Lance Sputnik Featured Customizer

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Featured Customizer for January 2009

There are a handful of customizers out there who defy a simple description. They cannot be easily tagged as this sort of customizer or that sort of customizer. When they reveal a newly finished custom, you really have no idea what you are going to see. Lance Sputnik is one of those kinds of customizers. From his over the top Operation: Mind Crime customs to his James Bond themed customs to his Lance Sputnik Ultimate Superstar customs, the guy has creativity to spare. He's tackled every format of GI Joe and blended just about every 1/18 scale figure format into his customs. Be sure to check out his work in the gallery archives


Which style of figures do you enjoy customizing the most?

I still consider myself an old school ARAH customizer primarily, though I have been known to dabble in the 25A stuff a little as well. I've also put quite a bit of energy into a few customs that I refer to as 'hybrids', where I will take parts from all over toy-dom and smoosh them together in order to achieve the final look I am after.

What brand of paint do you prefer?

90% Citadel, with a little bit of... I think it's called Model Masters.

Where do you find inspiration for your customs?

Oh, geez, all over the place! Whenever we go out, I am always looking for stuff I can use. My wife saves me all sorts of hairspray lids, plug caps, elastic bands, etc, just in case I can use them. I also take inspiration from a lot of other customizers here, like Pluv and Nova and so many others. I have a handful of people that I run ideas by in the WIP process that I find tremendously helpful. I am always looking for cool things to do, and stuff that I can use to do them. That's a big part of the fun for me.

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

My Dremmel that my wife got me several years ago is invaluable, as is my Exacto and the drill I got last year. I also find that I use the hot glue gun quite a bit more than I used to lately, and the same goes for a small set of files that I've had sitting around for a while. I think though that one of my bests, most universal tool that I use on every custom except for group projects, is the Critiques forum. The feedback I get from my peers is so crucial to my customizing, I don't know that I would have attempted half of the things I have done without that resource. That's not to say that I will always make changes based on all suggestions, but if I choose not to, I generally try to explain my choices where I feel it's necessary.

What is your strongest area when it comes to customizing?

I always try and do something different with my customs, and I think I have a good eye for things that can be used in customizing, but I feel like I have gotten pretty competent at taking parts from what I used to consider 'incompatible' toy lines, and turning them into figures that fit the standard o-ring design. A good example of this is my Cobra 'Nun" that I did for the Female Additions group project, or my Cover Girl or Jinx that have both been recently added to the gallery. I have gotten to the point where I feel that I can make my customs look pretty much how I envision them in my head, now that I know how to work in the parts from so many other sources.

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