Mattel Submarine

I recently had an opportunity to design and build a very cool model for an international commercial.

The Director wanted a classic fantasy submarine to crash through the sidewalk and rise up like a submarine in the ocean.

One of my assistants sourced out a four foot long submarine model, and that became the basis for our ” 20,000 leagues” inspired submarine.

Once the concept sketch was approved Gabe Spear and Myself began the process of chopping up the Gato class WW2 submarine model and kit bashing a bunch of pieces together to create the shape we were looking for.

The retro-victorian iron work and saw blade like spine of the Sub were hand cut from styrene and the detailed iron work was all hand cut from a model of the Eiffel Tower.

After the model was built and approved by the multiple levels that seem to be required in the advertising world, Gabe and I set out on creating the paint scheme. We wanted it to have a very victorian feel so we decided on a flat brown base coat and subsequent coats of antique brass and copper.

The oxidized teal copper detailing was created by using a chemical copper aging liquid directly on the metallic copper paint. There was enough actual coper in the paint that it corroded just like real copper. By mixing the copper paint with the aging liquid right on the brush, Gabe and I were able to create a very realistic effect.

James Wahlberg, the commercial’s Director was blown away by the attention to detail and the Clients were floored.

We christened the Submarine ” The HMS White Sturgeon ” after the British Columbia fish that inspired her shape.

Thank you to Tom Martin and Gabe Spear for all of the help in making this a prop to remember.