Friday, September 6, 2019

An Ewok-ening

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, toy collecting is a very slippery slope. It’s happened to me so many times wherein a single innocent and random purchase has led to me falling into yet another collecting rabbit hole. Such was the case when I bought my first modern ewok way back in 2012. This led to me buying even more ewoks to keep the first one company. The next logical step of course was to get myself an ewok village to house all my ewoks. Naturally, with the village came the need to spruce it up with a “golden idol” for the ewoks to worship, a couple of rebels to roast over the fires, a princess and of course an imperial speeder bike and AT-ST for them to commandeer. It’s a slippery slope indeed.

Anyway, back then I decided to write about my “ewok awakening” with a multi part entry to this blog, documenting this little project of mine of building my ewok village. Unfortunately, for some reason or another I never finished off the last part of this series...until now.

So in case you want to play catch up, here are links to the first three parts of my ewok adventures. Part one | Part two | Part three

As I wrote about in part three, my little project went so well that I decided to expand my village, basically doubling its size. This of course led to the need for getting even more little furry dudes to properly populate it which leads to the final part of this series.

Ok, so having a bigger village basically meant I needed more ewoks. Fortunately at that time, eBay was littered with loose lots of ewoks for sale. Most of these ewoks were of dubious origins (factory overruns maybe) being sold by sellers from China and Hong Kong, and they basically came with incomplete or mismatched accessories which was fine by me. All I cared about was that they were cheap and plentiful.

Of course these ewoks weren’t meant to be displayed as is, for some of these ewoks, a simple switching around of gear and weapons gave me new unique characters. But for most I wanted even more diversity, so I let me creative juices flow and got to painting the others. Still after all that painting I felt that I could take it up yet another level and so I did by using some epoxy putty. In case you’re not familiar, epoxy putty is a type of room-temperature-hardening substances used as space-filling adhesives (thank you Wikipedia). Basically it's a malleable substance that can be molded and sculpted while soft and eventually hardens after a few hours.

So I used the putty to carve out even more unique details from ewok to ewok. By no means am I an expert in sculpting, but it doesn’t take much skill to add a little more sculpted hair or a bigger nose.

Anyway, I thought I’d share a step by step process of one of the ewoks that I came up with.

First I added the epoxy sculpt. For this particular one, I really went overboard basically covering the entire original head. As you can see with the base figure next to him, the original had an unusually small head which gave me more room to work with. I used a cheap sculpting tool I got in a school supply store to carve out the hair detail.

I also used some of the epoxy sculpt to place additional details on his hood. Nothing too over the top.

With all the added detail done, next up is the paint. In case you’ve never heard this before, proper painting takes PATIENCE. Don’t just slather on the paint straight from the bottle. Do multiple thin coats of paint heavily dilluted in water. Start with a base coat (white or black) depending on what you want the final color to be. Allow each coat to dry properly (about 5-10mins) before applying the next. And finally make sure you use the right paint. For plastics like this, stick to water based acrylics. And take note of what you’re painting as there are flat and glossy paints. I made the mistake of using glossy paints on many of the ewok clothes so they came out extra shiny and looking extra plastic-y.

Here’s the new ewok newly assembled next to the original mold. I’d say that’s different enough.

I also gave him his own unique weapon using epoxy sculpt again for the spear head.

And there you have it! A brand new ewok. Anyway, I’ll end this post (and finally...this series seven years later!) with shots of a few more custom ewoks I came up with to populate my village! Yub nub!