You guys might remember the Furnix Cake I made for an artist collaboration on deviantART. Well, the project was so popular it's on for a second round. When the organiser contacted me to let me know, I was only too ecstatic to be on board a second time. Any excuse to make a Zelda ckae is a very welcome one indeed.
For those of you who don't remember, the collab is called Link's Blacklist. It's a fan art project that focuses only on enemies from the video game series, The Legend of Zelda. It's that enemy-only facet that I love so much. Don't get me wrong, I love a good Link artwork as much as the next Zelda fan. But there's no shortage of them. Focusing solely on enemies generates a lot of fan art with a focus on what is often ignored. What makes this project even more special is that it's both quality-controlled and open only to a select number of artists, so every entry is one worth staring at. If you're a Zelda fan, or just love some beautiful fan art, check out the artwork so far here on Game Art HQ.
This entry, like the Furnix, is another baddie from The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, called a Beamos. If you've never played or seen the game, here's what they look like:
Beamos are one of the recurring enemies in Zelda. I can't recall a game that didn't have them. In every game they look different, but the end game is the same: they shoot lasers out of their eye at you. And they are everywhere. The method of defeating them does vary. In some games you can't defeat them. In many, you blow them up with bombs. But the Skyward Sword versions involve a bit more strategy. This most recent instalment of the game sees motion controls used to a whole new capacity. Even these most basic of enemies requires new tactics and precision of movement, one of my favourite things about the game.
If this pattern looks strangely familiar to you and you're not sure why, you may have seen it on my Scrapper Cake before. These baddies are found in the same province as the little robots, and as such certain aspects of their design are conserved amongst them. These little ear flap things spin in the game, but in the interests of stability I opted to keep them fastened. I had a little help from cardboard to make these, because gravity hindered my options here. Inside the cardboard and protruding from it into the cake are two large skewers.
Even their little feet have embellishments. One of the motivating factors for choosing the Beamos was that it looked a lot simpler. After spending days sticking individual feathers onto cake with the Furnix, I was after something less intricate. I was soon to find out that there's no such thing. This beast took me about 50-60 hours. Every tiny detail is hand cut and shaped and took about a million times longer than I expected.
The cake stands at a bit over 40cm tall and consists of one main cylindrical cake and a little rectangle one on top. The rectangle cake had a recess carved out of it for the eye, but the body is one even cylinder. To achieved the effect of depth for the body, I used a process of applying the pieces in various degrees of order and thickness to make it look layered and recessed.
And of course, the back received just as much attention as the front. There are absolutely no references anywhere for the rear of the Beamos. Not even in the concept art in Hyrule Historia. To get a reference, I had to turn to the game itself. Trying to get a close look at the back of this thing while it's spinning and trying to shoot lasers at you, trying to avoid getting hit as well as take a photo at the same time… it wasn't the simplest way of getting a reference shot. But it was my only way.
My main peeve/struggle with this cake was oddly these pipes on the front. I lost count of how many times they fell off, and in the end I was practically mashing them onto the cake. By the end they were no longer symmetrical and looked a bit rough. I think they spoil the overall look of the cake now that they're so wonky, but in the end I was happy to just have them on there at all.
The biggest pressure point for me was trying to imitate the electrical look. See, the blue part is all zappy and glowy and pretty looking, which is hard to imitate in fondant. It's also a significant part of the enemy, as it is here you are required to horizontally slash it with your sword to defeat it. I attempted to represent it by using a gradation of colour. I used powdered colouring and lustre dust and dry brushed it to make look brighter in the centre. It doesn't look like electricity but it was about as close as I could get using food.
The process was exhaustive and I’m honestly just glad it’s done. Now I’ll have a little extra motivation for bringing down these guys next time I encounter them in the game…