Sgcaper Featured Customizer
JoeCustom.com's Featured Customizer for May 2011 is sgcaper. His custom work sneaks up on you. Most of that is due to how seamlessly his customs mesh with production figures. Between his incredible parts choices and super smooth paint you could stand his figure's right next to Hasbro's and have a hard time telling which was which. I'm sure people have seen and been impressed by his work when they see but he's the type of customizer who flies under the radar until you see his entire body of work and realize how truly awesome he is. So go check out his figures in the Gallery and his work in the Critiques section. Then see what he has to say about customizing. Also check out his All That Remains site.
What do you enjoy customizing the most?
First, thanks for picking me. It means a lot to know that my peers dig my work. It's an honor.
Well I started customizing RAH figures, it's what I had and what was most easily available. However, as soon as the 25th stuff hit I switched to those. Now I love working with POC stuff and quite honestly love the RIA figures from the ROC line. Lately though I've been trying to challenge myself to broaden my abilities by incorporating other figure lines (MU, IM, Thor, etc) in new ways. I have Bane and Penguin commissions sitting on my desk right now that use figures other than Joes as bases. It's a learning curve, there is certainly a lot more boiling and popping involved.
While I do enjoy the odd vehicle customization now and again, living in a small Brooklyn apartment doesn't leave me much room for doing vehicles so when I do it's smaller ones; Trouble Bubbles, Ram Cycles, stuff like that. All in all I'm a figure guy.
What brand of paint do you prefer?
Sadly I only have Games Workshop paints. I'd love to try other kinds but hate waiting for mail orders, when I'm in customizing mode I'll head to Manhattan to grab paint so I can finish a figure. If I have to wait for supplies via the mail my already ridiculous backlog of WIPs would surely triple in size.
Where do you find inspiration for your customs?
I find a lot of inspiration right here on JC. Guys like Dr. Bindy, Keenan, Spin Doctor, and others provide endless sources of inspiration. I have a huge movie and comic collection which also give me lots of material to borrow from. I also tend to just go with what feels right for what I'm seeing in my head. When I do ATR (All That Remains) figures I try to keep them related to the original figures but with my own twist. Sometimes they're more twisted than others.
What do you consider to be your best tools of the trade?
Like many others my Dremel is my best friend. Before I bought one I used a hot philips head screwdriver to hollow helmets and stuff. I had a lot of burns and it took a damn long time. Now, pop in the battery and go to town.
I'd also include my printer in this category now. I decided to try my hand at waterside decals (thanks to Dr. Bindy for the inspiration and advice). I've enjoyed the results to far. The first figure I did with them was Red Beard. I knew I wanted him to have tats and while I'm happy with my painting abilities I knew that they wouldn't work in this case. I'm happy to say that he was my first sale of a figure. So they worked.
What is your strongest area when it comes to customizing?
This is a tough one. I don't think I'm strong in any one area rather I'm trying to grow in each. Take painting for example, I know I'm not the strongest painter but I challenge myself to try new techniques. I started using washes not too long ago. I also have tried to up my cam painting ability. When it comes to accessorizing figures I think I'm strong. I have been known to over do it, like my Alley Viper Elite figures and Wreckage, but hell if they still stand I go with it. Lately I've been going a tad more to the minimalist side.
If I have to pick one area though I'll go with parting figures. I have several dozen figures sitting on my desk all pieced together just waiting for me to paint them. I'll sit down to work on a figure that's been sitting for weeks and go to find an accessory and the next thing I know there are 3-5 new figures all pieced together. My girlfriend always says she has no idea how I can work on any one figure with so many sitting around. When she sits with me to customize it's on one figure and she's totally immersed in it. I could learn a lot from that but I keep doing my thing. It's working thus far, although it backs me up on commissions.