Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Vixen custom

As soon as I got ahold of the new Marvel Legends Wasp, I knew she would make a great Justice League Vixen custom. I used her costume from the JLU cartoon since I like that design the best. The first thing I had to do was get the wings off which proved to be difficult due to a metal rod that pins each wing to the body. I finally used wire cutters. After that, I smoothed her back over with resin and proceeded to make the belt, earrings and necklace from resin I rolled up and cut into tooth-shapes. The animal totem is a piece of cut vinyl painted silver.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Firehawk custom

This Firehawk custom was commissioned by a long-time client of mine named Michael Rodgers. I used a JLA Wonder Woman for the base but swapped out her head for the Artemis one instead so I could have the hair sweeping up. I then found a piece to the top of a ML Human Torch and glued it to the new head. After that, I used resin to smooth over the figure and sculpt the rest of the flames. I used cut vinyl for the wings which I did in two-part so the arms could still move. I then used an airbrush to give a the gradient effect to the hair and wings.

Blue Devil custom

Blue Devil has always been one of those characters I wanted to try but never got around to doing until now. I started with a Martian Manhunter base and used a Dremmel to take off most of the cape, which took awhile. Next, I used resin to sculpt a new chest, the horns, build up the wristbands and smooth over the torso. After that I cut 2 pieces of matching vinyl halves for the vest and glued them on. Once dry, I took resin and connected the edges of the vinyl to the rest of the figure and smoothed it out. After that I cut 2 small pieces for the goatee and painted him up. Overall, I was quite happy with how he came out and may try a modern day Blue Devil soon.

Star Girl custom

This is a Star Girl custom I did for a commission piece recently. I used a DCD Birds of Prey Black Canary as the base and luckily had an old Starman rod lying around which I spray painted gold. I first removed the pads from BC and smoothed her over with resin. Next I cut some vinyl for the belt and used a curved circle sticker I found in a craft store for the buckle. After that, I used resin to make the boot zippers shapes and a gear wheel to make the indentations. The stars on the arms are stickers that I painted white and the blue is a Tamiya Metallic Blue acrylic paint.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Supershock custom

Supershock is a character from the Powers series and was a commission piece I just wrapped up. I used a JLU Superman (again) which I smoothed over with resin and resculpted the hair and shoulder cape. I used a DCD Corrupt Supergirl cape to finish it off. Overall, I was quite happy with the results, especially the flowing cape, and will probably do more Powers customs shortly.

Bwana Beast custom

This is one of my favorite obscure characters to pop up for a cameo on the Justice League Unlimited cartoon, Bwana Beast. A goofy 60's hero, BB was never taken seriously and considering how truly bizarre his costume is, I can see why. I used a JLU Superman base which I smoothed over with resin and sculpted the boot cuffs and helmet. The mask and loincloth are cut vinyl.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Zoom custom

While I was never a fan of the Flash, his villains have alway been a colorful if not terribly threatening bunch. Then Zoom entered the picture and the murderous speedster took the threat to a new level. This custom was done using a JLA Flash base with a smoothed over mask and sharpened ear pieces. The rest is a simple yet time-consuming repaint using cell vinyl paint for a more flourescent red and Apple Barrel craft paint for the yellow.

Wonder Girl custom

This is a Wonder Girl-Donna Troy custom using a JLU Wonder Woman figure as the base. I smoothed her over with resin and cut the W-belt from clear vinyl. I have a soft spot for those silver age DC heroes. Also, those stars are hand-painted, my friends. Next time I'll use decals.

Friday, November 10, 2006

BBQ Cramarama

Here's a great shot of myself, Cecilia, Tim, Darren and Dave when we all went for Barn Burner BBQ and crammed ourselves into a photo booth after cramming our gullets with delicious roasted meat.

Mera custom

This is a recent Justice League Unlimited custom I did of Aquaman's wife, Mera. I always loved that avacodo green jumpsuit mixed with her flaming red hair. I used a JLU Wonder Woman figure as a base and the collar came from a ML Black Widow.

Mighty links

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Lars in Toyfare #112

Here's a recent mention I got in Toyfare magazine for my Mr. Terrific custom. Click on the image to read the text.

Stickerbot 1.0

Occasionally, Dave and I get our dander up and put out a series of stickers we call Stickerbot. This is the latest sheet. We gave Amy Sedaris a few of the Jerri stickers and she said she'd give one to her Dad. Click on the image to see it larger.

Heavenly Asian plastic

This is a kickass Uriel that I found at Jungle over the weekend and he's a beaut. He stands about 4 inches tall and breaks down into about 10 pieces. This is a Japanese gashapon or capsule toy and is very popular with the natives. I'm a big fan of winged, angelic hawkguys so I coudn't resist, besides, he retails for about 8 bucks. Compared to the recent DCD Who's Who line, which run $6-7 bucks, DC needs to take some pointers from these Asian artisans.

Vampire the Eternal Struggle card art

This is a recent set of VTES cards I did for Mike Chaney at White Wolf Publishing in Atlanta. I've been working on the VTES game since it's inception and art directed it for awhile when I worked at WW. I work in watercolor and dyes and then bring it into Photoshop to adjust color and make corrections. The models are usually friends but recently I've started working with a few professional models since L.A. is chock full of beautiful goths who are into the game. I've done well over a hundred cards at this point and want to continue working on it till it's end. You can click on the image to see a larger version.

Lars Custom Action Figures

Here's a few examples of some recent custom action figures that I did as either a commission or to put on eBay. I've been doing these for about 6 years now and have appeared in Toyfare magazine a few times. I'll post more customs and tips as I finish them. Enjoy


WHAT YOU’LL NEED: The first thing to do is get a 2-part resin that dries overnight. I use Magic Sculpt Resin (comes in 2 small jars from from my local hobby shop, Kit Kraft in Studio City, CA). You can also use plumbers epoxy. You'll also need metal clippers/shears, a Dremel (or else you'll be sanding forever), wet-media & regular sandpaper, an X-Acto knife, Dullcote spray, a set of decent brushes & good acrylic paints. I use flat colors unless it's a glossy surface like metal or vinyl.

RESIN WORK: Start by cutting off any excess plastic bits, gluing on what you need and then start sanding/Dremmeling till the surface is smooth (use wet-media sandpaper for the final sanding). Next, mix the resin and apply it using wet fingertips and keep a water dish and washcloth handy. The resin thins with water and can be molded for up to 3-4 hours. I sometimes take an X-Acto knife and cut smooth lines for the edge of gloves and boot and then break it off after it hardens. Also, you can use other figures to get parts from like heads, hands and attach with epoxy or super glue. Try to keep the resin as smooth as possible (by wetting your fingers and running them over the surface) to avoid more sanding time. The resin will dry completely within 24 hours.

PAINTING: Once the figure is smooth and has all the resin applied & sanded, start painting the figure. I use thin coats and build them up to keep the surface smooth. Tamiya & Model Master flat acrylics are the best. If you rush it, it has a tendency to clot up on the brush and give you grit on the surface (Oy!). You can use wet-media sandpaper to smooth out the painted surface & repaint it if need be. After the figure is painted, I use a few coats of Testor's Dullcote spray to seal the figure, keep dust off and give it a store-bought finish.

DECALS: I use Micromark Ink Jet Decal Paper which I run through my Epson printer. I use Abode Illustrator to construct all my emblems using the pen tool (vector maps) and then print them out using the highest-quality setting. After it's printed, I coat the paper with Krylon Crystal Clear OR Micromark Decal Sealant at least 5-7 times, allowing it to dry in between each coating. Also, make sure you keep your unused decals in an airtight bag or container so they don't dry out.

All in all, it takes quite awhile to get a good figure finished so don't rush it. Too many people are out there making bad customs so you want to stand out and that takes time & patience. It may seem like a lot of work, but the results are spectacular and well worth the time and trouble.

Good luck,