Custom figures and dioramas

Dearth

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Hi all,

New to these forums, wanted to say howdy.

I loved the Palisades toys, but when the line went under and I moved to a new house shortly after, I just never unboxed them.

A couple of months ago, I lucked into a great deal on some harder-to-find figures which I'd never owned, and when I uncreated the others to put the new ones in, I rediscovered how great this line was.

When they were on shelves, I was hesitant to create customs for fear an actual version would come out. I did make a custom Dearth Nadir figure using a Gonzo and a Darth Vader PEZ dispenser head, after an email exchange with Palisades' Mike Horn convinced me they were unable to secure the license(s), but not for lack of trying.

But now that there's no fear of having real versions offered, I've begun making several other custom figures, like "Princess Loina", Scooter-as-Simon-Smith, Link Hogthrob as the desk sergeant from Bear on Patrol, etc.

(I even used my customising skills to perform miniature hip replacement surgery on a broken Vaudeville Statler.)

And of course, from custom figures it's only a short hop to creating custom environments. I've been having fun watching my DVD's of the Muppet Show with an eye toward grabbing frames and cutting and pasting empty versions of the backdrops, then printing them.

Now my diorama is growing even larger, as I've begun fabricating a Muppet stage to go with my backstage playset. I found some perfectly-scaled hardwood flooring and vinyl brick wall pieces at Hobby Lobby, and a company called Mayberry Street makes some great little accessories...

I bought a candelabra for Rowlf's baby grand, a potted plant to serve as Statler's African berry bush, and a brass hatrack virtually identical to the fragile plastic one that came with the Backstage playset.

I even found a miniature cheesecake, and since Dr. Teeth's "Cheesecake Munching on a Cheesecake" song is a personal favorite of both mine and my youngest son's, that was a no-brainer.

Luckily, I already had an upright piano, an antique dollhouse piece which I won in an auction to use for Rowlf. (To my delight, when it arrived I discovered it was also a music box that plays "The Entertainer"!)

Anyway, I've been posting pics of all these projects on a Star Wars collecting forum's miscellaneous categories, but the reaction (though favorable) is pretty quiet. So I thought I'd share them with folks who would really appreciate them... and who better but the Muppet fans here?

DN
 

GonzoLover85

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If you do have any pics.
By all means, post em! :smile:

I would love to see what you've come up with.
 

hoopless

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I concur. Please post pictures.

I've only just begun collecting the palisades line (shame on me) but I'd love to see what you've done with them.
 

Telly

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I LOVE seeing customs of the Muppet figures that people have made! I myself am trying to work on a Stepping Out Scooter. As of right now though, my figures are boxed up as the house we moved into wasn't big enough for my toyshelves. Soon enough though, they'll be out in full glory!
 

Dearth

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I considered a Stepping Out Scooter the other day, when I was watching the Rudolph Nureyev episode. I looked over the figures in my collection, and thought that the Movie Usher Scooter's body would work best, with a regular Scooter head.

By the way, I learned a valuable lesson when making my "Simon Smith" Scooter.

http://threads.rebelscum.com/imagepopup.php?imagename=http://threads.rebelscum.com/photogallery/watermark.php?file=115194&imagewidth=816&imageheight=612

To make the top-hat fit on the head, I cut away the existing hair (except for two curls) and made replacement hair from Super Sculpey, then mashed the hat down on that.

But to cure the Sculpey, I used the old reliable boiling method, which unfortunately slightly warped Scooter's glasses, giving him a vaguely wall-eyed kind of Marty Feldman appearance.

If I ever revisit that custom, I will know to remove the glasses first, then do the work on the head, then glue the specs back on as the very last step.

DN
 

Dearth

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Dearth

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And now for some of my dioramas and backdrops...

Kermit in the O...
http://threads.rebelscum.com/imagepopup.php?imagename=http://threads.rebelscum.com/photogallery/watermark.php?file=115211&imagewidth=724&imageheight=607
The center of the O is actually hinged, and shuts flush with a magnet.

Poster Recreation...
http://threads.rebelscum.com/imagepopup.php?imagename=http://threads.rebelscum.com/photogallery/watermark.php?file=110324&imagewidth=459&imageheight=585
Not really a diorama, just a photo, but thought I'd throw it in for fun.

Dr. Teeth sings "Cheesecake"...
http://threads.rebelscum.com/imagepopup.php?imagename=http://threads.rebelscum.com/photogallery/watermark.php?file=114834&imagewidth=618&imageheight=596
The upright piano is an antique that I bought for Rowlf... it's the one that plays 'The Entertainer'. Alas, it's an inch too short for Rowlf so I have to cheat it in photos with him, but it's a perfect height for Dr. Teeth. The cheesecake was found earlier this week at Hobby Lobby, I think it's made by a company called Mayberry Street.

Rowlf at the baby grand...
http://threads.rebelscum.com/imagepopup.php?imagename=http://threads.rebelscum.com/photogallery/watermark.php?file=114854&imagewidth=710&imageheight=569
The brick wall, hardwood floor, and candelabra all came from the dollhouse section at Hobby Lobby.

Perfect replacement hatrack for Backstage Playset...
http://threads.rebelscum.com/imagepopup.php?imagename=http://threads.rebelscum.com/photogallery/watermark.php?file=114836&imagewidth=468&imageheight=614
The hatrack accessory to the Backstage was very easy to break. Even after gluing, it lists to the side. Imagine my delight at finding this near-identical BRASS version for only $3 at Hobby Lobby.

Statler's African Berry Bush...
http://threads.rebelscum.com/imagepopup.php?imagename=http://threads.rebelscum.com/photogallery/watermark.php?file=114838&imagewidth=816&imageheight=612
This was another impulse purchase on the dollhouse aisle. Made me think of the Valerie Harper episode subplot... but man, that little potted plant by Mayberry Street *stinks* when you take it out of the cellophane.

A 'Culinary Catastrophe' Kitchen...
http://threads.rebelscum.com/imagepopup.php?imagename=http://threads.rebelscum.com/photogallery/watermark.php?file=109741&imagewidth=816&imageheight=612
Just a repainted Palisades playset.

Newsman backdrop...
http://threads.rebelscum.com/imagepopup.php?imagename=http://threads.rebelscum.com/photogallery/watermark.php?file=113059&imagewidth=754&imageheight=609
I never liked the wall that came with the figure, so I captured and modified actual episode frames to create my own printed backdrop.

Marvin Suggs' All-Food Glee Club...
http://threads.rebelscum.com/imagepopup.php?imagename=http://threads.rebelscum.com/photogallery/watermark.php?file=113105&imagewidth=513&imageheight=590
From the Steve Martin episode. The backdrop at rear is also the drop used for the UK spot 'Any Old Iron'. I still need to sculpt the ten singing foods.

Varsity Rag (Vaudeville Statler and Waldorf)...
http://threads.rebelscum.com/imagepopup.php?imagename=http://threads.rebelscum.com/photogallery/watermark.php?file=114848&imagewidth=816&imageheight=612
Also from the Steve Martin episode. This one was fairly simple... a black felt backdrop to simulate the black background on the episode which hid the black-clad puppeteers for a rare full-body number. The miniature hardwood floor is what sells it, though.

More to come!

DN
 

Dearth

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More printed backdrops using modified frame-grabs. (Thank heaven for how often the Muppet Show used a locked camera!)

Gonzo's Tire-eating Act...
http://threads.rebelscum.com/imagepopup.php?imagename=http://threads.rebelscum.com/photogallery/watermark.php?file=114857&imagewidth=789&imageheight=574
From the first episode, I believe.

Fozzie and Chuckie Time!
http://threads.rebelscum.com/imagepopup.php?imagename=http://threads.rebelscum.com/photogallery/watermark.php?file=114852&imagewidth=703&imageheight=581
From the Edgar Bergen episode.

Muppet Labs: Gorilla Detector...
http://threads.rebelscum.com/imagepopup.php?imagename=http://threads.rebelscum.com/photogallery/watermark.php?file=114858&imagewidth=1003&imageheight=768
I don't recall the episode, but I'm sure someone here knows it off the top of their head.

Scene Change at the Muppet Show...
http://threads.rebelscum.com/imagepopup.php?imagename=http://threads.rebelscum.com/photogallery/watermark.php?file=115196&imagewidth=764&imageheight=609
You can see several familiar Muppet Show backdrops in this one, stacked against the rear wall. Okay, so in reality, a theatre like theirs probably would've used a fly system, but I've played plenty of local theatres converted from movie-houses which don't have adequate fly-space or wing-space, and simply shove the backdrops to the back wall.

From the Muppet Movie...
http://threads.rebelscum.com/imagepopup.php?imagename=http://threads.rebelscum.com/photogallery/watermark.php?file=115200&imagewidth=993&imageheight=604
I rather like how that one came out. The top part of the billboard (the neck of the Pop Off soda bottle) is hinged so I can store it easier.

From Muppets Treasure Island...
http://threads.rebelscum.com/imagepopup.php?imagename=http://threads.rebelscum.com/photogallery/watermark.php?file=109082&imagewidth=802&imageheight=649
I actually bought this Jolly Roger toy for a song off eBay to display my wife's Peter Pan collection, but it was commandeered by the Muppets on this day.

Adventure Kermit...
http://threads.rebelscum.com/imagepopup.php?imagename=http://threads.rebelscum.com/photogallery/watermark.php?file=109169&imagewidth=491&imageheight=590
The sarcophagus came with a McFarlane Mummy set.

Can you tell me how to get... ?
http://threads.rebelscum.com/imagepopup.php?imagename=http://threads.rebelscum.com/photogallery/watermark.php?file=109204&imagewidth=846&imageheight=646
Palisades Reporter Kermit joined by some vinyl Sesame Street figurines which I painted while my wife was expecting our first child. The backdrop is my lovingly-battered Fisher-Price SST playset from my own childhood.

Dance your cares away...
http://threads.rebelscum.com/imagepopup.php?imagename=http://threads.rebelscum.com/photogallery/watermark.php?file=109250&imagewidth=816&imageheight=556
Fraggle Rock restaurant premiums, with a Palisades Kermit for scale. They're actually displayed in a Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer cave playset.

"Dr. Kermit... my dear Dr. Janice... WELCOME to Jurasick Pork!"
http://threads.rebelscum.com/imagepopup.php?imagename=http://threads.rebelscum.com/photogallery/watermark.php?file=114849&imagewidth=849&imageheight=636
This one was inspired by finding a broken red jeep among my kids' toys. The front bumper was broken, the spare tire was missing. I threw it in the garbage, then the idea for this shot popped into my head, and I fished it back out of the trash and customized it with a hood decal modified from a calendar image as well as a hole in the floorboard for Janice's long legs to extend below the jeep. The hardest part was locating my old Jurassic Park playset for the fence sections.

And one final pic...
http://threads.rebelscum.com/imagepopup.php?imagename=http://threads.rebelscum.com/photogallery/watermark.php?file=114978&imagewidth=548&imageheight=616
"Just for the halibut."

DN
 

Telly

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hahaha That's awesome! I love it!

Yeah I bought a Movie Theater Usher Scooter just to make the Stepping Out one. It's still in the package. Where did you get the top hat?
 

Dearth

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Where did you get the top hat?
It's the top hat with the peg on the bottom, from the tuxedo Kermit figure. (I am SO glad they later went over to the magnetic hat system!)

The recipe for this custom was one that I saw years ago, maybe on the old Palisades forums? I wish I could recall whose brainchild it was, to give proper credit.

Anyway, a couple of months ago, I bought a second-hand Backstage playset, and the seller threw in an extra Scooter and an extra Beauregard. Subsequently, while buying a couple of loose figure lots for custom fodder, I wound up with two extra Lew Zealands, and remembered the 'Simon Smith' custom I'd seen long ago.

After enlarging the Lew neck-hole to accomodate the Scooter neck-post, the rest was just a matter of some tiny Super Sculpey additions: moustache, bowtie, and new hair to replace the original. Then the new parts were painted with acrylic paints.

DN
 
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