Wednesday, May 30, 2012

All Because of A Broken Peg

Ah, accidents provide me a good motivation to experiment.

You see, today I got the 25th "Comic Pack" Firefly figure (the one that comes with the Devil's Due styled Stormshadow) and found out that the peg connecting his backpack was snapped off during shipment. Well the seller was nice enough to hook me up with some other parts and custom fodder, but this got me to thinking. You see I like his gear, and I want to keep it but how do I repair the damage?

My options were to buy another Firefly (which, really I'll friggin do before the end of the month :P ), repair the peg, or try something different.

I tried doing "soft-goods" straps for the backpack, and consequently, the HKMP5. 

The tactical single point sling was easy enough if not a bit cumbersome looking but I enjoyed it nonetheless. It's functional, and looks decent on Firefly plus the elastic garter means I can have it tight on the figure when he wears it and it won't come off.  This actually served as the practice round for something more complicated:

The straps to his sabotage kit. Armed only with a length of leather string, some superglue and a bag of tiny chain/earring links I set about making the straps.

I wanted to actually have the straps be adjustable and it does feature a working buckle system that fastens it onto the figure. And the buckles actually do go up and down on the shoulder straps, so in theory, it can be worn on almost any Joe figure.

I think it worked well enough on the Viper, at least. Now he can go on his own Sabo-Tours!

I definitely had fun doing this, and I think I'll be refining and utilizing this feature on my next few customs. Hell, it beats having to hunt down a figure with a side holster already molded into their legs. Now I can make my own.

Harnesses, Webgear, Slings, Holsters... The possibilities are endless.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Just a Heads-up

Just starting a little customs gallery over at the JoeCustoms site > User: mikomatsing > Figures:

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

It's a big thing to me.

My thesis defense is tomorrow. I've promised myself no internet access until after tomorrow so I can maximize my preparation. Yet, I still have time to do stuff that I enjoy, mainly because it'll be needed for my presentation tomorrow.

See, this HG Genoace here will serve as a sample of the work that I've done research on for the past year: Philippine Gunpla. I think it was a stroke of genius on my adviser's part to have suggested that I build a kit and present it on my defense. Anyway, here it is. Now I need to get to making that set of cue cards. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Customs Gallery: Other Joe Customs 1

Modern Duke

Classic Duke (Commission) 

Classic Spirit

Modern Spirit

Modern Tunnel Rat

Modern Major Bludd

Renegades Duke
City Strike Duke
Agent Deadpool (Commission)

Psyche-Out (Commission)

Customs Gallery: IDW Style Cobra Commander

Customs Gallery: Micro-Action Chun-Li

HOW DO I SHOT WEB: A Review of the new 4" "Ultra-Poseable" Amazing Spider-Man figure

The new Spider-Man line started showing up on pegs this week, and I decided to try and look for the only figure I thought was worth grabbing. In true collector fashion I soon found that I couldn't get a hold of this guy in any of the stores I went and this made me feel left out, so for the next week I was determined to grab one of these guys regardless of whether I could squeeze him in my budget or not. 

Now that I do have Spidey though, I'm kinda having some buyer's remorse. Here's why:


Wow. 20. Sure for a 4" figure that's something but for a character like Spider-Man that's still a bit small, I figure. Especially when the placement or choice of joints are also questionable. But before that, here's something to look at:

Those prototype hands will be missed. (On a side note: the detail at the bottom of the feet are also missing in the final product.)
This is the detail on the back of the packaging. You see what was circled in red? Those are the hands he should have came with. Instead the figure you actually get has two open hands. I wouldn't mind if he came with a set of alternate hands, since this figure probably has room in the budget for it, due to not having a big gimmicky blaster or something,  but nope.

This is basically what you get out of the package:

 Now mind you, this figure is very handsomely sculpted, and the paint applications are flawless on my copy (almost no errors whatsoever. This is a BIG thing considering it's Hasbro).

But then you notice his proportions. They look wrong. 

The really long legs, the squat upper torso (attributed to how high the ab-crunch is placed) and then there's the stubby neck. 
 He does not look good just standing idly, but I think that's the point, He's a figure meant to pose in a spiderly manner. But does he live up to that expectation?

Well, Yes...

...And no.

I'd like to take a moment to elaborate on that point by doing a comparison:

Above, you see three different Spider-Man figures from three separate toylines. You have one from the Spider-Man 4" line, The new Amazing Spider-Man Movie, and the SDCC 'Super-Poseable' Tobey Spidey.  

Let's have them doing a web swinging pose:

IS There any improvement at all since the last few years? Honestly no, it's more of a hit and miss in-between lines. They all lack some good range of motion by the hip to fully achieve that signature web swing pose, and after multiple figures of this guy being released it's pretty frustrating. 

For a clearer picture of how much the range of motion  keeps fluctuating, I had all three spider-men do a 'spider-squat':

Newer movie spidey has that passable range of motion by the hip but lacks something that tobey spidey has by the calves (hell, they went and repeated it on the ankle as well)

You see, as much as a pair of ankle rocker joints are appreciated, it doesn't do shit when the figure lacks a rotating calf/ankle swivel. Why?  because forward crouching poses or wall crawling poses or web swinging poses end up not becoming believable at all, and the foot ALWAYS ends up splayed to the side like a crab's leg.

Really more of a wall-crawling than web-swinging figure anyway.

Granted you're given leeway to cheat or use your imagination, but still. 

So what's the bottom line with this figure? 

As the only decently articulated figure in his toyline so far, you're screwed if you want something marginally better. but for all he's worth, Ultra-Poseable Spidey is an okay figure. For the full price of 500 pesos ( $11 ) you're basically paying for a  badly proportioned figure that boasts 20 points of  not really thought out articulation for a super-agile character and nothing else. No alternate hands (Fist and "Thwipp!!" hands), no chance in convincingly pulling off signature Spider-Man poses right off the bat, hell not even a rubbery web accessory.

Unless you enjoy taking the bait from scalpers for something so spastic,  you're better off finding this figure for 300 ($7) or less, because it will never be a satisfying or essential Spider-Man figure.

That comic line Venom looks really tempting though.