Hey Thomas, thanks for the kind words... I'm not nearly that impressive though, haha... But it's nice someone thinks so anyway.
For the toothpick thing, I actually learned to improvise tools like that when I built model military figures as a child... Tamiya and some other companies put out some really REALLY amazing World War II model kits that my brothers got into, and then I started grabbing an odd kit here and there to make figures. They had everything from BMW German motorcycle couriers to Artillery crews you could put on a German 88 model or Flak gun or whatnot. Really neat stuff.
Since I couldn't afford the expensive brushes at the time, and was spending $ on various things as a kid, I improvised the tools sometimes. Pins, toothpicks, etc... Even cobbled good brushes from cheap testors model brushes by cutting the hairs to a point and such.
The casting that you do sounds great and I am very intrigued that you are so adept at it. I have probably missed a thread of where you post your customs and miniatures and I apologize for not being a more well-rounded forum reader.
I wouldn't say I'm adept at it, but thanks.
I'm just self-taught because I wanted to get to know how to make my own pieces and cast entire customs instead of relying on Hasbro to make a decent figure themselves or only having one of a figure I made incase I wanted more than one.
You've missed no threads though, don't worry.
The few customs I have done I'm not really wanting to show right now... Most I've scrapped and want to improve upon. I have a lot of projects that are partly finished... Those are mostly vehicles though. My casting's been dead in the water for a while since I can't afford supplies at the moment and am out of most everything I need. I have worked on scratch built vehicles and some modified vehicles but only have them partly finished... One project's even been years in the making, and is nowhere near done, haha. Sad...
To get the detail on the miniatures must be a total pain, especially if you have to apply sprues for pieces that extend out too far. The other thing is that the sanding and cleaning up must be a royal pain on something so small. I have tried my hand at jewelry and wanted to start using my tiny files and sanding tools and just flush them along with my work. I just do not have the patience.
Yeah, nailing detail right is a pain, and takes practice, but good minis painters really can do amazing work because a lot of minis are VERY intricately detailed. The old West End Games ones were amazing, really. If you ever get the chance to see some of them, they're worth a look. The Lord ofo the Rings ones are superior even if you ask me. Those are a diverse line... There's even a vintage line, and the modern tabletop minis line that's out now. I think they're the same scale too. The vintage line my brother had all of, and he's a true master at minis painting. He even was able to paint tattoos on figures in that tiny scale.... That just boggles my mind. He has a vast array of speciality tools he uses to do his work too. Lots of magnifying equipment, clamps, etc... And the things look like real mini people when he's done too.
It really does take a lot of patience and a steady hand... It can result in some great items when you're done though. The old SW minis are a neat side collecting thing too.
When you customize the 3 3/4" figure, I imagine it must be in many different pieces that you join when they are set. My obstacle has always been the engineering aspect of the action figure. The joints always come out mangled or oversized or not at all. I prefer a bit of a larger scale and I don't fear the small, I just abhor the maintenance of getting them to the finished product./quote]
A good way to work it is to build off an existing base, if you're casting a figure. That way you get the correct joints and things. not possible for a 100% handmade figure, but it's good for improving figures that Hasbro's given you a start to (or any other company). Proper casting should yield a perfect copy more or less though, so it should work out... I've done that just practicing, simply to see if I could do working joints... I casted a Dr. Evazan upper body perfectly... Was pretty neat. There's other problems I'll run into then later, more advanced things I guess, but for a basic run it worked and I was pretty proud at the time. It's just so darn expensive to get into though.
You'll have to post some images of your items you've casted, I'm pretty curious to see them. At some point maybe I'll be able to post images of something I've done, but at the moment I'm dead in the water on the issue of customizing. Eventually though.
If the minis line pans out to be a true minis battles game I'm probably not going to bother casting any minis anymore. May as well just buy em I figure. I just hope the game's as good as the old WEG one was. That thing rocked... I hope the minis are that nice (prepainted or not) and as diverse as WEG had.