Here comes the science bit. Concentrate.
At one time a bad guy cloned Peter Parker. Years later, Peter retired from being Spider-Man and the clone (Ben Reilly) took up the reins. He redesigned the Spider-Man costume a little until he eventually fell foul of Carnage.
Well, here we go. At one time Venom (the evil Spider-man who is a man covered in a sentient alien slime) spawned another alien slime suit that was double murderous... and.... RED!
So Spider-Man clone met Venom spawn and for a couple of issues they were Spider-Carnage: a murderous, anarchic version of Spider-Man (although I don't think he ever actually murdered anyone).
So here's my approach to this figure:
The Challenges I Envisioned From the Outset
The figure must have poseable claws. It would be simple to just put claws on the end of a spider-man figure's fingers but I don't think that's inhuman enough. I always think of Jerry Dandridge, the vampire from Fright Night as having the quinessential creepy hands with distended fingers.
Spider-man figures come in 2 varieties. Sculpted costume webs and Painted costume webs. Painted webs are truer to reality (or as real as the comics can be) but require a lot of patience and a steady hand to paint. They are also easily scratched off over time. Sculpted webs set into the figure make it easier to paint as black paint can seep into the web grooves and stay there. As Ben's costume is a little different from Peter's I would need to continue the web design in some areas, and obliterate it in others.
The customer wanted the figure to have 2 heads.
How I Dealt with the Challenges
I decided to go with this Spider-man figure as a base. Spider-Carnage keeps the same body type as Spider-man (small and skinny but well defined) so I thought this would be best.
I took a page out of the 'book of Annihilus' with the hands. I cut the fingers just above the knuckle and replaced them with cocktail sticks and flossers. This gave them a nice distended finger and sharp talon.
The base figure has sculpted webs. I had to fill these in on the legs and some areas on the torso. For the ones I'm going to have to add, I'm going to try my hand with a fine brush.
For the sculpted spider emblem, I moved slowly at first. Building up the main body in 2 parts (head and abdomen) first, then doing the lower legs, then the upper legs. I tried to keep it symmetrical and put some curve into the lower limbs to keep that nice effect that Reilly's spider emblem had. The emblem also mirrors itself on the rear of his costume, so this needed to be done twice and the legs needed to meet up on his sides.
You can also see in the pics below that at this stage I decided to rough out the areas of colour that I'm going to be using.
I had originally planned to continue the legs onto the shoulders as paint rather than sculpting, however the customer wanted the sculpted version. I was afraid this would hinder the complex joint at his shoulder that allow him a great deal of movement, however, I kept the sculpting very thin and it seems to have worked out well.
For the heads I've decided to use magnets. I tore some magnets from a cheap Maglok Warriors (or something) toy and placed one in the neck and one in each of the heads. The magnets are strong enough that the heads wont just fall off, but are still easy enough to swap around and maintain poseability. The more human of the two heads is actually the more challenging. It is easy enough to find a human looking head, but to find one with a particular expression is incredibly difficult. The head would also need an open mouth so that I could sculpt that alien crap over the opening. The picture of this head is also almost completely black so it's hard to judge what colour it's going to be. I think I am going to go with a kind of black and red web coming from his eyes and spreading over his mouth. I chose to use the 'shouting head' from a SOTA Guile figure.
Ben Reilly Head
I started with Guile's head. Took off his hair and eyebrowless neanderthal brow ridge and his Pob ears.
I then sculpted a new brow on him to put his eyes mostly in shadow. Hopefully this will make his evil eyes peer out of the dark. I had to redefine his cheeks to match his unnaturally large mouth. While it looked like a Joker mouth at this stage, I was confident it would look more alien later. I also added in forehead creases.
I then sculpted the hair. Hair is notoriously difficult to capture, but I tried to focus on a simple everyday man's hairstyle with some longer fringe parts. These were reinforced with superglue as they would easily snap otherwise. I also put the eyebrows on him to give his brow more definition.
I used hot glue to get the gloopy effect over his mouth. I again coated the hot glue in superglue to prevent it from tearing. I am officially terrible at sculpting ears so used another figure's ears.
This is my first rough attempt at setting out what the face would look like in colour. I don't really think the lower half works, but am quite happy with the upper part. While the Carnage effect should be red, I think in this case it just looks like blood and is too gory for what should be a creepy effect. Also I will have to darken the lower part of the face so that it doesn't just look like his mouth is stitched up with symbiote gunk.
I used the Spider-man head and just cut away his jaw. I built the top lip and tried to get the curve right, then made a simple frame for his jaw.
Once the jaw frame had firmed up I filled in the back of the mouth and defined the eyes. I also used my every handy flossers for the fangs. It was really difficult to get them to line up and not stick out all over the place. Something I was very conscious of was keeping the fangs at different lengths but very uniform in direction. A major difference between Venom and Carnage is that Venom's teeth go every which direction, but Carnage's remain very straight.