Here's the Samurai Beetle, as promised! (Editorial update 1/17/10: I originally picked this style of beetle, because I thought the horns would make a cool helmet. Did a web-search this morning, and found out that it is a "Japanese Rhinoceros Beetle"...perfect! That goes great with my "SamuRhino", too.)
Before I get into the sculpting process, let me first say a big THANKS to those of you who were praying for my wife, Cat, while we flew to Florida for her surgery. We literally just walked in the door from our return flight home. She had a rare, benign Parathyroid tumor removed. The procedure was very successful, and her life should improve greatly. It was a long week, and we're glad to be home! Well, partly...it was gorgeous in Tampa Bay, and we've still got gobs of snow here! (Of course I took my sketchbook along...but more on that in another post.)
Okay...let's start at the bottom...it's the beetle's behind! I made the lower segment first, then drilled out the underside out so I could add wire for the legs.
Next I made some little tiny feet. I baked them before making the rest of the legs, so I wouldn't mash them.
I super-glued the feet onto the leg wires. I tried to make the belly look like a woven armor pattern. Then I sculpted the legs with shin and thigh armor. Once I had that part figured out, I could make the saddle for the back of the frog.
The katana (sword) was created by hammering some heavy-gauge wire. Next I add a little detail for the hilt, then make the scabbard from a thicker piece of wire and some epoxy.
Below are a few details from the rest of the process. Upper left is the head...below that are the arms being sculpted. The middle image shows the upper torso with the helmet on. Next is the banner that will be attached to his back....made from toothpicks, wire and aluminum foil. I coated the banner with wood glue, when completed.
Here's the final beetle design! He's all ready to be painted.
Once you soak all this in, I'll post the images of this little guy riding his mighty Battle Frog!