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 Post subject: Welcome to Custom Celebration X
PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2016 1:20 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 10:19 am
Location: Maryland
Welcome to Custom Celebration X! Wow, we've been at this trying to fill the toy void and get people fired up to customize for 10 years. So much has changed over that time. Everything from the action figure aisles to the way we interact with each other. Usually by this point of the year I have a pretty good feel for what's ahead. I have no clue right now. I'm just going with the flow.

While my love for customizing toys hasn't changed, the way I go about it certainly has. When I first started, I woesn't prepping figures, sanding joints, or buying cast parts for very specific uses. Heck, there was only 1 person selling casts back then (hi Raven). I was mixing and matching whatever extra parts I had leftover from broken figures trying to come up with something, anything, different from what it was. I had grand ideas, but I wasn't concerned with playability or how it would handle the rigors of traveling from Joe Con to Assembly Required.

Enough about me, more about celebrating. For those who have never been through a Custom Celebration, prepare for an onslaught of new material on the site. Besides the JoeCustoms Awards winners, customizers will be showing off some of their new work, we'll have some new tutorials added to the JCwiki, the return of the Two Week challenges where we emphasize the process and being inspired to start something new, cardback comparrisons, discussion of Con Set themes, some contests, and more. So much more, in fact, that we're still juggling things behind the scenes and we'll be just as surprised as you are about some of the surprises that pop up.

Every day we'll put up an index with links to that day's new material. We'll then add those links to a Master List up at the top of the forums. So if you miss something you can always go back to check it out later.

Now back to that tangent I went off on, what has been the biggest change for you as a customizer since you first started out?


PS: I'm so excited for CCX I had to post this now instead of waiting for morning.I literally can't sleep.

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 Post subject: Re: Welcome to Custom Celebration X
PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2016 4:51 am 

Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 10:19 am
What has changed for me?

I started doing vehicles and moved into figures as well in the beginning. I started way back in 99 or 2000 or so when the site was still the Bivouac being ran by Camper. I was operating with no digital camera in the beginning. I snail mailed my photos to Camper. Got my first digital camera in roughly late 2000 or early 2001.

When I started there were very few REAL (more then just repaints) vehicle customs. There was not a lot of competition, it did not take much to make an impressive custom vehicle.

I stayed active in Joe and customizing until roughly 2004 or 5 at which point I went on a decade long hiatus. Packed all of my toys away and while I still had customs accessible I did not work on them and quit visiting Joe Sites. I guess life had just gotten busy.

in late 2013 I came back to the sites and started customizing again. While I still had several unfinished figures I have decided to stick to vehicles mainly now. The biggest difference I see in the world of vehicle customizing is that there are A LOT more great vehicle customizers active in the art now. Along with the number of people doing vehicle customs skyrocketing the bar for level of detail on vehicles has went through the roof. Vehicles that I would have slapped out in a couple hours 10 years ago now take me 20 hours to keep them at a competitive level.

I still use lots of scrap parts but I now buy styrene sheets and tubes to use on my projects instead of just straight frankenstein vehicles. When I started I used model glue to put my vehicles together. It worked OK but did not hold as well as I would have liked and definitely could not withstand the test of time. Now I attach my vehicles together with a chemical weld 90% of the time.


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 Post subject: Re: Welcome to Custom Celebration X
PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2016 8:58 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 10:19 am
Location: Considered deviant by bigots, zealots, and prudes.
For me, everything changed.

My enthusiasm for Joe product changed drastically when the sculpts changed. I couldn't get motivated. Then they became ultra modern, mimicking our existing military, and nailed the coffin shut. It wasn't until RoC movie fare and PoC thereafter that I became interested again.

On the customizing front, even though I still preferred the LBC, I did give in to painting finally, then headsculpts, then bits drilling. Dioramas went from huge to shoebox, and I almost left the hobby from disenchantment were it not for drbindy, DarkWynter, and SlayerDave. They gave me the much needed inspiration to look at the hobby away from the catalyst, which was GIJoe, and towards the horizon, which was custom action figures of both established and original works. When they collectively honored me with my own headsculpt and cast, I finally arrived at the dream spot which was to have myself infused in my own adventures.

The more I watched these three, and then others, I got stoked. Tried painting, carving, then the various trial and error techniques. Sadly, it was then I had lost my sight for about five years, and considered giving up on both the hobby and creating in general. Glad I stuck it out, and glad I have such caring friends here who helped me through it.

Now, I'm on a creative roll, even if I am practically doing it from a stationary chair. My customs reflect my earliest inspiration, which was being breast fed on fantasy, sword and sorcery, and the incredible world of Heavy Metal magazine. The customs are grittier, more adult, and certainly an acquired taste. But I'm far from setting any trends in that arena. With more options being offered this year from Kickstarter and new companies, it's an exciting time to be in this hobby.

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 Post subject: Re: Welcome to Custom Celebration X
PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2016 11:07 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 10:19 am
When I started it was simple paint corrections or an ignored overlooked character, as time went on an I carved out my niche. I rarely buy the factory figures to be what they start out as, often pass entirely on entire waves, just go to the stores for parts for my projects. My paint technique has evolved from flat panel painting to include weathering, texturing. At times I find myself re-envisioning some projects to be more "what if Hasbro did this...."

for this CC my plan is to finish ARAH 1989 in SIgma scale...

see what I am encountering now is what many where 10 years ago, ARAH long out of stores, new sculpt come and gone and SIGMA choaking shelf space... now Sigma is long out of stores, new sculpt and ARAH too, just a handfull of modern... and those weird angular Hero-mash things clogging the shelves...I have a boneyard and stockpile of parts, but even those have their limits considering I have already crossed the 200 mark using the basic figures, how long before I've used every possible combination.... just means I'll have to get more inventive with my construction, craftier with my paints and sculpting.

Toughest thing for me to remember is uploading to the gallery...

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Y'know... Super King Big Nuts of Sigma Six has a nice ring to it...
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 Post subject: Re: Welcome to Custom Celebration X
PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2016 11:19 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2013 3:59 pm
Location: MS
what a deep topic for the start of our celebration :) my health has kept me from completing some projects this year. work has been more than I can handle at times. I am making some small changes that will hopefully bring some relief from the grind and allow more custom/me time!

life turns on a dime, and if someone would of told me 5, 10, or even 15 yrs ago that I would find myself buying broken toys and building custom toys I would have never believed it. from the very beginning of my discovery of customs I recognized the art, the wonderful pure art :), behind the craft. this medium is exciting and full of potential. I love nothing more than creating something that has yet to be expressed !!!

I love the no holds barred attitude of custom action figures. anything I can imagine is possible and I get so much inspiration from the creations of others. just tonight I opened the box with my tropic thunder set in it. that was one of my first "projects" and it is awful! I do plan on using the best bits in a future re-imagining of the troop!

in the spirit of ccx I look forward. forward to finishing my KISS set. forward to finishing stalkers dogs of war. forward to a faithful tribute to the wraith! forward to creating my first cobra squad to battle both joe and kobra!

hopefully a year full of exciting and fresh customs!

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the flatter it gets.
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 Post subject: Re: Welcome to Custom Celebration X
PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2016 11:47 pm 
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Kick Ass Customizing Tard

Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 10:19 am
Location: Colorado
Why is it "CC-X"? Is this one EXXXTREEEMMMEE!!!1! or something?


:chiefty:

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 Post subject: Re: Welcome to Custom Celebration X
PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2016 8:49 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2013 6:07 pm
Chief wrote:
Why is it "CC-X"? Is this one EXXXTREEEMMMEE!!!1! or something?

It's 1995 all over again!


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 Post subject: Re: Welcome to Custom Celebration X
PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2016 1:09 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 10:19 am
Location: East Tennessee
great topic.

I did my first Joe customs in middle school, creating Marvel and Mortal Kombat characters out of my old Joes.

When Chad first eBay, he bought a 1983 helmeted Cobra Commander and I bought a swivel arm Flash. Then we found yojoe and I really wanted a Cobra De Aco, so I made one.

After that I made a crazy ton of figures using random parts, techniques, etc. I look back on those with disgust :-).

Now it's as factory as possible. Trying to use parts and accessories that would fit in with certain years.

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 Post subject: Re: Welcome to Custom Celebration X
PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2016 2:58 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 10:19 am
Credence Clearwater X-treme!!!

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Y'know... Super King Big Nuts of Sigma Six has a nice ring to it...
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 Post subject: Re: Welcome to Custom Celebration X
PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2016 3:58 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2007 5:13 pm
Location: Stamford, CT
For me the biggest change was the birth of the little one. It's changed everything. Everything.

I have very little time for customs so it takes a month of more to finish anything. As to my process I started priming a few years back at the advice of several members. Now I swear by it and won't do any work unless I can prime. I've been slowly adding vehicles to, I have 3 in various WIP stages right now; a blacked out Rattler and 2 different submarines. I have a few others that I'd like to work on but haven't gotten time to start on 'em. I've also been challenging myself to add more details to my figures, I've been adding more facial details; trying to work on eye details, lips, 5 o'clock shadow, etc. I've been trying to do lots of stuff with my parts as I really want and need to cut back on spending. That's how Trap Jaw came to be, trying to challenge myself and use parts I have.

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 Post subject: Re: Welcome to Custom Celebration X
PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2016 3:54 am 
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Ripe with kibble
Ripe with kibble

Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 10:19 am
Location: !!BEYONDER!!
I think the biggest change for me was switching mediums.

As far as techniques (regarding painting) go, I came into the hobby knowing about washes and dry-brushing, thanks to my mom and my previous hobby of 1/8 scale models. When I found JC while looking for some Superman model reference (Hi Evilface) I remembered that I had a bunch of old Joes, and traded my brother a stereo for all our old toys. My first customs were nothing more than fixing broken o-rings, and then I started with ARAH part swaps and simple paints. Now, anything is possible fodder (Modern Era is my base figure of choice,) broken toys are treasure troves of tech detail, and I'm doing more detail painting in 1:18 than I ever did in my larger model figures. I've also gone from a guy who was shocked when the site admin (beav) replied to a pm I sent him to the guy running the NJC and eventually on to being a mod and behind-the-scenes guy for the site I love so much. There's been a lot of guys who've been around earlier than me, but in my time I've seen a ton of talented customizers leave, or quit the hobby, or get banned for becoming crotchety or having wild flame-outs and such. But by the same token, there's been new folks coming in, some with no skills looking for help and advice, and some that arrive fully-formed and amaze us all with their first post. Another big thing is how I've come to use the site: back before Facebook, this is the place I posted all the time, easily 90% of what I posted was in 'off topic' -- all the random crap that now goes to Facebook or one of the other social media sites. And what I post to JC is actually now truer to the purpose (IMHO) of the site; I find myself mostly posting in General Customizing (for tips and tricks and people I find around the web) and submitting customs to the gallery -- which is exactly what I'd hoped JoeCustoms.com would become: a museum of the best customs (gallery,) a place for people to discuss tips, tricks, resources and shared interests (forums) and a place for people to store common interests, tutorials, files and history (joewiki.) 12 years ago, I joined this site thinking it would be a fun diversion at work and give me some ideas for my hobby. Now, I am part of this site, and this place is a daily destination. Finally, I would say this: I didn't know anyone when I joined JC, and now I talk to some of you guys daily. That's changed me for sure. Thanks for celebrating again this year. :yojoe:

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 Post subject: Re: Welcome to Custom Celebration X
PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2016 11:30 am 
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Special Limited Edition Co-Host
Special Limited Edition Co-Host

Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:31 pm
Location: Fort Wayne
^well said. hi joemichaels.

For me there have been a few key changes. The first things I ever customized as an adult were vintage Marx Johnny West toys. When I realized how much space that took, and how much it cost to work in that scale, I slowed down. Then the 25th Anniversary line of Joes showed up right when my first son was born. I had just packed up the JW figs to make room for a nursery, and then saw that instant wave of nostalgia on the pegs at TRU. I bought them "for my son" - but it didn't take long before I had cracked them open, and that's also when I found JoeCustoms. So the change in scale was the first one.

I remember when I found JC, I was so excited that I scrolled through every thread in the critiques section for ideas and inspiration. I learned techniques I never would have known about from the other hobby. And I decided right away I wasn't going to do customs half-hearted. If I couldn't do the advanced stuff, I wasn't going to do it at all. So I got out the dremel and learned hot-glue head swaps. I figured out how to crack modern torsos, and looked up how to paint eyes that didn't look like _____.

Today, those are all things that are pretty basic for me today, but back then it was the key. It seems like every year I add some new approach, so that kind of change is constant. Dios and playsets are my current area of learning and trying new things, for the simple reason that I don't see too many new areas to discover in the modern figures.

The approach to the community is probably where I've noticed the most change personally, and toward the site. The high volume of traffic here when I first joined was inspiring. So many of those early friends have either left the hobby, left the site, or just don't post their work anymore. That change is a negative one. On the other hand, as I've gotten to know the hardcore - never gonna leave - group of people here, I've become close friends with them, to the point where they will be friends even well past the days when I can still lift a paintbrush. So there is a trade off involved there, but it is a change for the positive on a personal level.

I used to write detailed bios for all of my early customs. It kind of helped carry my interest in the hobby, though for a while I backed away from that and focused only on the plastic. With the dio and set-making that I do, it's always with a story in mind. So now, instead of bios, I actually have sets that let me truly tell stories in a way that is very satisfying. In a big picture sense, the development of those new skills are kind of a culmination of all of the different things I brought here and learned here, and kind of justify for me, my role in the hobby. That's maybe the biggest single change - realization of a purpose, and learning the skills necessary to execute it.

And to be honest, I could not have done any of those things without the collective mentoring of JoeCustoms.com and its members past and present.

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since superglue mixed with the blue sharpie that I traced my cuts with on his brace, I will need to do some weathering in areas to help hide it. I tried alcohol, but even after several glasses it still bothers me :)


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 Post subject: Re: Welcome to Custom Celebration X
PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2016 12:03 pm 
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Plug
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Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 10:19 am
Location: Maryland
You guys... :love:

Is someone cutting onions? I must have something in my eye. Don't mind me. :cry:

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 Post subject: Re: Welcome to Custom Celebration X
PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2016 10:04 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2013 3:59 pm
Location: MS
:cry: very well written guys.

I would like to add that in my first few visits to joe type websites I made a choice to only join one, and I believe it was the best choice. I have made good friends on here and have no desire to post my work anywhere else. most of my work is to please me, but if I can get a nod from one of the masters at the craft :shifty: that's a special feeling!!

thanks to all the members of joecustoms! for taking in hooligan like myself. I remember getting a few pm's in the beginning for breaking content rules, one funny instance I was actually looking for some "page 13" with rules on it when someone asked what don't I get about pg-13 8-O :rotfl:

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 Post subject: Re: Welcome to Custom Celebration X
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 12:24 am 
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Don't **** with the buck.
Don't **** with the buck.

Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 10:19 am
Location: IA
I've been visiting joecustoms since 1998, when it was called the bivouac. I didn't own a home computer, til maybe 2000? Somewhere around there. I used to have to visit the local library to check out what was going on. Once I got my own computer, joecustoms has been my home page ever since. That's a long, long time.

When I started taking broken parts of Arah figures to make new guys, I didn't understand enamel and acrylic paints, I just painted them. I didn't get that gloss looks horrible. You learn a lot of things as you do more and more. I used to have to take my figures to a friends house, he would put them on a scanner, and we would scan and submit to the bivouac, so some of my earliest figures are under his name, not my own.

One of the things that originally caught my attention, besides the customs, was the Liberty:2198 project. I had never thought about gi Joe in the future, and the project and the figures were fascinating. I made some, and mailed them to Joecustoms first Admin Beav, who took pictures of them and put them on the site for me.

I've tried my hand at all the different styles of smaller figures over the years, from Arah til now. My favorite is the current style. For obvious reasons, mostly because it's the one that has been available to me the easiest.

The hobby of customizing was always a side hobby to the collecting aspect. Something to do for fun with spare parts, or making something that you saw on joecustoms that you thought was cool. I started to branch out a little bit around 2008-2009 and really went after making my own versions of things that weren't just copies of what people had already made. I think the first one I was really proud of was a modern era Bullhorn and a modern Era Alpine.

A contest came along at some point to make your own original character. I signed up, thought what the hell. As other people signed up, I realized that I really needed to put forth my best effort. Because the people signing up were the same people I have been ripping off for ideas for awhile lol, and people I followed with great interest. So I devoured all the tips and tricks I could in the wiki and went out and bought some quality paint, and a dremel and put to use the slow but steady paint method, the dremeling, the drybrushing, the minuscule detail painting that makes common parts look a bit different...

I didn't win, but I came close. Some guy named drbindy won. I wonder what happened to that guy. Anyways, When I looked at the figure, I was amazed with myself at what I had done. I started paying more attention to parts and details and within a year, collecting had become secondary to customizing. I have, and still have a massive collection. Stupid huge, that sometimes I don't know why I keep it. Because I'd rather customize than collect now. I've bought multiple figures over the last several years, but very rarely for collection purposes. The last one I bought that went straight to a shelf was gung ho.

A couple of years back, is noticed that Oreobuilder guy was making almost the same things I would have would have on my workbench. Like, literally he'd beat me to the same wip by a couple of months. That rascal! I started some correspondence with him about customs and customizing, which grew into a project and friendship where we made figures together for a reveal dealing with the characters and themes from the "new sculpt" era. And let me tell you, I thought I have good ideas and wips, but seeing what he can envision before it even has paint reeeaalllyyy makes you step up your game. Working side by side with him has really made me work that much harder. Because not only is his stuff good, but his photography is so good, that when he takes your figure and takes a picture of it, you will notice every single flaw that you didn't slow down and look at/fix.

We moved on to Resurgence together and dusty79 soon joined in and I have never had more fun customizing at any time that I do when I'm trying to keep up with them. Both fantastic guys to work with and talk to. It's very rare on the Internet of all places for 3 strangers who have never met to get along so well. Sometimes I wish the three of us were a design team for a toy line, because I feel like when all three of us are going, we bring out the best in each other. I will have some ideas in my head that I'm not sure how to pull off, and they will feed me ideas on how to make it work, and it happens.


Speaking of fantastic guys, I've probably lost track of more friends and names on here over the years than I remember. So many people have gone over the years. I used to have a Canadian buddy on here that I met in person one time at the Minneapolis Con named madman. We got along great, always trading and even exchanging Christmas gifts for many years. There are a lot more that just don't come around anymore. People find new hobbies and disappear. It's kinda a bummer. Part of it is everyone getting older and not having the time, and I think a lot of it has to do with Facebook. A lot of people moved from forums to there. I've seen a lot of different changes at the site over the years. There used to be a chat room. That was crazy in there. I didn't go all that often, I couldn't keep up with them lol.
I've seen the rise over the years and subsequent disappearance of a lot of quality customizers. The forums used to be pretty busy, and maybe it's just me visitng every day multiple times, but I always thought that they were busier than a lot of other sites that existed at the time. I've seen a lot of really strange flame out's as well lol. I've been a good boy all these years, never even got a warning.


There last few years I've tried to go to more and more conventions and meet members, and doing so has been great. You've got a crew of guys that have been here awhile and still come here on a regular basis that show up to the show. Being able to faces to board names, hang out and talk customizing or toys in person is special, and if you ever get the opportunity to visit a joecustoms booth do so, say hi, and talk shop.
I've met pluv, joemichaels, drbindy, zombie guide, chief, hypnohustler, joeczar, silent master, Beav, and a host of others who are all lol guys to hang out with. I hope to meet a lot more in the future.

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