View Full Version : Dashing Prince - Katamari Damacy

09-17-2005, 08:55 PM
Well, this will be a first!

Several months ago my son emailed me this image:


The little dude's name is Dashing Prince from the PS2 game Katamari Damacy. I have never seen it, but apparantly it is a pretty hot game among the college crowd.

Austin asked if I knew of a kit of this character. I said that I didn't, but that I would ask around. At that time, none was available, but then this showed up at Wonder Fest in August:


I posted a plea for information in THIS THREAD (http://www.gkjapan.com/showthread.php?t=30) and the ever-diligent nightengale found one for me at YJ. SAM then helped me bid on it, but we were sniped by someone willing to pay really stupid money for this:


It kinda pissed me off that such a simple model was going for over 65 bucks, so I figured what the hey, I've got a little bit of modeling experience - maybe I could scratchbuild one myself! After thinking about it for a couple weeks, I decided to give it a go.

I picked up some polybutyrate tubing like I used to use back when I was a professional model builder, building architectural models and models of petrochemical plants. I also snagged a few semi-eliptical caps while I was at it. I will use these components as the base for his head.

This morning I went to Home Depot and picked up some various couplings and reducers on the plumbing aisle, then hit Hobby Lobby to see what I could find there that might be useful. I found the little wooden flower pot there.


Then I drove over to Texas Art Supply and picked up a few basic sculpting supplies - some Super Sculpey, a cheap-ass sculpting tool kit, and some turpenoid for smoothing the clay once its sculpted.


The first thing I did was print some copies of the reference material I had collected. Using a pair of calipers, I baselined my measurements by measuring my tubing first:


Then I took some measurements of the drawings:



Using these measurements, I determined that I would use a 25% differential when scaling my figure. I will do this by multiplying each of my caliper readings by 1.25 and sculpt my model accordingly.

09-17-2005, 09:32 PM
I can't wait to see how this turns out. Very exciting! I'm sure it will be a wonderful build. You're so creative.

09-17-2005, 09:59 PM
hehe those are the exact same supplies i got fromt he art store! hopefully my SS will last me for a while... since i havent touched it in months =S

but i always love seeing scratch builds :) goodluck on this! have a feeling its gunna turn out cool

09-17-2005, 11:13 PM
After setting up my scale ratio, I jumped right in and got started. First I measured the length of Prince's head, scaled it up, and subtracted the thickness of the semi-eliptical caps. (I suppose I coulda farted around in Photoshop and made the drawing 1:1, but I dig playing with my tools and pretending like I know what I'm doing. :p )


The diameter of the tubing is too large to use my Xacto miter box, so I dug out my tubing cutter instead.


One drawback to using a cutter like this is that it doesn't make a perfectly flat cut like a saw would:


The solution is simple - lay a piece of 180 grit sandpaper flat on your bench and press the end flat against the paper, moving gently in a circular motion (woo-hoo!). Here's a tip - always let the tool do the work. Many times we want to force something and really use a lot of pressure, whether its sanding, filing, drilling, polishing, etc. Be patient and let the device do what its made for!


As I mentioned at the top of the thread, I am using polybutyrate components to create the head of my model. Butyrate does not respond to styrene cement (which causes a melting reaction) and it doesn't do well with CA either. The best stuff is also the nastiest - methylene chloride. The fumes are really bad for you, and you don't want to get it on your skin either.

I used to use methylene chloride back in my pro days, and I still have a lot of my tools from back then, including this specially modified glass syringe. This stuff essentially welds butyrate together, and it would destroy the rubber plungers in regular syringes, hence the custom glass units that I use.


WARNING!! I do NOT recommend this stuff for noobs!! It is dangerous and can affect you in very bad ways if you don't know what you're doing!

After drawing a small amount into my syringe, I held the cap in place and gently applied the methylene to the join. The weld takes about five seconds to set up.


And here we have our Dashing Prince's noggin all roughed in and ready for the next step!


09-17-2005, 11:21 PM
ooo going to be eager to see more progress on this build :wub:

i know nothing about Dashing Prince but looks like it will be fun to make :D

09-18-2005, 12:35 AM
...SAM then helped me bid on it, but we were sniped by someone willing to pay really stupid money for this:


It kinda pissed me off that such a simple model was going for over 65 bucks, so I figured what the hey, I've got a little bit of modeling experience - maybe I could scratchbuild one myself! After thinking about it for a couple weeks, I decided to give it a go..

ROFL: Go Film Go! :D Agreed. 65 bones seems like way too much for such a simple kit and the details look pretty soft in the photos. I'm sure your scratch build will be much cleaner.

(I'm really digging the straight-up, pro-model builder action here too. I hate building "real" architecture models anymore. Too much gosh-darn work - Gimme girl kits anyday :D )

09-18-2005, 12:59 PM
This is so neat!

10-02-2005, 05:56 PM
Okay, after surviving the hurricane and then going to Florida (again) last week, I finally got back on my bench today. Here is a progress report:

Thinking that if I were to use a base for Prince's lower body I would have a good shape to model over, I found this little wood flower pot at Hobby Lobby. I cut it at an angle, drilled a 1/8" hole through the bottom, and epoxied a length of aluminum tubing inside.




This would have made the body too short and squat, so I wound some armature wire around the tubing and attached it with epoxy:


I broke out the Super Sculpy and roughed in the body, then smoothed it out using my cheap-ass sculpting tools:


Only one problem - when I looked back at my reference pix, I saw that the body I had created was too wide at the bottom and too large in general. Compare this photo with the body above:


Essentially the bottom of the body should be approximately the same diameter as the tube that I used for his head.

What to do? Why, start over, of course!

10-02-2005, 06:00 PM
This time I used a small 1/2" diameter coupling that I found in the plumbing section of Home Depot. After epoxying it to another piece of aluminum tubing, I re-sculpted the body with Super Sculpy. It looked pretty close, so I baked it in the oven at 275 for half an hour. Here is what it looked like straight out of the oven:


And here it is compared with the original:


Now remember that I've never done this before, so I am just winging it here. I test fit the new piece to the head . . . looks much better now!


Encouraged, I broke out some 60 grit sandpaper and started reducing the body and smoothing out the sides. Here is my progress after about half an hour:


More to come!

10-02-2005, 07:32 PM
yay more work. lookin good. =^.^=

glad the hurricane didnt get you :wub:

11-14-2005, 12:56 PM
Bump *hint hint*

11-14-2005, 07:08 PM
I know, I know. I've been busy! (Didja see the two cars I finished??) :D

12-29-2005, 09:57 PM
And now, back from the dead, I bring you . . .

An update!! (Dedicated to Willow, Kaylamew, and of course Ari!)

For those of you who were in chat the night that the lottery winners were announced, you will remember that I went on in some detail about my experiences with the Prince. For those who were not there, here is the Cliff Notes version:

I am building this model for my son, who is an avid fan of the game Katamari Damacy. (As I understand it, a second version of the game has been released, but it focuses more on the King of the Universe as opposed to the Dashing Prince.)

Anyway, my intention was to complete the sculpt so that I could give it to him for Christmas and I didn't want to post any progress photos because he occasionally drops by GKJ to check on my progress (or lack thereof!). In addition, I wanted to try my hand at casting, so my intent was to cast the Prince and assemble one of the resin casts as well.

I am getting ahead of myself, so without further ado, here is the long-overdue update:

When we last saw our Prince, we had just begun shaping and reducing the baked Sculpy body. When I picked him up again, I continued where I left off, sanding and priming, then sanding and priming again, until I got the shape looking pretty good. I then used a little mori-mori technique to close the gap between his head and body.



12-29-2005, 10:07 PM
I continued to reduce the putty and shape the join until it fit seamlessly against the head. I used a combination of Tamiya putty, Evercoat Eurosoft Automotive Glazing putty, and Mr. Dissolved Putty to finally get to this stage:


The next step was to work on his face. Using my calipers, I marked off the centerlines of the tubing that I used for his head. I then used some thin styrene strip to create the 2D outline of his face. Here you can see the outline taking shape:


Since the tubing is polybuterate, regular styrene cement won't work and cyano is too iffy, so I used some good old methelyne chloride and my trusty 25 year old glass syringe:


Next I made the features out of the same thin styrene that I used for his face. I first cut the tiny pieces to a rough shape and sanded them down until they were in scale and symmetrical. Here I am shaping one of his eyes (as you can see, my hands are waaaaay too big to hold the part, so I used some hemostats insetad!):


12-29-2005, 10:15 PM
After some effort, I finally got his face looking pretty good, I think! How about you?


So I test fit his noggin to his torso. Comin' right along!


What next? How about his antenna? I looked through my parts box and found this nose cone for an old Glencoe Mars Liner rocketship. I didn't want to use the original part, though, so I decided to cast one! I took an old film cannister and cut the bottom off of it for my mold box, mounted the antenna to the base (an vinyl parts box lid), and poured the silicone. The next day I removed the mold and here's what it looked like:


Then I poured some resin and here is the finished part:


12-29-2005, 10:30 PM
Well now, that worked pretty well, so lets cast the body! My modeling buddies who have done casting tell me that Legos are great for creating mold boxes - you can build 'em in different sizes, and the are reusable. Te only problem is that my kids are grown and in college and the Legos went bye-bye in a garage sale about five years ago, so on the Saturday before Christmas . . .

Let me repeat that:

On the Saturday before Christmas I went to the toy section of Target to buy some Legos! (What was I thinking??) Well, actually, I bought Duplos becasue they are larger and you can use fewer to make large mold boxes.

After fighting the screaming kids and harried parental units in Target, I returned to my Fortresss of Solitude and prepared my mold box. I got a sheet of plexiglass out of my scraps drawer and stuck the body to it using some Fun Tak:


I then built up a mold box around the body using the Duplos (pretty!):


If you look closely you will see a ribbon of Super Sculpy around the box. I put that in place to keep the mold material from seeping out. Okay, I am really fired up now! I went out into the garage ready to pour my mold. Only one problem - well, actually, two problems.

I didn't have enough mold material! ACK!!!

After mixing up the remaining material that I used to create the antenna, I could only fill the mold box halfway. On top of that, it seems that the two part mold material I had purchased at the IPMS Nats a year and a half ago had a specific shelf life, and it was as hard as a friggin' rock! F*ck!!

Well hell, I'm running out of time and I have a lot of other stuff to do before Christmas, so I'll just finish the sculpt and give him the original. I can practice casting on another sculpt later.

That's all for now, kiddos. Tomorrow I'll post more progress pix, including how I sculpted his arms and legs, painting the face, head and body, and some shots of the beginning of the base.

12-29-2005, 11:21 PM
he looks like he was coming along really well. definately cant wait to see the finished product!

do you have plans for what you'll be working on next? =^.^=

12-30-2005, 12:04 AM
Wow!!!! Great job. I'm loving the pictures. I can't wait to see the rest of it. The face looks great too. You're awesome. If I tried to do what you're doing I would have given up about three months ago. You are very dedicated and it shows in your craftmanship. Is that even a word? Well, it is now! LOL.

Keep up the amazing work Filmy!

12-30-2005, 12:12 AM
Bravo! Great Stuff Film!

Like I told you in chat; it's freaky that we're both casting stuff right now :blink: FWIW (It has taken me close to a year to get around to this since seeing the demo at the Houston show)

Can't wait to see more!

12-30-2005, 12:23 AM
if everyone starts with the scratch building, kit bashing and casts stuff GKJ could have its own little originals shop in the making :p

12-30-2005, 11:45 AM
Okay, picking up where we left off last night . . .

After casting the antenna, I checked the scale against my drawings and it was waaay to tall. I cut off about a third of the length, then attached the ball end of a Prym Dytz sewing pin. After puttying up the join with Mr. Dissolved Putty and sanding it down, here is the result:


Face painting has been a favorite game of mine ever since I was a little boy:


Okay, that looks good. Lets lay down some dullcoat so that the masking media won't pull his face off, then paint the light green color that will be the color of his, um - what should I call these? - uh, head bands.


You can see the pencil ticks where I will be masking the bands. I will do this today as I am taking the day off. (As you have probably gathered, I didn't get him finished in time to give him to my son for Christmas. That's okay, though, I showed him my progress and he was pretty stoked anyway - what a great kid . . .errrr, young man.)

Guess I'd better start on his appendages. After all, what good is a Prince if he can't dash?

Danger, Will Robinson!! (If you have to ask, you are too damn young!):


I didn't shoot this step, but check out the ring around the bottom of his tunic in the photo above. I rummaged through my "wires" box (I build a lotta cars and bikes, remember?) and found some stuff that looked just right, scale-wise. I used cyano to carefully attach it to the base of his tunic.

You can also see the transparent half elliptical end cap that I used for his lower body. Its basically the same piece that I used for the sides of his head, only a slightly different size.

12-30-2005, 12:03 PM
Again, I didn't shoot this step (I was trying like a madman to finish before Christmas!), but I first shaped the aluminum tubing into armatures approximating the angles that I wanted for his arms and legs, then covered them with Super Sculpey. After shaping them into something that approximated his limbs, I baked them in the oven and started refining their shape with files and sandpaper.

After some effort, they started resembling what I was looking for, so I shot a coat of primer so that I could see how much work I had left. (Looks like quite a bit!) Here they are after a couple of passes - the white globs are Mr. Dissolved Putty that I use for filling small holes, dents, and imperfections:



I got kinda tired of all the sanding and shaping, so I decided to start painting his body. After priming everything with Tamiya Fine White primer, I masked off his bottom and mixed up some green using three diferent colors of Delta Creamcoat:


Hey, I like that! Thinking ahead, I mixed a bunch of that color, 'cause his head and arms will also be painted in that shade. The white elliptical part - lets call it his butt - will be purple, as will his legs.

I also got started on the base. I found these black plastic trays at Hobby Lobby for less than a buck each. The mess you see is where I tried to remove the sticky label with some GooGone. What a dumbass. That's okay, though, I'm gonna sand it smooth and nobody will ever know the difference:


Since it is lightweight plastic, I am gonna epoxy some heavy duty washers to the bottom to keep it from tumping over. Remember that this model is the original sculpt, and the baked Super Sculpy will be really heavy.

I wanted to use a cool image for the base, so I found some fan art on the web and scaled it to the proper size using Photoshop. I then printed it out on glossy photo paper so that I can cut it to fit once I'm done:


Well, that's all for now. Time to get back to painting and sanding! I should have another update later this afternoon, and I might even reveal my next project today . . . wooooooo! :rolleyes:

(Red already knows what it is, and so do a few others, but I'll spill the beans later today.)