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"Legends OF Gotham City"


DARKLORD1967
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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey Darklord, I'm normally into 1/6th scale stuff, so I'm not around the TNI Boards that much, anymore. However, your project has caught my eye and has severely impressed me. That being said, where's an update, man? I always enjoyed checking these out every week, and you left us hanging with The Riddler.:P I'm sure I'm not the only one, either.;)

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Hey Darklord, I'm normally into 1/6th scale stuff, so I'm not around the TNI Boards that much, anymore. However, your project has caught my eye and has severely impressed me. That being said, where's an update, man? I always enjoyed checking these out every week, and you left us hanging with The Riddler.:P I'm sure I'm not the only one, either.;)

 

 

I'm so sorry for the delay in the Riddler, guys. I ordered some green paint to be able to finish him and it has been delayed. I'm told it will arrive any day now. When it does, Nigma will be finished promptly.

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Prepping a Prince Of Puzzlers for Paint

 

 

I decided pretty early on that I wanted the costume on my custom Riddler action figure to be colored in a more vibrant green than initially provided by either DC Direct or Mattel’s DC Universe Classics.

 

 

 

Naturally, that meant a tediously extensive process of prepping the figure for full re-paint. The arms and gauntlets were dismantled off of the figure for clean prep and separate paint treatment. I wet sanded the action figure (with 240 grit sand paper and 91% isopropyl alcohol to simultaneously strip the factory paint and prep the surface for repaint. The procedure was slow and deliberate, requiring 2 full days of sanding by hand. Use of laquer thinner or “Goof-Off” remover is typically NOT a paint-stripping option for me when action figure customizing since I am VERY allergic to the fumes, and both products tend to actually melt any plastic they come into contact with.

 

 

 

bodysanding.jpg

 

 

 

bodypaintstripped.jpg

 

 

 

 

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Once I was satisfied with the body’s state of prep, I next dealt with adding minor surface detailing that DC Direct skimped on with this action figure… most notably, the raised edge of the costume’s scoop neck collar. Even the Mattel DC Universe Classics Riddler figure resorted to simple paint (and no raised detail) to indicate the scoop neck collar.

 

Lame.

 

Using micro-thin hobby styrene strips, I followed the original collar edge paint indication and laid down a new raised edge detail. To my eye, it is the addition of details like this that move this sculpt away from the animated style and bring it closer to the comic book style.neckscoop1.jpg

neckscoop2.jpgneckscoopstart.jpgNeckScoop4.jpgneckscoop3.jpg

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With the new raised scoop neck in place, and the exposed neck properly masked off, I loaded my airbrush with a nice mixture of Citadel Scorpion Green paint, and got to work. Laying down layer after layer, I used a razor blade to gently scrape away any stray hairs and pieces of residue that appeared on my paint-work as it flash dried. This is the stage that I believe makes the all the difference between a factory-looking paint job, and a sloppy amateurish-looking one.

 

 

 

airbrushbody.jpg

 

 

 

AirBrushbody2.jpg

 

 

 

AirBrushBody3.jpg

 

 

 

<br>paintkneecaps.jpg<br>paintedbody.jpg

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Oodles and oodles of question marks

 

Obviously, The Riddler's myriad of question mark insignias are what give his zany costume all of it's character.

 

Virtually ALL action figure versions of The Riddler create these markings with paint masks and factory spray applications.

 

I had a different idea.

 

It always seemed to me that The Riddler's costume markings were probably applications attached to his tights rather than merely silk-screened or printed graphics. Consequently, I felt that they should be somewhat raised on the surface of the tights. This would also have the benefit of adding more surface detail to the overly-plainly detailed base figure.

 

To accomplish this, I turned to some very nice black vinyl question mark peel and stick stickers that I purchased (on a whim) from a craft store 10 years ago and saved! They really came in handy here!

 

With the main painted figure re-assembled, I started the slow (but fun) task of applying the question mark insignias one by one throughout the entire costume.

 

emblemtransfer1.jpg

<br>Emblemtransfer3.jpg

<br>ChestInsignia.jpg<br>Emblemtransfer4.jpg

 

 

 

Emblemtransfer5.jpg

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The typical approach for creating belts in this scale (by both toy manufacturers and seasoned action figure customizers), is to merely paint them on the figure. I, however, find that approach less elegant and less interesting than creating an actual belt as a separate garment. I believe this adds detail and richness to the custom figure. I knew I would approach The Riddler no differently.

 

 

 

Using a reproduction MEGO Batman utility belt, I sliced away the rectangular belt buckle border and painted it gloss black.

 

 

 

utilitybeltcutting.jpg

 

 

 

beltbuckle.jpg

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I color-matched some purple satin ribbon to the shade of purple of The Riddler's face mask and gauntlets.

purpleribbon.jpg

 

I attached the black painted belt buckle to a section of the purple ribbon, and then dressed the custom figure with the finished garment.

 

 

 

BeltandBuckle1.jpg

 

 

 

Beltandbuckle3.jpg

 

 

 

 

Armed with his (DC Direct) question mark staff, this finished Prince of Puzzlers… THE RIDDLER… is ready and eager to baffle the Caped Crusaders with more of his confusing riddle clues…

 

 

 

”Riddle Me This, Caped Crusaders…!!!”

 

 

 

Actual Custom Action figure height: 6.25 inches.

 

 

 

Riddler1.jpg

 

 

 

Riddler2.jpg

 

 

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Awesome Darklord!

Did you ever complete that awesome Boba Fett that you were working on over at rebelscum?

 

Yup! I sure did. That little guy almost killed me! Creatively, I needed to take a break from STAR WARS customizing for a while. That's why i am focused on this Gotham City Batman project right now.

 

But Boba is all finished. Although I am still finishing up his (Episode V) rifle gun, though. Ran into some problems there. Still trying to find a resin molder/caster who can provide me with his rifle as a casting so that i can properly re-work it. I don't want the Hasbro soft chewing gum rifle.

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Hey Darklord, who's next?

 

 

 

Ah! The eternal question: Who's next? Well stay tuned over the next couple of days, because making an appearance here, on the pages of this humble thread, will be none other than Gotham City's tragic District Attorney turned psychotic villain... the infamous Harvey Dent... aka TWO-FACE !@firedevil@

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  • 2 weeks later...

TWO-FACE

 

When it came to TWO-FACE, my preferred take on the character was (as always), his traditional, classic, comic book outfit. I did, however, find myself employing a generous amount of artistic license when I put this character together as a custom 6-inch scale action figure.

 

For many years, Two-Face has worn a customized suit that is tan-orange on his right side and pin-striped purple on his left. This basic comic book design (and color combination) is the one I prefer.

 

twoface.jpg

 

 

I do think, however, that the boundary between the scarred and un-scarred sides of Harvey Dent’s face should be much more random and irregular. It seems that in the comics, in live-action films, and in most licensed merchandising, the boundary between both sides of Harvey’s face has been depicted as a perfectly straight line. This runs contrary to the kind damage that logically would have been caused by an arbitrary splash of corrosive liquid.

 

Additionally, I fail to see the logic behind the solid green (or sometimes purple) coloring to this acid burn facial damage (as traditionally presented in the comics).

 

Then there is the matter of hairstyle: Some artists have presented Two-Face with a wild, matted, ruffled, stringy (sometimes strangely-colored) hairstyle along the disfigured side of his head while appearing neatly combed on the opposite side. Other artists have gruesomely depicted all of the hair burned off on the disfigured side of his head, revealing twisted scar tissue along half of his cranium.

 

While there is certainly validity to either approach, neither one appealed to me.

 

My preference was for Two-Face to have a reasonably uniform hair style… dark brown on his pristine side, with maybe some prominent streaks of grey running through the scarred side.

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Two-Face has only been produced twice by DC Direct as action figures in the 6 inch scale:

 

Long Halloween Two Face: A nicely sculpted, but greatly over-sized / out of scale figure, wearing a very non-traditional “zoot-suit” interpretation of the villain’s outfit. It was sculpted to match Tim Sale’s artwork (which I am not a fan of).

 

LongHalooweenTwo-Face.jpg

 

 

 

 

Secret Origins Two-Face: A reasonably well-sculpted action figure, presented in a somewhat compatible scale with the rest of the 6-inch line. This action figure depicted a more traditional version of the character’s appearance. He included some nice accessories, my favorite of which was a tiny “flipped” silver dollar coin caught frozen in mid air! Sadly, I found the body on this figure to be slightly over-sized for my needs (when compared to the other characters of my 6 inch scale collection). So no help there.

 

9428_a_full.jpg

 

However, I did like the well-conceived head sculpt. It featured a generous amount of detail, particularly on the disfigured side of his face. The “evil side” hairstyle selected by the sculptor was the wild, stringy, matted look, (which I do not care for). Additionally, the opposite side un-scathed hair was painted in an incorrect blonde shade, rather than Two-Face’s proper dark brown. However, I was confident that I could correct both of these hair issues easily enough with a blade, sandpaper, and some careful paint work.

 

Basehead.jpg

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Mattel produced one Two-Face Action Figure as part of its DC Universe Classics line. The body sculpt was based off of a general business suit mold that was recycled from a previous Two-Face action figure, and even re-used afterward on a Clark Kent release. While the figure boasted a generous level of articulation, the overall sculpt was one of the clumsiest and most un-attractive I had seen anywhere for a general business suit character:

 

DCUCTwo-Facefront.jpg

 

1) The lower left leg seemed to be warped with an irritating inward bend.

2) The neck position was sculpted with a pronounced forward slump, giving the overall figure an unattractive, lanky, slouch.

And

3) This action figure had one of the most badly under-sized head sculpts I had even seen.

 

4) The arms and legs were sculpted to be impossibly thin, spindly, and elongated. If the arms and legs of this figure represented the character’s limbs outfitted in loose fitting clothing, then he is most certainly anatomically impossibly thin. The excessive length of the limbs removed any trace of elegance that should be attributed to this character’s style of dress. The arms appeared so long, in fact, that the bare wrists became exposed past the cuff of the jacket almost as if the jacket were ill-fitting. The legs appeared almost like a pair of knobby stalks emerging from the gap of an inadequate pelvis and crotch.

 

DCUCTwo-Face2.jpg

 

There were simply too many strikes against this body sculpt for it to be useful for my custom figure. A different business suit wearing base figure sculpt would be required.

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PLASTIC SURGERY FOR A DISFIGURED FIGURE

 

 

Refusing to use the badly-sculpted, woefully under-sized head sculpt of the DCUC Two-Face figure, I turned my attention to the Secret Origins Two-Face head sculpt, and got right to work re-sculpting it to my tastes. I decided that the first thing he needed was a nice clean hair-cut (on his disfigured side). So… I let my blade to the talking.

 

HairChop.jpg

 

HairCut1.jpg

 

HairTrimmedRough.jpg

 

 

 

With the hair trimmed into a basic shape that I found acceptable, I next began the process of sculpting the fine waves of his combed hair with the edge of my folded sand paper.

 

Shapinghair.jpg

 

 

 

I decided to keep the original head/neck articulation so that I would not to have to engineer a different one when this head was transferred over to the new base body. I cut the entire head / neck assembly off of the figure’s shoulders, and trimmed the shirt collar, etc off of the base of the severed neck.

 

HeadCutofftwo.jpg

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PLASTIC SURGERY FOR A DISFIGURED FIGURE

 

 

Refusing to use the badly-sculpted, woefully under-sized head sculpt of the DCUC Two-Face figure, I turned my attention to the Secret Origins Two-Face head sculpt, and got right to work re-sculpting it to my tastes. I decided that the first thing he needed was a nice clean hair-cut (on his disfigured side). So… I let my blade to the talking.

 

HairChop.jpg

 

HairCut1.jpg

 

HairTrimmedRough.jpg

 

 

 

With the hair trimmed into a basic shape that I found acceptable, I next began the process of sculpting the fine waves of his combed hair with the edge of my folded sand paper.

 

Shapinghair.jpg

 

 

 

I decided to keep the original head/neck articulation so that I would not to have to engineer a different one when this head was transferred over to the new base body. I cut the entire head / neck assembly off of the figure’s shoulders, and trimmed the shirt collar, etc off of the base of the severed neck.

 

HeadCutofftwo.jpg

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After four days of slow, meticulous, re-sculpt sanding of the hair (Gosh, I HATE that dreary part of customizing!!) Two-Face’s hair was ready to re-paint. I’m not sure what DC Direct was thinking when they painted this character as a blonde when he is clearly depicted in the comics as having dark brown hair. I followed suit.

 

Paintingbrownhair.jpg

 

 

On the other side, I decided to paint Two-Face’s hair with vaguely garish streaks of grayish-white… a hair-color duality, while still keeping a neatly combed overall hairstyle in place.

 

Hairfinish.jpg

 

 

I also mixed a nice flesh-tone base color and gave his acid-burned features a thorough dry-brushing. I did this to move away from the (illogical) solid green color scheme of his damaged flesh, and also to better control a less rigidly straight separation between the damaged and un-damaged sides of his face.

 

 

Hairfinish2.jpg

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