Pimp My Stormtrooper

Each year we decide to tackle a new personal project, one that takes us away from the humdrum life of making films, music and toys and do something that is a million miles away from the day to day. ㋡

Like previous projects such as:

Back to The Future Hoverboard : https://www.creativebone.co.uk/christmas-back-to-the-future-hoverboard-prop-building/

Powell Peralta Skateboard: https://www.creativebone.co.uk/bug-to-the-future-the-rejuvenation-of-an-80s-classic-powell-peralta-skateboard/

This would be a nice slice of nostalgia….

For a few years now, Dave the Stormtrooper has stood on a little metal stand in the corner of the room, keeping guard over the various toys, props and other random retro goodies. This year we decided to give Dave a new place to stand, one inspired by the greatest Star Wars film in the series ‘The Empire Strikes Back’.


Taking inspiration from the carbon freezing chamber, we wanted to design a plinth that wasn’t just a straight ‘carbon’ copy of the flooring from that scene but one that showcased Dave as an individual and a worthy member of the Imperial Empire.



The first port of call was the design, size and layout. I knew I wanted to homage the grills but wanted a stand out symbol on top, one that gave out a little more light and also was symbolic of the Empire. The shape of the plinth was designed to fit in the corner of a room but also to showcase Dave without being too imposing and taking up too much space.


The next step was getting the design over to our good friends at Made With Robots ( https://www.facebook.com/MadeWithRobotsUK ). With a few design tweaks , mainly to fatten up some of the support structures as well as reducing the number of cut outs in the side panels, we set the design and got the CNC machine cutting away. The precise nature of the cuts and routing are second to none with a CNC machine, this would have taken a decent carpenter an age to get right and before long we were ready to move to the next stage.



Speaking of decent carpenters, I quickly headed over to expert builder, chippy and all round decent guy Fabs of Fabs Designs. (https://www.fabsdesigns.co.uk). Having all the right tools and skills, within minutes the cut pieces were mitred, glued, pinned and suddenly we had a plinth worthy of the Imperial paint shop.

Filling and sanding was a pretty speedy process but one thing that did become apparent was that MDF is a real pain once it has been cut or routed to get smooth. PVA as well as filler and still losing the furry nature of the cut MDF was a difficult process. In hindsight I would have tried either a wood sealer or varnish before tackling the cut and routed edges, instead I was left with a messy finish in the routed top which wasn’t going away anytime soon. I either had to recut the top or find a way to live it. Originally I wanted a very clean looking plinth but because off this issue the only quick answer was weathering the whole thing, something I’ve been against before. A quick trip to Hobby Craft and I came back with some bolt gun metal, silver and rust colours. Stippling and dry brush application and the plinth started to gain a weathered and worn look that was growing on me, it also covers a multitude of sins and screw ups.


Made With Robots had CNC’d a sheet of clear polystyrene board, which they wouldn’t recommend as it melts too quickly and sticks to the cutting tools. My ears are still melting from the abuse but with a bit of gentle persuasion from a rubber mallet, each piece, having been backed with frosted vinyl, fitted snuggly into its new cut out home.

The prongs that fit into Dave’s feet were attached and a nice set of wifi controlled LED lighting strips were fitted inside, obviously set to the ominous orange glow of the Carbon Freezing Chamber.


Now, like most 40 something men, Dave suffers from soft body syndrome. He could probably do with a bit of mannequin viagra and in the future I may  just invest in a more solid body but this little project had taken up a bit more time than I had hoped, so until then he will have a slightly jaunty and inquisitive pose.


Hindered by a pandemic and some cack handed drilling, this post is sponsored by Liquid Skin. I wasnt going to the hospital anytime soon and with the need to continually wash my hands, steristrips weren’t cutting the mustard. I was introduced to Liquid Skin and being an expert in DIY injuries this is a game changer, if only Rambo had a tube of this stuff. Note kids, don’t put fingers near drills….



Bug to the future….. The rejuvenation of an 80’s classic skateboard.

Occasionally a project comes to light that takes us away from the everyday tasks of designing cool toys, awesome films and the occasional groundbreaking illustration. A project that gives us time to not only reflect on our youth but also bring a part of that youth back to life.

Back in the summer of 1988, I (Jamie) had saved my hard earned paper round money to purchase my first, quality skateboard. I had been attempting to ride skateboards for a few years before but my measly teen budget had limited my buying skills to little more than a plank of wood with roller skate on the bottom, well near as damn it!

I knew exactly what I wanted purely based on the design, for me the aesthetic was everything. The fact it was huge, about as concave as an ironing board and almost impossible to ollie meant nothing to me. I was buying a Powell Peralta – the very best skateboard brand there was. I had chosen the Powell Peralta Bug, Tracker Ultra Light Trucks and a set of Santa Crux OJII wheels, this was going to set me ahead of my peers and obviously make me a far superior skater. In reality I was no better than I was before I had bought it, but I now had the gear to at least stand toe to toe, or deck to deck with my friends.

As the summer of 88 rolled past (pun intended) ‘Bug’ had taken many a bruise, a kerbing to the trucks, a scuff to the deck. The perfect graphics and artwork that had once adorned its perfect wooden body now looked back at me almost unrecognisable. Over the next year or so the artwork would be replaced with a myriad of sticky pop cultural reminders of yesteryear.

When skating had been replaced by a bike and then a car, Bug sat in my parents shed, destined for an unsatisfying death at the local rubbish dump. I had moved on with life, attempted to become a man and started a family. Bug on the other hand had been left to vegitate, a momento of a youth once gone and never savoured.

Many years later it caught my sons eye, and he asked if we could bring Bug home.

For ten years ‘Bug’ would be used to move heavy objects around the garden or through the house. He would hibernate in the shed through winter and then be rolled out to help with whatever homely duties were called upon him until this year, 2018.

I had begun to realise that ‘Bug’ had more than a special place in my history as well as my heart, he deserved to be bought back to his former glory and that is what I intended to do.

For two weeks across the summer of 2018, in my spare time I would work on Bug.  Once stripped of the trucks and wheels,  I realised that the deck was in pretty bad shape. It took quite a lot to patch the holes and the tail ended up being almost half filler, but he started to come back. As soon as the first primer coat went on, I could see his former shape in all its glory and what needed to be done.

I had already set John up with his extra curricula task of recreating the artwork, the hardest part was getting the shape of the deck correctly into the software so we could set the cutter guide. Many a sheet of paper was harmed in the making of the template but a worthy sacrifice it was.

John, once again beautifully crafted the artwork for both back and front of the deck from a collection of reference material and old photos. By this time I had rubbed down and filled up the deck more times than I could shake a can of soup at, but once the ultra blue paint started to go on I knew Bug would be ok again.

We went back to our trustworthy sticker printers ( http://www.grafitt.co.uk) who once again delivered the goods. They were responsible for the quality prints we used on the Back to the Future hoverboard and the Space Invaders arcade machine projects.

Both sets of artwork were applied, new grip tape was cut and fitted and I moved onto sanding the trucks down and re-spraying them. A few hours later and they were like new again.

New sets of bolts and wheel bearings and everything was ready to go back together; and together they did.

Bug, who only a couple for weeks earlier had sat on the worktop in a very sorry state was now back to new, almost 30 years to the day after I bought him.

If only now I was able to apply the same treatment to myself.

Bug now takes pride of place on the studio wall, a reminder of forgotten youth but one that has and will stand the test of time, welcome back Bug.



Something Special…..

As Bedford River Festival comes around again, we where asked if we would sponsor St Johns School in Bedford and turn one of their buses into a castle for the parade. With the help of Bedford based sign writers and co-sponsers, Graffit, we designed a castle wall and turret, complete with shields and swords so the kids can travel the parade in medieval style.

St Johns is a special school based in Kempston and caters for children and young adults with a multitude of learning and behavioural disabilities.

Give them a wave if you see them in the parade.

apply1 apply2 finished turrets wall

Arcade Madness….

We all need to let off steam and no better way than so retro arcade classics….well that and a little bit of Father Ted….


One is small, the other is far away……



Christmas Back to the Future hoverboard prop building….

Even though officially we worked right up until Christmas week, we do like nothing more than reliving our childhood through the medium of all things movie related. The last couple of weeks were taken over with some extra curricular reproduction prop building from one of our favourite movies – Back to the future. Although quite a small project, it wasn’t without its problems but in the end I think we created quite a sweet looking ‘Back to the future’ Mattel Hoverboard. The finished project now adorns one of the shelves at Creative Bone HQ. Take a look at the process pictures to see just how much work goes into making a hoverboard reproduction…. hopefully this one won’t blow up!!!!



Halloween delights in this kitchen….

A year or so back we created a video production campaign for Bedfordshire based granite and porcelain worktop fabricators Precious Marble. Designed to be an impact film that divided viewers, this film certainly does in more ways than one.

A Halloween treat for those not of the faint heart.

I hope you enjoy it as much as we did making it.

[su_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0826wak9L3w”]

Sell your car Creative Bone style…

Bedford based used car dealers TM Cars came to Creative Bone last week with a completely blank canvas for a website and corporate identity design. Under a tight schedule we implemented a brand new website with a custom interface so they could list their inventory as and when required. On site training of how to upload and list vehicles and within a day they were listing like pros. A small bit of SEO and within a few weeks they should be up there with the best. Look forward to working with them again in the future.

Take a look at the site at http://www.tmcarsltd.com

Maybe find your next new car…..

TM Cars


John Adams comes to Creative Bone….

John Adams came to Creative Bone last week for character design and logo set work for a new toy product to be launched next year. A really great little project and lovely people to work with. Really looking forward to seeing it at Toy Fair next year and can’t wait to build on our relationship with John Adams.

Bedford Film Festival….

Creative Bone Director, Jamie Hammond was asked to host a workshop for the Bedford Film Festival today. With a background in television lighting and camera work, the essence of the workshop was to show how students looking to get into the camera department of film or television, should approach applications and how they should make the most of the facilities available to them.Creative Bone - Bedford Film Festival 1

Creative Bone - Bedford Film Festival 3 Creative Bone - Bedford Film Festival 2

Mr Men mayhem….

Nice little job came in yesterday and with a very quick turnaround today we delivered a great little parody for local painter and decorator Lee Nugent.

Simple but effective play on the 70’s classic, Mr.Painter seems a worthy addition to a great line of literary greats….Creative-Bone-Mr-Painter-Illustarion-and-design