Update 12/24/14 The Romero's have purchased the "Icons of Doom" sculpture. My 6 year old son Lucian and I met up with John and Brenda for breakfast while they were in Anaheim this past Sunday. We had a terrific time talking with them and their young son Donovan about all kinds of games including Doom. Not to mention, Brenda's fantastic board games that I must play! John even told me the story about his decapitated head in the Icon of Sin level. According to Brenda Ramero, over a hundred people told her about my sculpture online, sending them links, so they were happy to get the piece and I was absolutely thrilled to hang out with them. I have plans to do more Doom inspired sculpture in the form of a fan film so stay tuned!
Back in 1993, I was 17 years old when my mind was blown by id's DOOM. It was like nothing I had ever seen before and it changed my life. By the time I was in college, I had it on my PlayStation, and it was the first time I was able to really play. It was the best game to play for my budding monster-maker skills to absorb. I would hook up a karaoke speaker, turn echo all the way up, then duct-tape the microphone onto the TV speaker. It makes me chuckle now but this was my surround-sound at the time! With the lights out, and that dark soundscape score by Aubrey Hodges blasting, I must have spent months playing all night till 2 or 3 am. DOOM I & II, to this day, are the only games I have ever played and beaten, that I can pick up any old time and have some fun.
Check out this fun little video promo I made with the help of my 6 year old son, Lucian, who wants this sculpture for a nightlight.
Making this assemblage piece was like reliving those fun nights of playing doom with my roommate Jay Johnson back in Pittsburgh. I even made a short film for school about a guy who goes insane from playing DOOM. I tend to spend months on a piece here and there, but once this one got in my blood, I couldn't stop. It all started with the Cyberdemon by Reaper Miniatures my friend Chris Fields gave be back in 2004. After doing a paint job on it back then I wanted to build an environment for the little evil cyborg.
Over the years, I have collected circuit boards from computers and odd devices. The panel on the right of the demon's head was sitting in a cardboard box in the back of my YMCA getting rained on, before I "liberated" it. The guns are from the Quake action figures by ReSaurus Toys that came out back in 1998. At least they are accosted with Doom. I would have loved to make a BFG, and still might do so, but I ran out of time. I'm actually kind of surprised that no one has made one by now. The Doom Guy figure and zombie behind the Cyberdemon are slightly augmented from HorrorClix figures...and the dozen bullets were possibly live .30 caliber, (someone informed me that my water soaking might not have worked) they are being replaced with dummy ammo.
I love using found objects but I had to make some stuff too, which is the real fun part. The central Icon of Sin demon head was made using WED clay and cast in urethane resin. Below is a shot of the silicon case mold I made. From horn to horn, the Icon of Sin demon is about 22 inches. Note how your brain tries to turn the negative image into a positive.
Originally, I was planning on making the status hud identical with the game but I felt that the numbers and % stuff wasn't interesting enough to look at, for an art piece. I've always liked hearts to represent health in video games. One of my favorites to do this was "Splatterhouse". The heart was sculpted in Super Sculpey, molded and cast in different resins. The Doom Guy face was also done in Sculpey. The rocket launcher targeted on the demon head is actually from a Transformers Movie IronHide cannon I made with the help of my friend Mike Biasi while I was working at a Halloween Company called Disguise. Mike helped me mill and lathe it out of solid resin. I've been saving a copy for years trying to find the perfect sculpture to display it in!
The Cacodemon (or evil tomatoes) was actually my favorite thing to make. I sculpted it quickly during lunch with Monster clay. After I molded it in silicone, I carefully took out the clay, cut the top off and re-sculpted the bottom to make the Cacodemon's mushy corpse. What's neat is, I used only the clay from the original Cacodemon, as to not add too much mass to the body. The blood I used for him was a mixture of blue nail polish and 5 min epoxy. I cast the live Caco's in translucent resin and painted the insides of the mouths with blue stained glass paints. This way, I pick up the light from the lit floor beneath, giving it the illusion of them getting ready to spit a plasma-fireball.
Making the "Icon of Sin" level would not be complete without John Romero's smirking, decapitated head! I made a small head out of Magic Sculpt on a stick, backed on a 3" x 5" wall. This was a strange piece to fabricate, but I had to do it. I have hidden it out of normal visibility in the sculpture, so you have to physically be in front of the piece on a wall in order to find it. This project was so much fun I didn't want it to stop. I want to sculpt all of the classic DOOM I & II monsters, fighting, dying, or even exploding. Hell, I think it would be awesome to make an entire sculpted level someday!