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More Jabba the Hutt Jack O’ Lanterns! (2014 Edition)

October 30, 2014

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I mentioned in my previous post about carving a “Funkin” artificial pumpkin that I would try to carve a real pumpkin this year, and thanks to a brief lull in my work schedule, I was able to do two of them. The one above is based more on the Clone Wars version of Jabba than my previous ones, although I’m not sure you can quite tell that.

As I’ve mentioned in the past, I use a 3D sculpting technique that people like Ray Villafane have pioneered. You use tools that are normally used for sculpting clay to scrap off the outer layer of rind and then “sculpt” the inner parts. It can be pretty difficult and time-consuming, but I find it rewarding, and it’s becoming a kind of annual tradition. Of course I’m nowhere near Ray’s level — my sculpting skills are still pretty basic. Still, each one is a learning experience.

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After doing the first one, it occurred to me that I’ve never tried to do a full-body Jabba on a pumpkin, so I did this one of him on his throne. It’s loosely based on the vintage Sigma Jabba the Hutt bank.

Star Wars Pumpkin Carving Kit & Jabba the Hutt “Funkin”

October 23, 2014

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Regular readers of the site will know that I’ve carved a number of Star Wars-themed pumpkins. I’ve done a couple of Jabbas (version 1 and version 2), a Bib Fortuna, a Rancor, and last year a Gamorrean Guard (that one won a prize).

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But this kind of carving can be rather tiring and time-consuming, so when my sister suggested trying out “Funkins” (foam craft pumpkins that can be carved similar to real ones) I thought maybe I would take it easy this year and try one. They were already on sale at the local craft store, although they’re still more expensive than most actual pumpkins. The advantage, I figured, was that we would be able to save it and use it every year.

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Also, I discovered that a Star Wars pumpkin carving kit (pictured at the top of the post) has a Jabba the Hutt pattern in it. I think it’s available at many retailers, but I got mine at Target. It comes with a number of patterns, and the idea is that you tape the pattern to the pumpkin, then use a metal spike to poke holes tracing its outline. Then you can follow the holes when carving the pumpkin. In practice, this is a little tricky, unless you have a pumpkin that’s exactly the right size and shape. I think I put too many holes in as well, but I wanted to make sure I got the shape.

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When you remove the pattern, you get something like what you see below. It’s a little hard to see the pattern in this, but if you refer to the paper you can more or less make sense of it.

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Now, as I said, Funkins are artificial pumpkins made of very dense foam. It’s actually pretty hard stuff. It’s also apparently made in two halves that are glued together, so when you come up against that seam while carving, it can be hard to get through. You’re supposed to be able to use traditional pumpkin carving tools, but my feeling was that they weren’t quite up to the task. I had a variety of sizes and shapes, but carving was not easy. I bent/broke more than one tool (luckily I got most of them after Halloween last year at 90% off).

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This pattern has a lot of detail and some pretty thin lines in it. I’m not sure if it would work better with a real pumpkin or not, but I nearly broke the whole thing several times and had to resort to using glue in a few places to strengthen it a bit. I think in hindsight it might have been better to just work on scraping off the surface of the pumpkin rather than carving chunks out. I wasn’t very impressed with the final product. It’s difficult to make out the design, and there are quite a few stray holes left over as well.

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However, when I tried lighting it up, it looked pretty good! I had to search for an old LED light strip I had, since they tell you specifically not to put open flames in these things. I think I’m still going to try and carve an actual pumpkin the year, though.

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LEGO Club Shirt with Jabba the Hutt and Han in Carbonite

October 18, 2014

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I have a couple of LEGO Star Wars shirts that happen to have Jabba on them (see here and here), but this is the first I’ve seen that is completely Jabba-centric. It was apparently available at LEGO Club meetings where (from what I can tell) you would pay around $20 to get a shirt and a bag of bricks. I assume it was made available around the time that the LEGO Jabba’s Palace set was released in 2012.

The Huttese message reads “Ban gone wan she co, o Jedi” (although I’ve usually seen this written as “Ban gon wan she co, cah”), which means “There will be no bargain.”

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Jabba the Hutt Polo Shirt (Lacoste Parody) from Super 7 & WeLoveFine

October 10, 2014

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Apologies for the lack of updates recently. I’ve been very busy with work, and the introduction of the new iPhones has also been a bit distracting for me… In any case, here is something that I first posted about in July. They became available at Super7’s online store a while back and I ordered right away, but it took several weeks to ship even though they claimed it was in stock. It seems they ran out and had to have more made. It’s a Super7 exclusive, but also bears the WeLoveFine logo, so was apparently made in conjunction with them.

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This is obviously a parody of the iconic Lacoste alligator polo, with Jabba the Hutt playing the part of the alligator. The patch is pretty well done, but if you look at the image on their site, it seems like the position of the patch is off on mine. I think it may just be because mine is an XXL, while the one in the picture is probably an M or something. Still, it struck me as a little off when I received it. I think it should be a couple of inches closer to the left sleeve.

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The shirt is $45 plus almost $10 shipping. When you consider that it’s basically just a normal black polo with the exception of the tiny patch, that seems pretty expensive. Quality-wise, the shirt is okay, but to be frank the polos you can get at Target seem to be more comfortable and better quality — at least to me. I have a LOT of Jabba the Hutt-themed t-shirts, but I don’t actually like wearing t-shirts much. I generally wear polos just because I find them comfortable, so this seemed like a natural fit for me. But I have mixed feelings about it due to the expense and somewhat mediocre quality.

“Your Mind Powers Will Not Work On Me Boy” T-Shirt With Jabba the Hutt

September 28, 2014

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I resisted getting this shirt for two reasons. The main one was that instead of using a picture of the actual Jabba from Return of the Jedi or some original artwork, they just used a stock photo of the Sideshow Jabba the Hutt figure that’s easily found on something like a Google image search.

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All it takes is a few minutes in Photoshop to turn it into the design they went with, and frankly it seems lazy. I even wrote an entire blog post about people making products using images of the Sideshow Jabba, but this an officially licensed shirt. It’s not unusual to see artists and others use collectibles like statues or figures as the basis for their work, and on the one hand I understand it since it’s often actually easier to get photos of these things than good reference photos from the movies. But it kind of ruins it for me when I can tell right away that this has been done.

The other reason I didn’t get it is that it’s rather expensive — $22 from 80stees.com. But I eventually got one very cheaply on eBay so I decided to get it. It’s not a bad design, but it just seems odd for them to use the Sideshow Jabba as the basis for it.

Jabba the Hutt Sculpture by Me

September 21, 2014

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Doing my custom throne for the Black Series Jabba figure involved a fair amount of sculpting and it went fairly well, so I decided to try my hand at sculpting a complete figure instead of just accessories. I sculpted this small figure out of Super Sculpey clay using a toothpick as my main tool. I started with the Jabba and thought it turned out well, so I made a throne for him as well. Including the throne, it’s about 4 inches wide and 3 inches tall.

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I did it in several pieces/stages, which were fired in the oven and then assembled, although Jabba himself was done all as one piece over a core of aluminum foil. The metal rings are from the jewelry section at Michael’s, and the hose for his hooka is actually a piece of an old earphone cable. The green pieces above are epoxy putty, which I used for things that seemed like they would be too weak or difficult to do in clay. I’m pretty happy with how the sculpt itself turned out. I was impressed with how easy Super Sculpey was to use compared to the clay I’ve tried in the past. And I’ll have to admit that I was surprised how well it all worked out. It’s a good feeling to create something like this out of nothing, and I learned a lot just from doing this one piece.

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The paint job, I’m not totally sure about. I’m using a new kind of paints that have a bit of a learning curve, and I’ve also never painted something that I sculpted myself. In any case, I hope to continue to develop my sculpting abilities in the future. I found it quite enjoyable. I think maybe working in a bigger size next time might make things a bit easier, although that may also necessitate adding more detail.

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Jabba the Hutt Soap (Based On Vintage Kenner Jabba the Hutt Figure)

September 20, 2014

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I have some vintage Gamorrean Guard soap, but I’ve always wanted Jabba-shaped soap of some kind. I never expected it would be like this, though! I got these from Etsy seller NerdySoap, who has a variety of soaps in the shape of characters from Star Wars and other properties. Many of them were made with the silicone molds that Kotobukiya put out, but some are based on toys. In this case, they obviously made a mold from the vintage Jabba the Hutt figure. One very cool thing about these soaps is that you can choose the color and scent you want, and there are a LOT of choices! It was rather hard to choose, but in the end I went with one pink with cherry scent, one white with coconut scent, and one green with jasmine scent. They come nicely wrapped as you can see below, and each of them also included a small Han in Carbonite soap, as well as some bonus soaps like a Millennium Falcon. Nice!

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The detail on these is really pretty impressive, considering that they’re soap. Pretty much all of the detail from the vintage figure is there although of course it’s all one solid piece and the bottom is completely flat. These are shipped from Poland and two of the Jabbas’ tails ended up breaking on the trip to me. However, they sent replacements free of charge, which I was grateful for. I wasn’t planning to use these as actual soap — they’re more for display — so having them intact was important to me. They probably weigh about three times as much as the actual vintage figure, since they’re solid blocks of soap.

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I used one of the broken Jabbas to see what it would be like to use these as soap. It’s huge for a bar of soap, but it actually works pretty well. The coloring in the soap gives the water and foam a slight green tinge, and the detail actually seems to stay for quite a while after you start using it.

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I also got a couple of small soaps based on a small unlicensed Jabba toy from Episode One.

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