Past nastification Customizer
Clean paint, nice detailing, great parts selections, sharp camo patterns, and always pushing the boundaries of his own capabilities. That is how past nastification, August 2011's Featured Customizer, and his customs are described. He doesn't follow a template. Each one stands apart from the rest. But don't take our word for it. Go check out his customs in the Gallery and the Critiques Section. But not before reading below to see what he has to say about the hobby.
What do you enjoy customizing the most?
Tough to say... I try to rotate through ARAH, New Sculpt or non-Joe parts, and 25A. ARAH is still my favorite style because they can be easily disassembled and spray paint can be used on the harder plastics. This makes for a turnaround time of a few days instead of a couple of weeks and I work very, very slowly. There's also some satisfaction in seeing the ARAH figures given more developed and nuanced paint jobs, whereas the newer lines (especially the 25A) were given more complex paint applications when they were originally produced.
What brand of paint do you prefer?
I like to use plastic bonding spray paint for the base color of the figure, with acrylics for the details and flesh tones. On 25A figures, I'm starting to use only acrylics because the spray paint rubs away or gets grimy (even if it's plastic bonding spray paint and has been clear coated). Accent, Americana, and Folk Art are my favorite acrylics.
Where do you find inspiration for your customs?
Marvel, Devil's Due, Action Force, and Sunbow, all of which have provided me with some difficult-to-make figures such as The White Clown, Dr. Burkhart, Zanya, Hunter, and Pythona. I have enjoyed making obscure Marvel characters and Devil's Due ones that Hasbro should have made. Although I'm not a huge Sunbow fan, I've also enjoyed converting its characters into less-cartoony versions. The History Channel, The Science Channel, and The Military Channel also provide me with lots of inspiration for figures. Watching What Not to Wear (yes, I like that show), helped me figure out how to apply paint on female figures' faces in such a way that it looks like make-up.
Friends and family members with military experience/service also have great stories and experiences and knowledge that lead to ideas for figures. I've tried to give little nods to them in some of my figures as a small token of respect and gratitude. One friend was kind enough to lead me through making the dress uniform on my General Hollingsworth figure, so I made sure to give it the same patches he wore.
Fellow customizers always inspire me. Sometimes I'll take a stab at something someone else has done (though usually in a different figure format just to mix it up and not be too obvious). Other times I'll try to mimic something without success, but still end up having done something I otherwise wouldn't have tried. I used to work in almost exclusively solid colors, but eventually other customizers nudged me into trying clear coating, shading, dry-brushing, and applying washes.
What do you consider to be your best tools of the trade?
Frustration and boredom. Whenever I get to a level where I don't feel challenged, I get bored or frustrated and then try to take on something that is just outside of my skill set. Sometimes this works out, sometimes it doesn't, but either way my artistic ability is expanded so that my art as a whole improves. Failure is also a great tool. There have been figures that have totally missed the mark, but I still managed to pick up a cool trick or two while not doing what I had intended to do. Sometimes a new trick takes a few times to blend with the older tricks in the bag.
As far as physical tools, I don't use anything outside the normal set of most customizers. It's certainly not my camera use/photography, a skill set that I really need to improve. However, I really have embraced using masking tape as a "sculpted object" for coats, sleeves, straps, skirts, etc. I've also had some good results with hot glue, especially over a wire frame for hair.
What is your strongest area when it comes to customizing?
Conceptualizing is my strongest area. My ability to "eat an elephant one bite at a time" (a great saying that I read in Reader's Digest, of all places) has slowly grown. I used to pass on trying complex figures because they would be too difficult for me. Over time, I've learned to be solvent in my thinking and bust my approach down into components: What parts work? What sculpting/modifying will be needed? How should I paint this? Will it be a figure when I'm done or a statue with a few moving parts? The downside to conceptualizing is that I now have a work space area filled with parted-together figures.
Conceptualizing involves my strange need to use "junk parts" whenever possible. I've found Star Wars figures particularly useful for making Red Shadows customs for some reason. I've even used DC figures, and they are horrible.
When thinking up the figures, I also try to disguise the source of the original part as much as possible. This is usually done by reworking the paint schemes so that things are not readily recognizable as whatever they had been. If I can make a head unrecognizable, I know I've succeeded.
Past Nastification's Top 10
Past Nastifications own top ten of his customs.
If ten is too many, please pick from that list and show however many are appropriate.