Thursday, January 31, 2008

Ultimates Vol. 3 Captain America Action Figure

Ebay. Artist's MySpace page.

Mike Mignola-Style Wolverine Action Figure


Interview: Freelance toy sculptor Michael Locasio What type of education do you have and what type of education would you recommend for a person trying become a toy sculptor?

ML: I had an apprenticeship with a bronze monument maker in NYC for years. It’s important to really nail down fundamentals like anatomy and proportions before jumping into fine detail work, so the training I got in traditional sculpting - working from models and cadaver dissections - was very valuable.

I did not study art in college mainly because I was able to continue this apprenticeship as an independent study. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend my education path; I’ve seen such diverse backgrounds from artists in the (toy) industry it’s clear there are many ways to get to the same point.

The most important aspect of it is your education never stops; there are always new techniques and skills to learn, new reference materials to study…even if you are an accomplished artist.

Read the whole thing.

Vintage Karate "Eagle Eye" G.I. Joe Action Figure

Link. Not customized, but it is groovy.

Sweeney Todd Munny


Wednesday, January 30, 2008

King Leonidas (300) Munny

Link. Artist homepage.

*The beard's made out of scrubbing pads.

DIY Vinyl Toy: Munny by Otek

Munny by Otek on sale here.

*Buy Munnys at eBay.

Darth Maul Munny work in progress

Link. You can see more in progress photos here, and here's the artist's homepage.

Glue advice

Here's a handy discussion on the merits of the various types of glues for plastic, metal, and resin.

"Alex Ross" Wolverine Action Figure

See photos of the unpainted figure here. And here's M1Custom's home page.

Flying Monkey Munny

See a slideshow here. Via.

*Buy flying monkeys at eBay.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Action Figure: Steel Spartan (Halo)

A Sigma 6 Duke, plus sculpted armor and a coat of paint = Steel Master Chief.

Here's a photo of the unpainted figure:

An awesome figure and will be posted at Ebay Thursday. See more of the creator's work here.

How To: Sculpt Hands

A step by step guide for using greenstuff to turn this

into this

How To: Photograph miniatures

A detailed guide here.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Action Figures: Movie Iron Man, Ultron

Two new action figures by "Jin Saotome." Follow the links to see how he customized them.

Iron Man


Warhammer 40K: Lady Tau

Click through to see how "Gareth" used green stuff to turn this concept art

into this Warhammer 40K Lady Tau

Update: Painted.

Zombie Munny

Link. Motorbot's Flickr gallery is full of terrific customized vinyl toys.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Interview: Pete of The Builder's Studio

I recently stumbled across The Builder's Studio Etsy store. It's full of ray guns, robots, and other neat creations like Robot Santa. Pete was kind enough to answer a few questions.

Q: What kind of art/crafting education do you have?

While in college (where I got my degree in English and creative writing) I also took a few art courses when I could, one photography and a couple for painting (you know, canvas work). Besides that nothing formal (couple in high school, nothing outlandish).

I've been artistic since my earliest days, drawing mostly, but always loved the scifi, always also loved the "bits and pieces" that went along with it, did collecting, including pieces of things that I thought looked neat and maybe I could make something with... as I got older I got into model kit building, starting with the tech stuff like space ships. The first days of the FIRST (read real) Star Wars trilogy were great! Then some figure kits, all that.

In recent years real life got in the way of doing much for fun OR profit in this regard. I wanted to spend more time doing something creative. But I had to try to make it at least pay SOME bills. One day I sat down and started playing around with some wood and other things, had robots on the mind. I had been making some unusual walking stick canes and something snapped, in a good way!

No I was never MUCH of a traditional woodworker, but my father in his day had done some carpentry professionally and was always making something for the house, a stool, a spice rack, a toy for us when we were younger when he could. I didn't latch on to it in any formal way ... but I believe some of that mentally and creatively soaked in naturally!

All that boiled down to technically not much formal or informal training or education. Self taught a lot and a lot of being around it...

Q: How do you design your creations?

The best answer might be: I don't. Despite my early days of drawing (and desire to do more if I ever make the time) I'm not a big planner. In many things I'm a stickler for details but in this (and most) of my creative endeavors I like to work naturally and not take all the piss and vinegar out of an idea by talking about it or "planning."

I often work from a single shape or curve... and it's "hey, that reminds me of a radar dish on a robot head" or something, and I start building. Add a piece here and there.

Or maybe a general idea of "wouldn't this be cool" ... like recently I did a miniature, steampunk inspired bipedal war vehicle to fight off the invading Martian tripods ... been looking at a lot of steampunk stuff on flickr lately. More and more people have been telling me my stuff fits that arena ... more so than I originally thought. So I found some starting point, in this case a few tiny miniature people figures I had around and imagined one standing in ... something.

Listen, one of the best things is the "funnest:" like when you were a kid with a favorite toy or action figure, imagine playing with your items in a setting... you know the ones. That giant alien cliff (your living room couch), the horrible monsters are chasing you... what would your ray gun look like? What kind of vehicle would help you escape?

Q: I know very little about woodworking. What sorts of tools do you use, and what resources/references would you recommend someone use to learn?

That's tough as in some ways my workshop in under equipped so I make do. I'd tell anyone making things in any format THAT ... you can always find another way!

I mainly use hand tools, especially since I work in a small (and lately often tiny) format of a couple of inches for jewelry and mini dioramas so no need for power tools, occasional a Dremel tool.

I personally own no reference materials for working in this area ... well, from many years ago model kit building but I read that stuff long ago and I guess it's all internalized now. Yes, model kit building books and magazines and videos (if they still make them) especially in the fantasy and scifi areas although I am sure ANY (like auto) will help with certain techniques. But for woodworking I don't know. I do use the internet from time to time.

Q: What techniques do you use to promote your store?

Even though I read a lot online about how tough it was... and believed it... I still had no real idea how tough. I'm still looking for a wider audience. Things really have started to pop surprisingly this last holiday season but I think the economy and gas prices are crunching everyone ... great timing right! I post pictures everywhere (like flickr), join groups, look for new venues in my fields ... answer questions for blogs like yours!

And I try to answer everyone who contacts me; be nice, it never hurts. Why be any other way in any case? TO me this is a LOT of fun and I love getting reactions from people on my work... and I want to keep doing this for a long time! I still haven't scratched the surface of ideas I want to do ... my notebook gets more entries added than I can check off!

That's the last tip, a big one I'll leave you with... when you get an idea, a vision of even a PART of an object, a technigue you HOPE MIGHT POSSIBLE work, an experiment you want to try ... write it down. NOW! No matter how great your memory you WILL forget a lot of these over time. You can't help it. So write them down!

(OK, insert commercial here ... check out my store: -- 'nough said). Thanks to everyone for their support. Hope you got an idea or two.

Thanks, Pete!

Wahammer 40K: Complete template for scratch building a Baneblade Tank

From an old issue of White Dwarf, instructions and templates for making a Warhammer 40K Baneblade tank out of plasticard/cardboard and some tubing. I made one of these years ago. Can't remember why I cut out the side track unit piece. If you make one, please send me a photo of the finished product.

Inspiration: Cold War Era Nick Fury and Black Widow

High-res image by Daniel Krall here.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Friday, January 25, 2008

How To: Use wire, aluminum foil, and Apoxie Sculpt to make an armature

Step by step guide here.

How To: Reposition a miniature

As demonstrated on a Wizards of the Coast Star Wars miniature. Step by step guide here.

Warhammer 40K: Converted Slaanesh Chaos Terminator

The whips are copper wire, wrapped with greenstuff. Click through for making of photos.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

This is a joke, right?

I was trying to register for the forums for this site. Took me approximately ten tries to finally get random verification letters I could identify.

Warhammer 40K: Hierophant atop broodnests

See more photos here, along with some comments on how the base was made.

Scratchbuilt Captain Underpants

Recipe: Recipe, coathanger for the main frame, wire for arms and leg frames and sculpey to all areas. The cape is made from a large balloon. Click through for making of photos.

Custom Action Figures: The In-Betweener, World War Hulk

From Ebay auctions.

Link. (Expired)

Link. (Expired)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Warhammer Miniature: Nurgle Princess With Fairy Wings

Cimsoc made the wings by painting them on clear plastic folder with a permanent fineliner, cutting them out and glueing them onto the miniature.

Warhammer 40K Hellhound made out of plasticard

More photos here.

Customized Munny: Big Daddy from Bioshock

Click through to see how "Shauni55" turned a basic Munny into a Big Daddy from Bioshock. (Think sculpey, wire, and a soda can.) You can also see a gallery of Bioshock fan art, icons and desktop wallpapers here.