When did you first start customizing?
Back in 2007 while out at a shopping mall with my family I noticed the new G.I.Joe's in a comic store, out of a sense of nostalgia I bought them. After I got home and opened them I was flooded with nostalgia and started going on the net to look up G.I.Joe, there I stumbled across a ton of Fan forums and after spending many hours researching and re-living my childhood, I saw a custom Urban camo Snake-eyes. I wanted one for myself so I ran to the craft store, had no idea what I was doing and looking back it was terrible, but I thought it was pretty good back then and I really enjoyed the process so I kept at it.
When translating ARAH sculpt designs into modern area customs, what do you focus on first?
I Have become OCD about my customs mimicking their ARAH counterpart as accurately as I can possibly achieve. There is no particular element that I focus on first when trying to replicate an ARAH figure, I've found each character has a certain design point or two that stands out and helps define the character. Its those points that determine whether or not I proceed with a custom.
As a follow up, when a part is iconic on the original, how do you decide whether to sculpt it or cut it off from the original figure?
When a Part is iconic and simply must be included in my custom I always look to dremel it from the original figure first. I find my sculpting abilities to be my biggest weakness and if I can avoid sculpting all the better, but if adapting or dremeling the part is not an option, then I break out the Apoxie and see what kind of mess I can make.
For anyone trying to emulate your style of customizing, what advice do you have to offer?
I found this question difficult to answer. Could not think of any advice that I could offer to anyone trying to emulate my style, because the more I thought about it the more that it occurred to me that I really don't have any style! I just try to replicate something that has already been produced.
Are there any properties outside of GI Joe that you enjoy customizing or collecting?
Do I customize any other lines? Dabbled here and there, nothing of significance... I consider myself a GI JOE collector and the collecting is the sole reason I make customs. My goal is to have every ARAH character, certain version 2 or 3's that I like, and some comic characters that never had figures released, represented in my collection. After that I think besides a few re-do's I'll be retiring from the world of customs.
What is your favorite custom that a) you have done and b) someone else has done?
Hard to pick a favourite, seems like every time I make a new one, its my new favourite. I guess if I had to pick it would be my Battle Force 2000 set, for the shear amount of work that went into them. My Cobra la Royal Guards because I was skeptical about how they would turn out or the Night Vipers because.... well I just like Night Vipers. I do own a few customs from iwbeta/Bad Sociologist, for which Raptor and 91 Cobra commander are my favourites.
If Hasbro called you up and said they needed your help to re-design one item for the modern line, what would you want it to be?
If I could influence Hasbro to re-design anything for new release it would probably have to be a true 1:18 scale Terrordrome...... ahhhh to dream! Would love to see the Cobra Transport Helicopter or the Oktober guard 6-wheeler make an appearance in the line. Figure wise I'd have to go with a Khaki Shorts Kwinn.
Have you ever been intimidated by a customizing project, either by its scale or its complexity?
Have i ever been intimidated by by a project? Not really, I try to work within my limitations. If I start a custom and its not going well or I get to the point where I feel my current skill set has taken it as far as I can, I'll either shelve the project or out right abandon it. There has been an on going idea to build a large Cobra Mountain play set stewing in my head for a couple years which i don't feel capable of at the moment.
Do you have any pre-customizing rituals, like having a certain type of music playing or all of your brushes lined up?
I don't have any pre-customizing rituals besides maybe a little research of the character before I start, Card art, file card etc.