Jogunwarrior Featured Customizer
The Featured Customizer for July 2014 has been around for a while, but has gotten quite a bit of attention lately due to his recent Gallery
flooding submissions. Good eye for parts, check. Good camo and detail painting, check. Finished entire teams of customs, check. Tackled ambitious vehicle projects and lived to tell about it, check and check. If you haven't checked out Jogunwarrior's work in the Gallery archive or the Critiques section of the forum, do so right after reading what he has to say below.
What do you enjoy customizing the most?
I'm strictly an ARAH only guy! It's what I collect, and what I enjoy to play with. Each O-ring custom is an expansion of my own Joe collection. I personally have zero interest in Modern Era figures for my own collection, but I still enjoy seeing other peoples' Customs whether it be vintage or O-ring construction.
I do a lot more figure customs than vehicles, it's so easy for me to piece a figure together on the fly and have it completed in no time at all. Vehicle customs still intimidate me; I have numerous vehicle customs that have been planned for years with parts put together and just begging to be finished. I will eventually get to them, but am always hesitant, I think a big reason for that is I'm often afraid that the end product will not be nearly as cool as what is in my head. Take my Mega Marine Vortex for example: I had sketches and notes done up for years, and had the parts all laid out for at least a year before I ever actually put it together and painted it. It had been in the works for so long I was sad to see the project come to an end. Surprisingly it turned at as well as I had hoped and looked exactly as I had planned.
What brand of paint do you prefer?
For figures, I use a lot of Model Masters and Tamiya paints. I have some Apple Barrel paints but don't necessarily care for those. For vehicles, I use Krylon Fusion, Rust-Oleum, and Model Masters. There are a lot of paints and painting techniques I have yet to try but want to. Airbrushing is one example of something I have never tried, but have seen some other customizers doing amazing things with airbrushing.
Where do you find inspiration for your customs?
The easier question is where don't I find inspiration for my customs? Inspiration is taken from everywhere. Movies, books, video games, comics, magazines, other customizers, and more. My Skyboomer custom was inspired by a photograph of an F-15 I had seen in an issue of Combat Aircraft. I created a re-envisioned Sky Patrol team based on a concept from the Kurt Russell movie, Executive Decision. There are so many times I will be sitting around with the wife watching a movie and then suddenly disappear to my custom studio and begin putting together figures inspired by whatever I had just been watching.
I'm always inspired by the work of other customizers, and there seems to be an endless supply of inspiration out there. When I first started out back around 2003, it was customizers like Kamakura, Grand Slam, and Sgartz that I drew a lot of inspiration and a lot of advice/tips from. Today a lot of my inspiration and motivation comes from people like Scarviper, Tim 121RVC, Subway, icecreamman, Rambo and so much more. Through sites like Flickr, OG13.com, and of course JoeCustoms, I have had the opportunity to get to know so many awesome customizers that encourage me to push the envelope with each new custom project.
What do you consider to be your best tools of the trade?
That's a really tough question, and I'd have to give at least two answers. The first would have be to my imagination. From original characters to re-envisioning existing characters, my Joe Collection covers a really broad spectrum and I really love blending modern military and sci-fi elements into a cohesive "brand". Sonic Fighters, Star Brigade, Ninja Force, Eco Warriors, Night Force, Tiger Force...it all has a place and plays a very prolific role in my collection.
A second tool that is just as valuable, if not more so, is the collective network of fellow customizers I am so fortunate enough to call my friends. People whom I have never met and may never meet, but can still rely on regularly for guidance and advice. I often post thoughts, ideas, or WIP's and absorb all the feedback and critiques I receive. If I ever I fall into a lull or rut, its my colleagues that always bring me back! I learn so many new tips and tricks each day or week from others that make me a better customizer with each new project.
What is your strongest area when it comes to customizing?
Its funny that considering I have been customizing for over a decade (though I did take a break for a few years), I don't know that I have one particular strong suit. There is so much I am still learning and experimenting with. I just enjoy putting together figures, vehicles, or entire teams of both to compliment and enhance my own personal collection.
If someone put a gun to my head and demanded I name one thing, I would probably say that its my ability to plan out not just four or five figures for a project, but commit to completing an entire platoon of figures for that project, just take my Battle Rangers team or Night Force teams for example. The Night Force team started as eight to ten figures and a vehicle, then quickly expanded so that it ended up with more than twenty figures and three vehicles. At the time I write this there are two more vehicles in the works and a handful more figures. Same thing happened with my Mega Marines team which spiraled so out of control I ended up with twenty-plus figures and 5 custom vehicles...and there are more Mega Marine figures in the works.
So I guess my strongest area is kind of a sickness in that when I get going on a particular project it's hard for me to stop.