HypnoHustler Featured Customizer

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Featured Customizer for December 2009

HypnoHustler is one of the nicest, humblest, down to earth customizers out there. When told that he was December's Featured Customizer, he responded that we must be "scraping the bottom of the barrel". He couldn't be further from the truth. Hypno has a knack for picking just the right parts for characters, seeing through the jumble of parts combinations to make exciting new figures come to life. Since he isn't as heavy into parts modification as other customizers, his ideas are usually very stealable with just some paint. Be sure to check out his work in the gallery archive, especially his Bio Viper and Action Force/Red Shadow customs.


Which style of figures do you enjoy customizing the most?

I've been all over the map. I used to focus primarily on ARAH style customs, but once the 25th line started I lost interest in them. ARAH is nice since parts are so easy to swap around, but the sculpt, articulation, detail, and compatibility with other lines is much better with the current format. Also, now that I've gotten the hang of popping torsos, it's almost as easy working with the new stuff as it is ARAH. Who needs back screws?

What brand of paint do you prefer?

I'm very impressed with Citadel Color, but the majority of the brushable paints in my arsenal are Apple Barrel. Mostly because they're cheap and I'm at Wal-Mart far too often anyway, so I'm never going out of my way for a color I need. Certain hard to work with colors, red, yellow, etc I'm willing to pay extra for, since it's worth it in the time and effort saved, but I find the cheap stuff more than adequate for most of what I do. For spray paint, again, I go with what's cheap and accessible. So I have a lot of Wal-Mart's store brand, and then whatever colors of Krylon Fusion I can get in the Satin finish. Never tried airbrushing, and while I'm curious about, I'd rather not spend the money on something that might not be my thing.

Where do you find inspiration for your customs?

More often than not I'm inspired by the parts at hand. Either because I have a lot of a particular part and want to get rid of them, or because I look at a part and think "that would be perfect for fill-in-the-blank". Whether it's a good thing or not, the 25th Anniversary line has made me less likely to come up with new characters. Most of my customizing energy has been focused on adapting existing characters to the new format. Where my original stuff is concerned, I'm most often inspired by various comic books, as well as a desire to fill specific roles in my collection. Lately, nearly all of my WIPs have been inspired by a desire to see other toylines in the Joe format, and integrated into my Joe-verse, so when/if I get back on the customizing horse, expect plenty of Action Man, G.I. Joe Extreme, Big Jim, and the like.

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

A pot of boiling water gets used for nearly everything I do. Great for loosening glue and taking figures apart. I'm also often found Dremeling the hell out of something for a bit of useful kibble or hollowing out heads.

What is your strongest area when it comes to customizing?

Finding parts combinations and being willing to go much too far to try and make them work. I just have a talent for picking out which bit of which figure would work best for what I'm trying to accomplish. I wish my other abilities were stronger so that I could do the parts justice though. And while it wasn't asked, my biggest weakness is my lack of focus. I have so many ideas for customs I'd like to make, that it seems that none of them do. It's not as though I dislike the actual construction process, but the idea phase is that much easier, and far less frustrating, since mistakes don't force you to start over. I'm really hoping I'll take some time over my winter school break and bring some ideas to fruition.

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