Who am I?
Hi, my name is Michael Sng, the owner of Machination Studio and the creator of the Codename Colossus series of Mechanical Dieselpunk Walking Tank Scale Models. I have been working on the Mk.I Cyclops since March 2016.
Three years ago, my desire to fulfill my childhood dream of making a large walking tank model lead me on a journey to learn the 3D modelling, electronics and programming skills from scratch in order to accomplish it. I made a mechanized scale models with over 400 3D printed parts, standing over 20 inches tall, and brought it to New York Comic Con 2015.
My journey caught the attention of many websites, and led to an invitation to share my Dream on the main stage at the TED Conference 2016 in Vancouver. I was the former Chief Product Designer for the cult STIKFAS action figure toy and I am familiar with the process of bringing a toy from an idea to the market. I am harnessing the technologies of today to bring Codename Colossus to you in a whole different way.
I am breaking free from the tyranny of mass production, international distributors and retail chain stores to bring products to the customers at a more personal level.
What is Codename: Colossus?
Codename Colossus is a series of Mechanized Dieselpunk Walking Tank Scale Models, and the Mk.I Cyclops is the first in the series that is available for sale. Scale models exist to spark the imagination, and I am breathing life into that imagination with simple mechanical movements.
I would like to think I have more to offer than just putting LED lights in someone else’s licensed character. By being a part of this campaign, you will be helping me create a new story world, written by the craft of painting, modelling and design. Unlike just buying at a toy store, with video streaming and real time photo uploads, you can see your particular model being assembled and weathered.
The way each model looks: the rust, the wear, the damage, are seeds that will grow and populate my alternative World War I universe, where the war’s end was interrupted by a natural catastrophe that befell Europe, and giant walking tanks rule the battlefield.
I did not do all this alone. I could have have done this without the following people and organizations.
WFRIC World is the Research and Innovation Centre for a major truck equipment outfitter in Singapore. They also run Reactor 79, a development space that I have used to help me with my prototyping. They have been extremely supportive with their time, resources and also with sponsoring my trip to NYCC 2015.
Rick Treweek of Trobok Toys, first introduced 3D printing to me way back when while we were both at an introductory Arduino workshop. The difference between him and everyone else evangelizing 3D printers at 2013 is that Rick actually spent like 2 weeks baby sitting his original MakerBot to help me print my first set of prototype legs. Any one who owned the original MakerBot knows how much work that is. Rick is now doing really well doing many art projects with 3D printers in South Africa.
David Teo is one of the brightest guys I have met and is responsible for many cool interactive projects for commercial clients in Singapore. But no one will ever know it because he keeps such a low profile online that there are no digital trail to the work he has done. He gave me a lot of help with the coding side of my project. And like all master craftsmen, are more interested in the work than being known for it.
Goi Chin Yee is the owner of Lucidity, a graphic design and branding company doing work for the top retail chains in Singapore. He was also my first employer, and I, his first employee. Way back when. He has lent his sense of aesthetics and design craft to the graphics of Machination Studio and Codename Colossus despite his extremely busy schedule.
Mike Brady composes the soundtracks to US localizations of Japanese anime series. Many people have heard his work, but most would probably not even think he exists, and that the music were in the original Japanese versions. Mike Brady is a really old friend of mine from back when the internet was young. He was kind enough to allow his apartment in Brooklyn to be my temporary base of operations during NYCC 2015, and helped me at the booth for two days.
Benjamin Hitmar has a freelance toy design outfit called Enjami Studios. I knew him back when he was at Hasbro working on the STIKFAS, Xevoz and G.I. Joe Sigma Six toys. Kids growing up in the last 15 years would probably have played with one of the toys he has done. He is not helping me with toy design, but Ben flew all the way from Pittsburgh to NYC to help me at the NYCC 2015 booth. He and his wife Kate also hosted me after the show when I made my way down there to visit them.