Thursday, May 23, 2013

Total Fiasco - "Fiasco" Gift Box Set

My brother had Fiasco and the Fiasco Companion from Bully Pulpit Games on his wishlist, and I decided they'd be a great birthday gift as he's a bit of table top enthusiast. Rather than just two store bought books, I decided to purchase the .pdf versions as a bundle from I'd made a custom book-box gift set before, and thought a similar format would be a fun way to package it all together.

TOTAL FIASCO! A home made RPG gift set.
I printed the .pdfs on newsprint after looking up how paperbacks are usually bound. Fiasco's pulp and vintage heritage meant any mistakes I made just came across as character and imperfection became decoration. The hardest part was getting the printer to keep everything in the right order, and I ended up having to manual set the print job every four pages. I'm certain there's a smarter way to do it, but it worked for this go round. I printed the covers on posterboard for a little added strength. Since these would be the most handled parts of the set, I went ahead and sprayed them with a sealant, let the covers dry, then pressed and bound them with the pages.

The rulebook and companion, printed and hand bound.

I ran into my first big problem when the books were to big for the paper mache book box I had, but I found a perfect fit at Joann Fabric. I photoshopped and decoupaged elements from the .pdfs to create the book-box cover, the custom logo, and the interior texture.

The books JUST fit in to the new box! Playmat on interior cover.

Once the books are removed, you can see this little envelope I made. Originally I thought it would fit on the inside cover, in the dotted circle of the playmat, but I decided that made it too hard to actually get into the envelope...

Simple envelope, decorated with elements from the .pdf

And get the key-shaped USB drive. It has both of the books, as well as the playmat and all the playsets from Bully Pulpit Games stored on it, with plenty of room for more.

A fun find, you can find these for cheap on

Removing the envelope reveals the die! Just enough for 5 players! I used a cereal box to create the little sunken alcove the die fit into. After decoupage, it looked almost like it had always been there.

Two sets of Chessex die from Nan's Games and Comics.

All in all, a very fun project and hopefully a unique addition to my brother's gaming shelf. I've only had a chance to play once, but it's a great game!

Zoey - Left 4 Dead

 Finally! After a long hiatus, I've finally finished the original L4D Survivors lineup. Zoey was on the back burner because I couldn't find the right head, but the Lady Jaye from the new movie figures looked like a good place to start. I carefully removed the bright makeup with acetone, and the result was close enough for me. I sculpted the rolled up cuffs onto her jeans, and she was ready for paint.

I think one of the main reasons my wife enjoyed playing L4D with our gaming group as much as she did was because they included a great playable female character in the mix. It's annoying more games have yet to pick up on this, and I'm interested to see if the FPS genre acknowledges and embraces the official presence of women in combat duty roles. Good on Valve for creating characters like Zoey, Rochelle, and Chell. Ladies in multi-character games have been around since AT LEAST 1988!

Parts Recipe:
Lady Jaye - Head, Legs
Shana "Scarlett" O'Hara - Torso, Arms, Hands

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Duke - First Sergeant

This was a commissioned figure for a customer interested in a Duke in the standard scale, but inspired by the look of the 12" Sideshow figure. I don't work on established characters from the 'Joe verse too often, so it was a fun challenge to tackle an iconic character like Duke.

Parts Recipe:
Resolute Duke - Torso, Web Gear
Renegades Duke - Head, Arms
POC Dusty - Lower Legs, Helmet
Sgt. Stalker - Upper Legs

Bothan Jedi and Kyuzo Padawan

Created for the 2012 Secret Santa custom exchange over at, this is the gift set I created for fellow customizer Incom/Mr.Black. I received an awesome Mon Calmari Medic from him, which you can see at his site, which came in a really clever gift box. I was inspired to come up with something similar, and found some great paper mache book boxes at the hobby store.

Parts Recipe:
Borsk Fey'lya - Head, Hands
Captain Typho - Torso, Shoulders, Lower Robes
Agen Kolar - Legs

Embo - Head, Hands, Leg Wraps
Even Peiell - Top Knot, Torso, Fore Arms
Plo Koon - Shoulders, Upper Legs