July 2003- We purchased a huge, brand new block of foam, and were in the mood to be shaping big. Nels Rosaasen came in from Saskatoon and sliced out the NKR1, I cut out the Pinchtite, and Seth chopped out a huge meaty mound. The foam models came to the point where they needed to be drilled out before a final touch-up, so we took them over to our friend in the engineering department at the U of A. Our little $80 Canadian Tire drill press did not have anywhere near the clearance to punch the bolt holes into any of these shapes; we needed industrial size drillers to handle these. After a fun and safe day of heavy machinery (safe mainly because we weren’t even allowed to touch it… but we still got to wear the goggles!), the holes were drilled and the foam models were pretty much complete.
The NKR1 and Pinchtite molded up shortly thereafter, but Seth felt like his shape just wasn’t quite there yet. He stuck it in a box to percolate, and there it sat… for 7-1/2 years.
January 2011- Seth feels like carving up a big new feature (and we sign a contract requiring a ‘feature’ hold) and hey-presto! The hold-in-the-box!! He made the shape way harder, reworked the contouring to be subtler and made the shape a lot, lot harder. It was now the Hulk; perfect, hard and worth the wait.
We boxed it up and shipped it off to Colorado to get molded and cast for a glamorous debut at the ABS Nationals. With only a month before the event, timing was tight but we were still in there. Then I got the text.
I felt sick. Seth barfed, then fainted (like a Lily). Nationals missed. Hold ruined. Drat. Seth and I studied the photo a little closer and thought, “Hey, the damage is mostly to the chubbiest parts and the footprint is almost fully intact. This is fixable.” We got the hold sent back to us.
The hold arrived back to Edmonton during a lucky January warm spell- our carving hutch is unheated and quite “seasonal”. Seth took advantage of the slightly above freezing temperatures and got to work immediately.
The repairs to the Hulk worked out fast (around 15 hours over 2 days). We realized that maybe there was a chance this hold could push through and possibly make the comp… I checked in with our manufacturer to see if they could pull a hero move and get it done in time. They could! IF we had it shipped by the next day. The pressure was on! There was still some finishing to do, so the next day Seth pulled off the remaining smooth outs (5 hours).
We got it securely boxed up and UPS proofed (… or so we thought) and out the door within 15 minutes to cutoff time. Whew, close, but done. Then a couple days later, I got another text.
The hold had remained well secured to the board and had withstood any kind of smashing around that had knocked it off the board the first time (fragile stickers don’t mean squat). But we didn’t take into account dipstick customs officials who opened the box at the border. Literally dipping sticks of some sort into the foam hold. It appeared as though a pen had poked at the Hulk all around the shape and scratched a few places to see what it was made of. Hold ruined again… But no! This time, far more easily repaired. There wasn’t the time to send it back to us again; so we asked our mold maker, along with Chris Danielson, to patch up the holes and tiny scratches. They both have plenty of experience with this, so we knew Hulky was in good hands. They worked their magic, the hold got molded, and we have a double happy ending with 2 Hulks poured and ready for some big comp action at the ABS Nationals this weekend. Enjoy the new shape, we really worked for this one!!