Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Baroness - Civilian Attire

I wanted to make a version of COBRA's The Baroness as she might appear when she's not running around in a skin-tight leather one-piece. Between Destro's amazing Comic Con Rise of Cobra Exclusive and the repaint I did of his general release ROC figure, I felt like I had him covered for  non-military looks. Any good Destro figure is incomplete without a matching Baroness, though, so I set out to make a version of her as she might appear between missions.

Parts Recipe:
Resolute Baroness - Head (sculpted hair) and Heels
ROC Cover Girl - Torso
ROC Dial-Tone - Arms
Marvel Universe Ms. Marvel - Legs
Indiana Jones Dr. Henry Jones - Glasses
Golden Compass Marisa Coulter - Skirt

Saturday, February 26, 2011

"I'm out of it for a little while, everybody gets delusions of grandeur!"

I was out of town with the wife for a week in Dallas while she attended a SQL Server class, so I was away from posting for a bit but had some pretty great news! 

For one, my figure Torment received the Staff Choice award in the JoeCustoms.com Original Character Custom Contest. There was some AMAZING competition, and it might sound cliché but I really do think every entry was a winner. I'm honored to have been "hand picked" by the judges, and have to give a big thanks to my friend Bill for his help in spicing up the biography. 

And if THAT weren't enough excitement for me, the JCA (JoeCustoms.com Awards) results were announced. I won Best Cobra Custom for my Cobra Commander, Best Original Character for the L4D custom I made of my father-in-law Melvin, 2nd Place for Best Overall Customizer for Figures, and Most Improved Customizer. Thank you so much for the nominations and votes, I'm incredibly proud to be part of the JoeCustoms.com community and it really is nothing short of honor to be recognized by my fellow artists! 

I've got at least one, possibly two sets of figures planned to submit to the next Custom Con, so I need to get cracking on those... and I've got to get my work room setup to finish up the star fighters for Martin's movie and start learning how to use my new airbrush.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Photonovel Alliance

Darth Kikinou from Yakface.com has been working hard to give Star Wars photonovels (photo-comics told with action figures) a permanent home on the 'net. Photonovel Alliance houses some great stories, like Julian Maurice's X-Wing Alliance, Yak_Chewie's legendary Enloe Chronicles, as well as Kikinou's own Guardians of Peace and Justice.

Gotta hand it to him for archiving some of the best fan stories ever told with little plastic people, and helping some "lost" photonovels find a new home! Keep up the great work!

I'm always daydreaming about taking a crack at photonovels, so we might just see a story or two of mine over there someday!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Behind the Scenes

Keeping busy with a few projects I've been meaning to finish up for a while, hence the lack of posts. I can forgive myself for letting the site be a little quiet if I'm making up for it at time at the work bench.

Custom Celebration has started over at JoeCustoms.com. Lots of fun topics, interviews, and projects to check out over the next few weeks including the Original Character Custom Contest. Lots of amazing entries... I'll have to wait to reveal which one is mine until voting has ended.

I've also got 5 or 6 figures I'm trying to pull together in time for Custom Con 28. 2 are completely done, 1 just needs some decals, another is about halfway complete... and two are just ideas right now. We'll see if I can pull them together in time.

Toy Fair has come along and promised wonderful future 'Joe figures and plenty of fodder to keep me busy in the coming year...

Got some ideas for diorama projects to begin to work on those skills... including a rough concept for a series of photography projects that could eventually turn into a book idea.

We'll see what actually pans out!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Movie Magic: Talon Fighter WIP (work in progress)

I volunteered my services to help my friend Martin finish the Star Wars films he's been working on for years, Hunt For The Holochron. He's made incredible progress on it, and really just has a few effects shots left to wrap the whole project up.

In addition to doing some basic animated display screens for him to drop into the background of a few scenes, I told him I'd try to tackle some of the ships so we could shoot the space scenes with practical effects.

The wings were built from scratch by Incom, a great customizer I know from over at yakface.com. These work in progress shots don't do them justice, and they'll really look wonderful once the whole ship is painted. I've been trying to figure out how to attach them to the body, and finally inspiration hit. Like many of life's problems, the answer was LEGO.

While it would be nice for them to retain their mobility, it's really not needed for the shots we'll be trying to get with the ship, and forgoing it will all the wings to be more symmetrical and sturdy.




There's plenty more to do, but I was finally to place where I felt like it was really starting to look like something... and not just the base ship it's made from!

Assimilation!

Now both dan-of-the-dead.com AND danofthedead.com point right here! Shave milliseconds of your address bar typing by omitting those pesky hyphens! Woo hoo!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Doctor Scarab - Evil Bionic Scientist

Perhaps one of the more obscure characters I've made to date, Dr. Scarab was the main antagonist from The Bionic Six, another toy line/cartoon hybrid of the 1980's.

With the exception of the large scarab jewel he and his minions all wore on his chest that I omitted (so he could better fit in Cobra's ranks), I've changed very little from the original toy and cartoon design. The bionic implant around his head is more complex and detailed than his original, though.

Parts Recipe:
Dr. Mindbender - Head
Bench-Press - Upper Torso
Heavy Duty - Lower Torso
Arctic Snake-Eyes - Upper Arms, Legs, Gloves
General Grievous - Collar

Vanessa Warfield - V.E.N.O.M. Villainess

 Another character from the M.A.S.K. cartoon and toy line, I decided to add Vanessa to go along with my Miles Mayhem custom. This interpretation  is based on the older, smaller toy design.

While no M.A.S.K. figure is complete without their helmet, Vanessa will have to wait for her "Whip" mask until I can find a suitable base for it in this scale.

Parts Recipe:
ROC Scarlett - Base Figure
ROC Baroness - Forearms, Legs
Golden Compass Marisa Coulter - Head

Thursday, February 3, 2011

VRC-4, Spy Drone

Originally created for Yakfinities #13, Droids of War, this is one of the two droids I finished out of the 5 or 6 I was working of for the project.

From my notes on the project at the time:

"Basically, they're all droids who had original functions that weren't directly related with combat. Either through reprogramming, or avoiding memory wipes long enough to develop distinct personalities, or even by accident, they all end up with combat based specialties. They're on the run, as most of their original owners want them back, and various corporations would like to figure out how they broke their programming. Corny as it may sound, they're like a droid version of the A-Team."

Originally a video-feed unit for the Holonet, VRC-4 now acts as the group's spy and scout. He's able to directly transmit to each member of the group, giving them all a birds-eye view of the battle field in real time. Equipped with a wide array of sensors, he's able to "see" in many different spectrums. Having severed himself from the long-range connection to the Holonet, VRC-4's transmitting now has a limited range.

VRC-4 was made from a GI Joe sigma six 2.5" BAT figure with claws from a medical droid. The original figure had very limited articulation, so I cut it up, turned it upside down, and gave it the new hands.

Parts Recipe:
Sigma Six Sky BAT - Body, Arms
21B Medical Droid - Claws

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

JoeCustoms.com Featured Customizer of the Month!

It's a real honor to be selected as February's Featured Customizer over at JoeCustoms.com. You can go check out my interview here!

Obis-Cen - Rogue Jedi

A much older custom, as you can tell from the photo, parts, and very basic paint, this was a project that sat in pieces and unfinished for years.

Conceptually, I thought that after the Jedi Purge, many escaping force users might adopt darker personas to mask themselves from those hunting down the Jedi.

Parts Recipe:
Labria - Head
Wing Commander Pilgrim Traitor - Torso, Upper Legs
Malakili - Arms
Ki-Adi-Mundi - Hands
Ric Olie - Boots

Thellik - Quarren Bounty Hunter

I believe this was my first time to participate in the Yakfinities contests at Yakface.com.

On Thellik, I liked the idea of a hunter who only went after droids, who saw himself more as a repo man than a bounty hunter. His color scheme is "beach tones" to tie in with the Quarren aspect of his character. I think the light colored boots give him a somewhat 70's sci-fi look for some reason, but I don't think that's entirely out of place.

Parts Recipe:
Head: Tessek
Torso: Dash Rendar
Upper Arms: Jar-Jar or some other Gungan
Hands: Tessek
Waist and Legs: Weequay
Boots: Rune Hacko