This Buzz Lightyear Cake was made for a charity auction winner and her 6 year old son. It took approximately 20 hours.
The head and backpack/wings are made with sculpted light Styrofoam, covered in fondant. I used a square cake for the base (legs). The body is a cake baked in a Pyrex bowl with a 6" round cake on top. I carved a piece out of one side of the square cake to accommodate the small end of the bowl cake. One piece of fondant was used to cover the round, bowl and top part of the square (legs).
The backpack/wings were used to prop the "body" up, or it would have fallen over backwards. Use small wooden dowels to attach the backpack/wings and also the head. The arms were made separately and attached with a small wooden dowel. Icing writers were used for the small detail on the uniform and the silver is from an edible powder (mixed with water) and then painted on to the white fondant.
I've found that it helps to cook and then cool the cakes in the fridge prior to icing with royal icing (you need to do that so the fondant sticks). Once iced with royal icing, put them back in the fridge for a while. It is easier to use the fondant if the royal icing is not too runny on the cake.
I started making fondant cakes because of inspiration from this website, although I had dabled with shaped cake pans prior.
My son was totally obsessed with Toy Story when he turned 4, so a Toy Story cake it had to be! I have no creativity or baking/decorating skills, so I got the Wilton cake pan and icing color set and went to work. This Buzz Lightyear Cake was my 4th cake I've ever done (one child, one cake/year for me!) so not a whole lot of experience. I will say that this was by far the most difficult one I have ever done!
I used the Wilton cake release and could see the lines fairly well, but still missed one stripe of color on the sleeve. I noticed this way too late to turn back. The perfectionist in me was bothered, but I let it go! The scariest part was once the whole thing was finished and I had to do the eyebrows. I was terrified of ruining the whole cake. So all in all, it was far from perfect, but my son was thrilled and that's what really matters, right?
I just love making my own cakes because he is a part of the process and it provides a great build-up of excitement to his birthday party. My mom always did it for me, and I wouldn't trade those memories for any perfect professionally made cake in the world!