GUESTBOOK ARCHIVES 08
02/24/01 - 04/04/01

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Wednesday 04/04/2001 8:53:18am
Name: pablolobo
E-Mail:
Homepage URL:
Comments: RAM figure WARNING!
These are great figures but they are not the body that will be packaged in the Medicom Special Forces series. Rather it is the Bruce Lee body first proposed in 1999 (Hobby Japan Magazine 4, 1999).

Another bit to be careful about these, the upper torso is made out of heavy PVC (ABS?) which causes the figure to be top heavy and fall over. I have not decided on a proper solution. Keep you posted.



Tuesday 04/03/2001 9:17:17am
Name: ScottE
E-Mail: mrscott@adelphia.net
Homepage URL:
Comments: In an earlier comment of mine, JimBob replied and referred to me as a "latex-meister". Ordinary party balloons do make for interesting, snug, scale fashions. The referenced URL shows how Matilda's "unique" armature benefits from a thin cover. I like the way the shoulder blades and collar bones look under the thin "fabric".

For a T-shirt, snip a central hole in the tip of a balloon for the head, a hole to each side for the arms, and pull it on. Voila! I find the 9" sized balloons make excellent, snug tops for the fem-figs.

The mini-skirt is the neck of a 12" sized black balloon. Just cut off the round end of the balloon, and pull the resulting tube up over the legs and pelvis.

ScottE



Sunday 04/01/2001 5:13:23pm
Name: Phlakk
E-Mail: Phlakk@kscable.com
Homepage URL:
Comments: Hey all,
Just wondering if anyone has grabbed one of the Volks Elegant Collection figures? I am wondering if they were anything like the sealed Neo Eve figs or if they were just sexy looking gumbys(neo eve was a sexy gumby too I suppose).Oh and as far as shipping since it is an overseas jaunt I am wondering if it takes "WEEKS" to get them. Thanks guys

Phlakk

Sunday 04/01/2001 5:19:32pm
Oh I have a fredrick and a matt coming too they look pretty darn cool. I need some decent looking male base figs for a rather large project I am working on. It looks promising. I am also working on a rather large dropship type thing and I was wondering if anyone knows of a retailer that sells modern 1/6th scale cockpit chairs, I have looked for them at R/c hobby stores they are mostly WWII style. I had thought about building my own but I am getting lazy with all of this welding lol.



Sunday 04/01/2001 4:09:28am
Name: pablolobo
E-Mail:
Homepage URL:
Comments: I love the Neo fig. from Volks. More up my alley. Now if I can find some hands that will hold a H&K super shotgun, I'll be happy.

BTW Just recieved Medicom Real Action Man Fred figure. Not bad. It sports the same articulation found on their Bruce Lee figure from a couple of years ago. I was hoping for the new super body, but ah well. I'll just have blow the bucks on the SAS figure. One disappointment - metal pins in the hinges.



Saturday 03/31/2001 9:09:02pm
Name: Leviathan
E-Mail: jsheen@leviathanstudios.com
Homepage URL:
Comments:
Okay, let's try that wrist trick again....

I had problems with the pins in yesterday's example of wrist surgery, and the lack of neatness of the connections bothered me too.

I'd also been hearing about pin-type hinges used in Radio Controlled Airplanes, so....

http://www.leviathanstudios.com/figures/wrist2/


Friday 03/30/2001 8:29:16am
Name: Sean Vandehey
E-Mail: jaime_respirer@yahoo.com
Homepage URL:
Comments: go to HLJ(www.hlj.com), look up Volks, go to figures, and check out their new Neo exellent model doll! It looks more 'full figured' than the rest of their stuff(I don't mean just her boobs) and she's got Dragon style double elbows! Possible one of those neat pivoting shoulder assemblies as well, I won't know til I order and recieve mine. Neat!
Keep in mind, HLJ is based in Japan, so unless you're ordering multiple items, shipping is a fair amount. But they've got lots of neat stuff...

(HLJ's Volks Page: click "Figures" and "Excellent Doll") Wow, thanks Sean (Most Excellent Tipster)! Looks like they've given her an extra mid-torso joint, as well as a separate neck. I assume that her legs have the double joint as well. They probably don't operate the same way, but I prefer this one's extra shoulder joints over the bizarre 21C design. There are ways to make the extra articulation look more pleasing to the eye, even though you're still sacrificing some of the natural "look". Dammit... wish I wasn't so tapped out! --Jimbob, 03/30/01




Friday 03/30/2001 5:59:19am
Name: Leviathan
E-Mail: jsheen@leviathanstudios.com
Homepage URL:
Comments: I wanted to give my Super Soldier James Bond the wrist articulation that the Sideshow Toy 12" figures. This is how I did it:

http://www.leviathanstudios.com/figures/bond_wrist/

Not exactly Jim-Bob-Worthy re-engineering, but I'm really pretty
pleased.

Good job, Jonathan (I won't call you "Levi" this time ;^). And a very neat Bond version too! As you (and I) prolly discovered, making that straight wrist cut is not as easy to do as it might seem. Mechanically, the problem is in finding enough "meat" to sink both ends of the anchor post into so that it's secure. On a rotateable wrist, the meat's in the hand, so the cut line has to be positioned farther from the wrist, further into the hand. I used a brass insert because the thin metal's strength is equivalent to a lot of wristside meat so you can put the cutline closer to the wrist. (This must sound really strange to normal people) --Jimbob, 03/30/01



Thursday 03/29/2001 11:27:09am
Name: Randall
E-Mail: Larsen_R@BLS.gov
Homepage URL:
Comments: Hi guy, read your page at least once a week. Could you direct me to some guidence on face painting. I've had some patchy results but I think this is one of the quickest ways to improve a figure. Also, have you seen Formative international's new headsculpts? the mouth's are open! As if they might be talking or at least breathing hard! (maybe they were checking out one of your creations) This seems like a major improvement to me.

Keep up the good work.

Thanks Randall. I wish I had some big top secret technique for doing this so I could claim it was a big top secret technique! I don't feel that my efforts rank up there either-- I do a passable, but not great job. You are correct in noting the opportunity for improvement; some factory figures look horrible, and many just look unnatural. So what is it? Usually the places where they do something to the raw headsculpt-- the eyes and lips. Mainly the eyes. Some companies do quickie messy paintjobs and some use eye decals/stencils. It's easy to do better than a quickie messy paintjob if you've got reasonably good eye-hand coordination and are willing to take the time to do it right. Chances are, you won't be able to do as precise a job as the stencil though. Personally, I don't think that's a problem and feel the stencils look cheesy-- they look too clean and precise. I also am not partial to the white faux reflectivity dot, but that's just my personal preference. Some folks do this and it looks quite good. At one time I was hepped up on those Pigma Micron pens for thin lines, but I now prefer a brush.

Well... you probably knew this was coming, and I don't want to disappoint you! I don't feel that an article on painting heads is likely to be very valuable-- It follows that if you've got decent painting skills (an overlooked essential skill which develops through practice), the stuff of painting eyes and heads is pretty self-evident. There might be some step-by-step tutorials out there, but I feel that in order to get good results from a step-by-step, you've gotta have the skills, and if you've got the skills you don't need no step-by-step! I mean, has anyone ever really learned to play the guitar in 1 week? :^) -- Jimbob, 03/29/01



Wednesday 03/28/2001 4:38:56pm
Name: Scott Ruggels
E-Mail: sruggels@earthlink.net
Homepage URL:
Comments: Well I finally got Jaqueline. Good accessories, but all of her joints were loose, she'lss sort of hold a pose, but due to her hefty weight her knees buckle, often. She has more trouble staying on her feet than a raverchick after her third Wild turkey and E cocktail. She's pretty tall, and she has a small head (proportionally speaking. I agree with your assesment on the neck articulation and the shoulders, while interesting are a little loose to overcome her vinyl coat. Nice boots, though they caused her black velvet cat suit to bunck a lot at the knees. Ah well, I'm happy to have her, but I''l probably get another Cygirl (and put her on Thunderbolt).

Scott

Apparently Matilda's out now, and she's the same thing with a black color scheme. With her height and peculiar articulation, this figure's not versatile enough for me to want more than the two Jackies I've already got. All the project ideas that she's inspired in me have been pretty off-beat; definitely not a "gal-next-door" type. --Jimbob, 03/29/01



Tuesday 03/27/2001 3:12:05pm
Name: Omar
E-Mail: idal_tone1@yahoo.com
Homepage URL:
Comments: Hi Jimbob, Ok- No questions from me. BTW- now I know a bit of Italian, Thanks!
I'm not sure if you're familiar with Mattel male figures (dolls!!), but here goes- Sometime around the late '70s , early '80s, Mattel made a doll under the name "Young Sweethearts"(Yeesh!), and then reused the same body mold for the "Shaun" boyfriend doll from the Starr line of dolls. Anyway, the body itself is a little on the thin side, but is almost on par, if not better that, the vintage Joes as far as posing, and articulation. This body mold has moving wrists, elbows, shoulder, neck, waist, hips, knees, and ankles. Also the neck connection is compatible with AT era Muscle body firgures, or the IAM style head( to get them to fit flush on the neck, both types of heads will need a little work). I just thought I'd let you know about that. OK?

Okay. But hey Omar, what's with the non-question??? :^) I guess I'll have to make up an answer: The truth is that words like "Lasagna" and "Pizza" comprise 100% of my Italian vocabulary, which is why Babelfish is such a great thing. It can also translate Japanese and Chinese characters into totally meaningless English! I'd post the URL but I don't want to feel responsible for creating another time-wasting addiction.

Thanks for the info on the figure from the past. I can't say that I've ever seen one of those, but it sounds like it has some potential for creating a unique figure... if you can get past the icky part. I call 'em "dolls" and "figures" interchangeably, but that doesn't mean I feel at home in the pink aisle... --Jimbob, 03/29/01


Monday 03/26/2001 10:41:47pm
Name: Scott A. H. Ruggels
E-Mail: sruggels@earthlink.net
Homepage URL:
Comments: Hey,

Just making my 6 month visit. :-) The figure purchasing has been nill since October because of job pressures, however Did get the Dragon Cavalryman for Christmas and he graces my now rather Spartan Cube at work. I wish someone would remake the old Johnny West Horses.

Anyway I was curious as to yur opinion of Blue Box's "Cygirls" line. I purchased 1 on a whim returning from the Computer Game Developer's conference. I popped into the fine "Far Out Toys" at 5th and Taylor in San Jose, and they made the suggestion, Having gone there to look at Mathilda and her suister, I ended up purchacing "Blaze" of the Cygirls line. The weapon mix was to say the least, eclectic, and while the accessories were light, they were unique, and well done. She's not "Svetlana" with that sort of gri "Real World" look, but more of a "Baywatch type". First time I have seen a female action figure with a decent rear end and thighs. I am loath to swap outfits, because of her Cory Everson physique, but I really like her ankle articulation and the boots are interesting, and quite different from the vinyl or hard plastic footwear I amm used to. No shelf diver in My opinion, her feet stay flat, and her legs are nice and tight all the way up. I think my only complain is the ugly wrist hinge, and the generally poor articulation of the elbow and shoulder. Still she comes with a raft of replacement hands and the overall look is a lot more lush than "plain and sturdy" Jane. The outfit is made of some semi-stretchy material that I can't identify, byt the jacket is well done, and the "hair" opens up a lot of possibilities for customization. Still I think I like her just as she is, but was very curious to read your opinion on the figure. Inquiring minds and all that.

Scott

Scott, I wrote an article about the BBI Cy Girls earlier this year, although I can't remember what I wrote about... :^) I agree with your overall assessment though, and I think that it fills the void left by Hasbro's and Dragon's female figures-- yeah, baby... sex! I don't have a problem with the articulation per se, other than it's a tad too loose at the knees and difficult to tighten. A warning: Be sure to avoid leaving the glasses on for any length of time-- they'll stain the head plastic. Also, you might want to check out Marx Toys: They've reissued "Thunderbolt". (Sorry to tempt you into spending more $$$)--Jimbob, 03/27/01




Sunday 03/25/2001 8:58:26pm
Name: Bob
E-Mail: bobnjen@nctc.com
Homepage URL:
Comments: First I don't have any questions.

Now that's out of the way, I would like to tell you that you have indeed been an inspiration to me. I have sculpt many things before, but now I know what direction I wish to go.

I read on your site that you produce some kits at one time. Have you ever been to any shows like Wonderfest? Check out their website www.wonderfest.com and you won't be disapointed. It's mostly 95% model kits. I believe you would enjoy yourself. 3 years ago one of the guest was Steve Wang, the director/producer of one of the Guyver movies. A pretty nice guy.

Anyway like I said, you are an inspiration to me and I thank you for it.

Bob

Thanks Bob. I've heard that Wonderfest is awesome, but I haven't gone (temptation to spend $, for vacs, wife prefers natural scenic beauty). Garage kits are great though-- they're a labor of love and lots of very talented folks work in the biz. I refer to GKs in some articles for contrast because they're a purer form of art, where appearance rules. You also have to be a talented & fastidious airbrusher to do it right (which I'm not). Joes are a modular and stylized hybrid form so the standards are somewhat looser. We overlook things like out-of-scale textures and seams, and it's okay to use professionally sculpted pieces in a "kitbash" (cringe). So it's a lot more accessible. I also like the fact that Joe-futzing is so amenable to borrowing from other craft areas. (I just wish we'd invented our own vocabulary!)--Jimbob, 03/27/01



Saturday 03/24/2001 8:58:12am
Name: ScottE
E-Mail: holosuite@yahoo.com
Homepage URL:
Comments: It's all JimBob's fault. I blame him entirely. If it wasn't for him I wouldn't have had the spherical repositories of haploid genetic material to butcher my very own Babe with BigGuns.

It was a gruesome job, but Fairchild's severely limited hip articulation had to go. See the URL listed as the homepage for a PhotoPoint slide show of Babsifying a Fairchild.

And now, a question. What sort of material do you use to fill the arm and set the screw when adding a biceps rotation? Fairchild needs a little more elbow work.

ScottE - If you don't like your toys, change them!

Congrats ScottE-- big improvement! The screw-in-bicep rotation trick is best done with figures that have solid PVC arms. PVC holds the screw in place with natural friction since the threads are formed by compression into the material. Harder materials will probably result in a loose joint. Given this info, a little creative extrapolation should give you your solution! --Jimbob, 03/25/01



Friday 03/23/2001 3:35:07pm
Name: Bryan Roberson
E-Mail: robersonb@mail.ecu.edu
Homepage URL:
Comments: Hey Jimbob. My Joe's head fell off and now I don't know what to do. Can you tell me? Sorry just joking. Actually I don't have questions to ask you though I do want you to know that not all of your fans are just looking for easy solutions to problems that they probably shouldn't be tackling anyway. You've inspired me though. I can't say I'm as skilled as you but I do pretty good. I'm not much into the customizing thing though it's cool and I love seeing your stuff especially with the captions. Since I've started sculpting I've probably only finished 4 sculptures. I started sculpting thanks to your inspiration and lately I've started making other crap. Nothing major but I made a musical waterglobe and a musical etched mirror jewelry box which I wouldn't have even though of without seeing someone like yourself. Yeah I know it was cheesy girly stuff but they were gifts and I thought that it was worth it. Anyway you showed me that with some determination, a lot of ingenuity, and don't forget the money to burn that even somebody like myself can do just about anything(not necesarily well though.) So don't think that all of your fans are snively whinning lazy people wanting you to make everything simple and easy for them. But then again hey maybe you can answer my biggest question since you seem to know so much? Should I go with the crunchy or creamy peanut butter. I just can't make up my mind. Anyway Jimbob don't think that all of us are lazy and want to be spoon feed. Some of us just like get inspired by the stuff and just want to do similar things. Thanks for the site and all the info. Later

Quit yer damn grinnin' or I may have to babblefish you in... Russian! Do you know how difficult it is to play the parts of good customizer/bad customizer at the same time? Don't get me started... ;^)

I'm glad to hear of you using your craft skills into other areas-- even that "cheesy girly stuff". Looking beyond the boundaries of our traditional techniques is the only way anything really exciting is going to happen in Joe customizing. There are so many customizers these days, most doing very respectable work. But everyone is drawing from the same pool of techniques, so little is truly memorable or distinctive. Great jobs of weathering don't have the same impact they once had. On a personal level, this shouldn't matter since we do what gratifies us. But I think it's bad for the art if everyone is content to do, more-or-less, the same thing. If that were the case, why bother browsing different web sites? (Crunchy, definitely) --Jimbob, 03/23/01



Friday 03/23/2001 10:25:06am
Name: Omar
E-Mail: dial_tone1@yahoo.com
Homepage URL:
Comments: HI Jimbob,

I have two questions for you. Please answer them if you can,

1. Where can I buy Power Team figures. I saw them at Toyfair, but I didn't see where I could get them.

Potete comprare le figure della squadra di pontenza a tutto il commerciante autorizzato della merce della squadra di pontenza. Dovrebbero essere elencate " nella sezione della squadra di pontenza " dei vostri Yellow Pages.

2. Do you know where I can find realistic looking sneakers fot 1/6 scale action figures, besides going to Andgor toys. I tried that, and they sent me two left shoes. Thanks a million.

Forse se ordinaste un altro accoppiamento dai giocattoli di Andgor, vi trasmetterebbero due scarpe da tennis di destra?

Oh, BTW- If I wanted to send in pictures of my custom work, would you be willing to post them on your site?

Dipende. Se le immagini realmente puzzano, sarei propenso farlo un favore e perderlo. Se realmente buone, probabilmente le invierei. In il uno o il altro caso, avreste bisogno del mio indirizzo di E-mail di fare questo e realmente sono tentato per cancellare quello che ho inviato altrove in questo guestbook. --Jimboboni, 03/23/01


Monday 03/19/2001 11:43:25pm
Name: MicKeyMac
E-Mail: JMickeyMac9@aol.com
Homepage URL:
Comments: Can you advise me on what is the best
way to make a Dr Evil figure taller.
Should I extend the legs below the knees
or add to the leg above the knee? Have
you done a head swap to or from a Captain Action figure.
I am looking to put the Dr.Evil head on a Dragon figure?

Hey MicKeyMac... I guess you didn't read any of the stuff below this, or you'd have known that I'm keen on being a customizing customer service representative. Any kind of artwork proceeds from a vision of what you want-- you're the one who's supposed to recognize when you reach it, and make changes when you feel it's falling short. There's no single "correct" way to do these things. What do you think looks better? That's the important thing.

I have no idea of your technical proficiency, and I'm not going to advise you to do things that might send you to a minor emergency clinic. Things like headswaps depend on your accumulated knowledge and you develop that by tackling the job: You then deal with problems that arise. If you screw up, well-- understand there are no guarantees with any of this. If you don't have the background and aren't confident, don't risk something that you really care about. Always assume that you're going to be the one who has to dig yourself out of whatever deep shit you get yourself into... As always, good luck.! --Jimbob, 03/20/01




Sunday 03/18/2001 11:21:28am
Name: Omar
E-Mail: dial_tone1@yahoo.com
Homepage URL:
Comments: Hi Jimbob, I'm trying to put rings on my action figures' fingers. I tried to make one figure able to wear rings by punching a hile in his finger (similar to Barbie) that didn't work, as the plastic is much too soft for this. I used and exacto to cut his ring finger away from the hand, so he could wear a normal ring. Now my problem is finding a ring, or building one, that is small enough to fit on his finger, and won't fall off. Can you pleeeze help me out. Thanks!

LOL... Why do you keep doing this to me, Omar??? Sheesh! I don't do "how do I?" questions. I don't know what you know, your abilities, and I don't know where you keep stuff in your house. Do you have a drawer where you throw stuff like wire or metal strips? Do you throw away empty cans? Hey, those are rhetorical questions. The point is that I can encourage you to use your problem solving abilities, but I'm not going to do your thinking for you-- that would be against my religion. You'll feel really good when you figure this one out on your own. Honest. So get off the computer and get your hands dirty!--Jimbob, 03/18/01

Thank you Jimbob. I had not thought about using wire as a material. Thanks to you, I now have an idea with which I can use my hands and make it a reality. I am also sorry for asking you "How do I" questions when you had expicitly told people no to do so. :)
(from Omar, Monday 03/19/2001 9:34:46pm)

Awwwww, now you're making me feel guilty! But I'm glad that in spite of all that you found a solution to your problem. All it takes is brainstorming for options and choosing the one which seems like it might work the best. --Jimbob, 03/20/01



Saturday 03/17/2001 1:35:14pm
Name: larry
E-Mail: ilaf@netzero.net
Homepage URL:
Comments: Jimbob,
Yes I do agree that cutting cost on tools can/will lead to more expenses later.. end of testimonial.

I have a couple of sideline projects going, building a small rotational casting machine, and a vacuum forming table.. But I have a general question about the vacuum forming.
I noticed that you have used one of the torsos from a figure as the mold. Did/does the heated sheet material deform the original torso? Once my table is built I will use some scrap body parts first, but I was just kind of wanting to have an idea as to what to expect.

Thanks again
Larry

Larry, it would take one word to answer your question directly, but instead I'm going to suggest that you finish your vacuform machine. ;^) Why? You're building it anyway; Once you use it, you'll quickly have a frame of reference which will answer that and a bunch of other questions you might have. Actually the question can be answered through tests, without even finishing the vacuformer. Can a sheet of heated styrene melt a figure's plastic? Try it, and you'll have a broader understanding of how materials behave. Having questions and designing tests to answer them is the heart of problem solving, whether it be customizing or computer programming. The learning from that develops intuition, which is far more valuable than memorizing facts. (BTW, the answer is "no". :^)--Jimbob, 03/18/01

Jimbob,
Not to start a "Thanks",.. "No Thank You".. thread..

But Thanks for the information. And all the software I write works 100% of the time... heh heh, it is just the unexpected results that gets the boss upset.
(from larry, Monday 03/19/2001 8:25:09pm)

Sorry for the preachy stuff, Larry. I come from the pre-Internet times where there wasn't so much info available. Basically, you tried stuff and learned from the results. That's what dictated what techniques you tried in projects. Nowadays, it seems that a lot of people want results that they don't have the background to achieve. The computer programming analogy ain't the best, but there are some similarities-- subroutines and setting breakpoints lets you test code in isolation; having a larger vocabulary gives you more options. (Evidently, you didn't write any of the @#$%!!! browsers that I use ;^)--Jimbob, 03/20/01



Friday 03/16/2001 11:34:22am
Name: lewis
E-Mail: kalew1@home.com
Homepage URL:
Comments: I make my living as a "Tool and Die Repairman." I've been doing this for about 4 years so I am still quite the beginner. One thing I have learned is that the science of metals is indeed a unique one. At first, I wanted to buy all the books I could find about metal and machining but the more I read, the more I realized Its all just trial and error. You use whatever technique works for your current situation and there are alot of variables. Lets take cold roll steel for example. Every manufacturers formulas differ a little bit. The specifics are not important. But even buying the same steel from the same manufacturer does not gaurantee consistency. Its kinda close, but not exact. The key to forming metal like your breast plate is to apply heat while hammering. If you have a small butane torch you can apply heat to a specific area you are working on. If you want a bend in a certain area you can apply heat to just that area and that area of cours is where the metal will bend (and stretch.) Radio Shack sells small butane torches that work well with small stuff. I used it and some 1/8th inch round steel to make a 1/6 scale "dolly" or hand truck prototype. All the welding I attempted on 1/6 scale stuff has been completely unsuccessful but brazing (melting a brass rod to connect 2 pieces of steel) has worked quite well. So for a small investment (about $15.00 dollars) the little Radio Shack torch is a cool tool. I say all of this because after looking at your work I know you can master these techniques in a relatively short period of time.

I appreciate the expert info, Lewis. The only clues I had were from those movies where the blacksmith sticks the sword in the flames and then pounds away on his anvil. Working on the kitchen floor put me in the general vicinity of the heat source, but not close enough. I do have one of those RS torches, but the problem for me was not having enough hands to manipulate the work and position the hammer and stake. So one of the things would be to get the right tools-- a support for the heat source and a small ballpeen hammer. The choice of metals does make a big difference too-- yesterday, I easily converted a small brass ashtray to a shield-- it had a goofy decorative design stamped in the center and I bashed it out completely without any heat, giving the piece a rounded contour. Steel-- that's another story. --Jimbob, 03/17/01



Thursday 03/15/2001 9:40:26pm
Name: Larry
E-Mail: ilaf@netzero.net
Homepage URL:
Comments: Jimbob,
Just read your article on the electro-plating and was wondering did you look into the small kit offered by J.C.Whitney. I do not remember the price (since I threw away the last magazine), but I seem to remember that it would allow you to plate over non-metalic items also.
Well this tid-bit of information is apparently too late to help you save a few bucks.. but maybe others might want to try it out.

As always, I enjoy seeing the projects that you are working on.

Larry

Thanks for writing, Larry. Before buying, I ran across some lower cost kits on Ebay, and browsed the Caswell site. Some of the approaches seemed "funky"-- like using dry cells or light bulbs with a battery charger... I guess they must work, or those folks wouldn't be in business. But how well, or how easily? I opted for a system which I felt was versatile and offered a good chance of getting good results. In an endeavor like this, you can waste a lot of consumables during the learning curve, which is expensive and discouraging.

Tools are an investment-- For example, I regret lowballing with the Unimat when I should have bought a Sherline. Generally, you get what you pay for, and sometimes lowballing can cost you more in the end. However, I think I can speak for all of us when I say that we all love guinea pigs! --Jimbob, 03/16/01


Wednesday 03/14/2001 11:54:10am
Name: Lewis
E-Mail: Kalew1@home.com
Homepage URL:
Comments: You know, I just love those little plastic and metal clips on 1/6 scale action figure accessories. It sure would make my life alot easier if I could buy the friggin things. See, the thing is...somebody is making them. The giant toy companies are missing out on some major profits. We would Buy this stuff...hell, my mother probably knows over a hundred doll collectors that would be interested 1/6 scale buckles, clips, and tiny fabric patterns. You would think the giant corporations (and you know they are watching, they tried to kill Mike T. Cherry) could take a HINT!!!

You probably already know that riorondo.com makes etched metal and pewter buckles, right? But those quick-release clips that Dragon first introduced on their SDU figures... Absolutely incredible! They'd be really difficult for a home-brewer to make since 2-part resins aren't strong enough for such thin pieces.

It would seem that large manufacturers have little incentive to produce such things though. The customizers and doll-makers don't amount to a hill of beans compared to the money a company can make from producing for more general audiences. Typically it's the smaller companies who are willing to capitalize on the niche market ("table scraps" to the big boys), but they usually don't have access to the production facilities that the big boys have. So... are you willing to take out a second mortgage to underwrite that big money-making venture? ;^) --Jimbob, 03/14/01




Tuesday 03/13/2001 2:37:59pm
Name: shaolin_shamo
E-Mail: shaolin_shamo@hotmail.com
Homepage URL:
Comments: Hi Jim-Bob! I'm a long time admirer of your fine website and I can't tell you how many ideas I have found here. I came across a shipment of the new SOTW figures at Walmart yesterday. I must say that the new headsculpts are excellent, they may just need a little painting. I have 4 of the new bodies so far and all of them have strong ankles and stand extremly well. Anyway, thanx for the continued inspiration and hopefully I will have a website someday which I can use to thank you, Ransome Chua and Francis Tavares for all of the glorious eye-candy you provide us with. Bye ;-)

ps: When are you gonna do some more Germans? ;-)

Hey, they're actually all Germans! They're just out of uniform, har har.

My praise for the new SOTWs isn't quite as glowing... how dare you have an opinion which differs from mine! That must make you a TROLL! Errr... ;^) just kidding! Sorry about the heavy-handed parody. As I was saying ... Mine's got soft rubber feet which make it kinda "non-standworthy". But I understand that you can saw off the shin pieces and replace them with Cot's feet. I'm also not as fond of the head sculpt (paratrooper), and the body sculpt looks unnatural to me-- same complaint I have about the Dragons, actually. Hey, what can I say? I like to bitch. But for the price, who can complain? At least he doesn't snore or bully people. --Jimbob, 03/13/01



Sunday 03/11/2001 7:18:40pm
Name: Omar
E-Mail: dial_tone1@yahoo.com
Homepage URL:
Comments: Hi Jimbob, I know this might not be up your alley, but here goes- I've been looking for a 1/6 scale dog figure/figurine of Tramp from "Lady and the Tramp" Do you know where I could get one. It doesn't have to look very realistic, as its of a cartoon dog. My joes need a dog, and Action Man's Raid looks like he'd rip their arm off just waiting to be fed. Tramp looks a bit tamer. Anyway, thanks! BTW the site kicks A$$!!!

Climb every mountain, search high and low
Follow every byway, every path you know.
Climb every mountain, ford every stream,
Follow every rainbow, till you find your dream!
--Rodgers & Hammerstein




Saturday 03/10/2001 6:53:13pm
Name: ScottE
E-Mail: holosuite@yahoo.com
Homepage URL:
Comments: I always enjoy catching up on what's what at JimBob's. You lead by example, and have helped me expand my perception of my collection beyond just what comes out of the box.

Today's adventure was realizing that the nonfunctional half of the ganged joints on my Lost In Space Movie Robot were "that" close to being truly ganged joints. I took them apart, tracked down the booby trap spring that leapt out, trimmed a little interlock plastic that was holding one side of the joint stationary, and created a true ganged joint. It was a trivial mod, and I'm not quite sure why the manufacturer crippled the joint like it had. The newly freed joints vastly improved the articulation of The Robot's upper elbows.

Let that be a lesson. If you're not happy with your toy. Roll up your sleeves and make it better!

ScottE

Good advice, and congrats ScottE! For those who don't know, ScottE is the "Latex-meister" and once you scope out his site, the reason for this will become obvious... --Jimbob, 03/11/01



Saturday 03/10/2001 12:48:13am
Name: Olan horridus
E-Mail: ohorridus@yahoo.com
Homepage URL:
Comments: Hi. I love the site. I wish I'd have read your Cool Girl review more closely, because the sunglasses unfortunately managed to stain the nose of my new doll. Any tips on repairing this? Would a fine grade sandpaper damage it? Also, have you seen pics of the new playboy fashion doll? There are a few in the archives section of figures.com, under Evil Genius toys, but I haven't seen any uncensored photos yet.

Olan, I've only seen this type of staining on a 21C figure, on the legs and hands, from the clothing. As with the Cy Girl head, those parts are made of flexible plastic. Sanding probably wouldn't work because a stain usually permeates deep into the plastic-- how deep would probably depend on how long the glasses were in contact with the plastic. There may be a cleaning solution which could lift out or bleach the stain, but a quick test with bleach swabbed on the surface didn't work for me. I didn't soak the area for very long though. The most direct solution would be to repaint the head with a good color match. The rooted hair would be a dicey, so you'd have to approach that area with special care-- paint in that area with many thin coats to build up opacity. Of course, matching the color closely would give the best results, but would also be the hardest part. On the off chance that the stain bleeds through the paint, a coating of Dullcote might seal it in for a repaint. Good luck! (It's a good idea to check out all your figures which have soft plastic contacting hard plastic-- particularly painted hair & helmets, hands gripping weapons, and boots touching vehicles. I don't have any solutions and this seems to be one of those "gotcha!"s of collecting figures.)

The Playboy figure look pretty cool! It doesn't take much imagination to extrapolate the nudity part from the pics; the big question is what scale these will be. Rumor is that they'll be larger scale, (which would probably help with the way the rubber skin works). Pricing is another question, but that's never stopped us die-hards before... --Jimbob, 03/11/01


Monday 03/05/2001 9:41:33pm
Name: tom
E-Mail: varminthunterx@aol.com
Homepage URL:
Comments: I have been spending hours on this site. There is so much to see and read. I read the articles on resin casting. I would like to do some small parts,(firearms, flashlight, and such) but don't still fully grasp the idea. is there any books on the subject that cater to newbies of the modeling world?

Tom, all this stuff fits into place at its own pace... but you have to take active steps to build your knowledge. Search for info, don't wait for it to be delivered to you. The Internet is the ultimate research library. Of course, reading about it is only the starting point to give you background-- specific solutions and problem solving come from the experience of doing (which is more than just a funny sound effect). --Jimbob, 03/06/01




Monday 03/05/2001 11:44:05am
Name: Steve H
E-Mail: steven.hilby@pss.boeing.com
Homepage URL:
Comments: Chrome-Tech USA advertises in Scale Auto Enthusiast; they plate plastic bits for model cars. (608) 274-9811
The process invloves coating the part with a conductive lacquer, vacuum-depositing a very thim layer of pure aluminum, then another clear coat to protect the aluminum. This is how the car model companies do their stuff.
I called, and their prices seem reasonable ($1.25 for each hubcap-sized piece, $5.95 p&h), so I'll be sending off my first order soon, and can give you an update if you want...

Thanks for the info, Steve, and let us know how it turns out! FWIW, this brings up an issue at the heart of customizing, "What's mine?" Customizing is an extremely broad activity, which can range from simple outfit swapping all the way up to fabrication from scratch. At the extreme, it can be pretty absurd: I've never heard of anyone brewing their own plastic! We each find the spot where we're most comfortable along this continuum. With regards to electroforming and plating, I see these as hobbyist level techniques that would be good to learn, despite the fact that you'd probably get funky results initially. There's an investment in equipment (apparently, a rectifier) but once you became competent in the technique you'd be able to apply it in other areas, and to produce stuff on a whim. --Jimbob, 03/06/01



Sunday 03/04/2001 10:54:52pm
Name: MickeyMac
E-Mail: JMickeyMac9@aol.com
Homepage URL:
Comments: I want to thank you for the entertainment you have given
me. I have not seen anything
on the Hasbro Maxie series
female figures on your site?
I have a couple of these figures
I bought back in 1994 or so, I
know how you like to cover every
female figure out there, And we
love you for it! Where do you buy
super scuply? I have not found it
out here in the peoples Republic of
California.

MickeyMac

Although there's a lot of femfig stuff here, I hadn't intended it to be a reference for every figure out there! I usually get current figures for assessment of their customizing potential, based on my curiosity about their unique construction or proportioning features-- Maxie isn't one that's crossed my path. At present, I'm wondering whether it's worthwhile to do a review of the new non-motorized Formative figure-- it's basically the same as their other, but with an articulated waist (and minus the colostomy attachment). There's very little new to discuss. As for Sculpey, that's why they invented the Internet. Search, eh? --Jimbob, 03/06/01



Sunday 03/04/2001 5:48:55am
Name: John Hays
E-Mail: ajhays@pressroom.com
Homepage URL:
Comments: To whom it may concern,

Well I finally gone and do'd it, the custom site is UP!

After an entire week of snappin' tons 'o pics and writing witless commentary, my site is now ready to view for anyone who's interested in waiting for long downloads and being disappointed in the hope of seeing something good.

Don't run, WALK on over to the URL listed in the header of this message and be prepared to laugh your head clean off at the horribly executed projects that lay before you!

The site has a few design bugs but, I'll correct those in the near future and any comments or questions about the content are always welcome :)

-John

This is a very cool site with some very good and varied work... check it out, folks! --Jimbob, 03/06/01



Thursday 03/01/2001 2:41:03am
Name: pablolobo
E-Mail:
Homepage URL:
Comments: Might I suggest that if you have a question you want answered, leave an e-mail, so that others than Jim can contact you.

Like he said, wait at the computer and the answers will find you... ;^) --Jimbob, 03/06/01


Thursday 03/01/2001 2:05:41am
Name: John Hays
E-Mail: ajhays@pressroom.com
Homepage URL:
Comments: Yo Jimbob,

I read your latest comments on the "remarks" page (like you suggested) and completely understand your reasoning behind the philosophy... I go through the same phases myself at times.

In retrospect, it's probably a good thing! It allows one to concentrate on his skills without the interruption of outside forces, thus achieving goals set by the individual... and that just simply makes everyone happier.

The downside being that the rest of us will have to get off our lazy asses and actually think about what we're doing instead of relying on you to save our projects from certain failure. But, as you know, that's how one learns... by trial and error (I just wish it wasn't such an expensive lesson).

All in all, my hat goes off to you for standing up for what you believe in and getting back down to serious business. I'm sure we all look forward to seeing the next magnificent creations you come up with in the future!

-John




Wednesday 02/28/2001 9:19:03pm
Name: Hank
E-Mail: hankband@aol.com
Homepage URL:
Comments: Hey, doin the guestbook thing and saying I consistently enjoy the site, the info, and the challenges. My favorite aspect is the writing, plenty of detail, how to's picked up by inference and instruction, and most of all the encouragement to cut loose with a dremel or mix up some dye or learn to forge metal on a small scale! We learn as you learn. Whooopeee!
My little site poorly highlights some stuff I've made, often just to see if I can. "I'm not worthy" but I welcome the master's glare.
Lesson for the day, if you're not happy with something, do it yourself, or chop it to bits. Please keep em comin!



Wednesday 02/28/2001 3:08:55pm
Name: John Hays
E-Mail: ajhays@pressroom.com
Homepage URL:
Comments: Jimbob,

Just thought I'd chime in, since I've been following your work from almost the beginning (but you know that) and also the fact that you rarely do e-mail any more.

Thanks for the Jacqueline article! You helped me turn an educated guess into a clear decision. Even though I don't do many female customs, I'll probably pick one up just for the novelty factor.

Btw, I should have a web site up by the weekend if you can't find anything better to do. Most of what's there I'm sure you've already seen in one form or another but, there are a few surprises, too. Iíll send a JPG or two of my current project to peak your interest.

Anyhoo, I hope to be a regular in this forum and provide you with the much needed pestering you deserve ;^)

-John

Yo John, thanks for writing. It does come at an unfortunate time though, as I've made a "strategic adjustment" which affects the Guestbook. You can read more about it in the latest 02/28/01 "Remarks" entry. Hopefully, as an artist yourself, my reasons will make some sense. Heck, it's just the same old angst phase that I go through periodically.

I'm glad to hear about your website... be sure to post the URL here! --Jimbob, 02/28/01



Tuesday 02/27/2001 2:43:12pm
Name: Omar
E-Mail: dial_tone1@yahoo.com
Homepage URL:
Comments: Hi all!!
I'm looking for a 1/6th scale dog. If possible, similar in looks to Tramp from Disney's "Lady and the Tramp" If anyone know some informationn regarding this, PLEASE email me, of write it up here. Thanks!!!



Monday 02/26/2001 1:36:44pm
Name: pablolobo
E-Mail:
Homepage URL:
Comments: It's alright Jimbob. I don't always expect answers. Sometimes I just need to ask.


Sunday 02/25/2001 3:56:08am
Name: pablolobo
E-Mail:
Homepage URL:
Comments: Glad to see people are interested in the AZONE stuff. Can someone let me know if the swords and shields are big enough for male figures?

BTW Jimbob, loved the article on Jaqueline. I'm interested in this figure. What is her height comparison to Eve/Neo Eve. Can clothes be swapped?

You might get quicker feedback for the Azone question in a discussion forum, Pablolobo. Actually, the same with your question about costume swapping since I haven't done it and I'm not likely to because I've got a pretty full plate as it is. Size-wise, all I can say about Jackie is that she's the tallest of 'em all-- but you can see that in the Jane comparison pic at the bottom of the article.

I considered putting up a message board so that I wouldn't get pinned down on answering every single question asked here. Please understand that it takes time to do this, plus answer e-mail and work on projects (and have a life outside Joedom)-- admittedly, I've done this to myself. I decided against doing a message board because there are plenty of others already, plus maillists devoted to customizing. I wish I had the time to frequent them & participate!

Sorry for having to be so blunt, but since I've started replying to these things, I'd like to keep this within parameters which I can handle, and which are fun for me (versus an obligation). True, the parameters aren't spelled out, but reading through the entries gives you an idea of what's well-received. I hope you understand. --Jimbob, 02/25/01




Saturday 02/24/2001 8:59:15pm
Name: Jack McClintic
E-Mail: jackandjules@yahoo.com
Homepage URL:
Comments: Jim Bob, You have one of the most fun sites on the web! My two boys and I surf it alot. Got a question if you can find time to answer. I know if I am asking this question I probably shouldn't be trying it but I can't seem to find a good way to replace hands, feet, lower legs or fore arms on Ultimate soldier figures. I tried acetone on glue joints and cutting. but no luck. Got any sugestions or comments??? My 4 year old would really appreciate me fixing his guys not to mention I need to keep up the hero Dad image! Thanks, Jack

Howdy Jack (or Hijack?). I'll have to be extra conscientious about putting the raw leather warnings on the articles so you have time to throw yourself on top of the monitor. Your kids will be impressed with your heroism, just like in the war movies with the live grenades.

I'm not exactly sure of what you're asking-- the Ultimate Soldier hands are designed to be replaceable (you just tug hard). I'm not an expert on the US body since I don't regularly work on those. But generally: Other things, like cutting limbs-- thick superglue (like Zap-A-Gap) holds the parts together pretty well, and works for both flexible plastics and hard plastics. Of course, no glued repair is going to be as strong as the molded part, particularly against sidewards shear forces. To get some extra strength, you can reinforce the innards with metal tubing embedded in putty. The only thing you have to watch out for is gumming up any nearby articulation in hollow parts. You can shield these by placing a tinfoil or plastic barrier. --Jimbob, 02/25/01



Saturday 02/24/2001 4:46:16pm
Name: Scott45
E-Mail: msnorris@coastalnet.com
Homepage URL:
Comments: Thank/Damn you!

For the Hobbylink Japan info, not wanting to take a chance with the uni's not fitting the US figures and not having the Volks body, I limited myself to getting a couple of swords and shields. Will let you know how it turns out.

ps if any vacuformed breastplates or Helms dont turn out correctly and you start over....
think of me!

;-D

Scott45

Great Scott! Unfortunately, HLJ doesn't meet my requirements for bratty instant gratification, but they do have tons of neat stuff there! Thanks for making the sacrifice for all of us. Be sure to report back with your findings, like... next week, okay? Ha ha. And by the way, you may want to check Francis Tavares' new Paragon site for an interesting idea about chest armor. The URL? Uhhh... I'll look it up and put it in the next "Remarks" thing ;^) Jeez, I'm a mean SOB. --Jimbob, 02/25/01



Saturday 02/24/2001 1:19:54pm
Name: Omar
E-Mail: dial_tone1@yahoo.com
Homepage URL:
Comments: This is a warning I'd like to post. the Cy 's bodies are made of a slightly stiff and/or brittle plastic. I snapped off her knee at the joint while trying to reattach the foot/boot thing. Question- Is Jaqueline's neck compatible with Barbie's head?

Sorry to hear about the breakage problems, Omar. It's part of learning the properties of materials, and I guess that breaking stuff is the best teacher! As for headswaps, etc... Probably-- anything's compatible if you've got the willpower. --Jimbob, 02/25/01



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