GUESTBOOK ARCHIVES 10
02/16/03 - 01/23/04

Forward in time    GUESTBOOK    Back in time


Friday 01/23/2004 3:32:58am
Name: Paul Entrekin
Homepage URL:
Comments: You show some "1930's money german" on your site, but I have found that it is actually a 1910 Riechsmark. I also found really sharp pix of one front and back of the note. I also altered a lot of the items from Jim's dollhouse page, hopefuly making them better. now if only someone was interested in them...
email: nude0007@hotmail.com

Thanks for the info, Paul. Since I don't remember where that came from and the file was named that way, I appended your information to the link (the bill might have been used over that span of time-?). As for the stuff from Jim's Printable Minis, you probably should contact him and see if he's amenable to hosting and crediting your revisions-- a number of "Play Scale" hobbyists are likely to be interested in your work!

Jimbobwan, 01/24/04




Monday 01/12/2004 6:13:52pm
Name: PlasticApe
Homepage URL:
Comments: Please be patient, this may get long . . .
Thanks at least partially to your webpage I have embarked on 1/6 chainmail (gee, thanks, I think :p ). In starting this (and having an interesting, but useless piece of small mail on my desk) I have a few questions that I didn't see answered.
1.) Did you decide on 2mm rings or slightly larger than that? 4mm seems to big (and buying jump rings would put me in the poorhouse).
2.) I *think* you said you used 32 gauge wire to make your rings, is that right? Any thoughts on other gauges for 2-3mm rings?
3.) Did you solder your rings due to the thinness of the wire you had to use to make your rings? Do you think just butting the rings would hold up okay?
4.) You said you wrapped your wire around a q-tip to form rings, but you didn't mention how you cut them. What did you use? All of the ideas I have come up with seems like they would remove a lot of material or leave a non-flat edge on the rings (more important to me since I want to simply try butting them up to close them).
I *think* that's it (for now).
I can give you one piece of advice, when making a coif don't think you can fudge by starting with 8 rings instead of ten in your central ring (ten 4mm jump rings won't fit in one 4mm ring). You end up with a nipple shaped waste of time!
Thanks for all the work you do and all the time you take to share it with the world.

PA
(now why're my fingers sore?)


Hey PA, howgozit? You bring up some painful memories-- nightmarish actually --but that's okay. Sorry for getting you started on it, but you should have noticed the anguish and torment that I was trying to convey through the article! I'm usually pretty good at projecting how long stuff's gonna take, but in the case of The Coif, I underestimated by probably about 40 maddening hours. Anyway...

1) 4 mm is out-of-scale for 1:6-- but it's a common size and will work to give the overall look and feel. 2mm is really hard to work with, and actually may be slightly overscale too-- of course it depends on the gauge of the wire too. I made a bunch of different ring sizes and gauges to see what I could work with, and it came out somewhere inbetween (whatever a Q-tip measures). Remember to take your sanity into consideration when doing these things. I'm not sure of the math behind this but I suspect that if you halve the diameter, you may need to make 4x the number of rings to cover the same area.

2) Darn... if it's not in the article, I'm not really sure-- it isn't one of those things that I'd remember. My advice is to get several gauges and see how you can work with them. The basic issue is that if the wire's too thin, the rings will distort too easily; if it's too thick, then you'll have a harder time knitting them.

3) I soldered the rings specifically because I didn't trust butting them. The last thing I wanted was rings unlinking somewhere in the middle of the pattern! As I recall, I used nickel-plated copper wire... copper's pretty soft, but likes solder, and nickel makes them a little more rigid. Butting the rings may work okay, but I would recommend that you use a stiff wire, like stainless steel (?). You've got to figure that if you can bend them really easily (which helps you when you're making the stuff), then random tugs are going to do the same (which helps unmake the stuff).

4) I cut the rings with a specially fabricated cutting tool... yeah, right. Actually, I mangled a pair of cuticle scissors with my Dremel to give me the thinness to go into the loop and cut with a lot of leverage. Basically, I was cutting only one ring at a time, but they'd accumulate quickly. The cutting still splays the ring, but it's fairly easy to close. The edges were fairly clean, but as I said, I soldered them so they didn't need to be absolutely flush.

Uhhhh... Have fun???

--Jimbobwan, 01/13/04




Saturday 01/10/2004 11:58:12am
Name: Jess C. Horsley, Figures.com
Homepage URL:
Comments: Jim-bobwan,
YOU ARE 'DA MAN!!
I have been an avid action figure collector for over 12 years and have been reporting action figure news and reviews for the last three years. Few sites on the internet today display as much work, love, and PASSION for the hobby of collecting and customizing action figures as your site does!!

KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK!!
(Not like you needed me to tell you!)

Jess C. Horsley
Figures.com

P.S.
Gotta love DaJoint's ZMDC figures! I would love to see your perspective on their newest line, KUSA!

Wow, Jess-- Figures.com? That's actually a real pro website, put together by folks who know HTML, and more! (so what are you doing hanging out in these disreputable backlands?). Thanks for the words of encouragement-- they're especially helpful in these days where all I can seem to make is the same mean-faced ladycreature, over and over and over...

I should browse more, but hey: Thanks for turning me onto the KUSA series; I just Google'd "Da Joint KUSA", and that stuff really gets them spending glands all worked up! Verrrry kewl.

--Jimbobwan, 01/13/04




Friday 01/09/2004 3:55:28am
Name: Sarah
Homepage URL:
Comments: My goodness-it all started with an innocent Google search for info on the Marmit female action figure! Really-your site has left me astounded, in awe, and very inspired; I've wanted for years to try my hand at doing some rather severe modifications of the 1/6" scale figure, but always thought it wouldn't be possible-I was just settling for Volks and the customizing options there!
Anyway-I do have a very basic question to ask (and I searched around first on your site to see if it was answered): When separating the main torso pieces from each other, what is your preferred choice of weapon? On hard vinyl figures (and a much larger scale, too), I've used everything from dremel to "sharp steak knife", but as this is a much smaller scale, I am unsure as to what should be used.
Thanks for any advice, and thanks even more for such a wonderful site!


Howdy Sarah-- thanks for visiting, writing, and for saying such nice things. Most of the lazy ingrates who visit have no appreciation for all the long hours I slave, for risking terrible flesh wounds under the OSHA-condemned conditions, and for working my fingers to the bone typing the long, meaningless commentary. Oi vey... I should have listened to my mother.

Anywaaaaay, I don't have any good solutions to the body-bursting question. (But are you using a Hoffritz steak knife)? I usually use a rotary tool with a steel blade to cut in the general area of the seams and finish the job with a brutal screwdriver/wedge attack. My theory was that the thin steel blade would remove very little material and just produce a clean cut. In practice, freehand cutting with a steel blade is very stupid because it's dangerous and doesn't produce a thin, clean cut (except maybe in flesh)-- there's a lot of melted plastic and enlarged cuts where the blade has dwelled for too long. Running the blade at a low speed doesn't seem to work either. I do it that way because it's fast, and haven't had any serious accidents (yet).

Since most figures have glued internal structures, careful seam cutting is unlikely to cleanly open a figure by itself (unless you're very lucky). Wedging and prying the halves is a matter of trying inconspicuous places until you hear the telltale 'crack' of the internal structures releasing-- hopefully, without snapping anything else, or marring the prying area too badly. Realistically though, you have to assume that there's going to be some damage that will need to be fixed.

--Jimbobwan, 1/9/04




Monday 12/29/2003 0:52:43am
Name: PaladinHeart
Homepage URL:
Comments: I agree with the others. Seeing a figure update is nice :)

I kinda miss seeing the figure reviews. Maybe we can start seeing those again, time (and money) permitting.

I understand how it is though. My hobbies include 25mm metal minis, video & computer games (currently working on a Fallout project via Fallout Tactics editors), and yes, 1/6th scale doll modifying (just the outfits, as im not so bold as to mess with the bodies).

Its always a pleasure to see and admire your work. Especially knowing my meager skills can hardly produce anything near the quality of your, for lack of a better word, masterpieces.

So, keep up the good fight, and may your interests always be steered toward medievel 1/6th stuff :)

P.S. Apologies to any sci-fi fans who take offense to the last statement. Im a Fallout & Farscape fan myself. But I still like seeing the medievel (sp?)stuff more.

I love the direction your work seems to be steered towards. The grumpy barbaric & rustic theme is what im hoping for with my metal minis. I also seem to have more female minis than anything else. I guess im going to have a really large amazon army :-)


Thanks, Paladinheart. I don't think you need to apologize for narrowing to one genre over another... I think most of us have had to narrow our focus due to time and space considerations. I really wish I could motivate myself to work on my Melusine figure-- neat stuff-- but where would I put it?

Updates, updates, updates: I try... The latest project (Brucelia) is a weird fetishy one that probably won't appeal to many folks-- I think it might actually do more than that, and turn some folks off! That's the great thing (from my perspective) about doing this for fun-- I can make what I want without worrying about whether things have any market appeal at all, and be obnoxious about it!

However, there's a more universal tale behind the Brucelia project-- this stuff takes a lot of man-hours! This was an almost start-from-scratch project that commenced almost as soon as I posted the last pictures of Shebob. It was a race to get it out before the end of the month, with the Christmas holidays looming (bah, humbug?). After a few intense days of trying to get the basics in shape, I woke at 3 a.m. on the day of the long Christmas Eve drive just to make a little more headway. To save time, I wrote most of the first part of the article on Christmas day, even though I hadn't actually finished some of the stuff, LOL. After a brief family get-together, I got back to work and thought I'd easily make my self-imposed deadline... but the head took most of a day, and the leather limb coverings took most of a day to design and construct. I couldn't get the fingernail/talons affixed securely, and marred the hands trying. At times, I thought the doll looked almost unsalvageable. Somehow, I managed to go live with an article and picture on schedule... even though the figure was missing a few nails, and the finish was atrocious. Whew! I was pretty wasted by the time I did the New Years blurb... My work area was a friggin' pig pen (it still is...). Because I'd rushed through the project, I was facing a huge the patch-up and finishing job. It's especially demoralizing to have to break the figure down and go back a few steps to take care of stuff like this. Anyway, the deadline's passed and I'm over that hump now... besides, I've discovered how to keep this project in December 2003 for as long as it takes.

For what it's worth... that untold tale was removed from the project article, and was to be a preamble to make readers aware that I was doing my penance by tackling two projects in a month. Even though I make stuff without regard for what folks may want to see, I do try to please by coming up with something (as long as I'm not on an extended guitar binge). It's still a little early for me to think about what I'm going to do next, but I've found that the funky sketches do help me get started more quickly.

As for reviews... I spoke a little bit about this in my end-of-year Remarks thing, but there's a little more to it. One of the main reasons for my past reviews was to investigate the innovations in figure design that were coming out. I had an interest in this because I was still taking it all in. Lately, I've felt that we've seen pretty much all we're going to see-- The manufacturers can throw more articulation on a figure, but it almost always comes at a cost in appearance, or how finicky the figure poses. There are a few exceptions to this (dual axis hands & feet), but I think we've seen the good stuff. It's time to put that knowledge to work and decide what to use, and what not to use on a figure-by-figure basis. That's really where I'm coming from, at least.

Every so often figures come out with new ways of solving costuming problems-- like the Timeline chainmail (don't have), and the faux zippers on the Bloody Rose figure (just got)-- those are worth checking out, IMO, but can be dealt with in a paragraph or two and don't rate a review of the whole figure set.

As for figure set reviews: The Stray Dog review was especially difficult for me-- I realized that I really didn't have anything to say, and that most of what I managed to say was irrelevant to my main focus as a doll-maker. It seemed that my only purpose for doing that review was to pass judgement on a manufacturer, show what a neat figure I'd bought, and don't you wish you had one too? That's really the job of the folks who sell those things, or someone who wants to act as a buyer's guide. I admit, I've done that before-- but I tend to do that in lieu of actually making stuff. Nevertheless, if something neat and irresistable comes up, I'll probably bite.

--Jimbobwan, 01/01/04 (or 12/32/03)

Saturday 12/20/2003 5:24:52am
Name: Jason
Homepage URL:
Comments: Hi Jimbob,
While doing some googling on the Forgotten Force (in pre-pre-preparation for a potential historical look at the group for FFURG) I came across your site for the first time in a couple of years and noticed you've been doing updates to the site. What I also noticed was you seem to have stopped with the Star Wars customs. Is this true? As I just mentioned recently to Tony Rice who was leaving the SW customs world, when I was first starting customs back in the long forgotten year of 1997ish there were several customizer's sites I went to for inspiration, and yours was one of them. So have you moved on from SW customs or have they just not made it to your site yet?

Thanks and as always, Happy Customizing!
Jason


Jason, blame it on Jar Jar Binks... (ha ha) Actually, I moved on from Star Wars figure customizing quite a few years ago and have been doing a variety of 1/6 scale figures ever since. For the last few years, most of the stuff I've done has been... well, it's easier just to look at the chronological listing of articles on my website's index page. The old Star Wars stuff is still there, and there's a link to that section at the top of main index and the section indices.

I still like Star Wars stuff, and look forward to the seeing the final prequel installment... but that's the extent of my interest. For what it's worth, one of the main reasons I stopped making Star Wars customs was that Hasbro was beginning to pump out every obscure minor character imaginable. That removed one of my main reasons for "doing it yourself", since it narrowed my creative opportunities to improving their figures, or re-inventing their wheel.

Through the years, I've generally moved away from making stuff based on artistic properties which belong to other people. For one thing, you don't own or control those properties so you're somewhat limited commercially (although that's not my bag) but also, creatively. I find that it's equally satisfying but more liberating for me to take inspiration, ideas, and designs from our collective culture and create stuff which fits into a fantasy realm of my own design. Nowadays, if I see a really cool movie, I satisfy my fanboy nature by buying a licensed figure or maquette...

--Jimbobwan, 12/21/03




Monday 12/15/2003 5:05:08am
Name: Trav
Homepage URL:
Comments: Jimbob, seeing a figure-related update on your site is a very welcome early Christmas present! I hope the project will be one of many to follow. Regardless, thank you for keeping the archive alive while your energies have been directed elsewhere. You have inflamed more than a few brains with delusions of 1/6 grandeur and will continue to do so as long as your work is on display. That can't be a bad thing. I just hope you realize that you are appreciated by many as an inspirational artist and craftsman. You are the Jimi Hendrix of 1/6.


Thanks Trav, I appreciate the nod and it's nice to get affirmation that someone's doing more than looking at the cleavage shots through Google or Lycos Images (there's much better cleavage elsewhere, anyway).

Like I said, I never really left-- the guitar stuff is just another interest that I get heavily involved with until I'm overcome by a sense of frustration and futility, or satisfaction. Since my main interest is in improving my improvisational abilities, there's really nothing to do but learn and practice/jam, learn and practice/jam. It can be an endless process unless you force yourself to break out of it and do other things. However, my latest excursion was productive: I picked up a country pickin' way of thinking, a little speed, and felt that I gained a better instinctive feel of where notes were on the fretboard. As long as I don't embark on learning something new, I can feel satisfied now with zero minutes to an hour of mindless jamming a day.

The electronics/gear aspect of it was quite another thing though, and is very similar to the hobby of doll-making. These aren't performance-centered endeavors, but are project-oriented: You work towards completion, with a very definite goal. I really like this kind of work, and frankly, modifying dolls is a lot cheaper than modifying guitars!

--Jimbobwan, 12/21/03




Monday 11/17/2003 10:01:00am
Name: Jimbobwan
Homepage URL:
Comments: Gee... I hadn't checked here in a while, and there's been quite an accumulation of unanswered questions since August. Sorry! Thanks for writing y'all, and I hope that you don't mind if I answer all in one long message...



Randy Riker-- Howdy! Everything's going okay-- I'm still kickin' and haven't lost any limbs or organs. Lately, almost all my attention has been focused on the guitar modification & playing thing. (I've put up a few pages of that kind of stuff, but it's probably not of much interest to folks who visit looking for figure-related stuff.) It's also been really expensive! Consequently, I haven't kept up with the world of dolls & figures. I do recall word about Electra and the official Takara 2.0 revisions from a while back though-- I'm curious about what they've changed, how well it works, and whether they've retained the overall allure of the original Cy-body (BBI's PBs were -ahem- mildly disappointing for me). I'll probably check it out sooner or later.



Roberto Arias-- No habla Espanol...(sorry!) From a baffling online translation, I'm guessing this is about metal 1/6 swords. I think there's a compliment in there too... All I can think to say is "Gracias"! (?)



Charley-- No habla Ingles...wait... I DO speak English! Joanna Dark: It seems that I've written some snotty and sarcastic stuff in an article about JD when she first came out, but take that all with a grain of salt. It's completely up to you to decide whether you like the figure- judge her by how well she fits in with whatever you're planning on doing to, or with her (BTW, she is only 1:6 scale, ha ha). She's basically a "Perfect Body" figure (with squishy boobs) and for major slicing and dicing, there are a number of issues which make her a less-than-ideal choice.
The Movie: Uhh yeah, that went straight to video, didn't sell, and then went straight to the dumpster... (what movie???)



Chung-- What do I think of BBI's new PBs? Not being really up on this stuff, I hate to show my ignorance... aw, what the hell: If all they did was give the PBs some new heads, my previous comments about funky weird leg poseability and ratchety joints would still be relevant for me. If not, then nevermind! (Actually, I'm more curious about the revamped Cy 2.0 which Randy mentioned.)



Leslie-- Thanks. I think the Max Factory vinyl Guyver kits are available as reissues at Hobbylink Japan. They're pretty cool-looking and are fairly easy to assemble (if you're not dangerous with an Exacto blade and superglue).



John Argento-- The nickel-plating tarnishing effect is naturally produced by the process of nickel plating (at least, my amateur nickel plating process). My stuff usually comes out with a not-quite-sparkly sheen which is easy to polish out. The darker tarnish (or burn), which is tougher to get out, usually comes from running the electrical current too high, or by close proximity to an electrode (and the convection currents in the bath, I think). It's all very mysterious stuff and for me, not very controllable. I'm a firm believer in seeing unintentional stuff like that as a good thing.



Shay-- Thanks for the offer for pre-cut stainess steel rings for chainmail-- I'm sure that some readers would be very interested in that info!



Dirk-- Wow, a guitar question? Sorry-- even though I'm mainly using my Twin Reverb these days, I'm not quite ready to sell the Semour Duncan Convertible modules. Oddly enough, the modules are actually more valuable than the amp! To buy a Deluxe Reverb, I was thinking of selling the modules and throwing in the amp...



Lord Karza-- I'm not quite sure what to say about this... The guitar and junior electronics thing is awfully fun for me, but as you more or less implied-- practicing sucks. It would be great to get the results of practice without doing the actual practicing. I've been trying to train my picking hand's pinkie to pluck and dampen notes, but it's slow going and it's no fun to feel like a klutz. But I don't think there's any way around it. The only thing to sustain you through this kind of tedium and frustration is the expectation of long-range results.

I've certainly thought about making big-boobed dolls again, especially when I get that plateau'd-out feeling. The doll-making hobby gives tangible results that serve as milestones, whereas practicing guitar is an ongoing thing that prepares you for events-- the events may be recorded, but the recordings are never as accessible as something you can look at and touch. However, most guitarists enjoy the collecting side as well ("Gear Acquisition Syndrome"), and my interest in guitar --like with figures-- has the added dimension of customizing. So in some respects, the hobbies aren't all that different.

I do still think about figure-making though. After getting a maquette of the "Terminator 3" TX endoskeleton, I though about how cool it would be to invest a really full-blown effort in making a fembot inspired by the TX: Scratch-built with metal and plated parts, solder, bolts and epoxy, lots of articulation in weird places. Maybe even without boobs? (Hey, it could happen!) Cool thought though, huh?

--Jimbobwan, 11/17/03




Saturday 11/15/2003 2:12:59am
Name: Randy Riker
Homepage URL:
Comments: Hey, Jim-Bob!
Long time no hear from ya, even here on the guestbook. Hope all is well, and have a question:

Now that it's available here in the States, are you going to order one of the new Cy-Girl "Electra" figures? Just curious, especially since this figure has BBI's new 2.0 body design, with all the added articulation, including the tweaked waist, added demi-ball joint(?)
rotation in the thigh/hip area, and
(praise the toy gods on high) ganged-hinge elbows.

Just wanted to see if this piques your curiosity.

Nonetheless, whatever you're doing, I hope it's fun!

Randy




Tuesday 11/11/2003 5:48:31am
Name: roberto arias
Homepage URL:
Comments: Hola ante todo felicitate por tus creaciones son fantasticas, me gustan mucho,
te escribo con la esperanza de que me contestes, me dedico a hacer armas, especialmente espadas de metal esacala 1/6 me gustaria saber tu opinion sobre las mismas si estas interesado ponte en contacto conmigo, disculpa que no escriba en ingles pero es un idioma que desconozco atentamente
el necio

Sunday 11/09/2003 11:51:20am
Name: Charley
Homepage URL:
Comments: Would love to receive comments regarding the Joanna Dark figures. Is she going to stay popular for awhile?? Have the chance to buy the 2 figures by Bluebox at a very low price. Please send email response to: dofunky@ix.netcom.com
BTW, whatever happened to the plans for a movie. Is it still on???




Sunday 11/09/2003 11:07:24am
Name: Chung
Homepage URL:
Comments: Hello Jim.

What are your thoughts regarding the three new CY Girl Perfect Body figures from BBI?

Some like them. Some hate them.




Saturday 11/01/2003 4:36:35am
Name: Leslie
Homepage URL:
Comments: hey im looking to buy one of these, or a whole set even for a friend of mine, whos so into the guyver, and i would just like to know the prices for the model kits (figures)... if you could send me an email please, at Sky_is_beyond_my_horizon@yahoo.com thanks take care kewl site...




Thursday 10/16/2003 7:02:16pm
Name: john argento
Homepage URL:
Comments: I loved the tarnished nickel on your warrior....how do you tarnish bright nickel to achieve that dull, worn effect, thanks john




Thursday 10/09/2003 6:49:43am
Name: Shay
Homepage URL:
Comments:
Really like your customizing work. I know of a place to get precut stainless steel rings for chainmail at a decent price. They make them pretty small. email me for more info if you are interested ascorley@hotmail.com
,Shay

Tuesday 10/07/2003 11:15:23pm
Name: Dirk Nixon
Homepage URL:
Comments: Hi, Do you have any Seymour Duncan Convertible amp modules that you would sell me?

Email me at mrdirknixon@yahoo.com




Saturday 08/23/2003 11:17:04pm
Name: Lord Karza
Homepage URL:
Comments: Aaarrgghh... I still whittle plastic boobs into shape while not learning how to play bass... why no new stuff ? darnit ! Oh well , someday I will visit this site thinking 'wow jim-bob has really blown up the scene of rewiring guitars for the purpose of not having to buy fx pedals' followed immediately by 'why would he all of a sudden change interests and start making DOLLS with BIG BOOBS ? ' ... oh well ... see ya then...

Saturday 08/16/2003 10:31:05pm
Name: Dew-man
Homepage URL:
Comments: I just had a virus quarantined while I was looking under one of your font links...www.acidcool.com thought you might want to check it out.


My understanding is that you're unlikely to pick up viruses just from browsing (however, just to be sure, I turn off Java in my browser). I think Javascript is pretty safe since the browser is the interpreter, and no company would intentionally create a browser with a potentially malicious command set. Most viruses do their thing by executing programming code, which requires that you download and run files that contain executable code-- AFAIK, there's nothing executable in a jpg image, font file or text document (However, Microsoft products allow access to Visual BASIC). A link to an html page won't do it, although if the link points to an executable file, there's a potential risk I suppose-- but most browsers offer you the option of saving a non-native file type.

I guess what I'm saying is that I don't know what happened in your case, but I'm pretty sure it's not directly due to the content on that page!

--Jimbobwan, 08/19/03




Tuesday 07/29/2003 7:20:38pm
Name: Will Calcote
Homepage URL:
Comments: Another day has passed, and with it some of the indecision. You can ignore the previous posts and just answer this, please: what is the best 9" base? Thanks.


Hey Will,
I guess you're halfway lucky that this reply is only a day late... I was writing a reply to Alex's message a few weeks back (sorry!) but stuff came up and I never picked it up (BTW Alex, as you've probably figured out-- just pull!). You're halfway lucky because you won't have to wait for me to tell you that I don't have a clue about 9" figures, or much of anything in the general hobby. I'm thoroughly out-of-the-loop: I haven't been in a toy store or hit a figure website in a quite a while. However, I do have some comments that don't rely on having any knowledge of anything specific! (Lucky you.)

Since your main objective seems to be video or film (and not a static, real-time diorama), there's no reason to stick with a single scale. Large-format figures (even parts of a figure) work better for closeups, and small-format figures work better for wide angle and establishing shots. The fact that you control what shows in how you frame a shot and the camera's perspective gives you lots of freedom to cheat reality, saving yourself tons of hard work and money.

Doing stop-motion animation adds another aspect though (and I think you're insane to try it): The quality of the figure's armature is probably one of the most important things: Armatures should hold their position tightly, and be capable of being tightened so that they don't go wonky and lose their registration between frames. Armatures are usually anchored to the surface in some way, by bolts, screws, whatever. You won't find serious articulation quality in any of the toy figures. On the other hand, if you aren't that fussy about it, it really doesn't matter, does it? Have fun.

Good luck bud!

-Jimbobwan, 07/30/03




Tuesday 07/29/2003 2:08:30am
Name: Will Calcote
Homepage URL:
Comments: Sorry, I forgot a chief impetus for writing in the first place. What 9-12" body would you recommend? I have here a 9" Gambit Famous Covers and a 9" Martian Manhunter (from the line with Superman Blue and Aquaman).

Tuesday 07/29/2003 0:49:45am
Name: Will Calcote
Homepage URL:
Comments: Alright, I'm agonizing here, and I think you might be able to help. I'm sorry to unload this on you, but you're the most doll-literate person out there. I'm making a stop-motion animated short film. I've got the story, storyboards, and lights, but I can't start on the sets because...I can't decide what scale to make it in. I'm comfortable in the 7"-tall range (think Marvel Legends, DC Direct super hero stuff), but I know the bigger I go, the easier it will be to film.
Pro of going into the 9" or 12" scale:
1. It will be easier to read the facial expression (I'm just sculpting the faces in Sculpey over the manufactured faces). I intend on very subtle "acting," so this is important.
2. It's easier to sculpt their faces when the heads are bigger.
3. It allows for more space in which to work (as in, when I'm animating between frames)
4. It's bigger, so it's easier to light
5. As you know, these big figures are well articulated (then again, so is Marvel Legends)
5. Simply, it's easier than working with tiny 7" people, as you're aware...

Con:
1. The sets will have to be huge (acquiring materials is not a problem, but storing it all is). Then again, this will make the sets easier to build.
2. possibly the biggest drawback: their clothes. I'm not sure I can sew them. I may be able to find Barbie/Ken clothes for the two guys and one female characters. It'd be difficult (and time-consuming) to sculpt all that clothing over the dolls and have it work. How in the heck do YOU make the clothing? I may have to hire someone to do this for me.

Crazy for fear my project will never get off the ground,

Will Calcote




Tuesday 07/08/2003 9:38:40am
Name: Alex Wong
Homepage URL:
Comments: Dear Jim,

Hi, I didn't get the obitsu dolls cuz it's too expensive. Both the body and head is sold at staggering RM98 (US$25.80) a piece (head and body sold seperately) at the local toy shop. Instead, I got a CY Gear full (synthetic) leather suit (specail branch).
Ok, here's my problem, they also supplied a choker as part of the costume and the only way to put it on is to remove the head. I've removed dragon dolls heads before and this will by my very first attempt on a cy girl. How can I remove the head with the least damage done and how to put it back on?
Thanks, I really appreciate your help.

Alex




Saturday 06/21/2003 9:52:29pm
Name: Will Calcote
Homepage URL:
Comments: Madman of the Plastic Flesh: What do you do for a living? The question comes from several observations: 1. Your prolificness 2. Your updates during normal working hours 3. What seems to be the presence of an IQ higher than the average customizer's (then again, my brethren and I customize in the 6" scale, so we're kinda like the junior high of mods anyway) 4. And mainly, your very obvious talent that is being wasted if you have some paper-pushing job, tucked inside a cubicle in XYZ Corporation Land. And I want you to know you're breaking all our hearts by dropping the habit for your confounded guitar-playing.
-gnawhyde@aol.com

Naugahyde? Well gosh-- thankew very much! I don't know about the IQ thing: people have different things they're suited for, and I'm an unexceptional techie-type. I'm not very well-suited for adult life though since financial things like insurance and investments bore me and the usual adult status toys seem hopelessly expensive. I'd love to own a fancy Porsche, but it wouldn't fit in the living room, so how could I play with it?

I'm trapped in a very fulfilling job- although the pay is abysmal, the people I work with are great and I enjoy what I do-- Mainly, I'm the keeper of "my baby"-- a small school's database system. I enjoy the autonomy of being able to add features that no one ever dreamed it needed, as well as accommodating all the strange computer-hostile ideas that the bosses dream up. I say "trapped" because it's become very, very complicated in its 13 years of development and between my low pay and specialized knowledge, the company would have a difficult time replacing me. I feel a great degree of loyalty to the company and the people I work with, so I've never held their feet to the fire.

You don't get rich in the field of education, and I couldn't afford to work there if my wife didn't outearn me by a ridiculous margin. And I probably couldn't afford my hobbies if we had kids. Although I don't sponge off my wife, quite a bit of my limited income is discretionary because I don't have to worry about providing for her in our senior years: I'm assuming that I'll be the first to croak, and I intend to work doing something until then. I'll probably regret it later, but I'd rather indulge myself with the fun stuff now while I can enjoy it rather than later, on medical bills.

A lot of work and updates were done on days off. Real vacations are difficult because of our joint work demands and the cost, so I use vacation days here & there. I've made lots of stuff pretty quickly mainly because it's fun and it's natural. If you have an idea for something you think is kewl, you might as well press hard and slog through even the boring parts because these things don't make themselves! If I don't press on, it means I've lost interest and the project may never be completed. The sooner you finish a project, the sooner you can enjoy their completed-ness, heh heh, and finishing things (even 90%) frees me to start thinking about other things I want to make. The website has also motivated me to keep producing figures (even when I was feeling pretty uninspired). It's like having someone else to please-- external pressure, even if it's not real, can be motivating. You just have to convince yourself that it's meaningful.

As you might observe, I'm a very linear-minded person. The guitar thing is part of the second childhood progression-- it's what I did after I stopped playing with Joes as a kid, and I've neglected it for many years because I'd focused on customizing. It's a very fulfilling thing too, because it taps so many areas-- besides the abundant rewards of guitar noodling and the focus on improving a skill, it's got the GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) aspect and ties in with my hobby of tinkering with electronics and hardware. I'm hoping that I'll eventually find some compatible jamming buds who don't want to turn it into a career and get a small taste of that performance high again.

And even though you didn't ask, here's an .mp3 (1 meg- I really tried to make it smaller!) noodling sample of some of the fun I've been having. The first thing is snippet of a Rory Gallagher ragtime guitar thing played with a synthesizer piano patch; the second is a generic trumpet riff & patch; the third is a very synthesizer-ish sound (with odd timing pauses) and the last thing is 1 round of raunchy blues noodling, courtesy of the Jam Station's infinite patience. (I was getting really tired and had completely run out of anything tasteful to play.) I'm not a great guitarist and they're quickie and crummy recordings taken from my camcorder's mic-- you can even hear the unamplified guitar since I wasn't playing very loud. But I thought I should give a glimpse of the fun music stuff that's displaced the fun modeling stuff.

I wish I could give a time estimate but it's really impossible to control the direction one's interests naturally take. When the long-awaited Melusine hardsuit kit arrived, I was very excited about it. How could I not be? It's really kewl! However, after inspecting it thoroughly, I boxed it back up and shelved it for later and cranked up the amps again... Ya can't help but go with the flow!

--Jimbobwan, 06/22/03




Tuesday 06/17/2003 10:08:11am
Name: Alex Wong
Homepage URL:
Comments: Dude,
Since you are busy with your guitar, I guess that you didn't notice that there's a new toy in town. More female parts. I've yet to get mine later this month. here's the url to the manufacturer. It's in Japanese but the picture's cool http://www.obitsu.co.jp/shop/main_shop.html



Obitsu...! Yeah, those appear to be pretty cool and reasonably priced. I think hlj.com has them in stock periodically, but I've never bought one. (Mommy sez I should perform breast-enhancement surgery on the toys I have before I go out and buy new ones to perform breast-enhancement surgery on... sniff, sniff).

However, while we're on the subject of Japanese and hlj.com-- check out Nitto's new 1/6 scale Melusine hardsuit (if you're interested in the Maschinen Krieger-SF3D robots/sci-fi stuff). I've already got mine and had been meaning to do some kind of big heads-up on this. If the past is any indicator, these won't be available forever (that is, if they're still available now) or maybe even a few months down the road. Yes, they're expensive but money will be meaningless once The Singularity engulfs us, and you can eat catfood until then (ugh).

--Jimbobwan, 06/18/03




Wednesday 06/11/2003 11:41:58pm
Name: triplefg
Homepage URL:
Comments: Hey guy - nice axes. One thing I've always wanted to try was to fill the standard cheapy single coil with low viscosity resin to try to cancel out the microphonic tendancies. I have a hunch it will mellow out the sound a little, too. Can't say I'm a big fan of powered pickups, but bully on you for the DIY spirit. I still plan on making a "frankenstrat" when this whole university thing is done - mahogany body, four screw maple neck, Burns Tri-sonic pickups with an out-of-phase option wired in... Ahhh...



Back when I had all three of my '71 Strat pups I thought about wax-dipping them, which I believe is the more traditional method. Resin would be a little too "forever" I think-- & you can't just heat 'em up to reflow the resin. On the other hand, Bill Lawrence & Kinman make some nice pickups that can save you the trouble!

I'm a little ambivalent about the powered pickups thing too-- the piezos definitely need it since they're low output/high-impedence transducers; but I hate relying on battery power and the unplugging/switching-off ritual that you must conscientiously follow if you want your battery to last for more than a few weeks.

Having an extra tweak parameters at your fingertips is great, since using onboard controls becomes so instinctive. I've been playing around with a Pod XT, which is pretty good for letting you use your volume pot to ride the sweet spot between clean and overdrive-- but it's not anywhere as dramatic as having the actual drive control at your fingertips. The floorboard's pedal control isn't quite as instinctive since they haven't made pedals that can follow you around yet (and that's not necessarily a bad thing either).

BTW, good luck with the university gig! I don't know if it's true for everyone, but for me, the social aspect and general learning strategies were the most useful; the other stressful stuff was good for passing tests, the GPA, and the diploma; but it fades with time and becomes outdated. In other words, don't be too busy to enjoy it, future wage-slave!!!

--Jimbobwan, 06/18/03

Wednesday 06/11/2003 10:27:49pm
Name: MickeyMac
Homepage URL:
Comments: I noticed that in the photo of Strat-4, The High " E and B " strings are missing the string tie piece. That tie piece is required to correct the angle of the strings from the nut to the tuner peg. The Fender Strat head piece does not angle back to create the proper tension over the nut surface. Even though I have several Strat's, I play the Gibson Les Pauls most of the time. The string tie piece is only on the bottom two strings due to the head piece design. The first strats that were made ( if I'm not mistaken ) were sold without that device, Fender had to add it to correct the problem. Just some information if you want it.

MickeyMac



Howdy MickeyMac, fellow Guitar-slinger! Astute observation; That's true for most Strats-- I think they first added a hold-down washer and then went to a single butterfly, and then the 70's CBS Strats had the two butterflies. That newfangled Strat doesn't seem to need them, probably because of the ball-bearing LSR nut, and maybe the locking tuners have something to do with it too-- the top 3 tuners' holes are lower than the holes on the wound strings' tuners. It seems to handle open strings well enough and I've never popped a string out of the nut (which happened occasionally with Strat-1)-- This means one fewer trouble spot for the whammy bar.

I'd sure love to get a Les Paul though-- I was lusting after a couple of Gold Tops at the vintage store, but the pricetags were considerably more than the Epi's I've seen (duh)... It's a shame they don't have bolt-on necks (or maybe not), LOL!

--Jimbobwan, 06/18/03




Sunday 05/18/2003 5:39:54pm
Name: Mad-Crazy-Insane Irish
Homepage URL:
Comments: Here Iam going to Faires and fighting the "Bloody Sasanachs(English)",poundin out armor 1-1 and 1/6 scale ,drinkin more than my share of Guinness and what ever other Rotgut home brew that others have brought along for the weekend ,chasing buxom wenches in low cut bodices ,doing my best to keep up the levels of male debauchery in the known world today ,WORKING HARD Jim-Bob,all I ask for is a little inspiration now and then ,and what are you doing ??? -,,,playing a guitar!,,,you really are a true Renaissance man ,my hats off to you ,good luck and Rock on (the onlyest thing I can play is a few tunes on the bagpipes and thats just good enough to let the sheep know Im coming!




Friday 05/16/2003 8:24:09pm
Name: an42
Homepage URL:
Comments: Hey, interesting to see you're in a guitar phase--why, I'm working on a 1:6 bass even now (OK, epoxy putty is curing *right* now...) *and I've been staying up too late noodling with my sequencer (yay for headphones). So...ah...my point: You probably haven't lost the interest of a large part of your fan base, because we're all the same kind of nerd...I mean that in the best way possible, of course =D --Andrea




Wednesday 04/23/2003 5:51:19am
Name: Alex Wong
Homepage URL:
Comments: Gah!!! It's 3 days past deadline and my website's not up yet! Sorry for posting something so big in your guestbook. I figure that it's better post the page here while I work on the remaining part of my homepage.

Warning!!! graphicly intensive!!!

Now is the moment that we've all been waiting for. A customizing tutorial on optical augmentation for 1/6 action figures. I've made an early version and posted it on Jimbob Wan's website. It was a rush job and no documentation was made. So here's the long a waited tutorial for Optical Augmentation V1.5.



As said earlier, the prototype was a rush job. It took me only 30 minutes to complete the whole thing while this one OA1.5 took me 4 hours! There is a great difference between the prototype and OA1.5 in terms of functionality and quality. Well, no mater how much preparations was made, unforeseen problems still lurks. The button batteries and loose wiring gave me the most headaches in the entire process.



First step is to decide on the electrical plan for your figure. You don't have to be an electrical engineer to know how to solder, it's fairly easy to learn but hard to master. What you really need to know is the basics of electrical science. Following is two plans on how LED is wired.



Plan A on the right shows two LED's soldered in a parallel manner. This is what I use and what I would recommend. It's consume less voltage thus requiring less batteries and you only require smaller storage place. The only let down for this configuration is that it really drains the batteries dry when the LED's are left on for a long period. Well, since I'm using a push down activation button, energy shouldn't be a problem here.



Plan B on the left shows two LED's soldered continuously from one to another. This type of configuration is a big no, no, if you are only doing this for toys. The voltage requirement doubles thus needing more batteries. I haven't use this configuration before on toys but I did experiment around with it just for fun. The glow tend to be uneven when the batteries get weak.



After choosing which configuration you want, the next step is to solder the LED's. It's easier to solder the LED when the LED's are on a flat surface than in the head of the figure. Do be careful though, leave some room between the eyes and not too much till the eyes don't look at the same direction.



Having done just that, test the LED for the right amount batteries needed. Blue LED (4.5V) requires more juice compared to regular LED (3V). I use two green LED's soldered according to plan A therefor I only require two button batteries (3V total).


In the prototype I store the batteries in the abdomen of the action figure. For this project however I'm storing the batteries in the thigh. Reason? Well, the prototype didn't have a switch. It' just bare wires that were short-circuited to light up the LED's and then the wires disconnected to off it. The wire thingy is very unprofessional and very tedious since I dress the figure with body armor. The first thing I did to Private Rayan was drill a hole big enough to fit the activation switch at the thigh. Once the switch is in place, I super glue it and let it rest while I change the drill bid for the next part.



Part two of the drilling process is the back of the thigh. It's actually much harder than it looks. I drilled two holes at the back of the leg then joined it for a rectangle shape opening. I did intensive filing to get a smooth finishing and have to consistently check to see if the batteries fit because here's where I store the batteries.



Part two of the soldering process, the batteries are easily duct-taped together but it's soldering the wires to the batteries is the hardest part. Soldering lead just won't stick to the batteries. I've even tried sandpaper the batteries to get a rough surface hoping the lead would stick. After countless minutes which turned to an hour finally success! It was however short lived in the later part of the process.



Next, I connect the batteries to the switch. The LED's are inserted into the head first before soldering it to the batteries and switch. Every now and then I constantly check the connection making sure there's no loose ends.



The last part of the drilling takes place in the head (during the making of the prototype, this is the first place I start drilling). Drilling vinyl is different from drilling hard plastic. Don't hold back just give it your 100% and be confident. It takes many flaws to gain experience but hey, practice makes perfect. Drill the eyes and the back of the neck. Then use a very sharp box cutter and slice the back of the head. Here's another hard part, inserting the LED into the tight fitting socket from inside the head. Even my Asian hands are too big and clumsy for this operation, instead I use a narrow tipped pliers. It takes skill and allot of patience so, just keep breathing, relax and be happy. Success is just a step away.






LED's in the socket, wire protrude from the back of the neck, no just solder the remaining open ends together. Give it one more test and you can glue the head back together again. I would recommend slow setting epoxy glue top be used in the head because super glue is very reactive and tends to fog the surface of the plastic. Voila, the optical augmented action figure is now done! The last part is to show it to your friends and watch them awe : o




Wednesday 04/16/2003 9:24:16am
Name: Alex Wong
Homepage URL:
Comments: Dear Jim,
Chung got a point there. bbi is gain huge ground in 1/6 action figure arena. However, 21st century and Dragon are meant to be customized or modified. Generally Dragonís figures are very versatile and they use quality plastic that donít crumble easily. Ironically the same plastic wonít work on their weapons. 21st century weapons however are easier to customize compared to Dragonís. I do admit that 21st century toys donít even emphasize on details but thatís what makes us customizes go crazy over it. The only complain about 21st century is the steep price tag.
Ok, here are some teasers. Yup, I got the second figure light up. Iím just days away from launching my homepage so please bare with me. : )



Name's Private Rayan. Dragon's modern er.. winter ranger I think.. I bought the nude figure from XL-Shop and started customizing. This time it's diffrent from the prototype.


Less voltage for same power, now that's what I call energy saving.

Tuesday 04/15/2003 0:51:12am
Name: Chung
Homepage URL:
Comments: Hello Jim Bob.

I hope the first quarter of 2003 thus far has been good to you 1:1 and 1:6 wise.

As for myself, Iím doing fine. I thought I'd share some brief comments and thoughts based on my observations in the world of 1:6 thus far for 2003.

21STCT: They're still around. They're releasing "some" worthwhile stuff, but as a whole it doesn't look good. One can only hope they'll get back to basics.

BBI: They're kicking DML's @$$ to the bank with their line of WW II and modern figures; moreover, the CY Girl line is exceptionally well for them. I (and others) just wish they would focus a little more effort on the CY Girl line. A new ethnic PB is on the horizon (definite).

DML: More of the same, but with some new tweaks here and there. WHEN are they going to seriously start pumping out some more female figures using the Eve 2.0 body? We don't want rehash after rehash. What more can we say?

Sideshow Toy: Things are really bad when you see their figures being liquidated for cheap prices (i.e. Hoganís Heroes, Monty Python) at a few retailers they supposedly made deals with. In all honesty, they screwed over the small time dealers and decided to go with some of the big boys. Look at where they are now. Oh, well. Moving on . . .

Miscellaneous:

A couple of points worth mentioning . . .

1. I'm seeing more and more collectors/enthusiasts taking the initiative to customize (i.e. reroot, paint, sew, craft, etc.) their own figures. This is a positive trend for the hobby as a whole.

2. More and more niche 1:6 companies addressing specific "wants" from collectors (i.e. custom accessories and outfits for CY Girls, military figures, etc.) that the main companies are overlooking . . . so far.

All in all . . . 2003 looks to be a good year so far, but there are still eight months remaining.

Howdy, Chung. Well...fer sure 2003 rocks: As long as you're employed, and not on a long waiting list for a brain transplant or... or... Oh! You were talking about TOYS! I'm relieved that I've narrowed my collecting interests enough so that I don't see anything on the horizon that I must have. That saves money and space (which could be used to provide a home for a Gold top Les Paul or a Roland GR-33 synth).

I've been collecting stuff for a long time. I believe that everyone who obsessively pursues this eventually runs into The Wall. No, I'm not talking about the Wall of Debtor's Prison. It's the Wall of Finite StuffSpace, of concern to those who don't live in a warehouse or don't mind the fact that a growing percentage of their stuff is mothballed, like in a museum. Toys and dolls are especially vulnerable to this because the one-by-one costs are fairly modest and there's so much variety. It creeps up on you.

There seem to be a few other ways to deal with it: Trading and selling stuff rotates the stock and keeps the majority of the collection aligned with one's current interests. Those interested in the customizing side can filter the inflow by looking for certain specific items, tools or materials to complete a project-- that still results in an accumulation of junk, but the rate of displayable stuff accumulation is greatly reduced. Another way of dealing with it occurs naturally, coinciding with our evolution as collectors: we become more selective. As collections get universally upgraded, the low-end stuff loses its potential as trade fodder, especially as postage rates rise. The safety valve is the landfill or donation centers.

This has got to have some effect on the manufacturers, eventually-- their growth potential is dependent on the total square footage of space (storage and display) available to collectors. They've got to hook new collectors, and they've got to constantly improve the competitiveness and appeal of their products to earn a space on the established collector's crowded shelf-- possibly displacing an existing displayed collectible.

I have no idea about what other collectors are facing. Certainly, there are quite a few folks who have humongous collections, but there are probably many, many more who have smaller collections with plenty of room to grow. This is a great time to be in that position (with some bucks to spend on the good stuff). While some recent kewl offerings are water under the bridge, a newbie collector bypasses the tres funky stuff that we oldtimers were once excited about and wasted good money on (when nothing else was available). The lesson I've learned is that for the long haul, it's about quality, not quantity. Your lesson may be different. If the majority of collectors took that view, there would be a greater rift between upscale replicas for adults and cheap toys for kids, and less demand for corner-cutting, middle-of-the-road stuff. Anyway, no matter which companies may eventually cry "uncle!" or go tits-up, we're bound to see some remarkable stuff churned up.

(Okay... uh... now what were we talking about?)

--Jimbobwan, 04/22/03




Thursday 04/10/2003 5:27:51am
Name: Alex Wong
Homepage URL:
Comments: Hi, sorry for the long delay. I've been busy with LAN party lately. Plus the hangover didn't help either.

The hood of the SAS/SDU jumpsuit has been sewn together so is the mask. I'm too lazy to cut it open and sew it together again so I'm giving this diagram instead. Don't worry, a step by step tutorial will be posted in my homepage when I get it done.

The space in the vinyl head is too small to accomodate the battries so I put it in the abdomen instead. Plus, it's easier to change the battries too.
You been to M'sia?! Cool, I've always wanted to travel especially America but money has always been the issue. I wonder if it's anything like in the movies. Nice big cities like LA, NY, DC, say where you live?

Nice chatting with you. Do keep in touch.

Hot damn, Alex! After all these years of guestbooks and message boards, someone finally takes some initiative to share stuff here! Cool stuff, even if you didn't fire up the laser to dissect your figure for our edification. And yes, the US is exactly like it's portrayed in the movies-- have you ever seen "Batman" or "The Jetsons"? Hey, waitaminit... I already sent you an e-mail explaining all this. ;^) And darn, you've already posted another message! That's what I get for waiting a month...

--Jimbobwan, 04/15/03 uh... 04/22/03




Sunday 03/30/2003 8:53:34am
Name: Alex Wong
Homepage URL:
Comments: Hi,
It's me again. OK, it's my first time using a digital camera real close on an action figure. The uniform is quite blur. Anyway, it's a SAS/SDU full body jump suit that I colored black with ink.


See what I mean? The picture is not that clear.




This one really glows since I reduce the flash. At 4.5 volts, the LED can almost light up the whole room, almost :)



This is the side view.


I just registered with Tripod to upload the pictures. No tutorials or journals added yet, just an empty site. Anyway, I'll update it shortly. Till then, stay tune.


Did you know that you can get a super bright LED connected across a 9 volt battery, but it's a one-shot deal, LOL. (Don't try it kids)

Kewl pics, Alex, and your efforts are much appreciated! Those LEDs do put out a lot of light, and I understand that blue LEDs are somewhat exotic? Okay, since you didn't say, my guess is that you're powering it with three small watch/calculator cells which could neatly fit within the head (or torso)? Or maybe you could take some pics to show us? Anyway, thanks for sharing and congratulations on your project!

(By the way, I enjoyed my visits to Penang a long time ago... I bought my first electric guitar there!)

-Jimbobwan, 04/03/03




Wednesday 03/19/2003 10:29:18pm
Name: Mad Irish
Homepage URL:
Comments: ARMOR, MORE, droooool,slobber,DROOOOL,,OWWWWW damm jump rings,,,oh well back to the micro maile!!!! my wee folk have to be properly armored to meet thier Viking adversaries ,--Outfriggingstanding !


Eventually, have no fear-- more will follow.


But meanwhile, here's the Unofficial Update...

For those who have been curious about why there haven't been any updates to the website in a long time: No special reason, I've just been busy and it's a combination of little things. First & foremost, after shoehorning the mounted knightess in the display space, I've had a hard time coming up with anything new that I really wanted to make. Yes, there are several concrete ideas wafting around (off the top of my head: a nickel-plated hammered copper knight, the humongous dragon head, the reallllly fat guy, the armoured black female warrior, the big evil leather-armoured guy...), but few that inspire me to dive into the commitment of a new project right now.

Instead, I've been playing catch-up. I'm reasonably happy with the variety of figures I've made so far but some were rushed and in need of tweaking. One of these is the Valkyrie figure. I've considered plating her armour but so far haven't built up the will to do so. I'll probably make her a bearded axe though. In the meantime, she has a horse (unarmoured); the nickel-plated saddle and harness have been made, but the horse itself needs to be worked and painted. This triggered a Marx horse acquisition spree, so I now have an adequate supply for future projects. (Get 'em from eBay-- they're cheaper and the new remolded ones have inferior detailing).

Another thing which I've been playing around with is backdrops for photo and shelf display. I've experimented with Celluclay; the texture is wunnerful but the stuff takes forever to dry, and shrinks-- in addition to warping. Still, when framed in a photo the stuff looks more interesting than the usual bland backdrops I show. (If only I hadn't already set them up in the shelves...)

With winter behind us and the trees generally through dumping leaves on everything, it's time for yard and pond work. Lately I've been staging most of my Canon pics outdoors because I like the lighting, but my backdrops aren't nearly as interesting as I'd like. It would be great if I could create some outdoor photo staging areas. Out of cement. Well, that's been a real soul-searcher since no sane person would wanna desecrate their yard with funky junk like that. So instead of rushing into that, the main pond with its heaped-rock construction got reworked and outfitted with an even bigger pump. (Ouch... my back hurts.) But the idea of outdoors customizing with cement holds some attraction.

Spending money too... My trusty old Dremel 595's dying rear bearings finally froze and I used that excuse to buy one of the new-fangled 395s (It's hard to give up the convenience of having both a Dremel and a Foredom). My verdict: The new one's actually got low-end speed (the 595 didn't although it claimed to), but it's got about zero torque. It also runs hotter at mid-speed, and is still a noisy beast-- it doesn't seem like they've made any improvements in those intervening years. So I disassembled my 595 and oiled the maintenance-free bearings... Every customizer should have at least THREE flexshaft tools to keep bit changing to a minimum.

None of these things really merit a formal website thing so I haven't bothered with updates. Believe me, it takes quite an effort to find ways to stretch lame material so that it fills up a whole article!

About THE WAR: I've hinted at my views on my index page, but I won't bore you with the particulars. Basically, I'm a gun-owning, hippie-loving conservative/liberal, or more accurately, none-of-the-above. 'Nuff said.


-Jimbobwan, 04/03/03




Monday 03/17/2003 6:09:16am
Name: Alex Wong
Homepage URL:
Comments: Dear Sir,
I would like to express great gratitude for your knowledge and wisdom in 1/6n customizing. Your work has really inspired me into customizing my own figures too. I know Iím just a newbie in this field but hey, practice makes perfect. If you would like to see some of my work please feel free to e-mail me. I can e-mail some pictures of my newly made glowing eye cyborg if you like. Till then, itís nice to know you.
Your number one fan.
kah_yoong@perdana.um.edu.my

Howdy Alex-- thanks for writing, and please forgive my lateness in responding. Yes, I'd like to see your cyborg so I'll get in touch with you shortly.

By the way-- if you, or anyone else wants to embed a picture like that in a guestbook message, it's not too different from the way it's done in an EZboard message-- just use real HTML syntax (<img src="http://www.the_url.jpg">) with the_url.jpg linking to the jpeg image hosted somewhere on the WWW. This is mainly for pictures that folks might find interesting, not for silly vanity graphics like signatures.


--Jimbobwan, 03/28/03

Saturday 03/15/2003 10:39:44am
Name: Brenda
Homepage URL:
Comments: I had not visited your site in a while jimbob, so I wander on in for a spell,
and what do I see? A fully armoured female figure on a fully armoured horse!!! Amazing work!!! When I glanced at the largest picture of the figure on the horse, it looked 1:1 scale.

But um, anyway, amazing work!!

Thanks Brenda. Some figures just look better on horses, so I've bought a few more. Meanwhile I'd "borrowed" my Marx Knight's horse for the "Valkyrie" figure (the one with the huge pushed-up boobs, y'know...? The one next to the other ones with huge pushed-up boobs... ) Anyho, I discovered that horses really limit the variety of at-leisure poses that you can put the figure in, especially if the horses are fixed in about the same pose, doing an at-leisure thing.

(Who cares, huh?)

--Jimbobwan, 03/28/03




Wednesday 02/26/2003 7:59:08pm
Name: Mad Irish
Homepage URL:
Comments: Well I was going to ask how you made the rivets ,but you came through and told me here ,also ,your right ,real 1/6 scale maile IS a bitch ,I need 3 eyes and 4 hands ,but its working .Ive cheated on helms ,just cutting 4 lobes out of the metal circles and then soldering them together to make a basic helm ,after slightly dishing out the lobes,now I have to finish the trim and fitting bands and nasals and ,,,,AHHHH ,need more ideas ,,you must continue to slave "O Talented one!"

Kewl! I don't know if a Spangenhelm would be all that much easier since you end up with four dished sections to join... but I've never built one, so what do I know? I figure that if you keep pounding away at it, you eventually get there. As for rivets; I've done them several ways, but for the spurs (not shown in the pics cuz I hadn't made them), I just hammered the ends of a short segment of copper wire, which flared them enough to keep the axle in place, but not enough to bind the wheel.

FWIW, the "hammered metal" article is more or less closed (I think everyone's sick of all the rambling)-- even though I've still got some minor things to fix, and would like to give her a dagger, mace and pike. Maybe finish her head? Oh, and a horse too. Hey, maybe the article's not closed yet?

--Jimbobwan, 02/28/03




Sunday 02/23/2003 11:31:22am
Name: an42
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Comments: For whatever it may be worth (if it's not already too late, heh), I like the "inkwell eye" look; that, along with the extreme pallor of the PB skin & the new hair, makes he seem like something out of mythology (what mythology, I dunno), or maybe a ghost...of course, I doubt there were ever any ghosts of obvious youth wearing such an intact set of armor... --Andrea (moving aside so everyone else can gush over the superb progress on the armor =D)

Well, heck, you're reading my mind! I had similar thoughts-- I didn't photograph the figure with the eyeballs temporarily fitted because they looked kinda boring, so I've been thinking of alternatives to making yet another warrior woman. Something more grandiose, maybe with lighted eyeballs. One idea was of her being a protector goddess-- no weapons; just a dove in hand. (but weapons are fun to make!)... or one who metes out justice (the vengeful goddess thing). Fortunately, none of this needs to make sense or tie into an existing mythology. In the meantime, I get to postpone the decision with helmet-making experiments...

--Jimbobwan, 02/24/03




Wednesday 02/19/2003 10:52:43pm
Name: Mad Irish
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Comments: Allways get a big kick out of your work ,and a few ideas to stimulate the old gray matter,I especially like the Medieval section (Im a Rennie) ,Im currently working on a small force of 10 century Irish Dalcaissian axe men,using Intoyz bodies and my own sculpts&casts for heads ,plus the 1/6 weapons and armor,You are a Artist and my insperation,now that Ive sufficiantly enlarge your ego ,,get back to work slave ,,I need more ideas.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh, no! Not the angry Irish Delicatessan axe men! (heh) It's fun, isn't it? Don't know what they are, but I hope we'll get to see your creations. I'm glad to be of slavitude especially since it feeds my ego so well. hmmmm... I just got an odd craving for some Mad Irish Coffee Delicatessan pike men on rye... hey, is it lunchtime yet?

--Jimbobwan, 02/20/03




Sunday 02/16/2003 1:57:27am
Name: Owen E. Oulton
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Comments: Love the Generic Demon Princess...

Noted your foray into hammered metal modelling. You may find some good info by checking out books on the works of Gerald Wingrove. Although he does automotive modelling, the techniques are very similar - pounding metal over a form until it achieves a smooth flowing shape. Wingrove's THE master when it comes to this.

Love your site - keep up the good work.

Thanks Owen! I haven't checked out Wingrove's books yet since I've been preoccupied with trying to coax copper to do my bidding (Always do your research after you've done the work so you can curse your stupidity). "Smooth flowing" is something that I'll worry about after I get a grip on "crudely fashioned"-- the things that you think might be simple have a way of surprising you (like the @#$%!!! calf back plates).

--Jimbobwan, 02/20/03


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