Monday, March 23, 2009

The Fearsome Four!

I'm a big fan of the Fantastic Four, their allies and their enemies. I have a number of incarnations of the core characters in action figure form. While I do enjoy the recent Fantastic Four movies - not the greatest, but entertaining - I'm not a big fan of the movie-based figures... as the Fantastic Four. The figures do provide some interesting custom fodder however. I turned a movie Thing into a Green Lantern for example.

Given Marvel's frequent use of alternate universes I decided that I'd make evil versions of the Fantastic Four. I couldn't let them run around with the same names as their goodie-good counterparts so I present to you the Fearsome Four!

They are Mr. Fearsome, The Invincible Woman, The Inhuman Torch, and It.

Mr. Fearsome here is a normal human - scratch that. Mr. Fearsome doesn't have super-powers. What makes him formidable? His amazing intellect for one, but more important is his complete lack of a conscious and compassion for others. He wears a protective, shock-absorbing suit of his own design. It can stop bullets and deaden the impact of most physical and energy attacks. He holsters a Luger pistol he picked up off of a fallen hero - Victor Von Hope - as a symbol of Hope's defeat. He is suspected to have a larger body count than even the Iron Maniac.

I created Mr. Fearsome off of a movie Mr. Fantastic and classic Mr. Fantastic head. Oh yeah - I cut the holster off of a Doom figure - the original Marvel Legends release. I had to put some sculpting material on the neck post but didn't have to cure it at all. Of course I just set him on a shelf, so that's probably why he hasn't broken.

The Invincible Woman is nearly as ruthless as her sometimes-lover, Mr. Fearsome. Her skin is unbreakable and she has the strength of many humans. She also has the power of flight. While she doesn't require a protective uniform, she wears a few scraps of fabric regardless. She likes the attention her look gets her. Mr. Fearsome considers her the applied force of the team - he sends her into situations that require muscle and the intelligent application of that muscle.

I made the Invincible Woman from a translucent movie Invisible Woman figure. I have to admit that I felt a little creepy giving this figure the base flesh-tone coat of paint that I put on as a primer. She appeared a little too naked. While I do love the naked ladies - I feel a little creepy making a naked action figure. I painted the boots, some pads, and a few parts of her uniform to give an impression that she's wearing a little something. Finding no appropriate demarcations on her waist or torso, I added some trimed-to-fit electrical tape. She came out a little paler than I'd like ideally, but overall she's pretty good.

Next up is the Inhuman Torch. He's a pyro-kinetic that particularly enjoys manifesting his flames in the form of frightening monsters. He has many uses to Mr. Fearsome, but typically he is employed as a rear-guard and as It's keeper. He is able to withstand the high temperatures he creates though he does not typically wrap himself in flames.

The Inhuman Torch is actually two figures - the first is made from a movie Mr. Fantastic with the Classic Fantastic Four's Johnny Storm head stuck on. I had to make some alterations to the neck of the figure to make his head fit, but I applied some scuplting material and painted it to match. I like the effect of the flamed-out eyeballs the original Johnny figure came with. The House of M Inhuman Torch is displayed alongside him in the group shot as a manifestation of his fire-powers.

Here's a great entry on the Inhuman Torch figure, from TNI's Marvelous News:

House of M: Inhuman Torch

The final figure of this little group is It. He's from the House of M boxset and seemed perfect just as he came. In my group he's similarly mindless and easily manipulated just like in the House of M comics. However, in my take on the character, he actually enjoys being deployed. He's worked up into a frenzy by the Inhuman Torch and then sent when Mr. Fearsome is looking for complete distruction. It is nearly indestructable and possesses great strength equal only perhaps to his rage.

Here's a great entry on the It figure, from TNI's Marvelous News:

House of M: It

In the future I plan to make my version of the Iron Maniac (created by Robert Kirkman for his MTU comic series) and Victor Von Hope.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Some X-Men

Prior to the ninth wave of Marvel Legends I only collected Star Wars and GI Joe in the 1:18 scale. I bought the ninth wave figures to collect the Galactus Build-A-Figure. This was after the announcement that Toy Biz was going to release their own 4-inch sized action figures, Super Hero Showdown. I figured that I'd sell off the figures, keep the Galactus, and then use him to throw-down with the combined forces of my Star Wars, GI Joe, and SHS armies. Well, SHS has long fallen by the way-side and here I am still collecting six inch figures with gusto.

Here are my X-Men. I've had to put a few in storage and probably should put a few more as the shelf has gotten crowded to the point where I can't pose them differently and whatnot.

On the right side I've got the good guys:

On the left side I put the baddies:

I tweaked out my Iceman figure. I wanted him to have a more "frosty" look. The base figures is the Bobby that was released in the X-Men Classics line. Basically I just put on a thick dry-brushing of white.

The version of Yuriko, or Lady Deathstrike, or Lady Deathstryke, that was released was pretty good. However I added some better sleeves after cutting off the fragments of sleeves she came with. Then - I had to "take off" her shirt. I just painted her chest in a similar flesh tone and touched up some of the pinker parts of her hands with a more realistic coloring.

Here's a reference shot from the fine folks at Wikipedia:

Here's my Dark Iceman from the eXcalibur book by Chris Clairemont. He introduced a team of Dark X-Men from another world. Before I had a Silver Surfer figure I actually made a custom from an X-Men Classics Iceman figure. I had just painted him with a glossy silver - done. I eventually got an authentic Silver Surfer and had this guy laying around. I cut off the tip of his nose and lips - that's how he appeared in one of the comics, then applied a thorough coat of the funky blue followed by a frosty dry-brushing.

I eventually plan to make the rest of the Dark X-men, but they're not terribly high on my to-do list. Here's another reference picture from the wikipedia entry:

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A Trio of DC Custom Figures

Here are just a few customs I made a while ago. I was able to score several Superman/Clark Kent 2-packs and even a Batman/Batgirl 2-pack on clearance at Target for a ridiculously cheap price. I've used the Superman figures for my Yellow Lantern and Reverse Flash customs and my Batman as my Batzarro custom. My Clark Kents and the Batgirl figure did not escape my notice .

My Lex Luthor was made using a Clark Kent. I took an exacto knife and gave him a hair cut and some plastic surgery. A coat of paint and done.

Bruce Wayne here got a little trim and chin-job like Lex, followed with a paint job and Clark Kent got a lot richer.

My final presentation today is my repaint of the Batgirl figure. I wanted her to look more like she did in her initial appearances. I added a waist bag and then gave her several coats of paint. The yellow on the inside of her cape took several coats. I first painted it white as a primer and then did three full coats of yellow before I got good enough coverage.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Me Am Hate Bizarro World!

This are not my customs of Non-DC characters... okay okay, enough of that.

I'm a big fan of the Bizarro World guys - mostly because the whole concept is completely absurd. Here's the group shot:

First up is my version of the original, Bizarro himself:

I created him using a Marvel Legends Frankenstein figure, some paint, and a scrap of cloth from the fabric joint. I have the Mattel DCU version of this character and it's pretty good. I also wanted a version to have with my other Bizarro figures and the idea of creating a Bizarro off the Frankenstein base seems rather fitting. Some versions of the character have him come from an alternate reality while other versions have him created by Luthor, cloned from Superman's DNA.

Next up is my take on Batzarro:

There's a fairly good version of this character from DC Direct's Superman/Batman series, however it's just not my cup of tea. I made this from an extra DCU Batman I had collecting dust. I cut off the utility belt and put it back on upside down after I cut the lids of the pouches open. I added some sculpting material to the cowl to cover the eyeholes. Some hobby chain and several coats of paint completed the figure.

Next up, the Slowest Man Alive, Bizarro Flash (aka the Reverse Flash):

He's made from a DCU Superman body and the alternate head from the DC Direct Crisis on Infinite Earth Barry Allen figure. I used the same scheme as Professor Zoom, even though that's a different character from this one. I want to add some chains and weights to this figure but I haven't stumbled upon the ideal weights yet. The torso is a bit more muscular than I would like for a perfect figure, but oh well.

Finally, my favorite of the bunch - I am fan of the Green Lantern Corps after all - is the Man Afraid of Everything - the Yellow Lantern:

He's made from a DCU Superman figure and some scuply. I created a solid mask without eyeholes in the vein of Batzarro and a ring out of sculpting material. I put the ring on his left hand and tipped the lantern symbol on his side.

I plan on making a Wonder Woman Bizarro but I haven't found the appropriate base figure. She'll come along someday.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Mandie, Oh Mandie!

Here are a few Mandaloreans I've made in the past several years.

First up is one of the first custom figures I ever made. He was created to be the main character in a short story I was writing. I never got around to finishing the story, so until then, he remains nameless. He was created using a POTF2 Boba Fett (the deluxe rocket-pack version I believe), Obi-Wan head, and a Darth Vader cape.

Here is a Mandie Jedi Hunter. I never named him... I guess that's a theme with me. He's got a few trophies on his belt. I figured that his armor is made from that material that blocks light sabers... the name escapes me at the moment. That fact coupled with his natural ability with swordplay make nearly a match for a Jedi. Add in all the dirty tricks he's packed in to his armor and he's more than a match - he's a threat.

I feel like this guy isn't quite finished. I'd like to add a spool of silver chain and some additional paint apps. I made this figure probably seven years ago. I suppose it's about time I revisited him.

I picked up the Entertainment Earth exclusive Elite Forces of the Republic multipacks. I intended to pick up a second set and figured I'd make some customs out of these. Well I never got the second set though I did use the helmet from one figure to transform one clone into a Mandelorean warrior.

I believe he was the Clone AT TE Driver or some such. I scuplted over the armor and gave him a paint job similar to the highlight color on the helmet. I dremeled a hole in his back for the backpack and added what's-her-bucket's helmet.

Speaking of What's-her-bucket - I gave her the AT TE Driver's helmet and Endor Han's coat since I took her normal helmet and backpack. It was the least I could do.

Man - I gotta take better pictures, the prospective on these is ass. Thanks for bearing with me.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A couple of figs to pay the bills...

I created some figures and am selling them on eBay to hopefully pay for some of the stuff I buy.

Here's the first one - the Iron Grenadier Heavy Weapons Specialist. He's basically the Destro from the Ultimate Battle Pack with an Iron Grenadier head and a big ol' honkin' gun.

Here's a little group shot for the folks back home:

The rest of the figures are a 4-man team that I threw together to penetrate enemy territory and extract a hostage. Yeah, I've got a pile of Sgt. Stalker figures from the UBP and a few heads. So, you get Stalker, Kamakura, Snake Eyes, and Duke. All equipped with kick-ass accessories from Marauder, Inc.

The mug shots:

These are all up on eBay - we'll see what happens. Hopefully I'll make some bank and buy more goodies!

UPDATE: The auctions ended - not as stellar as I hoped, but I managed to make a meager profit off of them. I made about enough to buy a new figure... So, I'll probably not make more of the 4-man team, but I am going to release the other 4 IG HW guys I made. The first one's ending price is now going to be the benchmark for the fixed price listing I'll have on the rest of him. Each sale will net me about $6.00. I'm not going to get rich, but that'll pay for the parts I used and the other extra parts plus give me a little something for my time.