This week, the artists met on the Battleship Iowa which served World War 2 and the Korean War before being retired in 1990. It now serves as a museum in San Pedro, California and was a fitting backdrop for their next Spotlight Challenge which was to create a G.I. Joe super soldier in honour of the iconic toy’s 50th anniversary. McKenzie had several crates that hid different species of snakes, and in the tradition of characters like Snake Eyes and Cobra Commander, the artists had to chose one type of snake to inspire their soldier. There was an extra prize for this challenge: A collection of special edition G.I. Joe toys!
George chose the Green Anaconda. His concept was a soldier called Nick Strangle due to the anaconda’s muscular body, code name “Manaconda”. George fabricated a muscle suit that looked great, and he was happy with it. The end result was a blocky looking dark green snake man soldier. It actually looked like an action figure. The judges liked the asymmetrical head, and he ended up safe.
Rachael got the Green Tree Python. Her soldier worked for Cobra Commander and since the snake had heat seeking organs, she incorporated those down the character’s face. Mr. Westmore liked this feature and told her to continue them further down the side of the soldier. She ended up losing time and rushed finishing the cowl which she didn’t like. As a result, she focused on the paint job. She hated her design, and on the reveal stage, she cringed. The judges thought it lacked a sense of form and didn’t feel like a snake, with Neville calling the head baboon-like. The scales they called random and the paint looked blocky and lacked transition. They felt it was rushed. she was in the bottom looks.
Cig created a female soldier called Lashes based on the Christmas Tree Eyelash Viper, but he was left with a male model cast, so he had to change his concept. Mr. Westmore liked his sculpt and instructed him on how the eyes should appear. Cig was on the fence with the outcome of the eyes, and debated whether to keep them, but the finished makeup was really great. It was colourful and fun and really looked like a toy. The judges like the symmetry, with Glenn wanting to buy 2 of the figures, one to play with and one to keep in the box! Lois loved the snake head epaulettes, and Neville felt the forms around the face was beautiful. He was in top looks.
Stella picked the Namibian Coral Cobra. She designed a motorcycle chick with body armour. She had a major issue when her model ended up getting very sick, so they had to replace her. Stella had already created her face prosthetic for the sick model, so she had to carry on and hope for the best. She had to modify the face so that it fit the smaller face of her substitute model, and scrapped the helmet she had molded, chosing to style the model’s hair instead. Her makeup was really good and the judges liked the small shapes and scales. She was safe.
Damien went for the Gabo0n Viper and decided on an assassin character that was a snake/human hybrid. He was one of the few that created fangs for the soldier. It was an interesting looking makeup and the judges liked the fangs and the neck area. He was safe this time around.
Kaeghlan got the Albino Reticulated Python. She came up with a femme fatale character but was nervous because she was not familiar with the G. I. Joe world. Mr. Westmore advised her to bring more snake-like features to her design and perhaps change the eyes. She was so worried that she hoped for some inspiration from her dreams. She decided to use a wig instead of making a cowl, and added white to the weird reddish tinted wig. She was concerned the makeup was missing something. The end result looked like an old aged makeup instead of a snake. The judges thought the colour was too matte and looked dead. The snake forms were diluted and looked more feline, and the colours needed more contrast, and to Lois, looked “mimsy”. She was in the bottom looks.
Sasha worked on a Hognosed Snake soldier. She created a ninja that attacked from the holes he burrowed. She also had trouble with her design, especially with the nose. Mr. Westmore gave her some guidance, but she struggled, getting input from the other artists. Her scales looked a lot like her owl makeup, and her cowl didn’t line up with her face. It was o.k. The judges liked the colours, but could see the owl makeup as Sasha feared. They also thought the shape of the head was too simple and round. She was in the bottom looks, and was terrified that the judges wasted the immunity on her.
Drew chose the Tiger Rat Snake. His idea went against the grain as he created a body modified human instead of a human hybrid. His prosthetics were more subtle, and Mr. Westmore told him to focus on the paint because of his smaller sculpts. He made really cool claws that looked like steel, and used a paint spatter technique as well as tattoos for his character. His was different from everyone else’s. The judges noticed and loved the risks he took. They thought the colour was spectacular, and felt the idea was brilliant and would look great as a toy and on film. He was in top looks.
Diana picked the Brazilian Rainbow Boa. She designed a super sexy soldier and used a cut popsicle stick to create scales. She did well with time and seemed confident with her design. She used an iridescent sheen overtop her paint job and it looked really great. It was a really pretty makeup with a great profile. The judges liked the precision of the scales, and thought it was “incredible”. She made “perfect choices” and had phenomenal equilibrium and balanced forms. They thought this character had great balance between a toy and something for on-screen as well. She was also in top looks.
The winner was Dina! The judges loved the nuanced forms and incredible details. She also got the special edition toy collection for her boyfriend. The person that went home was Kaeghlan. They thought her colours were awful and the concept looked too feline and not snake-like. They told her to use this experience as a platform to improve. Very glad Dina won! Not only because I know she can make cakes and I like cake. Can’t wait to see what she creates next!