Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Maleficent, probably the most awesome Disney villain ever. Famous for invoking "All the powers of Hell", which they tried to drown out with sound effects when rebroadcasting that clip on the Disney Channel. From Sleeping Beauty, as if you didn't know.

Maleficent started out as a Mulan Shimmer Princess doll.

I constructed her a new outfit from scratch, and molded her headdress out of Kneadatite. The headdress is removable, and she does have hair underneath, although I had to thin and shorten Mulan's thick tresses for this to work.

The green skin tone was actually created with a new technique: I colored on a wad of paper towel with a Sharpie, blotted the ink on a piece on paper and blended the color gently into her skin. I then painted on new eyes, lips and fingernails.

Her ring is Kneadatite, and her staff Kneadatite, a skewer, and a handle taken off a wand from another doll.

I painted Mulan's original shoes black, and finished her off with a gift box, covering the Princess logos and art with a screenshot from the internet (behind the doll) and a color copy of the front of the DVD.

Created as a gift. Completed Dec 2008

Monday, November 17, 2008

Elemental Pony of Air

2 years after Fire and Water, finally comes Air to join them. Her design is a lot simpler, airier, if you will...

Her original base color is white, a G3 "Sunny Daze". I removed the hoof magnet, the original symbol (a happy sun), and her original hair. She received a full mane and tail re-root, sculpted symbol and headband are Kneadatite. Much less sculpting on this one than the other Elemental Ponies, and I chose to do just a light paint design spreading from the symbol and up from the hooves. I redid the color in the eyes, and styled her hair to look "windswept", with some success. I'd like to say that I intended that her wind symbol to remind you of pegasus wings when viewed from the front, but in truth, it's a happy accident. I did think about using a pegasus for Air, but I like that she's a spirit of air, not literally flying with wings. Completed Nov 2008

Friday, November 14, 2008

Article: It's Better Than Good

I've posted a new article over at The Clearance Bin.
Click over for some words on kitbashing and accessory swaps.

Part Two: It's Better Than Good, It's Yours.

Comment Below!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Article: Rescue Me!

Erin's asked me to write (and I wanted to write) a series of articles about customs and general toy work.

Part One: Rescue Me!
is now live over at The Clearance Bin.
Check it out for some how-to's about basic cleaning and repair of figures.

Comments? Questions? Comment Below!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Kami, the Cicada

Kami is a musician and dancer, a jester-type character. Her insect is the cicada. (Did you know that the 13 and 17 year periodical cicadas are genus Magicicada? No Kidding.)

Kami started with picking the right doll. Her base doll is a Barbie "12 Dancing Princesses" doll. She came in a pack as one of two "twins". I picked her for three reasons: her fun hairstyle, her elbow joints, and she's more like a Skipper than a Barbie, only 10" tall.

After removing her costume, I sculpted a number of details onto her with Magic Sculpt: a mask-like headdress (there's small antennae there, but you have to look close), a neck band and upper arm cuffs, and a ribbon motif along her lower arms, matching what she came with on her legs.

The wings were always going to be a big part of this project. I was living near DC in 2004 when Brood X appeared, and was struck by how beautiful cicadas' wings are. The wings are carefully copied from pictures of real wings. Sculpted lines of Kneadatite on clear plastic, cut out, and painted. The internal cells of the wings are painted in a mixture of gloss, paint, and "stained glass" paint, to vary the internal color of the panels. The veins are done in brown, glossed over with an orangy-gold. All four wings are screwed independently into her back, and may be individually posed.

She got a "tattoo" of paint patterned after a very pretty cicada I found a picture of, and the design on her headdress is also from an actual insect. I repainted her eyes and lips, and all of the sculpted elements.
Her costume is made out of ribbon, fabric, and silk flower leaves, with seed bead decorations

Since cicadas are notorious noisemakers, I decided to give her a tambourine accessory. It's made out of Kneadatite, with part of a handle of a Barbie hairbrush implanted to give her something to hold. Then vellum on top and bells around the sides. The base which she came with works better for her than a generic Barbie base, but it was a hideous pastel teal. I went over it with Sharpie and paint, and got a fairly nice effect.

Overall, I'm really very pleased with the final project. I had this one in the back of my mind for a long time, and now that she's done, she may be my favorite fairy yet. Completed Oct 2008

Sunday, October 5, 2008


Alicia is an original character,
a gothish-punk vampire, who I played in a 2 yr World of Darkness campaign.

After working on Calendar Girl and Poison Ivy, I had a few headless Animated Witchblade figures. Looking at them I realized one would be perfect for Alicia, and that’s when I decided to make the figure in the first place (I had initially shied away from doing gaming characters.) She may have the dubious honor of being the figure who sat on my worktable in pieces for the longest time before being completed.

Witchblade Figure/In Progress Picture:

I carved down the right arm, and replaced the right hand with a JL Hawkgirl hand I had to spare.

The new head is from a B:taS Harley Quinn. I had to do a lot of work on the neck joint, since the original joints did not match at
all. I removed all the paint, smoothed down the mask lines (much easier said than done), and chopped off the jester hat points.

I used Kneadatite to give her a new hairdo and to form a new jacket cuff on the right arm.
This is the first figure I've used Kneadatite on, and I love the final effect-it's flexible and sturdy. I did find it challenging to work with, but I think I just need more practice.

I left the undershirt red, gave the rest a nice coat of paint, and she’s out on the town. Completed Oct 2008

Monday, May 12, 2008

Bat-Suit (in a Bat-Case, with a Bat-Light)

Another Erin "commission". Behold. BatSuit in a case!
(Can I even say how much I like the fact that there is a Wikipedia article just for the Batsuit. I shouldn't be surprised, I know...)

The Bat-Body is a B:tAS "Battle Scars Batman" from a 2-pack w/Catwoman. I removed the "scars" with acetone, and painted over his blue gloves/boots, etc. to black. I went over his belt with better colors, including some shading. His arms and head were removed. I chopped down his blocky shoulders, and reattached his arms closer to his body. The cape is made out of umbrella fabric.

Between the time I started and finished this project, unfortunately, I lost his head, so the cowl is from a head pulled from a random old aqua suited Batman. I carved out the face portion, then extended the bottom edge down and the ears up with modeling compound. It came out okay, but up close it does look a little... battle damaged, maybe? Maybe that's why it's in storage. Added a post to "hold up" the cowl and make it easy to see there's no person in that suit.

The case is from a Code Lyoko set picked up cheap. The light is a small round LED light, which is not attached so that it's easier to turn on and off. I removed all the Lyoko stuff from the inside of the tube, then cut a huge hole in the top, and sculpted a lip to hold the light at a good height. Painted the whole thing black, then brushed thin silver over the outside to give it a metallic gleam. Cut a piece of mirrored paper to fit the inside, added the Bat Figure, and we have a nice addition to our Bat-Shelf. Completed May 2008

Monday, May 5, 2008


Phoenix, AKA Jean Grey of the X-Men. This is original costume Phoenix, from her first appearance (X-Men 101, Oct 1976). Phoenix is a powerful telekinetic and telepath, with flight, energy projection, and eventual psychic control over the very atoms of the universe. (No, her power is not to make things levitate and explode. Stupid movie.) Phoenix was originally described as Jean's own power, but now is generally Jean merged with the Phoenix Force. She often manifests the firebird when using her powers. When Jean is unable to control the power of Phoenix, she risks becoming Dark Phoenix, a capricious force of great destruction. But here we see Phoenix pure and simple.


Phoenix is built on a Marvel Select "New X-Men Phoenix" designed from the storyline "Here Comes Tomorrow". Erin very much wanted a Phoenix figure, and he bought this one, on the logic that it was the best he could get for now.
I said, "If you bring that ugly toy into the house, I'll have to 'fix' it." He said, "Really? Great!"

See Below for the original figure:

As I called her, "evil-slut-phoenix" got her pointy black outfit Dremeled off, and all paint removed from her face. I did a bit of subtle resculpting in her face, cut her eyes a bit wider. I used Magic Sculpt to add the neckline of her costume, her glove and boot-tops, and filled out her waist just a touch. She got a full body repaint, (including freehanding the symbol), new highlights in her hair, and her eyes and lips redone. Her belt is fabric, glue, wire, and velcro, and the symbol clasp is cut out of a small piece of Sculpey. Put her back in her base, and she's ready to fly.

For my first foray into 8" scale, I think she turned out pretty nice. Completed May 2008.

Satia, The Moth

Satia is the Prime Minister of the Faerie Court, first and most trusted adviser to the Queen. Her insect is an Indian Luna Moth.


Satia is made from a Asian-looking Barbie I picked up at a yard sale. Her dress is completely hand-sewn from scratch, her detachable sleeves are silk flower leaves. Her wings are fabric sewn over a wire armature and painted. As shown, they can spread out or wrap around her body, and are highly flexible. Her "antennae" are pheasant feathers. She had a nice face paint, so I left it as is. Completed February 2008.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Starcrossed: Group

Full Starcrossed group Shot.
One of these days Clark and J'onn will get added. One of these days.

Starcrossed: Shayera

Shayera Hol, aka Hawkgirl. As seen in Thanagarian armor, in the Justice League episode: Starcrossed.

Shayera was made from a Justice Lord Hawkgirl, all detailing removed except the helmet. Hair donated from a standard Hawkgirl. Armored breastplate, shoulder pads, gauntlets, belt, boot-tops added in Magic Sculpt. She needed a full repaint so her skin tone would match throughout. I chose (as I often do), to give the colors the depth, that I think they would have in three dimensions, as opposed to staying strictly on the 2d animated model. I think this helps the figures stand out more. For example, in the episode, she's painted with a goldish yellow, and I went with actual metallic gold. I gave her hawk symbol, and some of her armor, a coat of gloss, and she's done.

Starcrossed: John Stewart

John Stewart, aka Green Lantern.
As seen in civilian disguise in the Justice League episode: Starcrossed.

John is a Justice League GL, and a whole lot of sculpting. Edge of the sweatshirt is vinyl, pants, shirt hood, cuffs, and hat out of Magic Sculpt. Careful paint color match to the episode, and that's all.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Starcrossed: Wally

Wally West, aka The Flash. As seen in civilian disguise in the Justice League episode: Starcrossed. An episode notable for revealing that it was in fact Wally West in the Flash costume, and not one of the other bearers of the name.

I'm fairly proud of this one. He was entirely sculpted off of a JL Flash. That means sanding down the mask, sculpting ears. painting eyes from scratch, etc. Vinyl attached at the waist creates the lower edge of his shirt. Everything is Magic Sculpt, pants, sneakers, shirt cuffs, hair. Head to toe paint job, and he's safely camouflaged as a normal joe.

Starcrossed: Bruce

Bruce Wayne, also known as Batman. As seen in civilian disguise in the the Justice League episode: Starcrossed.

Bruce here started life as an Undercover Bruce Wayne from B:TAS. This puts him slightly out of the scale with the others, who are the smaller Justice League scale, but I couldn't get his head out without wrecking it. His legs from the the thighs down were donated by a JLU Batman so he could have working knees. (Eventually I want him in a scale chair for this display.) I took out some height when I added the new legs. Square shoulders rounded with knife and Dremel, jacket, pant cuffs and little hair (tuft? bangs? Whatever it is.) added with Magic Sculpt. Paint, gloss on the jacket, and he's done.

Aren't they cute?

Starcrossed: Diana

(A year since they first appeared at Custom Con, I'm finally uploading these guys)


Diana, Princess of the Amazon island of Themyscira, also known as Wonder Woman. As seen in civilian disguise in the the Justice League episode: Starcrossed.

Made from a JL Wonder Woman. She was the first one of the Starcrossed gang that I did.
I would make her taller, were I to do her over, but overall she looks good.
Her awesome flared pants and shirt are done out of Magic Sculpt. I cut off all her hair (no fun), and the ponytail was made separately out of Sculpey and attached with a pin and glue. A new paint job and she's set.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Tasslehoff Burrfoot

Another Dragonlance figure. Raistlin needed a friend, so to speak. Tasslehoff is a kender, which is pretentious writer speak for "We think hobbits are boring". The most adorable of all Dragonlance characters, and second only to the previously posted mage in popularity, words commonly used to describe Tas include 'troublemaking', 'lightfingered', and '

My Tasslehoff is approx 10" tall. He carries his hoopak, along with several bags, pouches, rope, and two maps (not pictured). In his characteristic fur vest and blue leggings, he is ready and eager for adventure.


Tasslehoff is built on a FoTR Frodo doll. He had all his hair shaved off and replaced with a hand-crafted wig, and his face paint was removed and redone. His costume is entirely handsewn. The Backpack is from the Frodo doll, the belt and the bag with the green strap from a Gandalf. The rope coiled around his arm is actually a hemp necklace, and his hoopak is a carved and painted piece of craft wood. His maps (not pictured) are photocopied from the front of the annotated Chronicles, reduced and printed onto tan colored paper.
Originally posted online (different pictures) for Custom Con 16. Completed in 2005.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Raistlin Majere

Possibly the reason I got into customizing. Possibly my favorite creation. I may make much more elaborate, better projects, but...Dragonlance will always have a place in my heart, no matter how trashy it gets. And for many Dragonlance fans, the soul of the series is Raistlin Majere: The Character Too Cool To Die. Most Powerful Black Robe Mage. Master of Past and Present. Popular enough to merit his own prequel duology, on top of the prequels already written, as well as appearing in one novella and at least three novels AFTER his canonical demise. Another book, currently pending, promises to account for every moment of his life thus far unchronicled. (In other words, he's the proven moneymaker for Weis/Hickman.)

This is probably cause he's Evil. (Sometimes). Selfish, twisted, secretly kind once in a blue moon, and of course, AWESOME.

My Raistlin figure is 12" tall, dressed in black robes. (according to Tas: "Red always makes him look kind of jaundiced, if you know what I mean.") His accessories include the Staff of Magius, two spellbooks and a satchel to carry them in. Seen below with Tasslehoff Burrfoot.
Originally posted online (different pictures) for Custom Con 16.

Raist is a 12' FoTR Aragron. I kept Aragorn's boots, and colored them black with a fabric pen. The rest of the costume is hand sewn black velvet. The figure got a paint treatment on all exposed skin/hair after I filed down Aragorn's stubble. I'm not going to go into how long those damned eyes took me. His two spellbooks (Yes, one black and gold, one nightblue and silver) are handbound into fabric covers, and do contain writing, printed off my computer. The Staff of Magius is a painted dowel, a pewter dragon claw necklace bent into a new shape and painted gold, and a faceted quartz crystal. (Yes I know, it's usually described as a ball, but it's faceted in some pictures. Check the first edition cover of Time of the Twins. Picky.) Completed back in 2005.