Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Spock Model Kit Illustration

It's been a while since I've posted any actual art here on my alleged art blog, so here goes— a recreation of the box art for the Mr. Spock model kit, in my own style. I know, I've been drawing Spock a lot lately. I guess it's due to Leonard Nimoy's death earlier this year.

The Spock model kit was originally released internationally by Aurora in 1972, and was sold in the U.S. by AMT in 1973. It's been rereleased many, many times since over the years. I remember buying all the other Star Trek kits as a kid— the Enterprise, the Shuttlecraft, the Klingon Battle Cruiser, and the Romulan Bird Of Prey— but for some reason I never got the Spock kit. I guess I was more interested in the ships than the characters.

Even though I didn't own the kit, I was always fascinated by the box art, and thought I'd try to recreate it here.

As for the illustration, it took forever! Way longer than I expected. I was trying to be more painterly than I usually am, to match the style of the box art. I bet I spent a lot longer on it that the artist who originally painted it— they probably had to knock it out in a day or two!

The background in particular was problematic and took a long time to draw, as you might expect. It's pretty complicated, and every time I thought I was done I'd spot something I forgot to add. I finally had to push myself away from the computer and say no more, or I'd still be picking away at it come Xmas.

This illustration was drawn in Photoshop of course, on a ton of layers— 54 of them to be exact. That's a lot, but still not a personal record.

You may notice that Spock's not holding the usual phaser and communicator that we all know and love. I agonized over that for a while. Should I draw him holding the actual props from the show, or the inaccurate versions that are seen on the box? In the end I decided that since I was trying to recreate the box art, I might as well stick with what's on it.

I had to do some jostling and repositioning of the various elements to get it to all fit together, since my Spock and three headed snake have very different proportions than the originals.

I always wondered about Spock so aggressively shooting the snake in this artwork. In the TV series he was always the voice of logic and reason; a man of science who was fascinated by alien life. Here he's shootin' first and not even bothering with the questions later. Maybe he just doesn't like snakes.

Here's the original version of the box art for comparison. That mysterious elbow at the lower left is an image of the actual model kit.
I stuck my recreation on an angled image of the box that I found. Looks real! I should go back and draw the sides of the box and print it up

Here's the digital sketch I did for the box art. The snakes didn't change much from the sketch, but Spock went through some minor alterations, mostly in the length and angles of his limbs.

Stay tuned for a step-by-step post on the box art recreation.


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