Iron Will Featured Customizer
Featured Customizer for July 2009
Since we missed June with all of the transfer and related issues I'm putting July's Featured Customizer up a day early. Iron Will brings a lot to the table as a customizer. He has a great knack for using the same part on different customs and making them suit each one perfectly. Just ask him about how many times he's used Antares Draco's head. On top of that, he always makes interesting character choices by mixing in some great tv and comic choices to go along with some of the less featured GI Joe characters. Please check out some of his customs in the Gallery.
Which style of figures do you enjoy customizing the most?
When I started customs, I was huge into playing City Of Heroes/Villains (as in every day for 3 years straight) and I also collected Comic Book figures. I was mad that something I played constantly did not have any figures to represent it. So I began doing 6 inch customs using the Marvel Legends (Toy Biz) of all the custom characters I had in the game. At my peak I had made around 60 of those. Then after I stopped playing the game I moved away from all things figure and comic. Then the GI Joe 25th line started. What began as a few figures to fill in an 80s decor in my rec room became a must have obsession. I did not think I would be able to pull off customs in this scale, but soon I was wanting characters that were not coming out so I began a trial and error period using only 25th Joes. As I began to feel more comfortable with it and happier with the end results, I began using parts from whatever I could find that work. My two core bases now are still the 25th line and Build N Brawl Wrestlers.
Build N Brawl fusion. I am pretty sure I was the first person, because I had not seen it done at that point, to start fusing the BnB torsos with the Joe lower bodies and this has sorta become my trademark so to speak now.
One tip I would offer here is never limit yourself on parts because you like a specific toy or line. I regularly walk the toy aisles looking at every figure from every line represented as possible part donators. Even different scales will sometimes surprise you as to what they could lend a recipe.
What brand of paint do you prefer?
I use mainly 3 brands: Folk Art, Apple Barrel and Americana. Recently I have begun to dabble in Testors for fine detailing.
Where do you find inspiration for your customs?
I am your typical 37 year old geek. I have been into cartoons, comics, movies and video games since I can remember. So there is a vast library of past and current characters that I just have to have in 3 3/4 plastic! So I think the inspiration comes from wanting to have a figure log of who I am and what I enjoy. Also the new characters I make just come from running random parts through my head and what would look cool or blend well together.
What do you consider to be your best tools of the trade?
Box Cutter and Super Glue. I began using a box cutter for most of my work and have not stopped since I began. Instead of updating what I use to make things a little easier, I keep using what I began with. Of course this stubborn resistance to change has cost me several pints of blood, 5 stitches and the loss of feeling on my right middle finger tip. I would probably have to add Sculpey to the mix too.
What is your strongest area when it comes to customizing?
Speed. I would have to say my strongest area is speed. Unless I have to scour the area for a hard to find part or wait for a delivery, most of my customs are 4 hours from conception to completion. This leads to some figures not being as well detailed as I would like, but then what usually happens is that every couple of weeks I'll go grab about 5 old customs and just spend some time tweaking them. My first 3 3/4 scale custom was General Rey on Oct 5th of 2008 and I am currently at 172 customs.
As one of JoeCustoms Freshman Customizers I would like to thank-you for the honor of being a Featured Customizer!!