Many of you will remember those really incredible X-Men concept Disney Infinity figures that digital artist ‘Hec’ designed a few weeks ago. Well, as I’m sure like many of you, I wanted to know more. What was his inspiration, how did he go about making them, how long did it take, etc. So I reached out to Hec and asked if he wanted to do a write-up talking about his process and everything involved with it, and thankfully he was happy to go into some detail! So here is what he had to say….
Earlier this year I was taking an online course to become a certified Zbrush teacher. I’ve been doing character art and teaching zbrush here in Vienna for some years so I wanted to make the teaching a bit more official. While I was doing that I became a bit obsessed with infinity figures, in Xmas of 2014 I had the brilliant idea to let friends and family know that they could just get me those for birthday and/or Xmas (have a December birthday). I ended up with a pretty decent collection and felt compelled to do more than just play the game and let the figures sit on my self. They became research for a fan art experiment.
While I was very happy and impressed with the Marvel figures of the Avengers, Guardians, and Spidey playset I was sad to see no X-Men in the line up. So I decided to remedy that as much as my time and abilities as a digital character artist allowed. I started with Cyclops, he was to be the benchmark and test figure which would decide if the project was doable and if it would be fun. Making the basic male body template didn’t take long. It’s good to reach some extent of early success in a project, if a project takes too long or is too frustrating it’s easy to lose motivation. That male body was then turned into the basic female template and things took off from there.
There was never any question in my mind as to which version of the X-Men I would do. I grew up with the late 80s to 90s X-Men comics and cartoon, so it just made sense to use them since to me those were my classic X-Men. The line up was relatively easy to decide. Logan had to be front and center with Cyclops and Jean right next to him. Gambit and Rogue were also obvious choices along with Beast and Storm. I was tempted to make more, but decided to finish an initial line up and see how that went.
I also decided early on that I would make some version of a classic Sentinel. He had to be huge and scary. I adapted the design from a version of the Sentinel that XM Collectibles had published. As I worked on that I decided that the X-Men should be standing on pieces of a downed Sentinel. While fantasizing of an in-game experience I thought that if a Sentinel figure could be made, it could take up two slots on the base and be a playable character or two playable Sentinels in some sort of online multiplayer hunter/prey game mode. Having worked in video games before it’s not something I would suggest in a realistic development situation, but while just having fan art fun, why not?
The whole project was me indulging on a past fandom (90s X-Men), a recent fandom (Disney Infinity) and having fun while pushing my artistic skills further. It took several months because I worked on it during spare time and client work gaps, but it was a blast. You can get even more insight by watching the three behind the scenes videos I released. And just here between us, I still have about 5 Sentinel pieces that weren’t used for a base and I’m also a huge fan of lots of classic X-Men villains so maybe next year if I have the time and energy, more good guys or bad guys might pop up at some point.
Be sure to follow Hec on social media (Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube). Also go check out his website (www.hec.mx) to see all of these custom figures in really high quality and detail. It’s well worth your visit! And be sure to check out his 3 part video series on the designs below! REALLY fascinating that I think all of you will enjoy!