Monday, January 20, 2014

Zukie Time!

The Zukie
To start the new year off I tried a new vinyl platform,The Zukie. It was created by Alison Perez. She has a store at Storenvy that offers the blanks and some other great art. 

I had been watching her work with the Zukies on Instagram and had been wanting to try one out. They are about 4 inches tall and consist of the body and head. 

I bought two and then had to figure out what to do with them. They seemed perfect for a bear don't you think? Me too. I started playing around with the idea (at work) and came up with The Duke.  

Meet The Duke, my first new character of the year. I imagine him to be a wealthy Panda that is an inventor and adventurer. As for his name I am leaning towards Sebastian. I am working on a larger sketch with him piloting some sort of airship, but I have no idea how that is going to turn out. 
As with all of the vinyls I washed it with soap and water before getting started. With the Zukie I also cut off the little eyes so that I could have a flat surface. 
Zukie gets ears and a face

Instead of sculpting ears I glued some Munny ears onto it. I had these ears lying around from another project of mine. It's good to keep the pieces that you cut off other vinyls. You never know when you might be able to use them. 
One thing I had been worried about was making the top hat. I had only made a few before and I was never completely happy with them. With some trial and error I think this has been the best hat yet. Hopefully I can remember how I did it when it is time to make another. (fingers crossed) 

I was super happy with how the hat came out. I kept this as a separate piece. I figured that I'd really mess it up if I tried to attach it and then bake it all as one. I baked the hat and sanded it then set it aside.

Then came The Duke. I settled on that title when I put all the pieces together. The hat was still a separate piece, but I wanted to see how it all looked as one. For my first panda on a Zukie it came together pretty well. I had baked the head and body as one piece and in hind sight that was not such a great idea. As you know air expands as it heats up and as it did the head started to pop off and the bottoms of the feet bulged out. The bulging feet caused the entire thing to fall over in the stove. It was a little bit of a heart stopping moment when I opened up the stove and there he was on his face. Thankfully there was no serious damage, but there was some cracking of the clay from the expanding of the vinyl. To fix these problems I pulled out my trusty (new) heat gun and went to work. I patched the cracks and heated them. Then I heated the feet and applied pressure as it cooled so that they would flatten out a bit. The head I put back on the body as it cooled. Then it was time to paint.


I decided to add a bit of grey to the head to give it the look of fur. I found that it added depth. Once the painting was done and the hat glued on, I sprayed it with a mat finish. Below are some images of the final piece, The Duke.

As you can see the Zukie is a great platform and should definitely be on your list to try. 

Right now I am finishing up the paint job on a Rivals Cog by Wheel House Creative. I went in on the Kickstarter for the first set. They currently have a new campaign up to help fund the second set. I suggest you check it out.

Until next time.
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