Designer and conceptual artist, Steve Marshal, who goes by the online name MarshMellop, used the Make: project submission form to share his amazing work with us. Steve works in substance abuse services by day, but his dream is to work full-time in building model robots, mechs, and character maquettes. He certainly has the talent. In his spare time, he builds these amazing sci-fi bots and mechs out of trash, recycled parts, and bits of plastic.
Steven writes of his work:
I have been building mechs and robots from junk, recycled parts, discarded electrical items, etc. for the last year. I call it “Junk Bashing.” It has been a dream of mine since I was a child. I have a background in game development, primarily character and environment building using ZBrush and 3DS Max/Maya. I wanted to take my modelling skills further and to move away from the digital medium. I adore working with my hands, and much prefer it over digital sculpting.
My inspiration comes from everywhere: games, books, films. My main sources are artists like Luca Zampriolo, as well as the master Kow Yokoyama. I take a lot of influences from Titanfall designer Joel Emslie. He is the person who sparked my love for the medium as he creates physical models of in-game characters that help to inform the 3D-modellers sculptures. I saw his work for the first time and thought…wow…this is what I have been missing for so many years.
This is a process that takes decades to perfect from what I have researched and absorbed online. It’s so addictive because it pulls in skills from all areas, using all manner of tools and disciplines. There’s always something new to learn, always new tools to try. A lot of it is trial and error and having fun in the process! It’s cheap, instantaneous, and accessible to everyone.
My mechs usually take between 1-5 weeks. It really depends on how far I want to take the detail and complexity. The basics for some of my models can be done in a few hours, but it’s the detailing and tightening up that can take weeks afterwards. I would encourage anyone with a few spare broken gadgets to open them up, start looking at the components, and just start sticking things together. There is purer way of creating for me. I can throw together plastic and metal and fabric in any way I want without worrying about poly-counts or PC performance or rigging for animation, texturing and skinning, etc. I am the PC, I am my only limitation, but with this medium, I feel like there are no limits! Well, except for things like using certain tools in the home…
I am now proficient with jeweler’s files and drills, Dremel tools, Milliput epoxy, thermoplastic, hot glue, sanding and carving, working with styrene plasticard, scribing, articulated joint structures, weight distribution, life of materials once built, priming and painting, detailing and weathering, base-building…the list goes on and on. And the best thing? I didn’t know any of this before I started “junk bashing.” I owe a lot of my new found skills to Lincoln Wright who I also recommend checking out.