Thursday, April 14, 2011

Minimate Customs: Around the DC Universe

Yeah, another post today, since I'm still trying to get caught up on my backlog of customs.  Plus, I just made someone yesterday that I'm very happy with, and I didn't want to wait to show him off.  So here's a smattering of some of my favorite customs from various DC Universe characters.

The Warlord

And here's the guy I made yesterday.  One of the things I find most rewarding as a customizer is when you can have an idea and turn it around into a finished product in a day, which is what happened with this guy.  I'm not even sure where the inspiration for him came from... oh wait, yes I am:  I saw the new Justice League Unlimited Warlord figure yesterday.  Though I've long since stopped collecting those figures, I appreciate the astonishing breadth of character in the line, and often find myself inspired by the characters they include.  I don't think I'd ever considered making the Warlord before, but seeing him on the shelf suddenly made me want a Warlord Minimate.

It also made me realize that the new helmet included with Movie Thor makes for a perfect Warlord helmet... I mean, it's almost exact.  You couldn't sculpt a better helmet.  Soon after, while going over various possible heads for him in my mind, I realized that the head under Dr. Fate's helmet would be ideal... for the first time, I was glad they'd made this version of Doc.

For the rest of him, he's got the hairy chest from under the Titanium Man's armor... bracelets and boots from First Appearance Dr. Doom... and Lady Loki's belt/sash thing for his loincloth, painted white with some little black dots.  Okay, so he's missing the chain across his chest, and the little skull thing on his shoulder... I'm still working on that.  And I threw in some weapons; not pictured is the golden shield from the Atlantean Soldier which rounds him out.

The Creeper

Quite a while ago I bought a loose, incomplete C3 Joker (there are always a ton of them from overseas available on Ebay) with the idea of using it to modify the DCD Joker; I've never liked the face or the hat/trenchcoat combo on him.  Shortly after he arrived, though, it occurred to me that the hair and face would make for a really nice Creeper.  Since the Joker head was white, it was a simple matter of using a yellow sharpie to match the Creepers ghastly complexion.

Not so simple was figuring out how to replicate the big furry cape thing Steve Ditko gave him... I don't even know what to call that thing.  But the Human Torch's shoulder flames seem to work nicely as a stand-in.  His chest comes from Yellowjacket, and his arms from an AIM soldier; here I used a trick I like when a guy has multi-colored gloves, which is to use the painted bands on the arms for one color, and the hands for another.  His crotch is from Polaris, and his legs are from the original Iron Man Minimate; it killed me a bit to break that one up, but the yellow/red leg combo isn't that common on Minimates, and that guy's obsolete anyway.

The Ray

This guy was entirely stolen from inspired by a custom done by the very talented Lastmaximal; I like his work a lot because we both seem to be working at the same purpose, namely rounding out the DCU.  I also think he's very clever in his reuse of parts, as on display here.  I'd long ago tagged the Kree Soldier's helmet as the key to make the Ray, but I'd always planned on using it for the Golden Age Ray, whose costume is much simpler.  I'd never really thought about making the modern version (though I like his outfit much better) until I saw Lastmaximal's custom here, and wanted one for myself.  What's ingenious about this formula is that it uses the odd Ghost Rider half-jacket, which I always thought useless, but works perfectly.

This custom was also the first I made using the new paint set Hillary bought me as part of my Minimate customizing birthday kit (Yep, dorkiest couple ever! You're a lucky little girl, Delia!).  The results are... okay.  Not as nice as Lastmaximal's, but I'm satisfied.  Here's a side view, so you can see more of the details:


More painting... er... goodness?  I dunno.  Painting details will never bee my forte, but I'm not unhappy with how he turned out.  He's got a black Spider-Man slipon mask with Cyclops goggles glued on; I think those !@#$ goggles were the inspiration for this project.  Belt and holster come from Deathstroke, painted yellow.  And here's another pic I snapped, where he's holding his rifle:

Kamandi and Omac

 Last ones for the day... thank God... these guys are both Jack Kirby creations, and Grandson and Grandfather, respectively, so it makes sense to show these guys off together.  Let's take Omac first:

This guy was again inspired by another action figure, this time the DC Universe Classics Omac.  He's sporting Dark Wolverine's mohawk, on top of the head from the Ultimate SHIELD Soldier; you can't quite tell from the picture, but that head has a crew cut painted on, which matches Omac's funky haircut pretty well.  Chest and arms come from Cyclops, crotch from this Batman (with a little orange sharpie added), legs from the Leader.  Eventually I added a decal, when I found the Omac logo as buddy icon on DC's home page.  And since I like to share these things:

Now let's turn to Kamandi:

Kamandi here is actually one of the first customs I ever did; I've a real affinity for the character (I'd go so far as to say he's my favorite Kirby creation), and I really wanted to capture the King's spirit (no, not literally) when I made him.  That actually wasn't all that hard, because Art Asylum's original Fantastic Four Minimates were done in a classic Kirby style, meaning I had this great Invisible Girl hairpiece for Kamandi.  My original plan was to pair that with Mister Fantastic's face, but that fell through when head and hair proved incompatible.  But, in browsing through my 'mates for a replacement, I noticed that this BSG Apollo has a real cartoony face-- one that looks like it could be drawn by Kirby.

For his chest, I used one that came with this Jack Bauer-- which looked terrible for Jack but great for Kamandi.  For the longest time, his legs were from a Hunt Minimate, with the tan shorts sharpied blue; I was never particularly satisfied with this.  But then Jubilee came out, and her lower half was exactly what Kamandi was missing.  To any Jubilee fans out there, let me just say: she's been very useful custom fodder. :)

Anyway, I'm really proud of this custom, because I think it shows that you can perfectly capture a character, without modifying the pieces, if you're clever in using your parts.

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