Sideshow’s long-awaited Wonder Woman Premium Format™ Figure is arriving soon and we can’t wait to unleash the Amazon princess into Fan’s…er, Man’s World. Meanwhile, we thought it’d be fun to throw a Lasso of Truth around the creators of the piece, and host an official Q&A about the making of Wonder Woman.
How much time, from concept to final product, did it take to create this piece?
David Igo: January 14th, 2011 was when we started our first early concept sketches. I don’t think we had a final design until late 2012, and started the sculpt early 2013. Sculpting was done September, and the final prototype was done by November. All in all, nearly 3 years, which isn’t typical, but Wonder Woman needed and deserved that extra consideration throughout.
What was the process of sculpting this masterpiece?
Schu: Wonder Woman was sculpted digitally in a neutral standing pose first. The base and weaponry were sculpted separately and then everything was assembled together digitally into the final pose. Due to loss of detail in the digital 3d printing output process we went back in afterward and added all of the fine details by hand in wax.
Was there a thought to go with mixed media, or was it fully sculpted from the get-go?
Tom Gilliland: In some cases the multimedia either doesn’t add anything, or worse, it can detract from the cleanliness and precision of sculpt. In this case we wanted to depend on sculpted detail and fidelity.
The paint is so life-like! What was your technique?
Kat Sapene: Generally I like to start with the portrait and flesh on a figure, which helps set the tone for the rest of the figure. My main focus when painting the portrait was to make her look intense, yet feminine. I kept her makeup fairly simple. This Wonder Woman doesn’t waste time primping in front of a mirror, she has a world to take care of.
Then I move on to the clothing, accessories, and then the base last. But before I actually start to paint, I like to mix most of the colors that I will need. This way, I can be sure that the colors I’m using will work together and can avoid having to tweak things after the fact, which can lead to muddy tones. Once everything is painted, I’ll seal the figure with a matte spray and then add any gloss or satin finishes that will help give that last bit of pop and bring it to life.
What went into choosing the costume? Is the figure based off original ideas or a specific comic?
Kris Anka: I spent a lot of time researching costume details and accessories, as well as being a very big Wonder Woman fan to begin with, so the final product was aimed to be sort of the best of all worlds while also being our own. We drew inspiration from various designs from the comics, but I really spent the time to make a “new” costume, with a lot of stress being placed on it never really feeling dramatically different. I wanted her to look iconic, while having all-new details.
Kat Sapene: Paint wise, I thought that going with more realistic colors rather than straight comic book colors fit the figure better. I found some images of a costume that looked like faded leather. I really liked that look, so I went with that and used a more antiqued gold for the details.
How did you decide on the setting and design of the base?
Kris Anka: I felt it was important for the very first statues of each of the DC trinity to feel like they were set in the characters’ respective worlds. So with Batman we went with a gothic gargoyle, Superman was in the Fortress of Solitude, and for Wonder Woman we both wanted to homage a battlefield as well as Themyscira.
When designing a character, how much thought goes into how it’ll look when displayed along with the other figures in the line? Do you just do the best Wonder Woman you can, or do you really take into account this one being displayed alongside the others?
David Igo: Great question! Both. We want her to be able to stand on her own and work with the rest of the Justice League. We’re doing that with nearly every character and license we’re working with now. In addition to making strong individual statements, we’re really looking at how they work in collections, families, rogues galleries, team-ups, etc.
Tom Gilliland: What Dave said. Expect to see more themes and relationships between characters in the future.
What was the most difficult part of making this piece?
Schu: Every sculpt presents its own challenges that you can learn from and then apply to the next sculpt. The hardest part (but still enjoyable to create), was all the weaponry. Oh and that damn column!
Kat Sapene: I agree, every piece has it’s difficulties. For me on Wonder Woman it was getting the portrait to look the way I wanted. In our portrait, Wonder Woman has her eyes narrowed. This can be a little tricky because with a little too much shading that can quickly turn into an pretty unattractive scowl, and I wanted our Wonder Woman to strike the right balance of strength and grace.
David Igo: The team did an amazing job with finding the balance of strong, sexy, and confident. Portrait especially, giving her attitude without making her look mean, or masculine. It’s tricky, and the way they brought all that together in 3D was perfection.
How did you decide on the axe as the Exclusive accessory?
Tom Gilliland: We really wanted to push that hardened warrior aspect for the Exclusive. Nothing says “trouble” like a dual wielding DPS set up.
David Igo: NERRRRRDDDD!
So what’s next, now that Wonder Woman is finished?
David Igo: There’s a variant edition we are considering for her, I think people won’t expect at all, to go with a new three piece series. I’ll just go ahead and let that sink in a bit, but expect to hear more about it next year…