A few years ago I started making a 1/6 scale alien with really long arms as a one-off creation. Kind of reptilian, but there was issues with the sculpt and the eyes and I put it in a drawer to figure it out later. Later came and I decided to go for more of a tortoise look coupled with modern, clean, sci-fi uniforms. Hence the Torptilians (Torptiles) were born.
What is a Torptile? This relatively peaceful alien species evolved from a tortoise-like creature on their warm home planet. Over time they became larger, started walking upright, larger brains, and their shells mostly disappeared becoming larger shoulder-blade covering scutes.
Their diet consists of primarily raw plant matter, leafy greens and fruits, with protein coming from live invertebrate larva.
Torptiles are not cold-blooded, but have a difficult time regulating their body temperature in cooler temperatures. The northern and southern regions of their planet are largely uninhabited by their kind as a result. However these areas are also where most of the water on their planet resides with the bulk of the overall land-mass along the equator. Their planet also does not have as much of an axis tilt as earth so seasonal changes are mild.
Large claw-like fingernails serve as what we would call fingers. In primal times, these allowed them to quickly dig out nests in which to lay their eggs in the warm sand as well as scrounge for larva and grubs. Modern torptile family groups use heated sand pools in which to incubate their young.
Family groups traditionally will choose other family groups in which to mate based on desirable traits, but individual members do not typically mate for life and mates may not ever come into contact outside of the annual egg laying ritual. Females will lay 3-4 eggs which the male will then fertilize before covering the nest. Torptiles typically mate in the spring and infants hatch by early autumn. Upon hatching, infants are separated and each half cared for by their mother and fathers family groups. Their species keeps meticulous breeding records to ensure productive offspring and remove weaknesses such as disease susceptibility.
Because of their hardiness within their own environment, long life span, and modern medicine lowering instances of unhatched offspring, overcrowding inevitably became a problem. A program was developed to terraform other planets and moons in their system which ultimately proved successful, but in order to thrive as a species, the Torptilians collectively decided to explore interstellar space and seek out new systems in which to inhabit. These torptillians are part of the crew of one such “Explorator” class vessel.
I sculpted the original head from a Super Sculpey mix using glass cabochon for the eyes. After sculpting, baking and molding the heads, I put pre-painted cabochon eyes into the molds before pouring resin. I had a pretty good success rate with only a few casts with eyes being cross-eyed in one way or another. Those casts are in a bag and could potentially be used for traditional non-glass eye painting by priming over the existing glass.
Hands/forearms were also sculpted from Super Sculpey, then cast. I had to remove the elbows from the figure arms then extend above and below them before attaching the arms. I used some leftover polycaps from my gunpla days embedded into the styrene tubing extentions with resin. Then there’s metal tube at the top of the arms that inserts into the polycaps allowing the hands to turn at the wrists.
I designed and patterned the uniforms, then sewed them all together using cotton solids. It’s odd… the fabric texture shows up really coarse in the photographs but not so much in real life where they look smoother. The iron-on graphics were designed as vector art, then cut on my Cricut using iron-on vinyl. The boots are the only thing I didn’t make or mod. They’re simply black 1/6 scale boots I purchased on eBay and sealed/weathered.
Painting was done with oil paints over an acrylic base. Oils were applied thinly as glazes, allowed to dry, then sealed and another layer added. This gives the surface a lot of depth.
I have one more of these to complete, an Albino with pink eyes/dark red pupils. It still needs a bit more paint. I have to wonder what place the albino would have in Torptilian society. Would they be sought after and revered for their striking color and rarity? Perhaps even in some sort of religious sense. Or would they be viewed as an outcast with undesirable traits to be bred out of future generations? Interesting to consider…
Torptilian Final Image Gallery »
Torptilian In-Progress Image Gallery »
Below are various in-progress images from this build. Please check out my Instagram or Facebook posts for detailed explanations, SBS, etc…