DanOfTheDead Interview

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What was your first custom?

I can't even remember. I was part swapping and toying with paints for a long time, but "Eclipse" from Shadow Ops was one of my first "real" customs. [He was going by the screen name PsychoGunz back then - pluv]

What does customizing mean to you?

I'm still trying to figure that out. And I'm actually back at school working on a BFA in sculpture to do so. I can't claim what we do is "high art," but there are plenty of customizers who I consider to be artists, and I'd like to see where approaching customizing from an artistic point of view leads.

Do you have any customizing rituals, things you must do before you start?

You know the saying "measure twice, cut once"? I guess my version of that is "play with parts for a few weeks/months/years, then start the figure". Or something like that. The planning stage is the most fun for me, but I'm trying to get better at working faster and using what I've got (rather than waiting around to find the perfect part).

What kinds of customs are you drawn to?

I like customs that you could believe were factory made, and I like customs that are clever in concept or design. If it's all those things, so much the better! But I'm really envious of people who mastered certain skills like sculpting and casting and are able to produce truly professional grade work. I'd like to think I've come a long way, and I'm pretty proud of my skill level, but I also know I've still got a lot to learn. I guess I just like seeing work that looks like it was fun to make, and shows the artist's commitment to their craft.

Who are some of your favorite customizers?

This is a really hard question, and while I don't think I can quite say "I've never met a customizer I didn't like," that's almost true. Honestly, I've been just as inspired by the potential of "up and comers" as I have been of some of the old guard.

What customizing product(s) do you highly endorse?

Citadel paints, with a few drops of Testor's Model Masters semi-gloss, gloss, or flat clear and a bit of water or rubbing alcohol. When I take the time and mix my paint like that, I'm very pleased with the finish.

What area(s) of customizing do you wish you were better at?

Sculpting and fabricating. The dream is to make a figure from scratch, including all the necessary joints and such. Would also love to get better at casting.

What do you feel has been your greatest customizing achievement?

Going back to school and getting invited to show my work at various art shows. The actor who played Inspector Spacetime from Community used my custom of the character as his facebook picture for a while. That's a pretty great feeling, when someone from the thing you're celebrating wants to celebrate the thing you made.

Community's Constable Reggie and Inspector Spacetime

If time and money were no object, what project would you love to tackle?

A 1:18th scale figure line of Zombies and Survivors, that came with lots of odd ball accessories and modular, swappable parts. Or really, any modular 1:18 toy line, figures that came with the intent to be taken apart, mixed up with other figures, and made into something new. Maybe each series is blind bagged like the popular LEGO Minifigs now.

While on vacation you stumble across a mom and pop toy store fully stocked with action figures and vehicles with their original retail prices, but a limit of one figure and one vehicle per person. What are you taking home?

Do you remember Modulok from He-Man? I consider that figure to be why I fell in love with making my own toys, and my brother got me one MIB, still in the plastic wrap, for Christmas a few years ago. Opening that thing and seeing all those pieces again made me incredibly nostalgic, so I think I've already got my one figure. For a vehicle, can I pick the Terrordrome? Never really gotten to see one or play with one much, seems like it'd be a fun thing to put together.

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