Well, it was a couple of intense painting and detailing days, but here it is - the finished HOLE IN THE WALL SALOON...
This first shot (above) is of the overall module. It is roughly the size of the other two set pieces; a little shorter than the warehouse, a little taller than the sitting room.
I used some decorative trim pieces along the edge of the bar and the on the front of the prep center, just some stuff I picked up at Hobby Lobby a while back. It definitely gave it more of furniture feel and it feels more detailed than it really is. I picked up the little eagle wood trim pieces at Hobby Lobby as well and they dressed up that open space on the front of the bar as well as added a little Americana feel to the room. The mirror in the background is not really a mirror at all, simply an area that has been trimmed with strip wood and painted silver. I was hoping that it would cast a little bit of reflection of the bottles in front of it, but I didn't want it to reflect me an the camera. You can't really tell in the photo, but it actually does pick up the color of the bottles (you can see this in the third picture).
I have a MacGyver figure that I am using for my Bar Keep, thus the hockey theme (MacGyver was big into hockey. There are a couple of pictures of him next to the cash register with his dog and Pete Thorton (you can almost see them in the first picture). I had seen a couple of pictures of bars with pictures all over the walls and I decided I wanted to do the same thing with my bar. Patrons have scribbled on the wall as well. I had originally decided to call it the Hole in the Wall bar because of its size, but then the idea of the sign with a hockey puck smashed through it came to me and thus, hockey on the flat screen, hockey photos lining the mirror, and of course MacGyver.
I had a limited number of bottles available, so I had to spread them out to make the prep area look as full as I could. The labels were all made or sized on the computer and printed, as were the pictures and posters. All of the bottles but two are glued in place. I needed to have a couple of loose ones for various shoots. It the corner next to the flat screen is a little cooler filled with canned beer and MacGyver's lunch. There are some mini kegs on top of the prep area as well.
The taps are actually made of spare Legos that I had lying in a box. I thought it came out looking fairly plausible for being made out of Legos. Any how, it is now ready for customers and I am ready for shooting some scenes. It was a fairly fun project and I think it will turn out to be a great set.
I made a little more progress on the Bar set today. I added some additional height to the walls and then started on the preparation area behind the bar. The unit fills the back wall and features some panels on the lower half, one of which looks like it is hinged with a handle. I had some more fancy trim pieces like I used on the front of the bar and I used them to make my "woodwork" look a little fancier. The white area in the center of the unit is supposed to represent a mirror and will be painted with silver paint and then coated with a gloss coat. I don't really want a real reflective mirror because I don't want me and my camera to show up in pictures, but I am hoping that the silver will at least take on the color of the bottles in front of it. The unit is pretty shallow, the space is small and there had to be enough room for a bartender.
There is a little shelf though for setting bottles and other details on and the shelves above to the left and right of the mirror, will also be able to hold mugs and bottles, etc. Other details will include some taps on the back side of the bar, probably in the middle, no more than three, there is not a lot of room. I got to thinking I really need a cash register, but there is not much room on the shelf behind the figure, I am going to have to think about that a little bit.
Probably one of the hardest things to build was the bar stool in the front. I was hard to get is so it set even on the floor. I want to build another one of them, but I ran out of the wood stock that I was using for the legs. Got to get some more at the hobby store. Can't wait to start painting and detailing. - PM
This is the Barbie BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN Batman figure from Mattel. I picked him up about a week ago after seeing online. It was $29.95 at my TRU Store. I have a Medicom Batman that I purchased several years ago, which I used in my first Batman comic, but I have always been a little afraid of doing too much with him because of the rubberized suit that comes with the figure. The Mattel uniform is a fair representation of the outfit work in the upcoming movie, though it is not Hot Toys quality by any stretch of the imagination. Still, I wouldn't loose a whole lot of sleep using it to shoot my scenes. For one thing, the body suit is printed fabric rather than rubber, it probably will not split or tear with over use.
I am hoping that I can remove the suit from the figure and find a better body and headsculpt. The hands are way too small too and I would like to come up with some better gloved hand to replace them. I also think that the cowl and the way the cape attaches could probably be improved. All that said, I could start using him tomorrow to shoot scenes, he's not that bad. On the whole, for the price, I think I can recommend this one. - PM
I am currently working on some small vignette sets for my Marvel/DC crossover piece. Previously I had put together a vignette that was supposed to represent the information center of the Batcave. It looks a lot like this -
Well, actually... it looks exactly like this. The idea was then to put it in front of background, like this.
After looking at the two images together however, I felt it was too busy. I have decided that I am better off to just have a black background for the Batcave set so that the background doesn't take away from the foreground. The whole idea behind all of this was to eliminate some of the intense Photoshop work that would have had to be done to every frame of the story.
Since the story involves a lot more than just the Batcave, I decided I was going to need some other sets as well. This first one represents a drawing room in Wayne Manor. It is a location that can be used a multitude of times and probably in every story at least once.
Each of the vignettes that I plan to do is fairly small, just big enough to contain one to three figures in a scene. We will see Bruce Wayne and Alfred in this one quite a bit.
The next vignette that I have completed is what I am calling my "warehouse" set.
This set is meant to be a little more nondescript and can be used for a variety of locations. The beam and pole are removable, creating a different room. Unlike the Wayne Manor set, nothing is permanent in this set. The crates and workbench have been placed to create a specific location, but for another scene, it could be a different set of props, or no props at all. I am also thinking about create a fake door and frame that could fit up against either wall and be used to create a couple different "outdoor" locations.
The whole idea behind this is to cut down on the amount of Photoshop that is needed to tell the story. One part of the crossover story images that are done is a scene where Phil Colson is in a Shield Command Center and is receiving a message from Hawkeye. The whole thing is done with Photoshop and it took a really long time to create the multiple images of the scene.
There are ten layers in this photo alone and there is a tremendous amount of clipping that must be done to get all the individual piece ready for the final image. Oh... and then there is the distortion that must be done so that all those screen images fit properly into the monitors. There are about 20 images in this scene. Arrrrrrggggggg!!
That is the reason I am taking the time to create a handful of sets. I still have a couple more that I want to create. I have furniture to do another room set for Wayne Manor and I also want to build a bar interior. Beyond that, well.... I guess I will make what I need as I need it. The only drawback to physical sets is that they take up space and that is something that I am sort of running out of. - PM
Well, since I wrote the last little bit, I started on the bar - what I am calling the HOLE IN THE WALL BAR. This is what I have so far, the roughed in bar.
There will be a preparation station on the back wall, with mirror, bottles, etc. Not really sure what that is going to look like yet. A couple of stools in front of the bar for customers. I will need a couple of taps coming up from the back side of the bar. The wall adjacent to the bar will have pictures, graffiti, etc. I'm kind of making it up as I go along, but I think it will be a pretty good set when done. - PM
It has probably been a decade or better since HASBRO produced the Wright Brother figures (at least). I actually bought them from someone in our Joe Club, though I don't remember who. I wasn't interested in the figures, I wanted the clothes. Here it is, March of 2016 and I don't even have the figures anymore ( I did keep the clothes).
It was back in 2011, when the SSCC was getting ready for it's FIGURECON and was planning to do a large Blitzkreig diorama, that I came up with the idea of doing a "French" Newscast to tease the show. The Orville (pro. Orveele) and Wilbur (pro. Wilbear) were prefect for my French newscasters. It was just a silly one or two page comic each time, but it all had to do with the coming German invasion.
I took multiple shots of the figures next to each other with a variety of slightly different positions so that each frame would be subtly different from all the others. The images were then clipped to remove the backgrounds.
I made the decision early on that I wanted them to look like they were actually talking. I ended up using eight photos for my newscasters, four each with their mouths open. This not the easiest effect to pull off, but certainly goes a long way to making the figures seem a little more lifelike. The process is essentially this; make a copy of the lower face on a separate layer. Create a new layer over the original face and paint a black area to represent the open mouth, use white on top of that to create teeth, do a little artsy-fartsy blending and then put the lower face layer on top of your new mouth. Using the erase and blending tools, I then create a lower lip around the open mouth. When it was all done, I had four shots of Orville speaking and four shots of Wilbur flapping his gums. The figures could then be dropped into the newsroom setting, which was also a series of layers.
The next time that Wilbur and Orville were to appear was in 2013 when I was working on a behind the scenes look at my SHERIFF ROY ADVENTURES.
Okay... I changed their names for this Western Themed news program, but it was the same 8 images that I used the first time round. My feeling is that if you are going to go to all the trouble to create open mouths on certain figure images, make sure you keep them around so you can use them again and again.
...And that is exactly what I did for my WRIGHT STUFF NEWS HOUR. It is the same 8 clipped images, but now in an entirely new setting.
First I had to find a completely new and 21st century newsroom for my reporters to sit in. Yeah... they are the same old guys, but they are the Wright Bros... they are kind of "timeless".
Just a fun little Photoshop thing I put together based on something I heard on the news. The fun never stops!
POINT MAN'S PROJECT