Spin Doctor Featured Customizer

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Featured Customizer for November 2008

Ever since Spin Doctor burst on the JoeCustoms scene he has been one of the most prolific customizers on JoeCustoms. Whether it is new sculpt, microman, or 25th style customs, he always has a great balance of character, form, and function. He's even been acknowledged with a couple of JoeCustoms Awards along the way. When you get a chance, be sure to browse through his 126 custom figures in the gallery. You'll be glad you did.


Which style of figures do you enjoy customizing the most?

That's kind of a tossup at this point. The new-sculpt guys are still about the easiest thing in the world to work with. The plastic's soft and shapable and generally takes paint pretty well, so it's often a lot of real-time fun to take something from concept to execution all in one sitting. But the 25th figures opened up new doors for me and, in many ways, forced me to become even more innovative. I've compared the dilemma to staying in touch with an ex-girlfriend who's still a hoot to party with every so often even as try to figure out the more sophisticated and complex beauty I'm pretty sure I'm meant to spend the rest of my life with. For what it's worth, I've been pretty faithful to the 25th figures for a while.

What brand of paint do you prefer?

Depends on the application. For vehicle work and the harder plastic on figures (torsos, waists, thighs) I'll usually go Krylon Fusion (and if it's not practical to tape and spray the part, I'll spray onto a paper plate and brush quickly before it dries). So far it hasn't let me down,. For the softer plastic, I'll use Rustoleum indoor/outdoor. It often takes multiple coats and takes forever to dry, but I've yet to find a more durable end result. I'll sometimes use Testors for finer detail work.

Where do you find inspiration for your customs?

Most of the ideas pop into my head at inappropriate times...like when I'm at work and see a preview photo for a soon-to-be-released figure online. My brain will fixate on a part and how it might fit into the look of a different character and, by the time I actually find the thing at retail, I've got the whole rest of the custom worked out. The most disappointing experiences I've had as a customizer were when I invested a lot of time and energy into bringing an idea to reality only to discover someone else had pretty much the same idea before me.

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

My imagination, my utility knife and my Helping Hands brand glue. I often find it easier to cut-and-paste a detail from one figure to another than to try and sculpt something from scratch (my only experiment with Green Stuff was a miserable failure). I've also gotten pretty facile with the drill, I guess. There was a time I swore by RIT dye but, in the long term, I've found results with that to be largely unpredictable and unreliable. There are projects it's perfect for and others that it ruins...and fodder's too expensive now to waste.

What is your strongest area when it comes to customizing?

That's the kind of thing I'd prefer to let others decide. I know what keeps me customizing is that I'm very visually and spatially oriented. I see things in modular chunks and can easily rotate, change or swap them out in my head to project with decent accuracy how something will look after I play with it a while. So I suppose my ability to visualize the end product even before I start working on something would be my most consistently utilized skill. Of course, that same trait has killed a lot of custom ideas for me at a very early stage, too. So i suppose it could be argued that it's holding me back from trying more things just to try them.

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