It's been awhile since we had a Custom Spotlight feature here at AFB, but it has nothing to do with a lack of great customs appearing at the AFB Forum - there are a fantastic group of customisers hard at work there! Happily, the Custom Spotlight for tonight is a truly spectacular effort!
DangerDrVenture is a very well-known customiser who has some of the best skills I've ever come across, and we're very fortunate to have him sharing his work at the AFB Forum. You'd be hard pressed to tell DDV's efforts apart from most commercial efforts. His sculpting and paint work are both exquisite. When I saw his amazing effort on the newest addition to Batman's extensive rogues gallery, the Grant Morrison creation Professor Pyg, I knew it was something that needed to be shared with the AFB audience.
DangerDrVenture was kind enough to provide us with some pics and an interview to go along with his fantastic creation:
Q: How did you begin customising action figures?
A: I think my first custom figure consisted of some He-Man insect toy legs glued onto one of those fly toys from Insectoids(remember those?). It was a 'Ninja Turtles Mutant Fly' custom. That was probably in my 3rd grade year. My parents let me use a hot glue gun at 7 years old!
Q: What inspired you to customise this particular character?
A: I love Morrison's Batman, and I've been collecting the recent DC Direct 4-figure waves from Batman Reborn, Batman Inc, etc. I felt those waves were lacking in some key characters, so I made up my own custom wave. I LOVE Pyg because he honestly disgusts me. He's irredeemable and reprehensible. An absolute TRUE villain, in a world of softy anti-hero bad guys. He's influenced by Dr. Harry Harlow's ape isolation experiments. If you haven't heard of him, you should check it out. Disturbing stuff.
Q: What parts and processes did you use?
A: The base figure is a DC Direct Perry White figure from that old Silver Age Superman line. I took the apron from a Medicom Hostel toy, and the mask is sculpted. I had to sand a big pouch of tools from the apron to make it character-accurate. The intention was to make him look frightening and faithful to his printed counterpart. I honestly think Frazier Irving's depictions of him are still way more frightening than I was able to capture in this figure. The 'mommy' is just hobby sticks and tooth pics with a sculpted mask on top.
Q: Did everything go to plan or did you have to make changes along the way?
A: The sticks from his 'mommy' went to plan. I actually sketched it out first, so those sticks aren't just randomly glued together. I made Pyg up as I went along. He originally had really detailed grasping hands from a Neca Jigsaw figure, but I found a set of doll tools at a hobby store, so I opted to give him hands that could hold them. I think the ears broke off 14 times.
Q: How do you feel about the finished product?
A: I'm about 50% happy with it. I think i could have done a better job on the mask's sculpt (the expression looks too human). I plan to make another in his 'pimp suit' from Batman and Robin. I'm more proud of the 'mommy' than anything. It took hours to glue those sticks.
Q: What’s next on your custom table?
A: Finishing commissions! I got behind these last few months. As soon as I get some free time, I plan to augment a few of my Mattel DC teams now that we know what Mattel is releasing in the club. I still need a good functional Elongated Man.
Many thanks to DangerDrVenture for bring back our Custom Spotlight feature with a very impressive bang! Custom Spotlight will be back next month with the winner of our current AFB Custom Competition, "Kirby Your Enthusiasm!". It's going to be a good one!
Until next time!