June 22, 2017

Big Trouble in Little Aztlan

I'm a big fan of Big Trouble in Little China, so I decided to see if I could do it justice in an illustration. I realized very quickly that there was a lot to cover from this awesome  movie. Inevitably, some stuff didn't make the cut. The Pork Chop Express? Nope. Egg Shen's bus? Nope again. But I did try to squeeze as much as possible in.

Initial inked drawing

Final illustration

The piece came out better than I even expected. I had some metallic stickers made that look amazing.

Stickers and prints can be found in the shop.

May 7, 2016

Azteca Wars tshirts

Azteca Wars is finally available as a tshirt. The NOPAL shop is carrying the Stormtrooper coloway (Black & White) and TeeFury.com is carrying the gold variant. Both are available for $20 while they last.

Azteca Wars tshirt - NopalArt.com

April 25, 2016

Star Wars X AZTECA: Part TWO

When I posted the STAR WARS x AZTECA design on Instagram, I mentioned that I eventually wanted to get one laser engraved in wood. Very quickly I received a DM from 2ndwnd expressing that they could do the job. After we traded some emails, it became clear they could do the job - and boy were they right. They created three 12 inch prototypes laser engraved in Baltic birch that captured all the detail in the original design.

Of course, having seen the 12 inch version, I wondered how a larger one would look. Again, 2ndwnd delivered with an amazing 2 foot version that has to be seen to be fully appreciated.

I would highly recommend them to anyone looking for quality woodwork. And for kicks, I had them engrave a plexiglass master with the intent of casting a few to simulate stone or metal. That piece by itself is beautiful.

I now have a prototype of antique "metal" that was hand finished using successive layers of my favorite metallizer, Rub n Buff. The finished piece looks like it was just unearthed from an archaeological dig.

Can't wait to try out a faux stone finish on another prototype. Stay tuned.

March 14, 2016


I've been preoccupied with mashups for a bit and I had an idea to mashup the Aztec calendar with all the narrative from the Star Wars universe. It took a bit but its finally done.  The next step is finding a place to get it laser engraved on wood. Hopefully soon...

Below is some of the process on how it was created.

November 1, 2015

The RockeTrooper custom vinyl

Sharing an equal love for Disney's The Rocketeer and Star Wars... it was inevitable that the two would meet someday in a mashup of some sort. A friend had shown me a tiny custom-made mashup helmet for sale, and while immensely cool, it lacked the side intakes that make the Rocketeer so unique. Once Disney released the Design A Vinyl Stormtrooper DIY kit, I knew what I had to do.

The first step was the signature fin. A thin strip of basswood proved to be solid enough while still allowing for easy cutting. The template was created by shooting a profile photo and importing that into Abobe Illustrator.

The next step was the intakes. I glued down some foil tubes to give the Sculpey something to adhere to. I used the smoother (and softer) white Sculpey. If I had to do it again, I think I'd stick with the classic (flesh-colored) version. It's stiffer and would probably hold the detail better. Lesson learned.

Once the intakes were done they were "fired" with a heat gun. The fin was then attached with Gorilla Glue. That set for a few days.

With the fin and intakes assembled and dry, I added some more Sculpey for the "weld lines." These came out a bit more coarse than I wanted but again, I blame the softer Sculpey. 

After that, all that was left was paint. A base coat of Bright Gold and then a wash of Burn Umber to get into all the nooks and crannies. I then went to my favorite trick for metallic finishes - Rub n Buff. A rough coat of Spanish Copper to give it a dirty look and then a coat of Antique Gold. Then some buffing and voila! The RockeTrooper.