Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Classic Horror Movie Pin-Ups (Series 1) Limited Art Prints for sale!

You asked for them, and here they are!
I am selling a limited run (66) of my Series 1 Classic Horror Movie Pin-ups as 9x12inch (22½x40½cm) hand signed and numbered APs (Artist Proofs). They are printed on 100% cotton rag watercolor paper (285gsm) in Savannah, Georgia, USA.

Series 1 includes: Freda Krueger, Jacie Voorhees and Billie the Puppet (all pictured below).

They are available exclusively at:

Monday, December 28, 2015

How to Make a Toy Prototype

Dear reader,
I have been away from this blog for the past month as I was working on building out my asset library for my upcoming Kickstarter campaign for my (under the Troublefish brand) very first vinyl designer toy - Capt. QUINT

Capt. QUINT is a jet-turbine, battle-paint clad, stylized great white shark; the first in a series of 8 inch adult collectable vinyl designer toys.  Set in our mid-1950s, in a universe devoid of humans, sharks have evolved to become the apex species.  Alongside the unique and colorful retro-nautical theme, the series is backed by an engaging plot and involved character developments.

I am planning to fund a limited run in vinyl on Kickstarter in early February of 2016...

Stay tuned, I'll be posting updates as that date draws closer, but for now I'll leave you with a special treat - the making of the Capt. QUINT prototype (by hand, by yours truly)....


Monday, November 30, 2015

Troublefish and Social Media

Did you enjoy gluing together scale models of harrier jets and hot-rods as a kid? Are you intrigued by the SyFy Channel's SFX completion show, Face Off? Ever wanted to know how to design and build your very own small batch resin toy (just like the one in the image to the left)?

Well, I'll let you follow my process, step by (painstaking) step to make your doodle into a limited edition collectible toy!

Check out one of my brand's (Troublefish) social media channels to follow along at your own pace, or to simply connect...

Instagram: @troublefishtoys
Twitter: @troublefishtoys
Facebook: Troublefish Toys
ello: troublefish

I look forward to hearing from you!

Thomas Troisch

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Troublefish - the New Brand in Designer Toys

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Troublefish has trademark pending!

What does this mean? Well, the Troublefish brand (logo, mark and name)have been approved for registered trademark (international, exempt in China) - the mark is pending and will be complete upon release of a product for sale to the public (conspicuously announced and posted) within 6 months of its allowance date...
...the first product to be available under the brand is not other than Capt. QUINT - the 8 inch vinyl designer toy of a camouflaged, retro jet engine donning, stylized great white named after the ill-fated skipper in Steven Spielberg's 1975 JAWS. To adequately and shamelessly promote Capt. QUINT, the product is featured over the entire Troublefish website (including mobile) and social media channels (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and ello) - check it out...

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Piggly Wiggly triptych commission - stage 3

better late than never, right?  I completed Stage 3 (see Stages 1 and 2 here) over three weeks ago, scout's honor!  I even had the pictures stored on the SD chip of my Canon, though, the marketing work for my nascent company, Troublefish, and it debut toy, Capt. QUINT, monopolized much of my energy...

...ready to paint some pigs now, aka Stage 4. And the tag lines, too, off course. Then, Stage 5 will include the embroidered velvet strip for the black pulled Pork painting and a "Pork SALE" label for the white logo painting...

...Stage 6 is a satin clear coat and the mounting hardware - you'll see.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Horror Classics - Pin-Ups with a Twist: #3 Jacie Voorhees

... and then there were three! Jacie, along with Billie and Freda are going to the printer next week for their limited, artist (me) signed and numbered release - I'll be sure to specify the online location on my (troublefish's) social media channels - instagram, twitter and facebook... so stay tuned!

#4 is geared towards my "younger" audience and avid Konami fans - it shall be none other than Pyramid Head...

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Horror Classics - Pin-Ups with a Twist. #2 Billie the Puppet

...moving along at a steady pace, the second canvas in my classic horror movie themed pin-up girl series is Billie (the creepy tricycle riding puppet from the SAW franchise).

Similar to Freda Krueger, Billie will be offered as a limited art print (signed and numbered) close to Halloween 2015 through Troublefish. She will also adorn a 30x40inch canvas in the form of a one-off hand painted acrylic.
Next: Jacie Voorhees!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Horror Classics - Pin-Ups with a Twist. #1. Freda Krueger

My favorite month of the year - October - is fast approaching!
Along side the pumpkin spice, changing foliage and autumn-scented breeze... the temperatures will be in the 80s (I no longer have to change out of sweaty clothes 3x a day), Halloween is right around the corner and TV stations are airing all the horror classics 24/7 for the entire month.
As a tribute to the season, I decided to design a series honoring the horror classics of my generation - with a twist - the antagonists of each franchise will be depicted as mid-century pin-up girls. the original set will embody the essence of A Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, Halloween, Saw, Hellraiser, Silent Hill, and the Evil Dead.
Each will be painted in acrylics on a 40x30inch canvas or larger - I'll be making limited signed and numbered prints available in the very near future. (I'll disclose the dates and location on my company, Troublefish, social media channels: facebook, twitter, and Instagram).
Introducing, Freda Krueger - inspired by the late Wes Craven's Freddy Krueger from the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. I completed this one on the day of Wes Craven's passing, my he rest in peace.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Piggly Wiggly triptych commission - stages (#1 and 2)

Even though Piggly Wiggly has closed over 3 dozen of its stores in South Carolina and Coastal Georgia over 2 years ago... folks still "Dig the Pig".

I'm working on a commission for all 3 images of the series - I originally conceived them back in 2013 - see them here.

What you see here are the first 2 stages of the paintings...
Stage 1:
the 3x3foot wood palette canvas construction (not pictured here, as that would simply be an image of a pile of palette boards and some screws).
Stage 2:
painting the base for each background (in order; blanched weekly meat promos from a variety of competitors, semi-gloss black, the top left corner of the Georgia state flag - minus the insignia) - I also penciled in stage 3 of the series; the background image details for each.

Stage 3 will follow promptly in the next week...

...stay tuned.

Monday, August 31, 2015

First blueprint sketch of the Saw Shark!

While taking a break from my design job, figuring out the marketing strategy to launching my toy business and cranking out a monthly canvas I found some time to push ahead with a compatriot for good ol' Captain QUINT...

...I know it's not much right now, but the design will be prototyped out, just like QUINT - and similarly documented, so y'all can follow right along!

I still don't have a name for this one yet, though, I am scouring through some old large-fish-predator type VHS (remember those) tapes for some form of mental spark!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Troublefish got a face lift!

Hear Ye! Hear Ye!
Troublefish just received a new online look!
Come Ye All - and check it out:

Along with the new skin comes some new content on the "famous" Captain QUINT; everything from color variations, a brief backstory, and the much anticipated "making of..."

Facebook, Twitter and Instagram also got themselves an appearance update...

Oh yes, there is also a nifty mobile version so you can check in "on the go".

Friday, July 31, 2015

Sneak peek from Troublefish

While on location in the Bahamas (see picture) I've been doing a bit of research on some of the resident marine wildlife as inspiration for the next shark concept to join Capt. QUINT in his retro-tech nautical world...
...introducing, the Smalltooth Sawshark of the Caribbean.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Capt. QUINT - a catalogue of camouflage

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls... prepare to be amazed! I give you the wondrous catalogue of camouflage of Capt. QUINT! Similar to the turbo props of days gone by, fuselages were painted in a variety of colors and patterns to blend in with different terrains.

Though I have a story in the works (in collaboration with fiction writer, Michael Ard-Kelly)... though, for now, I'll let the images do the talking...

check out more:


Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Capt. QUINT - the finished prototype!

Behold and read on in awe!

The long-awaited and much-anticipated Capt. QUINT one-of-a-kind, hand-made, blood-sweat-and-tears (with the occasional rage and denial) prototype is finally complete in all its fantastic glory!

Getting to this stage was not a simple task - I'm pretty sure that I had to go through every step at least twice - if it wasn't due to equipment failure or uncontrollable weather issues, most mishaps could be chalked up to human error (usually due to severe sleep depravation).

It took me the better part of 6 months to reach this stage (and almost $2000) but well worth the journey...

To recap the sequence just check out my earlier entries:

Cocktail napkin doodle (not recorded in this blog)

Red pencil blue-print mock-up (see last image in this here entry)

3D digital sculpt (there were multiple iterations for this stage)

A few rapid prototypes (3D low resolution print outs from the STL - digital sculpts)

Full color rendering

High resolution prototype:
rapid prototype with high build filler, sanded smooth and base coat applied

Painted prototype (air brush and spray paint)

Texture mapped 3D digital sculpt

(not yet blogged about) clear hard plastic stand concept - shown here in silver - and initial package design.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Capt.QUINT - in color!

Here's a sneak peek at a "promotional poster" that I've been working on for some good old fashioned marketing and PR.

It's a digital (Photoshop) illustration at this point that I'm looking on doing a limited "artist proof" fine art print set and ultimately a sizeable (4x3 foot or larger) acrylic one-off painting on canvas.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

It's airbrush time!

The year was 1999 the last time this equipment had seen the light of day. The paints are new (the ones from back in the day had transformed into oddly shaped super-balls), the compressor idles smoothly, the hose is air-tight and the brush is still calibrated - other than the very likely potential of grave user error the painting of my one and only prototype (see unpainted sculpt here) should turn out flawless!

I'll be doing a whole lot of practicing today...

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Capt. QUINT - final 3D sculpt (full color)

Fresh from Seattle - the final 3D digital sculpt in all its colorful glory. My 3D model maker and designer, Peter Thurwachter, has flawlessly translated my illustrations into a texture mapped digital 3D equivalent, ready to be sent off for vinyl production!

The colors may appear somewhat flat in these images, as they are intended to represent painting guidelines for the manufacturer. I am, however, using them to create an airbrushed prototype of my own...

...despite not having touched my airbrush since my Art Institute days in Seattle, over 15 years ago - I have high hopes for the outcome!
Now, the color is going to be a basic 2 tone green kelp cammo with fire engine-red "wing tips" and tail. the underbelly and engine accents are going to sport a chrome or brushed aluminum finish - still in testing, at this point. I am creating the decals (solely for my prototype) in Illustrator and printing them on water transfer decal paper...

...lets see what happens!

PS. We also went with a removable clear plastic display stand to ensure proper exposure on the toy shelf!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Capt. QUINT update - high resolution prototype

Instead of dropping $2500+ on a nice and clean looking professional prototype (which, I found out, is not needed by the final manufacturer - they make their own), I went with a local 3D  print in the usual ABS plastic(significantly less costly and a whole bunch faster).

There had to be some final changes - We printed this prototype from a series of separate STL files to ensure better output resolution, additionally, the larger insertion pegs have made it less fragile.
To remedy the lower resolution finish, each piece had to be coated with multiple layers of a high build primer - most home hardware stores and auto parts suppliers carry a diverse variety of these...

Despite the 99% humidity (most spray paints recommend no more than "moderate" - which, I guess, means around 70%), the primer eventually dried to an acceptable level of tackiness in 5 days!
The next steps involved a couple batches of a 400 grit sandpaper (dry, for a smooth yet tactile surface - to better accept the base coat that followed) and about an entire season rerun of AMCs Mad Men.

I used a neutral olive for the base coat - similar to the color on bare aluminum fuselages...

... now I'll need a table top compressor and some time to dust off my old iwata airbrush to give this prototype its final skin!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

The 100 Day Project

I started on this early last week (not quite the 6th, but close). Geoduck and Grits - The beginnings of a Designer Toy Company.
Follow it on Facebook and Instagram.

The idea is, basically, to commit to do something (creative) and stick with it for the duration of 100 consecutive days. In my case, I decided to recount my migration form the Pacific Northwest (Seattle) - Geoduck - to the Atlantic Southeast (Savannah) - Grits. I always wanted to tell this story, in a blog or something, but this is way more fun...
I'm also using this opportunity to draw some attention to my new Designer Toy Company - Troublefish - by including a detailed "how to make your own production toy and sell it" section to the project (a little SMO - social media optimization)...

Please check in for updates - and take a peek at the troublefish page on FB (feel free to like it)!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

New Painting Series - Fastfood Deterrent - "MOO"

Everybody remember OINK. from earlier (here's the link for those of you who need a reminder)...

Well, as promised, an alternate version of my Fast-food Deterrents painting series: introducing, MOO?, the confused calf.

I'm planning alternate backdrops too (BK, Wendy's, Jack, etc...)

hooray slop!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Capt. QUINT update - New color theme

Going back to my "sharks and race-cars" post from February, I've decided to revisit old Quint's overall color scheme and back story (the latter is still swimming around in the creative ether)...

...the overhaul is a nod to the early age of fighter jets from the 1950s - prototype turbines, large stencil fonts, chrome accents, flashy tails and cool cammo.

I hope to have all the prototyping stages completed by the end of April...

...this is my first production toy, afterall!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Capt. QUINT update - 1st Rapid Prototype!

7 inches nose to tail of 3D printed ABS plastic goodness... 1st initial rapid prototype of my 1st Urban Vinyl (Designer Toy) creation!...

...the resolution may not be the highest (that's why its call "rapid" prototyping), but it is true to the digital sculpt.

Some of the areas are in need of minor tweaking (a quick fix in Z-Brush) before final prototyping.

...stay tuned!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Troublefish: making neat stuff.

Behold and rejoice! 

We have taken down the "under construction" page for good... and replaced it with a simply informative single page website. Check out, at home or on the go!

With the first design in early stages of prototyping, we'll be updating content regularly - stay up-to-date by following us on twitter, facebook and instagram!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Capt. QUINT - ready for rapid prototyping!

Spielberg introduced us to "Bruce" in 1975, the Umbrella Corporation engineered the zombie shark (Resident Evil 6), now Troublefish (my design toy business - coming soon - I'll let y'all know when exactly!) is getting ready to give you yet another reason "not to go in the water"; Capt QUINT - the turbine powered great white!

Sharks and race-cars were some of the coolest things for a boy growing up in the 80s (epitomized in the "Sharkruiser" by Hot Wheels)... giving in to my childhood passion, I've decided to combine the most awesome primal predator around with a rat-rod styled 50's turbine engine! The name is a tribute (or spite) to Robert Shaw's ill-fated character Quint, skipper of the "Orca"... and its not a coincidence that I'm releasing this toy on the 40th anniversary of JAWS.

The digital design phase has reached its final stage, and a test print is required to check for any design flaws or aesthetic discrepancies. I've attached a few (un-colored) views of the digital sculpt, as it currently resides in Z-brush.

Once the final sculpt is approved and a suitable size determined, the STL file can be sent off for rapid prototyping in alumide (nylon filled with aluminum dust) on a 3D printer. The material works great, as it shows detail, is tough and has some flexibility (and is reasonably priced at $1.50 to $1.95 per cubic cm)... a final cost of $900 to $1200 for the prototype, I have to make sure the sculpt is just right!


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

New Painting Series - Fastfood Deterrent - "OINK"

...ok, I guess this is more of a BLT than a hamburger (unless, off course, your are one of those new-age hipsters that prefers bacon as the sole protein source to sate your fast food cravings), but it'll make more sense when I finish the rest of the series... the works:
"MOO" (calf)
"TWEET" (chick)
"..." (fishy)

the paintings are available in 2 sizes; 2foot x 4foot (large) and 3foot x 6foot (crazy large)!

PS. the little icon to the left of the message (at bottom) is supposed to be tofu...