Dremel Featured Customizer
At a time when a great vehicle custom consisted of a solid repaint with new stickers, DREMEL stood out. There may have been customizers who bashed vehicles together before him, but none were more prolific or as conceptually daring as August 2013's Featured Customizer. His figures were equally inspiring. Even when they tread the same concept as others, he always managed to put his own spin on things. Just when his name was about to be forgotten by modern customizers without any Hall of Fame kind of fan fair, he came back on the scene with a slew of brand new kit bashes with scratch built components. In just a short time, he's been able to rekindle the magic that set him apart from others. Take a look at his customs in the Gallery archives and in the Critiques section of the forum. More importantly, read what he has to say below.
Thank you, I really appreciate the honor. I have been active with JoeCustoms since the Bivouac days (back then I was one of the few hack & paste vehicle customizers but am very pleased to see how that segment of customizing has grown) but had taken about a 6 year break in customizing and just started actively customizing again a few months ago.
What do you enjoy customizing the most?
Recycling broken and off-brand vehicles into something usable in the Modern GI Joe world. I did this even as a kid back in the 80's but I am much better at it now then I ever was as a kid. I occasionally customize figures but really much prefer doing total hack and paste vehicle customs.
What brand of paint do you prefer?
Since I am not a figure customizer, paint is not nearly as big of a deal to me, so instead I will talk to you a little bit about glues I use. The go to for regular styrene plastic is of course Testors model glue but this has its limits and really only works with the softer hard plastics. When I am gluing to a harder plastic like used in most toy lines I will often use all purpose plumbing cement, this works very similarly to model glue but is much stronger chemical and melts the harder plastics which Testors can not but you need to be careful when using with softer plastics like model styrene because it can cause too much melt if you are not careful. I also keep jewelry cement (for gluing on metal pieces or other non porous parts), two part epoxy glue and two part epoxy putty in my arsenal.
Where do you find inspiration for your customs?
The thrift store. I shop all my local thrifts for wheels, artillery and basic vehicle bodies. Sometimes the vehicle starts just from a set of wheels. Some times it starts from a vehicle body. I form a rough idea of what it could be and then once it starts it takes on a life of its own until it feels complete.
What do you consider to be your best tools of the trade?
I took my name because in the early days I would have said that a Dremel was the most important device for vehicle customizing but now I rarely use it. I actually prefer a kitchen knife and an electric burner to heat it up on. I also use an ice pick in the same manner heating it up to work with the plastic. Another very important tool is an heavy duty box knife for more intricate and precise cuts, sand paper for sanding of course and masking tape for applying the spray paint.
What is your strongest area when it comes to customizing?
Vehicles?? But I guess that is a little vague when you only customize vehicles. That question is kinda hard to answer so I am going to dodge it by answering what my weakest area is. That one is real easy. I hate painting so it is my area that needs the most help. In fact my hatred of painting is the main reason I no longer customize figures, I just do not have the patience. If I had to answer the strongest area I guess it might be the ability to envision how different vehicles pieces will mesh together to make a final product but that is kinda lame to say and might just be dumb luck. LOL