Hellboy engagement ring box
My non-disclosure agreement was lifted so I can finally present you the brand new ring box I sculpted few months ago for Jimmy aka Big Red from Massachusetts, one of the hosts of http://www.talkradiomeltdown.com . He recently proposed to his girlfriend, and she said YES!
They are huge fans of Hellboy as you can probably guess. Jimmy wanted it to be Mike Mignola inspired comic book version rather than from the movie. He send me the photos of his favourite frames, and we worked together to find the best place to hide the ring inside the Hellboy bust. Few obvious ideas came to mind like hide it in the base, or split the head in two, but none of them looked right. We settled on lower jaw opening like a drawer and ring resting on the tongue. We thought it will add some humour to the sculpture. I even created 5 second mock-up to illustrate the idea using matchbox 🙂
I sculpted the whole thing using 3 packs of Super Sculpey Firm on top of aluminium wire and foil armature. To create void inside of his head, I used small brick of styrofoam embedded inside the model during sculpting, which I could melt when baking finished polimer clay. It worked very well, when I cut open and removed the lower jaw, I used heat gun to melt rest of the styrofoam inside the head and easily clean it with knife and sandpaper. That gave me square space inside with smooth walls. At first I planned to install custom made sliding mechanism I soldered together with brass pipes and attach it with screws. I wasted many hours to plan, construct and test-fit it inside. I scraped this idea at the end, because it was not smooth when all elements were put together. The red fabric on sides of jaw was going to mask the brass pipes, but it was also blocking the movement of tight packed mechanism. I realized that fabric and foam alone were creating better slider, I wish I figured this low-tech solution earlier.
I didn’t want the smooth the surface on this one. I imagined this sculpture as stone or metal bust so added the cracks and tool marks. I painted it to look like marble using airbrush, drybrush, spattering. It was so much fun to sculpt and paint and the scale (20cm tall) and weight of finished product.
I wanted to keep this for myself or make a mold and cast it, so I could experiment more. I didn’t do that and I regret it now. It will be one of the kind piece. If you really want the Hellboy bust like this, I was heavily inspired by sculpture created by Ivar-L, artist from Estonia, you can find him on deviantart and ask if he sells his busts. Here is the link to his work I used as one of my reference photos