It started with a simple idea: Create your own Vigor Bottles. The fine folks at Fink Manufacturing asked, “What powers would you put in a bottle?” To nobody’s surprise, you were great. As the responses came pouring in with countless Vigors shared over Facebook and Twitter, we were blown away. Some had awesome ideas, others went so far as to design their own bottles.
One that really impressed us was Ernesto Moreno’s “Parasite” idea.
Or, as he put it, “Need a health boost? Take it from your enemies with Parasite from Fink MFG. Co.”
That’s when the idea hit us: “We need to make this thing for real!”
Jason Babler, our resident sculptor and asset designer here on the 2K Community team, reached out to Ernesto. We told Ernesto that we wanted to know more about his idea, but what we didn’t tell him was that Jason was secretly working to bring this “Parasite” to life. We asked Jason to share how he created this wicked Vigor bottle from scratch.
BUILDING A VIGOR BOTTLE
Ernesto’s design had a very top heavy spidery thing, so I knew that I had to make the glass part pretty big, so it wouldn’t topple over. As you will see, I took some small liberties with his designs to help me produce it a bit more easily.
To sculpt the parasite, I first built an armature using armature wire, and used a two-part sculptable epoxy called “Magic Sculpt”. I built it all around a section of PVC pipe, knowing that it would help me make a good pour spout when I made this out of resin, and to help insert it into the yet-to-be made bottle. The brown clay is a particular clay I enjoy using, called “Monster Clay”, and I use the medium hardness.
For the bottom half of the bottle, I wound up cutting and gluing styrene sheets for the large, flat parts, and a sink flange that transitioned to the top of the bottle quite nicely (pro tip: when making props, go explore your hardware store for interesting shapes that helps cut down on time manufacturing from scratch!)
For the top half of the bottle, I ended up pouring resin into the top portion of a plastic cleaning bottle, and then glued a rod of styrene around the bottom to hide the jagged edges. I took more Magic Sculpt and made the “droplets” that adorn the sides of the bottle.
I glued the two halves together, and prepared it for molding.
Sculpting the parasite was fun, but I intentionally deviated a bit from Ernesto’s Design. While Ernesto had more a cartoon feel, and a smooth, cell-shaded illustration style, I wanted to imagine what it would have looked like in the game, BioShock Infinite. I wanted it to be a bit more vicious looking, so I streamlined the legs a bit, and it also helped with not making it too top heavy. I also wanted to experiment with casting this in a red, translucent resin that mimics the look of glass that this bottle was supposed to be made of. I thought that having the parasite be “glass”, would be pretty epic. I left in some texture in the parasite, so the light would be refracted more when you looked at it in real life.
To prepare the molds, I extended the spout of the little monster, and made a mold box around it out of foamboard. I did the same with the bottle, and poured in silicon around it, to make the mold.
When it cured, I cut the originals out of the silicone, prepared them for pouring resin into them, and cast them in red-dyed resin.
When the pieces came out, I sculpted the fangs separately (not having them on the parasite made it easier to mold). I also deviated one last time, and made the tips of the front legs adorned in the gold from Ernesto’s designs. I thought it would add a bit of contrast to the final piece.
Next was assembly, painting, and weathering.
Ernesto had contrasting, gold pieces all over the piece. I thought it would be interesting it if that part was metal, making this appear to be made of real metal and glass! I used a metallic silver as the base coat where all the metal parts would be, then applied a “rub and buff” gold metallic wax paste over that. When the wax dries, you can take a soft cloth and buff it up, giving it a metallic sheen. I masked off the glass parts, and got to painting the metal sections. After I painted that, I sprayed the entire thing with a high-gloss Krylon spray, that dries clear, but shiny bright. It makes the matte resin truly appear to be like glass after applying. I also applied a watered down black paint as a wash, and painting over the entire sculpt. I chiseled out part of the “glass” parts, giving it a chipped glass appearance. The black watery paint dried in the cracks and crevices, giving this a very aged, old form. It also played into the mythos, that this was an artifact from the game that we “discovered” in Columbia, and sent to Ernesto.
I glued a fake green gem I got from a hobby store as the final touch (straight from Ernesto’s designs), epoxied all the pieces permanently in place, and sprayed one last coat of Krylon spray to keep all the paint intact.
This was a total blast to work on, and loved every minute of it, and I hope Ernesto loves it even more! Once the bottle was finished, we decided to surprise Ernesto with it. Here it is on display:
"This is incredible, having a concept of mine come to life through a fellow amazing artist is mind blowing! Thank you Jason Babler and thank you 2K! I can't wait to show this off to family and friends!" - Ernesto Moreno