by Renzo Adler

Sculptors, the magazine for everything crafted from resin and plastic, returns for its second issue (see our review of issue one HERE). Like the previous installment, Sculptors 2 delivers on more artist spotlights, tutorials, and special features. Also like the premiere issue, this one is almost entirely in Japanese, but with sumptuous color photography and no shortage of social media links and profiles on artists for you to follow. 

Like the previous issue, Sculptors 2 shows us conventions happening around the world, including Monsterpalooza 2019 in Pasadena and Wonder Festival Shanghai. The 2019 Wonder Festival Shanghai is the second time the city has hosted an expansion of the legendary modeling convention. Here’s hoping for a US installment of Wonder Festival in the future.

Sculptors is still one of the best publications out to see the work of original modelers and figure makers, and the range of talent this issue covers does not disappoint. Once more Sculptors takes up back to the studio of illustrious monster-crafter Takayuki Takeya, this time to showcase some of his special tools. If you wonder how Shin Godzilla got his craggy look that’s a combination of volcanic rock and a burn victim, it’s through specially designed texture stamps. In order to achieve an organic look to his creations Takeya looks to nature. In the case of these texture stamps, they were developed from castings of a gourd with irregular bumps and crevices.

Kow Yokoyama, a classic modeler’s modeler, collaborated with 3DCG illustrator Masato Ohata, by laser scanning one of Yokoyama’s Maschinen Krieger powered suit model kits. Turning into a combination of old and new techniques, the scan is transferred into ZBrush where Ohata paired it with one of his creations, a contemplative young girl, to create the cover for this issue.

Ryu Oyama (who sculpted the Cthulhu the graced issue one’s cover) returns with an original sculpture called Deworming Warrior (Kuchu no Senshi). Sort of a twist on Kamen Rider, it’s a delicately detailed likeness of a young man in insect-esque armor. The work is full of baroque details reminiscent of the late Yasushi Nirasawa’s work. The issue covers Oyama’s careful crafting of the figure, from wires caked with clay, to bizzare other-worldly warrior.

Much like the last issue, this one also includes a Predator related feature. Akihito Ikeda of Studio-AKI (whose movie makeup and effects credits include Deadpool 2, The Mist, and Predators) as he crafts of bust of a Kagero Predator, a ninja version of the crustacean-faced space menace. 

One of Sculptor issue 2’s standout pieces is a series of submerged dioramas created by Masaki Seki. These pieces combine delicately crafted dilapidated ferris wheels, roller coasters, cities, and machines, that are partially entombed in translucent resin to make it look like they’re scenes submerged in water, as boats skim on top of the surface and dolphins mingle below. The effect is a hauntingly intricate glimpse into a mechanical world reclaimed by nature.

This issue is more of the same from issue 1, for good and for ill. Both issues had a close look at Takayuki Takeya’s workshop, both issues visit a Monsterpalooza convention, both issues even had extended features involving Predators (I hope they know other movie monsters exist). There’s cute girls, weird creatures, and complex machinery aplenty, and all lovingly chronicled within with a sense of dedication from the editorial team. My one hope for future installments is that they take an approach similar to what SMH Magazine or DDD did and have the issues revolve around a certain theme to make the issues feel more distinct. All in all though this is still another solid issue for enthusiasts of the Japanese modeling scene or just as food for thought for your next creative endeavor.



Also in News

Blood, Guts, & Water Colors: The Art of Peach Momoko
Blood, Guts, & Water Colors: The Art of Peach Momoko

by Renzo Adler 0 Comments

Peach Momoko is an artist that has been steadily gaining acclaim for her covers and illustrations that have been used by DC, IDW,  Marvel Comics and Magnetic Press. These covers have become highly coveted by collectors and have sent the artist from Japan to tour the United States convention circuit (until Covid put a stop to all that). Her soft pastels, and use of heavy inks give her covers a cute and dreamlike feel, and her convention commissions are often chibi versions of popular American comic characters. Though these illustrations of Harley Quinn, Batgirl, and Spider Woman belie a more sinister world she is constructing within her comics.
Read More
The Super Creators: Moebius in Japan
The Super Creators: Moebius in Japan

by Renzo Adler 0 Comments

Jean Giraud (1938 - 2012), also known as Moebius, took the comics and science fiction medium to new heights. ArzachThe World of Edena, and The Incal reverberated beyond just the medium of comics and affected film, animation, and art. Combining simplistic characters with other worldly details, Moebius’ work traveled from France to the US thanks to the comics anthology Heavy Metal, while his work had already spread across Europe, but what about Japan? In this article we'll be looking at how Moebius' work made it's way to Japan and influenced some of the biggest names in anime and manga there.
Read More
Ultraman Z Makes Stunning YouTube Premiere
Ultraman Z Makes Stunning YouTube Premiere

by Renzo Adler 0 Comments

There’s no shortage of the fantastical on TV and streaming services these days. Star Trek: Picard has fleets of massive starships doing battle, while the Marvel movies dominate the pop cultural landscape. But spectacle without joy is a hollow affair, just a bloated tech demo.  Ultraman Z is the perfect union of spectacle, joy, and vision. Ultraman Z is the latest in the long lineage of giant protectors from space, born from Tsuburaya Productions, since the 1960s. Ultraman has delighted audiences for decades, and with so many TV shows, movies, cartoons, and Scatman parody singles, it can be challenging to imagine the show still feeling fresh in 2020. The story, at a glance, is indeed boilerplate. Ultraman Z, a hot blooded rookie of the Galactic Defense Force, lends assistance to Haruki (Koshu Hirano), a hot blooded rookie to the Earth organization STORAGE, which protects Japan from giant monsters
Read More

x