Wednesday, March 23, 2011

New Custom - Obscure Cantina Patron Tzizvvt "The Bar Fly"

If you ever need to find an obscure Star Wars character look no further than the Mos Eisley Cantina. It's everyone's favorite galactic Muppet drinking hole filled with some of the biggest C-Listers in the Star Wars universe! It's also worth noting that it's home to a lot of D-Listers as well, one of those happens to be Tzizvvt "The Bar Fly". He is a character that is so obscure that you literally have to pause the movie at a specific time frame and squint very hard to even see him! But fear not friends, thanks to that magical thing called the Information Super Highway (otherwise known as the Internet) you can get a clear look at this cheap 70's inspired alien. I have seen some really lame aliens over the years (Star Trek: the Next Generation anyone?) but I consider this one to be "under the bottom of the barrel". Surprisingly, I have seen this guy rank in some of the wish list polls on the various fan sites. He is one character that I actually root against being made because of the sheer stupidity of him. I also do not want to see a slot get wasted on him, save it for someone more deserving like Ackmena!

I had someone contact me on eBay to request that I take a stab at him. Despite my very upfront bias against him, I can honestly say that I was intrigued by the challenge of making him. His timing was perfect as I was looking for new characters to tap into and once I looked at the picture of him I knew exactly how I would execute my custom. It only required two figures (Wisolea and Yavin Rebel Tech) and a lot of sculpting on the head. As I was sculpting the head I decided to give him a special beverage that only a fly would love! I sculpted some Bantha Poodu to top off his glass off with, I felt it completed him. (Plus it rounds out his stupidity!) Take a look at my first Tzizvvt custom , would you want this character in your collection? I still don't!

As always your feedback comments and hate mail are welcome!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Introduction to my new statue company - Kozak Designs!

I want to spread the word on a special project that I have been working on over the past few months in addition to my custom work. If you are Ukrainian or know someone who is you will want to pass this information onto them, they will not want to miss this! While I am not of Ukrainian descent my wife and in laws are. I was inspired over a year ago to design a collectible line of Kozak warrior statues after recognizing a vacuum in the marketplace. My Father-in-law and I teamed up to produce a professional line of statues that could fill that void. For those who are not familiar with the Kozak warriors they are members of a people that descended from a group of runaway serfs who set up a semi-independent military republic in Ukraine in the 15th and 16th centuries. The Kozaks became noted for their military prowess and a symbol of Ukrainian culture.

Each of our Kozak warrior statues will all feature a very dynamic sculpt that has the most accurate details that symbolize the pride and strength of the Ukrainian Kozak. To find a quality Kozak statue in any medium is very difficult to track down and if you do find one be prepared to spend a kings ransom to get it. Most Kozak statues look like cheap Christmas decorations that are often times portrayed as drunks. What if we can offer a statue with superior details, a dynamic stance and something that represents a true Kozak at an affordable price? That's what we have set out to do and that is the mission of Kozak Designs! I would like to introduce our first statue called "Taras"! He is on sale right now and you can see huge pictures and video on the Kozak Designs Blog:

We have a lot of exciting product ideas in the pipeline and will eventually expand into a full website as we get this line fully up and running. I know this is not related to Star Wars customs but the collectible statue genre is somewhat relevant. (I also figured I needed to utilize every avenue I have available to generate interest, awareness and sales!) We are looking at offering a Bronze version and possibly fully painted ones. The Blog will have news, sneek peeks and a lot more content coming soon! LMK your thoughts and please pass on to your Ukrainian friends & family!

Thank you and please pass the Kozak Designs Blog along to friends!!

Friday, March 11, 2011

New custom - Tales of the Jedi Exar Kun

Exar Kun is one of the earliest and most well known EU characters in the Star Wars universe. For years fans lobbied Hasbro for an official figure of this powerful Sith Lord. Exar Kun was one the first customs that ever made, he was also one of my most popular. I made him multiple times over the years with different figure formulas. I stopped making him once the official was finally announced. He was eventually released in the very hard to find final wave of retail comic packs. I have made several characters over the years that eventually got their official figure treatment from Hasbro. I always have liked the official figure more than my own custom, that is until Exar Kun came along. I felt the official figure was a big let down, while he is not a horrible figure he certainly was not worth the very long wait. If you followed the Hasbro Q&A sessions over the years you would know that this comic pack was pushed back for a long time. You can clearly tell when you take a closer look at the sculpting. It appears it was done in the 2007 time period. How can I tell you ask? Lets start with his meat palm mitts, 2007 was a transition period where better sculpted hands became more of the standard norm. (Think about the 30th TAC Mace Windu, Han Gunner, Luke Jedi hands) Now move to Exar's very restrictive chain mail skirt, he can barley move his super articulated legs. (Remember 30th Tac's Mace Windu, Miiyoom and the Rebel Honor Guard?) Now I admit that I could be reading too much into this sculpt but to further support my observation I will add that this figure's overall proportions are really off. His torso is very narrow with no shoulders, the legs/feet are too big and the arms are a tad too long. When you look at the modern sculpting in the last two years Hasbro has really been dead on, just look at he the new Phase 1 Clonetrooper. I will end my harsh critique on a positive note, the head sculpt on Exar Kun is phenomenal! If it had some more deco on it really would highlight how great it is!

I ordered a case of the final comic packs online so I had secured the sets for my personal collection but I knew I wanted to experiment with some of these figures for customs. I looked high and low at retail for them, I only managed to find one extra Exar Kun set. I used all of the parts except the head and shoulder armor. (I used the cape and skirt on my Naga Sadow and used his Lightsaber on this custom Jedi) Recently when I was making a batch of figures I stumbled upon the Exar leftovers and decided to make a worthy Exar Kun figure. While some details are not 100% I think he looks 10 times better than the official figure. I repainted the entire head to bring out the sculpted details to do it justice and I really am happy how it turned out! It was nice to revisit a figure that I made for years, I have a sentimental attachment to the character. Take a look and LMK what you guys think.

As always your feedback comments and hate mail are welcome!