Copyright Acknowledgment: All images of THE OUTER SPACE MEN , THE WORLD OF THE FUTURE and other Products and Images, created by Mel Birnkrant, are Copyright (c) MEL BIRNKRANT
COLOSSUS REXTM The Man from JUPITER
From the huge red spot near the equator of the giant planet Jupiter, a great ship travels forth. On board is a mighty warrior, Colossus Rex, strongest of the strong. The colossal strength needed merely to survive the crushing pressure of the atmosphere and the enormous force of gravity on his native Jupiter make him a veritable superman on other worlds. Invulnerable to attack, invincible in battle, brute strength alone is his only weapon. Yet no power in the Galaxy can defeat him. We hope his mission is merely to explore the Universe and not to conquer it.
Below, I will share with you a little of the visual conversation that took place in the course of its creation:
Here are some images of the rough Colossus Rex figure that we are working on. We are hoping to show Colossus and Orbitron at San Diego to keep the excitement going for the line.
Proportionally he is slightly different than the original. Our reason for this is at this small scale the difference in his mass compared to, say, Commander Comet is much less noticeable than at the original scale. Our idea here is that by thickening him up a bit we are getting a more dramatic difference in bulk, while still fitting him into a package. Since he will only have the mace as an accessory, this will also help to fill out the package.
Please let us know what you think as soon as you can. As always we are on a tighter schedule than we would like, and we would like to show a finished piece rather than a work in progress.
Colossus Rex's size is deceptive. He appears massive when he is actually shorter than Astro Nautilus. If you feel the need to increase his size I would prefer that you make him slightly taller while retaining his original proportions. Making his arms more muscular etc. is fine. And his hands and feet bigger, consistent with the route you followed on the other figures is good too. I think it’s the short stubby legs that are bothering me. For starters, the accordions at the top of his thighs have been truncated, cut down to two instead of three. Why? The legs in general need to be longer, waist thinner. He has a comic sidekick quality about him, Sancho Panza, Lou Costello, fat and dumpy, bumbling and funny, instead of conveying the fact that he is the most powerful being in the Universe. The belt and pants area are bigger than they need to be.
ALSO NOTE Colossus Rex is Bowlegged! Think John Wayne! Macho Swagger! Also notice that the top three tiers of his chest rolls should have NO center parting line. Just a nick in the contour of the upper one. The larger tier should be the third one down not the second. Below it on the bottom two tiers is a pronounced inverted “V”.
More important than mere bulk to convey Colossus Rex’s massive presence is his STANCE. You know how I am always advocating low camera angles with these tiny figures. Well, in Colossus Rex that camera angle is built right in. It is the way his chest protrudes forward and HIS HEAD SITS FAR BACK ON HIS SHOULDERS. Because of this, the viewer is always looking up at him from below. This is the secret of his POWER!
Last of all Eric, I know this is just a start, one step away from a lump of clay, so I don’t want to be overly critical, but please make a extra effort to make the figure symmetrical. The parting line on Rex’s chest needs to be right in the middle and straight-on vertical.
Side View ; Note the Tip Back, or the sway back, lyrical and sort of like a cobra. The bottom of the head fin area is actually quite flat. You can exaggerate that and cut back right through the fin, or even end it at the line to make room for plugging in bat wings and permit the head to turn. Looks like on the original there is room for a plug hole above the two horns below. Note how far back on the shoulders the neck actually sits. It breaks the head over heels balance rule we’re all taught in art school.
I believe the whole head unit can be altered to actually sit on an area that is FLAT and will be able to ROTATE. I’ll explain this in a drawing to follow. I also think the very lower part of the back fin can be either cut or eliminated to allow for the full rotation of the head. You might also have to make the top of the belt line straight to allow for rotation of the waist. I note that you have horns on his back. Perhaps a plug hole would be appropriate instead of the upper horn. This guy would look good with Mystron's wings.
Hi Mel, HI ERIC,
HE LOOKS SO MUCH BETTER , THANKS!
Here are some images of the revised Colossus Rex figure. As you can see we have adjusted him pretty heavily, especially from the profile.
YES I SEE ALL THE CHANGES/IMPROVEMENTS
A couple of particular items of note:
-We did add some length to the legs, which puts us at our limit for height on this guy. THAT'S GOOD. Any more, and there is no way he is fitting into a package.
-We did a some adjusting to the forms of the leg to imply the bowed look without going too far. I PREFER THE INNER CONTOUR OF THE MORE FINISHED LEG ON THE RIGHT, IF YOU ECHO THAT ON THE OTHER SIDE IT WILL BE FINE
THERE ARE A FEW SMALL POINTS I WOULD LIKE TO MENTION. ILL LIST THEM HERE BELOW THEN DO A QUICK OVERLAY. I THINK YOU'LL AGREE THEY ARE NO BIG DEAL.
As you know, time is tight on this project, so if you could please get back to us as soon as you possibly can so that we can keep moving. The scales add an entirely new layer of complexity to this guy. We need to get the base figure approved before we even consider adding the texture. PLEASE KEEP THE SCALES IN SCALE(PUN INTENDED) AND DON'T LET THEM GET TOO LARGE. THIS WILL GIVE THE (ACCURATE) IMPRESSION OF INCREDIBLE DETAIL
Going back and doing changes after those scales are applied would be a nightmare.
MANY THANKS , BEST MEL.
THINKING ABOUT REX THIS MORNING, I REALIZED THAT BOTH THE HANDS AND THE FEET IN THE ORIGINAL ARE BADLY REALIZED. PLEASE FEEL FREE TO ENHANCE THE HANDS WITH KNUCKLES ETC,
THE FEET REALLY WERE THE WORST, AND WORSE STILL IN THE PRODUCTION MODEL THE MIDDLE TOE FELL RIGHT ON A PARTING LINE, AND WAS ALL BUT OBLITERATED.
WHEN YOU GET TO FINISHING THE FEET (AND HANDS) PLEASE ENHANCE THEM IF YOU CAN.
THIS ROUGH SKETCH I DID LOOKING AT THE EPOXY SHOULD GIVE YOU A BETTER IDEA HOW THEY WERE FIRST INTENDED TO BE. . THE NAILS BOTH FRONT AND REAR TOUCH THE FLOOR AND HELP HIM STAND, MATT SUGGESTS THAT YOU ENLARGE THE FEET , WITH THAT SAME GOAL IN MIND, THAT'S ALL RIGHT WITH ME.
The Photographs, below, were taken in the booth of the Four Horsemen at SDCC 2011. They show the entire OSM line up to that time. Upon seeing these photos, Colossus Rex got my Full Approval. This was also my first look at Orbitron. He still had a way to go.
Last of all here they are, all done, Colossus Rex and Orbitron, looking Great ( and also a little blurry) at the most recent New York Comic Con. If I am not mistaken, they should be available sometime in the spring of 2012.
Well, that prediction proved to be laughable! Yes I was mistaken, but only by a year or so! It took a lot of agitation to wake the project out of hibernation. Now, it's two years later; Comic Con is here again, for the second time, and, Surprise! I'm still alive! I also am still waiting! Will 2014 be the year? When I see it, I'll believe it!
MOUSE OVER TO SEE BACK OF CARD
MOUSE OVER TO SEE BACK OF CARD
Colossus Rex is the main guy. Astro Nautilus is next. They are perhaps the reason, more than any other, that The Outer Space Men have survived. One or the other grabbed the attention of kids who were too young to have been around at their inception. Some came upon an odd figure, perhaps in the toy box of an older brother, that fired their imagination and remained in their memory, forever. The Four Horsemen realized Astro Nautilus perfectly. Now it was time to do the same for Colossus Rex.
Did they succeed? YES! Brilliantly, as the photoS testify. This is the finished painted prototype as the World and I too saw it for the first time. It was taken with a cell phone the day before SDCC opened to the public in the summer of 2011. The process of getting there had been glitch free and pleasant. Eric sent me photos early on, when the first sculpt was barely more than a lump of clay, and we exchanged emails and photos over the course of two days. When the back and forth ended, the scales still remained to be added, but I knew that the results would be OK. Then a fortnight later I saw the finished figure, and I was absolutely blown away.
Rex returned from SDCC , and everyone was hot to trot. It was decided that because Cyclops had so much equipment, Rex needed something extra. And Eric sent me this. Of course I loved the fact that Rex was going to get some stuff! And I liked his shoulder pads and harness, but, I was not too happy to read this:
“Colossus- One thing that we are planning on changing from these pics is that we want to expand the Jupiter symbol to take up the entire area inside the purple ring. (no black border)’’
Before I jumped to conclusions I copied the photo of the bust he sent, doubled it, and mocked up this visualization of what he was suggesting. Alas, I definitely preferred their original version. The second looked like a Pizza pie to me. I was hoping when the Horesemen saw how it would look, they would agree. I guess they did , as they never mentioned it to me, again.
HEY ERIC JUST GETTING STARTED LOOKING AT COLOSSUS , PLEASE CONSIDER THIS:
The next day I got three photos of Rex’s proposed equipment. I thought it looked a bit generic, an opportunity for excitement, missed. So I joined the three photos together and did a Photoshop Paste up, suggesting how they might jazz it up a bit.
I started playing around with this, today, intending to only extend the staff, then print it out and sketch some overlays. But, before I realized it, I got carried away. If you like this, the GOOD NEWS is that it would be EASY to do! I did it all with cut and paste, and you could do it the same way…in clay. The face and fins I used are exactly the same size as the figure’s face. To sculpt it all you have to do is press some of the modeling material into the existing mold. Then, slice off the face and apply it to the shield. The fins can be added the same way. The chest can be done that way too.
I did indicate the axe as being bigger, and tried to make it more complex. It needs something! The cross-like thing just happened, because the image was easily created with Photoshop, so I just went with it. I'm not married to it. My original intention was to change all the dots to spikes, but I ran out of steam, and had no easy front view of a spike to swipe, so I only showed them from the side. Then I added the chest form to the front view of the shield, and this added more spike positions than the side view shows. All these things are just suggestions, Dots add nothing to the menace, but if you prefer then to spikes, that’s fine with me too. I do think the shield with Rex on it will meet with the fan’s approval and generate some surprise. This just sort of happened; I’m open to any other approaches that excite you. Hope this meets with your approval,
ERIC, JUST AN AFTERTHOUGHT, HERE IS ONE MORE WITH LESS DOTS ON SHIELD , JUST TO SEE IF IT WORKS BETTER, I'M NOT SURE.
All the above happened over the course of a few weeks, a year ago, in August. Then the project went to sleep. I learned a lot, working with the 4 Horsemen, one of them was patience. Eight months later, they picked the Space Men up again. And wrapped things up, within a week, This July, they sent me the final figures to photograph and paint.
So after years of gestating, in New Jersey, here’s Colossus Rex (at last), in all his glory.