Sunday, January 30, 2011

Dressed to Kaiju

For my first Japanese vinyl production, I wanted to produce a finger puppet. Finger puppets are single part casts with no articulation. Therefore, the tooling that is much cheaper than fully articulated, multi part design.

Wanting to have a low cost first run, I started to play around with some finger puppet concepts. One focus was of a giant eye on its side. There were various designs of this concept but one really stuck out.

Finger puppet sketch by Shane Haddy

I really liked the aesthetics of this design but it wasn't working as a finger puppet. As I was focusing on finger puppet designs, it was set aside. I did feel it would be better as a head but didn't sketch a body I was happy with. Jump to a month later, I was working on another design where the face was 80% of the body and then it clicked! I have the perfect head for this form.

Inspired, I started to sketch up a few designs and ended up with this:

Concept body sketch by Shane Haddy

I posted it onto my twitter asking for feedback and I got some great tips, especially regarding form requirements for casting in Japan. Main points being the arms are too small and I should fan out the legs. I passed the concept onto TOVI with the feedback notes and she produced this:

Concept body sketch by TOVI

Not only did TOVI add her unique style, she came back with a cool name! Dactylus! Dactyly is the arrangement of digits (fingers and toes) on the hands and feet. On a side note, this is how TOVI and I work. I generally sketch up a design and pass it on to get cleaned up and TOVI'afied.

I am still finalising Dactylus and I'm totally open for any critiquing! So if you have any thoughts about the design, please post!

Going back onto the finger puppet design, I have got something in the works, just working out details with the sculptor. I will reveal soon!

Great eye of Dactylus is watching you!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Design intent!

Back in uni, the catch phrase for a mistake was "design intent". The joke being, "its not a mistake, it was intended to be like that in the first place."

I might always look at the bright side of things but through mistakes you can almost always discover greatness! Sometimes I go over old sketches to discover totally new designs! Old sketches are great inspiration!

So, why am I talking about mistakes? Well, I wasn't having much luck with sculpting. I wasn't able to achieve the forms I was after. I think it takes away some of the soul but I started to develop Kaiju designs in CAD, this way I can play around with shapes and forms and quickly edit them in a medium I am comfortable in.

Now, where this is where the mistake comes into it! I had a chance to get it 3D printed for free. So I had the file setup and when it was done I had one major problem, I set the scale wrong! A mico kaiju came out!

Micro 3D printed Kaiju designed by Shane Haddy

Is this a problem? Not at all! Micro Kaiju here we come :P

This was done some time ago, I haven't had direct access to the 3D printer over xmas but I will again soon! Soon it will have hands and legs, ready to crush us all!

I will continue sculpting by hand and will release some of my own sculpts :)

As it was intended to be.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Paint Buckets

As an industrial designer, I like to get involved in the whole process of a product design. From initial conceptual drawings, right up to the manufacturing. Part of the process behind toy design is the hand painting so I just had to give it a shot!

I grabbed a whole bunch of paint from Dead Presidents. Their range of Monster Kolor paints are KILLER and I highly recommend them!

Part of the order I got myself the "Bullmark Hawaii" kit, this kit was in conjunction with Max Toy co. It came with set of paint and either a mini Tripus or Eyezon. I got the Tripus kit as I already had a few mini Eyezons.

I started by doing a bit of research into what "Bullmark Hawaii" was all about. To put it simply, they tend to use bright colours on a "flesh" coloured vinyl. There are many colour combinations that were used for the "Hawaii" range but most of them were not in this kit! I wasn't able to find a toy with the same colour combination as all the paints in the kit so I compiled a list of methods and colour application as inspiration. I think it turned out really neat! The only thing I should really add is the eyes.I might get back to it one day but I am happy as it is.

Tripus - Hawaii Bullmark Colours by Shane Haddy

The kit was great and I really hope there will be more to come! Going back onto the colour combos, I would love to see a second Hawaii kit that focuses on another combination of classic colours.

I just wanted to dip my finger into painting but now I am hooked! So I will continue on painting, I will post many more :)

Painting, get into it!!

Mark Nagata's Alien Argus custom show

I wasn't even intending to be part of the custom world but when Mark Nagata asked if I would like to be part of his Alien Argus show, it hit me at how much fun it would be. Not only is it fun but it would be a great way for people to get to know of H+S!

This is the first time I would be doing a "complete" custom toy (beyond custom paint) so I will edit up Argus in my own way! I have reworked many product designs but this will be more fun!

I have a plan but it seems more and more ideas keep popping into my mind! After I reveal the final design, I will write up the list of ideas that I had, I might even take requests from that list :P

My design intent is to keep the form of Arugus while integrating it into my design. So I hope you will like it! I will take WIP pictures but will only post them once its complete.

I hope this goes well for me and I am totally interested in working for other custom shows, so feel free to ask!


TOVI and her kaiju creation Barrelmon, which is being directed and produced by H+S and will be released in March.

TOVI is an artist that works closely with H+S. Her unique style creates something playful that I love. Till now, TOVI wasn't interested in kaiju or "UGLY things" but she is slowly having fun in the world of kaiju!

There will be more pictures of Barrelmon soon and always new projects from TOVI

Keep your hearts open!
Hello team!

This will be the first post of the Hints and Spices studio blog. You may notice a few backlog of posts; the original intent of this blog was to link cool things to others a few years ago.

Funfact: Hints and spices first came about as the title of my portfolio "a collection of visual hints and spices" I cut it back to just "hints and spices" and it stuck! Its a fun name and it portrays what H+S is all about which is being "dedicated to the production of fun"

I gather most people coming here will be interested in the toy work that H+S has started to do. This is fantastic! I look forward to showing many toy projects in the coming months!

There will also be other projects beyond toys, so please enjoy the ride!

It's all about fun!