Watching Paint Dry

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Watching Paint Dry: the customs between the customs by pluv

There are the customs we work on that take hours, days, weeks, even months pr years to complete. We think about them constantly, maybe even dream about them. We plan out the most minute details in advance. We portray in our mind what people will think about our masterpiece once it is revealed to the world. This article is not about those. This is about the customs we make while we wait to work on those.



You’re sitting at your workbench or wherever you do sculpting or painting. Then you wait and wait and wait for the sculpt to cure or the paint or glue to dry enough to touch. So you start fiddling with whatever else is in front of you. You’re probably not even trying to make anything at first, just playing around until it hits you. And by “it”, I mean inspiration. That instant spark that ignites the creative juices and motivates you, nay, ‘’’compels’’’ you to finish... or, at least, until you can get back to work on that other project.

Hairy situation

A while back, drbindy mentioned that whenever he mixes too much sculpting material (which is always), he uses the extra material to sculpt different haircuts and facial hair onto heads.

“A-pox-ie on your whole family.”

Unlike drbindy, I find sculpting hair tedious and I’m never satisfied with the end results of my handywork. So I started sculpting accessories, a burrito, sword, tazer, milk carton, mini JUMP jetpack, etc. I can make whatever I feel is missing from my inventory with the only limitation being if I have enough Apoxie material leftover for it.

It is the perfect side project because it requires zero extra prep since I'm sitting down to sculpt anyway and just killing time. I have found that it has taught me to at least have a better eye/feel for how much material I need so less of it gets wasted. It is has also been a good exercise in figuring out what to do with a) the amount of material I have left and b) the working time left for that material.

Just Stupid Enough To Work

Dino Bounty Hunter

One day I’m fiddling with some cheap dinosaur my daughter got out of a gumball machine while waiting for some spray paint to dry. After spraying another coat, I picked up a micro Slave I that had been on my desk at work. It had been assembled wrong with the wings on upside down. I brought it home to see if I could pull it apart, flip the wings around, and put it all back together. I can’t remember what called me away at the time, but I placed the ship on top of the dinosaur for some reason. Not only did Dino Riders not register at the time, it sat like that on my workbench for at least a week. It wasn’t until I pulled it apart, (still trying to fix it mind you) while boiling and popping other figures I was really working on, that a toy for my toys came to mind. It was crazy. It was rediculous. It was just stupid enough to work. In other words, it was right in my wheelhouse.

Toys for my toys


drbindy mentioned buying individual Lego parts including a retro sci fi space helmet from the Sponge Bob line. I got one and immediately put together a custom of Zombie Guide for his eventual role in Jurassic Worlds: Raptor Revenge.

Eventually I put that head and helmet on a B-wing pilot body. Then the head went on yet another Zombie Guide project. For a while it was just a body and empty fishbowl helmet sitting on my desk until I was looking for a HACKS head and found a previously modified ball jointed head that I thought would be cool for space man. He stood guard on my parts drawer for 6 months. Then on a different day I needed the barrel of a gun and put the remaining sawed off pistol in space man’s hand so as not to lose it while I finished what I wss working on. He’s now on a droid shelf display. I use him to test fit things for Star Wars figures.

Major Tom to Ground Control

All work and no play

I know what you are asking yourself, “That’s all well and good when you have time to customize, but what do you do when you’re stuck at work and the internet goes down, and all you have are coffee related items?” Well, that is a very detail specific question. You could always use the wooden coffee stirrers and recycled napkins to make Joe scaled crates.

It is only a matter of a little snip, snip, and a dab a glue at a time. Ok, maybe a little measuring. Fine! A lot of measuring. But, if you have short bursts of time between actual work (or custom projects) this is perfect. Just set it and forget it, until you can get back to it.

If you don’t have wooden coffee stirrers, work with what you have. You’d be surprised what a little bit of Loctite super gel, ok, a lot of Loctite, and boredom and/or not letting the man hold back your creative genius, can accomplish.

Cuppa, "Jo" Josephine

In Summation

Now I know some of you are going to say, this is a work flow management issue. If you are juggling multiple custom projects at the same time, then you will always have a project waiting in the wings to turn to. You are not wrong, but sometimes things happen and there are areas that get backlogged. A spat of bad weather and the base coat spray painting log jams. Maybe dremeling at night becomes an issue and so you stockpile stuff for when everyone is awake. While it is always great to have a backup plan, sometimes the best backup to the backup plan, is to have no plan. Let the things you keep around so your idle hands are entertained drive you in other directions. Go along for the ride and see where it takes you. Oh, my paints dry. I got some customizing to do.

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