25 Sep 2012

Find Wallpaper Images Competition!

Win A Worm!

I have created 4 illustrations around the subject of Worm, my hand made toy.
"I worked hard to emulate different styles in each wallpaper. Seek them out for their own sake and if you're quick, win a Worm."

You will find 4 different illustrations on 4 different websites. (Hint: They are all closely related to Box-Bods and toy collectibles).
Here's 4 clues for the 4 sites;

1. "Box-Bod" "Blogs" it. (Wait on, that's this one!)
Worm is cut up. Inspired by Jason Freenie.

2. Some times your "bots" are in "bits" but you'll see what you're looking for at the bottom of the page.
3. BoxBods opens the "book" and "face" it. I hope you LIKE it.
4. It's good to "Flick" thRough pictures. (include this; /photos/realityornothing/)

Come on, can I make it any easier?

When you find all 4 different wallpaper illustrations, simply email the 4 web addresses you found them on to; hinterland@btinternet.com
The 3 quickest will each win a Worm.

Good luck!

17 Apr 2012

Bitbots Founder, Jats Gill, interview.

Bitbots founder, Jats Gill, kindly took some time to answer my questions so I could gain a little insight in to the Bitbots company and the Bitbots Jinny toy.

bitbots jinny street

1. What is your background and how did you get into the Toy collectible world?
I am a designer, I work in web design mainly, I have also worked in animation. I have a undergrad in Multimedia Technology and 2 post grads one in 3d character animation and the 2nd in image and communication

I have worked in the web industry for 6 years but I when I was younger and worked at the Apple Store in Regent St London I was introduced to vinyl toys. I started collecting and within a few years I had around 300 of them! I then just one day decided I'm going to stop buying them and start making them instead so that's what I did!

2. How did you evolve the Jinny, what was the inspiration?
I wanted to design a playful platform toy, my family nickname is Jinny so it was an ideal name for the toy. I wanted something that could be designed into a male or female character and I wanted to get away from the symmetrical designs in vinyl.

3. What were the main challenges to overcome in setting up Bitbots?
The early challenges are finding a factory in China, finding artists and finding the money! Once that is all done then the real battle begins finding stores to buy your products and getting the customers to like your toys. Every stage was extremely hard. In this market stores don't like taking risks with new toys.
4. What do you see in the future for Bitbots?
We are hoping to bring out more Jinny 6" designs, we have some amazing designs ready and waiting. We also want to develop our super limited edition range with Box-Bods.

We now have an amazing app that lets you design your own Jinny and take pictures we would like to take this further. I love Apple and tech products so its a great area to develop.

5. What advice would you give other designers who would like to create a Vinyl Toy?
Do your research, be realistic about the project and try to approach toy manufactures such as Bitbots to go into partnership with you. But even if you find a partnership, you will still have to pay for the production. In this financial climate having your own funding and an industry insider is the way to stand a chance in making a success of your idea.

6 Apr 2012

Worm, In An Apple Head, On A Body, In A Box!

On reflection of the numerous posts about Worm popping up on the internet, I realise there is scant visual reference to the box itself. This post hopes to rectify that.

When I was designing the Bods, I wanted to frame them somehow. My solution was to create a box that was integral to the display of the figure. This also helped me arrive at the name Box-Bods.

So here's a picture of Worm in his natural environment.

Worm-in-the-box early prototype
Each box is numbered 1-25 and has my signature on the back. The box has 4 windows to view the figure from each angle. You can see the box net here on my "about" page. This is an early iteration of the box.

As each Worm is hand made, they have slight differences from each other. As I mix my own paint from the primary colours, I was careful that the tones were consistent. When sculpting, however, I allowed each Worm to develop it's own character, the sculpting was done by hand and not from a mould or cast.

When painting the clay figures I adapted the design, to the nuance of each shape, in the hope that each Worm has it's own charm.

The figure is secured to the base of the box with a 1cm screw that locks it firmly onto the card.

Okay, description deficit rectified.

2 Apr 2012

Third Box-Bod And First Bod On Sale, Meet Worm.

Worm was the first concept I had for a Box-Bod, but for one reason and another was the third one to march off the factory floor. Well when I say factory floor, what I mean is my living room table.
Bitbots.co.uk presents Worm, a Box-Bod origional by Philip Hunt.
I have made a very limited number in partnership with bitbots.co.uk and you'll be able to find them on sale at the bitbots site very soon, bitbots shop here.

Worm is made entirely by hand, sculpted in air drying clay then painted with acrylic. Even the box was folded and coloured by my own hands. 

So when you buy a Worm, remember, there may be many like it but your Worm is uniquely YOURS.

1 Apr 2012

I'm proud to announce a partnership.

Box-Bods is joining Bitbots.
It's official, Box-Bods are joining Bitbots. Worm will be finding his way into Jinny's company and looking at her adoringly.
This currently is how my studio looks...

Living room table dedicated to Worm.
 Okay, so it's not a studio, so much as my living room table. But don't tell Worm, he thinks it's massive. you can see his kin on the table.

Phil painting Worm
Now if you don't mind, I best go and get some Box-Bods painted.

2 Jan 2012

My Second Box-Bod: Tox

Here is Tox, short for toxic shock. I think he ate something that wasn't good for his tummy. He's still smiling though, poor thing.

Box-Bod Tox, initial design and finished bod.
There are further details on the figures' sides and back.

17 Dec 2011

Bod Designs, tell me your favourite.

Designs for the series of Box-Bods that I am currently producing. The finished figures have designs taken from these doodles. Except the DIY one which is for any one out there with a taste for painting at home!

Please comment about the ones you like best!

Box-Bod designs. The full set.

5 Dec 2011

My first Box-Bod proper: Claude

I finally completed my box design, I made the clay figures and they are dry and undercoat applied. Now it's time to have some fun. Let the painting begin!..

..Some time later, here is my first Box-Bod, all packaged up.

You will notice the inside of the box is black to add a nice contrast to the figure and the white packaging. It allows the figure and the design to stand out.

Box-Bod Claude, initial design and finished bod.
I have added details to the figure's front, sides and back so you will really enjoy looking at the figure through the windows created in the box.

You'll have to buy one to see though! Shop coming soon.

27 Nov 2011

Box-Bods development

Allow me to recap.

Somehow I got interested in making collectible figurines, I wanted to make something cool.

Having read a few web articles and buying a DIY vinyl figure I thought it would be good to make my own figures with air drying clay.

I bought acrylic paints and taught myself how to use them on the clay sculptures I was making.

After a few experiments making different shapes and painting them it was now time to get serious. I want to make something people want to buy. (Phew I said it, that wasn't so bad).

I started doodling some simple shapes that would be flexible enough to adopt different painting schemes.

At the same time I was thinking of a brand name, and how to package and market the figures.

Then it came to me, perhaps the box can be part of the thing in itself. Like a plinth is to an artists sculpture. A frame or even a white gallery is to a painting.

Context lends the artwork or design it's importance, its significance.

The box was it, the box was the frame, a 3D frame.

Box development for Box-Bods

15 Nov 2011

My Second Figure – Pebble Boy

Lava Kid, now let loose upon the world, is apparently living a nice life on the ocean floor near a thermal vent.

I was ready to set myself a second challenge, can I sculpt multiples of the same shape?

11 Nov 2011

Lava Kid - My First Figure

I have now painted my first figure, not much to look at, but the things I had learnt to make him were important.

I had used air drying clay for the first time. It's a bit greasy and binds together in a funny way, however, it's very hard when dry and not at all crumbly, unlike cheddar cheese. I'll never sculpt with cheddar again.

Lava Kid had taught me well.
I also realised that having a plan for the shape and the painting is a good idea.

I love him for the things he taught me, I call him Lava Kid.

I hope you love him too. Don't be too cruel to him, oh cruel cruel world.

9 Nov 2011

How to Make your Own Figures - The Paints

After making some figures from Jovi air drying clay I went out and bought some paints to paint them with.

I decided to buy acrylic paint as this would adhere to most surfaces and seems to be the paint of choice for a lot of custom figure artists.

Acrylics, Red, Blue and Yellow and Gesso. Oh Black and White too.
I also decided to buy some gesso, this is an undercoat primer for canvas painters, but it's also good for clay and plaster. I recommend it, as it gave a great undercoat for the acrylics to adhere to.

Then it was the hard work of finding inspiration for a 'look' to paint my figures with.

I must admit there was no grand scheme at this point and I was just playing around and seeing what happened.

As I developed my process, however, I now doodle out a concept and work out a colour scheme first. I recommend doing this as it will save time in the long run and you will produce better results.

For my planning I use either; pens and felt tips on paper, or my computer. I then mix my paints and start painting.

Top Tip! Don't be a slave to your plan. Sometimes it's good to go with the flow, as long as you know the direction.