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Jade Pinnipedia

The second level boss of American Sammy's NES video game Ninja Crusaders. This Inimicus nightmare gets around by jetting its ponderous bulk forwards and backwards on a hoversled (which I didn't make). Its offensive capabilities, aside from running down anything foolish enough to stand in its path, include spraying a scatter-shot burst from its tail cannon and vomiting up a skeletal fish projectile from its mouth, which then proceeds to fragment into several bone shards in mid-flight.

Cardboard, white paper, paper toweling, white glue, hot glue, electrical wire, plastic, toothpicks, and paint.

12.2 cm/4.8 in x 25.0 cm/9.8 in. (highest point x widest point)

Unknown; this figure's creation occured before I started keeping thorough records of my work (which means it was made sometime prior to May 30, 2004).

Example of a Work in Progress

I get questioned relatively frequently about how I go about making my figures. So, here's a pictoral answer of sorts to that, showing a model at several stages during the construction process:

The first thing I usually do, once I've decided I want to model a particular figure, is to collect some image references to work from, if possible. In this case, I used the sprite image that inspired me to sculpt it in the first place. I sometimes also make some quick, rough sketches to aid me. Later on, about halfway through making the figure, I borrowed the NES 'Ninja Crusaders' cartridge from a friend, which I had never played before, to see the creature in action. After some consideration, I decided not to make the "hoverboard" that the monster sits upon (seen in the screenshot above.)

I began the model with the skull/head and then proceeded to work my way backwards with the neck. A combination of cardboard, white and hot glue, and paper are used to construct and sculpt the shapes, with the exception of the teeth, which were cut of of clear plastic sheeting to prevent them from warping when painted.

Next, I developed the body using the same materials and methods described in the previous step, except I used toothpicks for four spines in the "pelvic" area.

The tail and cannon were modeled separately from the body for the sake of convenience. The cannon's cylindrical shapes were molded from a marker and a colored pencil.

Here the previous two elements were joined and the body further developed. I also began to paint at this point, due to the complexity of the bone structure (the more advanced the figure becomes, the harder it is to get a paint brush into the little crevasses).

The figure is nearing completion now. Here I've added and painted the upper arms, while the lower arms are still under construction and unpainted. Again, I used markers to mold cylindrical shapes, which I then further modify by hand.

After finishing the lower arms, the two, pink "organs" were modeled and attached to the body. 16 pieces of electrical wire, from an old computer mouse that one of our cats had chewed through and rendered useless, were attached, completing the figure. Everything was then painted once more.

The finished product is somewhat different than the original reference image shown at the beginning of this webpage. I generally like to adhere fairly closely to the imagery I work from, but I also like to embellish things a bit and add a few touches of my own to make the figure somewhat personal and unique.

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