My New Custom Rocks!
November 21, 2011

So a while ago on one of those rare days I get the nerve to enter the Mattel forums I stumbled on a thread entitled Attention Customizers And JLU Fans. On page 9 forum member Ed Case posted some pics of his Sgt. Rock custom. Now, I’m a big fan of many of you amazing customizers. This one just jumped out at me because: 1) Sgt Rock was at the top of my list of JLU character wants and 2) Ed did a really nice job. Some PMs were exchanged and finally Ed caved to my threats and agreed to make another Sarge for ol’ CantinaDanny’s collection.

I don’t know why the heck I like Sgt. Rock. Maybe because I was really into G.I. Joe when I was a kid. Maybe because I have fond memories (lord knows why) of the Remco Sgt. Rock figure. Regardless, when Sarge and a few members of Easy Company showed up in the season one finale of Justice League I was jazzed.

Besides the awesome Hal Jordan head created by our buddy Spy Magician I was not able to claim any custom JLU figures. This was probably the result of simple patience born of frugality. I figured I’d wait till the line was kaput before I started looking into getting customs made of characters I wanted but just didn’t make it. Well, when I saw Ed’s Sgt. Rock I figured it was time. Not being a customizer and not having had much experience commissioning custom action figures I had a few questions. Ed was super patient with me as we discussed my concerns about clear coats and maintaining articulation and how to treat Sarge’s stubble, and what fodder to use. I was particularly concerned about the paint applications because I’ve seen customs that kind’uv have botched paint jobs, ie – figures that are sticky to the touch or paint that rubs off. Totally didn’t want to pay for that nonsense. I felt much better when Ed replied:

I have a BFA in painting, and I’ve painted wargaming miniatures on and off for about 20 years. So I know paint, and I don’t mess around! My customs are lightly sanded, primed, and carefully painted to the point where you don’t see brush strokes, but there aren’t glops of paint either (an essential skill when painting inch-high figures, let me tell you). The trick is many light coats instead of one heavy coat (aka patience :). This one has several applications of spray-on matte clear coat (I’m with you: most characters should not be gloss), and I gave it an extra coat of paint-on matte varnish in the stress areas (between joints, inside the hand that holds the gun, and on his head where the helmet fixes on). It’s not bulletproof, but I’ve ‘played’ with him quite a bit, and he’s held up just fine. And no stickiness at all.

The job was green-lit! Throughout the entire process Ed would send me notes about progress complete with photos and questions about my opinions on different ways of handling things. Really appreciated that.

Finally I got the PM saying Sarge was done. He looked fan-flippin-tabulous. Couldn’t wait to see that little box arrive. When it did I unwrapped the well packed soldier and he was just as good in person. Now he’s standing at attention in a prime spot I made for him in the JLU cabinet.

I’m really happy with my first JLU custom figure. But how is it that us collectors are never content? Ahem, soooo Ed, what do you think about the rest of Easy Company?

Just a quick loosely related note while we’re talking about the JLU episode The Savage Time … I always wondered why we never got these variants of the big seven:

Danny "CantinaDan" Neumann
Action figure anthropologist, Professor Cantina Dan Neumann has been a scholastic contributor to the online community studying the complex world of parumplasticus populus {little plastic people} since the turn of this millenium. His primary focus is the visual cataloging of species exhibits through photo-journalism.
Read other articles by Danny "CantinaDan" Neumann.





Reply to ed case