Wednesday, January 26, 2011

New Custom - Gruk The Gamorrean Rancor Slayer

The new ROTJ wave, in my opinion, is the best wave of SW figures ever! Every single figure in the wave was a home run in terms of detail, articulation and execution. This wave sets the bar without a doubt. (BTW - I just received my case of the AOTC Wave 4 and it also meets that standard, W5 is horrendous.) One of the real standout characters from the ROTJ  wave is the Gamorrean Guard. This figure is absolutely stunning! He is decked out with a lot of weapons, articulation, a soft goods skirt and even a removable helmet. The only flaws that I can find with this figure is that the helmet does not stay on very well and it would have been very easy to add a movable lower jaw. (I expect the latter one day in an updated release!)

I had a few requests to make a custom Gamorrean Gladiator that popped up on the Rebelscum customs forum. It was a simple head slap on a World War Hulk body but it was very clever in concept. There was no paint on it but was an interesting premise nonetheless. I want to give proper credit to XBilly_JackX who came up with the initial idea. I like making my own custom combos but I could not resist making my own rendition of this concept by really going all out on this guy. I repainted the entire figure with a lot of details including glossy clear coat around the snout and mouth to give that gooey look. I also incorporated the soft goods skirt, added spikes/horns to his armor and gave him an axe worthy of a Rancor slayer. Take a look at the final results of my take on this concept Gamorrean:

As always, comments, suggestions and hate mail are welcome here!

Monday, January 24, 2011

New Customs - New versions of Darth Malgus, Shae Vilza, Mark Ragnos & Naga Sadow

Déjà vu? Any time I go back and make a custom I have made before I always strive to improve on the previous version with more details/part formula. I have four "redos" to share today, all four of these characters have been spotlighted on the blog in respective posts. There is no need for a lengthy write ups on each of them, I will let the pictures do the talking. For comparison's sake I have added links to the previous versions so you can see the differences. LMK what you cats think!

Darth Malgus V2 (Click here for the Previous Version)

Shae Vilza V2 (Click here for the Previous Version)

Mark Ragnos V2 (Click here for the Previous Version)

 Naga Sadow V2 (Click here for the Previous Version)

As always your feedback comments and hate mail are welcome!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

New Custom - Shadows of the Empire Guri

The 1990's were...extreme... I mean X-TREME!!! Back then everything had to be and was. Ghostbusters, G.I.Joe, Comic Books, Sports and just about everything else that came out of that decade toy wise. If it was to be truly cool it had to have the word attached to it somehow or else it did not have true 90's street cred. Other than being X-Treme!!! the 1990's did not know what it wanted to be, it was like a cross between the 1980's and the 00's. It was a pretty unoriginal decade that featured crappy music that was mostly on the depressive side, does that sound to negative? If there was one positive thing that came out of the 90's toy era it was the return of Star Wars action figures to the toy aisle in 1995.  In an effort to make Star Wars a big deal again the fine folks at Lucasfilm decided to make a big marketing event with the Shadows of the Empire storyline.  If you really think about it SOTE was Star Wars X-Treme!!!

SOTE was the untold story of the events that took place between ESB-ROTJ. It also featured some new characters with 90's flare like the Sonny Crockett/Han Solo-ish Smuggler Dash Rendar. SOTE was really the birth of "Expanded Universe". Some say it was the Splinters of Mind's Eye but SOTE is more regarded as the modern incarnation of EU. Other than the infamous peg warming Xizor (Click Here!), it was successful and really helped solidify nerd interest in the brand again. Worthy of note, SOTE was one of the first and most beloved Nintendo 64 games that helped launch that (At the time) groundbreaking gaming platform. It really was a great game that captured the adventure of Star Wars. I remember that was the first platform with a 360 degree view so when I played the Snowspeeder Hoth level my body would turn with the ship and I would often fall out of my chair.

There was a small offering of SOTE figures from Kenner but some of the most popular characters from the story never got their official release. One of them being Xizor's super sexy droid assassin Guri. To this day fans constantly request a figure of her and in figure request polls she usually ranks in the top 5 along with a resculpt of Dash Rendar. I really would love both of those figures along with Leebo and a new Snoova, so consider me an advocate for all things SOTE. I recently took a shot at making a Guri figure that would look great next to the really well done Xizor figure from 2009. (Like his predecessor the comic pack he came in warmed pegs!) I took the liberty to combines some elements of the different reference material so she does not look too 90's-ish. I am pretty happy with the result but I really want your thoughts. Take a look an LMK what you think :

After making this custom I really would love for Hasbro to revisit the 90's and make some new SOTE figures. Who would not want a new Dash, Guri, Leebo and Snoova? Just stay away from Xizor.

As always, comments and hate mail are welcome!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New Custom - Savage Opress

One of the most hotly anticipated characters appearing in this season of the Clone Wars is Savage Opress. He is supposedly related to Darth Maul, was created/partially trained by the Witches of Dathomir and is a double agent who is being fully trained in the Sith arts by Count Dooku! (Who he will later try to kill for revenge). Sounds pretty interesting and I really cannot wait to see this story unfold. (At this point anything will be better than the extremely boring Senate episodes that revolved around tainted lunches in the Mandalorian public school system that Season 3 has become famous for. I cringe when I see Padme in a teaser trailer as it spells doom for the episode!) Some fans were able to see him in action already in December during charity screenings that took place across the country at selected theaters. Word in the nerd world is that these episodes really delivered on all levels. He is absolutely ruthless, crushes the face of a Jedi Master (in such a brutal way with a very pointy weapon, then kills his young Jedi Padawan, kicks the crap out of our heroes and the third episode of the story arc even gives us a big revelation about the SW universe! It sounds like it really does deliver but until I see these episodes myself I need to go with the "Trust but verify" approach. (The Mandalorian soft drink debacle really put a lot of doubt in me.) Here is a good reference pic of Savage Opress:

I had to take a crack at this guy as he looks pretty bad ass. Despite not have a lot of reference there is more than enough to go by. I am sure an animated figure from Hasbro is not too far behind for release. (When that happens he will surely be a scalpers dream for awhile!)  I wanted to take a realistic approach and this was my first pass at him. LMK what you cats think?

Would you buy realistic styled Clone Wars figures? I know I would, I would happily fork over my hard earned cash for them. Hasbro is losing a lot of loot with me as I do not collect the animated line! (Hint, hint Hasbro!!!)

As always, comments and hate mail are welcome!

New Custom - Warlord Battle Droid TX-197

Happy New Year!!! 

Welcome to 2011 and to my  first Blog post of the year! I have been a little behind with updating the Blog as much as I wanted to in the last two months so my apologies to all who follow. I assure you that I have some very cool customs already on tap including some nifty "Little difference" segments ! One of my New Year resolutions is to at least get in 8-10 posts a month, I am aiming for more. I feel that I have made some of my best customs over the past two months so it's time to get off of my rump and start posting them to share with you! Onto the first custom post of the year...

I do not collect the Marvel Universe line of figures as I think they are sub-par to the current Star Wars line in terms of execution. That said, a few of the recent releases have caught my attention. (It appears they are finally improving that line with better sculpts and articulation.) One of the figures that I purchased is from the Iron Man 2 movie line, it's some sort of evil robot drone. I do not know its name and I really could care less as I instantly envisioned a Battle Droid custom the moment my peepers spotted him. I thought it would be cool to build a EU inspired experimental War Droid that the Clones would actually fear in small numbers. EP1 gave us Battle Droids, Destroyer Droids and crushed expectations. EP2 gave us Super Battle Droids and Super Bad Dialogue. EP3 gave us the Octuptarra Droids, Crabs...I mean Crab Droids and a fun flick.

None of those aforementioned Droid designs looked really menacing to me so I always wanted to see more aggressive models that evolved during the war. What if the Separatists decided to build something meaner than a Super Battle Droid with more firepower than a Destroyer Droid? You get the Warlord Droid "TX-197", at least in my world that's what you would get. Whats the significance of the designation number you ask? Nothing, it means absolutely nothing. I made it up on the spot and has no significance whatsoever, it just sounds "Lucasy". For this custom I used some Battle Droid Binoculars as arm blasters (adding the Destroyer Droid blast effects to them), a BD backpack antenna, BD head/hands and some Grievous Blasters to create this experimental Droid. It's more on the paint change side than the parts change but I think he turned out pretty cool. What do you think?

Should I do more Droid customs in the future or stick with the fleshies? As always, comments and hate mail are welcome!!!