Monthly Archives: May 2015
Using Apoxie for an amazing sculpting job, NTT brings us his version of Morris Bench with his Custom Marvel Legends Hydroman figure. The water and typhoon effects are simply stunning! NTT did a fantastic job harnesses the look and feel and water in a plastic figure that stands 7.5 inches tall. The paint effects look very life like and the figure looks as if he is tossing water about from the hands all the way down to the legs. The white and blue play off each other very nicely and I even like the way the water is spreading up the chest for that added splashing effect.
Hear to tell us more about this awaesome figure is NTT himself:
"Messing with Hydro-man means getting a beat down with some major splash F/X! Combined with sculpt work and painted details, realistic typhoons and water spouts were created for the lower portion of his body. Painted in several layers for a smooth finish, a protective sealant has been applied to preserve the artwork. With multiple points of articulation for some really awesome action-poses, figure also comes with two regular hands and two tsunami-sized fists along with an arsenal of water dragons are also included with this set!"
Lucky for you, this figure is still up for sale on eBay so head over there to see NTT's Custom Marvel Legends Hydroman figure.
Xaviercal is at it again creating killer G1 customs and he has gone big this time! Paying homage to the classic Protectobots is his Custom Transformers Generations Combiner Wars G1 Defensor. Adding new feet and articulated hands, Defensor resembles the 1980's version with one small twist. You might notice a new member on the right leg. Rook is his name and Xaviercal used a SWAT vehicle and painted the figure accordingly, breaking up the classic red, white and blue color scheme. Even with adding a new figure into the mix, he still retains the look and feel of the figure by attaching the motorcycle to the SWAT vehicle in combiner mode, retaining the original design of Defensor while giving him a fresh new look.
I love when customizers take their own liberties with paint choices and colors as it makes the design uniquely their own. The individual figures look just as good in both robot and alternate modes. Xaviercal's work is top notch so don't miss out on his Defensor Custom Transformers Generations Combiner Wars G1 Figure.
On Memorial Day, I thought this GI Joe Mountain Base Diorama was a fitting custom to highlight as we remember our fallen soldiers on this day. When I first glanced at this dio, I immediately thought of the bunkers and strongholds our soldiers had to face as they invaded France on June 6th 1944 to mark the turn of World War 2.
Although this dio is made of dense polystyrene foam board, the way ti was painted and sculpted makes it look like stone, rock, and cement. The artist did an excellent job varying the coloring to achieve a very natural look. One thing I noticed was the scale was right on for 3 3/4" figures and even the small vehicles (Cobra Trubble Bubble, Ferret, etc.) can fit nicely with this base. You will notice that there are two levels on the inside so this base also serves as a small barracks. If you are into Dioramas, don't miss this Custom GI Joe Mountain Base Diorama.
Totally rethinking one of the toughest Decepticons from the 2007 Transformers Movie is Barbershop Customz with his Custom Masterpiece Transformers Barricade figure. Using a Masterpiece Prowl as the base for the figure, he reimagined the character using the movie paint scheme. The gold face really pops against the darkness of the figure. I like the angle that Barbershop took with the figure where he chose not to change the face to the style of the movie figure. I think this was a good call since all of the Masterpiece figures are based on the G1 Transformers line. I have been a fan of Barbershop for many years and if you are too, come check out the past articles I have written about this fantastic customizer!
Metroplex dwarfs other bots in comparison and living up to his role as the living embodiment of Autobot City is Xaviercal's Custom Transformers G1 Metroplex figure. Completely repainting in the classic G1 color scheme, Metroplex is painted and detailed in a very unique way. This figure looks like it has seen many a war and lived to tell about it with the massive amounts of scoring and grunge that is infused into him. Most of the customs I see are pristine versions of a repaint or a sculpted version of a figure that is a million times better than what you can get off the shelf but rarely to do you this level of battle damage. My favorite part of this customs is the cracked chest piece and the shattered look and feel overall. Xaviercal is one of the best in the business so check out his Custom Transformers G1 Metroplex figure before it is too late!
Focusing on one of his favorite characters, Shinobitron creates his third iteration of this New Mutant with his Custom Marvel Legends Cannonball figure. The way that this figure was painted and detailed really makes the Cannonball come to life. The facial expression and the stare that is reflected in the eyes gives the figure human-like characteristics. The hair and the way it was sculpted and applied to the head make it look like it is flowing on his head. Coupled with the way his goggles sit atop his head give the figure a life like appeal. I am stickler for detail and Cannonball's jacket is my favorite part of this figure. The brown leather color feels very natural and the silver accents and buttons finish off the look. You will also notice that the clothing is painted in alternating blacks and blues in way that looks like the clothing is undulating from his body. Overall, this is a very well executed figure with all of the fits and finishes you can come to expect in a figure designed by one and only Shinobitron!
Pouring his heart, soul, and experience into his latest custom, Deviacon unleashes the wrath of the Dinobot leader with his Custom Transformers Age of Extinction Grimlock figure. This Leader Class figure is fully modded with some of the most unique ideas I have seen in a custom in a long time. For example, he created an extended tail, to round out proportions, which also has a hidden surprise that has 3 points of articulation and can split and transform into 3 accessories. He also was striving for screen accuracy so he added extra spines and spikes along the back, an extra row of teeth, extra plating along the top of the head, hand sculpted horns, engraved cybertronian letters along certain area's. Paying homage to the G1 version of Grimlock, the crown that sits atop Grimlock's head is modeled after the original spiky crown and he made it fit in with the movie style very well by giving it a corroded look. He even added Cybertronian hieroglyphics that read "Me King." The details are endless and the creativity that Deviacon has demonstrated truly makes this a remarkable custom.
The paint layering effects, which were achieved by using techniques such as dry-brushing, washes, and distressing helped to give this figure an overall corroded and rusted metal look. You can get a good look at the paint app in this close up image of Grimlock's head (see below). This is seriously one of the best Transformers AOE Grimlock's I have seen to date and Deviacon should be very proud of what he has made. I have to agree with him when he says "culmination of my work as a customizer so far." If you do too, go check out his Grimlock Custom Transformers Age of Extinction Figure on eBay and place your bid for this amazing figure!
This week, AFC has the pleasure of getting to know Transformers Artist, Kingbotz, in this exclusive interview:
AFC: Tell the fans about yourself
Kingbotz: Hi there fellow TF-artists & friends, I'm Shane aka "Kingbotz" from New Orleans, La, born and raised. I've been an artist all my life, starting with 2D pencil-art in my youth & building anything I could out of whatever I had. I grew up with plenty of educational building sets like Brix-Blox, Robotix, Lincoln Logs, Erector & Tinker Toys. A significant incident took place in '86 when my mom threw away all my TF & Gobot toys as punishment for something I did, so I secretly started making them out of paper & hid 'em under the dresser. Yep, they all transformed too. They had a simple panel-flip-technology on 'em but it worked! I even did a few combiners like Defensor, Superion & Devastator. I mean, they were more or less like little robotic paper-dolls that couldn't even stand on their own, but those and my imagination was all I had left after the "apocalypse," lol. Anyhow, that creative-entity was always there, it just took all the right elements & conditions to manifest itself in a much more profound way further down the road. Years of mechanical-experience, circumstances & timing was all critical to my development and establishment as a TF-artist/customizer. Anyone is welcomed to check out my previous and current work on my main website at www.Kingbotz.com, on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/Kingbotz
and my video-channel at www.YouTube.com/Kingbotz.
AFC: Why did you start making customs?
Kingbotz: It's a very long story to put in a nutshell, but it all started in early 2005 after I had surgery for a sports-injury. I was stuck at home, had a lot of spare time & started collecting old Transformers again that I found on eBay. It was fun, but there was STILL something major missing, couldn't quite pinpoint it. A couple weeks after surgery, I woke up one day and started brainstorming the possibility of building an oversized Transformer-character of my own. I began pondering what I would base this huge figure on, and what I could use to make it happen. One of the first ideas that hit me was a combiner using vehicles to minimize scratch-building, and suddenly Tonka-trucks got my gears turning about a huge "Devastator" and I wondered.... "just how many Tonka-trucks can I find at one toy-store, that are all in scale with each other???" I jumped in my truck, went straight to the store and spent the whole day there, shopping and getting all the trucks I needed. Went home with the haul, and the rest was history. Over the course of about 8 to 10 months, I built my first Transformer-custom, a 5-foot Devastator made out of Tonka-trucks that stored 29 other Transformer-toys all over the body. That was the custom that put me "on the map" sort-of-speak, which was only supposed to be a one-time thing that I was gonna list on E-bay and sell once it was done. After I came home from Botcon 2006 and displayed Devastator there, I had no doubt I was meant to do so much more. I've been pretty much on automatic since then with limitless ideas, concepts & drive to continue to push the margin and take it further & further.
AFC: When did you start making customs?
Kingbotz: Define "custom!" Lol Well I did a lot of building & mods to toys & stuff growing up, but my first official major Transformer-custom that came in with a bang was the 5-foot Devastator-statue in 2005. I believe towards the end of 2005 was about the time that I started experimenting with individually-transformable Tonka-prototype figures as I was wrapping up the Devastator project, finished all 3 around the same time in early 2006. Devastator came first though, so early 2005 was the start for me.
AFC: How many projects are you working on at any given time?
Kingbotz: Only maybe 2 or 3 at the most. It's so easy to get swamped by taking on too many projects at the same time, it just doesn't make sense. 2 or 3 at the MOST, but I tend to take on some pretty complex commissions for the most part, so really 2 concurrent projects are enough for me. I'd rather take my time & focus on the quality of the pieces that I'm working on and do a killer job. I want the "wow" factor and initial-impact when people look at my work, even if it means going above-and-beyond what I was paid to do. Quality over quantity.
AFC: What are some the customs you are most proud of?
Kingbotz: Hmmm....that's a tough one. As far as size goes? The 7ft "Bruticus." Complexity....the 5ft "Frenzy" Aesthetics....5ft Devastator (2008) and 4ft Shockwave. As far as originality goes though, I do have to say I'm particularly very proud of the new Transformers "Abstract" line I introduced a year ago, it's gone over really well. I was skeptical about the concept and how it would be received, but the reception and feedback has been fantastic. It's fresh & original with nothing else to compare it to.....all out of my head, my perspective. I look at how that small line is growing slowly but surely and the potential it has now and think, "wow, I did that," and that's something I'm proud of.
AFC: What is your favorite toy line to do customs for?
Kingbotz: Hands-down, the Transformers line. I'm an art & customs-enthusiast for most toy-genres across the boards, but Transformers are my specialty & where my passion is. I do have to admit I love the GoBots toys as much as TFs, but that's a line I haven't had the chance to explore just yet. All in due time. 😉
AFC: What customs or commissions do you have lined up for future projects?
Kingbotz: I'm currently developing a 2-foot G1-Devastator to offer TF Abstract-enthusiasts the chance to take their collection to the next level. I chose that particular size not only because it will display nicely in scale next to Generations Metroplex & G1 Fort Max, but it's also a magnificent centerpiece and serves as a fantastic next-level option for the Abstract-admirers as well. I also have a long-overdue commission in the final-stages that is sure to please, an old transformable robotic steel-mill Titan based on the Generations Metroplex figure. (Ogun Abyss) That project has been quite a journey & learning-experience, one of the most involved transformable pieces I've ever tackled. Keep an eye out for that one. As far as future commissions I haven't begun yet, I've got 2, maybe 3 NES (Nintendo) commissions I'll embark on soon, one of them is definitely a crossover of 2 genres. The consoles will still be playable, 2 of the pieces will involve the little R.O.B. robot that came with the original deluxe Nintendo game-set. There is another secret outlandish 3-stage project I've been working on here & there for roughly 5-years now. Can't say much about it, but anybody that grew up in the 80s will particularly love this one and be blown away. Lot's of crazy stuff in the works.
AFC: What was the most challenging custom to make so far?
Kingbotz: Without a doubt, the 5-foot "Frenzy" replica from the 2007 Transformers-movie. Good God, where do I start with that one. It was a total scratch-build, and all I had as reference were maybe 5 or six good pics that I could find on the internet. For decent part-scale reference, I actually had to get frontal & side-pics blown up to the approximate height I wanted the figure to be, and I worked off of that. What made it worse, you still couldn't see every spot, joint & body-part of Frenzy in the pics I had, so I was forced to improvise in a lot of areas. The customer also wanted it to be posable with 4 light-up eyes and a r/c controlled turning-head. All this within a 5-month time-frame. Yeah that one stressed me out a little....a lot....but I liked the challenge and sense of accomplishment when it was done. This project was a test & sum of all the skills & resources I picked up over the years, and it still pushed me beyond that. When it was finished I thought, "how can I possibly top THAT one?" It was both humbling and gratifying, but it removed any doubt I could do anything I set my mind to.
AFC: If you had one piece of advice for other customizers out there, what would you say to them?
Kingbotz: Excellent supplemental follow-up to question #8. 😉 My best advice to other artists & customizers new & old is- believe in yourself. I could say "work hard, stay humble, don't give up, be consistent, be original" & all that other stuff.....but if you first believe in yourself, everything else will follow.
With the second installment of the Avengers in full force, Call-it Customs & Kollectibles has done a fantastic job translating Scarlett Johansson's movie appearance with this Custom Marvel Legends Avengers Age of Ultron Black Widow figure. From the knee-pads down to the ice blue outline around her body suit, this figure captures her on screen look and feel. The figure also comes with interchangeable hands as well as batons and guns to change of up the look if you are so inclined.
Taking the latest creation from Mastermind Creations is Reformatted 01 - Terminus Hexatron (or in lay language Sixshot), Stronox gives this figure a major overall in the paint app department with his Custom Transformers Sixshot version. The original figure suffers from what most out of the box collectibles are plagued with and that is a poor paint app. What usually happens is that the details are lost in the figure when you have large blocks of color for each section of the Transformer. For example, Sixshot is mostly white, green, and purple and what Stronox is able to do when he applies his paint app is get into all of the nooks and crannies of the figure to bring out all of the sharp lines that you don't typically see in a figure you buy from the store. In addition to completely repainting the figure, he added a set of STAG swords that really go well with Sixshot. As an aside, I think the designer suffered from an identity crisis with this figure but it is cool to have all 6 modes contained into one figure. He was 1 mode shy of making a figure for each day of the week but I will give them a pass on that one. Lucky for you, this figure is for sale on eBay so head over there and check out Stronox's Custom Transformers Sixshot while there is still time.
Getting his inspriation from the Masters of the Universe Slime Pit box, Joe Amato created this unique henchman of Skeletor with his Custom Slime Pit Beast Man figure. It looks like Beast Man has been caught in the Evil Horde's pit of gruesome ooze and I love the way that the slime is layered and positioned on the figure. In addition to the cool looking figure, you also get some classic card art to go with it.
I have to admit, the Masters of the Universe cartoon was one of my favorites growing up. I would look forward to it every afternoon and Joe Amato has captured this classic box art in a figure you can add to your own collection!
LEK has a knack for making plastic shine like metal and his Custom Transformers Generations Megatron is no exception. There are some customs you can look at and instantly make a connection with and LEK's craftsmanship is stunning. Even though Megatron is mostly silver, the way that the paint is applied makes each individual part stand out. This Megatron has some serious detail and a paint app that is applied with precision. The silver and grays work really well against each other, making the paint look alive. To offset the tone of the figure, reds and oranges were used to accentuate Megatron, giving him depth and dimension. In alternate form, you get a great sense of how well this figure was painted. In addition to a killer paint app, LEK also added articulated fingers, which adds a human touch to the leader of the Decepticons. Adding an LED to the gun barrel brings this figure to the next level. Overall, this is one of the best Megatron's I have seen and I am sure Megatron appreciates a color scheme worthy of his leadership!