Monday, April 20, 2009

Llats Ward (Mandalorian Mercenary)

Llats Ward was a Mandalorian mercenary, selected by Jango Fett to train Jango's clones on Kamino as part of the Cuy'val Dar. Everything in the life of Llats revolved around battle and war. He had studied and memorized the campaigns of all the great Mandalorian leaders of the past, and used them as lessons to enhance the clone troopers' fighting skills. He wore gray-and-green armor, with yellow knee and shoulder pads and a large Mythosaur skull painted across the chest.

Parts: Lower Arms (VTSC Boba Fett), Rifle (RotS Deluxe Clone Jet Trooper), Everything Else (EE Exclusive Llats Ward).

Supplies: X-acto Knife, Paintbrushes, Testors Paints and Testors Dull-Cote.

Reference: I used photos of the original Llats Ward figure to get the coloring of the gauntlets correct.

This is more of a "restoration" than a true custom figure. I actually liked the Llats Ward figure and would not have changed anything other than giving him a new weapon. However, I obtained the figure in a trade and he did not have any lower arms. Because I had recently dismembered a VTSC Boba Fett for another custom figure, I had the arms lying around. I tossed them into some boiling water to soften the plastic and then popped them onto the Llats figure. Then, I painted the arms to match the rest of the figure. After a light application of Testors Dull-Cote, I decided to give him a new weapon, too.

Edit: Shortly after this figure was completed, I traded some items with another customizer (Arc_trooper77), and he was kind enough to throw in the cape that I had been missing for Llats. I've updated the photo to reflect this addition!

Sgt Jak Kona (Alliance Marine)

Sergeant Jak Kona is a Human male from Prairsuno. He joined the Rebellion shortly before the Battle of Hoth and has seen action in most of the major engagements since. He has risen quickly through the ranks based upon an uncanny ability to keep his troops alive while accomplishing their missions. He was among the 18,000 Marines who fought at the Battle of Mindor and was promoted to Sergeant immediately following that action. He is armed with a BlasTech DH-17 blaster pistol, a favorite among Marines and Naval Forces on both sides of the Galactic Civil War due to it's ability to pierce most body armor without piercing the hull of the vessel. He also uses a BlasTech A280 blaster rifle for longer range engagements.

Parts: Head (Elite Force U.S. Marine), Body (PotJ Rebel Trooper Tantive IV Defender), Helmet (TAC Rebel Vanguard Trooper) BlasTech A280 Blaster Rifle (SAGA Endor Rebel Soldier), BlasTech DH-17 Blaster Pistol (TAC Rebel Vanguard Trooper).

Supplies: X-acto Knife, Super Sculpey, Super Glue, Paintbrushes, Testors Paints and Testors Dull-Cote.

Reference: This is the second version I've done of this character. My wife and kids thought that the head on the original figure looked so much like me, that I developed the backstory around some parts of my life, as well. You could say that this character is the way I'd see myself if I had been born a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away. This version of the character was created for FFURG Casting Call #55: Customs of Us - Revisited. The original figure can be seen here. I think that I will probably continue to expand upon this character, as well.

This figure started out as a PotJ Tantive IV Defender. The head needed a bit of modification. I shaved the hairline back a bit and then resculpted it with Super Sculpey. The mustache was also added with Super Sculpey. I cut a V-neck into the shirt with my X-acto knife and then used my Dremel to expand the neck hole a bit. The new head fits in perfectly with no trouble. I shaved the holster off his right leg with my X-acto knife and sanded the area smooth. I then added a working holster that I had made from Super Sculpey. The ammunition and utility pouches on his left hip were made with Super Sculpey and a push mold. After painting, the entire figure was given a light application of Testors Dull-Cote to seal the paint and reduce the shine.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

FFURG Casting Call #55: "Customs of Us"

Recently, some of us at the Forgotten Force Ultimate Resource Group (FFURG) have been working to revive the old concept of monthly casting calls in which customizers submit theme-related customs to be showcased together. In conjunction with the 5 year anniversary of the FFURG FForums, we've decided upon a special topic: "Customs of Us - Revisited". Longtime FFURG visitors may remember "Customs of Us" from the very first casting call, back in December of 1999.

The casting call will be "open" for general submissions until the end of May. At that time, the submissions shall be gathered together and casting call will be posted on the main FFURG page. Any custom submitted after the casting call is posted will still be added to it, just not in time for the initial debut.

Please stop by FFURG and check out Casting Call #55: "Customs of Us", as well as all the other great casting calls of the past. Happy customizing!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Dyman Kath (Zabrak Mercenary)

Dyman Kath was a Zabrak mercenary employed by General Oro Dassyne as an advisor and bodyguard. It is generally believed that Kath survived the fall of Dassyne's garrison on Bomis Koori IV, although his whereabouts were unknown.

Parts: Head (TPM Jedi Duel Darth Maul), Body (WWII Paratrooper), Blaster Rifle (PotF2 Boba Fett).

Supplies: Dremel, X-acto knife, paintbrushes, Testors paints and Testors Dull-Cote.

Reference: None. This character is entirely fan-fic.

I had to Dremel out the neck hole a bit for the new head to seat properly. Once the head was attached, the rest was a matter of painting. I stayed close to the original paint scheme because I felt that it wasn't particularly distinctive of an "earth" military unit. After painting, the entire figure was given a light coating of Testors Dull-Cote.

Imperial Infantry Trooper

The Imperial Army was a branch of the Imperial Military that had the primary responsibility of prosecution of ground-side military operations, under the oversight of Army Command. During the Imperial era, one of the Army's most common duties was the maintenance of planetary garrisons throughout the galaxy, as well as waging war on the Rebel Alliance. The Army utilized a wide range of equipment and vehicles in support of its infantry. Army units were often reinforced by stormtroopers, although the command structure for the two organizations remained separate. On garrisoned worlds, the Army operated in conjunction with Imperial Starfleet, stormtroopers, and the local constabulary to maintain order and security.

Parts: Head (TAC Death Star Trooper), Body (TLC Imperial Engineer), Helmet (TSC General Veers), Load Bearing Equipment (25th Anniversary Snake-Eyes), E-11 Blaster Rifle (TLC Imperial Engineer), backpack (PotF2 Sandtrooper).

Supplies: X-acto knife, paintbrushes, Testors paints and Testors Dull-Cote.

Reference: Illustrations from the Star Wars: Empire comic series.

I removed the Engineer head and replaced it with the DST head. I dipped the load bearing equipment (LBE) in a mug of boiling water and then stretched to fit the waist of the figure. Once it fit correctly, it was dipped in very cold water to keep the desired shape. I added the LBE to the figure and then used the X-acto knife to cut off the hand grenade and the holster. I glued a cast of a Sandtrooper's ammunition pouch to the LBE where the holster had been. Finally, the back pack was attached to the LBE with two small dabs of super glue. When the LBE is removed, the backpack stays attached to it. The casted ammunition pouch was painted black and the entire figure was given a light coating of Testors Dull-Cote.

Winter Celchu (Intelligence Operative)

Winter Celchu, was raised as a sister and companion to Princess Leia Organa during the dark years of the Galactic Empire. Like her adopted sister, Winter became a pivotal player in the Galactic Civil War, serving in various roles but most notably as a spy. As an operative of Alliance Intelligence, she served the Rebel Alliance and later the New Republic admirably. Her holographic and audiographic memory gave her a special advantage in piecing together confusing situations or even simply computing data. She was often attached to Rogue Squadron as an intelligence officer, though sometimes under false identities. Winter also served a vital role as Leia Organa's best friend, aide and confidante. She had special relationships with Leia's children Jaina, Jacen, and Anakin Solo, whom she raised during their first years of life. She had a long romance with Tycho Celchu, from whom she was often separated by war, but the couple would eventually marry. She was also known to be a close personal friend of Admiral Ackbar.
Parts: Head (25th Anniversary Lady Jaye), Everything else (Comic pack Deena Shan).

Supplies: Dremel, X-acto knife, Paintbrushes, Testors paints and Testors Dull-Cote.

Reference: The X-Wing: Rogue Squadron Handbook.

This custom was a simple head-swap. I replaced the Deena Shan head with a cast of the 25th Anniversary Lady Jaye head made by Delaton over at FFURG. After the head was painted, I applied a light coating of Testors Dull-Cote to seal the paint and reduce the shine.

Deena Shan (Human Commando)

Deena Shan was a young Human who joined the Rebel Alliance shortly after the Battle of Yavin. Initially working as a supply officer on the Kalla's Stanchion, she found herself accompanying Han Solo, Leia Organa and Chewbacca during an Imperial attack. Fighting alongside the famous Rebels solidified her decision to join the Alliance. She later posed as an Imperial lieutenant on a mission to the Imperial base of Kalist VI, where she and Imperial captain Kale Roshuir quickly developed a mutual attraction. Despite her feelings for him, Shan led Roshuir's forces into a trap where many of them were killed, allowing the Rebels to free the captive Jorin Sol and escape with a group of Jabiimi slaves and vital fuel for the Alliance Fleet, but forever making an enemy of her lover. Shan later accompanied Luke Skywalker on a mission to rescue his old friend Janek Sunber. Despite again encountering Kale Roshuir, who attempted to stop them, Shan and Skywalker were able to rescue Sunber and return to the Rebel Fleet, though their unsanctioned mission resulted in them both being disciplined. The two would soon work together once more in a mission to infiltrate Bannistar Station. Though the mission went awry, with most of the Rebels either killed or captured by Imperial forces, Shan was able to evade capture and destroy both a Star Destroyer, and a significant portion of the station. After her comrades managed to escape, the group fled the station and Shan returned to the Alliance Fleet as a hero. After recovering from her injuries, Shan returned to duty as a commando.

Parts: All parts came from the Deena Shan stealth suit figure.

Supplies: Super Sculpey, X-acto knife, Paintbrushes, Testors paints and Testors Dull-Cote.

Reference: Although the cover of Star Wars: Rebellion #3 depicts Deena hanging like an ape from the ceiling with her stealth suit unzipped to expose her cleavage, she never actually appeared that way in the comic. Normally, I'd not be bothered by a little bit of skin, but the cover art was such a departure from the content of the comic, I decided to re-do it a bit.

Basically, all I had to do to accomplish this was carefully trim down the open collar of the suit with my X-acto knife and then resculpt a closed collar with a bit of Super Sculpey. The ribbing of the suit was etched into the new collar with the X-acto blade. After curing in a mug of boiling water, I painted the Sculpey to match the rest of the stealth suit and gave her a ligth coat of Testors Dull-Cote.