Pluv Featured Customizer
The Featured Customizer for May 2012 is the current admin of JoeCustoms himself, pluv. In his own words, "Every once in a while I do a custom that is actually kind of cool." Be sure to check out his customs in the Gallery archive and the Critiques Section of the forum as well as the Group Projects 6-41 and 43-present.
Which style of figures do you enjoy customizing the most?
ARAH is easier for me by far. More parts to choose from and a better familiarity with those parts. I had years to refine the skills to work on those particular figures.
At the same time though, I decide on a case by case basis the figure style that will work best for each project. I still have some RAH customs I want to finish as well as some modern era customs. Not to mention the occasional robot custom that crops up. The robot/droid army will grow this year.
My personal favorites are the ones that use the best parts regardless of type. Hybrids.
What brand of paint do you prefer?
Typically Citadel, Testors Model Master Acryl, and Tamiya. I've tried to replace almost all of the Tamiya except the gloss and translucent colors. They were easier to get for a while there but now that I have easier options to get paint, I use the Tamiya paint less and less. I also have the occassional cheap paint for specific colors like gold and glow in the dark. And I've been known to use nail polish when it suits what I'm working on. Lastly, I use a paint-on high gloss and matte sealer. Sometimes I'll mix the sealer in with the paint and then seal it again when it dries.
Where do you find inspiration for your customs?
Let me preface this by saying this is my response as of right now. These are who and what have influenced my current projects. It will surely be different tomorrow. nova, the critiques section, other forums' custom sections, the Group Projects, the NJC's, the CustomCons, joemichaels70, Sith Fire Creations, Ratfink, Stronox, TTT, drbindy, daremo, the GIJCC, Hasbro's unproduced preproduction stuff shown at the cons, the guys from Slayer Con who showed off tons of tricks I'm still trying to get around to, anything Cap does, and the YoJoe.com Archives.
What do you consider to be your best tools of the trade?
A good rotary tool with different bits changed how I customize. Being able to use it to seriously modify parts meant I was only limited by my imagination. I remember the BAT variation I was working on that changed everything. In a similar way, using Aves Magisculpt and Green Stuff changed the level of sculpting I have been able to achieve. Using rubbing alcohol instead of water to paint with made my paints smoother. This will probably sound cheesy but it is the truth. The best tools I use a lot are all of the other customizers who each bring something new to the game.
What is your strongest area when it comes to customizing?
My constant striving to improve. I'm not the best. I'm not in anyone's top ten. But I'll never stop wanting to get better, to hone my craft and expand what's possible. So I guess - stubborness. I think that is what drives me to push my own boundries to try new things. Sometimes that succeeds and sometimes it doesn't.
I'll tell you my weakest area too, patience. Yeah, yeah, everyone says that, but I'll tell you how becoming more patient changed how I customize. Back in the day I was all about finishing. I'd get to a point and then it was good enough. Just finish it. Besides not putting 100% effort into my work, which is bad enough, I did things that were very short sighted. It took doing some dios and heavily modified vehicles to realize how much better the end product was if I planned things out and took every step to make the customs functional, not just for today but years from now. I didn't pin anything on Zanzibar's pirate boat and stuff kept falling off. It only takes one time of making the batteries inaccessible to realize you made a mistake when those batteries die.