Back in 2016, DC Collectibles released a new DC Icons Batgirl figure set based on the work of then creative team of Brenden Fletcher, Cameron Stewart and Babs Tarr…the Batgirl of Burnside figure set. Sculpted in part by Paul Harding and Adam Ross, the set contained Batgirl (in her revamped costume) and a brand new motorcycle. Paul Harding was kind enough to take a few moments out of his schedule to answer a few questions about his work on the set…
jman: Paul…how did you get involved in the DC Collectibles DC Icons Batgirl of Burnside figure set?
Paul Harding: About ten months before her release I was given a call by the art director on the project. I’d already worked on a number of the Icons figures with him so it was very easy for both of us to jump right in.
jman: Did you sculpt her in zbrush or in more traditional methods?
PH: She was done completely on Zbrush. Though I used to sculpt in wax and clay, Zbrush lends itself so well to the collectibles process making it’s difficult to go back to traditional methods. There is so much control for the art director when a sculptor uses this program. Large, last minute changes are essentially hassle free to an experienced user.
jman: Was any part of Batgirl a particular challenge for you?
PH: This figure had a typical set of challenges but they weren’t necessarily tougher than most. Specifically to the Icons line, this Batgirl had to look VERY close to the wonderful designs by Cameron Stewart and Babs Tarr, making this almost a “designer series” figure.
jman: There’s a clever alternate head included with the set, with Batgirl’s hair flowing behind her for when she’s sitting on the bike. It’s a great sculpt. Was that part the set’s initial design?
PH: Thanks! The flowing hair alternate head was an idea given to me in the very beginning. The only difference was originally she was going to have a helmet on!
jman: Adam Ross also worked on the set with you, sculpting her bike. How did you co-ordinate your efforts to bring the figure and bike together?
PH: As many people know, Adam Ross is an amazing talent. He can sculpt anything with both hands tied behind his back. For this project we were basically working at the same time to have the project done quickly. Towards the end, I sent my Batgirl to him and he was asked to make sure the bike seat, handle bars, etc. were properly placed for her. I’m sure he had to tailor it a bit. Thanks, Adam!
jman: You’ve been doing a lot of work on the Icons line. What’s your favorite figure that you’ve worked on to date?
PH: I’ve contributed about ten figures to the Icons line, including the first one, Batman and the first woman character, Harley Quinn. It’s hard to pick a favorite since I’ve been on the line since the very beginning but Firestorm is probably the one that I’m most fond of. He is a character that I had a real interest in as a kid watching Super Powers on Saturday mornings. Blue Beetle, based on Cully Hamner’s super cool designs, has some really fun accessories too! Batman & Batgirl are probably close seconds though!
Many thanks to DC Collectibles and Paul Harding for the interview.