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Orange Bird Photo Hunt


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Mars and Beyond Robot

Take a look at my latest little side project. I set out to make a maquette of one of my favorite martians from Disney's 1957 "Mars and Beyond". 

Years ago my pal Hoot Gibson gave me this DVD set and ever since I've been hooked. From that first viewing of "Mars and Beyond" I fantasized about a Tomorrowland ride based on this Ward Kimball treasure. The DVD also shares other films with a style that would lend to a wonderful Tomorrowland makeover. Speaking of Hoot Gibson... you may know that he is a master sculptor. His stuff makes me cry of jealousy.

Our great Twitter followers have been watching some of the step-by-step process over the last couple weeks. Here are some more process photos.

Behind the Scenes

Some Sculpey and Super Sculpey plus wire framing.

Form, bake, sand.


Paint and clean.


Related posts:

Our Friend the Atom
Little Box of Treasures
Magic Highway U.S.A... It doesn't get much better than this.
A Look at the Progress City Model- Then and Now
Swiss Family Treehouse Model
Recreating the Pirates Jail Scene in Miniature
THEN AND NOW: MK Tomorrowland [Part 1] 
The Fantasy of Space Colony Living

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Reader Comments (20)

That's the coolest thing I've seen in a LONG time, Mitch! I want one and I'd like to see an animatronic of this running around in Space Mountain at Disneyland. Imagine how cool that would be?

oh, thanks for "Master sculptor" thing. I just make stuff:)

December 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHoot Gibson

PS, for anyone interested in making similar models.

There's nothing wrong with cheap craft store paints. Mitch and I were taught this when we worked in a model shop run by a complete psycho. The guy was a cheap skate and made us buy "Folk Art" and "Apple Barrel" paints but come to find out they worked just fine! Don't use them on anything that you're going to put outside or in show lighting conditions, of course, because they'll fade and quick. Oh, and get use to silly names. You won't find "Yellow Ocher" but you will find "Teddy Bear Tan":)

December 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHoot Gibson

Thanks Hoot. Those were the days! We've worked for/with many psychos over the years in multiple shops.

Yeah I have expensive model paint, airbrush paint, and other paint from art school but for the sake of ease I use cheap stuff for little stuff like this. I saw that Kevin Kidney uses craft paint for his small figure work too. I do suggest less-cheap brushes for the detail work though.

December 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMitch

This guy is beautiful! Saw him (and the short) for the first time at the Sci-Fi Dine In Theater back when it opened at Disney-MGM, and I've always loved it! Good job! Wish you could sell them!

December 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRus Wornom

Are you kidding me?! This is great. And so obscure. I love the old Ward Kimball "edutainment" films. I wonder if the animation department ever created the characters from this film- including this robot- in maquette form?

December 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJumperJH

what is this piece sculpted out of? what brand is it?

December 11, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterblake

For this particular piece I used Sculpey brand. There are other brands that work fine. I suggest using one that only hardens after baking. For slightly bigger stuff (not too big) I like using a self-hardening two part epoxie clay that I find online. Apoxie brand, for example. You have to work more quickly because it does harden on its own.

December 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMitch

thank you for that! I'm an industrial design student who likes to tinker so I may give those a try

December 12, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterblake

Fun. I like seeing peoples' creative works spaces. I love seeing this figure before and after its paint job. Thanks!

December 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSkipper8085

Very cool! I'm betting if you wrote a script & movie, it would do better then Mars Needs Moms.

btw - thanks for finding Hoot. I thought he was MIA!

December 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterWDWFanBoyBrett

Brett- Hmmmm. Maybe I should have made a maquette of a Mars Needs Moms character. Haha.

December 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMitch

Oh man, I'm a big fan of this one too. And here's proof too. Here's a link to a photo of a painting I did and hung on the wall of my dining room:

December 13, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterbobd

This is awesome! I can't believe you got such a smooth uniform shape out of sculpey- I assumed you would have used wooden or metal parts. I've never done sculpey though, but the more I see, the more I want to. Great paint job too.

December 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEric Scales

bobd- Nice painting! I'm happy to find other fans of this stuff.

Eric- Thank you. Yeah I considered wood for a couple parts but decided against it.

December 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMitch

The obscure nature of your blog is what keeps me coming back. I notice you feature very little of the run of the mill, common, cliche things the "average" fan is interested in. For me that is a good thing. There are plenty of sites out there for that kind of thing. Since you mention Hoot Gibson, I must say this is also why I'm a fan of Mesa Verde Times. And other blogs focussing on the "obscure".

The reason I love this post: This film was probably very very widely viewed on TV back in the late 50s. It was probably very popular. But time has cast a shadow over this and other great gems like this. I'm happy to associate with other people who can look deeper than the surface-level fandom (Mickey with a Santa hat or Duffy or something) and remember great little things like "Mars and Beyond".

December 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAlaxander R.

What a cool craft! At first I thought it was purchased from a toy store. I wonder if what kind of material was used? I bet its not a clay.

- Kevin

December 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFlyer Online

Fantastic! I always enjoy seeing this cartoon every time I go to Sci-Fi Dine-In.

December 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRyan Barr

You're very artistic! Amazing! Two thumbs up to you! -Sarah-

December 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCheap Brochure Printing

THIS IS EPIC! The first time I saw this cartoon it was hosted by Lugwig Von Drake. Totally cool.

February 5, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterW Harinsky

Your article is very useful. It’s really helpful and informative.

August 14, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterVera Stewart

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