Daremo Featured Customizer
In the world of GI Joe, Onihashi was the Arashikage master swordsmith who trained Zartan. In the world of GI Joe customs, daremo is our master ninja weaponsmith. He's been doing for years what Hasbro has only recently gotten around to by exploring the depths of martial arts and their cool weapons. However, his body of work goes deeper than just the awesome accessories and ninjas. His paint is flawless, his sculpting is top notch, and we've only seen the beginnings of what he is capable of with his dioramas. Nothing on his customs is by chance. Everything has been carefully considered. Check out his customs in the Critiques Section of the forum, but only after you read what he has to say about customizing.
What do you enjoy customizing the most?
Figures of course. More specifically ninja/martial arts type characters. I have to hold GI Joe and the 80's ninja craze responsible for that (although ironically Ninja Force killed my interest in GI Joe until the 25th anniversary). I also like to create customs of real people. Having a custom figure of you always makes a special and unique gift. I think I've only ever finished one custom vehicle, a motorcycle for the JoeCustoms Original Character Custom Contest.
What brand of paint do you prefer?
Testors Model Masters Acryl is my paint of choice. It goes on smooth, dries fast, has a high quality finish once it's dried, and it cleans up easy with water. I've used Citadel and Tamiya in the past but I like the results that I get with Testors. I swear the paint is really photogenic. I use cheap craft paint for dioramas. I've had a few Japanese style environments on the workbench for a long time and the craft paint works great for them.
Where do you find inspiration for your customs?
TV, movies, comic books, and most certainly customs done by others. There always seems to be a custom contest or group project that gets my juices flowing too. A lot of times I'll see something and think that it would cool to have it in 1:18 scale, so off I'd go to make it. Obi-Shinobi recently got me into creating HeroQuest characters based on their miniature counterparts for an action figure scaled version of the game. We were originally working on a 1:18 scale ninja game but that was put on hold when he discovered HeroQuest again. I loved the game and I still have it along with all the expansions that were released for it. I plan to make all of the heroes and a few of the monsters too. We're planning to have a custom con sometime next year and hope to play an action figure version of HeroQuest with our customs (complete with dungeon) at the con.
What do you consider to be your best tools of the trade?
Green stuff and thread seal tape. I used green stuff on my very first custom figure and have resorted to it for many a custom. From filling in cracks, adding battle damage, changing hairstyles, or making a push mold stamp (copy, copy, copy), there's not much you can't do with it. When Asphalt posted a tutorial on helmets using green stuff and thread seal tape, I found the seal tape to be an indispensable tool for making ninja hoods, vests, belts, or any other kind of removable gear. It's great for protecting parts that you don't want the green stuff to stick to. Styrene is a close second, there really isn't much that you can't make with it either and it's usually a primary part of any weapon or accessory that I make.
What is your strongest area when it comes to customizing?
I'd say that accessories have always been my strongest area right from the beginning. I'm a huge ninja fan (again thanks mostly to GI Joe) and when I started building a 25th Red Ninja army, there weren't many ninja type weapons to arm them. I've made quite a lot of weapons since then. If I can't find the right accessory or weapon for a custom, I'm pretty confident that I can make what I'm looking for. I think I've made a custom weapon or accessory for probably 80 percent of my customs.