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Glad-tea-ator and Tea-ger by Mike Strick!

Part of ToyConUK 2015, there will be a Custom Lunartik Mini Tea series going on called ‘Fans of Tea’. We don’t have the full details yet, but rest assured we’ll get them once they’re available. You may have seen a few sneak WIP appearing on Facebook or Instagram for example.

We caught a whiff of information from Mike Strick, over on the Lunartik Fan Page on Facebook, of his entry to the #FansofTea series. As per tradition, Mike knocked it out of the park. Mike has taken the Mini Tea and turned it in to a Glad-tea-ator and Tea-ger set.

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Mike goes out of his way not to only create an awesome custom piece, but also document his work too. Taken from Mike’s website (http://sculpt.strick.co.uk/Glad-tea-ator_and_Tea-ger_-_Lunartik_Customs) we get a feel for the work that Mike has put in to this custom. Take a read…

Matt Jones’ Lunartik in a Cup of Tea figure breaks down into several interesting component parts and is made from a nice plastic that responds well to tools.

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The Glad-tea-ator used the Lunartik’s head as its body. One of the requirements of the project was that the figure had to fit in the cleverly designed ‘takeaway drink’ packaging that is standard for Lunartiks. I had planned to use the neck joint from the donor figure to make it poseable but I found that even with the head removable, it became too tall for the packaging. I ended up using simple pins to keep it secured while allowing it to be detatched for transport. I lengthened the arms with wire and sculpted them in a simple style that matched the look and feel of the original piece.

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For the helmet, I extended the curve of the cup over its base to form a continuous dome and repositioned the handle to make a crest. Although most of the face would be covered by the mask, I decided to sculpt the whole thing so that the visible areas would look as convincing as possible. After the face was formed, I applied mould release to it and sculpted the mask over the top. Once dry, I popped it off so that I was able to paint mask and face separately before gluing it all back together.

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I was tempted to paint the shield with all the decoration seen in the movie but decided it would distract attention away from the face, athough I did end up including a few bits of patterning on the body armour. I wouldn’t normally apply lacquer over a metallic finish but it was one of the specifications set for this project in order to protect the figures in transit.

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The tiger used the channel on the top of Lunartik’s head as its mouth and the hands as ears. The rest of the body was built in Milliput on a wire armature. The trapdoor was based on the disk that originally formed the surface of the tea in the cup. I tried to give the cup and saucer the look of the dusty sandstone amphitheatre.

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Amazing journey, right! We can’t wait to see this in person at ToyConUK!

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