Anyone with more than a passing familiarity with garage kits knows the work of Mike Hill. His hands have shaped some of the hobby’s most respected figure kits, including the characters in my personal all-time favorite, Janus’s incredible Dracula and Bride deluxe combo.
Read any “grail” list in an online forum and you’ll find Mike’s works cited repeatedly. If not the Janus kit, then perhaps one of his wonderful “Curse of the Werewolf” pieces, or a Universal Frankenstein Monster, or a Spider-Man, or … well, the list goes on.
The kits — Mike guesses there are more than four dozen of them — have been offered by a range of producers including Killer Kits, Janus, Forbidden Zone, 5th Sense, GEOmetric Design, G-Force, Creatures Unlimited, Jayco, Zotz and, of course, his own company, Shapeshifters, which he ran from about 1992 until 2000.
Then there are his other works. To quote his biography from Mike’s website, mikehillart.com, “his career to date has included figure kit sculpting, wax figures, creature designing, prosthetic makeup, and creating hyper-real character statues.”
Mike has done amazing life-size sculptures, including full-size versions of painter Alex Ross’s Superman and Batman for Ross himself. He’s done wax figures for Madame Tussaud’s and recently visited online forums to share photos of an astounding life-size sculpture of Boris Karloff being made up as the Monster.
He has also worked in movies, including the current “Wolfman” remake with makeup legend Rick Baker.
“I am in the process of developing my own movie projects with my own production company, Pure at Heart,” Mike wrote in an e-mail interview.
Rick Baker, Alex Ross, Hugh Hefner and more own pieces of Mike’s work.
Mike Hill was born in Cheshire, England, and now resides in Los Angeles. He recently celebrated his 40th birthday with his wife, Jessica, and his two sons, Colum and Connah.
He goes by “mickkk1969” in various online forums, a moniker he says originated with a difficulty he had selecting a username. “I was having problems with my log-ins so I typed something real fast. ‘mick1969’ … didn’t work. ‘mickk1969’ … didn’t work. ‘mickkk1969’ did. Groan — stupid answer I know. I really need to change it.”
His lifelong love of fantastic subjects, nicely illustrated on his website, helped inspire him to become a sculptor. “I messed with clay as a kid, I used to dig it up from the riverbank and sculpt various renditions of Kong and his dinosaurs, but I guess I took it more serious around 17.”
MIKE HILL’S WORK WEEK AND TOOLS OF THE TRADE
Resin the Barbarian: What kind of work do you do most? And, what kind of work do you most enjoy doing?
Mike: At the moment I seem to be doing life-size heads more than anything.… Read the rest