Thursday, May 17, 2012

Minimate Customs: Earth-2 Huntress and Robin

When I began customizing Minimates, I had a short list of characters that I really wanted to do.  Some of these were pretty easy to do, as it turned out.  But there have been a few that stretched my (meager) skills, and actually completing those projects has been hugely satisfying.  You saw one last time I posted a custom, with the Rocketeer; today, you're going to see another, one of my all-time favorite characters, and longest gestating project.

The Huntress
 The Huntress is one of my all-time favorite characters; I can still remember the first time I saw her, back in an old, old JLA/JSA crossover. The original conception of the character, back in those days, was pretty straightforward: she's the daughter of the original (or Golden Age, or Earth-2) Batman.  How awesome is that?  She immediately became one of my favorite characters, mine and a lot of other people.

And then she died, a sacrifice to the new continuity rules that came with Crisis on Infinite Earths.  Much as I loved that series, it sacrificed a lot of the elements that made the DC Universe of my childhood a wonderful place.  The Huntress had one last, great dramatic moment in Crisis #11, where she realizes that she's now living in a world in which she doesn't fit, her father and mother, bizarrely, having never existed.  The Huntress dies an issue later, alongside her brother-in-spirit, the original Robin.  But I've always liked to believe, as their bodies were never found, that they made their escape and found a place in that brave new world, as befits the children of Batman.

Of course, none of that matters now, since they went and blewed up that DC Universe too.

Anyway, DC reintroduced a new Huntress soon enough, but no version of the character ever clicked for me the way the original did.  I believe, in the (grumble) "New 52" universe, the Huntress is back to being Batman's daughter, albeit wearing a costume reminiscent of the modern version of the character.  So that's good, I guess.  Oh, and you should go out and buy this trade paperback collecting the original Huntress' solo adventures, because I really want them to publish another volume.

So, the Minimate... well, this was actually the first decal I ever designed, though it was literally years before I was able to use it.  The big sticking point was always that blasted mask.  I knew, to do it right, I couldn't just make a decal of her mask; it had to be sculpted, somehow.  But I don't sculpt.  So I had to get creative.

Last year, at the New York Comic-Con, I acquired a few extra sets of masks from the classic Mandarin figure.  Having had some success modifying parts of late (and having extras in the event I screwed up) I decided to slice the pointy part of his mask and glue it to a hairpiece.  I ended up choosing BSG Tory's hair, and was pleasantly surprised when the mask fit right into the sculpted folds of the hair.  I was even more pleased when, upon gingerly putting the hair on for the first time, I saw that it fit perfectly over the eyes.  I couldn't have planned it any better.

The hair did prove problematic when I tried to fit it with a cape; I ended up taking a cape that had fit into an armor piece for one of the funky Batman figures made as part of the C3 line and gluing it to the back of the torso.  That worked well enough.  The rest is just a lot of purple paint, an extra utility belt, and some decals:

This is, without a doubt, one of my very favorite projects: a character I love, whom I didn't think I'd be able to get right, but who turned out better then I ever expected.  

But wait! There's more!  Because the Huntress isn't complete without...

Earth-2 Robin

 Okay, I promise not to ramble on as much about this guy.  The big thing to know about him is that his head comes from Captain Marvel, with a yellow sharpie very cleverly employed to change his mask from blue to green.  Oh, and that's actually a Pocket Superheroes cape, because at the time I made him, I didn't have a spare cape.  His decal:

And finally, the two together:

Earth-2 represent!

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