Originally published April 13, 2006, at GJSentinel.com.
“THE ULTIMATE SOLDIER”
Produced by Mad Dog Resin
Sculpted by Alterton
1/6 scale, resin kit, comes in 10 unassembled, unpainted pieces
$135 plus shipping
Kit in pictures painted by Norm “Kitman” Piatt
It’s amazing the people around the world a hobby can put you in contact with, thanks largely to the Internet. Before getting re-interested in model kits in late 2001, it would never have occurred to me that one day I would encounter Alterton, a former dentist who now works as a freelance sculptor. And if these facts alone don’t strike you as at least slightly off the beaten path, consider how Alterton describes his home to this geographically unsophisticated fellow:
“I am in a small city called Trelew in Chubut province, to the south in Argentina in a beautiful region called Patagonia. I was born here and turned back at the end of 2005 with my lady after 11 years living in Buenos Aires.”
This fellow from Argentina is a comic book fan, and he’s the creative force behind the sculpture of the red, white and blue hero in the pictures. A few weeks ago, I spoke with Norm Piatt of Paradoxx Resin and John Allred about an Alterton piece called “Aldrhiel The Forgotten One”; this week, I’m pleased to say Alterton fought past the flu and a bad Net connection to tell me a little more through e-mail about himself, “The Ultimate Soldier” and his work in general.
Me: How did a person from your part of the world get involved in sculpting a character who is so distinctly United States-oriented?
Alterton: Thing is, I have always loved fantasy-related stories. My grandfather and then my father were fans of an Argentinean editorial called Columba, with great fantasy characters and stories, those were the days Argentina had a great production of fantasy comics with magazines like Nippur de Lagash, El Tony, D’Artagnan, Scorpio, etc etc etc.
We had great storytellers and 2D artists working for national publications and international comics, especially from Europe (France, Italy, Spain, Germany). As for the American comics; Mexican, Spanish and Argentinean editorials (VID, Abril, Novaro, etc) were reproducing Marvel and DC characters.
By the time I was a child and living at the a** of the world (yeah, Trelew is 932 miles south from Buenos Aires), it was really difficult to get those American publications, so I had to wait until summer holidays to go to Buenos Aires to spend Christmas with the rest of my family to get them. Then we had the “SuperFriends” TV show to watch and the ol’ Marvel cartoons. I was also a great fan of “Master of the Universe” toons and my parents got me all the toys.
When I started school, I also started to take drawing lessons and by my 17s I was studying with a great advertising guy. Nowadays don’t ask me to draw cause I am not able to do a smiley face!
Me: What sparked your interest in sculpting garage kits?
Alterton: It wasn’t garage kits; hey, I didn’t know there was a collectible business!!!!! I thought everything was death after the action figures!!! Everything changed when I moved to Buenos Aires at my 18s to start dentistry at the university. I was taking a walk and suddenly I found The Comic Club, a comic store, the first one I saw in my life.
I was amazed, everything comic-related in one place! And the first thing I saw was Bowen’s Hulk vs Thing bookend! Bum, I dropped dead!!! I loved it… I asked the salesman how much that beauty cost and he told me something like 300 bucks each one…he was out of his mind. So on my way home I thought, “How hard could it be to sculpt those pieces by myself?” (how naïve was I?), so I bought some regular clay and I started to sculpt. The Internet showed me the rest.
There was a whole world behind that statue, and there were a lot of them and there were people behind them, sculptors and they had names and styles, so I started to scroll the Net for all the info. I discovered a new world I didn’t know it was there.
After two years I stopped sculpting to finish my career until thanks to the Clubhouse back in 2000-2001 I met Norm “Kitman” and then Martin Canale, they were the ones who pushed me to go back and grab some epoxy to start again, and two years later Jayco was producing the “Iron Dictator,” I was amazed! People were buying a sculpt I did and they were assembling it and painting it and customizing it!!! It was a shock!!!!
The GK world is fantastic because of two things: first, it allows to wannabe sculptors to show their stuff, to practice, to create their own style until the big call; and second, it helps the pros to do what they can’t do with big companies, like their own versions of established characters or to release their own creations in small runs. Besides, it is beautiful to see how modelers give their personal touch to the sculpts!!!! It is an awesome underworld I will always love!
Me: What is your favorite of your own works so far, and what can fans of your work expect to see next?
Alterton: So far, my best piece is my first original design sculpture, the “Portal of the Gods,”don’t ask me why cause when I see it I see a lot of faults and imperfections, and I mean a lot, but that winged wolf is like all my dreams together captured in 3d form. How sick is that?
And what is next? Well, I am really excited about “The Forgotten Ones” series Paradoxx Resin is releasing. Norm is doing such a terrific job with it and it is really an honor to be able to work with one of the most important persons in my sculpting career.
Besides, seeing the paint job Allred is doing is killing me! I almost died when I saw “the Forgotten One” painted, those bastards never told me what they were doing, and believe me when I said it was a great surprise.
I never pictured the sculpt painted and when I first saw the pics, wow!!!!! I was speechless!!!!! It was really beautiful!! Can’t wait to see how the next pieces will look.