Chief Featured Customizer

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Joe Customs Featured Customizer for March 2009

We're going to skip the formal praising that is normally done here. That just isn't Chief's style. Apparently, neither is submitting his work to the archive in a timely fashion. You can see the few figures that he did sumbit here.


Which style of figures do you enjoy customizing the most?

Gotta go with 25th Anniversary figs. "New-sculpt" was my medium of choice when it was on the shelves, but I really like the 25A proportions and overall look. Plus, they're easy to find in a pinch when I get an idea. As far as workability, I've learned to like the style much better than the o-ring/backscrew setup. It was a pain at first, but I find the newer figures much sturdier and easier to work with now that I've gotten used to them.

What brand of paint do you prefer?

I'm really fond of Citadel paints at the moment, but I also use a lot of Tamiya, too. They both coat really well and I rarely have problems with chipping. Plus, the Citadel paint bottles have that little "reservoir" in the cap, which makes painting really easy for me.

Where do you find inspiration for your customs?

Lots of places - most of my customs are merely "fixes" of existing factory products that I feel need a tweak here or there - mostly with Joes. Other times I'll make one from scratch because I know there won't be a 1:18 version of "character X" coming down the pipe for a while - my Captain Marvel and Nightwing are good examples of this. Often I get inspiration from other customizers here on the boards (that's called "stealing", kids ;-) ) - and sometimes, like with my Sasquatch custom, I'll have a flash of nostalgia for a toy I've always wanted but never could find in stores growing up. The NJC has been a big help in inspiring me because of all the great subject matter that comes up during the contests.

What do you consider to be your best tools of the trade?

Gotta love the Dremel - I use that on just about every custom for some reason or another - usually for hollowing out a head to fit on a 25A neckball. I've pretty much mastered that minor skill, and can prep just about any head for a neck post in just a few seconds nowadays. The hobby knife is a must - and I keep mine here at my desk rather than my workbench, because I use it so often. I've painted with it, sculpted with it - and yes, gashed the hell out of my flesh with it on occasion... Lastly, I keep a bottle of Loctite Superglue Gel here next to the hobby knife - it's my favorite glue for working with plastic and it's saved many a custom for me (and it works pretty well for first aid purposes, too....:shifty: )

What is your strongest area when it comes to customizing?

A year or so ago I would have said "speed", since I had a knack for churning out decent customs (not perfect, mind you) pretty fast. But I've slowed down and I take my time nowadays. Today, I'm not so sure. I think my sculpting skills have really improved, as seen in my Killer Croc and Sasquatch customs, but I don't know if that's my strongest area or not. My painting still sucks, because I rush through it on most jobs, but I am pretty good at picking out parts.... So hell, I don't know -- let's just say "sculpting".

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