STORM (Danger Room)
A pretty solid if dirt-cheap representative of the X-Men’s weather-wielding demi-goddess, DR Storm’s sculpt is just OK.
Quite bland compared even to the X-Plosion version (using the unfortunate X-treme X-Men costume):
Nope. Never liked this outfit.
This mod idea came pretty much by accident. After leaving a figure in my hot car, I noted how it just all but melted. That got me wondering if I could reposition DR Storm’s cape to something more like I remembered from the late-1980s comics she wore the outfit in.
Here’s what I did:
- I put the figure in my car for about 15 minutes to a half-hour and, sure enough, it softened nicely, becoming quite malleable.
- Ran cold water on the figure once in the desired position.
- Then I propped it upright in my freezer to let it set in the new position:
Dynamic. Although she still has that occasional bend at the ankle. :)
This is still one of my all-time favorites — a simple, elegant mod that will need no judge approval in tournament play.
Next: While this mod used zero subtraction to the original sculpt, my next mod subtracts nearly ALL the existing sculpt! Be here next week!
Instead of “my first — and only — non-subtractive resculpt” that I teased last week, I’m taking a bit of a detour with this week’s mod…one that’s not even entirely mine but still marks an important point in my progress.
Rookie/Experienced JOLT (Fantastic Forces)
I always hated that the manufactured figure was of the character’s Veteran status.
…instead of the colorful Rookie and Experienced original look.
So I commissioned a fellow player named Donovan to do a custom repaint for me. At the time, some four years ago, I was beyond pleased. But it wasn’t perfect; Donovan had mis-painted both legs totally black. Plus, the electric bolts weren’t painted very well. Since my own modding skills have slowly grown over the years, I decided to do something about both on June 1 of this year.
Final (blurry) repaint. I painted her left thigh yellow, painted in her red kneepads and added a new coat to the lightning bolts. The rest is all Donovan's work.
Original repaint: 2006. Completed mid-2010.
This is still about 95% Donovan’s work, so I can’t truly take credit for it as one of my mods. Instead, I give him credit not only for this repaint but for inspiring me to go on to do my own mods.
I’ve never been a HeroClix completist — that collector who wants to own every piece in the game. Every so often I like to rotate out older, unused pieces to make room for fresher stuff. But some characters do make my permanent collection, and sometimes I decide to mod those to better match the comic book character they’re based on. Here’s an early example:
EXPERIENCED STAR-SPANGLED KID (Legacy)
Unlike my earlier mod of Rookie Dove (Hypertime)
, this one wasn’t because of manufacturer error. Rather, it was my own desire for a comic-accurate figure. The actual Star-Spangled Kid figure looks like this:
Nice enough sculpt, but...wrong.
But this is her from the comics:
No rod, no flight.
She didn’t use the staff until she actually became Stargirl, as reflected in the Veteran version of the character:
Have rod, will fly.
Therefore, since I was at the time a huge JSA fan and figured I’d never want to trade or sell this piece, I decided to simply use scissors and an exacto knife to remove the staff.
And, thanks to the cramped quarters of my storage box, she's bent forward as though she's running!
And thus my inner continuity nerd was satisfied. (That was the good news. The bad news was that another character also had a big difference in appearance between his Rookie, Experienced and Veteran versions, and making that mod would tax my nascent skills and perseverance to the extreme. But that’s another story for another time well down the road.)
Next time: my first — and only — non-subtractive resculpt.
Welcome to a new feature here on HeroClixin’: My Custom Mods! Each article will detail in brief my process in doing the mod, proving that you don’t have to be an expert sculptor or use a lot of Green Stuff to make your pieces your own! (A caveat, though: I did minor in Art in undergrad. But I was a drawing specialist. Painting was the class I nearly failed!)
Without further ado:
ROOKIE DOVE (Hypertime)
One of the first mods I attempted was based on a manufacturer’s error. R Dove has the Boot speed symbol, but the mass-produced figure ended up like this:
NOT a flier at this stage in her career.
Leading to this errata in the Errata & Clarifications document (now known as the Player’s Guide):
This character does not fly; it has Leap/Climb (but not on the first click). Ignore the flight base on this character.”
Well, I decided to make it right. Here’s how I did it:
- Carefully, but firmly, I snapped off the flight base.
- Then, if I recall correctly, I snipped off the excess peg from the figure’s foot to give the glue a wider surface to bond to.
- Finally, I used modeler’s glue to fill up the space where the flight stand had once sat and held Dove’s foot there until the bond set in about 2.5 minutes or so.
- Propped it up so she wouldn’t sag (much) until the bond fully cured.
Now she's right! (If a little blurry.) :)
The result is a non-confusing Rookie Dove that, despite being stuffed in my cramped tacklebox for the past 5 years and being an early mod, has never broken. WIN!
I later performed an identical mod on ROOKIE ALETA in Supernova, who had an identical manufacturing error and resulting errata. The modification process was also the same, though I believe I have broken and had to repair this figure once.
Still a lot sturdier than she looks!
Next week (as I intend to make this a weekly feature showing up on Mondays in homage to an old feature on blogroll champ HCRealms.com
) I’ll show off another early mod even simpler than these. Hope you’ll check it out!
Over my years of HeroClix collection and play, I’ve dabbled in another aspect of the hobby — modifying existing sculpts into customized versions. Thus far, I’ve teased readers with a few pix in an article here and there, but rest assured I have plenty more to share, from barely-noticeable repaints to major reconstructions.
Each article will detail in brief my process in doing the mod, proving that you don’t have to be an expert sculptor or use a lot of Green Stuff to make your pieces your own!
I hope to make this a regular feature — perhaps weekly. What do you think?