If you attended LegionsCon 2022, or even if you were following the fun from home and checking out the pictures that fellow fans were sharing, you undoubtedly saw the BIGGEST surprise at the event – the “life size” Kkurzog ogre that dominated the lobby of the venue hotel!
In this “Behind the Scenes” article, we will take a look at this monster creation and the race against the clock that the studio team underwent to make sure he was ready for his LegionsCon debut!
An Ogre’s Head
The full size Kkurzog project started out much smaller. In fact, our first attempt at creating this monster was as a decapitated head that we displayed at select shows a few years ago.
This project was a bit of a test for us since Kkurzog was one of the early figures that we had sculpted fully digitally. Having those digital files opened up a number of new options for us. We could now easily print these files at both smaller, and larger, sizes than the figure needed to be – and the fact that we share studio space with a business that make props for movies, TV, and stage performances (BB Props) got us thinking about doing a life-size version of this brutish warrior!
BB Props owns a large machine that can cut gigantic pieces of foam using digital files as a guide. We loaded in the file for Kkurzog’s head and went to work! The foam was cut to shape and our painting team worked to match the look to what was seen on the toy. We also created a “stone-like” base for the head and began taking it to toy shows.
The Kkurzog head debuted at ToyConNJ back in 2018. We took it to a few shows after that, including lugging it all the way across the country to DesignerCon in California! That’s where we eventually sold the Kkurzog head to a lucky fan – in part so we did not have to bring it back to NJ with us, but also because we had begun to discuss a bigger project for the Mythic Legions ogre. (Note: the images below are of this original Kkurzog head during its creation and on display at a few events)
The Kkurzog head was such a hit with fans, that it got us excited to take it to the next level. That level, of course, was a full-size, full-body recreation of our action figure character!
Shortly after we returned from DesignerCon minus our Kkurzog head, we began work on the full-size replica. We treated it much like the figure itself, breaking it down into separate pieces which would be assembled. We had the head, the torso, the arms, legs, etc. All of these were printed in foam and ready to be built, but it is here where we realized something – this was a HUGE project and the end result was going to be incredibly heavy! We began to discuss ideas for how we would secure it once assembled, but in the meantime we got busy with other projects and the full-size Kkurzog became less of a priority.
The pieces of Kkurzog sat in the BB Props warehouse for about a year, pushed to the side for a bit, but never truly forgotten. Some of our Intern for a Day attendees got to see these parts in storage, just waiting for their day in the spotlight. Thanks to LegionsCon 2022, that day would eventually come!
Prepping for a Big Debut
The rise in size and popularity of the annual LegionsCon event was a perfect excuse to revisit the Kkurzog project. With the 2022 show set to be the biggest and best LegionsCon to date, we knew we wanted to make a huge impact, and greeting fans with this monster was sure to help make that impact! We took down the pieces of Kkurzog and began to plan how we would pull this project off. We started out with summer artist intern, Angelina Pinho, disassembling the foam parts and prepping them for the final work that would be needed. She spent the summer semester sanding and prepping and basically getting us to a starting point where we could really dive in. (Note: throughout the remainder of this article, we will present images taken during the development of the full size Kkurzog statue)
At this point, we decided was that we needed some more help. While our team has years of experience building props for movies, TV, and the stage, we knew that we needed some extra hands and experience to pull this off! Our own project manager, George Gaspar, worked for years in the film and prop industry, and it just so happens that one of his friends and former colleagues was looking for some freelance work at this time. George made a call and Dan Diana (@slasherfx on Instagram) entered the project! Dan has years of experience building life size props like Kkurzog, and doing so against tight deadlines! Both of those would help as we prepared the ogre for his LegionsCon debut.
From the start we knew that cutting Kkurzog fully out of foam like we did for the head had some major limitations of the material, namely in areas that needed more detail or which were meant to represent areas such as metal, fur, or leather. This is why we eventually decided to mix materials for this project, using the foam as a base, but integrating 3D-printed pieces for parts that needed tighter details like the rivets and spikes, the belt and chest emblems, and the teeth and eyes. We would also integrate actual fur and leather for his belts and loin areas! Below you can see how the belt emblem, which was initially printed in foam, was later cut out of the build and upgraded with a 3D-printed replacement that had much sharper details!
To address the challenge of the weight of this piece, we made a heavy base for him to stand on, complete with a steel pole that would secure the ogre when he was fully assembled.
Setting up shop in the BB Props warehouse, Dan and George, along with Bill Mancuso and Joe Vasapollo went to work. Bill, in particular, has done lots of work over the years with BB Props for a variety of film and television projects, and him and Dan worked together seamlessly to pull off Kkurzog. A newer addition to the studio team, Joe V. got to participate quite a bit on this project as well, including making the "spiked ball and chain" weapon that Kkurzog would eventually carry!
The entire team pulled late nights and weekend hours to get this thing done. In fact, they were putting the finishing touches on Kkurzog while fans visited our studio during Intern for a Day on Thursday, November 3rd! Those interns got an early peek at the ogre, and from their reactions we knew we were doing something pretty awesome!
The work on Kkurzog continued late into the evening of November 3rd and the finished piece was delivered to the venue hotel on Friday, November 4th in preparation for the LegionsCon crowds to arrive!
Throughout this article you can see images from the progression of this project – from the early foam prints to the 3D-printed additions to the layers upon layers of paint we added to Kkurzog to the final results in the lobby of LegionsCon!
So - What’s Next?
The reaction to Kkurzog was incredible. We hope to bring him to more shows in the future, but he is indeed a massive construction that takes 4-5 people to assemble, so he definitely won’t be at every show! He will, however, make the trek to some of our key events like LegionsCon, and he may just have some company beside him soon. We have already started asking the question – “what’s next?” Which characters should get the full-size treatment now? Perhaps a Cosmic companion to provide a nice contrast to the Mythicness of Kkurzog? You’ll just have to wait and see what the studio comes up with next!
Published on 12.15.22