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‘Ask Sideshow’ Answers – 04/24/07
‘Ask Sideshow’ Answers – 04/24/07
Your Questions Answered - 04/24/07
Matt L. What goes into painting the figures/busts etc. that Sideshow produces? What materials are used? Are different layers of paint applied? How can such small details on these figures be painted to such a high standard?
Sideshow Collectibles: The paint used to paint the products depends upon the material used for the product (ie: polystone or plastic). Different paints are chosen to best achieve the desired finish/effect, but also for their ability to permanently adhere to the base material. We don't want the paint to easily scratch, flake, or chip off of the products, so the paints are usually designed to 'bite' into the surface of the product enough to become permanent.
There are many, many layers and paint applications on each product. For example, on Jabba, there were over 180 different paint applications to achieve the subtle mottled tones and shading of his skin.
Dylan T. Can the molds that were used to produce the PF General Grievous be shrunk to 1/6th scale to produce a 12" figure line version? Thanks!
Sideshow Collectibles: Many companies sculpt at two times the size of the desired product, allowing the sculptor to pack in a lot more detail on the surface of the piece. These sculptures are then pantographed down to the desired size in the tooling process. It's not an exact science, and can result in odd proportions or scaling issues, but can also give a really nice finished product.
That sort of method could, in theory, be applied to reduce Premium Format Grievous to 12-inch Grievous, but it isn't very likely. To make a proper 12-inch Grievous, our designers would need to give a lot of consideration to the engineering of the piece, so that maximum articulation could be incorporated into the design. This would require many changes to the body of the model. IF, hypothetically, we were to ever approach General Grievous in the 12-inch format, it wouldn't be as simple as downsizing his big brother PF.
Doris G. Why don't you list the artists' names with each piece of work now? I would like to know who does the painting and the costumes as well to make a piece come together so well. An artist profile list would be great with each piece of work you offer. I can see similarities with work and wonder if I am right is guessing who did the sculpturing. Thank you!
Sideshow Collectibles: We're evaluating how to best give credit to ALL of the team members who participate in a project, rather than focusing credit on the sculptor or another individual part of the process. We plan to rely more on the Production Blog to do this, to tell the story of the design and development of the pieces. We are currently in a transitional period, please bear with us. Thank you for your understanding.
Brant R. Most collectors are aware that some of Sideshow's 12-inch figures are based on actual Sideshow employees. Brant's and Tom's figures are quite well known, but what other figures are based on "lesser seen" Sideshow employees? Are The Dead figures specifically based on employees too? Thank you for your answers!
Sideshow Collectibles: Sideshow employees have appeared often in the military lines from Sideshow past, especially the Bayonets & Barbed Wire and Brotherhood of Arms lines. Tom Gilliland (Creative Director), Heath Hammond (3D Development Manager), Darth Rimmer (3D Creative Coordinator), Jared Chapman (3D Creative Coordinator), and others are present in those lines. We can neither confirm nor deny any 'dead' employees that 'The Dead' figures may or may not be based on....
Michael P. What factors usually determine what the Exclusive item will be for each piece, and how will you do that for characters that don't have much in the way of accessories from the films to begin with?
Sideshow Collectibles: It can be a challenge to find accessories for certain characters, or to balance characters who have LOTS of accessories. It's a decision that the design team makes, and really varies from figure to figure.
Andrew H. When the role of Sideshow is to be the distributor for a product, does Sideshow ever modify or improve the product? For example: Hot Toys will be shipping the ALIENS POWER LOADER to you; Could you then make the choice to add features, like a working orange beacon light on top? Or add sound features? Or improve the paint job? This question could apply to any product, but I know the quality of the POWER LOADER is on everyone's mind right now, and it will be that way until we have them in our hot little hands. Thanks!
Sideshow Collectibles: We have great relationships with our distribution partners, but don't often see a need to ask for any changes or improvements. Generally, we've chosen our partners because the product is already amazing, and doesn't need any help from us! Hot Toys already plans to include the working warning light on the Power Loader, and you can trust that the paint quality will be amazing.
Eric D. I really like the X-men vs. Sentinel diorama with the light-up feature. Did you ever consider adding a light-up feature like this for the 12-inch Star Wars lightsabers or any of the other lines?
Sideshow Collectibles: We have considered it, and do add these sorts of features when the sculpt/design will allow us to incorporate the feature without sacrificing some other aesthetic or weakening the structure. The 12-inch lightsaber blades could be illuminated, and many talented customizers have done so, but we haven't found any affordable way to do work it into the product at the production level.
Pete B. I noticed a difference on the head structure of the Alien3 dog in the Production Blog, and painted completed figure now offered. Why the change? Both look great!
Sideshow Collectibles: The one shown in our Production Blog is missing the clear dome over the 'skull.' The original design used molded plastic (blister material) for the clear dome, but we've revised this to include a clear polystone dome on the final product.
Collin T. The Alien3 maquette looks great, but when are we going to get a maquette from the original ALIEN movie? That's the one I'm waiting for to go with my Predator maquette!
Sideshow Collectibles: You can look forward to some exciting news on the Alien and Predator fronts, but we can't say any more in detail about the upcoming products!
Scott E. There has been a lot of speculation on some of the discussion boards I frequent... is the LOTR 12-inch figure line coming to an end, or can I and others look forward to collecting more of these figures from the films?
Leah P. When will we see the next teaser for a new LOTR 12-inch figure? It's almost time for Faramir to ship out and there is nothing 12-inch figure related on the horizon!
Mike D. Can't we have at least a hint as to what the next LOTR 12-inch release will be? I love the look of those figures and am extremely anxious to learn which characters are next. And for what it's worth, my vote is for an Eowyn as Dernhelm from ROTK.
Sideshow Collectibles: The LOTR 12-inch line is definitely NOT coming to an end. There are several characters in development, but we're not quite ready to announce (or tease) which character will be next! We're hoping that once the next pre-order is live, we can keep a steady flow of LOTR figures (true for the Premium Format line also), and avoid any long waits between releases in the future.
Carlos A. I know you probably get this one a lot: when will Darth Vader be coming along for the Star Wars 12-inch line? Or when will the next Sith will be announced?? Thanks!
Laureado O. Hi Sideshow staff, what are the chances of seeing a Darth Vader 12-inch figure for next year? Also, if you are planning to make, say, another version of Luke, Han or Leia are you going to use previous sculpts or new ones?
Sideshow Collectibles: It's no secret, Darth Vader is at the top of our list for 12-inch figures, but isn't going to be one of the next announcements. Darth Vader is a very unique project, one that we aren't willing to rush...
I think that the newly announced 30th Anniversary Exclusive Yavin Luke should answer the question about new versions of characters that we've previously released - we intend to use new sculpts to be as accurate to the character/costume as possible.
Paul T. Hi. I saw fabulous pictures of Elvira on the Electric Tiki website and was wondering when she will be available for pre-order. She's just beautiful! Also, do you know if the Tooned-Up Television line has plans to do "Gilligan's Island"? I, for one, would buy every one of them, but specifically, Ginger and MaryAnn. Thanks!
Sideshow Collectibles: Stay tuned, we're excited about Electric Tiki's Elvira too!
Alan F. When can we hope to see some more of your excellent Brotherhood of Arms ACW figures?....or a fine mount for those cavalry we already have?
Sideshow Collectibles: Keep an eye on the site! There's nothing we can announce just yet, but our design team has a real soft spot for the Civil War.
Kevin P. I was wondering if you were still planning on coming out with the Ilum Padme 12-inch figure? Thanks.
Sideshow Collectibles: Yup! Keep an eye on the site for news about Ilum Padme. We've worked out a few of the kinks, and should be providing a big update in the near future!
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Also, a fair warning: Questions that ask, "Will you be doing/Why don't you do [insert license or character name]?" will probably never be answered. We're happy to drop hints when we can, but we cannot answer any direct questions about what we're planning in the future for a variety of reasons, which include (but are not limited to) licensing, production, artistic contracts, and ever-changing schedules and projected release dates. Please feel free to use the form for all these sorts of questions or quasi-suggestions, BUT don't be offended when we don't answer to your full satisfaction... or don't answer at all - it's not personal, we promise!