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 Post subject: Re: Mentalpower's customs -NEW- Aquagirl|Onomatopoeia - pg.3
PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 1:51 am 
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bat313 wrote:
Oh one more question, did you prime the huntress body or just paint right over it? Your paint job looks nice and flat. Also, did you seal it with something?


Sorry for the delay, bat313, I have been busy the last days at work.

I use no primer, I paint directly on the figures. This goes against what other customizers suggest, but I found that sometimes, if you use primer and several coats of paint, then I have problems in the articulations, as the result is too thick ant tends to be scratched. For me keeping the articulations is important. I use Tamiya paints, which stick fairly good to the plastic without primer.

To seal the figure I use Tamiya glossy varnish and a matt varnish sold in a Warhammer store in Barcelona.

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 Post subject: Mentalpower's customs -NEW- Romat-Ru|Amon Sur - pg.4
PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 1:54 am 
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It has been a long time since I've shown some finished customs... I have been very busy at work lately, so almost no time to advance on the customs.

After all the problems I had to solve to finish the Onomatopoeia custom, I wanted some easier custom for a change. I saw in awe how several people were doing Sinestro Corps customs using the Sinestro Corps Sinestro as a base, and then I thought I could do the same, starting with an Abin Sur head cast that I bought from BatStew.

A fast and simple custom, that's what I needed...

...but then my perfectionism had to turn on.

I made the head swap and I was quite happy to see that the Abin Sur head looks well-proportined on the Sinestro body, but there was something I did not like when I put the custom-to-be side by side with the JLU Abin Sur: the son would look bulkier and taller than the father.

Plus those days I received a JLU Tomar-Re figure I bough through eBay to do a Romat-Ru custom. Doing some research on the characteers I found out that Romat Ru is supposed to be bulkier and taller than Amon Sur. In that moment I saw it clear that I had to use the middle buck for Amon Sur, so I cracked open the body again... which was the starting point for...


Romat Ru

Image

As stated above, this one is a JLU Sinestro body with a JLU [i]Tomar-Re[/i] head. When I had put the Tomar-Re head in place I realized that the neck was too thin for that body. I checked the photos of other people who did this custom and most of them left the neck as it was, but for me this made the figure to look odd. So I used putty to adapt the neck proportions to the body.

Checking photos of others' customs, I saw that most people either kept the mask or just painted over, not hiding the mask lines sculpted on the head. In my case I decided to use putty not only to hide the mask lines but also to add the vertical scar lines that cross his eyes. Also something several people overlooks is that he has 4 fingers, not three, so I had to do some re-sculpting in the hands, similar to the one I did with my Classic Green Man custom. I also added the bracelets' rounded ornaments with some more putty.

The following is a photo of this phase of the project:

Image

Due to cracking the body open two times, there were some damages in the yellow paint that needed to be fixed. So I decided that, if I had to re-paint the yellow I could use the opportunity to improve those lines, because I did not liked the proportions of the yellow pattern on the chest. As other people have added some texture to the borders between the yellow and the black in their customs, I decided to do the same with paper.

Image

I also took the opportunity to flatten with putty the belt line that the Sinestro body has sculpted, so the yellow pike would smoothly pass over the belt line. I also added some texture to the white neck line, using a rubber band carefully cut and glued in place. The result of this can be seen below.


ImageImage

The figure had several imperfections in the paint applications, with not crisp lines here and there (specially the belt), plus the black was not smooth in all areas. So finally I had to paint ALL the figure, the yellow and the black. The only parts I did not paint on were the Sinestro corps logos on the chest and the arm band. during that process I decided that I had to do something witht he belt, it was not looking right. so I ended creating a texturized belt by means of three strips of paper painted in dark gray.

And the result, after several coats of paint and corrections here and there, is the following:

Image

The picture below shows how the neck is properly proprtined to the body after the re-sculpting. I am happy with the result:

Image

I felt a little stupid of having bought a Sinestro Corps Sinestro body to minimize painting, to then had it all painted as any other of my customs, but the bright side is that I learned a lot on Sinestro Corps costume details, whihc were very useful for the next custom...



Amon Sur


Image

This one is a JLU Metamorpho body with an Abin Sur head cast by BatStew. After all the experience I got re-painting a full Sinestro corps costume for Romat-Ru, having to paint one from scratch seemed not too difficult.

Two notes on some of the decisions I took on this figure. Although some people have made Amon Sur customs just using the Sinestro body, they have overlooked that Amon Sur never wore the yellow arm band. I liked that some people have went even further to paint the variation of the costume he wears in most of his appereances. In my case I go inspiration from two customs. The neck is inspired by texgnome's Amon Sur custom, and the legs are partially inspired in Jeffery's Amon Sur one.

So once I had chosen the costume design I wanted for Amon Sur, I started the project. I cracked the body open to adapt the head to the torso. When I glued the torso I used some putty to fix the left shoulder problem that this 'Kyle Rayner' buck body has (which I already explained in my Mentapower post).

After the experience I got while doing the Romat-Ru custom, I decided in this case to sculpt the lines of the bracelets directly in the plastic. The following is a photo of this stage of the project.

Image

As I did in the case of Romat-Ru, I used strips of paper to mark the limits of the yellow patters on the chest and back of the figure. For the back I decided to do three pikes, not one as it is the case of the JLU yellow Sinestro. I also used strips of paper to create a texturized belt. For the boots I wanted to make so many tiny details that I decided that I would paint them directly. The following is an intermediate snapshot of this process.

ImageImage

One of the things that gave me problems was to set the skin colour for Amon Sur. The picture above shows a red tone, which is the mostly used for him during the Sinestro Corps War. But It did not looked right to me. If Amon Sur is supposed to be from the same race as Abin Sur, his skin colour should be more pinkish or purplish. So I went to look for many reference images for Abin Sur, who has been depicted with different skin colours during the years. In the end I decided to go for something between purplish pink and magenta... but it took several trials and errors until I got the tone I was looking for.

Finally I added the logo using the decoupage technique and coated it all with varnish, the result being the following:

[img width=650 height=494]http://dchallofjustice.com/CJgallery/albums/userpics/10188/MP_017-AmonSur-1.JPG[/img]

I had a yellow lantern from a Minimates Sinestro that I decided to use it for Amon Sur:

Image

And to finish the post, a photo of Romat-Ru and Amon Sur, side by side, so you can see the differences. Another note for perfectionists: Amon Sur wears the ring in his right hand, while Romat-Ru wears his ring on his left hand. This was another reason for me to use these bodies, as they have exactly the proper hand for the ring closed into a fist. ;)

Image

I'm already preparing the next post that will show Ultraman and Power Ring I, so... stay tuned!!

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Last edited by mentalpower on Thu Mar 17, 2011 11:50 am, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Mentalpower's customs -NEW- Romat-Ru|Amon Sur - pg.4
PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 6:27 am 
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Great work and a damn better job than I did. I may Have to go back and redo mine.

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 Post subject: Re: Mentalpower's customs -NEW- Romat-Ru|Amon Sur - pg.4
PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 9:38 am 
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These look dynamite!


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 Post subject: Re: Mentalpower's customs -NEW- Romat-Ru|Amon Sur - pg.4
PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 9:51 am 
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An-Gel Sakura wrote:
Great work and a damn better job than I did. I may Have to go back and redo mine.


Angel, you need to evolve to the next step, from only painting and limb swapping to putty sculpting. I delayed it for years and years, thinking it would be very complicated, and now I wonder why the hell I waited so long! There are projects I ahd blocked for years that now are unblocking as I can sculpt the piece I was looking for!

If you want a quite easy material to start, try Tamiya's Epoxy Putty.

JuliusMarx wrote:
These look dynamite!


Thanks Julius!

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 Post subject: Re: Mentalpower's customs -NEW- Romat-Ru|Amon Sur - pg.4
PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 9:57 am 
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Where, in the local stores, do I buy Tamiya's Epoxy Putty?

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 Post subject: Re: Mentalpower's customs -NEW- Romat-Ru|Amon Sur - pg.4
PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 10:02 am 
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Well, the local stores near my place will not suit you, they are 8000 km too far away, I guess (unless you want to take the opportunity to visit Barcelona).

Don't you have any hobby store near your home? This epoxy putty is also used in RC models.

EDIT: this is the one I use:

http://www.modelsforsale.com/catalog/pr ... 25g-#87052

maybe if you do a search on Internet you will find who are the vendors.

EDIT 2: hmmm, I found it in the Tamiya America website.

http://www.tamiyausa.com/product/item.p ... t-id=87052

The odd thing is that it says it is 'discontinued'.

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Last edited by mentalpower on Thu Mar 17, 2011 10:24 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Mentalpower's customs -NEW- Romat-Ru|Amon Sur - pg.4
PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 10:15 am 
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And now you know why I don't use it. :cry: :cry: :cry:
Not because I think it's too complicated, but because I can't get my hands on any air-dry sculpty :cry: :cry: :cry:
The crayola magic sculpt is crap because it won't stick to the toy figure.

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 Post subject: Re: Mentalpower's customs -NEW- Romat-Ru|Amon Sur - pg.4
PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 10:27 am 
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An-Gel Sakura wrote:
Where, in the local stores, do I buy Tamiya's Epoxy Putty?


Your average big box retailer isn't going to carry it. A craft store might, but your best bet is to find a hobby specialty store.

And if you're not entirely sure about sculpting, I would instead recommend taking a beginners approach and go to home depot. In the painting aisle you'll find this stuff called Quik Plastik in a red and yellow cardback packaging. It's a pvc- based epoxy that's meant for bonding pvc plastic, but it's malleable and takes only 20 minutes to set and less than 24 hours to cure. More importantly, it's good for a budget. $4 for a 4-inch long tube, so it doesn't hurt your wallet to experiment :)


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 Post subject: Re: Mentalpower's customs -NEW- Romat-Ru|Amon Sur - pg.4
PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 10:43 am 
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Thanks, I'll try that.
As for sculpting, I've got a BA in Fine & Visual arts. I sculpt in metal, wood, clay, and ceramics.
I think I'll do fine as soon as I find the right stuff for customs.

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 Post subject: Re: Mentalpower's customs -NEW- Romat-Ru|Amon Sur - pg.4
PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 10:58 am 
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Almost forgot!

Mental, I'm loving what you did for Romat and Amon, but what prompted you to go with the comic-accurate pattern design for Amon as opposed to the factory pattern on Romat?
Quote:
Thanks, I'll try that. As for sculpting, I've got a BA in Fine & Visual arts. I sculpt in metal, wood, clay, and ceramics. I think I'll do fine as soon as I find the right stuff for customs.


Sorry about that, I probably should have said frugal instead of beginner. In any case, I'm in the same boat you are (minus the BA), and I still haven't found a sculpting medium I like yet. I was hoping Aves' Apoxie Sculpt would be the one, but after shelling out $40 I was rather frustrated to find it just didn't get along with Florida humidity, which was I suggested the less expensive alternative.


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 Post subject: Re: Mentalpower's customs -NEW- Romat-Ru|Amon Sur - pg.4
PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 11:23 am 
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Frugal is my middle name. :lol:


Love that Aquagirl too.

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 Post subject: Re: Mentalpower's customs -NEW- Romat-Ru|Amon Sur - pg.4
PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 11:44 am 
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Scratch wrote:
Almost forgot!

Mental, I'm loving what you did for Romat and Amon, but what prompted you to go with the comic-accurate pattern design for Amon as opposed to the factory pattern on Romat?


Hmm... tricky question. Wel, actually not that tricky. Romat-Ru wears exactly the same costume as Sinestro, arm band included, so when I was painting him I followed almost the same pattern the original figure had (except for the chest, check the two images below):

ImageImage

Amon Sur has a totally distinct costume from waist down and even around the neck in some comics, so in this one I took a careful look to the reference material I had and went for a more comic accurate version.

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 Post subject: Mentalpower's customs -NEW-Ultraman|Classic Power Ring -pg4
PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2011 2:35 am 
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Hello again:

So here you have, as promised, the post showing my Ultraman and Power Ring I customs. As I mentioned in the previous post, I am choosing simpler customs these days, as I am quite busy at work. With my current amount of available time, a very complicated custom could take ages!


Ultraman (Crime Society of Amerika)

Image

This is one of those customs that I call "I'm not going to pay THAT for the original figure, so I'll make mine". When I saw the JLU Ultraman figure Mattel did I decided I was not going to buy it. Horrible chest logo, horrible painted-only silver discs, belt still sculpted in the body... I was sure I could do it better myself.

For the base I chose an extra JLU Obsidian body I had in my fodder. The head and cape came from one of the zillion JLU Superman figures I have. First I cracked the body open to adapt the neck articulation to the head. It was then that I realized why Mattel is not using the flat bulky body for his own Ultraman: Superman's head does not fit! In this Mattel showed little foresight to ease reuse of heads and bodies. So I had to trim down a bit the neck area of the torso so the swivel would fit in.


Image

Once I solved the neck articulation problem and glued the body again, I made quite a lot of sanding to erase imperfections and mold lines. Ultraman's costume has very little details, so in this case it is important that all the body surface looks smooth.


Image

The next step was to sculpt the costume's metal discs with putty. For me it was clear that just painting them flat (as Mattel did) was not the right option. Actually these are the only extra detail of Ultraman's costume, so it was important to have them the right shape. It took me some sculpting and quite some sanding on those discs until they were smooth and ronded. In the end I was so happy that I was able to get the sculpted disks in the right shape that I coudn't stop myself to take a photo of it and I went forward, painting it all and adding the logo. So the next photo I have is already after some coats of paint and the decoupaged logo:

Image

From this point all I had to do was to improve the paint applications and coat it all with varnish (glossy for the costume, matt for the flesh). And the final result is as follows:

[img width=650 height=501]http://dchallofjustice.com/CJgallery/albums/userpics/10188/MP_017-UltramanII-1.JPG[/img]



Power Ring I (aka Classic Power Ring, Crime Society of America)

Next is a custom for the first Power Ring in the comics, from Earth 3. And you may be wondering why am I doing that Power Ring instead of the one made by Mattel. Well, this is an old story worth telling.

Back in 1986 the first comic that my parents bought me was a Spanish version of "Man of Steel" #1 (aka. the Superman reboot by John Byrne). The back cover had an advertisement for the Spanish edition of "Crisis on Infinite Earths" #1!!! I was thrilled seeing how many superheroes were depicted in the cover, so I kindly asked if we could buy that one the week after. So my second comic was Crisis #1! It is still cristal clear in my memory the emotion while looking to the first pages, seeing how the antimatter wave was arriving to Earth 3, and how a group of villains I never met before (the Crime Syndicate), dressed as members of the JLA, were fighting to save their Earth. I still remember it as a midblogging experience, and how odd this group of supervillains was to me.

Now let's move back to the present. I have an excel file where I keep track of the customs I've made and the projects I will do next. Having a look to my "next projects" list I suddenly realised that the first time I met those characters was in the pages of Crisis on Infinite Earths. Then I realised that, actually, what my subconcious is doing is trying to fill-in the gaps on those characters in Crisis which I don't have in figure version! And from those characters, the ones that come to me once and once again are the ones from Crisis #1, as I read that comic lots and lots of times, trying to understand what was going on and who were all those guys. I have those panels inprinted in my memory, and you will see how much later.

So when I was working on the 'modern', Antimatter Universe Ultraman custom, oddly enough the next one that came to my mind was no other than the 'classic' Power Ring. Yes, I'm planning to do Power Ring III (with one of the zillion John Stewart figures I have), but I had to do this guy first.


Image

For the Classic Power Ring I picked a JLU Kyle Rainer body. I've sculped the gloves and boot lines directly into the plastic, and made lots of sanding to erase imperfections and mold lines.


Then I used putty to fix the assimetric shoulder problem this body has, and also sculpted the mask pointy sides and the ring. I spent some remarkable time with the ring, as I had very clear in my memory how it should be, I didn't needed to go to search for reference pictures for it.

The following picture shows this first phase of the project.

ImageImage

Next step was to give it a first coat of paint to test if the colors I chose were the right ones. And for once the first test already matched my expectations.

ImageImage

From this moment on I was not in control of myself (as if Volthoom himseld had possesed me), I had an urge to finish the custom, to have the classic Power Ring in my hands! I prepared some thin stripes of paper that I pre-painted in clear green and carefully applied them to the arms, side and legs of the figure. Then I decoupaged the logo on the chest and coated it all with matt varnish (except the ring, which is coated in glossy varnish).

And here you have more photos of the result:

[img width=650 height=501]http://dchallofjustice.com/CJgallery/albums/userpics/10188/MP_017-PowerRingI-1.JPG[/img]

As I mentioned above, the ring was an important detail for me. I had the image of that ring in my mind, crisp and clear, all due to this panel from Crisis #1 drawn by George Perez:

Image

So here you have, a close-up that allows to better see the ring. I wish my camera could do better.

Image


And that's all for now. I have finished already the Power Ring III and Superwoman customs, I hope I can take some photos this weekend. So stay tuned for more updates!

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 Post subject: Re: Mentalpower's customs -NEW-Ultraman|Classic Power Ring -
PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2011 7:23 am 
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Excellent work on both. Where do you get the decals for these?

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