Author Topic: Mitsukara's customs (updated 12/10/06- EU NR-era Jedi robes Luke Skywalker WIP)  (Read 4219 times)

Offline Mitsukara

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All right, these are my first custom Star Wars figures, and my first custom figures whatsoever that aren't in 1:6 scale (and in those cases, 97% of what I did was just gathering seperate outfit items and assembling them). Additionally, I've used some pretty old stuff here, and other than Han these customs look like they came from 2000, not 2006. So, bear with me here...

Also, I'm sorry for taking so long to get these done. Just today I managed to get another scanner we had hooked up, and it scans these to at least a seeable condition. Still, the picture quality is pretty bad, but at least it's something, right?

Custom #1: Luke Skywalker in traditional Jedi garb

Head: POTF2 Luke Skywalker in Stormtrooper Disguise (note the collar)
Body: Episode 1 Obi Wan Kenobi (Jedi Duel)
Lightsaber: POTF2 Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker (spare from Escape the Death Star game)

I made this back in December, and I have to say I'm not really all that wild about it >.> Actually, my first thought after seeing some Star Wars custom figures was that I wanted to make one of these ^^ But the painting didn't go that great and I think I'm going to try to strip it and redo it someday. As it stands, Luke is painted with Apple Barrel acrylics- the cheap stuff- and sealed with cheap Wal Mart acrylic sealer. I think I put too much sealer because Luke got this kind of sticky, glossy coat (despite it being flat sealer)- most of the really noticeable stuff I was able to get off, but as you'll notice he still looks kind of "shiny" and his "skirt" piece seems to attract tiny dirt and stuff over time. The lightsaber sealed great though, and isn't too sticky and hasn't worn.

I'm not sure when this Luke would really chronologically fit in- I planned it before I'd read any EU books and made it not too long after reading Heir to the Empire for the first time. I decided to paint the little "buckles" on the boots silver to add something different (and I was kind of thinking of Anakin's glove), and the color scheme I made up partially for easyness (wasn't brave enough to repaint his whole outfit). For some reason I had the hardest time getting the head to pop in, taking about an hour and a half to do it- I don't think I was doing it right. Later customs have gone much more smoothly though.

Custom #2: Han Solo in Stormtrooper Disguise (bet you've never seen one of these!)

Head: POTF2 Commtech Han Solo (Cantina)
Body, Helmet, Gun: Luke Skywalker in Stormtrooper Disguise

Once I got experimenting with making my other Han Solo, I found myself with some leftover Cantina Han parts, and I had a stormtrooper disguise waiting to be filled from my Luke custom. So, rather quickly, I whipped this guy up. Later, I went back and added some paint details when I repainted my other stormtroopers.

The body is terribly lame of course, but I like this custom better than the pictures I've seen of the official POTF2 Hantrooper; he had this weird pose with his arms, and the Cantina Han makes a better young Harrison Ford likeness. The collar is a small rubber band which I painted black. The blaster, along with several of my other POTF2 E-11s, has some silver paint (Apple Barrel of course) added in areas I think might maybe be accurate from a search for pictures of the prop.

Finally, I decided for some reason to try to paint his head some- I don't much care for the tannish brown Cantina Han was painted with, and he lookd kind of cartoony. I think I used Burnt Umber, and I wiped it off with a napkin immediately after application- this worked great on the hair after doing it a few times. The trouble was, it made the eyebrows look horrible, so I attempted to repaint them with a needle. The results aren't very good and probably need reworked eventually, especially if they chip/rub off sometime.

Custom #3: Paint Enhanced POTF2 Stormtroopers


I think I just won "Boring Custom of 2006." All I did here was use some black paint- testors on the torso and Apple Barrel on the legs, "neck," and helmet- to add some details and make these guys look more accurate. I think I'll do this to my future POTF2 stormtroopers, but perhaps I'll try popping the limbs first, and using enamel and dullcote.

Sadly, I was unable to magically remove the mega-buffness.

Custom #4: Han Solo (New Republic)

Head, torso, arms: TSC Han Solo (Carbonite)
Legs, pelvis, vest, blaster: POTF2 Commtech Han Solo (Cantina)

Yeah! A custom that's kinda cool in some way! Basically, I torso cracked Cantina Han- cracking quite a bit actually >.< - and after a bit of effort managed to remove the lower half from the upper half (mostly by destroying the upper half). Carbonite Han is made entirely of the soft plastic that used to be reserved to limbs/heads/accessories, so his torso actually pops off pretty easily via boil and pop.

I toyed with the idea of trying to cut and swap the posts for the torsos, since they didn't match, but in a moment of boldness I instead decided to try rewarming the Carbonite Han torso and then just pushed the post in and to my surprise, it worked and retains the articulation after cooling- though I suspect it warped the inside of the torso to do it. Nevertheless, it worked, so I'm happy about it :)

I decided to paint Han's pants black with yellow bloodstripes, to match the way the Heir to the Empire comic books (haven't read them, but I've searched around and found pictures) portrayed him. I think a number of other comic books like this combination, and I thought, why not. Painting was problematic though; I tried to use Testors enamel, and then seal it with dullcote, but it took way too many coats to dry I think, and even then it wouldn't dry around the joints. As it turns out I think I was supposed to prime the figure beforehand, but alas. So I spent about an hour stripping off all the paint and redid it with apple barrel acrylics which I carefully sealed, masking off the top half since it didn't need any. It might get changed later on, but it works for now- although there's a sport on the back of one leg where it's already chipped off slightly.

The blaster is simply painted with apple barrel acrylics, wiped away while wet, and that process repeated a few times. It makes the gun look kind of worn and retains some of it's metallic look, and it hasn't chipped off yet even in the holster or Han's hand. And the great thing is that this blaster fits near-perfectly in his hand.

I took a few more pictures of Han but figured not everyone would care to see them, and I didn't think I should clutter my post too much, so here they are:

Side-by-side comparison with VTSC Han Solo
Han and MFC Chewie
Han and Chewie again
Also of note is that I customized Chewie's bowcaster a bit- I stole it from buff short POTF2 first Chewie, repainted it with the wipe-away method to add some silver/black/bronze weathering, and added a strap. The strap is actually a green rubber band with some crude black weathering added, attached by jumprings. It doesn't always hang quite right, but with some care it looks okay, and it works for actually hanging the bowcaster over his back.

Any comments/tips/suggestions are appreciated. I know these customs aren't much, but I hope to do some cooler stuff in the future. You can expect some more POTF2 parts to show up in them though, considering I just bought a lot of mostly POTF2 fodder (although I'm pretty happy with the lot, especially for the price I paid)...

NOTE: If some of the pictures aren't showing up, right click on them and click "Show Image"- maybe I have too many of them or something?
« Last Edit: December 11, 2006, 06:02 PM by Mitsukara »

Offline CHEWIE

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Re: Mitsukara's customs
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2006, 11:49 PM »
POTF2 customs?  POTF2 customs??

Just kidding.  These look nice Mitsukara, especially if you are just starting on 3-3/4" customs, and if you have a lot of POTF2 fodder, it's probably best to start on those first.  You'll probably find that a lot of the plastic on newer figures is a lot softer and a bit easier to work with though, at least in my experience.

I really like the New Republic Han, it doesn't have a POTF2 look to it at all.  Great head choice too with the SAGA2 Han, it does look like an older version of Harrison Ford.

Looking forward to seeing more of your work.   :)

 :)

Offline Smartypants1635

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Re: Mitsukara's customs
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2006, 09:33 AM »
Im not Wild about the POtf2 sculpts, but thats where we all started.  :-\ 

Any way that Han Solo is excellant it looks great, Its a good choice of parts that, Han head looks perfect a much older version than the other ones we have seen, I also love that cantina Han body you used for the legs He is a great base for Mercs smugglers etc(even if hes been rehashed 80 times). Keep it Up and you'll be churning out great cusstoms like this on every single try.

Offline BrentS

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Re: Mitsukara's customs
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2006, 09:44 AM »
Mitsukara

Han looks great.  Its a nice blend of parts.  I would not have thought about trying to use that torso in a "traditional" han custom.

I can see why people aren't terribly excited about POTF customs but you've got to start somewhere.  I like the Han in Stormie oufit.  However on the Luke figure, it almost looks like his head is a bit too small for the Obi-Wan body.  Or maybe the Obi-wan shoulders are just too big.

Offline Master_Phruby

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Re: Mitsukara's customs
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2006, 09:49 AM »
POTF2 customs?  POTF2 customs??

Oh and who's not the king of the POTF2 customs? Hmm. Let me see.... ;)

I got to admit though, that Han Solo looks much better with that head than the weird head we got on the new saga version. The new version looks like the guy with the bong in the cantina. Some good solid customs here.
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Offline BrentS

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Re: Mitsukara's customs
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2006, 09:54 AM »


I think I just won "Boring Custom of 2006." All I did here was use some black paint- testors on the torso and Apple Barrel on the legs, "neck," and helmet- to add some details and make these guys look more accurate. I think I'll do this to my future POTF2 stormtroopers, but perhaps I'll try popping the limbs first, and using enamel and dullcote.


Be careful with Enamel.  From what I hear, enamel and hasbro plastic don't mesh too well.  Basically the enamel reacts with the plastic leaving a wet tacky feeling.  I've never tried, but I've heard it enough on these boards to post the warning!

Offline Smartypants1635

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Re: Mitsukara's customs
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2006, 10:05 AM »
Yeah thats exactly what happens Brents, it happened to me a few times when I started :-[ it got on my dresser and my mom wasnt happy :-X

Offline findswoman

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Re: Mitsukara's customs
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2006, 11:19 AM »
Looks like your 1:18 career is off to a great start, Mitsukara!  I especially like the Hans -- the head you've chosen for the Stormie Han really captures how he is in that particular scene of SW.  And I like all the articulation on the New Republic Han.  (Since he does look a good bit older than the Stormie Han, this seems like a good thing to call him! :) )

Keep up the fine work -- looking forward to seeing more.  And don't let anyone make you feel bad about using POTF2 fodder -- it's still great for many things.  (Aliens, for example.) Happy customizing!

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Offline Darth_Ennis

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Re: Mitsukara's customs
« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2006, 04:04 PM »
Its about time you updated, I was beginning to wonder what happened to you. I like the jedi Luke. His color scheme is more along the lines of what I was trying to do with mine, I think you nailed it.

The Republic Han looks cool too. He has a definate vintage figure look about him in those colors. The yellow bloodstripe is a nice touch.

Keep em comin.

Offline Mitsukara

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Re: Mitsukara's customs
« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2006, 11:18 PM »
P.S. in advance- sorry for the super-long post here, feel free to skim it a bit >.<

Thanks for the comments, everyone :) I really appreciate it, and I'm really glad to see people like Han (both of them, actually- I thought the Hantrooper was about as exciting as a brick)- the need for such a figure as my NR Han is pretty questionable with the VTSC around, but I love the Carbonite Han sculpting, so I'm really pretty fond of both figures :) It also makes me feel better about displaying VTSC Han with my ROTJ stuff (and sporting the trenchcoat when doing so), since I can now keep this Han with my EU figures.

And yes, it did occur to me that the Vintage figure also sported black pants ;) Like I said though, this was largely because I found out Han wore this kind of pants (although the "bloodstripes" was pretty much just a thick yellow line there) in the Thrawn Trilogy comics- I don't always intend to follow comic book accuracy (I prefer Thrawn himself with shoulderpads), but the idea struck me as something kind of cool I could do. To tell the truth, I also stole the idea partially from a pretty old (I think?) custom on Jedime's website.

Quote
However on the Luke figure, it almost looks like his head is a bit too small for the Obi-Wan body.  Or maybe the Obi-wan shoulders are just too big.
Obi Wan has monster shoulderpads. Check out the original figure- I'm pretty sure his head's about the same size. I think the problem is that the sculpting didn't quite account properly for the way the prequel Jedi robes/tunics hang over the shoulders so much versus how the shoulder joints are made to attach to the figure. Notice that POTF2 Jedi Knight Luke has a tunic that doesn't cover his shoulders at all either (although they did slightly in the movie IIRC). They tried with really thin upper arms- but it still looks too broad and kind of weird.

Quote
Be careful with Enamel.  From what I hear, enamel and hasbro plastic don't mesh too well.  Basically the enamel reacts with the plastic leaving a wet tacky feeling.  I've never tried, but I've heard it enough on these boards to post the warning!
I thought a lot of people used Testors for customs, but I'm beginning to wonder if the majority actually avoid enamel- many very successful customizers certainly seem to. After the incident with Han, I'd really like to avoid using it for the most part. If I use it any more on soft plastic, it'll only be on popped parts where I can definately spray the whole thing thoroughly.

The trouble with acrylics is that they chip really, really easily. What I really need is some good, flat, acrylic paint that sticks really well, or some kind of technique for sealing it more practically- I don't want to repeat the incident I had with Luke and get a sticky, shiny figure.

Also, I really, really need to look into some priming methods- the figures you see here had no priming whatsoever, and that bodes ill, I know.

Anyway, once I get some more customs done, I should be able to scan them and get them up pretty quickly :) On the agenda for the near future, I have another Jedi Luke planned- using a DJ Luke head and Kit Fisto body, for which I have most of the parts (need some new hands- Kit's are just wrong for Luke) but not a method of assembly planend (still no dremel, not to mention any experience using one). I also want to do soup up my POTF2 EU Thrawn with some shoulderpads, and I have a few incomplete, POTF2-filled customs that are included in a parts lot I just bought a few days ago (should probably arrive next week). Also, I'm hoping to do a Lando or two soon- not sure which one, I have 4 or 5 planned long-term. One of those- probably won't do him next though- would be coordinated with a certain oddball/uncommon custom I'd like to do- using no figure parts, purely from scratch hobby materials- that would go with it ;)

As you can see, there'll doubtless be some more POTF2 parts in my future customs (though I want to avoid improper buffness where possible), but I hope to do some more cool stuff like Han too- it's mostly a matter of getting the parts I want, which means having the money for those parts. I suspect I'll try to do certain figures really well, but also throw together some simple stuff akin my Hantrooper and Luke. I'm really glad Cantina Han is everywhere though, because that figure- especially the legs- is pretty darn useful.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2006, 11:35 PM by Mitsukara »

Offline Smartypants1635

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Re: Mitsukara's customs
« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2006, 11:56 PM »
Apple barrel/folk art is the cheepest acrylic out there (no offense chewie) you have to put many many coats on to keep from chipping, its ment for canvas paitning.

Tamiya on the other hand is great, you have  to put a lot of pressure or sharp tools to get tamiya off, and is especcialy durable in multiple cotes, thats what i use.

Offline BrentS

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Re: Mitsukara's customs
« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2006, 12:00 AM »


 What I really need is some good, flat, acrylic paint that sticks really well, or some kind of technique for sealing it more practically- I don't want to repeat the incident I had with Luke and get a sticky, shiny figure.


You hit the nail on the head right there.  Good quality acrylic paints.  The apple barrel are good to cut your teeth on (so to speak) but most of the customizers here use model shop quality acrylics.  Tamiya, Citadel (Gamesworkshop), Reaper, and Vallejo all make good paints.  They are more expensive but worth every penny.  I think Testor's also makes an Acrylic Paint called "Model Master" (I think thats the name).  I don't have any experience with it.

Just for comparison here are two 501st troopers I did way back (some of my first customs).  If you look closely you can see the difference between the Apple Barrel brands and the Gamesworkshop brands.

Click Here to see comparison

Anyway, sorry to hijack your thread with my own customs.

Offline Mitsukara

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Re: Mitsukara's customs
« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2006, 01:03 AM »
Actually, that's quite helpful- no need to worry about any "hijacking," I'm in need of some pointers and examples are great ^.^ The one on the right is the Apple Barrel, right? Judging from the chip...

Where could I find some of these other brands? All I found at Wal Mart were Apple Barrel and FolkArt I think. I could check at Hobby Lobby and possibly some other stores when shopping out of town, though...

They're on clearance, but I think our Wal Mart still has some Testors acrylic, so I might try that out when I have a dollar to spare. Junk items first, of course.

Offline Nirvana

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Re: Mitsukara's customs
« Reply #13 on: May 27, 2006, 08:48 AM »
The trouble with acrylics is that they chip really, really easily. What I really need is some good, flat, acrylic paint that sticks really well, or some kind of technique for sealing it more practically- I don't want to repeat the incident I had with Luke and get a sticky, shiny figure.

One acrylic paint that I've used but not so much any more is Tamiya Paints. It's only sold online or at hobby stores (HobbyTownUSA) but it's very military based colors and doesn't chip most of the time after it's dry. Just make sure you don't touch it before it is dry or else it will adhere to your fingers and peel off. Other than that, it's a low-odor, high quality paint taht I've used alot on some of my earlier customs (305th Legion, Mobile Artillery Commander, Imperial Boarding Trooper, to name a few.)
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Offline Joe

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Re: Mitsukara's customs
« Reply #14 on: May 27, 2006, 10:07 AM »
nice set of figures there, the New Rep. Han looks GREAT!

in respone to your quote above.....try gamesworkshop paint..they usualy don't chip ,  espically if you use a sealer on them.(try a dull-cote)
Cheers!

 - Joe