Thursday, January 30, 2014

Time to update this part of the world wide web...

Ugh... has it been that long since my last update? Gotta take in more of that self discipline! Let's just fast forward from early 2013 to this moment, shall we?

Back in 2010 I was asked to make this diorama featuring Darth Malgus and Jedi Master Ven Zallow. Apparently, I did something right, because right now I am working on my fourth commissioned Ven Zallow. Normally, I don't revisit or redo past customs, but this character has really grown on me. The second version (2012) was a slight improvement of the first one:

At this moment the third version is still in transit, on his way to his new owner. This one was very different from the first two and even more fun to work on. The client asked me to focus mainly on this reference picture:

While some parts remained the same, a lot of sculpting went into this third version of Ven. Improving your customzing skills is done by actually practising it and this is all the more true when it comes to sculpting. I'd like to think I actually have improved my sculpting skills, but you be the judge of that:

Parts used:
- Resolute Duke: head, resculpted the hair
- ROC Duke in RIA suit: upper body, upper arms. Custom made chest belt, sculpted device
- ROC Ripcord in RIA suit: shoulder armour (connects with neo magnets), lower arms (sculpted gauntlets), hands
- 25th Destro Iron Grenadier: lower body, sculpted armour
- 25th Zartan: upper legs, sculpted armour
- Cobra Commander in Battle Armour: knees
- 25th Wraith: lower legs, feet
- Order 66 Mace Windu: cloak w/shortened sleeves

- lightsaber from the parts bin, blade and hilt connect with neo magnets

Like I mentioned above, I have started on the fourth version of this awesome character. It's such a shame Hasbro didn't make him so we could pit him against Darth Malgus.

That's it for now, stay tuned for another recently finished custom, which is one of my favourite species: the Twi'lek!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

A new name and first WIP update of 2013

"Mr. Black's Customs?" you wonder? Yes, indeed. While I have been known as Incom in the customizing community, I have decided to adopt a more personal and less Star Wars orientated alias. Don't worry (or do worry, it's up to you LOL) Star Wars is very much a main theme in my life and will remain so as well in my customizing projects.

My last name translate to "Black" in English and since I have been branching out to a variety of character universes and designs, I thought it was only fitting to go by the name of Mr. Black. Now to find out how to replace the banner you see on top of the page...
Anyway, time for me to show you the first WIP (work in progress) pictures of 2013. As you will probably know, I am quite talented at starting custom projects. More so than actually finishing them ;)

But the upside on having a lot of projects "on the bench" is that I can share some cool progress pictures with you.

So, let's see what's cooking, shall we?

First up: my work on a Heavy Mandalorian, based on Deviant artist Vinom11's following artwork:
Please take a minute and check out Vinom11's gallery. There are some pretty cool Mandalorian designs to be seen there.

And here's how far I have gotten in creating a 1:18-ish scale custom action figure of this design:

And since I opened my jars of Fixit Sculpt compounds A and B, I figured I might as well go ahead and continue working on my Darksiders (2) Death custom project. This time I worked on his wings, which Death has when in Reaper form. You can see this Reaper form in the inserts on the pictures below.

 As you can see, I created a frame of metal wire and then started sculpting. Of course the wings are still very rough and in a very early stage. I found some very helpful tutorials on sculpting wings like these. I believe it was a technique used for creating Tyranid's wings. Basically I first have to sculpt the joints and then sculpt the bones. The real challenge will be in creating the "webbing" between the wing's fingers, as seen here:

And yes, that insanely huge scythe of his will also be quite a challenge :)

And last, but not least, my first steps in creating a custom figure of Oliver "Arrow" Queen. I'm not very schooled in the superhero universes, but I like the TV show based on the (Green)  Arrow a lot. Right now, I have this rough assembly to show you:

Making the figure look close enough to the TV show character requires some sculpting. Nothing too fancy, just a few dabs here and there to get the look of the outfit right.

That's it for now, I hope you like the things I'm working on. Thanks for checking out my blog and if you have the time, please have a look at my Facebook page as well:

Thursday, January 10, 2013

2012 in retrospect

Hi everyone, I hope you all had a great holiday season and a fresh start to the new year!

Since 2013 is only a couple of days old, let me take you back to 2012, which turned out to be quite Star Wars heavy!

First up is this female AT-AT Driver, which I made for Imperial moderator Tamer. Tamer is nuts about everything that has AT-ATs and Hoth involved. He also has a soft spot for the customizing community and doesn't hold back making the world realize there is such a community! I am sure you know or have heard of the Custom Action Figure News podcasts, which he and fellow customizer LucasClones host on a regular basis.

CAFN puts customizers in the spotlight, by having an hour long (or longer!) interview with  a particular customizer. I had the honour to be their guest back in late 2011 and after the interview Tamer convinced me to make him something nice. Well, something nice turned out into the AT-AT gal mentioned above:

Next is a second version of Jedi Master Ven Zallow, seen in one of the awesome mini movies promoting the Star Wars: The Old Republic game.

This was a commissioned figure for a fellow who took a liking to my first Ven Zallow. The hair is a bit different from the first one and the client request a lighter shade of green for the armour.

After Ven Zallow, I apparently got stuck in a period of projects that just wouldn't see completion. And of course I kept starting new ones in the process... :) But later on in 2012 I managed to quickly start and finish customs for one of my favourite customizing community collaborations: the Secret Santa custom exchanges! I first participated in such an event at years ago and have also been part of it at Imperial for the past two years. I don't know what it is, maybe the pressure of time, maybe the holiday spirit, but I always manage to whip up something new in an enthusiastic manner.

The first one is a female Endor Rebel Scout, made for UK customizer Wookieballs, the one who made that awesome carded vintage Boba Fett I showed you in the last update:

The other custom gift was for USA based customizer DanoftheDead. I made him this skilled Mon Calamari Rebel field medic, using parts of a Mon Calamari warrior figure and most of the body of the GI Joe ROC Heavy Duty figure. I designed the intergalactic "first aid" symbol on the fly, trying to stay away from the "Earthy" red cross:

As you can probably tell, I paid much attention to the details on these figures. From the custom made straps for the female scout to the wet looking lips and nostrils of the Mon Cal. That's just how I am, nuts about details!

Speaking of nuts, I picked up a trait from a professional customizer called Jimster and decided to use his method of packing customs:

In the spirit of Christmas I picked up a set of Ikea gift boxes, shaped like a Christmas tree, which were a perfect fit for custom action figures!

The last set of customs actually makes the circle complete. As I have mentioned above, I think Tamer and LucasClones do a wonderful job of promoting our fine hobby. I decided to immortalize them by making custom figures of both of them as veteran Imperial officers. I have to give a special shout out to fellow Imperial member DocOutlands for providing me with some head casts of the hard-to-find-for-a-fair-price GI Joe Chuckles figure, which apparently resembles Tamer in a way. Instead of going for the obvious Imperial green uniforms I added a touch of Incom (or Mr. Black as I'm known now), by making a two-tone coloured uniform for each. I was very happy the gifts arrived safe and sound early this year and of course that both gents really liked them!

And last, but cetainly not least: a completed non-SW custom. This is actually my very first Transformers custom and I have to say I probably bit of more than I could've chewed. Just repainting Transformer figures is quite a task by itself, but doing a full reshell of one is even more daunting. But I am quite pleased with it, as is my brother, for whom I made this one. My brother is a big Transformers fan and also happens to drive a very cool black Mini Cooper, complete with racing no. 53 on the doors, white racing stripes on the hood and chequered mirrors and roof. I took a RTS Bumblebee figure, sanded it down to a bare skeleton and attached a 1/32 Mini Cooper model kit to it. Unfortunately Coop, as Bumblebee was duly renamed, doesn't transform anymore, technically making him an "action master". But like I said, overall I am pleased with my first steps in Transformers customizing and it made me want to do that more often!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Has it been that long?!

By the Force, have I been neglecting my so called "blog"! I shall assume full responsability for losing track and apologize to He-Who-Chokes-From-A-Distance... So it could very well be this will be the last and final update!

All kidding aside, I'll be sure to update on a more regular basis. I've got so many projects on the workbench, all in various WIP stages. And no, Ulthane's still not finished yet! I thought I settled for the braid I made for him, but have been having second thoughts about it.

I'll post a wrap up soon of what's cooking in my secret lab, but in the meantime, I thought I'd share this awesome, awesome Secret Santa gift I received from fellow customizer and vintage Kenner connaisseur Wookie-Balls.

He went all out on making a vintage, Power of the Force carded Boba Fett. The colours on Fett are just sublime as is the paintwork itself. The card (unpunched!) is simply excellent, front and back. Being a guy whose first ever movie experience was Return of the Jedi at the age of 9, this sure brought back some memories from a long, long time ago.

Enough of my ramblings, enjoy these pictures of mr. Fett:

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Wolverine - DONE!

So, Wolverine's finished! Took a few pictures.... 45 to be exact, but I'll show a selection here. All pictures can be seen on my Facebook page, so you won't miss a thing!

But first, a huge thanks and big props to Speedleescustoms for posting his Wolverine back in June. That one immediately inspired me to go out and hunt down the necessary figures/parts to make my own. With a few different details and a custom made base I tried to make this a genuine Incom's custom, though.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wolverine: teaser vid!

Wolverine's nearly finished, just have to resolve some major issues with paint chipping on his shoulders. Here's a little teaser I made to entertain you, while I fix his shoulders and finish a base for Wolverine to stand on!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Bigger looks better

A small update on Wolverine. I redesigned the alternate head by giving it bigger er.... flaps. The original head was that of Toybiz' Stealth Wolverine seen here

I can see why Speedleescustoms (Paul) picked this head as an alternate one. It's very detailed, especially the five o'clock shadow Wolvie sports. But yeah, the mask definitely needs bigger ears... flaps... whatever.

Here's a shot of the sculpt work: