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Polar Lights model kits: Clawing our way to the top

posted by JamieH 12:10 PM
Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A few months back I showed the initial sculpts for our upcoming Marvel Comics Wolverine model kit. That covered the digital work done to create the basis of the model. This report shows the next steps- the factory digital file work and mockup of the kit parts.

Once the digital sculpt was done, the model was processed and we had a rapid prototype built for Wonderfest. We then sent both the files and prototype to the factory. They made the decision to use the digital files for the figure and the prototype to create the base. I am guess thing they went this route because the base looked more… irregular in that it was a mechanical object that had been battle damaged. With some “artifacts” in the RP, it looked even more beaten that we had intended.

Sculpting for injection molding and for a rapid prototype or resin casting are different animals in that we can’t necessarily capture every single detail of the sculpt. A certain amount of revision needs to be made to alleviate mold-trapping problems. Another hurdle is that the person making the mockup is not an artist trained in understanding human anatomy. They don’t realize that shaving a bump off here or moving one there might be cause for concern. In the images of the mockup you can see a few spots where I circled a spot on his leg where they had shaved a muscle off to fix a trapping problem. Not the best solution, but that is why we do the mockup. This is the stage where all of these kinds of problems get worked out.

The colorful images shown are images captured from the factory’s digital mockup. With these files, I can explore the model by hiding or showing the parts and examining cross-section views. It allows me to turn it to virtually any angle. This gives me a clear idea of what to expect in the model.

Once the digital 3D file is settled, the next stage is to make a full-blown mockup of the kit. This represents every aspect of the kit from size to assembly. There are always little things to tweak and change up. This kit was no different. Probably the biggest adjustment we made was to raise the angle of the head up a few degrees to keep him looking eye to eye with the viewer.

We should have some test shots of the kit around Christmas. I’ll be sure to post pics of that when I can.

2 Responses to “Polar Lights model kits: Clawing our way to the top”

  1. derric1968 says:

    Thanks for the update, Jamie! I love these progress reports. I’m glad to see this project is coming along nicely. Some tweaks are always to be expected, but it looks to me like the character and spirit of the original digital sculpt is still there in the mock-up. I love it! Especially the Sentinel head base. I’m very much looking forward to getting my hands on this kit!!!

  2. Fraley1701 says:

    I am really liking this figure even at it’s early stages of development! I think I will build mine with the head that isn’t wearing a mask; love it! Thanks for the in progress report Jamie!

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