As we began planning the launch for Cosmic Legions, we knew that images would play a critical role in showing the world our vision for this new universe. Thankfully, we have been working with the incredibly talented Trevor Williams, aka One-Six Shooter, for some time now, so we were confident that he could bring our ideas to life with his images. When we saw the final shots, we were blown away - and based on the fan reaction to those images, they were pretty excited as well. In this "Behind the Scenes" article, we talk to Trevor about the process of shooting these new figures, and he shares some of his Behind the Scenes images from this photo shoot.
You’ve been shooting the Legions lines for over a year now, but the Cosmic Legions launch is easily the biggest project you’ve worked on for the studio so far. Tell us a bit about how this project began?
Knowing Cosmic was coming this year, I started talking to Eric Treadaway about his vision for the line and thoughts on the look and feel of the environments so I could start thinking about how shots would be set up and what diorama environments we might need. He gave me some examples of the type of sci-fi he was looking for and some examples and sketches of the introductory images he wanted.
About three weeks before the reveal show, Chris Gawrych called me up and told me they had some of the prototypes ready to shoot and we discussed the timeline – which was tight! He sent most of it over a few days later and I got to work.
This project required very specific shots and set pieces. How closely did you work with Eric and Kris from Crashbox Customs on these images?
I got in touch with Kris at Crashbox Customs immediately after talking with Eric T. and started discussing some ideas for the prison setting. Eric had given me an idea of the layout of the prison and a look he roughed out for what a wall might look like. From there, Kris and I began discussing the shape and size of the cells; what the ceiling, walls and floors would look like, where we would need some details like controls, wires, etc. The final part was the door to the cell, which we went around on a few times, starting with modified traditional bars and ending with something I designed in Illustrator which featured lasers as the method of containment. Kris did an amazing job translating this and making it work practically.
It was basically like working on movie set design. We wanted to do something that would translate the idea and the story, but not directly evoke the look of another franchise or movie. I think we accomplished that!
For this project, you had to work with prototype parts rather than production figures. What kinds of challenges does that create?
Oh, boy…lots of challenges! When they first arrived some of the main bodies; torsos, hips, legs, had been glued together, while the rest of the figures were separate. Resin prototypes differ from plastic production pieces in that they are heavier, fragile, and don’t “pop” together the way your final figures do.
I wanted to keep from having to glue them together as much as possible as I wanted to be able to pose them differently for different shots. I tried different methods of connecting the limbs. Tack and glue dots would tend to droop slowly (especially under lights) so I eventually ended up at using small strips of medical tape around the pins to build them up and create some friction to hold them in place.
A few figures had to be dismantled – breaking the glue and regluing legs, torsos, etc. – to get them into a functional position. Sometimes glue would give out and a mandible, antennae, or foot would fall off and need fixing and occasionally the thinner, more fragile pieces would break, requiring a repair. There was a lot of time on the workbench!
Posing prototypes like this is a reall challenge. You can't just grab an arm and move it into the position you want. When everything is held together rather loosely, you often have to, say, remove the arm entirely to adjust the elbow a little and then reattach it – without disrupting the rest of the figure in the process. It’s like diffusing a bomb!
Of all the shots you took for this project, do you have any favorites?
I loved doing the teasers – it was a challenge to give people just enough of the figure to get them excited while hiding the details and making them want more! Hiding the messages in the shadow areas to keep the “Photoshop sleuths” amused was fun too.
But my favorites are the group shots that, by the time you read this, should be out there. Those were also the most challenging with the limited pose-ability of the figures.
Cosmic Legions seems to have been immediately embraced by Mythic fans, and some have even said they prefer sci-fi to fantasy. Do you have a preference between sci-fi and fantasy properties in the lines you collect?
I’m pretty split – which is reflected in my collection. I’ve always loved myth and monster style fantasy art, but before Mythic Legions, there were not a lot of toys/collectibles in this genre outside of LOTR, which I love, but missed out on toy-wise. But I’m also a big sci-fi fan; Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, Dune, Star Trek, Planet of the Apes – all those properties are in my collection, so Cosmic really appeals to me and the thought of having and shooting sci-fi figures that are not from a known property with a set aesthetic is very exciting!
As one of the few people who has actually had Cosmic Legions figures in hand, which of the figures are your personal favorites so far?
Oddly – only because she’s one of the more basic body types – I really dug Zerri! The sculpt and paint are fantastic and the poncho just put her over the top! I also think I’m going to love the Sphexx when I get the production figures, but boy did they make me nuts in proto form!
I know you are sworn to secrecy on upcoming projects, but can we assume that we will see more of One-Six Shooter’s Legions images in the upcoming waves for both Mythic and Cosmic?
I serve at the pleasure of the Four Horsemen of course, but I sure hope so! I really think the Cosmic rollout was one of the best so far and I’d love to do more teaser photos along these lines for future waves.
Published on 10.26.21