Monthly Archives: June 2011
Living up to his Electrifying tagline, Big Hank has successfully blended the G1 and Dark of the Moon styles to achieve this Custom Transformers Dark of the Moon Shockwave figure that is a cut above the rest. Adding LED's in the right places, the light up effects on the eye pay a nice homage to the cartoon version from the 80's where each word that the character spoke made his eye light up. The paint app on the figure is also well done with respect to the blending of the purple with the metal effects. The way this figure was painted and where the weathered silver was placed gives a nice depth and dimension that the original pre-customized figure lacks. In addition to the stellar overall look and feel, sound effects were added to the figure for you trigger happy collectors out there. To view more photos are commission a figure from Big Hank, head over to eBay or to ProCustomizers.com and view his Custom Transformers Dark of the Moon Shockwave figure!
The GI Joe Tiger Force line gave me another reason to buy yet another Duke, Roadblock, and other figures I had multiples of and Chris Wheethee is giving fans of the line a new ride to haul around all of those figures with this Custom Tiger Force Tomahawk Helicopter. Sporting the tale tell markings black and yellow tiger markings, this Tomahawk captures the essence of the Tiger Force line and looks like it was made to fit in with other vehicles. The front of vehicle has hand painted jaws and features the custom blending of brown tiger face bleeding into the yellow body. The tiger stripes are well placed and no overdone. Keeping with the traditional red blades and red accents, this Custom Tiger Force Tomahawk Helicopter hits the mark with respect to truly blending in with the line.
It only took 3 movies but TF3 has brought us one of the great characters in the line now in Leader Class form and Frenzy.Rumble has turned Good to Great and Epic into Ultimate with his Custom Transformers Dark of the Moon Ironhide figure. I must say, the off the shelf version of this figure is not bad but after getting one glimpse of Frenzy.Rumble's creation, I have to agree with his 'Ultimate' designation for this figure. There are certain levels of customizing Frenzy.Rumble can take a figure, iterate the heck out of it, and transform it into a work of art. Take one look at the before and after shot:
At a 10,000 foot view, giving this figure a cohesive style and color was a huge improvement. I was not sure why the original figure has blue but Frenzy.Rumble saw this as an opportunity to give the figure the look it was meant for. At the 1,000 foot level, you will notice two very large scratch built cannons attached to his arms. These cannons bring out the badass in the figure, which boasted the line 'Feeling lucky, punk" in the first movie. Not only do these cannons look amazing, they also have LEDs for added effect:
At the 100 foot view, you will see paint app accents that give depth to the figure and define the various segments of the body. Sometimes when a figure is made this great, the ability to transform the figure is sacrificed but who would want to turn this figure into a truck when it looks this amazing? The release of the movie is right around the corner and Frenzy.Rumble's Custom Transformers Dark of the Moon Ironhide figure is set to end on June 29th so make sure you mark that on your calendar so you don't forget to bid on this epic figure!
Imagination and Star Wars go hand in hand and HueyToys is adding to the Clone Army's capabilities to mount offensives against the Separatist forces with his Custom Lego Star Wars Clone Dropship vehicle. This vehicle looks like it was produced by Lego and fits right in with the design of the Star Wars vehicles. This compact design looks like a it is an unassuming transport but in actuality the ship can hold 15 minifigs! The black hatch doors look like they would be able to fend off any laser attack. I can't tell from the photos but it would be great if the sides lowered down so that the troops could easily make their way out of the dropship. Imagine a fleet of 100 dropships landing to attack, like modern day Higgins boats that were used for the Normandy invasions of France and the Pacific Island campaigns in WWII!
One of my other hobbies is learning as much as I can about military history so this Custom German M3 Half Track caught my eye as it captures a scene from the not so distant past where the world was at war. The detailing and paint application on this vehicle are made to look raw and gritty, like they were fresh from the battlefield.
The added accessories add realism to the group of Germans that look like they are out to ambush some Sherman tanks that are pressing their way through Normandy France. The Soldiers and Half Track are in 1:6 scale and this looks like a hefty piece so make sure this would fit in your space for collectibles before bidding on this Custom German M3 Half Track!
With the Transformers Dark of the Moon figures out in full force, customizers all around the world are making these figures their own. Ultra Magnus was one of Dark Cave Custom's favorite characters from the 80's and it is great to see him remake this iconic character in modern form with his Custom Transformers DOTM Ultra Magnus figure. To capture the essence of Ultra Magnus, Dark Cave created a custom head and weapons that are signature to this great character. Given that this figure originally was a Sentinel Prime, Dark Cave achieved this look by making some great modifications and applying a killer paint app that is unique and re-imagines one of the great figures from the 80's in Transformers Movie form.
Raybot Customs is really great at capturing the human aspects of figures and his Custom Marvel Legends Emma Frost is a great example of how an action figure can possess realism. There are a couple aspects of this figure that made me think this way. First, the legs are well done from the boots all the way up her thighs. Giving the boots a more wrinkled and worn appearance makes it look like the figure has been walking in them for a really long time and adding the slight definition to the thighs gives them that realistic muscle tone. The eyes and facial expression complete the figures persona and the addition of the cape gives the figure much more poseability and display capability. A subtle aspect of the wrist articulation and the severe bends in the joints give her a very feminine appeal.
Get Right Robot (GRR) quickly caught my eye with his Custom G1 Cartoon Style Jetfire and he is back again with his latest amazing G1 IDW Custom Transformers Fortress Maximus that stands over 2 feet tall. Inspired by the concept of art of IDW artists Nick Roche and Guido Guidi, the overall design of the figure is a massive achievement in the literal and figurative sense. Employing design skills using sketches and translating the drawings into AutoCAD, which is an engineering software program, Get Right Robot designed the exact look he was going with not only one face but 5 completely different looks. As you can see below, the interchangeable faces (complete with LED), give the figure 5 unique personas. Here is a glimpse in to the process of creating the heads:
Recreating the articulation you would find in a human hand, GRR used 120 cut out plexiglass segments per hand and created his own hinges to build the raw IDW look he was going for. Here are some amazing shots of the amount of of work and examples of how articulated these hands are:
The amount of thought and engineering that went into this figure is beyond what I have seen any customizer do (I am sure there are more out there that do this but I am just not aware). I have really only been left speechless by a handful of customs since I have been writing about them since 2007 and Get Right Robot's G1 IDW Custom Transformers Fortress Maximus takes the highest honor of leaving a blogger speechless!
With both Sideshow and Medicom producing 1/6 scale Star Wars figures, the line has had a tremendous influx of great figures but that does not mean there is still room for improvement. Lalla's Custom Star Wars 1/6 Scale Yoda is a great example of even Sideshow or Medicom figures can be made even better. Recasting Yoda's head and implanting what hair he had left (not too bad for 700 hundred years old), Lalla created a very authentic Yoda as he appeared in the Empire Strikes Back movie. The detailing on the figure brings out the emotion in the figure, which comes through in the eyes and coloring of Yoda. To view more photos of this awesome Custom Star Wars 1/6 Scale Yoda, head over to eBay!
Transforming the lack luster Transformers Hunt for Decepitcons Leader Class Optimus Prime into this awesome Custom Transformers Dark of the Moon Optimus Prime custom really demonstrates Zildjian's talent and attention to detail. First of all, if you have seen the HFD Prime, it really looks nothing like this great figure that Zildjian has created. The colors are vibrant and was made with custom decals, created by Frenzy.Rumble, to achieve this DOTM look. Here is the rundown of the other features this figure contains:
- Fully articulated custom cast hands
- DOTM "styled" abdomen that connects magnetically and can be removed for transformation
- Screen accurate flames designed by Frenzy_Rumble that are decaled and hand painted on Prime
- New rubber single front tires, and rubber double tires in the rear
- Extended real chrome smoke stacks
- Chrome side view mirrors
- Correct blue LED in the head so eyes light up BLUE
- Custom painted "burning hot" arms blades that are now removable and held in the forearms with magnets
Some very cool Bonus items were added to this great custom:
- He will come with an additional front section of the head that features the face wothout the battle faceplate. This can easily be switched onto the figure's head by removing a screw from the back of the head.
- Prime will also come with a set of custom painted "flaming hot" arm battle hooks that easily plug into the holes in the forearms and held by magnets!
It is great that Zildjian did not wait for a DOTM Leader Class Prime to come out and just customize that version as this is a great example of customizers taking the Transformers line into their own hands and making great things! To view more photos of Zildjian's Custom Transformers Dark of the Moon Optimus Prime custom, head over to eBay!
If you know me by now, I am none too happy with the state of the paint color selection and general look of the figures produced by Hasbro for the Transformers movies so when I saw that the figures were released in my local Walmart store, I said to myself "thank goodness for customizers" because I know they can do better than this. Sabretooth's Workshop's Custom Transformers Dark of the Moon Sentinal Prime figure is evidence of great things to come with the DOTM line. I know that toy companies like Hasbro have to look after their bottom line and creating figures that match the movies is not possible for them to pull off so I am happy that there are awesome customizers to fill in the gaps. Take a look at the comparison photo below to see what I mean:
Sabretooth's custom is amazing and looks like it was pulled right from the movie. The weathering and shield detailing is a welcome change from the original clean production figure. If this is what we are to expect from the customizers for the Transformers DOTM line, it is going to be a great Summer! There are only 9 hours left to nab this great figure so head over to eBay and check out Sabretooth's Workshop's Custom Transformers Dark of the Moon Sentinal Prime figure.
Each month, Matty Collector, Mattel's adult collector site, releases a new figure to add to their acclaimed Masters of the Universe Classics line. Last month, Catra from the She-Ra cartoon, was released and Hunter Knight Customs transformed this newly released figure into a fan requested member of the Evil Horde with his Custom MOTU Classics Scorpia figure. HKC, as always, did a fantastic job translating the cartoon concept art and show appearance into a fully poseable figure that is not on Mattel's list of upcoming MOTU Classics characters for production. What I love about this figure is that the scorpion limbs are seamlessly fused into the body, which is a testament to HKC's detailing and sculpting ability. The claws look very realistic and the tail is just the right size, which completes the look and feel of the classic She-Ra character. There are only less than 10 hours to go and this auction is over so head over to eBay to place a bid on HKC's Custom MOTU Classics Scorpia figure.
It is great to get to know customizers from all walks of life and experience levels. This week, I had the excellent opportunity to interview an "up and coming" customizer that goes by the handle Hotwire. His latest contribution brings his talent to the Japan Earthquake Relief Custom Transformers Auction. Let's find out more about him:
AFC: Tell the fans of your work a little about yourself
Hotwire: My name is Mike, but the customizing world knows me as Hotwire. I would categorize myself as something of an, "up and coming," customizer. I was one of the first members of proCUSTOMIZERS.com and earned my Pro status back in October, so I must be on the right track. I operate my website hotwirecustoms.webs.com and accept commissions via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AFC: When did you start making customs?
Hotwire: I've been customizing almost two years now.
AFC: How did you get started making customs?
Hotwire: Haha, this is also the story of how I got started collecting transformers again. My wife bought me ROTF leader class Optimus Prime for Father's Day in 2009 and that got me collecting them again. I picked up Ironhide and realized, I liked the mold, but hated the color. I had been looking at the Radicons section of TFW for quite some time and thought, "I can do that." So, I read some tutorials, mostly the ones by Jin Saotome, bought some paints, and ended up with my very first custom, a red voyager class Ironhide!
AFC: How many customs do you work on at one time?
Hotwire: Normally, it's just 1 of the time. It helps me stay focused on my deadlines.
AFC: What is the custom you are most proud of (include pics)?
Hotwire: ROTF Soundwave. This was the customs where I developed my "worn colors" style you saw on the War for Cybertron Autobots you reviewed.
AFC: What is your favorite toy line to do customs for?
Hotwire: Transformers, all the way, dude! Though I had a lot of fun doing the Sith Starfighter for the Japan charity auction proCUSTOMIZERS did, so I may do some more of those.
AFC: What customs do you have lined up for future projects?
Hotwire: Drift. I want to take his evil Decepticon turned heroic Autobot story, and drag it through some shattered glass. Will also be trying my hand at metal work on this one. I hate flimsy rubber swords.
AFC: If you had one piece of advice for other customizers out there, what would you say to them?
Hotwire: Never stop learning. Learn as much as you can, from painting techniques to taking criticism. The more you learn, the more tools you have to work with, and the more you can accomplish.
I am very happy to feature 6 amazing Custom Transformers figures by the awesome customizers at ProCustomizers.com! 100% of the proceeds go to benefit the Japan Earthquake relief. Here is the rundown of these amazing figures from a group of 6 talented customers:
Reveal The Shield Deluxe Class PERCEPTOR by Hotwire Customs
- After the tragic earthquakes hit Japan, and the nuclear threat become eminent, Perceptor knew his abilities as a scientist would be needed. He quickly formatted into a nuclear response vehicle, and rolled out with his fellow Autobots. Now, they work to aid those in danger, and work to rebuild. Perceptor was given all the necessary prep and paint work to ensure long lasting and vibrant colors.
Reveal The Shield Deluxe Class JAZZ by Solracc333 Customs
- Emergency Vehicle Jazz was made from a RTS Jazz. He was given a flat black base coat and then dry brushed steel, silver, and then white. The light bar is from a Generations Red Alert and decals were applied by fellow customizer Jbarb78.
Generations Deluxe Class SIDESWIPE by jbarb78 Customs
- Sideswipe was created using a Generations Red Alert figure, painted to resemble a Japanese Imperial Police Car. He was painted using a custom mixed HoK white, and HoK Gloss Black. He was then detailed using Testors Model Master enamels, followed by Testors Wet Look Clear Lacquer. Custom Imperial Police decals were graciously donated by Boggs6ft7.
ROTF Voyager Class RATCHET by Jcartwork
- Ratchet was made using a ROTF voyager class Ratchet figure, painted to resemble a Japanese rescue vehicle. Ratchet was given all the necessary prep and paint work to ensure long lasting and vibrant colors.
Generations Deluxe Class RED ALERT by speedleecustoms
- Red Alert was created using a Generations Red Alert figure, painted to resemble a Japanese Imperial Police Car. Red Alert was given all the necessary prep and paint work to ensure long lasting and vibrant colors.
Generations Deluxe Class SEARGENT KUP by Customs By Zildjian
- Kup was created using a Generations Seargent Kup figure, painted to resemble a Japanese random Japanese red cross/emergency vehicle. He was painted using a custom mixed HoK teal/light green. He was then detailed using Testors Model Master enamels, followed by Testors Wet Look Clear Lacquer. Custom Imperial rescue decals were graciously donated by Boggs6ft
rluxcustom's has created this massive Custom Marvel Legends X-MEN Colossus statue, which is a real work of art. I really like the way this figure was sculpted and the lines give the figure definition and dimension. The expression on the figures face is one of anger and destruction. Standing at 18" tall, this statue possesses a lot of feeling and personality. The base of the statue goes really well with the overall look and feel of the statue and makes it look like the ground is crumbling beneath the feet. The yellow and reds are very vibrant but, at the same time, are muted by the nice weathering detail, which rounds out this excellent figure.
There are not many customizers out there that specialize in the Steampunk style or genera. In my search for unique Steampunk customs, I came across these one of a kind Custom Steampunk Nerf N-Strike Guns from a seller that goes by the name Old Junkyard Boutique. What attracted me to these guns was the intricate detail and paint aps that transformed these bright yellow guns into Steampunk style fire arms that look like real metal. The skulls, chains, and other custom pieces added to the guns complete the Steampunk look and feel. As of today, Old Junkyard Boutique has 43 Custom Steampunk Nerf N-Strike Guns that range from the N-Strike Series guns to the Cyber Strike line so check them out!