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PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 7:03 am 
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Great stuff there man and hopefully Vandal Savage makes his appearance in about 2 days.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 7:03 am 
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To close my posts on the entries I planned for the AFi JLU custom Showcase, in this post I'll show the entries I was planing to add as a bonus, thinking (at the time) that they were off-limits to MATTEL.

Birdman and Black Vulcan

I have already shown in this thread my Birdman and Black Vulcan customs. These customs were both meant for the JLU Custom Showcase.

Image

In the case of Birdman this was clearly an off-limits character, but I thought it would create one laugh or two. In the case of Black Vulcan it was unclear if it was off-limits or not, as the status of the character was highly debated in the AFI forums. After NYCC it was revealed that not only the Hanna-Barbera characters int he super Friends show are not off-limits, but also they are already in Mattel plans!


Athena


Although Athena is a character present in the DC universe (specially in Wonder Woman comics), I'm not using its look in the DC books, but the look of Athena in the Saint Seiya Series, where she has a more prominent role.

This custom uses the original 5POA JL [i]Wonder Woman[/i] as basis, with the hair coming from a Toy Biz Greatest Moments Electra figure. The fringe is made from a vinil piece glued to the base of the hair. I sanded down the boots int he figure, and left the rest, as it was going to be hidded by the dress.

The image below shows the early shots of the figure in progress. The dress itself is made from a very thin paper (the same used in sewing for doing templates) which absorbs acrilic paint so well that gets a plastic texture. The elastic band on the waist was only placed there for the shot. The herald staff is made from a long cocktail wood stick and pieces of cardboard carefully following the eagle design in the anime.


Image

The right side of the image shows my first tests on coating the top of the staff with a thin metalic foil, which comes from... a fake-gold chocolate coin! This test showed me that the material was not hard to work with and that I cold use it also in the figure itself.

So the next steps were to create an upper arm bracelet, belt and collar with paper, and to add small pieces to them to create patterns that, once covered with the foil, would look like engravings.

Once the foil was added, just minor touches to the dress were needed, including a matt varnish coating.

The result is shown below

Image

And just to show that it is in scale with other Saint Seiya Vintage figures, you can see the custom along The Silver Eagle Saint and the Gold Leo Saint.

Image

And this ends my multi-part post on the would-be entries for last year's AFI JLU Custom showcase. And just this time I will not reveal what next post is about, basically because I haven't decided yet :D. See ya!

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2009 12:17 pm 
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I've just finished a Lightning Lass custom. It is made from a JLU Galatea figure. In principle it would have been a straight repaint, but when looking at the face closely I found out the sculpt was worse than I expected. Basically one eye is bigger than the other, and one protudes more from the face than the other. To me this looks as and mold problem.

So prior to painting the figure I had to fix a bit the eyes and also soften the chin lines. So I did three things:

- I acted in the figure's right eye, sculpting the eye lashes shorter, more or less to the lenght of the other side of the face

- I acted in the jaw and chin line, sanding down imperfections and giving it a more natural look to it

- I added a small round plastic piece in the right hand to become her Legion ring.

Once this was made I started the painting. I made a first paint test in the WIP forum, which helped me to check on the overall look and the proportions.


Image
Image

One tricky decision was the hair colour to choose. Although She and her brother (Lightning Lad) are supposed to be red-heade, Mattel gave finally to the JLU Lightning Lad figure a brown hair colour. So I tried a lighter brown for her and also an orange, and none of them was quite what I looked for. So finally I went with a mixture of light ocre with a bit of orange.

After this the most time-consuming parts was to detailed, crisp lightning bolts on the chest and back of the figure, and to paint the eyes. Here the trick was in the make-up, hiding the imperfections... more precisely drawing the new eye lashes, so they would hid the different shapes and sizes of both eyes. I worked on each eye from inside out: first the white of the eyes, then the pupils, then the black eye lashes all arround (I picked as a model the eye lashes from the JLU Ice figure) and then the skin tone, giving the exact shape and thinnes to the lashes I wanted to give.

And the final result is shown below:

Image

You can see the difference between the original Galatea and Lightning Lass below: See how the eyes were painted in Galatea and how I painted them:

Image

And to close the post, just one shot of the brothers together:

Image

(please note: The ring in Lightning Lad's hand is not original, I added it)

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Last edited by mentalpower on Mon Jul 19, 2010 10:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2009 12:26 pm 
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In this post I want to show some customs I have already published elsewhere, just in case you've missed them...


Darkstar

This is one custom I made of Darkstar, based on the Toy Biz Spiderman Spiderwoman figure. Here the tricly bit was to cutt off part of the hair on the face, and re-sculp the left side of the face. The tiara is made of a piece of cardboard, hardened with superglue. The rest just required a quite steady hand to paint all those thin lines.

Image


Guardian

This is a example of a custom I made wne I decide I was not going to pay for an expensive Toy Fare exclusive figure of the Guardian (which was in fact a not so good repaint using the Archangel body). In my case I choose a Toy Biz Spiderman Daredevil figure as basis. The only sculpting I did was in his left knee (which in the original Daredevil figure was slighly flexed) to increase the articulation range and allow for it to be posed straight. The tricky bit here was to get the line work crisp, and I was really happy with the final result. By the way, the figure is fully articulated (as in all my customs), it was also tricky to ensure that the paint would not peel off in the articulations.

Image

Siryn

This was one character I liked a lot and was surprised Toy Biz didn't made to complete the X-Force team. So finally I decided to do one myself. I wanted also to create the kind of cicular cape the character had at that time (similar to her father's one) and wanted to do a better job that Toy Biz on that.

So finally I picked a Toy Biz Marvel She-Force Wolfsbane figure with the hair of a Toy Biz Marvel She-Force Dazzler. First I sanded down Wofsbane's hair until Dazzler head could fit on it. Then I went to investigate a way to create the mini-capes. Finally I used very thin paper that is glued to both the body and the inner side of the arms. The lenght of it was designed so it would keep almost the full range of movements for the arms. The part of the minicapes that is glued to the arms and body was then hidden by the paint applications, so it is almost seamless.

The result can be seen below. At the time it was the custom I was most proud off, until a year lated I made the Lobo figure I've shown already in page 1 of this thread.


Image

And to close the post, a DC character... but none of the 'big guns'...


General Glory

Yep! I really loved those few episodes of the Justice League series where General Glory appeared. So when I had a Toy Biz Spiderman Electro Wars Captain America immediately I knew I coudl do a plastic rendition of him!

The most time-consuming parts were, on one side, to make all those paper add-ons simulating the wing feathers, and on the other side, painting those stripes in the legs... so they would look even in a quite uneven surface...

And here you have the result...

Image

Just one detail: the belt buckle is a regular paper clip, cut and bent in the appropriate shape.

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Last edited by mentalpower on Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 6:24 am 
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Astonishing customs! Really nice work! Thanks so much for sharing!


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 9:56 pm 
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Damn, good stuff! Birdman, Kestral and Heatwave are probably my faves. Ingenious way to make an Esmeralda as well. Kudos

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AD&D wants-Mettaflame, Hawkler, Ogre King SS, Tiamat and Book of Spells accessory

Madballs Headpopper wants-Oculous Orb and Dustbrain

M.U.S.C.L.E figures

Have to trade=$.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2009 12:08 am 
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Mental, General Glory is wonderful!

The gold feathering is simply.... stunning!

As I have said before, I plan on experimenting with your board/glue ideas. Very intriguing, very fun.

I need to read this post again to review the finer points. Any other advice regarding the paper/glue technique would be cherished!

Well done.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2009 10:00 am 
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Just one for now: Watch out your finger tips! the Glue tends to filter through the paper to your fingers, and then you'll be peeling dried glue and some skin off for some days... ;-)

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 Post subject: Re: Mentalpower's customs
PostPosted: Mon Jul 19, 2010 10:46 am 
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Ok, so after several months without adding any new shots of my customizing work, here you have some recent ones, all of them part of the Flash Family...

Zoom

First one is a quite typical custom, although I have not gone through the standard way. I've seen lots of Professor Zoom/Zoom repaints made using some Flash figure as basis. (I have a Professor Zoom made from a straight Kenner Superpowers Flash). But in my case I have taken a Kenner Total Justice/JLA Professor Zoom figure to make a better modern Zoom custom. Why? Because I wanted to have a modern Zoom figure that would match my modern Wally figure from the JLA series. Plus it had the advantage is that I had almost no painting to be done. The inconvenient: all the re-sculpting I had to do in those horrible Total Justice boots!

So the only challenge here, apart of the obvious modification of the chest symbol and eyes, was to re-sculpt the boots (especially the boot tops and the leg muscles exposed by the receding boot top) without needing to re-paint the yellow. This meant to be extra-careful in all the process to avoid scratching the yellow part of the figure.

It took quite some hours of careful x-acto knife trimming and then sanding (with three types of sanding paper) to get the result shown here. And I am happy with it...

Image

It is easier to see all the changes introduced in the figure if we place it side-by-side with the TJ Flash...

Image

Image


Golden Age Flash

THIS is one of the custom figures I am really happy about. It has been for years and years in my todo list (actually, it has been 20 years in my list, now that I think about it!), wondering how I would do the Mercury-like helmet (remember here my problems getting any good putty material). Until I saw the Minimates Golden Age Flash mini-figure. As soon as I saw it I realized my long-lasting project was finally possible!

And went home to do it. In all this time I had it clear in my mind that the figure would not be done in JLU -style, as it should perfectly fit the style of the Kenner Super Powers. As I had no Super Powers body available, I used as basis a Mattel Secret Wars Magneto body. After a careful search in my box of supply parts, the head comes from a bootleg mask-less Robin from the Kenner Batman Forever line.

The first thing was to adapt the new head to the body, which took quite some re-engineering and a bit of drilling. Solved that part then I had to trim out Magneto's gloves, taking the opportunity to sculpt the sleeves line in the wrists without need of adding any putty. The top of the head was cut to glue the helmet. The boots' top and the belt were created by means of paper, hardened with Super-glue (as in many of my customs).

A tricky part was how to get some classic-looking boot wings that would match the ones in the helmet. After some thinking i found out I could take JLU Flash earpieces and, with just some paper add-ons, make them look as the classic ones.

And then it was just to paint it all in the proper colours, with special attention to the bolt on the chest. And I'm really happy with the final result...

Image

Image


Just for scale comparison, a shot with Barry Allen and Wally West...

Image


Jay Garrick was one of the first Golden Age heroes with a stable girlfriend, and one of the few with a stable wife. So I really felt I had to find a way to do a....

Joan Garrick


This is not really a custom, it is just a repaint. The only clever thing is the chosen figure: Playmates Star Trek: The Next Generation Beverly in 1940's attire. With just some touches of paint it makes a very good Joan Garrick, I think...

Image

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Last edited by mentalpower on Mon Jul 19, 2010 11:10 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Mentalpower's customs - Update (July 19, 2010)
PostPosted: Mon Jul 19, 2010 10:58 am 
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Nice work brother.

I like how you are able to mix different styles of figures to build a custom that best suits the character you are creating.

Keep 'em coming please.

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Couldn't have said it better myself.


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 Post subject: Re: Mentalpower's customs - July 27 - Captain Marvel!
PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2010 7:38 am 
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Hi again:

So here I am to show you more from my recent customs...

This time the characters were made in the JLU line, but I made my own versions, and I'm very happy with them...


Captain Marvel

So yes, Mattel did the character, and lots of us were happy about it, until you place it side by side with other super-strong characters in your toy collection. Then Captain Marvel, who is supposed to be a muscle power-house, looks a bit skinny, at least to me.

So I went to create my own, Captain Marvel, one I was more happy about it. As always I had to document myself to try to find the version I really wanted to create. In the end I used a combination of Alex Ross' and Jerry Ordway's style to create a bulkier (and a bit cheesy) Captain Marvel. It is all based on the Kenner Adventures of Superman Superman figure. I sculpted the hair line and the jaw, cut down the cape (and used part of the remnant to create the collar), thin template paper to create the belt and boot-top (trying to come with a more fluid look for those, closer to Alex Ross' designs of the character). The wristbands are made of some rubberbands that are used by dentists (I have to thank my sister for the suggestion and the bands supply). It saved me some sculpting, but it was quite some work to get the paint to stick to them. And you can see that, instead of painting the cape's lazes, I went the hard way and made each one of them, again taking Alex Ross' look as an inspiration.

And here you have the result...

Image

Now, you may wonder if the guy matches with the JLU Shazam wizard and Mary Marvel. Wonder no more:

Image

According to the drawings by Jerry Ordway, it is pretty in scale, as Mary Marvel is a bit shorter than Captain Marvel.

And then, let us see it side by side with the JLU one...

Image

Image

Apart of being bulkier and taller, one of the things I liked of the body I chose is that it is more dynamic than the JLU one, while keeping its animated look and feel.

Now you may say: "but I think the JLU cape looks better than the one you've manufactured, pal". Don't you worry, I have that covered...

Image

...yes, I've also adapted the JLU cape to be used with my custom figure, and it works fine, don't you think? ;D

So, if I just showed you a Captain Marvel custom... guess who is coming now?...

Black Adam

Yes, one has to keep the balance in the Universe.. ying and yang and all that stuff. So after doing the Captain Marvel custom, a Black Adam one was due, basically with the same motivations in mind (the JLU figure is again a bit small and skinny).

But you will see that I went in a slightly different direction with this one: the technique is similar but with a non-animated look. Why? While Captain Marvel is a cheesy, cartoony character, I felt Black Adam is a serious bloke, that needed a less cartoony look. After looking in my custom fodder box the best option I found was... Toy Biz Spiderman Punisher!!!

Image

I know this choice of base figure may not be popular for some of you. I am quite happy with the result, though, as it has this more serious look I was looking for. In the future I might revisit this custom to partially resculp the nose and the hair.

As in the case of Captain Marvel, let us put this figure side by side with the Wizard Shazam...

Image

Now that I see the photos, I think it is clearer how the bracelets look like if you look at Black Adam's. The steps taken for this custom are similar to the ones for Captain Marvel, with the addition of a intermediate step where I had to re-sculpt the Punisher abs. Other than that, the rest consists on the same list of add-ons, except for the cape.

And to finish, a comparison shot with the JLU one...

Image

I still think Mattel should have made Black Adam with no cape, and in the bulkier JLU body. My custom brings a more muscular version of the character. The only thing I might agree is that the JLU head is a bit closer to the character than mine, but maybe I'll fix that in the future, once I get some experience with sculpey.

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 Post subject: Re: Mentalpower's customs: Captain Marvel & Black Adam - pg.
PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 11:43 am 
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Ok, so here I am again to show you a fresh custom (finished this morning) that has been for a long time in my to-do's...

Green Lantern I (Alan Scott)

This is a custom in my to-do list almost as old as the Jay Garrick one, back from the times I was collecting the Kenner Super Powers line. So in the last 20 years I had lots of different ideas in my head on how to do it, ranging from a Super Powers-like look (with a cloth cape) to a Total Justice look to, finally, the one I've chosen. In the meantime I've seem customs from other people in awe, thinking 'one day I'll do mine!'.

Last year I had already two bodies ready to start the custom. One was a Daredevil from the Mattel Secret Wars line, and one was the Green Guardsman from the JLU line. The Secret Wars' body would give him a look closer to the Super Powers (as you've seen with my Jay Garrick The Flash custom), while the JLU one would give him a modern, animated look. It was a tough decision, but finally I went for the JLU body. Why? Well, I suddenly realized that 1) both his sons (JLU Obsidian and my Jade custom) were in JLU style, and 2) all my JSA figures and customs were also in animated style, (except for Jay Garrick). So finally a decision was made for the animated style.

But then work intereferred with my customizing plans... and one day I has a spare JLU Mister Miracle figure... and then a new dichotomy was created: which one to use? Green Guardsman or Mister Miracle? To take this decision I went back to my comics collection to see tons of depictions of Alan Scott, and there was one that caugh my attention: in one recent JLA/JSA story, Alan Scott and Superman are in space, looking at Earth, both looking really powerful, and Alan Scott being as bulky as Superman. So I liked that look for Alan Scott, the one of a very powerful guy. And therefore I chose Mr. Miracle's body.

Next thing to solve was: which head? Well, actually I had that clear months ago when I received the JLU Hal Jordan. The more I saw that face and haircut the more I saw the potential to become Alan Scott. But that meant to adapt Hal's head to Mr. Miracle body, and, if possible, keeping the neck articulation. It proved a bit more difficult than expected: if I just placed Hal's head on top of the existing neck base, then the figure had a neck a bit too long. So I had to cut down a bit Hal's neck and crack open the body to embed the circular pin that would hold the head. After several trial-and-error, finally the adaptation was made.

From there on it was a matter to sand down imperfections in the body, adapt a bit the shape of the cape collar to better fit the character depictions, coat all the body in white paint to avoid the original colors to show through the final paint applications, add different details (neck collar, cape pins, belt, ring, boot ornaments) with pieces of hardened paper, add several layers of paint, add the logo by the well-known decoupage technique and then coat it in al mix of matt and glossy varnish to finish it... and the result is the following:

Image

Image

A fun last-minute thing: my wife has been following this custom with quite some interest, seeing how it advanced day by day. She is not the comic expert, so one night she wanted to see some images of the character I was building, and I showed her. In my original plans I was not going to add the cord between the cape pins to the figure, but then I showed her the almost-finished figure and the images, and then she said: 'Where's the cape cord? Why don't you put it? You've been working in all the other details, you even managed to do a mini-ring shaped as a lantern... and you won't put the cord?' She then went to her stuff and came to me with something I could use for that cord... and then I had to add it. So now this is the first of my customs with my wife's assistance!

Ok, so now back to the custom. The following are some comparison shots to se it side by side with related figures in my collection...

Image

This one is a family reunion: Alan Scott, Jade and Obsidian. Jade is a custom of mine that I've shown you already. Obsidian is the JLU figure with just some improvements I made to some lines that were not that crisp. And it is clear that all are in scale and look good together, isn't it?

Image

This one shows Alan Scott with my other two JSA customs: Spectre and The Flash Jay Garrick. Each one is using a totally different body, so despite the diferent styles I think they also look good together.

Image

And here we have a pack of the Earth's Green Lanterns (the ones I have, that is). This one is again a curiosity for customizers: it shows JLU bodies compared with other lines, in this case the Super Powers Hal Jordan and the Total Justice Kyle Rayner. Except for the latter, the rest are all in scale. I specially like that Alan and Hal are both of the same height, although Alan is more bulky.

And that's all for now. I hope you like the images and the explanation*.

* If you are bored of my lenghty posts and you'd prefer shorter entries with less text and more images... just let me know!

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 Post subject: Re: Mentalpower's customs - NEW: Alan Scott Green Lantern -
PostPosted: Sun Aug 01, 2010 2:05 pm 
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Hi again:

I did not had the time until today to complete the processing and formatting of the rest of photos I took to the Alan Scott figure, so here you have three more shots, side by side with his alternate earth buddy...

Image

I find it funny, as the Green Guardsman was the other figure I had considered to use as base for Alan Scott. The more I see this photo the more I'm convinced I chose the right option. I'm specially happy on how the cape collar turned on... just with some small cuts it got the right shape.


Image

This side view reveals one of the details that helped in my decision to not use the Green Guardsman body for Alan Scott. Have you seen those skinny legs! I still don't understnad why Mattel chose to use the slim body legs with this body. The result is that a guy that is supposed to be slightly bulkier than The Streak has the same body and skinny legs (and then they made a slightly smaller head to try to make him look bulkier indeed doh1 ).

Image

This view shows yet another curiosity: it is remarkable how different are the capes for two figures belonging to the same action figure line. The Green Guardsman cape has minimal detaliling, while the Mr. Miracle cape I used for Alan Scott is far more detailed. This was one of the thongs that made me go for the Mr. Miracle body as base for the custom.


An now, I'll show you two new DC customs... one is JLU-style, and the other is not...


Justice Lords Hawkgirl

This is one of those customs that I call "I'm not going to pay THAT for this figure, so I'll make mine". Said in different words, customs of figures that have been released but then I've been unable to get one at a reasonable price, and I don't want to pay what eBayers are asking for it. The good thing of being a customizer is that sometimes there is another option: to make your own figure.

One example I already posted in the non-DC customs: the Guardian figure. The following is another example. Tired of seeing what people were asking for the JLU Justice Lords packs, I picked one spare JLU Hawkgirl and went on the customization process. The two trickiest parts were 1) to trim and sculpt the boot tops while keeping enough remaining ankle thickness for the figure to still stand (it was trickier than it looks); and 2) sculpt the hair and helmet into the Justice Lords' version, directly in the plastic. Once that was made some bands were added (made of hardened paper) and the figure was painted. To increase the contrast between the dark clothes and the skin, the clothes were coated in glossy varnish.

And the result is shown below:

Image


Trigon

This second custom is, in my opinion, more spectacular. The base is a PVC figure from the DC Direct Titans pack, released some years ago (as I did for the Starfire custom). After sitting in one of my shelves for years, I always thought that it was a bit funny that the Trigon PVC figure had a head a bit bigger than it should for the body. Actually the head was just the right size for a 5" figure... So then... why don't convert it into an action figure?

Checking my custom fodder, I found a body that would match that head: it was the body from a Toy Biz Marvel Greatest Moments Bullseye (although, in fact, that body was re-used a lot by Toy Biz, being originally from the Archangel II figure). The hardest part was to adapt the Trigon head to the body, so it would perfectly fit. Then I took off the cape and the loincloth from the PVC figure to use them later.

I added all the extra details to the body: the wristbands (one made of rubber bands, as my Captain Marvel custom, the other made of sanding paper to give it that texture, similar to the technique I used in Starfire) and the chestband and belt (made of paper and cardboard, respectively). The rest consisted on painting it all and glueing the cape and the loincloth to the figure.

And.. voila! an articulated Trigon!

Image

Image

It is funny that, when I had it really advanced, images from the DCU BAF Trigon showed, and then I was about to stop the custom. But in the end I decided I would finish my rendition on the character.

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Last edited by mentalpower on Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Mentalpower's customs - NEW: Franklin Richards - pg.2
PostPosted: Wed Aug 04, 2010 6:46 am 
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Hello:

Here I am again with another recent custom...

Franklin Richards

This has been since 1995 in my to-do list. I had collected most of the Toy Biz Fantastic Four series and I was a bit sad when I saw that no new waves were coming. So we had most of the members of the most famous family in the Marvel Universe, but Franklin Richards, member 4 and 1/2 was missing. Later it has a horrible rendition as an accessory to Jean Grey in the Toy Biz Onslaught 6" figure line, which I was unable to grab. And then no more news until a recent Marvel Legends pack, again in 6" scale.

It was in the back of my brain until one day I saw a sale of Bandai Ben 10 figures. I picked Ben 10 himself in my hands wondering... "What can I do with you?". And suddenly it popped into my mind... it would do a perfect Franklin Richards!

The only tricky part of this custom was to trim the omni-whatever huge clock Ben 10 wears on his left wrist, without ruining the arm. Once that was solved, then it took some pacient time to sand down the vertical black band in the T-shirt. And then paint it all and add the logo (with the decoupage technique), that I did myself in Paint Shop Pro.

And here you have the final result...

Image

Hope you like it!

_________________
Wanna see some of my custom figures?

Check http://www.actionfigureinsider.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=14514 (New entries! - July 10, 2012)


Last edited by mentalpower on Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Mentalpower's customs - NEW: Franklin Richards - pg.2
PostPosted: Wed Aug 04, 2010 10:51 am 
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Daniel Pickett
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Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2007 6:30 pm
Posts: 8260
Location: So Cal
That's great. He works perfectly for Franklin.

Nice job.


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