  47. Mysta2

    Mysta2 Member

    Trophy Points:
    162
    Made some steering wheels today.

    I must admit that I was really tempted to make a yoke instead of a steering wheel because there is at least one strip where the control for the ship is clearly a two handed yoke, and who would steer a space ship with a steering wheel?! But really, a steering wheel is funnier, and is much more often used in the strip, so steering wheel it is.

    My little chunk of black ABS, the steering wheels are in there. Just need to cut away all the other junk.
    [​IMG]

    First side cut
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    After cutting that first side, I use a jewelers wax to fill in all the voids and face mill it back to the top surface so that I can flip it over using those four pin holes drilled on the ends.

    Like this:
    [​IMG]

    Second side in progress
    [​IMG]
    With the wax in there, at the end of the second cut you are left with a part essentially floating in the cooled wax (unless it popped out and went flying across the machine, as it’s apt to do)

    [​IMG]
    Half an hour in Heptane and the wax will all be dissolved
     
  48. rbeach84

    rbeach84 Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,406
    Sweet! So many wonderful toys, uh, TOOLS, you have!
    R/ Robert
     
  49. MKWJTC

    MKWJTC Active Member

    Trophy Points:
    341
    Both!
    Have tools, will make toys.
    And I think it goes around.
     
    Mysta2 likes this.
  50. Booyotch

    Booyotch Active Member

    Trophy Points:
    261
    An absolute work of art! Pure craftsmanship...
     
    Mysta2 likes this.

Share This Page