Here's my first run of custom 12" Star Wars upgrades. Darth Vader; A New Hope
This pose was inspired by the back cover of the Original Movie Storybook from 1978. This was the iconic image burned into my memory from my childhood and will always be the first thing that comes to mind at the mere mention of Darth Vader.
This was my comparrison pose to the 1/4 Scale Premium Format from Sideshow Collectibles.
The lenses, chest box, and armor were handpainted to acheive the accurate appearance from A New Hope.
This is to show the adjusted height to maintain a true 1/6 scale amoungst the past Hasbro 12" figures and future Sideshow Collectibles. Beside Vader is my own handpainted Obi-Wan Kenobi. Also noticable from this pic, is the minor adjustment to Vader's posture to give him the drooped shoulder look he donned in ANH. The Circle is now complete...
Here's a couple close-ups of the hand-painted detail of Obi-Wan's face.
The mold used was from the 2004 Saga figure
Here's my WIP Yoda. I've done some touch ups on the face and changed the eyes. The cloak has ben altered to tone down the amount of fraying around the sleeves and bottom. I added some whisps of white hair to accent the face.Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knight You will bring Captain Solo and the Wookiee to me...
Some close-ups of the detail of the hand-painted face. This mold was the 1997 FAO Shwartz exclusive.You will take me to Jabba now...
My current project is to enhance Hasbro's prior line of 12" figures to be as film accurate as possible; not a minor job by ANY means. So far, I've got over 50 of the original figures ready to go and just shy of 20 bodies to start replacing with. To start, I'm focusing on Episodes IV, V, VI.
I've also begun compliling a photo reference database to aid me in this process. Rumor has it that Sideshow Collectibles is going to produce the SW line at about 10 per year, spanning all 6 movies. That just doesn't cut it for me. Once I complete upgrading what came out for the Original Trilogy, I may do a handful from the Prequel Trilogy.
Initially, I will be replacing the bodies with 1/6 bodies from Sideshow Collectibles, 21st Century Soldiers, Dragon, BBi, GI Joe/Jane, etc. Some of the figures, like Admiral Ackbar for example, have unique hands and lower arms that don't removed from the body like a standard glove does. In cases like this, I'll be removing the lower arm at the elbow joing and will be custom tooling it to fit back into the elbow joint of whatever body I select.
Second step is tailoring the uniforms to fit their new, more realistic bodies. While making any alterations in the fit of the uniforms, I will also be correcting any color inaccuracies the clothing may have.
Third and most important step, handpainting. The big job on most, will be the face. Majority of the sculpts of the faces post 1998 are quite workable, . The big exception to this is Leia. There may be a small number I'll have to shrink, but I think all will be well. Along with faces, I'll be detailing helmets, belts, armor, gloves, boots, weapons and accessories. Anything with sculpted detail will be painted. I use acryllic paints and seal them with Testors Dullcote.
Forth and finally, finishing touches. This could be replacing bulky Hasbro gloves with Dragon WWII gloves or Sideshow Civil War gauntlets and repainting them. Adding additional accessories, like a belt overlooked during Hasbro's production. From time to time I may use a head from a Gentle Giant mini-bust or even a helmet from Tomy's 1/6 line. These of course are a little more costly, however, but they do look sharp.
I figure that if Sideshow is going to run about $50 each, I can probably make my own from existing stuff on a comparable margine. Plus, I can guarantee SS isn't going to put out everything Hasbro already has. Now I'm not saying that I won't buy SS in the future. I just think it'd be a great feat to try and create a definitive collection on my own, rather than just buy finished pieces, character by character.
Some of these may only take me 4 hours total to finish, others may take me close to 20. But I'll know what I have on my shelf means that much more to me on a personal level than what may be sitting on the next guys shelf that came fresh out of the box!