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The j3h action figure photography, collection, display and whatever thread

Discussion in 'Action Figures' started by j3h, Mar 27, 2010.

  1. j3h

    j3h Active Member

    Thanks Telly!
    Thanks Dearth!

    Dearth, the brick sheets are from Mott's Dollhouse and Miniature Shop and measure 11¾" x 15¾"L . http://www.minishop.com/motts/shopexd.asp?id=67005

    My stage area is about 13" x 17"...so yeah, there are seams, but I've done brick work dioramas before and have some experience at hiding the seams (I've made quite a few different displays and photo serials for DC direct figures such as http://www.vicsage.com/fanfic/qs/ )

    Can't wait to see some of your pictures with the Vincent Price figure Dearth, especially with the episode accurate backdrop you have!

    Thanks again guys!
  2. j3h

    j3h Active Member

    a whole bunch of pirate goodness arrived from ebay this week, so after 1 or two more pieces arrive, I'll be changing my stage scene. The biggest task will be coming up with a backdrop. :)
  3. Dearth

    Dearth Active Member

    Gah! I bet you're the one who bought that Park-Pirates "Treasure Keeper" figure I had my eye on.

    LOL, I should have kept my big mouth shut over in Bellygrub's Jules Verne thread!

    DN
  4. Davina

    Davina Member

    wow.. just wow.. i am so gonna have to get my hubby to help me build a big stage set now.. (ok, will have to wait maybe a year til we can reclaim our basement and built the home theater.. kids and grandbaby are living with us for a while, so currently have no where to set it up... but we can start planning!)
  5. j3h

    j3h Active Member

    I asked Gonzolover85 if I could repost this private message exchange between us since I've gotten a few similar questions about the brickwork and I have no problems trying to help anyone out...
    Hi GonzoLover85,

    I took a few quick pictures of some scrap brick work to show you how I try to hide the seams:

    First I only use sicissors and/or and exacto knife...nothing fancy at all. One sheet I cut right on the edge of a row of bricks, right along it's bottom edge.
    http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d6...s/bc7d2556.jpg

    This now will overlap the top row of bricks on the next sheet (since it's hollow back, it fits nice and snug) :

    http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d6...s/cc0b13a0.jpg

    and here's how it looks untouched:

    http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d6...s/6f1187ed.jpg

    with some minor paint touch ups (and better cutting than my quicky demo rush job here), it hides the seam pretty well, including the one right on the brick (if you cut it not mid brick, it' comes out much better obviously).

    Hope this helps you!
    -j3h
    Thanks for the compliment and checking out my work!
  6. j3h

    j3h Active Member

    A few new pics to share:

    Sam thinks Lew Zealand is a "Weirdo"
    [​IMG]

    Adventure Kermit in the Disney Park Indiana Jones figure display, With Robin providing light
    [​IMG]

    Gonzo has a message for the WWE and their fans
    [​IMG]

    And a full "neon" version of that last one, just because I thought the layer by itself looked nifty
    [​IMG]


    back in a few minutes...
  7. j3h

    j3h Active Member

    Pirates!

    hurm...I did actually reply to this last week, but I just noticed the post never got posted (probably because I did it on my phone while at work)

    Anyway...
    Yeah Dearth, whoops, my bad. It was me who snatched up what seems to be the only one recently on Ebay. If I had known that was one you were going to go for, I wouldn't have cut you off.

    so, um, I guess it wouldn't be cool to say HOW FRICK"N PERFECT that treasure keeper's accessories & display are for the Muppet Treasure Island figures? (sorry)

    I haven't set up the display on my stage yet, nor has Samuel Arrow arrived from Ebay yet, but let me tease a few artsy images of what I kinda have in mind...

    Of Course Rizzo is the first one at the treasure chest
    [​IMG]

    Uncle Deadly as Bluebeard the Pirate
    [​IMG]

    "Yo Ho, Yo Ho, A Pirate's life for me" musical number with guest star Johnny Depp
    [​IMG]

    Well, Thanks to Dearth for the unintentional suggestion ...it is right on the money:sing:
  8. Dearth

    Dearth Active Member

    I knew it! I just had a feeling in my bones that the Treasure Keeper auction that disappeared was part of the pirate-y goodness you mentioned ordering.

    Actually, I had contacted that seller about combined shipping for the Treasure Keeper, the Captain, and the Buccaneer that he had listed as three separate auctions, but his 'combined' shipping wasn't much better than if I'd paid the full shipping on each, so I was hesitant to order from him.

    In the meantime, I found a website selling the Buccaneer for much less, and figured I would eventually find the Captain and Treasure Keeper for better prices if I would just be patient.

    Actually, I have never seen decent pics of the TK and his accessories, either loose or carded. If you get a chance to take a couple, please post them here.

    I was browsing the other pics in your most recent posts just a few minutes ago... had a suggestion for the Adventure Kermit pic. Do you take your photos with a tripod? If so, do multiple passes for lighting effects. The digital flames look fine at first glace, but the light source illuminating the figures clearly isn't coming from that giant flame.

    This is one of those things that occurred to me AFTER I'd done crude digital flames as a post effect on a pic of the Frog Scouts around the campfire. The fake flames were a nice touch, yet the lighting was clearly coming from overhead, and not from in front of and below the figures, as it should. (Although, a tiny reflection of the flames which I added to the irises of their eyes really brought them to life.)

    What I should have done was this: set them toys up and put the camera on the tripod. The first exposure should be taken with full light. But do a second exposure with the lights off and a real candle sitting where the toy prop was, whether Robin's torch or the Scouts' campfire.

    Edit the actual candle out of the second pic (probably with a clone brush tool or something similar). Then overlay the two photos in your editing software and tweak the layers until you get the right moody lighting that you want, with that interactive "source light" element of the candlelight. Then add in the digital flames and they will appear to actually be casting directional light on the toys.

    I'm probably too fond of practical lighting effects like that, but I've used them in stage plays before, and they can be very powerful. I once staged a five-minute dialogue scene lit solely by a fake birthday cake, but with eighty real candles on it. When the actor blew out the candles, it was a real blackout for the intermission.

    DN
  9. Frogster

    Frogster Active Member

    These are by far some of the coolest pictures I've ever seen. j3h... you and Dearth rule in dioramas and customs!
    j3h likes this.
  10. HamHock

    HamHock Member

    I agree with frogster, you dudes rock:super:
    j3h likes this.
  11. j3h

    j3h Active Member

    Thanks everybody! I am honored that you guys think I'm in Dearth's class...Honestly, he absolutely owns the title of master of muppet custom projects and displays.

    I know I've been away from the forum for quite some time, and probably won't get to be around too much for the immediate future either unfortunately for various reasons.

    I haven't worked on anything new Muppet-wise lately, but will hopefully get back to it some time early next year.

    I think I was supposed to post a few additional pirate themed pics, so let me throw those up here now (just noticed they were still on the camera)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  12. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    Nice pics, but beware. One of them tried to infect my computer. It's probably a Photobucket problem. :eek:
  13. j3h

    j3h Active Member

    Hey Hey action Figure forum gang!

    Still not going to be able to post too regularly, but the photos that came out today from the Hollywoold Blvd shoot for the new film got my muppet mentality juiced...especially since it looks like in one of the shots my fav, UNCLE DEADLY, can be spotted. (also was twitter talking to MuppetWiki who knows someone who was at the shoot who reported back that not only was Uncle D there, but he has a solo line in the finale song)

    Anyway...
    heres a question for the customizers here (I'm hoping Dearth spots this and has a chance to reply, but I really do value everyone's opinion and welcome all input)...

    When I watch the dvds of the Muppet Show, especially the opening & closing credits, I keep thinking "Man, if I had the time and the extra cash, I should make the purple tux Orch Pit band versions of the characters..."

    So guys, how would you tackle such a project? Use the various existing "stepping out" bodies and try to best match sizes to the band members like Floyd, zoot, animal, Crazy Harry, etc. ? (if so, which ones match up the best for each? I'm thinking it would mostly be Gonzo and Beaker tux bodies as bases for most if going this route)

    Or is there another base that would work best?
    Is there a reasonably affordable way to take on such an endevor?

    Thanks guys!
    (and maybe old news, but I don't seem to be getting any issues from the photobucket pics as stated in the above post...hopefully it was just a one time thing back in sept, but I've checked and received no warnings.)
  14. Dearth

    Dearth Active Member

    "You rang?"

    Yep, I've felt that exact same urge. It's particularly a Season One icon.

    Well, it depends on how you approach it. It could be done with just Sculpey and paint over existing figures, but finding a Zoot you don't mind altering can be a bit problematic.

    It never hurts to stockpile purple-tux Gonzos when you find them, though. Not only do you get the tux parts, you get the best-likeness Gonzo head for other custom projects fodder, and sometimes you get more chickens to populate your scenes. Win-win-win!

    I've begun four purple-tux customs, but only completed one so far.

    http://threads.rebelscum.com/imagep...hp?file=119278&imagewidth=922&imageheight=467

    Visible in this group shot at far left, it's "proto-Strangepork" pig from Season One.

    Relatively simple. A modified Strangepork head on a purple-tux Gonzo body, with some Scooter hands painted fleshtone.

    The other three that I began are: Kermit, Crazy Harry, and Floyd.

    My plan for Kermit was to repaint a regular tuxedo Kermit. I did some minor resculpting on torso details and a test of a maroon spray-paint before abandoning him. Eventually I'll dust him off and see if I can come up with a better approach, but I want to say the torso shape between him and Gonzo doesn't really work well for a swap.

    Crazy Harry is also partially resculpted. The plan was to make the existing Harry arms and torso look more like a tux, and then add the 'vest' part of the Gonzo jacket over that.

    Floyd is just a broken figure that came in a lot from eBay. I disassembled him and did a test-fit of the Gonzo jacket. As I recall, it will need to be re-tailored to fit him, and his arms/torso will have to be resculpted.

    Those were the only ones I began, though there are several other possibilities.

    I only have one Zoot, so unless I find a dirt-cheap broken one (like missing it's legs or something), I doubt I'll ever do a purple tux Zoot. Maybe someone should make a mold and recast his head?

    Alex
    j3h likes this.
  15. Dearth

    Dearth Active Member

    Update:

    I dug out my in-progress purple tux Crazy Harry and purple tux Kermit customs... Harry was a lot farther along than I remembered. All he needs is a bowtie and a coat of paint, and he's done.

    I will add some photos of Harry and Kermit (and the partially disassembled Floyd) so you can see what kind of work is involved, but the website where I normally host my pics is having upload problems. Hopefully they'll get it ironed out soon.

    Alex
    j3h likes this.
  16. j3h

    j3h Active Member

    hummm....
    Thanks Dearth,
    you've definately given me some food for thought.
    when your hosting site gets it's issues resolved and you get the time, I look forward to seeing the pics you mentioned.
  17. Dearth

    Dearth Active Member

    http://threads.rebelscum.com/imagep...p?file=191725&imagewidth=1024&imageheight=401
    This is Crazy Harry. I just did some minor resculpting with Super-Sculpey... smoothing out the sleeves, adding the buttons, giving him a stripe down the side of his pants, and changing his shirt-front. At right you can see how it will look with a Gonzo jacket.

    http://threads.rebelscum.com/imagep...hp?file=191726&imagewidth=284&imageheight=487
    A disassembled Floyd trying the same jacket on for a test-fit. So far I've only done minor work on the arms to remove the jagged-sleeve effect in the original sculpt. I wasn't going to alter the pants at all, since they already have a stripe.

    http://threads.rebelscum.com/imagep...hp?file=191727&imagewidth=369&imageheight=433
    And the same jacket on a modified Steppin' Out Kermit. You can see that it's really a horrible fit on the near globular Kermit torso. So I tried sculpting the details directly onto the torso, but I never did suss how to make the bottom of the jacket.

    Alex
  18. Dearth

    Dearth Active Member

    Hey!

    I located an old composition notebook in which I had scribbled many many ideas for Muppet customs. As I flipped through it, I was a bit embarassed at how many half-finished and never-begun concepts there were.

    But one of the last entries was a brainstorm that I never did follow up on... for the purple tux Kermit, I doodled a sketch telling myself to test-fit of the skinnier torso of a trench-coat-less Reporter Kermit with the Gonzo tux jacket! The arms and legs would still be from a regular Steppin' Out tux Kermit.

    I'll have to see if I've got an extra Reporter Kermit that I don't mind sacrificing for this idea.

    Alex
    j3h likes this.
  19. muppetlover123

    muppetlover123 Well-Known Member

    these are amazing
    j3h likes this.
  20. j3h

    j3h Active Member

    Thanks!
    And thank you for unearthing my old thread :)

    I haven't done anything new in a long time with the Muppet figures, though earlier this year I did finally track down a club exclusive checkered suit "modern" gonzo for a reasonable-ish price. He has been a "holy grail" type for me for some time...I should take some new photos ;)


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