Dream Featured Customizer

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Featured Customizer for June 2011

There are customizers who are overshadowed by more prolific customizers and then there is Dream, whom most people will ask, "Does Dream customize?" The answer is yes. And pretty dang well to boot. His customs are meant to look like they are something Hasbro made during the eras they represent. Whiel his customs are always cool, his packaging work is phenominal. Go check his customs in the Gallery archive, his Critique Section threads, and some of his Group Project customs TF Hit & Run, PP Scrap-Iron, Curl, and Taipan.


What do you enjoy customizing the most?

G.I. Joes :shifty:

Seriously though I'm lucky because I really enjoy working in both RAH and Modern formats when it comes to figures. I think both offer different opportunities and neither is really better then the other.

Now stylistically I prefer to do everything I can to make my customs feel like production figures. I know a lot of people work towards a more detailed look for there customs, or they try to make them hyper realistic, and I like that style, but it's not what I'm usually going for. I like to think about the figure I'm making and try to make it fit stylistically and color wise within a set year. I try to imagine the gear, packaging, and branding that would go with the figures.

I've also started fabricating some vehicle customs too, but I'm not quite ready to show them off just yet.

What brand of paint do you prefer?

Testors Model Masters and Polly Scale Acrylics. They paint the smoothest for me.

Where do you find inspiration for your customs?

It depends on the type of project it is, but in the end it come down to a lot of research.

Lately I've been playing with concepts for 3 different sub-groups that are suppose to fit into the 1992-1993 time frame so I've been doing a lot of studying what kinds of play features were being widely used in the early 90s and what kind of cross-branding Hasbro might have used with G.I. Joe. Lots of times I'll do sculpt sheet drawings and color test to see what I want a finished custom to look like before I get started on them.

On the other hand modern figures in Pursuit of Cobra contain a lot of high tech modern equipment, so I might spend endless hours researching equipment or scouring military photo sites of images. Lots of times a single piece of tech can inspire a custom. I keep a huge image library of anything I find online that I think might be useful some day.

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

That's a tough one so I'll be a little more specific.

  • Parts Swapping: Ratcheting Screwdriver
  • Painting: Toothpicks, I use them more then brushes
  • Sculpting: Wax Pen and Dental Tools
  • Fabricating: Jig Saw and Belt Sander
  • Cardbacks/Filecards: Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator

What is your strongest area when it comes to customizing?

Graphic design/cardbacks are quickly becoming my best area of work. I've spent literally hundreds of hours researching branding from different years and incarnations of G.I. Joe. Things most people don't care about like fine print, when logos changed, things like that. The problem I've run into is that I can make new cardbacks a lot quicker then I can make figures to go with them, so a lot of my best stuff hasn't been seen yet. But, I'm really hoping to make some headway on sharing in the next year.

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