Macrossmaster Featured Customizer

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Macrossmaster - April 2010's Featured Customizer

So how does a customizer who barely has any customs in the gallery archive become a featured customizer? Well, he's made some of the best diorama playsets out there. His ARBCO Warehouse and the Cobra Temple are right up there with the best of them.


Which style of figures do you enjoy customizing the most?

Tough question. I've not attempted any 25th figures, and the vast amount of my work was done with new-sculpt. I'd probably say ARAH, because if I do a custom in that scale, brother, it's one I've gotta have (Tomax and Xamot in cartoon business suits for example).

What brand of paint do you prefer?

Citadel, big time. The problem is they keep switching to more and more inferior paint containers. If I knew then what I knew now, I'd have kept all my old hexagonal pop tops to transfer new paint into. I've probably lost $70 in paint that's dried out.

Where do you find inspiration for your customs?

Definitely the old Sunbow cartoons. There's so much neat stuff in there it's hard NOT to make something after you've seen a really great episode. Watching the Pyramid of Darkness mini-series inspired my Cobra Castle dio, and then the first issue of the comic paired with the MASS device miniseries really fueled my "shoebox" diorama, which was also a Cobra fortress of sorts. Bithomas now owns that one.

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

Foamcore and more foamcore. A decent printer and some foamcore will allow you to make anything. Downloadable textures also help a lot. Critical to success in dioramas is a lot of tiny pieces to choose from. Originally I would have said scale toy pieces, but really if you have enough junk of any size, you can make some nifty things.

Another great tool is a self-healing cutting mat - got mine in 97 or 98 when the PIT mailing list was talking about them, and I've used it ever since.

Air-drying clay by Crayola is a must have for "natural" environments, and I used it to great effect in a castle. It can be painted, which is very handy.

What is your strongest area when it comes to customizing?

Definitely dioramas. I used to make figures with the detail I wanted, but the 25th stuff just blows me out of the water for that. But the problem with 25th stuff is that it outshines many old playsets. Super detailed dioramas solve this problem, because you can detail up as much as you want to match the figures. I've built buildings of many sizes - my warehouse dio as a self-contained building, my giant Cobra Castle dio and my shelf dio of the interior Cobra fortress were all heavily foamcore. Making a tiny world is really the best - architecture, paint colors, steel, concrete, whatever you want it to look like, you can go for it, and money won't limit you.

You didn't ask, but I have one main unfulfilled ambition when it comes to dios: to make a diorama with minimal furniture and props that still looks killer. Hitler's bunker and many Nazi bases are great inspiration for this kind of thing, but it takes a lot of work to step back and say "stop" instead of just piling on more detail.

Thanks again for selecting me, it's really an honor and a treat for me. I could care less about winning medals or awards, but this sure tops the list of kudos that I value.

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