Well, the custom “Insidious Six” Hulkbuster team is almost assembled. I have not quite decided which characters will claim the last two slots. I have Shocker, Chameleon, Electro, Kraven, Sandman, and Vulture to choose from. If you have an opinion, leave me a comment. Aloha!
Who did not love the new fight scene in Star Wars: the Last Jedi? There is something so visually stunning about all of that royal crimson on the big screen. It reminded me of my joy at first seeing the Emperor’s royal guard in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. While it is hard to capture one of them (literally, and as a Hulkbuster custom), here is my attempt. The head, hand-guards, and cloak were all fabricated from white styrene. I used flag red, metallic silver, black, and yellow for the paint job. While I did not want to make a hand-held weapon, I did only paint the sides of the hands silver in an attempt to resemble the blades of one of their new vibro-staffs. I’ll be interested to see if we ever see these characters again. May the force be with you!
In all honesty, I do not know a whole lot about the Man-Thing comic series. I chose this character because visually it looked like a challenge. I did a Google search and found a comic book cover where Man-Thing and the Hulk are battling it out; so, that seemed like a tacit prompting to create this HB custom. My biggest challenge was how to create a muddy, swampy, mossy look with paint. Before getting to that point, I disassembled the upper torso of the Hulkbuster armor and reassembled it around an existing Man-Thing minimate torso. I used my Exacto chisel to remove the parts of the armor that I envisioned being covered by the Man-Things’ mossy hide. For the paint, I started with a base coat of Classic Ivy spray paint. I then went in and highlighted different areas with Spring green and Christmas green acrylic paints. After all the green highlights were dry, I used a “dry brush” technique with a quarter inch chisel brush. For those of you unfamiliar with “dry brush,” you put paint on your brush (in this case, brown) and then brush most of it on your pallet before applying it with quick broad strokes. It just added a dirty look to the existing paint. The green highlights then appeared in a most random “natural” way. The other details I added were roots and little green shoots of vegetation. I love how this HB turned out, especially when viewed sitting next to the 1989 Batmobile Transformer HB that I recently completed. They are quite a contrast! For those of you who are counting, this makes Hulkbuster custom number 110. On to 111. Wish me luck!
With a quick Google search of the word “Batmobile,” you can find a picture of just about every vehicle that Batman has ever used in the comic books, on television, in video games, and in the movies. My family can attest of my love for the sixties television Batmobile designed by the famous George Barris using a Lincoln Futura car body. While the Batman’s first television run was before my time, I remember as a young child watching reruns of the old show just waiting for a glimpse of his cool ride. I was absolutely ecstatic in 1989 when Batman finally made it into the motion pictures. Director Tim Burton hit the nail on the head with his rendition of the Dark Knight and, oh yeah, that Batmobile...jaw dropping, to say the least! In my opinion, there has never been a better design presented on the big screen since. So, I chose the Burton Batmobile to be my first fantasy custom of a Transformer Hulkbuster. We’ll call it a “Crime-buster.” Wouldn’t it have been awesome if Batman’s ride had been a transforming robot? The curves and look of the Burton Batmobile are far too iconic to sculpt by hand; so, I disassembled a plastic Batmobile candy dispenser from 1989. Yes, it still had the nearly 30 year old candy inside! I had to use a hair dryer and an Exacto chisel along with help from two of my sons, Will and Aaron, to carefully complete the dissection. After removing and then attaching the parts to a Minimate Hulkbuster, a quick spray coat of flat black and then some highlights with metallic silver, yellow, and flag red acrylic paints completed the look. Voila! Enter the 1989 Batmobile Transformer Crime-buster! A work of love and a work of fan fantasy all-in-one! The Dark Knight’s vehicle has now become a crime fighting partner. Move over, Robin!
I have had this custom Black Lantern Aquaman mate in my collection for a few years. Then, I saw a fellow customizer had painted the zombie shark mate from Pirates of the Caribbean into the shark from Jaws and it got my brain pumping. So, the custom here is not Aquaman but rather the shark! It’s kinda fun taking something you’ve had for a while and doing a little refresh! It’s making me take a look at my collection with a fresh eye and a new perspective!
Another favorite cartoon from my childhood was Voltron! Voltron has seen a couple different incarnations and has even been rebooted on a new Netflix series. Five giant robot lions that come together to form a super robot that defends the universe...what could be more exciting? This is actually my Voltron 2.0 Zarkon-buster. The Voltron Hulkbuster custom 1.0 was actually my sixth HB custom that I did a couple years ago (I am up to 108, currently). I have learned some new techniques along the way and wanted to try my own “Voltron reboot.” Each of the five lion heads were hand sculpted, as well as the sword, chest piece, back fins and tail. I updated and enlarged the chest crest. This custom Hulkbuster was definitely the most complex and time-consuming to date! I have some plans in the works for Voltron II (the vehicle Voltron), but will need some time to recover from the last seven Hulkbusters that I whipped out in short order! Stay tuned...and keep customizing!
If you are under twenty years old and I mention “the Transformers,” probably, the first images that come to your mind are the Michael Bay movies, of which there have been several. To me, the Transformers will always first and foremost be the cartoon characters appearing in first-run syndication between 1984 and 1987. The memorable theme song, the clear and simplistic animation style, and the exciting robot transformations drew me in all those years ago. And, who can forget when Marvel Comics gave them their own comic book series which would later include crossover events with none other than G.I. Joe?
Did you know that Christopher Charles Collins was the voice of Cobra Commander and Starscream in the eighties? What an iconic voice! He was born Christopher Lawrence Latta on August 30, 1949. In addition to his vocal roles, he also appeared in Star Trek the Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Married with Children, Seinfeld, and many other television and movie roles. The actor passed away on June 12, 1994.
Well, I have entered back into the world of customizing minimate Hulkbusters. I had wrapped up what we will now refer to as “Volume I” at the end of 2017 with my 100th HB custom, the “Hulkbuster No More!” I then made number 101, the ”Deadpool Hulkbuster,” to sell on eBay a couple months ago, at the same time I began collecting extra Hulkbusters again. Somehow, I convinced myself that I was still not going to get back into customizing Hulkbusters. Then, two events dragged me back in...the Avengers: Infinity War trailer and the announced closing of Toys R Us. The trailer with the updated version of the Hulkbuster preparing to fight got the juices flowing. And then, the announced closing of Toys R Us stores nationwide made me nostalgic for my first real experience with the giant toy store which was when I was collecting Transformers in the eighties. Optimus Prime was already one of my previous 100 HB customs, but I have now added Starscream and Shockwave. I plan to do a few more and see where that leads. Will Volume II be another 100 mates? I am not sure at this point, but stick around and see. I’ll keep you posted and I’ll keep posting my customs. Thanks for reading!
Check out this month’s “Ask DST” all about minimates.
I was on a flight back from Pittsburgh when I watched an interesting movie on the plane called, “Batman: Under the Red Hood.” The Movie piqued my interest about the Red Hood character. These customs are based off the first two concepts of the character that I could find, an alter ego of sorts for the man that would become the Joker. My third custom will eventually be the Jason Todd version. I am no expert on this character, but have enjoyed what I have seen and read so far. For the “hood,” I used part of a test tube vial. I used my rotary tool to cut the piece that I needed and then used an emory board to sand the cut edge flat. I chose the Courtroom Peter Venkman minimate from Ghostbusters for his suit jacket because it is really shaped the best for this character even though you will have to remove his proton pack with an Exacto knife. The uzi machine gun came from one of the Sin City minimate 4-packs. The pick-axe was customer made from white styrene and a toothpick. Two down, three to go. Stay tuned!
I really am having a lot of fun with the Deadpool character customs. He is the one character in the Marvel Universe that seems to enjoy being everyone else and has an odd, to say the least, sense of humor. These are my latest Deadpool customs: TRUMP-pool and Deadpool Bob Ross. TRUMP-pool is “making the Multiverse great again,” and Deadpool Bob Ross is painting the world one canvass at a time. Stay tuned for more Deadpool customs to come soon. This guy is just too irresistible to leave alone!
Check out this month’s “Ask DST” all about minimates:
How would you like to win your very own custom Deadpool Hulkbuster? Well, here is a link to my recent eBay post:
The auction ends on January 20, 2018; so, just be the highest bidder when time runs out and you will be on your way to starting your very own “Hall of Hulkbusters!” Good luck and happy bidding!
And without further ado, here is the 💯th custom Hulkbuster: the “Hulkbuster No More!” In this last custom HB, Magneto is using his powers to control metal to dismantle the Hulkbuster from around Tony Stark. I have had this plan in my head for a few months. It became even more timely with the announcement that Disney would be purchasing FOX. And so ends this two year project that I embarked upon to create 100 custom Hulkbusters. At times it was trying, always a challenge, and never boring. Thank you to my family and my friends from the Minimate Multiverse for your constant interest and support! Now, on to the next minimate customizing adventure, and as always, “make ‘em the way you like ‘em!”
My 99th custom Hulkbuster: the G.I. Joe Warrant Officer Flint Cobra-buster is the conclusion to my G.I. Joe Hulkbusters. His beret came from a Rolento mate and the belt with knife and gun holsters came from a Cable-pool mate. I hand-cut the chest insignia from styrene. I custom made the shot-gun shells from pieces of 1 mm acrylic rods. I used black, classic green, melted chocolate, flag red, metallic silver, and metallic gold paint. Flint is not one of the flashiest characters but is a staple for any G.I. Joe fanatic! On to number 100!
The Cobra Battle Android Trooper (B.A.T) was a tide-turner in the battle against G.I. Joe. I mean, after all, the regular Cobra foot soldier was the “Stormtrooper” of the Cobra forces. They were not very accurate and certainly not very skilled. The Battle Android Trooper was quite advanced along with its interchangeable parts that it carried into battle. I felt like this was an appropriate complementary piece after just completing my Cobra S.N.A.K.E. armor. This 98th HB custom was quite challenging. For the chest piece, I cut a whole and the created the chamber walls with small pieces of styrene. The mechanical inner workings were whatever pieces I found in the scrap box. The left hand was a spear from the Vachonus Battle Beast mate, and for the life of me, I don’t recall what mate the right arm came from. I used a Cylon Centurion back piece to hold the parts on the back. This custom was a lot of fun to do and definitely gives Cobra the advantage! It’s time to reprogram the androids. Stay tuned for my last G.I. Joe custom HB, coming up next!
Well, Hulkbuster custom number 97 is now in the books. I made this Cobra S.N.A.K.E. Armor HB based on a G.I. Joe toy from Hasbro back in the eighties. I really did not have a plan going in and must have spent a couple hours looking through my scrap box for parts that would make sense on the armor. The head alone, took no less than 12 pieces of cut styrene pieced together to approximate the head shape that I wanted. To say that this was a “heavier difficulty” custom undersells the immense amount of work that was required. The two arm weapons were made from a minimate rocket launcher (from the Punisher, I believe) and a gun from a Kronan Stone Warrior mate. I am not sure of the origins of the other various pieces but know that they mostly came from other minimates, as well. I have two more G.I. Joe Hulkbusters before my number 100 finale piece. I’ll keep you guessing as to which characters I have chosen. “Now you know, and knowing is half the battle...G.I. Joe!”
I finally wrapped up my list of Superman Hulkbusters with the completion of Earth Prime Superboy! The list included: President Superman (Red Son), Earth Prime Superboy, Kryptonian Life Suit Superman, Superboy, Eradicator, and Steel. The last five on the list were, of course, all from the nineties “Reign of the Supermen” series that followed the shocking death of Superman. Earth Prime Superboy had some challenges for sure. I ordered some 1mm translucent silicone tubing off eBay. It was pretty cheap ($1.76) and was the exact right size. For the back, I removed a sculpted piece from a TMNT Salamandrian mate. For the cape, I customized a cape from the Pilot Batman mate. The shoulders came from a Mandroid mate and the belt was fabricated from white styrene. I have never mastered (or even tried) sculpting; so, the hair is from an original Superman mate. The symbol was produced and printed on the computer and I used bright blue, flag red, yellow and metallic silver for the paint. The hardest part was removing the shoulders from the Mandroid mate with my Exacto chisel. I feel like this was the appropriate piece to finish out my Superman HBs and to become my 96th custom Hulkbuster overall. Just four more Hulkbusters to go and I will be done with this project! Superman is done, but the last four should be here “faster than a speeding bullet!”
Finally, Sue Richards showed up to claim her spot as the fifth member of the Fantastic Four! Fantastic FIVE you suggest? Well, that is not how we roll! Of course, we started with the Mr. Fantastic Doom-buster. Next came the Battle Damaged Ben Grimm Doom-buster. Eventually, the Human Torch Doom-buster lit up the team, and then, H.E.R.B.I.E. arrived as a temporary replacement for Sue. I had high hopes that I would find a way to create clear legs for Reed’s wife, and so, her arrival was delayed quite a bit. But I decided that if I was going to finish my 100 custom Hulkbusters by my target of December 31, I would have to settle for painted legs. So, here she is, the Phasing Invisible Woman Doom-buster. Not fancy. Not exactly what I invisioned, but here nonetheless! Custom Hulkbuster 95. The team is all gathered...let the fantastic adventures begin!
I never understood why Cyborg Superman was considered a match for the real Supes back in the day, but I really liked him visually. Hank Henshaw, a.k.a. Cyborg Superman, looked like the “Man of Steel” and a killer robot! Who wouldn’t find that appealing? Hank has had several different looks over the years, and, of course, the rebooted version was Kryptonian and not even Hank at all. It was his original look from “Reign of the Supermen” in the nineties that I wanted to recreate as my 94th custom Hulkbuster. I took the head and belt from a Cyborg Superman mate and the cape from a Hydra soldier. The front and back Superman symbols were created on the computer. I had to remove much of the thickness from inside the cape to allow it to fit on the back of the HB properly. Luckily, I had to use the same technique for my Thor Hulkbuster; so, I knew just how much to remove with my Exacto and only managed to cut my finger once. I removed the front cape attachments and glued them to the front of the HB and then used Flag Red paint to recolor the cape and to extend it visually over the shoulders. The rest of the figure used Silver Metallic and Bright Blue. I may try my hand at doing the modern Kryptonian version of Cyborg Superman sometime, but, for now, this will be enough to keep Superman’s hands full! It’s a bird. It’s a plane. No, it’s a psychotic killer cyborg!
If you were a child in the seventies, you remember that some of the best Saturday morning cartoon lineup shows were produced by Hanna-Barbera. Now, this was long before Cartoon Network, Boomerang, Nickelodeon, and Disney Channel. You actually had to wait a week to see your favorite cartoon characters unless you were lucky enough to have a VHS or Betamax recorder and taped shows to rewatch during the torturous 7 day wait. My all time favorite Hanna-Barbera cartoon was Space Ghost followed by the Blue Falcon in a close second. BF was very reminiscent of Batman and his dog, Dynomutt the Dog Wonder, seemed like a distant cousin to Scooby Doo. I chose the Blue Falcon as my 93rd HB custom to round out my childhood favorites collection. The hardest parts of this custom were the helmet beak, belt buckle, and chest insignia. The latter two were cut by hand from white styrene. For the helmet beak, I utilized a thigh enhancer from a Hulk mate. It only required a little cutting to pretty easily resemble a beak. The colors used on this mate were: black, yellow, flag red, bright blue, and metallic gold. The Falcon eyes on the top of the helmet were hand detailed. I must say that I pondered the possibility of a Dynomutt Hulkbuster to go with the Blue Falcon and decided against it. Well, that’s it for now. “To the Falcon Car, BF!”
The Transformers animated show back in the eighties led a wave of robot fantasies including Go-bots. M.A.S.K., Voltron, and many more. There is no transformer more iconic than the leader of the Autobots, Optimus Prime! He has had many incarnations over the years, but his original version is still my favorite. This custom Hulkbuster version of Optimus was my most complex to date. Every part from his head to his squared-off toes required customization and fabrication. I will be posting a YouTube video soon detailing some of the techniques I used. This is my 92nd HB custom and my number one favorite so far. Thanks for reading. “Autobots, roll out!”