Tim 121RVC Interview
Looking back, how do you feel about your first custom?
I see two customs as my first actually. I started with Monstro Viper, chose him because he was a big figure without any difficult stuff to paint around the joints. He was my first piece of painting practice. Immediately learned that covering a primed figure doesn't go in just one layer. But I didn't really mind that, I loved to see him getting more and more finished. I went with green pants, because I imagined a greenshirt as Dr. Mindbender's test object to become Monstro Viper instead of a regular viper. As my first ARAH sized figure, I went with Range Viper. A wilderness trooper without any camo, that didn't make sense to me. Didn't want to get myself into some complicated camo scheme and I came by the desert "chocolate chip" camo. Hmm, why not in green? Took me a lot of time, but the result satisfied me, especially with the black mask and red eyes, posing in the grass. The one minor thing that bothers me a bit is the small visible crack in the upper legs. I painted the upper legs unassembled, a mistake which I've learned from. A flaw from Monstro Viper is the lack of painted details. Veins on the arms, legs and head are just brown. Could've been painted to make him stand out more. Still proud of both, though. Range Viper is one of my favorites from all customs.
You are one of the few remaining pure ARAH customizers left in the community. What is it about that body construction style you like? As a follow up, have you attempted customizing a modern style figure?
Nostalgia. ARAH figures are the ones I played with through all of my childhood, they played a big role in my life as a kid and provided me a lot of fun. Call it love. That's the reason why I prefer ARAH. The fact that they're easily disassembled is a nice accidental circumstance. Never tried customizing modern style figures, I don't like them. Legs are too long, upper body too short, arms too big. Yeah, I'm exalting.
Will I ever customize a modern style figure? Sure, if someone offers me a big bag of money! Seriously, I probably will give it a try one time, just for the experience.
Which parts do you think you've used the most often and why?
Not exactly often, but only two or three times: Big Boa's upper legs for muscular figures like He-man, Shaka Zulu and Zangief. Tunnel Rat's legs for Cochese and Super Mario. Falcon arms for Warpath and Outback. Law's legs for Hilltop and several other LBC's that I yet have to submit to the Gallery.
Has your service in the Dutch army influenced your customs at all?
Well, the other way around at first, actually. G.I.Joe inspired me to join the army. In the army, I saw several interesting vehicles and camo designs on an international mission. Some of that made its way onto my to do list, but none of it has been done yet.
What aspect of customizing have you found to be the most frustrating and how have you tried to overcome it?
Preparing the elbow and shoulder joints for painting. Takes a lot of sanding. Now I don't mind sanding at all, but when I have to reach difficult places I want to get it over with asap. Overcoming it? Just by doing it over and over again on each custom. Accepted it as my least favorite part of customizing.
Which other customizers inspire you?
Pfew, I wouldn't want to leave out people. I have this Word document with pictures of customs that are somehow inspiring. A parts recipe, a modification or paint scheme that I find useful for future customs. With an average of three pics per page, this document is currently over 200 pages long. Customizers that made like ten or more ARAH customs can be sure there's at least one of their customs listed in my Inspiring Customs doc. So that's a LOT of people. The majority of The Bivouac. To name some from JC: Phobus, Chad, Matthew, Nova, Past Nastification, Pluv, Lance Sputnik, Kamakura, Rambo, LIVEVIL, Jogunwarrior, KrymsynGard666, kramer 70, Stormavik, joemichaels70, Python Viper, GITrekker, remster_9.
Ska_lives and NetViper X should post more of their stuff here.
Too bad some great customizers "resigned" or just don't post anymore: Evilface, Doc Rob, raptor, TARGAT, Grand Slam, TR1ER, beav, sgartz, Pentastar, Joeczar, DREMEL, HypnoHustler, Outrider, ZombieGuide, a.dream.deferred, SNAKE, squarebackshawn, THE Mike, Toneguns and Void. All great "losses" for the community.
Although I haven't made one yet, for vehicle customs carnage717, Python Viper and A.V.A.C. are very talented. And Daremo makes excellent ninja weapons.
Have you ever incorporated some thing from your personal life into a custom before?
Not that I know of.
How do you get your paint to look so production level smooth?
A lot of thinned down layers of paint. I use Games Workshop paints. Only metallics and black are painted directly on primed parts. All the other colours are thinned down: one drop of water for two drops of paint. You'll have to paint a lot, but the outcome is pretty good yeah.
What other hobbies do you enjoy?
Gaming (retro on my SNES and Gameboy Classic, new stuff on my PC), listening to music (all genres), watching movies, gardening and playing football (soccer) reading comics and playing with my kid.
You win a custom contest and get to choose one vehicle and one figure from Hasbro's archives, which ones do you take home?
Talking about only two without my own collection to play with? Ah man, that's impossible. Never had one or a few favorites in particular. Always a lot of favorites. But OK, for now I'd say Hit & Run and VAMP Mark II. Hit & Run has it all: great camo, realistic military outfit, excellent gun and the duffel bag with the knife and climbing possibilities provide a lot of play value.
VAMP Mark II is one of many great re-issues of the VAMP design. Proves its success. Looks sturdy enough for off-road action, still fast enough for hot pursuit and with the missile launcher ideal for fast attack missions.
When you mean picking pieces that are still missing in my collection I'd go for Starduster and the Conder Z25.