Thursday, April 28, 2011

What is a TOVI? pt.2

This following post was written by TOVI

Continued from Part 1



After the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami occurred, I saw that Troy Stith had set up the KAIJU FOR JAPAN fundraiser - which I really wanted to participate in.

Japan holds a very dear place in my heart - it was the place I pretty much became an adult (being a young whelp who led a sheltered life and travelling alone for the first time). I got lost on my first day there because I was distracted by cute toys and turned down too many side streets. Again, nothing attractive about a missy sitting on the kerb sobbing her eyes out in the rain (this was the time before googlemaps)

Also, my dear friend Emiko-chan lives there, so I felt obligated to do something on my part.

So I had the idea of doing a KAIJU GALS! preliminary piece based on our first Kaiju – Barrelmon.

Here are some production pics of LADY BARRELMON for your entertainment. I've never really taken WIP pictures before, so this is a new fun thing for me too. I don't draw nearly fast enough for videos - you'd be sitting there all day if I tried that.

Initial quick sketch - whilst I was studying the difference between small and large bowel obstructions...

Re-do of the original sketch with small changes here and there - and use the feather light touch technique!

Initial work up with COPIC multiliner - using sizes 0.5, 0.1, and 0.05... this is the part where tremors occur

BEWB TIME!!!! this is also the point where I came down with pneumonia.... *coughs up sputum*

Fast-forward 5 weeks recovery period and we start working out what colour to make her -I went for green :o3

Finished the body! now to figure out the hair.... hmmmmzzzz...... *scratches head*

Blue hair using 6 different COPICs..ughh!!! so annoying. each stroke requires the blender tone. Painstaking :oS

Final touch up with DERWENT pencil and trace over COPIC multiliner... and we are done! <3 KAIJU FOR JAPAN <3

I also want to take this opportunity to say that I get awful embarrassed when I draw stuff like this. Contrary to belief, I am not a pervert (don't believe anything Shane says). It's really difficult to be able to draw stuff like this without blushing beet red each time you do it.

That and many of my friends don't really know what I draw - I only show them the PG-rated ones... I have a number of conservative friends and I’d be mortified if they thought I was some closet-pervert-steal-your-panties-type of person…

I guess, that's my secret - and you Kaiju fans out there are the ones to know this side of TOVI.

Anyway, during the last 6 months I became overworked and acutely ill. With my 3rd year medical degree + research project for points in order to apply for SET CardioThoracic Surgery Training + extra brown-nosing to consultants so they can be referees on my CV, I have come to terms that I will have to put my extracurricular activities on hiatus until the next summer holidays or my studies will suffer.

I'd like to thank everyone for their support and allowing me to practice my art - something that I haven't been able to do for a long time.

Please keep watch for new projects from Shane/Hints & Spices this year.

And at the end of the year - watch out for my projects! (particularly the KAIJU GALS! sexy project with various Kaiju designers).


Just to note: TOVI is a closet-pervert-steal-your-panties-type of person :P teheheheh

Also, I am the VERY lucky owner of the Lady Barrelmon art work! I am ecstatically happy with it! The tones are just fantastic and its a pervy picture I am proud to hang ;P

There are only a few things left in the KAIJU FOR JAPAN store. Get in fast! It's only on till the 6th of MAY '11

I wish TOVI all the best with her studies and look forward to more artwork from her. Especially more Kaiju work, I think Mark Nagata and myself are slowly converting her!

Fallacious ?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

What is a TOVI? pt.1

This following post was written by TOVI


Hello everyone!

Shane has asked me to write an entry on his blog telling you a little about TOVI.

So buckle up and enjoy the ride??!!

The last 6 months has been quite interesting for me, as well as completely off tangent to what I normally do...

It pretty much all started with Mark Nagata's EYEZON. I'll be honest... I'm not a big fan of Kaiju. It's just that they... well... they're pretty ugly... sorry to say. They’re monsters…

I'm into cute and pretty things. Like Rilakkuma. He is my GOD.

Anyway, Shane absolutely ADORES Eyezon and asked me to draw pictures of him riding this beast. This kaiju is fun to draw, but those damn polygons on his body….. *RAGES*

Shane riding Eyezon

Enter Mr. Mark Nagata - via Twitter.

I didn't have a Twitter before this either - I don't understand the concept of it... and as you can see by my rants, I still don't. I sort of use it like a chat box (much to the annoyance of my followers).

After viewing some of my art work, I was invited to participate in MAX TOY 5th ANNIVERSARY over the summer break.

Of course I said yes... even though I didn't feel I was up to standard. I’ve never even conversed with a person in the arty-farty business before, so I was quite apprehensive.

Hence I drew 5 different pieces – as I wasn’t sure what kind of artwork he wanted… that and I had loads of ideas of where I wanted to go but wasn’t sure which one would work.

Here are the pieces for the MAX TOY 5th ANNIVERSARY – which was on show in Japan and US earlier this month! If you go on the Double Punch website you can still purchase them and help fund me through medical school…*just joking* (^_^)

Chibi Lady Maxx

This one was quite arduous – I drew each kaiju separately and then rearranged them and re-drew them again…

Nerdy Lady Maxx

I have a soft spot for girls that wear specs… mainly because I do too.

Lady Maxx – Glove Seduction

This was the hardest one to draw – mainly because I couldn’t get her body right at all.

Lady Maxx – Special Ver. CORN DOG

(Note: I have an unhealthy obsession with CORN DOGS ever since I was little… which was re-awakened when watching Man Vs. Food and that COZYDOG… oh my goodness… *salivates*)

Lady Maxx – Omake Ver. LADY RILAKKUMAXX

As mentioned earlier, I also have an unhealthy obsession with Rilakkuma

I've never done anything arty before (except for random entries into art competitions at anime conventions). But during this time, I did a lot of cel-painting and hadn’t really used COPICs before.

My parents did not allow me to practice my art skills during my school years.

If I drew, it was in secret (mainly in between my maths books and stuff).

I've never had any formal training, and what I have learnt, I did through observation and making MANY mistakes (>_<"). My inspiration comes from CLAMP and Kaoru Mori – all are female artists and also have obsessions with pretty things.

Anyhoo, to continue the story.

It was at the same time that Shane and I decided to make our first Kaiju. You've all seen the photos of it, so I won't bore you of the details. I've only ever used LaDoll before, so it was really weird to use something that you had to bake... And of course, I'd have a tray of fries in the oven as well (my theory behind this was to kill two birds with one stone).

There’s something very unattractive about sitting cross-legged on the floor with clay and chips in your lap whilst watching TV... Oh well.

I had to go back to school in January, so I pretty much packed up all my art stuff to bring with me. At that time, I hadn't started colouring the MAX TOY stuff, so I was pretty behind. I think working full-time over summer didn’t leave much spare time for me anyway.

In any case, I was quite relieved to have finished them in time for Mark and sent them away in a postal tube (or fallopian tube, as one of my medical colleagues described).

À Bientôt


TOVI's art is currently on display at Double Punch, San Francisco till the 14th of May.

I have all the post cards and they look wild! Yet, the original art work has so much more depth that the prints were not able to capture! So if you get a chance, go check it out and all the other artists work at the Max Toy co 5th year!

If you are lucky, you can still get some of TOVIs original artwork or postcards on the Double Punch - Max Toy co 5th year anniversary page -

Continued in Part 2

The act of being random beyond all human capacity

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Order up!!

Continuing my Lady Maxx Diner line of customs, I have made an Eyezon cheese burger for the 'Kaiju for Japan'. Kaiju for Japan is an online sale event to raise funds for Japan's earthquake and tsunami victims.

Sorry, I haven't taken many WIP pictures but here we go.

After some hesitation, I cut up the poor defenceless mini eyezon. This was a sad moment as I purchased him at the 2010 winter Wonderfest in Japan, where they first debuted. Other than being part of the first release, Wonderfest restored my faith and passion in toy design. This blank had lots of meaning to me, using him would be most fitting for the cause.

Sand, sand, sand!!! This is where most of my time was spent. Carving the cracks, smoothing out, carving deeper, smoothing out more.... all by hand, I really need a Dremel. After everything was ready, it was time to paint with Monster Kolor. I have said it before, but I am always really impressed with MK paints! Its hard to see in the photos but there are many subtle changes in the paint work. I will make a video once its a nice day to capture the colours in the sunlight.

Monster Kolor Paints

Buns (top and bottom)
Over Easy, Fleshless, FireCracker and C-Thru Orange

Yellow and Over Easy

Brown (non MK) and Colour Change Flakes

Thick and juicy layer of clear coat!!!

side by side

Hit up on April 22nd for Eyezon Burger and many other cool customs and originals done by many talented artists and designers. Seeing some of the submissions and knowing the names involved, I highly advise getting your wallets ready to buy some wild pieces for a great cause!

For more information on the event and Troy Stith, the great man behind putting kaiju for japan together, please visit his blog

Pray for Japan

Monday, April 18, 2011

Stronger, faster

Broken Barrelmon - A sad day

Barrelmon in all of his pieces. Lucky enough, he broke into parts that will help with casting. I have been cleaning him up in preperation for a new cast and have recently noticed a few areas that need repair. He is doing fine and will bounce back with a healthy recovery.

We can rebuild him!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

I said HEY

WOW, time does fly by! Sorry for the delay of blog posts, I plan to rectify this right now.

I have individually spoken to people about various events of the past two months and mentioned things on my twitter but I thought it would be best to post about what’s going on. Especially for people waiting for Barrelmon!

The adventure of Barrelmon:

When I got Barrelmon, the best way to recast it would have been to split him into parts and cast each individually. It would have been the best way but TOVI and I didn’t want to cut up her sculpt, she put many hours into it and I didn’t want part lines in the final product, especially on the eye sockets. Wanting to cast it as one piece, I knew with my skill level in moulding and casting, it would be best to hire an expert. So I started my first quest; to find a local caster that was happy to cast in one piece, this was hard, many telling me it wasn’t possible and giving me outrageous quotes to steer me away.

Then, I found someone that knew exactly what I wanted and everything was perfect! I booked him for the start of March. Then he got delayed on a few projects and I told him that was fine, but then it got delayed into his holiday and my booking got pushed back till after. Wanting March to be the release date, I said I will attempt it myself. He gave me some tips and I ordered my supplies.

Moulding and casting is tricky, I have done it for one off simple prototypes before but producing a quality run is entirely different. Barrelmon is quite a complicated sculpt with many undercuts and thin twisting sections that can create issues, the biggest being pockets of air that can’t escape that prevents resin to fill the entire mould. Knowing this, I planned out a mould, which replicated quite well.

Sadly, Barrelmon himself didn’t make it out of the mould alive! Poor little guy broke all over when I took him out! This was okay I thought to myself: “I have a mould now...... I can cast many!” Yet, there were more air pockets than I first anticipated, which produced poor resin casts.

I have been editing the mould by cutting out channels for the air to escape but with little success, I am pouring casts that may have less air pockets but more issues seem to arise by my edited moulds. It’s a battle!

So, with Barrelmon in pieces, I have been trying to recover the mould. I am still trying to rescue the mould but I am going to now cast the individual parts he broke into. It will be easier making the mould but it will require much more hands on work putting together and cleaning up once cast.

For me, it has been a great learning experience with developing projects. So many discoveries with unexpected problems. I love attempting all directions to solve problems and I think I have been too caught up in dealing with them and not informing people of what is going on.

Thanks for everyone who have shown support and patience with this production - I really hope to get Barrelmon out there as soon as possible, but quality comes first!