29.6.12

MOTUC: Shokoti


Quick one today!
I had her on my schedule for a very long time and people kept asking me for her. I had another break from work, so it was the perfect time to finally put her on paper (or on Cintiq...)

Not a lot to add here, I went back and looked at Mark Taylor's art to add details to her.
Also, since there is nothing that could be used as an accessory in the cartoon episode, I thought it would be cool to have one of those "Darklings" maybe molded in soft plastic.
That's it, hope you will like her!
25.6.12

Little update about Modulok's post

First of all, thanks to all expressed their appreciation for my sketch.
I been reading a couple of  fair criticims and questions and I wanted to quickly address them.

The neck piece.
Somebody suggested that it could do like a two-necks torso like Two-Bad. It could, but then you'd be stuck to the 2 heads configuration. To make the Filmation version or any of the other combinations, we'd still need to have a separate connector for the neck.

Eamon suggested to do it more like the Mer-Man neck piece. Again, that would work, but only for the neck. We wouldn't be able to reuse that connector with any other part of the body. I guess, to an extent, maybe just one of the connectors could be shaped differently, and maybe be an extra, so not defeating the purpose of making all the vintage transformations possible.
Anyway, the problem with the current neck piece is to make it able to conncet to any other part of the body, that's why it looks that way.

HM.org users Slackrguy is wondering if this design would allow for the same number of combinations of the vintage one.
Yes it would, the number of pegs and ports is exactly the same, so all the combinations of the vintage one are possible. I worked precisely toward that goal and I wouldn't have settled for less than that ;)

Thanks for reading!

MOTUC: Modulok


After taking on The Rock People and the Energy Zoids, to me the most challenging design for the MOTUC line remained Modulok.
The visual were pretty straight forward: reproduce the vintage toy as much as possible and add the extra paint applications that would make him look a lot more like the Filmation version without changing the sculpt too much. So, I added more purple and black, with a different crotch piece to match the Filmation style.

But the most interesting part is how to make him fit the MOTUC repurposable parts library and still mantain the modularity and interchangeability.
To achive that, Mattel would need to develop a pegs/ports system based on what they did with Trap Jaw's shoulders. The majority of the new engineering would go into the new limb's articulation's discs and the torso/abdom/tail parts. Also, to keep the ball joint style of MOTUC articulation, we'd have a port where there was a peg in the vintage figure, and a peg where there was a port.

It would take quite a lot of work (here I can only suggest the idea, the actual engineering of the pieces isn't really my territory). And the end result would be a very expensive figure, probably around $45, but it could reuse a minimum of existing tooling and new parts could be added to the library for future reuses.
The best part for me is that with the inclusion of an extra leg, the Filmation version would be very easy to obtain, giving collectors the option to display Modulok in both modes (or even buy two of him to display both versions!)
16.6.12

Transformers Concepts - Sideswipe


Okay, before I start diving into the Sea of Negativity™, let's try something different and take a look at some of my other works.
Here is a concept I did for part of the Transformers Franchise bible for Hasbro.

I did many of these guys, working along with Eric Siebenaler. At first I was working on his awesome sketches and developed this rendering tecnique painting on top of them. For the last bunch (which includes this one and the next I'll be posting) Eric trusted me in creating the desings from scratch for a few characters.

This was back in 2010, but, oddly enough, some of these designs and the same tecnique came back from the  huge job I'm doing now and that should be revealed in the following months  (to not create confusion, it isn't about toys)

All images are © Hasbro 2012 and used under authorization.
14.6.12

Good old Kalamarr... er, Slush Head!


I finally got him yesterday, along with Stinkor and TMS (who went direclty in the storage room, nothing else to comment there, move on).

When a figure like Slush Head doesn't make me feel like I have something completely new and stranger in my hands, it's always a good thing.
He is defintely my ol' Kalamarr there, and the parts reuse didn't bother me much. 
The 4H are always very clever in reusing parts and find the most fitting solutions for everytime. When they are left at doing their job, we never get the same kitbash feeling we get with stuff like Sir Laser-Lot. You just don't see the reused part, you see the character.
Job accomplished!

BTW, I'm not trying to do a complete and in-depth review about him.  There are guys out there that can do a much better job than me .This is more about sharing my feelings and thought about a certain figure (or a beast or whatever). 

The inability of the head to rotate has been discussed at lenght by fans. I can't really see how the solutions suggested wouldn't have worked within Mattel's restrictive safety standards. Sometime it just feels the engineering work doesn't go the extra mile on these figures for whatever reason.
I won't break the tab holding the helmet in place on my figure just because, seeing myself as a sort of "historian", I prefer to keep they toys as they came out of the factory for the most part, to keep record of how something was actually produced.
But looking inside the armor, it doesn't look like breaking it would compromise the water tank. Don't quote me on that though, as I said, I won't be testing it.

The tentacles... Wait, did they tooled these things wrong again?!
I can see how the plugs for each tentacle is meant to be unique, so you can only plug in a specific tentacle on one side. But looks like they would be facing backwards, and to have them facing forward the only way is to swap them.
Of course, the plugs's shapes don't really match, so it's hard to keep them in place.

So, why every time they tool new left and right pieces something goes wrong?

Oh well.
For a moment I feared also that the gun couldn't be hold in Slush Head hands in Axe mode, but even with its rectangular shape, the handle fits in the hand nice and thight, so Slush Head can go chopping Galacting Guardians like in the old times

I also really like the solutions for the extra details on the arms. A much better way to execute this stuff than what was used on Vikron. Which makes me wondering more and more how much of that came from Mattel and what the 4H actually did (the design was executed at Mattel anyway).

The details and the extra paint jobs are nothing short I expect from the 4H as always, but I won't fill his helmet with water. I just refuse to trust the materials. Every day I say a little prayer to the First Ones and the Ancients for my Snout Spout!

I hope I haven't bored you too much with this, you can now Rate the Negativity of this post from 1 to 10
A high Negativity score won't be considered a bad thing at all by the author ;)
13.6.12

Bringing back the blog with Filmation Hordak!


Hi everybody,
I want to take a shot at bringing back this blog.
I'm awful at keeping this stuff up to date, but maybe I'll be able to share something here and there.
Hopefully I'll be also allowed to share some of the work I do for Hasbro (I already have a few images ready and approved) but of course the main focus will remain He-Man and She-Ra!
But also expect some random thoughts here and there, as I recently found myself with a lot to say, and not just art.
(always in my broken English - for those who don't know, I'm Italian and I live in Italy)

And to kick-start this, what was better than one of my ideas for possible MOTUC figures?
So, here is the variant figure (almost) everybody want!
Hordak in Filmation colors!
And since Mattel already tooled swappable arms (the shoulders discs and the torso) for Trap-Jaw/Kronis, why not selling him with two sets of arms, to simulate the different robotic arms he had in the cartoon?
BTW, Hordak had two different mechanical arms styles. I think asking Mattel to staty true to that would be too much, but I think most fans would settle down with something that works good enough for both.
Still there can be different iptions: they can go for almost a simple repaint, or just add a few new parts:
I'm presenting two of these options here, which one would you like most?

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