the first Sphinx kit
I’ve worked in the creative industries all my life, starting
with ten years at Games Workshop and the last ten working in the VFX
industry on many of the biggest films to grace the silver screen in
recent years. It’s been a great ride, but I’m finished
with making other people’s dreams a reality and I’ve created
my own company to make things I really like, things that have meaning
to me and come from my own dreams and memories - not that of others.
I started making models inspired by early movies that had stuck in
my head since childhood. First was the Cavorite Sphere from H.G. Wells’s
“First Men in the Moon”. The memory of that fascinating
craft had remained with me all these years. It’s just such a
classic design !
Another film from my childhood of course was “The Time Machine”.
However, there were already several wonderful Time Machine models
available. So I decided instead to pick another of the iconic images
from the book and the film: the Sphinx that served as the main entrance
to the Morlocks’ underworld.
The model took a few months to complete while working on several other
projects at the same time. Because of my background in both digital
and traditional sculpting, I first worked on the computer to create
a 3D structure using the 3D modelling programs Maya and Zbrush. The
result was then printed out on my 3D printer. Then I sculpted over
the whole model in Green Stuff putty, adding detail and texture.
I find this method of working ideal for me. It allows me to test out
parts of the model before committing them to the final version. This
way, I can make sure all the parts fit together well. I made the Sphinx’s
head several times over before settling on the final design.
Once the model was completed and that I was happy with all the details,
I started making moulds in silicon rubber. I used a vacuum chamber
to create bubble-free moulds. Then the casting was done in a compression
chamber, putting the mould under seven bars of pressure to insure
that the resin fills every detail and the models are as bubble-free
The final components that were too small to cast in resin were the
sirens. These were too detailed for my own 3D printer, so I sent the
CAD model away to obtain highly detailed 3D prints. From these, I
created moulds in a high heat tolerant silicon so I could cast them
in white metal.
In all, the model consists of ten resin parts and fourteen metal ones
(the sirens). The size of the model when fully built is 16cm wide,
11cm deep and 15cm high. This matches the 25/28mm scale (about 1:64).
Kit builders should enjoy putting this one together, painting and
finishing it. But for those collectors who prefer a model that is
ready to display, I also offer a build-up service. The build-ups are
quite meticulously done with great attention to finishing, painting
and weathering - all done to order to your specific preferences.
I’m very proud of this model. It’s something that has
been in my head for over thirty years and I am really happy about
how it turned out. To my knowledge, it’s the first ever kit
of the Sphinx from George Pal’s adaptation of The Time Machine.
If you would like to purchase this kit, you can find it as well as
others on my website. It is the largest and most complex model I have
created so far and costs £50 plus postage. You can also purchase
a fully built and painted version that is ready to display. In the
latter case, please contact me directly for details. Due to the time
and effort I put into it, a ready-to-display build-up is a bit more
expensive at £150 including the model and postage, but I am
sure you will find that it is well worth it !
For the holiday season, should you order the Sphinx kit or build-up
before December 20th 2015, I will offer you a 20% discount if you
mention this article.