GUESTBOOK ARCHIVES 09
08/21/02 - 02/14/03

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Note: Between 04/05/01 and 08/20/02 I switched to a Message Board format, which was not practical to archive. Due to inactivity, EZBoard eventually deleted the site and all the messages.


Friday 02/14/2003 7:26:59pm
Name: an42
Homepage URL:
Comments: ...just curious...since your reviews of the sci fi armored fellas all seem to balance on the price points of each figure...whaddaya think of Cy Girl Destiny...? (balancing the opinion on her $25 price, of course, heh) The thing that's prompting me to ask is the fact that I'm assembling a squad of figures in Destiny's "armor," and making the bodysuit for male version made me note, "Hey, no crotch armor, lots on the chest, iffy shoulder protection, a recycled helmet, and a biiiiig gun--how would JimBob rate this set up?" So, here I am to ask =) --Andrea

Howdy Andrea. In my opinion, the recent CGs Destiny and Aurora are both great values, per Takara's highly successful formula: An attractive figure with spare hands and new headsculpts, a well-made outfit and accessories, and the usual signature look. Even though the underlying formula is very similar, the choice of materials, colors and figure-specific extras make the figures look completely different. I prefer Aurora's outfit, partially because it's not heavily and prominently emblazoned with text like "CG-PAS" on Destiny's outfit; IMO, that makes Destiny's outfit less adoptable if you aren't interested in abiding by their Cardinal Garrison backstory.

As for guys in the squad... well, I see Takara's niche as being the old "Gals with Big 'Uns" formula, targeting us poor hormone-ravaged schmucks with domineering femmes, bound in skin-tight black leatherette, lipstick and firepower... which kinda doesn't include guys dressed like that ;^). However, it's obvious that their products have a broader appeal; but until they realize that, a more balanced menu remains a do-it-yerself endeavor. As a member of the first target group, I'm less inclined to wonder why they haven't produced male figures (you mean they do have 'em???) than I am about why they haven't produced babes with whips and stiletto heels. :^) Hey... you asked... (I think?)

--Jimbobwan, 02/15/03




Sunday 02/09/2003 12:59:17am
Name: triplefg
Homepage URL:
Comments: Hey Jimbob -
Your "gladiator" review got me thinking... Scale Lorica Segmenta would be a whole lot easier to make than scale chain maille or plate armour. I'm at a loss as to the helmet, but the armour itself would be a snap to bend out of sheet metal. Just a thought...;)

My guess is that they didn't do LS armour because of the cost: It's much cheaper to churn out chainmail on a sewing machine than to cast or stamp and assemble all the segments (or maybe they coulda done it as a one-piece rubber or plastic casting?--LOL!) But you're right, this is another area where you as a customizer who's not worried about the production cost and time, probably wouldn't think of doing it any other way. For a makeover, I think that would be the way to go.

--Jimbobwan, 02/10/03




Sunday 02/09/2003 9:53:51am
Name: PA
Homepage URL:
Comments: Sorry to be hogging your guestbook . . .
On further thinking about this the compressive nature of the suit wouldn't be a consideration, but the inertial force it might generate would be. I wouldn't think compression problems on the operators would be an issue, but stretching of the joints due to movement might be an issue (For example -- spinning with his arms out might pull is shoulders and elbows out of joint) .
Why do I overthink this kind of stuff?

PA

Hey, don't apologize for writing-- that's what this is for and it's someone else's magnetic storage media! Besides, I think the geeky stuff is interesting.

"DOH!", stupid me. I'd transcribed the box-side backstory and knew about the floating meteorite, but was having a good time poking tongue-in-cheek fun (It's prolly not as silly before translation), so it flew right by and I applied familiar logic to the suit. But it's interesting to think about. We've encountered the concept of weightless machinery before in SF, usually achieved by a force (magnetism, rays, fields) generated by the mechanism; Baron Harkonnen's suspensor rig for example. We have no idea why or how the Zero Metal has this property, but it must be a natural property since it came from a meteorite. Does it have mass? Is it dense? If it's unaffected by gravity, why didn't the meteor just cruise on out into space? And the factory where they make the suits: What about drafts and breezes? Would the pilot have to tie an anchor to the suit's pieces after he took it off? Would taking a blast in the chest send you into the stratosphere? Inquiring minds want to know!!!

(Personally, I think they did it the way they did it was because it was easier and cheaper-- and they did give it hydraulic feet.)

--Jimbobwan, 02/10/03




Saturday 02/08/2003 9:40:19pm
Name: PA
Homepage URL:
Comments: Re: dajoint's Z.M.D.C review
I don't mean to nitpick, but the suit being made of zero metal (which, apparently, does not suffer the effects of gravity) would make the suit weightless -- so the loadbearing aspect wouldn't be a consideration when it was built.

Lord I'm a geek.
Great review, it's always nice to see pictures of toys out of my price range. Does this suit fit well on a regular (Dragon, Hasbro, BBi etc) figure to fix the joints issues?
I look forward to your review of the Panzer Cop.

Your nitpicking critic,

PA

(The first part is discussed above.) Regarding the fit on a different figure: I didn't try, but the gun is big and sturdy... which makes it heavy, especially at the end of the arm. It's a heavy load that I wouldn't expect most perfectly okay figures to be able to wield. If only it were really made of Zero Metal... (It's ironic that it gets back to loadbearing properties in the real world; a hinged frame with an arm inside would easily handle the load.)

--Jimbobwan, 02/10/03




Saturday 02/01/2003 6:02:41am
Name: Oddball
Homepage URL:
Comments: JimBob...
I have long enjoyed your site and your reviews have helped me by either compelling me to buy or steer clear of a figure. I've been a action figure collector and scale modeler for some time and am just now begining to combine the two. Your customs have given me something to strive for. With a little practice (okay, a lot of practice) maybe someday you'll be visiting my site and leaving a message on my guestbook.
Until that time, please keep up the good work.

Oddball

Hey, Oddball. yea, we are all oddballs in this hobby of ours... Thanks for stroking the ego-- and because you mentioned the reviews, I guess I'll do a few that I'd decided not to do (I'd considered them filler).

Welcome to the hobby! I think you'll find that, no matter to what extent you're involved in customizing, it will heighten your enjoyment of the stuff you've been collecting, and bring you quite a bit of personal satisfaction.

I started customizing by collecting 3-3/4" Star Wars action figures... "collecting" is probably the wrong word since I couldn't leave the figures unopened in bubble packs, back then and even now. As long as you don't have any illusions about it being an investment that will finance your retirement (nyuk nyuk), you're free to enjoy them and do horrific things to them. For me, initially it meant repainting them to give them better eyes (the old SW figs were really easy to improve).

The thing that probably most prompted my growth as a modeler was wanting to extend and break free of the Star Wars universe (this was long before '96-'97 when I "rediscovered" Star Wars). The only way to create completely new characters (including ones with boobs) was to go beyond repainting stock figures: this meant maiming them, experimenting with different materials/techniques and generally fashioning them into the characters that I wanted. Quite a few of those ideas and techniques have carried over into the more recent 1:6 figures; I've abandoned some materials and techniques, and added new ones. The one thing that I see as constant through all this is the desire to make characters for roles in a backstory which constantly changes. That's the main motivation, and probably the most important part because it's what makes me wrack my brains for ways to get there. Generally, I feel that I need to have a somewhat defined character in mind before I can begin to think about how I might make the figure. But that's not the only way to go about it... sometimes, having a neat material or technique idea can inspire experimentation, and serendipity takes over.

Anyway, if you were curious... :^) Just remember not to get impatient because the road can be long-- but it's rewarding no matter where you are along it. As long as you're pleasing yourself, it's a win-win endeavor. Good luck!

--Jimbobwan, 02/04/03

Sunday 01/26/2003 4:22:31am
Name: Santorrostro
Homepage URL:
Comments: Hello Mr. Jimbob.

I found your site via "Dolls of Hans Belmer" links. Really amazing work. The web itself is really well done. I've seen all the pages and followed the evolution of your unique style and skill level. Your women are artworks. I Like very much your SAFS, is the series terminated?. The alternate fantasy world seemed to be your new line of work. Is possible to combine SAFS with fantasy medieval world?. I was thinking in a soul-powered armor, or a steam crusher with a lot of tubes and pistons. Too could be good an empty big carcass operated from inside by a demon (magical or mechanical). Well, surely you have enough ideas for yourself, but I need to transmit some of my mental stuff and by the way show my admiration for your art.
Sorry for the poor speech-gramatical-language, surely as you can suposse I'm not speak english.

Greetings (Saludos y hasta luego!)

Hola, Santorrosto! (Sorry, that's about the extent of my Spanish-speaking ability, besides a few cusswords.) Those Belmer dolls are really outstanding, and I think I browsed them right before I began my multi-legged "Spider Witch" project. That's not to say that I view my stuff as being any kind of artistic statement, but different perspectives have the power to trigger ideas and motivate.

Is my interest in SF3D/SAFS terminated? Heck no-- as a matter of fact, I've preordered Nitto's 1:6 Melusine from hlj.com. I love that kind of stuff and bought the Dragon Kerberos figure, Takara/BBI's Aurora and one of the "Final Fantasy" figures (cool costuming). Unfortunately, space (physical, for display) is a problem so I've had to move that genre over into a less prominent area, where I'm less inclined to think about it. Generally speaking though, I feel less like I "own" those figures since they're proprietary designs, so I feel less motivated to expand on them with my own contributions. That contrasts with the feeling that I have about the fantasy medieval stuff, which is much more generic. In a sense, this gives me more freedom to create stories and populate the worlds with a great diversity of creatures which are interesting to make.

I do like the look of the Jules Verne-ish steam-powered era though; it's a distinct style which has been captured in some Japanese animation shows and the movie version of "The Wild, Wild, West". I've seen some pics of really kewl scratch built models done up like that-- lots of rivets with rust and streaking weathering. However, I just don't see it in the somewhat generic concept I'm following with my fantasy stuff, which is less focused on the battlefield and more about personalities. I say that now, but I don't know: The tech level of my fantasy stuff has been creeping upward and maybe when I get to gunpowder, that will seem more natural. (But if I bring on the gunpowder era, the armoured guys will become extinct!!!)

--Jimbobwan, 01/29/03




Saturday 01/25/2003 12:50:37am
Name: Henchman of Athena
Homepage URL:
Comments: Hey Jimbob, I have a request. How about some more pictures of the Red Demoness? I'd like to see some pictures of the complete figure, and the back of the wings. First time in several years of visiting your site that I felt compelled to speak up. Guess she was whispering in my ear. (Insert usual supplications and groveling).

Yo... I hope you didn't think I was finished with her! That project is creeeeeeping along; it's still active, but I'm in the process of trying to figure out costuming... and thinking of WTF I might write about for the article without blowing that wad here. (Ugh... sorry for all the funky imagery.) Oh well... one of the big issues with this figure is costuming. I'm fussy about exposed articulation seams on figures, and I liken it to a piece of spinach stuck in your teeth-- it's just not a very photogenic state. By using the ever-popular massively articulated designs and making a bald figure, I've painted myself into a corner, so to speak. IMO, a more simply articulated figure might get by wearing only pubic hair or a loincloth, but the ganged elbow and knee seams... and the neck seam... gaaaaaaa! They're beyond my threshold of acceptance. So... I've been agonizing over the costuming "look", spending a very frustrating and unproductive past weekend on this. The figure itself remains short of being finished because I don't want to screw up a final finish while I'm futzing around with costuming ideas. The good news is that I came up with some costuming ideas yesterday, so I have some direction now. The bad news is that hammering at 4 a.m. is somewhat annoying to my wife (whereas running the Dremel isn't?).

--Jimbobwan, 01/29/03




Tuesday 01/21/2003 9:15:43am
Name: Hawkmoon842
Homepage URL:
Comments: Hey Jimbob, I love the new red Demon Girl. She looks great. I cant tell you how much i enjoyed the whole Toll Road to Hell series too. I just hope to reach your level someday.
I'd like to comment on the website update topic. I think what the adoring public is trying to say is that, whether you think so or not, you are a celebrity to the rest of us who are in the customizing hobby. And like any fan, we always eagerly await new material and words of wisdom from our icon. At the same time, i can certainly understand your perspective with trying to keep up with life and just enjoying the hobby without worrying about the website, but in reality i would be less than honest if i said i didnt check your site everyday for an update. To me it's an oasis in a desert. Yours was the site the enlisted me into the ranks of customizers and i will always consider it "home".

Thanks for the kind and flattering words, Hawkmoon842... As you can see, it's not only the website that's in need of attention, but this guestbook as well!... Sorry! A sleb & icon??? Wow... I'm sure that I'm just a fair-to-middling modeler, but I won't argue with the honorific titles, LOL. As far as the paucity of updates, uh... I want to oblige but it's reflective of what's going on. Which is: A little bit of this, and a little bit of that-- but at a more relaxed pace than in the past. (Read the response above for more detail about the "current" project.) My adjustment has been to focus primarily on making stuff for the sake of making stuff--which is its own reward-- versus making stuff for the website --which has a less obvious reward; mainly feeding my ego-- (Yes, that's pretty pathetic...). And thank you again for writing in this guestbook, which is the main source of those rewards! But focusing on the website makes me rush through projects and work more linearly. The "Toll Road To Hell" was pretty symptomatic of that, in that if I weren't trying to achieve closure for articles, I'd probably rarely finish stuff and be working on several different things at a time. One thing tends to lead to another, and not all of it is worth documenting on the web. That's more or less what's going on now. However, that's not to say that I won't hit on a project which flows smoothly from start to finish with lots to talk about, in which case I'll probably provide abundant updates. Hey, it could happen!

--Jimbobwan, 01/29/03




Thursday 01/16/2003 7:17:05pm
Name: Adam B
Homepage URL:
Comments: Hey. We're still here checking every day. Dangit, Gumby, it gets tiring and dissapointing to see no updates.
I'm sure I'm not the only one.

Gosh, I didn't realize that I had such a heavy responsibility! :) Hey, waitaminute... Wasn't I supposed to worry less about website updates and spend more time on modeling and life??? Yeah, just like a normal person! Rushing out those updates in the past has been... uh... gee... kinda like hollering in a canyon. Anyway, I'm still at it and slogging away on the latest weird thing: The pics & riveting commentary schtick will probably follow fairly soon.

--Jimbobwan, 01/18/03




Thursday 01/16/2003 11:59:33am
Name: Jay Massey
Homepage URL:
Comments: I found your site via Armorama. Outstanding, plus a whole bunch of other flowery amd complimentary stuff. Keep up the good work, I put you on my favorites list, I'll be back.
Jay
Las Vegas, NV

Thanks, Jay from the land of Lost Wages. But I don't know why this site would come up in Armorama, since this has more of a "swords & hooters" appeal. (I'm still waiting for Cohoon Plastics to send me my Tiger tank turret, ha ha.)

--Jimbobwan, 01/18/03

Wednesday 01/01/2003 9:12:27pm
Name: PA
Homepage URL:
Comments: Me again.
I wanted to thank you for the past year and all of the work you share via the web (thus making even more work for yourself). If you view this as a marathon, then consider me the guy giving you your "free" t-shirt at the finish line (it ain't worth the effort, but it's an attempt to show appreciation!).
It might be that I am just lucky because you have been making figures in the realm I'm interested in, but I have found the last few/year to have been among the most interesting I've been able to enjoy.

Take care in the new year,

PA

Happy New Year PA, & thanks (T-shirt is not necessary though). I was considering focusing on the fine art of making ceramic ashtrays and incense burners, but I don't have a kiln... so instead, I've begun collecting speeding tickets! Actually, I'm still making that kind of stuff-- uhhhh... I hope you like horned gals.

--Jimbobwan, 01/18/03




Tuesday 12/31/2002 5:15:18pm
Name: Saro Eterno
Homepage URL:
Comments: Hey jimbob,
I just wanted to say, that I am a big fan of your work. I think you are the best customizer I have seen yet.
I was just wondering if you could give a rookie customizer a tip. I have made a few heads, and every time I seem to make the ugliest eyes you could ever see. They just never look realalistic enough.
I am all out of ideas and need alot of help.

Hey Saro, thanks! I'm not sure about which aspect of eye-making you're referring to, but you've hinted at the answer to your own question (and the answer to customizing issues in general). Whether you're sculpting or painting, the first critic is yourself. It's important to know when something's not right-- but the next step is to figure out what it is, and what steps you can take to correct it. The second part isn't always easy, and I'm not talking about having the technical skill to execute the correction. You need to be able to identify the areas to correct or it becomes and endless game of completely redoing everything until it looks acceptable... if it ever does.

One of the things I gradually became tuned to was that eyes in some commercially available heads weren't sculpted with very realistic curvatures (Cotswold's old heads were pretty bad in that regard). You can paint and repaint them-- no matter how good of a painting job you do, they will never stand up to very close, in-person scrutiny because they're structurally wrong. In most of my recent projects, I've used beads instead of sculpted eyes because of this. You do trade off one difficulty for another-- it's hard to sculpt perfect curvatures, but it's even harder to set bead eyes properly. (My batting average for that is probably in the neighborhood of 250.)

Painting, whether you do it on a bead or sculpted eye, requires a very steady hand and a means of delivering the pigment in a very controlled way. I mainly use acrylic on a very tiny brush. The paint has to be thinned just right for the density of the bristle so that it flows and doesn't blob or dry out in the middle of a stroke. I usually make a couple of test strokes to verify this before painting. The pupil can be very easy to botch since it needs to be tiny and circular; when that happens it usually ruins the work you've already done. For that, I've tried other things like a smooth cut piece of piano wire tipped with paint and a Pigma Micron Pen (a very tiny felt-tipped pen). I can't say that these have consistently produced perfect results though, and I've done more than my share of corrections. The micro pen can deliver a very fine and controlled release of ink and could probably be used in lieu of a brush if it didn't clog or dry out-- I stopped using mine because of that and because the pigment was too glossy for my tastes (although if you put gloss on the eye, does that matter?).

--Jimbobwan, 01/01/03




Saturday 12/28/2002 0:30:03am
Name: Chung
Homepage URL:
Comments: Well Jimbob . . . 2002 is almost finished . . . and 2003 is almost upon us . . . what a year it has been for the 1:6 hobby (or whatever else others may call it).

Instead of any meaningful 1:6 reflections for 2002, I offer the following thought . . .

May 2003 continue to bring enjoyment to all in terms of 1:6 offerings (and 1:1 fulfillment).

Take care.

Thanks Chung. I appreciate your hope-filled sentiments (but miss your detailed reflections); My own tend to look where the weeds are growing and I enjoy stirring up the dust. However, I believe that we are both optimistic at heart: 2003 will be a great year as long as we don't become unemployed, unable to buy new toys and have to live on the street, and don't lose fingers from freak customizing accidents... and... and... aw, hell. Just sit back and enjoy the ride!

--Jimbobwan, 01/01/03




Saturday 11/30/2002 8:13:21pm
Name: PA
Homepage URL:
Comments: Would you label the pictures of the "mail" cloth in part six of your road to hell series? Please? Some of us less gifted gits who read your page (holds up hand) need the help.

PA

Done! Sorry for overlooking stuff like this, but it's easy to make assumptions when the stuff's right in front of you.

--Jimbobwan, 11/30/02




Friday 11/29/2002 9:40:07pm
Name: Chung
Homepage URL:
Comments: IMHO . . .

I don't think the 21STCT female figure is that "whacked".

Is it "ugly"? Yes.

Is it a superb example of how not to design a figure? Yes.

With that said . . . "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder."

I own two Jacqueline/Matilida bodies with transplanted Brandy heads based on an idea and successful attempt by another 1:6 collector/enthusiast. With the head transplant, they look acceptable; moreover, if they're wearing something nice, they look even better.

The figure doesn't look stupid. It's how you make of the situation and work it to your 1:6 advantage.

Friday 11/29/2002 9:05:54pm
Name: an42
Homepage URL:
Comments: 'scuse me for poking in here... Cesar: I've reworked 21st Century fems before, and the problem is almost entirely in the waist--remove what you need from the waist/hip pieces, and you've got a human-proportioned gal with horrendous shoulders. To fix the bizarre angle of the neck, all you need is a different head with the neckhole where it *should be--new head=normal neck (popular choices at MWD: Mattel's Brandi, Jakks's Lola or Josie & The Pussycats Valerie, and Integrity Toys' Janay) Here's a simple picture: CyGirl, cut down Jactilda, and a full Jactilda with a Janay head http://a0.cpimg.com/image/A0/26/14571680-fee6-01800190-.jpg
...I now have a Dremel, so I'll get to that last Jactilda soon, muahah*ahem --Andrea (see, what'd I tell ya? I miss the message board...but...not the pop ups *shudder*)




Tuesday 11/26/2002 10:55:48pm
Name: cesar L.
Homepage URL:
Comments: I have been logging on to your site for a long time , i love your work. you are trully inspiring. I just hope you could possibly give some advice on doing some vacu-forming ( like what you can & cant do with it ). I have a bunch of stuff i want to build . and your site helps. I tried to find those double jointed Plane parts , that you used for double - jointing the kness and elbows . I also have had a hard time getting a Volks neo Guy ( i swa it once but i didn't have enough "mulla " , now... it seems very hard to get , cause everyones sold out ! I've been trying my hand a fixing the 21st Century female figure ( cause it's just whacked !!, the waist to long and those thighs and legs as well , the neck is stoopid as well . I hope you do more tips on your site ! thanks

Thanks Cesar, and I'm glad to have given you some ideas. Of course, it's up to you to take it as far as you feel comfortable: Challenge yourself, but have fun in the process.

Vacuforming is just a tool; if you understand what it does and how it works, then you should have a good idea of what it can and can't do. Beyond that, the specifics are best answered by experimentation (In theory, you could vacuform your car). After slogging through my recent chainmail learning ordeal, I'm even more rabid about the value of learning through doing: The sink-or-swim environment is very conducive to figuring stuff out and taking the lessons to heart.

I don't know what to say about the airplane hinges-- they have some interesting potential, but frankly, I haven't used them all that much. As I discovered, the bigger problem is trying to blend them into the figure so they don't look like airplane hinges. It's a lot easier to work with the hinges that figures are born with.

The Neo Guy figure is nice, but given its price and limited availability, is more of a curiosity than a "workhorse" figure (Hasbro's SAJOE is a more reasonable choice for an all-around utilitarian figure). IMO, NG's selling point of mega-articulation can be like a double-edged sword, since that makes it a more finicky poser. It is well-proportioned though. FWIW, I think Volks has a new, cheaper male figure out(?)-- I don't know much about it (not really interested) but you might want to check Hobbylink Japan.

I should refrain from commenting on the 21C femfig since Andrea and Chung have put in their 2 pennies-- awwww, hell: I liked her so much I whacked her with my Dremel and haven't bought one since. I figure that I can dress up a wire coathanger to look pretty good... ;^)

--Jimbobwan, 11/29/02




Tuesday 11/26/2002 12:32:40am
Name: PA
Homepage URL:
Comments: Just a quickie to tell you I am enjoying all the insights on armor and plating.
So you HAVE TO solder the small rings to keep them from falling apart? I would like to a mail project but I can't see me soldering things that small without one big pile of solder and wire forming.

PA


Yes, YOU HAVE TO. And if you don't, I'll tell your mother. Take it from me, the guy who's making this up as he goes along. ;^) Even with my limited experience, I can say that you don't want rings to become unlinked after you've weaved them in the pattern. Home-made rings are pretty soft (unless you make them out of something like piano wire) and much more prone to opening unless you solder them. The soldering isn't too hard, but you can't be sloppy -- I've dropped a blob once, and it does affect the articulation of the rings. You might end up with "stiff sheet chainmail" or "filled chainmail" or perhaps, "fishing weight studded chainmail". Fortunately, you can clean it up but that's a real wet blanket.

The store-bought variety probably don't need soldering because those rings are made of a very strong metal, maybe stainless steel. However, they need to be butted very tightly (the "buttocks clenched" form) because if two interlocked rings with small gaps intersect at a right angle at the gaps, they unhook very easily. (That's the solution to one of those childhood puzzle tricks.)

--Jimbobwan, 11/26/02




Friday 11/22/2002 2:33:01am
Name: pablolobo
Homepage URL:
Comments: Jimbob, you need to splurge and buy a realdoll. Forget the mannequin, go for the glory! I'm sure you have few extra thousand dollars lying around.

;-)



Oh yeah, you must mean all those extra BILLS lying around, right? Hey, the mannequin is probably the only deal I've ever gotten that I can brag about: She cost less than a Dragon figure! (I've made up for that though since I usually pay OTA and get screwed.)

--Jimbobwan, 11/21/02




Saturday 11/16/2002 8:11:26pm
Name: Scott45
Homepage URL:
Comments: Heh, the one thing I keep reminding myself every time I come and you haven't updated is; He doing this for HIS satisfaction, not mine"
So get too worried about stretches in between postings, remember the Hienz catsup commercials "Anticipation...."

Hey, don't forget to visit over at the MWD forum just so we'll clean up the place now and then


Well... I hope the last updates count for something (even though they were kinda rehashed stuff). It's true-- I'm supposed to be doing this for my own satisfaction, but I need to assert that periodically to convince myself, so I don't feel too guilty. It's a schizoid place to be-- I'm always aware of the time between updates and wanna oblige, but am conflicted about putting something up when there's really nothing to say. Queen Dragon Momma's bra page is a case in point-- it contains very little new information. If I hadn't been so far in the hole, I either wouldn't have mentioned it, or maybe have turned it into a minor "Remarks" entry. Instead, it's presented as the starting point for a bigger, more ambitious project... "The Toll Road To Hell"... sounds impressive, but I'll be hard-pressed to deliver. Yep, I'm totally winging it and the two consecutive updates buy me a little time to figure out what to do next.

As I write this, I realize that the website updates thing shares some qualities of an ongoing TV series, except that it's not on a regular schedule and it's not scripted very far in advance. JBWID is in season four or five... whew! No wonder I'm having such a hard time. Unlike TV, there's no network guys to cancel the show when it's gotten long in the tooth...

--Jimbobwan, 11/18/02

Monday 11/11/2002 4:51:52pm
Name: Adam B.
Homepage URL:
Comments: Dang - long time no update. But I can see you are alive by your replies here in the new reimproved guestbook.
Tired? Need inspiration? How about more small breasted women. Imagine a future where all women have silicone help, but the rebel women are all natural. Imagine any kind of strange future, what ever. I'll enjoy anything you come up with!
Can you figure out a way to reduce CY PB breasts, suitable for the rank amateur? :-)
Adam


Yowza... what a scenario! (You'd better put it down on paper before Hollywood steals your idea!) So I guess my Spider Witch didn't do it for ya? Darn. I thought I could accommodate those who like small breasted women and multi-legged women at one time. So I guess I shouldn't try to accommodate those who feel I should make more small-breasted women and those who feel I should make more male figures. Not in a single figure, at least. As for Breast Reduction Surgery tips-- sheesh, don't ask me to assist in the commission of a crime!!! ;)

I haven't proclaimed this as a "hiatus" since I haven't lost interest or stopped thinking about what I might make next. Actually, I've got quite a few ideas for future projects but haven't mustered the conviction to commit to any particular one yet. (like the great biggie Dragon head. Or the old standby, scantily-clad supplicants and sacrificial virgins. Or the supercorpulent ogre. Or... ) So much neat stuff, so little time. I'm enjoying the leisurely flow that comes from being satisfied with the existing collection of primeval world figures: With the figures I've made so far, there's still a lot of storytelling potential that I haven't explored. From that activity, new characters develop and the horizon of the "world" expands-- FWIW, it looks like it could be headed to link up with the fantasy medieval genre, which has been pretty isolated so far. I just need to build the bridge. Anyway, I'd rather let that motivate me than to be a slave to the website's insatiable appetite for new material! (yesssss... mastaaaaahhhh... I hear and obey...) I've learned that it just doesn't care, no matter how much I feed it!

Yeah, I suppose watching another 15 Doctor Who videos has cut into the time available for making stuff... And it doesn't help that I've been afflicted with the $$ obsession to acquire 1:1 armour (Gee, thanx Scott, if yer out there! ;). Hopefully, that lunacy will end with the bascinet & sword... yeah, right. But there are still a BUNCH of Doctor Who stories out there...

--Jimbobwan, 11/12/02




Monday 11/11/2002 0:01:06am
Name: Chung
Homepage URL:
Comments: A quick follow up about the SST figures . . .

According to a couple of well informed dealers I know who have direct accounts with SST, it appears SST is seriously taking a very hard look at their entire 1:6 line of figures. ALL of them.

Word has it that the overall sale of their 1:6 line is not doing "that" well. Granted, their film/television figures (i.e. Universal Monsters, etc.) are doing OK, but their line of Civil War, Old West, and WW I figures are not doing that well.

One major reason is that SST changed the dealer pricing structure among the smaller dealers who have supported SST with solid sales of their 1:6 offerings, but SST increased their dealer prices and altered ordering requirements making it more difficult for the smaller dealers as well as offering their product line to mass market retailers like Suncoast Video which competes with the smaller dealers.

I could go on and on, but why. SST has a serious problem on their hands in terms of sales, but also a flawed design in terms of their female figure which they have yet to rectify.

Granted, some of their upcoming offerings appear very worthwhile to some, but SST really needs to start some immediate design and QC improvements IMHO.


Thanks for the insight, Chung. It's a bit disturbing though, and it would be a sad day for the hobby if SST (and others) decided that we weren't plump enough to support their efforts. (I believe that's what kept Resaurus from proceding with their plans to offer us kewl 1/6 scale Italian armour... before they went down the tubes!) I think that we get a kind of tunnel vision about the hobby because it's so personally enjoyable-- certainly, everyone must find it so! However, the relatively small production numbers for some pretty kewl figures which don't sell out quickly is somewhat sobering. I forget the production numbers I've seen for some of SST's stuff but I remember them being pretty humble... and I've seen a lot of their stuff being clearanced at Suncoast.

The millions upon millions of consumers on the planet are pared down drastically by the time the focus narrows to a specialty interest within this hobby. Of SST's three poorly performing lines, I'm most interested in the WWI stuff. Heck, I might even buy... if there weren't so many other things clammoring for my dollars and shelf space. Actually, the same goes for Dragon: I gave up being a completist a long time ago and have drastically trimmed my spending on their product. I imagine that a lot of long-time hobbyists are feeling this as well. Unless the ranks swell from newcomers, the consumption plateau may result in some shakeout in the industry or a scaling back, somewhere down the road. But people have been predicting that 21C would go tits up for a long time...

I mention this stuff because it's a general observation of the hobby, which affects all of our manufacturers. SST's QC problem and figure design has been a sore spot for me, but I don't think I'm a typical consumer of their product and most people probably don't care about that. I think that most people who buy their figures at Suncoast think it's a kewl product which captures the specific media personality they're a fan of. I think SST's problem is that there aren't enough of those people willing to spend the bucks. That becomes more of a problem as you narrow the appeal. Heck, I love Hogan's Heroes as much as the next guy, but these days I'd more likely to weigh that against, say... getting another Cy Girl?

--Jimbobwan, 11/11/02




Friday 11/08/2002 6:24:12am
Name: pablolobo
Homepage URL:
Comments: From the topic vampire greg started,

What about these from Sideshow? Look pretty damn good.

http://www.sideshowtoy.com/artsbuck_male.html

http://www.sideshowtoy.com/artsbuck_female.html


I could be wrong, but these appear to be very similar to SST's "standard" figures (which have minor variations), molded in gray. I've bitched about their shortcomings in several articles, so I won't give 'em any more lumps here! All the male figures that I'm familiar with have one shortcoming or another, IMO. A good many suffer from low-quality articulation (click-stops in hinges, or materials/designs that don't provide enough friction to properly tension or articulation which seems to be there to impress, but doesn't really do as much as it could). What's frustrating is that some come very close to being a good, middle-of-the-road workhorse, but inexplicably suffer from simple things-- like Hasbro SAJOE's non-removeable hands or Dragon's peculiar rendition of the human body.

On the upside though, for the consumer and taken as a whole-- figure & outfit-- today's manufacturers are putting out some pretty kick-ass stuff. I'd buy Sideshow Toy's licenced products as a collector because they do a good job on the whole thing-- but as a slice & dice customizer, not because of the figure.

--Jimbobwan, 11/10/02




Friday 11/01/2002 6:10:48am
Name: pablolobo
Homepage URL:
Comments: Hey Jimbob thought you would like the following link. It made me think of you.

http://page2.auctions.yahoo.co.jp/jp/auction/b27770584



It seems awfully familiar to me too... heck, that's an authentic original version of the SAFS! The sorta funky & clunky one, not the newer one. It looks just like the one I turned into my Wespe variation, and just as I suspected: It wasn't originally molded in PINK (not that there's anything wrong with pink...). Thanks for the lookey-see!

-Jimbobwan, 11/05/02




Wednesday 10/30/2002 11:39:01pm
Name: VampireGreg
Homepage URL:
Comments: Hey JimBob, have you had a chance to review the Obitsu 1/6 male? This is the company that manufactures Volk's stuff. This body is verrrrry customizer friendly. I think you would like it. Check them out at www.obitsu.co.jp.



(Since I already responded by e-mail, I feel a little bit silly pretending that I didn't already say these things...) In a nutshell-- Since I don't have one of these figures in my grubby paws and don't read Japanese, I don't know enough to comment with any authority about the figure, except that it appears to be reasonably priced. Some of the things which appear to be touted as features-- like all the removeable parts and joints which can be posed beyond what normal humans can do -- are things which I'm not particularly fond of. Removeable heads, hands & feet... Yes, IMO they're essential (Although Hasbro appears to think otherwise). The other stuff just seems like unnecessary aggravation if they come off while you're posing them. That's one of my gripes about the Volks figures-- even Neo Guy.

I'm still waiting for a company to come out with a nice "workhorse" male figure-- one that's made of the right stuff, got reasonable proportions and reasonable articulation, without delving into too much gimmicky stuff that comes at the expense of some practical consideration... and that's not too expensive and available for painless USA order. I'm thinking... maybe BBI's next body? We'll see.

-Jimbobwan, 11/05/02

Monday 10/28/2002 1:54:12am
Name: pablolobo
Homepage URL:
Comments: Spider Witch = BAD ASS!!

Ace! F*cking Ace!


Thanks PL, but gee... what am I supposed to make next??? The next one would be filename "gij100.htm", so it seems like it should be something special. Maybe I should do an article about converting a Neo Guy to a Ken doll?

--Jimbobwan, 10/29/02




Saturday 10/26/2002 2:29:50pm
Name: Lysander Six
Homepage URL:
Comments: Heh! SpiderWitch is the wierdest thang ye produced yet- the face reminds me of the hag in 'Terrahawks'! Y'see- all that Anderson stuff is invading yer subconcious!!
Space 1999! Excellent programme, made all the better by the wearing of Beige Loon Pants, and the fact that all the cast looked like psychopaths- It's true! Watch it again- there's not one of them you'd fancy meeting in a dark alley!

Cheers,
Dav

Well, I'm off now to watch the episode where Cdr. Koenig calls Paul Morrow a Limey C***sucker!!



Howdy Url! Well, I checked out the Terrahawks stuff and YOU'RE RIGHT... She's Zelda, minus the badger-eye makeup! Yikes, that's frightening! Well, the Space 1999 watch-a-thon continues, but keeps getting pre-empted by Doctor Who. There's only so much of Space 1999's funky theme music that one can stand, and Landau & Bain just are not very warm, likeable characters. Maybe it's because they don't have British accents? However, I cheated and skipped ahead to watch "Devil Planet" (?) and was pleasantly rewarded with a bunch of catsuited women wielding whips! Can't say I've seen that kinda thing in DW (although Peri did sport some cleavage).

--Jimbobwan, 10/29/02




Friday 10/25/2002 11:00:20pm
Name: triplefg
Homepage URL:
Comments: Hey JimBob - enjoy the Dr. Who! Still one of the best sci-fi series out there, silly Dalek voices and all. I have a feeling you'll be back... "Ace" (Sophie Allred, I think?) never did get a decent action figure. ;)


SILLY DALEK VOICES??? (It's best not to antagonize them, y'know?) Yeah, they do have limited vocabularies-and-speak-halt-ing-ly, but mastering Dalek-speak will help you immeasurably, both at home and on the job. I'm still on the "kick", and watched another two stories last night (and probably more tonight). What can I say? I love the show with all its characters and diversity (Yep, Ace w/bat is spunky in uh... "Remembrance..." (?) damn, I forget...). I probably won't make any characters from the show (being content to buy Pro Ent's 12" R/C talking Dalek whenever it comes out); Sean Huxter has made some kickass stuff for his photostory, in addition to a Tardis and its control room. I'm looking at the show mainly for its characters and ideas-- those can't help but influence the custom stuff in some way. (Unfortunately, the richness of the DW stories points out how limited the Swords & Sandals genre is...)

--Jimbobwan, 10/29/02




Tuesday 10/15/2002 7:30:28pm
Name: Raj
Homepage URL:
Comments: Hi again Jimbob -- just found these guys while surfing on the 'net, and thought you'd like them. To quote Stimpy the Cat "Betcha don't have one of THESE, Earthling!"

Check out the links / info in this thread.
http://pub11.ezboard.com/faliensarchivereplicaprops.showMessage?topicID=2370.topic

oOooo Aaahh!
-Raj


Thanks Raj! (Here are links to the photos and discussion which refer to the photos). How KEWL! Naturally, my brain went a-buzzin' after seeing this, and I thought, "Hey, I could do that!!!" (Well maybe...) On one level, it's a simple armour project-- The figure takes care of the primary articulation and the armour's articulation is just to assist with fitting and possibly, special features. Basically, it's a knight with futuristic armour, like the Jin Roh thingie (versus something like a hardsuit, which is self-supporting and more like a vehicle). Of course... that simplicity is accompanied by a cool design (kinda Gundam-ish with high detail) and some very good sculpting, which make it a not-so-easy project. Sculpting mechanical things requires you to be extremely critical of symmetry and surface plane uniformity (usually means lotsa sanding).

Once again, thanks for the heads-up!

--Jimbobwan, 10/18/02




Wednesday 10/09/2002 11:50:06am
Name: PA
Homepage URL:
Comments: FWIW I think the leg coverings are amazing.

PA


Thanks, PA. Obviously, since you wrote this, I've done some other things to the figure (fixed gloves, sword straps, and worked on her pike) and now consider her to be more-or-less, done. Some things were left for a rainy day, like working on the figure itself and her high-heeled bootfeet. I considered making a shield shaped like the shoulder armour but decided not to-- how would she carry it so it wouldn't interfere with her fashion statement? I also thought about sacrificing my remaining long-unfinished Marx steed for her, but then she'd have to be by her lonesome on a shelf with more headroom (I faced this problem with "Queen of the Demon Monkey Goddesses"). Damn, collecting is sucha beech! At any rate, I'm pretty happy with the overall look of the figure... for the time being. She has a kind of "Julie Strain" quality, being one of my taller femfigs.

GENERAL NOTE This is probably a strange place to mention this, but I'm on what's turning out to be a hiatus. It's because I get so few flattering comments in this Guestbook... or... maybe it's because no one ever attaches crisp $20 bills to their messages... or... maybe because I'm ahead of my figure projections for the year... Yeah, that's it, hah! Whatever... Actually, it's not something I've planned or I'm doing deliberately-- it's the flow of my interests. I've got several ideas for future figures in mind, but I've been strangely obsessed with... Doctor Who! I liked it as a kid and made the mistake of watching the funky Cushing Dalek movies last week... Mistake! That made me want to haul out my old TV recorded episodes. And since then I've acquired a bunch of new vids & DVDs, books and even ordered a couple "Talking Dalek" toys, dammit. What can I say? They shows are long and there's a slew of them. And I want more. And then there's all the Internet fodder on the subject. It's just for my entertainment, and I don't expect that there will be any figure-making tie-in (Sorry, no large-breasted Daleks or scantily-clad Cyberwomen on the platter). And then there's the future family outing to the Renaissance Festival way out in Bumblefuck, TX... Sadly, it's probably as close as I come to "getting a life" outside of customizing... but it feels good. One step at a time.

--Jimbobwan, 10/18/02

Tuesday 10/08/2002 8:54:34pm
Name: an42
Homepage URL:
Comments: ...it also comes down to "what YOU like" vs "what someone ELSE likes." I think the new leg guards are fabulous, but, I'm a fan of clean design, and not just from a "don't wanna take the time & effort to do all the details" point of view. There's a difference between "clean" and "bland." There's also a difference between "intricate" and "busy." The rest of Valkyrie's armor didn't strike me as "busy," not even in the sharper images, heh, but, it's just not a form of design that appeals to me...um...what's my point...er...you do better when you're making things you like...? No, no...er...um...how about, there's an infinite amount of styles out there, and there're people to adore each & every one...Roccocco & Victorian styles may strike some as ridiculously overdetailed, but, they were THE styles of their times... I guess my point has gotten across, whatever it is... --Andrea (see, if you still had the message board, me & PA'd be all over this topic =P)


Gawrsh... I'm missing all that??? ;)

In the unpaid/for-personal-satisfaction arena, we naturally make stuff which pleases us; therefore the motivation to be critical and try to understand why something doesn't work according to the personal (often subconscious) aesthetic rules we follow. I usually get a vague sense when I violate my own rules, but it's not always easy to tack it down exactly. Therefore, some stuff gets made and remade until I feel I'm on the right path. Yes, it's subjective and our rules can change.

I'm a fan of the "clean lines" look too -- using my rules, I think that I can correct or improve Valkyrie's outfit by adding forearm coverings similar to the leg coverings. This would distribute the motif more evenly throughout the costuming in logical areas, instead of concentrating different styles in areas.

Nevertheless, one of the points of this exercise was to explore less familiar territory. While I say that I like clean lines, I deliberately explore other stuff. After the initial search for ideas, the influences have to be integrated into your rulebook so that you know how to apply them "artfully" and appropriately in conjunction with other influences. I think my initial mistake in this project was in approaching the concept of minute detail in isolation, instead of looking at the big picture. Lesson learned and hopefully, this knowledge will come in handy later.

--Jimbobwan, 10/09/02




Tuesday 10/08/2002 8:50:30am
Name: PA
Homepage URL:
Comments: Hmmm. Several ideas here (seems kind of odd to put them a guestbook).
My question is where did you get that little glass flask she is holding in the first picture of the new page (not the one with the magazine, the next one)? It looks really neat and useful for a diorama.
I also wanted to comment on the "smoothness vs busy" dialogue you seem to be having with yourself. I am wondering if the "busyness" you are talking about in your design would be alleviated if it were in more than one color (maybe make some of the raised parts of it copper or gold). While I will agree that McFarlane tends to overdetail things, I think when it works it is because he uses several colors to pick the details out from each other and make them more recognizable. I think the small "demon" on the shoulder pieces would look great brass colored, for example.
I'd also like to say that this is the most realized looking figure I have seen you post in awhile (IMO). I don't know if it is the photos or what, but she looks very finished. Perhaps it is the juxtaposition of the detailed armour peices against the skin -- making the skin look that much smoother and "touchable". I only hope you post pictures of her after the wash (you wash your girls?!).
I really wish some company would take up the challenge of making "beefier" women in a style similar to yours. I am very thankful for the Cy girls, but moving the articulation up below the boobs and adding a few pounds on the lower section of the figure (not to mention the stomach detailing) would make a new body shape that I think would be welcome by many.
I'd also like to thank you for being so kind in resonding to my questions on previous occasions. Your site is a great resource without such interaction, but being willing to answer questions directly makes this place even better. Sheesh this has gotten long!
(Please pardon grammar or typos -- it's early.)

Take care,

PA


Hey, PA-- you mean the bong, heh, heh? (I know it's hard to tell since I never got around to "weathering" it.) I got it a long time ago, and I believe it came from a dollhouse miniatures shop. FWIW, glass isn't the easiest thing to drill a hole through.

Aieeeeeee... the detail thing! (It's not a bad thing to talk about, but I blame it for the awful pain in my lower back and neck-- When you see the simpler detailing on the leg armour, you'll know one reason why.) The experiment with detail has been a learning experience for me and the continuing article commentary will probably ramble on more about that. So many aspects of the detail interact on this topic-- color, reflectivity, depth, size, style- and there are different kinds of detail which serve different purposes. The McFarlane figures are an interesting study. The Samurai figures use specific motifs (besides the skulls and demon heads)-- there's a lot of wood, bamboo, lacing and chain detail which have regular patterns and parallel lines. This is very "signature" to the genre (I saw a Dark Ages/Norse figure a few days ago and it didn't have nearly as interesting detail). The detail is very discernable because it's done in paints with drybrush and wash effects, the details are cleanly sculpted and there are a lot of regular patterns for the eye to follow. My effort is a bit different. For one thing, the simple chrome makes it hard to follow patterns, particularly for the shallow, tiny detail. I've made peace with that because detail like that is glittery and suggests that there's some kind of detail there-- even in 1:1, we may not remember the patterns in an elaborate detail, but remember the piece generally as being decorative. A wash may help bring this out more. My biggest criticism of the project is that it's been approached as an experiment and a learning opportunity, so it's not been planned with a consistent & unified design motif at the detail level. That's nitpicky though-- I've been satisfied with the overall look of the figure and it's different from the others I've made. This one is definitely more comic book/superhero-ish (I kept thinking of the Scarlet Witch as I was making her headress) and less concerned with being plausible in context of the primitive theme.

As for the more meaty femfigs, I'd definitely move Medicom's "Sin" bodystyle to the top of that list. Except for the fact that they're expensive, not widely available and made of a customizing-unfriendly plastic. As they say, if it ain't one thing...

--Jimbobwan, 10/08/02




Monday 10/07/2002 7:06:34pm
Name: Lysander Six
Homepage URL:
Comments: Epic of Gilgamesh has Large Buzoomz in it?!! Jeez- If i'd known, I'd have read it sooner!! (or at least looked at the woodcuts!!)

Har! (as usual)- anyway, yer site is still as damn excellent and amusing as ever.

Cheers,
Dav


But of course, Dav! Boobs are everywhere and in everything, but you have to use your imagination and bad taste to coax the puppies out-- "Lord of the Boobs" & "Mighty Morphin Power Boobs", for example.

--Jimbobwan, 10/08/02




Tuesday 10/01/2002 11:09:54pm
Name: ipkevin
Homepage URL:
Comments: Hey Jimbob, love the site. Amazing stuff as usual. I was curious about the to-scale-looking chainmail skirt worn by Impotentate. Was this made from the same chainmail antique purse that you picked up a while ago? Or did you find a new source for the sheets of chaimail? Anyway, kudos on the mind-bending stuff. Makes me cry!


Thanks for the kudos, ipkevin... Hey, this time I can give you some useful info! The "chainmail" is just simple, affordable auto polishing cloth (I think I got it at Pep Boys a few years back). It was dyed black/gray (took the color only so-so), and sprayed with gunmetal, a silver mist and sealed with Dullcote. It doesn't drape properly because it doesn't have the weight, but I thought it looked pretty good for a quick, easy and cheap substitute: the coarse weave gives it the impression of being links with an implied scale which is probably more realistic than the smallest metal chainmail.

FWIW, I tried to weather the Sideshow Toy Monty Python maile to see if it could be made a little less garish, but the metallic foil strips are hard to tone down; the pattern is also just a little too neat and regular. The recent Lord of the Rings figure, Gimli, has a variation on metallic foil chainmail which I think looks somewhat more convincing. It's only visible in a few spots, but what I liked about it was that it was more dishevelled, which breaks up the pattern of the foil.

--Jimbobwan, 10/02/02




Sunday 09/29/2002 8:42:16pm
Name: an42
Homepage URL:
Comments: Wa-hey! Jimbob's sewin'! Hmmm...dunno if this wil encourage or discourage more of your fans to take up needle & thread, since there's a general idea of "If Jimbob can do it, then mere mortals most certainly can't..." But...it's so *cute when guys sew, heh, and you've done quite well with this robe, Sir. Sew a few more and you'll be one of the big names in 1:6 clothing, too... --Andrea


Hah! Cute? Awwww... ;) I hope I don't discourage people, since I'm going by my own rules of engagement: Seeing something kewl makes me want to aim higher. That's the effect that seeing all that McFarlane detailing and the kewl LOTR "Gimli" figure had on me.

Except maybe for sewing, ha ha. Since my aspirations don't reach much beyond potato sack tunics & robes, I doubt that I'll ever threaten your well-earned title as one of the Masters of the Art, Andrea! Tailoring seems to require a higher kind of thinking-- spatial thinking, which isn't the same as 3-D thinking. While I'm okay with interpreting cues from 3-D surfaces, I have a much harder time visualizing what goes on when you join two curved surfaces together and flip them inside out. For that matter, I rely on Mnemonics to figure out "right" and "left" (Never ask me to provide driving directions!)

--Jimbobwan, 09/30/02

Sunday 09/29/2002 6:45:27pm
Name: PlasticApe
Homepage URL:
Comments: Did you make the scepter Impotentate holds? (Boy did I leave myself open with that question.)
It looks amazing!

PA


The sphincter??? Oh... darn brain... SCEPTER! Well, it oughta, since I didn't make it, LOL! Well, at least the best part, the bird thingie-- that's a pewter charm bracelet ornment. Awfully ironic, considering that I briefly touched on that in the article. There are a number of "borrowed" things on the figure-- The head (I don't remember what it was tho), the sword & the sleeves (SideshowT- Monty Python Holy Grail), the bird (from Michaels, I think), the "crown" (bridle from Rio Rondo). I think that's about it...??? But I can call 'em "placeholders" until I either make my own version or not.

Jimbobwan, 09/30/02




Sunday 09/22/2002 8:07:30pm
Name: Xxian
Homepage URL:
Comments: Hey Jimbob
I just wanted to say thanx for the props. It means alot coming from you. You are the reason I got so into this hobby in the first place. Keep up the fantastic work

Xxian


Hey Xxian, I didn't praise you nearly enough! I'd seen some of your later work and I thought that-- besides the figures' great-looking designs and kewl features (like the mask)-- the story-telling aspect gives the figures lots of extra depth; that's something that I can relate to. And I like the genre, too. Unfortunately, I stuck you in as exposition so you got short-changed, IMO. But hey-- just say the word if you want to be demoralized... uh immortalized as a "Featured Artist" (or whatever) page(s) at the site. Once again, thanks for the inspiration!

--Jimbobwan, 09/23/02




Sunday 09/22/2002 3:26:18pm
Name: Chung
Homepage URL:
Comments: Hello Jim Bob. I read your commentary/editorial at the main portal to your website.

One thing is for certain, the 1:6 online community will always continue to change/evolve. Some for better. Some for worse.

I think sometime quite a few of us gets wrapped up in online politics that we lose focus of why we're her in the first place.

Oh, well. Based on what you continue to add to your website, at least you haven't lost your focus and that says a lot.

Continued success to you on your r 1:6 endeavors (for enjoyment).


Howdy Chung (THE Chung??? ;). Thanks for the kind words. The hobby is many things to many people, which is good. The politicing and sparks which fly from colorful-characters-who-must-clash isn't harmful to the hobby, and it would be very dull if all we had to read were buy/sell/trade posts and customizing tips!

The target of my rant was less about the people than about the new institutions. A truly free and democratic institution like The Sandbox can handle anything. Nobody owns it, nobody gets kicked out, the forum can't be closed on a petulant whim, etc., etc. After a storm, it always comes back. Not necessarily so with the private institutions, which seem like public works, but depend on the temperment of the owner. Some handle it with a lot more wisdom and grace than others.

It's also interesting to note that the first Joe message board I recall seeing was established because He-Who-Should-Remain-Nameless couldn't handle the chaotic freedom of the Sandbox. Seems to me that his institution was more about wanting to control than wanting to do the hobby a favor.

While I do get steamed up about that kind of stuff, it really doesn't have much to do with my interest in the meat of the hobby. For me, the biggest "threat" to my continued enjoyment is the vanishing frontier, because of the big companies. As a collector, I love it because they put out such great stuff; but that robs most of the motivation to "reinvent the wheel" as a customizer.

--Jimbobwan, 09/23/02




Friday 09/20/2002 4:30:06pm
Name: knyaz
Homepage URL:
Comments: Hey Jimbob, sorry to hear about your spamacide! When my bookmark took me to the "submit" page I figured someone had pooped in your cookies. I'm glad it occured to me to click on the "demon dirty pillows" though. Man, it took me a minute, then I thought 'wait a minute-Jimbobs site...breastiges...must click!"
On the hair thing...I shave rabbit pelts with my beard trimmer! No...it's not a weird Pennsylvannia thing! For pelts and furs, rabbit pelts work for our scale. For hair, try spritzing your doll hair in diluted hair conditioner (3-1 water to conditioner). This helps style it ...it's another Mattel trick. When I glue hair on I do it with two part epoxy in "lines" starting at the back hair line and working forward on the head with the lines 1/8" apart. You spread a line, lay the hair (untrimmed) and wait for the epoxy to set. I use 5 minute two part so the wait is only...about 5 minutes! Then I do another line close to the first and slightly above....till I work my way up and over to the hair line. Then I trim and style!
At this point I should probably post some pics of my stuff so folks can see I'm notting making this shit up! I brought the digital camera home and will put up one of those nifty geocites sites this weekend.

Knyaz


(Heh, my eyes keep seeing that as "spermicide"...)

Thanks for the blow-by-blow, Knyaz. Your technique sound like a winner, so bring on the pics!

As for my own "hair technique", I've never really thought the results looked that great, but were just the expedient thing to do so I didn't have to keep looking at the bald head. During the early stages, I periodically pile or drape various hair colors/textures on the head in different masses so I can see what the figure might eventually look like. (Actually, since I like certain hairstyles, they inevitably look pretty similar, LOL.) Then at the earliest possible occasion, I put the hair on so I can proceed to work on other stuff (usually the costuming) to develop it in context. My design-as-you-go routine is a necessity for me since I'm a piss-poor plan visualizer, but it's kind of a liability since it encourages me to rush through some parts, figuring that I'll fix and clean up later, which often doesn't happen. Technically though, a figure isn't ever finished until you clock out of the world.

--Jimbobwan, 09/22/02




Friday 09/20/2002 3:42:28am
Name: pablolobo
Homepage URL:
Comments: You're crazy. I was about to crap a brick and write a big long nast e-mail about registering, when I thought, wait, this Jimbob, I'll click the pick with the boobies.

Yep I too stopped using Yahoo services. They are a bunch of wankers. Sorry to hear about your spam woes. It's a terrible thing, but I check my yahoo.mail every once in a while for the hell of it, what a joke, but I do enjoy the Frederick's of Hollywood spam...hmmm...women in lingerie...aaahhh.....

Have you seen the new Volks female bodies? I think they are listed as having soft bodies...i.e.squishyboobs. Just curious.

Keep up the good work.


Yo Peter Wolf... :) It was a test and I guess you passed! (darnit, grumble, grumble...) I'd heard about the squishy Volks bodies before (were you the one who mentioned it?), but after Dragon's Noriko and the amazonish Girl Force figures, I'd satisfied my curiosity about 1:6 Real Dolls. My feeling is that, yeah-- ya gotta get at least one for the novelty. And they're useful too. If you're taking one of those Scantron #2 pencil multiple-choice tests, take one along to use as your eraser. That'll raise a few eyebrows.

(Anyway, I think getting ahold of anything Volksian is difficult at the moment...)

--Jimbobwan, 09/20/02

Thursday 09/19/2002 0:44:44am
Name: Diana M
Homepage URL:
Comments: OK, you are the best sixth scale hairdresser I've seen! seriously, I can never get new hair/wigs to look right. The dolly hair glue just goes all clumpy, or doesn't stick at all. I guess it's a case of too much or too little. Perhaps the wig hair I'm using is too heavy. Currently, I use fake hair extention stuff from a local salon. What is better? How do I glue it on the way you do?

Teach me! Teach me!

Also, golly, where do you get your eyes?

Well, not YOUR eyes, but the eyes in your figs.

Mold me in your image, O Master!


Gee Diana, that thar flattery shor do work wonders! (I dunno if I agree with it, but who am I to argue with it? :-)

Hair... arrrgh! It is aggravating to work with and I don't have any magical solutions-- just careful gluing. (Wish I did, and I'm still trying.) I've used several materials for hair, from yarn to angora. I stay away from the stuff that they use on most commercial dolls because I think it looks too coarse, stiff, and plasticky. I guess its advantage is that it styles well and is probably the thing to use for rerooting.

The biggest problem with angora is that it is so fine; it's like fine rabbit fur-- it flies everywhere, gets over everything and doesn't want to stay put. It's very aggravating, and gluing it means that you inevitably get clumps glued to your fingers, tools, and just about everything else you can imagine (Making the wolf skin was a real test of my patience). After it's attached, its unruly nature can be tamed somewhat by using 1:1 scale hair styling products-- mousse and those other products that women use to make their hair like helmets. There's a lot of shedding too... but handling eventually takes care of that.

As I said, I glue (Fabri-Tack) instead of rerooting. It's a "sculptural" approach, done mainly for texture and shape, whereas rerooting allows for more flexibility in styling and restyling-- the "play" aspect. While gluing is a less "craftsmanship" way of doing the job, the advantage is that it can be removed easily if you need to repaint a head. I think it allows you to lay the hair down flatter at an angle on the scalp instead of going vertical through a re-rooting hole. That's useful when you don't want "big hair".

The eyes are home-made. I haven't found those nice glass doll eyes in a small enough size (5mm-6mm), so I drill beads, paint, and varnish them. As you can imagine, it's very difficult to paint the iris with anywhere near the detail that's possible with a larger eye-- but then, if you can't see stuff that small, maybe it doesn't matter? Still, I've been thinking about using this process in conjunction with 2400 dpi printing on photo film to see if that produced good, crisp non-dithered irises. But then you have to trim the prints as circles and try not to make 'em look horrible-- see? It's always sumpin'!

--Jimbobwan, 09/19/02




Wednesday 09/18/2002 2:54:19pm
Name: Raj
Homepage URL:
Comments: Hi Jimbob, I know you are a 1/6 scale guy, but I feel strongly that you should do a piece on STIKFAS customizable figures. Whaddaya say? Best regards,
-Raj


How-do, Raj! I've seen the STIKFAS figures on the 'Net before and they do look awfully nifty. But that's the gut-wrenching dilemma with the general hobby of toy figures-- too many of them are really nifty, and there's no place to put all this nifty stuff. Because of my water-under-the-bridge investment of time and money, I'm in pretty solidly with the 1/6 stuff. It's the worst aggravator of this problem-- and even there I have had to show some restraint over what I buy. Stuff that I would have bought in a heartbeat before now need to pass my test of whether it will blend with the main direction of my interests. I really want some of that expensive Alfrex samurai stuff, but there's no shelf space for the genre to expand to. I've had a few lapses recently which pointed out this problem: a Sideshow Toy's BTVS Gentlemen which ended up in the bedroom because it didn't fit in anywhere in the Toy Slaughterhouse. Spawn figures, still in package on the floor because they have nowhere to go. And at some point in the future, I'll have to deal with the problem of where to put the anime-ish Fujiko Mine and Dragon Astronaut... Both too neat to resist, but neither fit in with anything else.

Yes... it's like a sickness. I could go on but I realize that it's really kinda decadent to be griping about this sort of problem when there are people out there with male pattern baldness and inverted nipples. Sorry to turn this away from your original subject, but I think that the less I know about STIKFAS, the better! :-)

--Jimbobwan, 09/19/02




Friday 09/13/2002 2:59:27pm
Name: Hawkmoon842
Homepage URL:
Comments: Hey Jimbob, I just couldnt say enough good things about your site. The Demon Warriors are awesome! I have a request though... I feel that you might be making another well endowed femfig next (because i know you cant go this long without making one) and was wondering if perhaps this time you could take a picture of the stage where you've added all the fleshy bits, with magic sculpt, to the figure before painting. I'd like to see the areas that you have added to before the paint covers it all up. Or would this be giving away too many trade secrets? am I asking too much? Please think about it. Thanks


Thanks Hawkmoon842 (Jeez, how many of you Hawkmoons are there???) Good guess, but you're only partially right as you'll hopefully see in the next few days. One of the reasons for this is that most of the role vacancies in my little story are male. Which means...?

What you probably don't realize is that there are already quite a few pics of the figures in the state you describe. In fact, most of the pics are probably like that, except for painting facial and minor details: Abuela, Monkey Woman, Bunny, Lindsey, Minx, QotDMG, Livia, Lilith, Gretchen Gazongas, Evabeth; Little Sister finally got painted just a couple months ago. The list of fully painted figures is maybe shorter: Jezebel, Ashanti, DMG, GDMG, Mall Gal, Huaca Juaca, Monkey Man, Demon Lord... and there are a few that are halfway between (painted? weathered?): Troll Demon, Darkwolf. There's very little logic to the decision. Sometimes I think the figure really needs it, and sometimes I think the figure can get by without it. GDMG went halfway through the project pics without, until I convinced myself that she needed it. I always intend to paint the figures but it's a hassle which falls after the costuming has been worked out. By that time, I'm ready to move on.

If you're asking me to show more pics of the figures where they look really crappy and unfinished, uhhhh... think I'll pass. :) Some of the older projects have pics like that though.

--Jimbobwan, 09/13/02




Friday 09/13/2002 12:00:17am
Name: PaladinHeart
Homepage URL:
Comments: Hello again Jimbob. Well its been a while since I visited your page and when I get back I noticed the forum is sadly gone (not that I should have had any say in that decision, being gone and all. Plus not to mention the fact that it is your website and you can cry if you want.. oh wait that's a song isn't it?).

Anyhow I would like to point out that you could maybe have both the message board AND the uhh.. whatever this is called (i'll think of it later I guess).

Now that my ranting is done I'll get on with the questions :) BTW I really like the FOTR-looking Demon Soldiers you've been working on. I haven't really looked into many of your articles yet but im into more of a gaming mood right now.

Ah, as for my question I was wondering if you know the cheapest place (with the best shipping costs) to get those Perfect Body figurs? I hardly want to pay $15 each and still end up paying $5 shipping costs. Again, its rather hard to pay $12.50 at yet another website when their shipping charges are even higher ($10). I think I may ultimately have to go with a website that has a flat shipping rate of $5 to $7 total.

Ugh.. I wish you still had the message board. I just don't feel right posting non-flattery casual questions and such in a public GUEST BOOK!.. I finally remembered it.. :)

I would also like to get hold of a Bounty Hunter Hanna doll so I can attempt to do either an Aeris (aka Aerith) or maybe a Shadowcat with the doll depending on which I think she might look better as. Know anywhere I can get Bounty Hunter Hanna cheaper than a friggin $50? Im thinking I'll have to fork over about $40 for her and pay around $10 shipping. That won't be too bad I guess.. Though I would rather just give $15 to $20 for the doll itself since im not really into western accessories (although I might be able to use them with my Fallout theme).

I'll probably have to go with BrookHurst hobby site since they have most of what I need and I "think" they have a flat shipping rate of around $6.

Thanks,
PaladinHeart


Howdy PaladinHeart,
I listed some of my reasons for the change in the first message back yonder. What I should have listed were some alternatives (because I thought everyone already knew).


There are a bunch of others messageboards too (check Joe World Online). These messageboards get a lot of traffic, so you're likely to get answers to your questions. Usenet's Sandbox (alt.toys.gi-joe) is another good place to ask questions. Yeah, the Guestbook isn't really the place, and I'm not the person to answer questions about prices & where to get. I'm a customizer, dammit, not a price guide. :)

However, I happen to know that 1) PBs are in somewhat short supply, so if you can find them in stock, the retailer might be charging more ($2.50 isn't really a lot of money, as long as you're not buying hundreds). 2) Postage has gone up, but my impression is that it's being passed onto the customer, amplified. It's only a feeling, not based on any research. Of course, the economy sucks so it's not surprising that some places might be squeezing shipping and handling for all it's worth.

The good news is that these things are mere luxuries; It would really suck if gas went up to $3/gallon or Ribeyes went up to $20/pound!

--Jimbobwan, 09/13/02




Tuesday 09/03/2002 5:45:53pm
Name: closedwheel172
Homepage URL:
Comments: Well, finally got me my 1/6 SAFS & had No Clue where to begin - or If Ever due to $/scarcity. Only until I found your site a few days later.
Needless to say I graciously bow my head... o.k. not that far, but want to say I really appreciate the clarity, depth & great humor mixed together in the site, especially the build-ups. Truly awed. I've now got a starting point, great advice AND pic examples to help/follow. Great taste, period.
Confidence inspiring easily to say, especially when dealing w/ such an overpriced starting point. Only hope to manage such a fine end job!

p.s.: Until u tested the figure fit in the suit I had always wondered if the scale was proper to the human form. This geek has been wonderin' that since'85...

-Rod


Howdy Rod,
Congratulations and I'm glad to be the devil whispering in one ear. Yes, it's one hunk of expensive plastic... but if you allow me to go kozmic on ya, it is ultimately just plastic. We burn many dollars going through life with little to show for it. One of the liberating things I'm blessed with is the ability to let go-- not to ruminate for too long on how much money I've spent, wasted or how long it's been since I've visited the in-laws or cleaned the litterbox. Of course, guilt and recriminations serve some kind of social-order purpose but they can inhibit you and keep you from acting freely. Understand, I'm not advocating that we become axe murderers. However, desecrating an expensive plastic model is a victimless crime. The sooner you can make peace with that, the more time you'll have left over to desecrate other models!

--Jimbobwan, 09/04/02

Friday 08/30/2002 1:50:00am
Name: Royohboy
Homepage URL:
Comments: Hi Jimbob!

That FOTR footsoldier must be the best armoured figure I've ever seen :-) Outstanding!


Thanks, I'm glad you liked it. The FOTR has a much greater diversity of looks in the Orcs and the Uruk-Hai, and it's all so friggin' detailed and well thought out. I'm in awe of it all and wish someone would publish a "Complete Props of..." pictoral book. You can never have too many sources of inspiration!

--Jimbobwan, 09/03/02




Tuesday 08/27/2002 6:33:07am
Name: Theresa/LW/Tank Girl
Homepage URL:
Comments: JimBob, first of all i love coming to your site and seeing what you are up to, I often refer back to your work and the reviews.

I am currently writing a research paper on female action figures, and I would like to ask permission to use some of the photos you have taken and used in reviews of several female figures. It's non profit, just an assignment I have as part of my university degree. Pretty please with sugar on it :D

Regards,
- 'willow

limberwillow at hotmail dot com


Hi 'willow,
Hey, I'm flattered-- Feel free to use whatever you'd like... with the understanding that I won't be held responsible for whatever horrible academic consequences you suffer as a result of this; side effects may include diarrhea, vomiting, sexual dysfunction, headaches and severe toe cramps; offer void where prohibited. 'kay? Good luck!

--Jimbobwan, 08/29/02




Monday 08/26/2002 11:19:46am
Name: Brenda
Homepage URL:
Comments: JimBob,
Did you bake the clay witch head with the eyes intact?

Thank you for your reply to my other entry regarding eyes. I did manage to find some 6mm and 7mm eyes to experiment with.

Thank you Jimbob,
Brenda


Hi Brenda,
Yes, I baked the sculpture with the eyes already in place... however, since they were glass beads and the temperature was pretty gentle, I wasn't really concerned... My advice is to experiment since the materials and specific techniques we employ may be quite different. (simple answers can be misleading, and there's no substitute for learning the characteristics of your materials firsthand!) Have fun with it!

--Jimbobwan, 08/29/02




Friday 08/23/2002 8:29:30pm
Name: PlasticApe
Homepage URL:
Comments: Any thoughts of selling any of your headsculpts?
I always enjoy seeing them and would love to have one or two of your monsters adorning my monitor! Keep up the good work!

PA


Thanks, PA! I don't have many unused headsculpts-- the doodles eventually get recycled (which is why the clay is so dirty). The "Witches" sculpt is a rare exception which got baked. If you're referring to casting the "permanent" ones, that step just doesn't fit in with the flow of my demented mission to populate Medium-Rare Earth; There's the race to finish the current figure, and then there's the agonizing over what to make next!

--Jimbobwan, 08/24/02




Friday 08/23/2002 6:42:33pm
Name: Brenda A. also known as CYseamstress
Homepage URL:
Comments: Hi JimBob,
I visit your website once or twice weekly, and I have always enjoyed your work. I have been wondering, what source do you purchase the tiny glass eyes from?

Thank you,
Brenda A.


Howdy Brenda,
The "Abuela" project discusses this. 5 mm doll eyes are not made(?)/not easy to find (as far as I know), so you have to make your own. I just wish I could do the level of iris detail that the German 8 mm glass ones have!

--Jimbobwan, 08/24/02

Wednesday 08/21/2002 3:27:51am
Name: pablolobo
E-Mail:
Homepage URL:
Comments: What is this? Another change? Explain...


Gosh, do I have to? :) Some reasons: There really wasn't much visitor-visitor interaction anyway (which was the point), and there are plenty of other forums for that. It was painful to see someone throw something out for public comment only to be met by silence. In this format, there's no expectation of that-- it's a simple guestbook for the website, not a social club.

Administratively, it's a lot easier to manage since I can easily archive this stuff locally, due to its simple linear structure. That would be a nightmare with EZ Board's branching structure (which is why I haven't even attempted it).

Anyway, I hope this change didn't adversely affect anyone's big plans for a posting blitz, heh heh...(yeah, right)

--Jimbobwan, 08/21/02


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