Monday, February 28, 2011

New Custom - Armored Sith King of Korriban

Deep in the dark and dank halls of Castle Korriban, the Templar Knights of the Sith order battle each other for control of the Kingdom. The death of their Arch Duke at the hands of Jedi Master Mugglia has thrown the order into chaos. As the leaderless Sith Knights bicker for blood, the towering Cortis hall doors crash open with a thunderous throw of force. Breaking off of their hinges, the huge metal doors crush the lowly alien underlings that were serving delectable ordure's! As the smoke clears and the green goo of underling gore slowly drips down the walls, a being emerges from the center of the doorway darkness. Standing calmly in the archway is the self proclaimed "King of the Sith". His mere presence oozes with raw power and that power is personified with his gleaming armor of DOOM!!! The Templar Knights are all taken back by the show of force but they are more taken back by the shining bling of the armor. Deep in their dark minds they begin to rethink their own duds…(Insert stereotypical suspense music here.)

Is there an actual King of the Sith in SW lore? As far as I know there is not, I just needed to name this custom something that was fitting to his look. This figure is definitely one of my favorite customs that I have ever made! This was an on the fly experiment that came together sporting one of the most pleasing color palettes that I painted on an original custom figure. This analysis is my opinion, so you may disagree with it. It is worth noting that I have made over 2,500 custom figures. This Sith King custom is one of the standouts that I felt deserved a dedicated post. I liked how he turned out  and if you have been following my Blog you know I love making my own original "Store Brand Sith Lords".  I will do a follow up to that post next week on the Templar knights that this King commands. In the mean time take a look and LMK if you think this custom is worthy of the title King of the Sith.

As always your feedback comments and hate mail are welcome!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Blog updates - Collection Room pics, Archives of Awesome and New Logos!

I have not updated my Collection pictures since December 2010. I have added a lot of figures, vehicles and displays since then so an update was really needed! I reshot the entire room and replaced every picture in the section to reflect the latest set up. Look for some new angle shots of the Mos Eisley Cantina display, they came out great! For those who regularly visit that section this is a whole new experience that you will not want to miss! Below are some preview shots:

I have also added new figures to the Archives of Awesome, created a new Blog banner logo and streamlined some sections of the Blog! Regular custom updates will return as well. I have been very busy with a new project that I will share soon. Look for the next post to be a special one, it will explain the slight slowdown here. It's very cool and for those of Ukrainian descent you will not want to miss it!

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Little Differences - Bespin Guard, Ugnaught and Rebel Technician

Welcome to February's "Little Differences"!  This month I am going to focus on diversifying your Bespin Guards, Ugnaughts and Rebel Technician troops! 

Bespin Wing Guards
Bespin, the land of Lando, the city in the clouds featuring a 70's bachelor pad d├ęcor that's sure to impress the ladies! Lando knew how to run a tight city, his right hand man Lobot was an integral part of keeping the daily operations running as smooth as a Colt 45! (When you look at Lobot's outfit, outside of the mobile Boom box attached to his bald noggin, he would blend perfectly in Threes Company choice restaurant and bar, the Regal Beagle!) In order to keep the peace in the city Bespin had a police force called the Wing Guard. The guard had a diverse group of people enlisted in it, interestingly enough most of them sported facial hair. Mustaches and beards were all the rage on Bespin, Lando was a real trend setter. (Even the 80's vintage line had a Bespin Guard that sported a huge Foo-Man-Choo handle bar mustache!)

We got our first modern Bespin guard in 2001. While he was a nice figure overall he was not screen accurate as he had an open jacket, they were never seen open in the film. To add to our disappointment, he did not have a mustache. Not too long after that figures release we got another Bespin guard this time it was part of an exclusive Freezing Chamber play set. This figure was a real step backwards, the head sculpt was terrible, it had a huge schnoz and the body was even worse. The outfit was painted on the figure, it literally looked like one of those naked people with an clothes painted on their body. This figure also did not have a mustache, a real negative, it makes Tom Selleck cry. It took 8.5 years to get our next Bespin guard figure, this release was part of the 2009 Legacy line. There were two different heads sculpts one this figure. One was an alien (that was cut from the final film) and the other is questionably considered the modern incarnation of the Black Bespin guard, Sgt. Edian. Why it's questionable is based on the sculpted features of the head sculpt, it appears to be Caucasian but it can also pass for someone of Indian descent. It looks nothing like the actor who played Sgt. Edian. Personally I do not consider this figure him, he is just a generic Bespin guard to me. The sculpt of the figure overall is great, the only real issue I have with it is the height, it's a little too tall. (It's not a deal breaker.) long term,  I really hope they re-release this figure with different head sculpts, until they do I took matter into my own hands to diversify my guards. Like all my other "Little Differences" segments these mods require no tools, just extra parts that easily pop and swap. Since I make a lot of customs I have the luxury of having a lot of extra heads on hand to experiment with. I tested a lot of heads that would fit perfect on the Bespin guard neck post. They would also pass the hat test, the hat is a crucial part of the outfit if it does not fit they will not look right as a Bespin guard.. For my custom troops I used the following heads:

- Evolutions TFU Starkiller Jedi Apprentice
- AOTC Owen Lars
- Evolutions A-Wing Pilot Jake Farrell
- ROTJ rebel commando
- EE Comic pack Rohlan Dyre
- G.I.Joe ROC Ripcord (I did dremmel the head on this one)

Since we are hanging in cloud city today I will show you some quick ways to further diversify some of the other inhabitants of Bespin like our favorite little piggy people the Ugnaughts. Using both of the Ugnaught releases, I mixed and matched their parts to make them look different. You will see two of the three shown below just have their heads swapped but if you closely look at the third one you will notice it's the second release with the first release's legs. The pants are normally gray on the second release but as you can see they are blue. It's a minor detail but it does help him make look different enough if you interchange the legs. I'm not sure that I have a yearning for more Ugnaught releases after these mods but these can help holdover those who do. they might be waiting a very long time. (If they make a sweet Freezing Chamber Diorama one day I would want more!)

Rebel Technicians
To close out this months LD segment we will leave Cloud City and head to Yavin. to visit the Rebel Technician from the very rare Scramble on Yavin Battle Pack. I bought six of these sets when they first came out so I was more fortunate than other collectors that waited too long to stock up before it became so scarce. Luckily the Rebel Tech and his cool cart are going to re-released this year as an exclusive at TRU. Tungohri, the eBay seller from Hong Kong who gets in SW figures early actually had theses Techs in stock. It was a great way to stock up economically on these guys plus you did not have to wait for the TRU releases later this year. I took advantage while they were in stock on eBay. Like the Bespin guards, I experimented with several different heads that would fit perfectly on the neck post. Like the hats that had to be ones that would also work with the helmet. I have found that the Hoth Rebel soldiers and the new Endor Rebel Commando fit absolutely perfect! (Even the helmets fit great on them!) Take a look at the final result:

As you can see the "Little Differences" can make a big difference to your figures! Until next time!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

New (and Flashback) Customs - Obscure Patrons of Mos Eisley Cantina

I know have been a little slow on the posts lately but more frequent updates to the Blog will return shortly. That said, I wanted to make up for that with this ginormous post that includes nine customs that all hail from our favorite galactic Muppet drinking hole on Tattooine, the Mos Eisley Cantina! Over the past year and a half I have really focused on some of the very obscure drunks that inhabit the bar. Hasbro is doing a great job of making (and remaking) many of the memorable Muppets that hung out at the Regal Beagle of the Star Wars universe but they still have a long way to go! As usual I do not have the patience to wait years for them to complete the Cantina scene so I like to take matters in my own hands by making them myself. So without further ado lets take a look at some of the back ground bums that we all hope will see official release one day:

Bannis Keeg (1/11)
The other Duro meat! Since 2001 the POTJ Ellors Madak figure has been on his own, his partner Bannis Keeg has been stuck in the Hasbro "To Do" parking lot limbo of unmade figures. When Hasbro gets to him one day many feel they should also redo Ellors as well so both are up to par with today's standards. (I think this is a contributing factor of why we have not received an official figure yet.) Anyway, I think it's worth noting that there is some confusion (and rewriting) of this characters name and even it's gender. Supposedly Bannis Keeg is now named Chachi De Maal and Chachi De Maal is a female Duro! I do not know about you but that's a man baby! And that man is named Bannis! I made my custom a man called Bannis, Chachi loves Joani and belongs in the Happy Days Universe not Star Wars!

Yerka Mig (10/10)
Yerka Mig, was a very plain human male that was standing in the front section of the bar. Unlike some of these other scrubs he actually got some actual screen time. He is somewhat recognizable to fans because of this, he also has a nice close up shot after Han shot Greedo - FIRST! He did not look to phased by the shooting because he was very preoccupied in his thoughts about the Tonnika Sisters. (He was busy building up enough confidence to ask a Tonnika Sister over to his place to listen to some records and share a soda float.) Out of all of the plain humans in the Cantina I think Merka stands the best chance of being made, even Hasbro has stated this. Until then, here is my rendition of the most recognizable human patron.(Kids would go gaga for him!)

Garouf LaFoe (1/11)
What would a bar be without the typical creepy looking guy with a mustache? Garouf does a great job of filling the role out as the resident stache but he also lives up to his creepy status. He is seen ratting out Luke, Ben and the Droids to the local Sandtrooper Squad that are hunting our heroes. He is the second most recognizable human of the Cantina...because of his mustache of course! I think the chances of seeing this guy made are slim to none but you never know. After all Hasbro made a figure of Wedge Antilles in steakhouse waiter attire so there is hope!

Danz Borin (1/11)
Nothing makes more Sci-Fi sense than a guy dressed in a full spacesuit who is hanging out in a bar drinking (with his helmet on mind you) that just happens to be located on the hottest desert planet in the galaxy! As far as I know there is no clear shot of Danz and the below picture is best reference that I could find, it barley shows him! Despite the lack of reference fans still know who this cat is. I do think he is interesting enough as a character that his chances are probably not bad of eventually getting made. Not as cool as Rum Slegg but maybe they can use some of his parts to make this figure more feasible and cost effective.

Arleil Schous the Deffel - V2 (10/10)
I made him before and said what I needed to say on him but I went back to improve the formula/sculpt. You can find my first Deffel by clicking here and compare it with this much improved version! I think it's only a matter of time before we see an official Deffel from Hasbro. This guy is too cool not to be made and he has been ranking high in the fan polls! Let's hope!

Spacer "1" (11/09)
Like Danz Borin this dude is dressed in a full spacesuit drinking on a bar on the hottest planet in the galaxy. This guy is so obscure most fans do not even know of his existence! If you look close you will see he is wearing Bossk's spacesuit. Actually Bossk is wearing his spacesuit! Since IG-88's head was part of the bar distillery the Lucasfilm people obviously scrounged through the props/costumes from A New Hope and reused them for the Empire Strikes Back to save a couple of bucks. This would be one easy figure for Hasbro to make since the bulk of the figure is already made, all it would need it new ankles/feet, forearms/hands and a head!

The Tonnika Sisters - V2 (12/10)
Like the Deffel I have made them before and said what I needed to say on them. Like many of my customs I like to go back and improve them. You can see my first set by clicking here and compare them with this improved set.

Merc Sunlet (1/11)
Yeah, I know what you are thinking but I saved the most obscure for last! Enter Merc Sunlet, Mighty Moisture Farmer of Tattooine! In the words of C-3P0 the chances of this figure being made is approximately 3,720 to 1. If you are enamored with the awesomeness of this character you are on your own to make him!

So, how many of these Cantina patrons would you actually want to see made and actually own in your collection? Who would not want a Merc Sunlet figure?

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