Q: How can I buy one of your figures? A: Obviously, I cannot mass produce these, so it is a rare occurrence when one of my figures are available. Occasionally, I will auction a prototype off on eBay. (Click HERE to see if there is currently one on auction.)
Q: Instead of checking eBay in the hopes that one of your figures is currently being auctioned, is there a mailing list I may join, so that you will notify me whenever you do have an auction? A: Sure. Contact me at DCcustomfigures@gmail.com and ask me to add you to this list.
Q: I have been waiting for you to auction a particular figure, but I'm wondering if I may request a particular figure from your website instead. A: It never hurts to ask! I receive many such requests, so I can't promise I will get to it, but certainly I would notice if several requests for a particular figure kept coming in!
Q: How many of each figure do you make? A: For most of the figures featured on this website, the only one in existence is the prototype that you see the pictures of. Occasionally, I'll honor a request from a friend or fan to build them an identical one, but I only do this when my hectic schedule permits. (This is just one of my many hobbies.)
Q: Do you take commissions? I mean, I'd like you to do a figure of someone I know (a family member) not a celebrity/movie character. A: The amount of time I invest in capturing a likeness at this scale usually makes this cost-prohibitive. The few times I quoted my asking price for such a service was not met with enthusiasm, but at least was met with understanding.
Q: What if all I really want is one of your headsculpts (and not the whole figure)? A: Sorry, but I do not sell my headsculpts individually. I prefer my figures to end up in the hands of an appreciative collector of figures, and not someone inclined to bootleg my headsculpts to sell resin knock-offs on eBay or their own sites. (Unfortunately, this has happened, and that's why I won't sell just the heads.)
Q: What about accessories? What if I just wanted to buy, for instance, Gladiator's sword? A: Again, my figures are meant to be displayed in their entirety with the accessories I've selected and/or designed by discriminating collectors. It has in the past pained me to see my creations featured as part of someone else's work, which also causes confusion among those who see mine and others' works.
Q: Why do you make your own figures when it's so much easier to simply buy them? A: Most, not all, but most of the figures out there are "toys". Certainly nothing wrong with that, but my fascination with a figure varies proportionally with how realistic it is. How poseable it is. And how well equipped/accessorized it is. The easiest (yes, easiest) way to acquire a figure that lives up to my standards, is to build it for myself.
Q: How long have you been making these custom figures? A: The Jackie Chan head sculpt was my first. I did it back in June, 2001. So, not very long really.
Q: Are your figures kitbashes, or are they customs? A: I actually regard kitbashes as a subset of customs... Of course, in creating my figures, I use both techniques. If I can find something "good enough", I'll use it. If I can't, I won't settle. I'll just make my own.
Q: What are your heads cast in? A: Durham's water putty. Dries/cures to a rock hard consistency. Like a rock, it can chip if dropped onto, say, pavement. But collectors understand my figures are "art", not "toys", and treat them delicately. Still, they're a lot more rugged than your average porcelain collectible. Further, the porous texture takes paint much better than the plastic-like surface of resins, and gives a more realistic skin-like texture. Plus, when you clear-coat it, it doesn't look like the head's been gooed in ectoplasm like a lot of resin-sealed heads do.
Q: Why don't you cast in resin? A: Good question. I know most customizers prefer the durability of resin when creating their figures. That's better if you intend to play with it, especially outdoors. My figures aren't subjected to that treatment, just some light indoor play and posing. But as far as resin goes, well, I don't like resin. It's expensive, the heat generated during curing damages my precious molds, smells terrible usually, and it's known to the state of California to cause cancer (says so right on the label... I love this hobby, but it's not worth my health and/or life!) Paranoid, you say? Over cautious? Perhaps. But keep in mind: hundreds, if not thousands, of people are diagnosed with cancer each and every day for supposedly "unknown" reasons...
Q: Some of your headsculpts look familiar, like they're from another manufacturer... A: Although many of my headsculpts are completely from scratch (like Michael Jordan), I will occasionally recycle parts (especially ears) from an existing, mass-produced headsculpt. Also, if a company has produced a head similar in bone-structure to one I'm working on, I might start from a cast of that head for my version. Although this saves time (and insures I'm working at the proper scale) there's usually very little, if anything, left over from the original sculpt!
Q: What bodies do you use? And do you ever modify them? A: I'm usually able to find bodies that suit the needs of the particular figure I'm doing from among the many offered by the various companies producing figures. I generally prefer the size, physique and posability of Dragon's Neo-Adam (it's a realistic scale: average 5'10" or so). I'll occasionally use 21st Century's Super-Soldier bodies, especially for the taller AA bodies. For certain unusual types, like basketball players or former Mr. Olympias, I'll dip into the wares offered by Mattel, Jakks Pacific, etc. BBI and others make great bodies too, but they usually don't offer as many hand/glove options that Dragon does. Lately, though, I've come to appreciate the scaled height of the Sideshow bodies (for when I'm doing actors over 6').
Q: Do you take trades? A: Yes! I'm as much a collector/buyer of these things as I am a builder/seller! Check out my tradelist. Maybe you've got something I want! Oh, and don't forget, I'll also trade for that used (but mint) DVD that you know you'll never watch again...! If it's not on my list, offer anyway... maybe it's one that slipped my mind!
Q: How can I learn to do this? A: Forget about "learning"! Just do it! Surf the 'Net for info. Lotsa customizers detail their methods, techniques and tricks on their sites. You could learn from them (I did). Or you can just jump in and "teach yourself". I did this too! Good luck and have fun!