Teresa and Rudy Flores of Mosca Roja Studio in Tucson, Arizona wondered what would happen if they assembled an “army” of creative people–musicians, writers, magicians, artists, fire spinners, poets and more–and their mission was to create rather than destroy, to promote community and creative solutions to some of the more pressing issues of our times?
Teresa and Rudy run a design studio in Tucson. They create 3D art for film, album covers, and their own personal projects. 3D scanning, sculpting, and printing are central to their process. Their latest project, inspired by the cheap, plastic green army men figurines, evolved from their original plan, which was to transform the figures by putting them into unusual poses. However, as they began photographing local artists, business owners, and friends for the project, they realized that what they were building was a kind of cultural army.
The duo invited people to come to their studio and get creative as they scanned them. They took the scans and then modeled the figures, scaling them to the size of the “old school” army men. These sessions and the resulting figures inspired Rudy and Teresa to expand the project. “After a while,” recalled Rudy, “we decided to invite more people from this community…mostly in an attempt to get to know the community.”
Each time a new person came in, it became clear that the project was about emphasizing just how unique each member of the community was. “Every experience is different,” Rudy explained, “because each person is unique in their own way.” Among the 3D printed figures they’ve created thus far, there is a violinist, Serena Rose, who is absorbed in playing her instrument. A magician, Magic Kenny Bang! Bang! holds a rabbit in midair as though he’s just pulled it from a hat. A bartender, Barb Trujillo, mixes a martini in a silver shaker.
The miniatures are 3D printed in green like the army men and custom packaging is produced that includes each person’s name, a photograph of them, and information about their occupation or hobby. To date, Teresa and Ruby have completed 100 scans. Their goal is to host an exhibition featuring all of the figurines they’ve created and those they will be producing as a result of a recently-launched fundraising campaign through Kickstarter.
The campaign, called “The Army Man Project,” ends on July 25, 3 p.m. (EDT). Rudy and Teresa hope to raise $5000 to fund the exhibition. Donors who give more than $60 get scanned and 3D printed. While the project has focused a great deal on “creative types,” the couple wants to expand to include people of other callings as well so that they can present a more well-rounded representation of the Tucson community.
Although the exhibition, to be held at a well-known Tucson venue called Club Congress, will run for just one night, the figures will be displayed in a locally owned gallery. They haven’t set a date for the exhibition yet as Rudy and Teresa are waiting to see how their fundraising campaign goes. However, when that night does arrive, not only will guests–community members brought together by the project–have the pleasure of viewing the figurines that make up The Army Man Project, but they’ll be entertained by some of their real-life counterparts.
Let us know your thoughts on this project and whether or not you have, or will be backing their Kickstarter campaign. Discuss in The Army Men Project forum thread on 3DPB.com.