Bucky Featured Customizer
The October 2012 Featured Customizer has been at it for over a decade, but has only recently really hit his stride. He's always been a solid painter and had interesting parts combinations, but now he has developed a recognizable style all his own. You are going to want to keep your eye on him because over the course of the next year, he is going to be considered one of the premiere customizers in the community. Yep, we're calling our shot and making that prediction. Do yourself a favor and check out his customs in the Gallery Archiveand in the Critique's section of the forum.
What do you enjoy customizing the most?
I almost exclusively work with GI Joe's, in the 4 inch scale. I've made some random figures from different lines before, and have done some 12" stuff, but find the most enjoyment in the small Joe scale. I tend to steer more towards the Joe side when it comes to customs as well, I have always felt the Joes have more "character" than the Cobra side.
I also customized my vehicles to kind of go off of my love for the hobby as well. With my Mustang, I have a custom painted Combat Heroes Snake Eyes hanging from the rear view, as well as a Arashikage symbol at the bottom of the louvers. The license plate reads "clysifyd", a take on classified. People ask what it means, and I usually just respond I cannot tell them. Not everyone gets the joke.
With the bike, it's fairly newer (2007), but I changed the look to give it a WW2 military vibe. Alot of people comment on it when I am out. It certainly bucks the trend of black on black you see on most Harley's. People that I ride with know I love GI Joe's, and they really like it. I went on a 3 day road trip this past summer and ended up having a conversation at a little dive bar with a very old man who served in WW2 and used to ride years ago. He loved it, and that was a really great critique for me.
What brand of paint do you prefer?
I use testor's acylics for the most part. I have used some Apple Barrell, and have bought some citidel type paints for colors I can't seem to mix, but I'm pretty cheap. I usually spray them down with a matte sealer when I am done. I also use the cheapest brushes. I really am a cheap bastard.
Where do you find inspiration for your customs?
I find inspiration in other's people's customs. I really enjoy the Modern Era figures, so I tend to really take interest in people who do those. I have lots of people whom I follow, and with the risk of leaving anyone out, DavAnothony, Oreobuilder, mswi, Danofthedead, tankster, Leemarvin, bindy and Spin are some I really dig. There are alot more, trust me. I am not very good at posting critiques of others, since I feel I have lots of things to learn still. But I view just about every custom that is posted on the site. I almost wish there was a "like" button feature via Facebook.
Lately, I have found inspiration in the old comic books I used to draw with friends growing up. I have started several customs based on this little universe, and will start posting them at some point. I had to tweak some names and looks, because while Lazer Man was awesome to a 10 year old in 1988, it doesn't translate into figure form very well.
All in all, inspiration also comes in the form of movies, comics, different takes on characters, TV shows..I find inspiration in many different places.
A really big turning point for me was the Custom Character contest that was held a couple of years back. I had been tinkering with modern era figures for a little bit by then, so I was comfortable enough to enter it. When I saw other people chiming in, some of them very good customizers, I knew I was going to have to put some real effort into it. In all honesty, I never used to do that. I'd slap a piece together and paint it up, it was just a quick hobby thing. With that contest, I took my time, read up on all the tips and tricks, used a dremel for the first time, and really just put effort into it. When I was done, I was amazed at what I had done. I decided that if I should put that kind of effort into all my customs.
What do you consider to be your best tools of the trade?
I feel like an idiot for not buying a Dremel 10 years ago. I finally got one to work on the custom character contest from a few years ago, and it totally changed the way I worked.
That, and my wife's camera. She has some expensive camera, I'm not sure what brand it is. I just know it cost me alot of money, and takes amazing pictures compared to the little canon digital I used to use.
What is your strongest area when it comes to customizing?
In my eyes, I feel like my strongest area comes in the form of parts selection to make a character instantly recognizable, without having to do a straight up remake of a vintage figure. That's what I have been told. My goal for most of my figures is making a figure that stands out as unique with just the right amount of styling cues to harken back to the vintage representation. I am certainly not the best painter or scupltor. I was genuinely surprised when I got the [Featured Customizer] nomination. Looking at my favorite customizers' works, I think I have along way to go yet.
Thanks everyone for the nod. It really helps keep the fire going.