Iwbeta Interview

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When did you first discover customizing?

It was Freshman year of college, 1999. I'd been watching the Superman Animated series and had caught the Green Lantern episode only to find out no Lantern figure was planned. So I bought a second Nightwing from the Batman series and made my own. Shortly after, I started filling in the gaps in the Avengers for characters Toy Biz hadn't made.


You've worked on a lot of different styles of GI Joes, including some of the first 6" customs. Which style of figure do you enjoy working with the most?

While the 6" figures do offer a chance for more detail, I prefer the 3 3/4" size. There are more parts available and you have the opportunity to add vehicles and dios. And the cost these days is also a factor.


Do you have plans on expanding your Tiger Force roster with 25th style figures?

Time will tell. I love the TF Flint Hasbro made, so it could be possible some of the 25th guys will get Tiger treatment.


What custom of yours are you the most proud of and why?

One would definantly be the 25th Raptor from last Christmas. It started as a "who else would make [these] guys?" ideas that grew on me. It took a fair bit of time, but he turned out pretty dang close to what I was aiming for.

I always like to attempt characters outside of the mainstream favorites, which I end up making some odd choices, Psyche-Out comes to mind. I really liked the figure as a kid and I thought he deserved to be in the new style.

Psyche-out.jpg

The 25th Anniversary versions of my original characters Frost and Lady Kestrel will probably take the top spot. Mostly because of this little guy.

Kestrel7.jpg

How do you get your paint and sculpting to look so smooth (example: 25th Raptor)?

I tried out a few different paints and I just kept coming back to Testor Model Masters Acryl, a water based paint. I mix a little bit of water in to give a smoother finish. Sometimes it takes and extra coating to cover, but it usually will not scrape off or chip.


Did you have any influence on Devils Due creating a Wraith character who can turn invisible?

Oddly enough, I got to be good friends with Brandon Jerwa when he was writing for DD and he did ask if I minded him using the name Wraith.


Who are some other people that you really enjoy seeing customs from?

Spectre has one of the coolest intermingled custom universes out there. Adding the Ninja Turtles to Star Wars? Brilliant! Carnage717 has been rocking the Tiger Force vehicles lately and I always loves my "rival" Python Viper's Python Patrol forces.

Some of the best RAH figures I've seen lately were Livevil's Rambo and Col. Trautman. I wish I had half the patience it took to make them.


What specific fodder parts do you find yourself more likely to use on a custom?

One of the best pieces I've found is the Pirates of the Carribean Liz Swann in the green dress. It's the best female head to come out lately, I've probably used it for more figures than I should have. Scalpel's head form the Spy Troop series is another one that gets its fair share of use. The BBI soldiers were a godsend when I found them, prefect for the heads, gear, and hands.


What one piece of advice would you pass on to the next generation of customizers?

Take your time. I can't count how many times I have had to redo something because I rushed it.


If you were being relocated to Cobra Island what one figure and one vehicle would you be sure to take with you?

The original Shockwave figure and the WHALE. Not sure what a SWAT cop would do with a huge hovercraft, maybe go fishing...

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