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 Post subject: Re: Mentalpower's customs -NEW- Sun Boy! - pg.5
PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2011 5:21 am 
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Awesome work.

I hope part 4 is Blok (with 5 being the White Witch) but I'm thinking I'll have to wait a bit longer for those... :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Mentalpower's customs -NEW- Sun Boy! - pg.5
PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2011 5:25 am 
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bnjmnrlyr wrote:
Awesome work.

I hope part 4 is Blok (with 5 being the White Witch) but I'm thinking I'll have to wait a bit longer for those... :wink:


Thanks for the comments!

it won't be in parts 4 or 5, but soon half of your hopes will be shown here ;-)

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 Post subject: Mentalpower's customs -NEW- Shrinking Violet! - pg.6
PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2011 6:03 am 
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Hello:

So this is part four in the series of posts about my custom entries for the Legion of Superheroes Challenge. Today's spotlight is on a character that got a lot more interesting after some terrorists kidnapped her...

Shrinking Violet

ImageImage

I've seen many customs of her in the late 70's outfit, usually with JLU Fire as base. I decided to go for her look after being rescued from the Imskian terrorists, back in the 80's, with her short haircut and even shorter patience. I used several reference pics of her drawn by Steve Lightle, which used to give her a very elegant look.

The base for the custom is a Mattel JLU Ice figure, with sculpted sleeves and belt, and a paper-made skirt.

This was a custom I did in parallel to others. I started to work on its sleeves, using the putty remnants I had when sculpting for other customs. I gave shape to it bit by bit, until it had the right proportions.

Image


The problem of using many bits of putty is that it required lots of sanding to have a smooth surface. I also sanded the rest of the body to erase mold lines and imperfections.

For the skirt I was looking for some vinyl material, but didn't suceeded. The solution came to me during one weekend lunch with my wife's family. Some bombons were offered with the coffee and when I took off the paper piece that wrapped the bottom of a bombom... dang! It was the right shape, and I knew from experience that I could give it some plastic consistency by applying several coats of acrylic paint.

The skirt did introduced a bit of completity on the customizing process, as I had to plan it carefully and advance some painting before all the sculpting was made. In particular the skirt area needed to work in layers to avoid it sticking to the legs' paint. So first I painted the legs, pants and inner side of the skirt, then coated them with varnish and waited for it to dry. Then glued skirt around her waist. The photos below show this stage of the process. Also show how I made some paint tests to the torso and hair:

ImageImage


The next step was to sculpt her belt on top of the paper skirt. I also worked a bit more in the sleeves, sanding them to get even smoother shapes. I also added a ring from a small piece in my custom fodder.

ImageImage


Then I painted it all, with special care to the black collar area and the face. As I was working in the painting details, I also worked a bit more in the sleeves, smoothening more and more the sculpt until it had the shape I had in my mind. Only then I painted them too, then coated it all in matt varnish, except for the ring that was coated in glossy varnish.

And here you have more view of the final result:

Image

Image


Shrinking Violet is the figure that closes wave 1 of the customs I made for the Legion of Superheroes Challenge. Here you have the wave 1 figures, side by side...


Image


And this photo closes the post. I hope you find it interesting (I guess Glenn2000 should be happy now :wink: ). Part 5 will reveal many details about the first figure in wave 2.

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 Post subject: Re: Mentalpower's customs -NEW- Shrinking Violet! - pg.6
PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2011 7:33 am 
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Really really awesome work! I want those!!!!!!!!!


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 Post subject: Re: Mentalpower's customs -NEW- Shrinking Violet! - pg.6
PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2011 7:45 am 
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Not that I want to detract from your amazing efforts in any way, but it would truly be incredible if you got your hands on a mini Atom figure to customize into a mini Shrinking Violet ... :wink:

but again, those four are Fantastic! and I can't wait to see which of my other guesses make it into wave 2! :D

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 Post subject: Re: Mentalpower's customs -NEW- Shrinking Violet! - pg.6
PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2011 8:41 am 
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Drop dead fabulous! Both Sun Boy and Vi are just amazing and I love the group shot! Thanks so much for sharing!


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 Post subject: Mentalpower's customs -NEW- Bouncing Boy! - pg.6
PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 9:05 am 
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Hi all:

As I advanced in part 4 of this series of posts around my entries to the Legion of Superheroes Challenge, today's post is focused on the first figure of wave 2.


Bouncing Boy

ImageImage

I must admit that, although I am a classic Legion of Superheroes fan, Bouncing Boy is not one of my favourites. It is a funny character with a goofy origin, which had matured with the years, from the moment he married Duplicate Girl to the time he was appointed as one of the Legion Academy teachers.

Bouncing Boy was not in my priority custom list all these years. But then quite some months ago I saw a Thinkway Wall-E Captain figure in the toy aisle and the idea came to me in a flash: "wow, that would be a cool base for a Bouncing Boy custom!".

I didn't bought the Captain figure that day, though, until Zaxilla presented a Bouncing Boy custom with exactly the same base some months ago. Zaxilla's custom only reinforced my idea to do mine, so I went into a search for a Captain figure for the custom, which took a week or so, until I found one in a toy
shop's sale.

The first obvious step was to cutt off the captain's hat, using a x-acto knife. The head is made from a hollow, slightly rubbery plastic piece, so this was not that difficult to do. The result of this step is shown in the picture below.

Image


Next step was to sculpt the hair and collar with putty. The hair sculpt is totally inspired in Zaxilla's, who did a great job there. For the collar I did my own version, making it a bit more rounded and streamlined. Also added some putty to cover the feet toes.

The figure has some copyright text in the back imprinted in the plastic, so I had to cover that also with putty. But this was a bit trickier than expected. The torso is also hollow and made from a rubbery material, so if I only added the minimum putty to make the text dissapear it would peel off while manipulating the figure, as the torso is pecially flexible at the waist line. So I had to put a thicker putty patch and then apply some superglue to the borders to avoid them unsticking.

Then I had to spend quite a lot of time sanding this patch so the connection between putty and plastic would be invisible while not thinning the patch too much. You can see this stage of the process in the photos below:

ImageImage

With all the sculpting finished I made the first paint shots, basically to decide the proportions of the different costume lines. Something that took some time was to decide the belt height and width. Zaxilla went for a lower belt line, while I chose a more centered one.

ImageImage

From this point on it was all about improving the paint aplications, carefully working on the different costume lines. The belt line was quite time consuming, to make sure it was straight and crisp all around the figure's waist. I also took some time to improve the face expression. I had originally planned to change the facial expression with some putty, but after all the problems I experienced with the bottom patch I decided to only imporve a bit the eyes and eyebrows to make it less inexpressive.

A ring was added by glueing a small sounded piece coming from my custom fodder. Then all the figure was coated in matt varnish, except for the ring, which was coated in glossy varnish.

And below you have some more pics showing the final result:

Image

ImageImage


And that's all for now. Part 6 will be a longer post on a custom that required quite more time to finish it.

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 Post subject: Re: Mentalpower's customs -NEW- Bouncing Boy! - pg.6
PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 9:40 am 
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Absolutely loved your Bouncing Boy! Genius! Thanks again for sharing your talent!

I would love to see a group shot of all your Legionnaires!


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 Post subject: Re: Mentalpower's customs -NEW- Bouncing Boy! - pg.6
PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 1:30 pm 
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I've seen him used for Bouncing Boy before, but this one looks better.
They all look fantastic, but I'm just more of a JLU color accurate fan though.

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 Post subject: Re: Mentalpower's customs -NEW- Bouncing Boy! - pg.6
PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 11:51 am 
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That Bouncing Boy looks great! Very nicely done! Great work! :D


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 Post subject: Re: Mentalpower's customs -NEW- Bouncing Boy! - pg.6
PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 10:43 am 
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Glenn2000 wrote:
Absolutely loved your Bouncing Boy! Genius! Thanks again for sharing your talent!

I would love to see a group shot of all your Legionnaires!


Don't worry, I will do a group shot once I finishe a few more customs...
An-Gel Sakura wrote:
I've seen him used for Bouncing Boy before, but this one looks better.
They all look fantastic, but I'm just more of a JLU color accurate fan though.


I'm not a JLU-color accurate, I am accurate to the version I choose. In thsic ase most of the customs are comic-accurate.

TwoFace103 wrote:
That Bouncing Boy looks great! Very nicely done! Great work! :D


Thanks for your comments, TwoFace103!

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 Post subject: Mentalpower's customs -NEW- Sensor Girl! - pg.6
PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 10:43 am 
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Hello guys:

So this is part 6 in the series of posts about the entries I submitted to the Legion of Superheroes Challenge. Today's attention is on a lady that got a lot more interesting once she surrounded herself in mistery...


Sensor Girl

ImageImage

There has been some discussion among the classic Legion of Superheroes fans on wether Princess Projectra got better once she became Sensor Girl or not. Power-wise she became far more interesting, not only generating illusions but also being able to perceive things through the ilusionary barriers of reality (such as distance or scale). Some argue that her costume worsened, though (and I actually could agree on that, I like her 70's costume more). But when I had to choose which version of the character I wanted to create in plastic form I didn't had this sort of dillema. I started reading Legion of Superheroes comics around the time Princess Projectra became Sensor Girl. So for me that was the version of the character I prefered. As a reference I used pics from both Steve Lightle's and Greg Larocque's runs in the comic. I also used as reference the pics from two previous Sensor Girl customs that inspired mine: the one from Great White Customs and the one from Darth Ennis.

One curious fact about this custom is that I had started it months before the Legion of Superheroes Challenge was announced, but it was one of the last ones to be finished, as there were some many steps to be followed, many details to be added and some unexpected delays along the way. I had already selected a base figure: Mattel JLU Silver Banshee with the hair piece from Mattel JLU Wonder Woman v1 (aka. the 4PoA one). I chose this hair piece as it was closer to the look I wanted to give to the figure. Originally I had chosen a Mattel JLU Huntress cape for the custom, as shown in the picture below:

Image


However, when I was going to start with the putty sculpting I reconsidered the decision. Looking at Darth Ennis' custom I saw that the medal looked too high on Huntress' cape if you don't re-sculpt the cape on the chest area. So looking into it carefully I realised that the Mattel JLU Doctor Light cape would look better with the lower cape-medal connection I had in mind. In the end I used a Mattel JLU Superwoman cape, which is already yellow, so I would not have to paint the cape's inside, reducing the odds of sticking to the body paint. I painted the outside of the cape in red early in the process to avoid its paint sticking with the hair's one later.

Having sorted out the base figure the first step for me was to adapt the hair to the head. I used putty to fill-in the empty spaces, and this actually proved to be the right decision, as we will see later. While the putty hardened I trimmed the ear rings and improved the hands' sculpt in the plastic, as it had horrible mold lines that actually gave her horrible fingers. Rest of body was sanded too to erase mold lines and imperfections.

Once the hair was glued to the head by means of the hardened putty, I sculpted the face, hair lines and fringe. I also sculpted the shoulder pads (in typical 80's style), gloves and belt. I also used some putty to reconstruct some of her fingers. At that time I didn't sculpted her boot tops because I had to decide wether I would do them in Steve Lightle's style (v-shaped top) or Greg LaRocque's (flat-shaped top) one.

You can see this stage of the process in the images below:

ImageImage


The next step was to sketch the costume lines with pencil to set up all the proportions. This was an important step, as I was planning to do the black lines in the costume with glued paper, not just paint them, and thus I would be unable to move them later if I didn't liked them. With the costume lines sketched I then sketched the boot top also with a pencil to imagine how each option would look. Finally I went for Lightle's one, and sculpted it in putty.

ImageImage


Then I added the black lines carefully, made by some paper strips previously painted in black which were superglued to the figure following the sketched lines. While doing this I decided that the mask lines would be painted instead, to have a smooth transition between the black line and the eye's line.

At this point I made the first paint test to see the overall look of the figure, to check if paint would scratch in the articulations and also to test which gold paint would look best with that red. My first choice for gold (a light one) was already ok and is the one I used. I gave another coat of paint to the cape's red side and varnishing it, to avoid it sticking to the hair later. I added the ring to her right fist, using the same small rounded piece I use in other Legion of Superheroes customs. The image below shows this step of the process, which already gave a pretty good idea on how this custom would look in the end.

Image


My plan was then to focus on the face mask and the limits between mask and hair. For that I made a first sketch of the black mask lines and the eyes and painted the hair in yellow. I was about to start working on the cape when I realised that the bottom of the hair piece was making too much presure on the cape, not only sticking but even scratching the paint on both the hair and cape. After a careful look to it I finally decided to trim the inside of the hair piece a bit, so it would fall straight down following the cape, not crashing into it. But for doing this trimming I had to take the hair off the figure again, which was strongly stuck in place due to the putty I used. Doing this created some cracks in bits of the sculpted hair around the mask, which added into the things to fix later.

Image


The image above is interesting as it shows how using the putty to adapt the hair to the head had created a negative mold in the exact shape of the head. This was good as I could put it back later exactly in the same position. From this I learned that putty is a very good option to adapt pieces one another (in the past I used to only glue them in place, an example of this is Dream Girl's head which was just glued in place into the hair piece, with some space left between head and hair).

In the images below we can see the improved hair once I put it back together. The side view shows how it followed the cape down:

ImageImage

Image


At this point the next step was to sculpt the cape and medal connection. For the medal I used a small piece of plastic that had the exact size and thickness I needed. So all I had to care for was to shape an extension for the cape which would meet the medal. Then I sanded it carefully to have a smooth surface. The photo below depicts the result of this step:

Image


I then painted the inside of the hair and the outside of the cape again, coated them with varnish and waited 2 days for the varnish to be completely dry. Only then I glued the hair back to the head and restored the hair line sculpting to eliminate the cracks. Then I focused on the black mask lines and the eyes, making them smoother and crisp. I also improved the paint applications in the rest of the figure and painted the S logo in the medal.

Finally I used matt varnish for the hair and costume except for the belt, the cape medal and the ring, which were coated in glossy varnish.

And here you can see some extra shots of the final result:

ImageImage

If you have made it to this paragraph I hope you enjoyed the description. This is a figure that I put lots of attention and love for some months, so there was a lot to say about it. I am already working on part 7 and I can already tell you... it won't be so long!

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 Post subject: Re: Mentalpower's customs -NEW- Sensor Girl! - pg.6
PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 11:02 am 
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I fondly recall the debate in Legion fandom as to whether or not Sensor Girl was really Kara Zor-El when she appeared.

Fabulous rendition of her! Your tallent is amazing!


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 Post subject: Mentalpower's customs -NEW- Element Lad! - pg.6
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 6:17 am 
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Hello:

This is part 7 of the series of posts about my entries to the Legion of Superheroes Challenge. You may have noticed a gap between parts 6 and 7. As some of you know, Texgnome1, Orion Man and myself have been busy the last two weeks starting the JLU Custom Wiki (http://jlucustoms.wikia.com/wiki/JLU_Customs_Wiki), and it has taken all my free time for the last days.

Today's post focuses on a character that has transmuted over the years, switching personality (and sexual option) from writer to writer...

Element Lad

ImageImage

As I explained in the Sensor Girl post, I started reading the Legion of Superheroes comics around the time Projectra became Sensor Girl. That was the early 80's, when Steve Lightle's run finshed and Greg Larocque became the regular penciller of the book. And the leader of the group at that time was Element Lad. It is funny that, although years and years have passed, when I think about Legion of Superheroes leaders, the first one that comes to my mind is always Element Lad.

So to me he was one of the first characters in my Legion to-do list, but got delayed because I could not find a good base
figure to use. I saw in awe the customs by Great White Customs (love the chosen head) and Victor Kraven (with that metallic paint for the suit), but could not find a head with the right hair shape. Since I've started with the putty sculpting
that was no longer a limitation, I only had to find the right face. Surprisingly enough when I went through all the candidates in my custom fodder the one that was closer to what I had in mind was... Mattel JLU Brainiac 5!!!

The choice for a costume was straightforward to me: it had to be the costume from the early 80's. So I recollected many reference pics from Steve Lightle and Greg LaRocque runs in the book.

The first step was to sculpt the hair. It was unclear to me how to create a texture in the hair surface that would give the impression of the short, curled hair that Element Lad had back in the 80's, so actually I went straight away into experimentation, as I was adding the putty to the head. I used the rounded end of a sewing pin to create a first slightly scorched pattern in the putty surface. Then I used the tip of the pin to create some tiny holes superposed to the previous pattern. Surprisingly enough the combination of those two patterns made the effect I was looking for. You can see the result in the photo below.

ImageImage

Next step was to sand all the body carefully to erase the mold lines and imperfections. Then I made a first paint test, sketching the costume lines, with the goal to set up the proportions of the different black regions.

The following is a shot of this stage of the process:

ImageImage

Then I focused on improving the paint applications, working on the lines to make them crisp and smooth. I had to go back again and again to the reference pics to set the costume lines properly, adapting them to the proportions of the JLU body. At that point I added the ring, made from a small round piece in my custom fodder. At this point the custom had the aspect shown in the images below.

ImageImage

Next step was to add the logo. I made several sketches of the logo in paper, and chose the one that best fitted the costume lines. Instead of painting it I decided to do the final logo in a piece of paper with the right shape, pre-painted in skull white, and glued in place.

To finish the custom I had to decide how to varnish it. Element Lad's costume back in the 80's was usually depicted in a way that suggested that it was not a regular piece of cloth. Specially the dark part of it was supposed to be so shiny, strange material. So to give this special loog I decided to coat the magenta parts in matt varnish and then the black parts in glossy varnish. I am happy with the effect I got, the costume looks different to others. The head was also coated in matt varnish, while the ring and logo were coated in glossy one.

And here you have some extra shots of the final result:

Image
ImageImage

So make sure to come back soon for part 8, to know the story about the last custom that made it into the challenge.

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 Post subject: Re: Mentalpower's customs -NEW- Element Lad! - pg.6
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 8:30 am 
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Oh man, I love these. Can't wait for another group shot with all the ones you've done.


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