April 30, 2012


Months ago I posted about model company Industria Mechanika creating a model kit based on my Dystopic piece. Well after a couple hiccups in production (me and Gene, the modeler, moving to Victoria and a redesign of the base), here are a couple sneak peeks of the final master sculpt of the figure. This highly detailed kit will be 1/6th scale, and be composed of resin and metal parts.

Gene Campbell did a great job modelling the kit, enhancing it with his own touches and adding a subtle texture pass to the figure. Gene has modeled my work in the past, as we worked together at Next Level Games, and we currently work together at Microsoft in Victoria.

As mentioned above the original base of this model (seen in the original Dystopic piece), had to be discarded, as it pushed production costs and shipping costs (due to size and weight), to excessive levels. The new base not only keeps the cost of the kit within reason, but the use of an orb reinforces the design of the series. It also has the benefit of mirroring the base design of the next kit, "The Star", so the two kits will complement each other on the shelf!

Industria Mechanika is in the process of putting the kit together for production and figuring out packaging etc.. The final product should be ready for release in late summer/early fall of 2012.

Thanks again to Gene for his awesome job, and to FichtenFoo and Industria Mechanika for setting the whole thing up!

April 25, 2012


Last year Russian Dub-Metal band Skafandr licensed one of my pieces for the cover of their new album "Glaz". The album has finally seen the light of day, being released last week. The piece used, "Destrudo", was modified slightly with the hexagram on the helmet being replaced with Skafandr's cosmonaut logo.

Skafandr sent me a copy of the album a while back and it is pretty solid. I like some heavier instrumental music like Godspeed you Black Emperor, Pelican and Red Sparrows. This has a more of a Dub influence, a bit more of a groove to it. There are some great tracks and it is worth a listen.

Thanks to Kirill and the rest of the band for the opportunity!  

April 14, 2012


This is a series of pieces created for Endeavor's new High 5 snowboard for the 2012/2013 season. Max Jenke at Endeavor set the direction for this one, asking me to look into Russian prison tattoos. I started with a few great online resources, found a couple books and watched Alix Lambert's "Mark of Cain", and Cronenberg's "Eastern Promises". As I dug through the material I became fascinated by the rich language of the tattoos and became interested in a shadowy group known as the Vory V Zakone. Vory V Zakone, Russian for "Thieves in Law", is a title bestowed upon respected and high ranking criminals that follow a strict set of rules known as the "Thieves Code". The Vory V Zakone came into being in the early Soviet period as a ruling group within the swelling prison population of the gulags, and went on to become a highly influential part of the world of Russian organized crime.

The central aspect of these pieces are the tattoos. Inmates in Russian prisons use a detailed set of tattoos to indicate their position or rank within the prison hierarchy and the criminal underworld. These detailed pieces of art, often created using primitive, hobbled together equipment, are steeped in symbolism and meaning. For example a rose indicates that the wearer went to prison as an adolescent, while a tattoo of Mary with the baby Jesus represents that the individual was born a criminal. 

Each board graphic is centered around a specific tattoo. The 157 is "BARDAK", Russian for "whorehouse" and used in prison parlance to mean "this is what is killing us", and features a collage of vices: drugs, alcohol, women, violence etc. On the 155 the focus is an orthodox crucifix tattooed on the chest which means "Prince of Thieves" and that the individual is a high ranking Vor. 

These tattoos are displayed on figures that are also adorned with secondary tattoos and have their identities hidden. Behind and below the figures are collages of weapons, Russian icons, maps and symbols that relate to the essence of the meaning of that particular tattoo and speak to the criminal/prison theme of the series.

Originally I had intended to keep these pieces grey scale or with subtle blue wash in an attempt to capture the look and feel of the wonderful period photographs of Russian prison inmates and their tattoos that I had been using for reference. But due to marketing and product differentiation reasons Endeavor requested that the boards be coloured. I've always been a fan on Russian aviation camouflage so I used the colours from those patterns as a starting point and massaged them further. 

For the base graphic we used the letters of "Endeavor" encased in the frames of Russian prison ring tattoos across the fingers. The same base graphic is used across all the boards in the series, just coloured to match each individual top sheet. 

Below are few pages from the 2012/2013 Endeavor catalogue featuring the production versions of the boards, tech specs. etc..

These boards are currently being promoted along with the new Endeavor line (including some more great work from Rory Doyle) on the trade show circuit and should be available late summer/early fall 2012.

Thanks to Max, Rob and Jason at Endeavor for their input and support. Catalogue images courtesy of Endeavor Snowboard Design.