Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The Little Differences: MOTUC Hordak Vintage Toy Style


Vincent: It's the little differences. I mean, they got the same $#!t over there that we got here, but it's just – it's just there, it's a little different.

Everyone has been so down on Masters of the Universe Classics Buzz Saw Hordak for a number of reasons, one of which is that he looks too similar to the original release. However, this being "The Little Differences," I beg to differ. As you can see in the photo below, there are many differences between the two. Buzz Saw features a lighter color head, standard MOTU trunks (instead of the extra long 200X style seen on the original release), glossy black details instead of silver, bolder gray arms and legs, and a brighter red paint everywhere on the figure.
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And this is why I dig Buzz Saw Hordak; by combining his parts with the first release Hordak, I can kitbash an almost perfect vintage toy-style MOTUC figure. (See photo below.)
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I used the arms legs and torso, chest armor, and gargoyle pet from the first release and the trunks, boots, head, and cowl/cape from Buzz Saw. The bright white crossbow that matches the vintage toy color is from the Spirit of Hordak (aka: Jello Hordak) chase figure from 2013. In comparison, the kitbashed figure looks much sharper with greater contrast than the original more subdued release...especially with the bright reds.

If you dig Hordak, you may want to check out my Alcala-style Man-At-Arms kitbash that I just updated here. http://insidiouscustoms.blogspot.com/2012/07/the-little-differences-man-at-arms.html

 Until next time, I remain the Insidious One.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Conan the Barbarian Masters of the Universe Classics Style

As I said in my post for my custom 3.75" Conan the Barbarian action figure (See it here.), I appreciate all versions of Robert E. Howard's character...well, almost...
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But even in these two examples, there are aspects that kick-ass because the source material is so good. (You gotta admit, kid Conan from the Jason Momoa movie was great.) From the written stories themselves, to Frazetta's paintings, to the Marvel comics, to Schwarzenegger's movies (Barbarian, and Destroyer), to the Dark Horse comics, even to the animated series "Conan The Adventurer", they all veer off into their own interpretations of Howard's character and each bring something special to the mix. So I tried to infuse elements of all of these interpretations into one custom Conan figure.

To that end, I gave him sullen icey blue eyes and thick black hair to be true to Howard's descriptions and Frazetta's paintings.
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However, I sculpted the hair to be more "Schwarzeneggeresk," and the details of the sword to be reminiscent of the Atlantean sword from the movies. I also chose a more "movie-star handsome" portrait for his face. The trademark gold band on his arm is, of course, inspired by the Marvel comics depiction.
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I gave him tattered armor, bracers, and a battle worn axe inspired by Cary Nord's work on the Dark Horse comics. Notice also the "Wheel of Pain" emblem pendant (and tiny leather necklace straps) around his neck inspired by the first Conan movie.
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Finally, because my son loves it, I gave him a shield inspired by the Conan the Adventurer cartoon complete with Needle the Phoenix on the face.(It really is an underrated kid's version of Conan. So if you dismissed it when it first aired in the 90's and now you have kids, I recommend it as a great first introduction to the character.)
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Here are a few more pics. Can you guess the inspiration for each pose?
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He was a long time coming and a labor of love. I hope you dig him. If you do, he's available on ebay right now. Click this link to check out the auction. http://www.ebay.com/itm/291524347567 Until next time, I remain The Insidious One.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

He-Man MYP / 200X Custom Action Figure Art - Masters of the Universe Classics

What makes a Masters of the Universe Classics figure? It's an aesthetic created by The Four Horsemen that takes all of the elements of the original MOTU figure and magnifies and realizes details that were only hinted at in the original sculpt while at the same time taking cues from other classic elements such as card art, mini-comics, and the MOTU animated series. When it comes together, it's magnificent, especially with the exceptional articulation and accessories which allow for hundreds of poses for each figure.

If you've read my other MOTU entries (See MYP / 200X Skeletor here.), you know that I'm not a big fan of MYP / 200X influences in MOTUC. However, I know there are many who relish each piece we get from Snake Man-At-Arms to Lord Dactus.

So when Snake Armor He-Man was revealed for the 2015 line-up, I knew many were thrilled that they would soon be able to make a MYP / 200X He-Man by putting his head on a King Grayskull body and giving him the extra sword that came with the original Man-At-Arms. (You can check out this combination on the theFwoosh.com.)

But after seeing what it looked like, I was very disappointed with the results. First, the overly "cartoony" sculpt of the hair (chunky and simplified) and face (my High School PE teacher would have called it a "booty face") wasn't a nod to either the animated look or the toy. Second, Grayskull's harness, trunks, and bracers were all missing essential details that are hallmarks of the MYP / 200X look.Therefore in this custom piece, I tried to combine elements from both of these sources while applying them in a very MOTUC style.

I prefer the MYP hairstyle over the 200X toy so I tried to emulate the shape of that style but adding more realistic detail and of course, ears.
 photo 00_zpsnmjgliw4.jpg I always loved the damaged cross design of the 200X toy's harness so I wanted to emulate that here as well. I also added the shoulder details that are missing from the MOTUC King Grayskull harness. Other key details are the belt and bag. These are essential to the look and had to be included but instead of completely replacing them, I blended them into the MOTUC elements.
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The bracers were the final touch that bring home the slightly more ornate and stylized aesthetic of the MYP / 200X design. I personally prefer matching bracers on He-Man and took the liberty of doing that here.
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He looks pretty great next to MAA.
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He looks especially great astride Battle Cat with Battle Lion's armor.
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I hope he lives up to your 200X / MYP expectations. He's a one-of-a-kind so if you want a true representation of a 200X / MYP He-Man for your display, you can bid on him now on ebay. Click here to see even more photos. http://www.ebay.com/itm/Masters-of-the-Universe-Classics-He-Man-MYP-200X-Style-Custom-Action-Figure-MOTU/291378938056

Until next time, I remain The Insidious One.