Only second to Nintendo’s Italian plumber, Sonic the Hedgehog is probably the most recognizable video game character out there. Blue fur, red shoes, and a too-cool-for-school attitude, Sonic looks and acts nothing like his real-life counterpart.
If you don’t believe me, check out this Sonic clay figurine, created from scratch by Kia from kiArt:
Using a method used in a lot of claymation movies, Kia creates a metal wire skeleton which allows him to freely mold the figurine. After taping two wires which serve as the arms and legs, he can fill out the skeleton with clay and sculpt it to his heart’s content.
Creating the original Sonic’s chunky body is easy enough as it’s technically just a big circle. The arms and legs are just as easy, as they are just fleshy cylinders that connect to Sonic’s body.
The figurine starts to take on Sonic’s iconic shape once Kia sets in the two spines on his back. Add in the tail and you’ve got the makings of an anatomically incorrect cartoon mammal.
You can’t make a Sonic figurine without his red shoes, which is what Kia gets to working on next. The socks are made by pressing a piece of clay into a wide cylinder, which is then placed on top of the triangular shoes. Create a couple of small clay squares for the buckles (why do his shoes have buckles?), sculpt in some details, and you have yourself a pair of sneakers!
How Kia makes Sonic’s hands is quite interesting – he takes four long pieces of rolled-up clay and bunches them up together. Then, with a large lump of clay on one side coupled with Sonic’s thumb, he connects them together at the palm.
He repeats the same process for Sonic’s other hand, only this time he forms Sonic’s fingers into a fist. This hand will later be placed near his waist, so the blue blur can rest his gigantic hand on the side of his disproportionately smaller body. Pop on the glove collars and his hands are as good as finished.
The hardest part of Sonic to sculpt is without a doubt his head. Not only does Kia have to sculpt in the various spikes on its back, but he has to add extra clay around Sonic’s one eye (where both his pupils are found) to give the impression of eyebrows without making actual eyebrows.
Kia also gives Sonic his pointy ears, smooth mouth, and sculpts in his iconic grin before making his pointy nose. Once finished, he adds metal wire to the bottom of the head so it can connect with the rest of Sonic’s body.
He pops everything in a kiln at 130°C for 30 minutes so all the parts can harden. Afterwards, all he has to do is paint everything in their traditional colors before assembling all the parts together.
Kia hasn’t just worked on this Sonic figurine. He’s actually made figures of all the classic characters in the series, along with a bunch of other icons from different games, movies, and shows. You can find them all on his YouTube channel, kiArt.