Gijoey Featured Customizer

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Featured Customizer for May 2009

gijoey has made people take notice of his work. His Golobulus garnered a JCA nod for best custom of an existing figure. His overall work shows that he has a sharp eye for parts, his paint skills are top notch, and his modifications/fabrications are always clean like they came out of the factory that way. Check out his customs in the gallery and you will see that every custom is excellent. The best part is, and remember you heard it here first, he's going to get even better.


Which style of figures do you enjoy customizing the most?

When I started customizing in the 80’s the only really good articulated 3 ¾ inch figures (IMO) were the ARAH figures. That’s all I used until the New Sculpt figures came out. Now with all the 3 ¾ and 4 inch goodness out there I’ll use anything that works.

It’s a great time to be a customizer.

What brand of paint do you prefer?

I use a few different brands often.

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I really like Testors-Pactra- Racing Finish brand Spray Paints and Brush on paints. They’re made for lexan plastic model car bodies but, they stick really well to every plastic I’ve tried them on. I use them mainly on Super Hero customs because the colors are limited to shiny primary colors like you would see on race cars or Superhero costumes. Once they go on they look like shiny spandex.

Tamiya and the Testors spray paints for base coloring figures. It’s quick, easy and not to messy.

For everything else I use Games Workshop and Gamecolor paints.


Even though it’s not paint I use a lot of Rit Dye. Because of it tendency to bleed through paint I find it deepens and enhances any paint you put over it.

Where do you find inspiration for your customs?


Comic Books, Movies, dreams and everywhere in-between. I’m on inspiration overload most of the time and see ideas everywhere.

I don’t know how many people reading this are familiar with my stuff but it’s kinda all over the place. I just can’t stick to one form or type. One week Batman the next Animal men and maybe tomorrow I’ll want to do remakes of 70’s action figures. I think I have customizing ADHD. My fodder bins and W.I.P drawers are filled to capacity. On the rare occasions when I do find myself without an idea, I’ll just dump out a couple of fodder drawers on to my work table and see what speaks to me. Doing this is how I came up with my Predator and Devil ideas. My Daughters bust my chops about being called Gijoey (my childhood and adult nick name) yet hardly ever doing a Joe custom.

What is your strongest area when it comes to customizing?

Imagination? Creativity? The inability to throw anything away?

I honestly don’t have an answer for that. I think I could improve everything and there is always a new technique to learn.

I know what I suck at though.

Flesh tone painting, I can’t do right no matter how hard I try.

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

For this answer I think pictures will work as well as words. I use everything you see in these pictures of my work table. Mini files, Nail files, Plumbers tape, Prosculpt, dental tools, Paint brushes, Blah blah blah etc...

I use most of it most of the time. I’m always looking for a new tool.


If I had to pick just one tool it would be the Dremel. It took me from just a being a repainter of figures to a true customizer.

The one tool I would pick, the Dremel

I do have a few tips about tools.

Ask your Dentist and Manicurist if they have dull Dental or Nail drill tips they won’t use any more. They might not be sharp enough to work on teeth or acrylic nails but on plastic they work great.

Also Dental tools, I love them. Every time I go to the dentist I ask if they have any tools they don’t want. There are so many different types and I’ve found most of them to be very useful.


If you like to sculpt but suck at it like me. Save bits and pieces of plastic that has patterns or animal skin prints already sculpted on. Lay down your sculpting material and then press on the print. It makes you look like you know how to sculpt when you can’t.

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