If you have been following my recent customs, you will know that I am on a Dr. Who kick right now. I am currently finishing up a set of four aliens and monsters, including Morbius pictured above. If you are unfamiliar with the character, you can see a screenshot of his apearance in The Brain of Morbius here. Morbius had some unique challenges, so I decided to take some pictures during his creation.
The main problem was how to make the clear dome on his head that would encase his brain. I considered Mysterio’s head, but it was not hollow, and hollowing it with a dremel would have made it too rough inside to see the brain. I had nothing else in my parts bin that would work. I spent some time at an office supply store looking for a clear marker cap or something similar to use, but came up short. I finally found a solution at the hardware store – a tiny lightbulb:
This is a size 516 bulb, and I’m honestly not sure what it is usually used for. I have never used real glass on a custom before, and I had to get the bottom of the lightbulb off. The bulb is all one piece of glass, with the wires contained inside. I took it out to my belt sander and put on some gloves and safety glasses. The first two lightbulbs cracked across the entire dome when I tried to sand off the bottom, but on the third try the bottom sanded right off with no problems.
I also wasn’t sure if you could superglue plastic to glass, but Morbius needed his eyes and bolts. I cut the bottoms off two lego antennas and scored the plastic with a hobby knife. They glued to the glass without a problem:
While letting this dry, I started sculpting a base for the dome to sit on. I knew it would be difficult to fit the dome to the base AND have it blend in with a minimate torso all in one try, so I decided to sculpt it in two parts. The first part would be the base and brain, and after this cured I would place it on a minimate body and sculpt around it to make it blend in seamlessly. I pressed the glass edge into the clay and sculpted my base:
Later I would add some more sculpted detail to the brain, as well as the bolts and circuit plate on the glass dome. While this part was curing I started working on his claw. I used a Witchblade arm as a base, and sculpted the claw around it so it can still be rotated:
At this point I decided to use a decal for the chest, since Morbius has a lot of detail there:
The next day I was able to superglue the base onto a minimate torso and finish blending it in and adding hair. Once everything was sanded and cured I was able to apply the decal and paint the figure. I used Citadel paints for everything but the eyes. I wanted very shiny eyes, so I used a mix of Model Masters glossy red and black, with a coat of clear gloss afterwards.