In late 2012 I was still in the early months of my freelancing career, mostly making sculpts for 3d print and a couple of character gigs for commercial CG productions and video games. After working for several months on pieces for Kingdom Death I got in contact with Soda Pop Miniatures and started making pieces for them too. My first pieces for them were part of their minis for the Relic Knights kickstarter. From the first time I saw minis from Soda Pop I really liked their anime aesthetic.
I don’t consider myself to be that strong at modeling and sculpting hard surface models, but I’m always up for a challenge. Going from KD to an anime sci-fi project was just the thing to push me out of comfort zone and into picking up some new tricks.
I got to start with Candy and Cola, Soda Pop and Relic Knights flagship heroes based on concept art from Gunship Revolution http://www.gunshiprevolution.com . These designs and characters are just fun!
My workflow as usual consists of building the base character and then proceeding to pose them up. Above is shown the base character for Candy, which proved quite handy for when I made an alternate pose of her for another mini.
Candy’s Mech proved a fun little challenge, it took me longer than I thought it might because I hadn’t done hard surface modeling in a while. Back then I wasn’t that practiced with hard surface sculpting in Zbrush and dynamesh (dynamesh was a relatively new mesh creation technology added to Zbrush, the sculpting program I use) was still sort of new to my workflow.
Same deal here, first I made the neutral posed Mech and then I went ahead and posed the Mech along with its pilot, Candy, and her plucky companion, Cola.
Cola, the little three tailed fox was pretty fun to do. The little companion critters that many Relic Knights have are called Cyphers, these guys were perfect for practicing with some new sculpting tools in Zbrush such as dynamesh. Using mostly dynamesh I managed to make the base sculpts of the three Cypher companions for my RK minis:
Another of my early pieces for Relic Knights was Harbonah, The Void Reaper. Another great design from Gunship Revolution.
Harbonah’s Mech was a pretty strange design that came with its own little challenges of balance and thickness for the different pieces it was composed of.
In that same first batch of Relic Knights minis I made was also Marie-Claude Bourbonnais’ Cerci Racer mini. Was an interesting one since it was based on a Cosplay/Glamour model. It had to be approved by both John Cadice, Creative Director and owner at Soda Pop, and by Marie-Claude herself (http://mcbourbonnais.com) .
Once the basic mesh was approved by John and Marie-Claude I posed the mini and off to the printers it went.
A couple years later Marie-Claude recreated the outfit to the T, built a set, and had and epic photo-shoot. She also attended Gen-Con with Soda Pop this year (2014). It’s pretty amazing how hard she works and the things she’s able to pull off. I’ve worked with her on a couple of small projects since and possibly more in the future.
Also a year or so after my first version of Candy and Cola for soda pop I was asked to make a new version of her for a special edition mini. For this one Candy would be in a dynamic pose holding a huge soda cannon.
While her sidekick, Cola, was be specifically posed in a classic way reminiscent of a certain blue bomber. Little did I know it was a sign of great things to come. :)
To be continued…