Sunday, February 16, 2014

Adepticon 2014 Part 2 - Inspiration

The frame of the original derelict from ALIEN 

There has always been something very romantic about traditional model building. I am an old soul in the sense I prefer traditional effects to computer generated. It's not an argument of skill, but in my opinion one of charm. I grew up with movies using traditional effects. We all have seen the Death Star trench and the ALIEN xenomorph. The fact that these were framed with wood and sculpted with clay or model parts makes them more interesting to me.
Ill never be able to work in a movie studio back in the 70s-80s of course. But this is my opportunity to try and experience that for my own and in my own way. Ill never own a piece of the Death Star trench, but if I can get a feel for what it was like to work on something like that, that to me is just as valuable as a creative person.

The model is giving life with Plasticine and plastic strips 

It has always been one of those dream worlds of mine that an artistic person tends to have - Industrial Light and Magic sort of work space where you have all the model kits in the world to work with, and the freedom to create an original work that is more than the sum of its parts, and the parts are no longer visually recognizable as their original form.

The orginal model used to film the famous Death Star trench scene.  Models like this were traditionally made in a workshop with a massive hoard of model kits to rip parts from.

Prop and effect construction has always been one of those hobbies similar to Warhammer, in that you either know of it and what it's about or really haven't considered it.  I follow several prop blogs and auction sites on twitter and like to see what comes up for sale or some new discovery. There are a lot of really great prop reproduction and collection forums out there as well worth checking out.

Kuksi's likely most famous work in the Warhammer world - the church tank.

This brings me to what I hope to blend this technique with visually - the style of artist Kris Kuksi. He would be best known in the Warhammer world for his church tanks, but these are really the least of his works. He is best known for his huge baroque assemblages of random toys, statues, appliqués and found items. When I first found his site I spend an entire evening looking for as many images as I could, and I remember vividly trying to find close ups.

Kuksi signing books at a show.

One of his regular works - the church tank is not what he normally does.

Same with a Death Star trench, I will never own a Kuksi. However this is also a chance to live a few weeks in his shoes, and have something while not likely as wonderful, possibly as meaningful as a souvenir of the journey.

Li 1 - One of Giger's earlier paintings.  A surprise present for his girlfriend Li Tomblin.  She did not take it well.

The third and most obvious influence is H.R. Giger. Everyone knows Giger from his paintings and the ALIEN movies. His work is very unique in so many ways, and his influence is so broad we can see it in Warhammer in the Tyranid army. He also did plenty of physical movie effects himself with the ALIEN movies. The Space Jockey and many other elements were sculpted in clay and cast in either resin or foam rubber. The derelict ship was a huge foam armature covered in plasticine and stock plastic.

Giger works on the orginal Space Jockey.  This carved of Plasticine and cast in resin.  The mold was destroyed along with most of the sets in ALIEN.

So hopefully all of this I can blend together into something interesting and a fitting homage to these great artists. It should be a fun adventure and I hope you enjoy it with me and the final result in the next month or so. Thanks for following along!