"Battle of the Planets" was the renamed American version of the Japanese anime called "Science Ninja Team Gatchaman." SNTG appeared in Japan in 1972 and BOTP appeared in the U.S. In 1978. The original Japanese version was considered too violent and so it was edited for content and added a loveable robot character named Seven Zark Seven that ran the team's control center at Center Neptune. His added scenes filled in the time left vacant by the aforementioned editing. Oh yeah, and he was definitely a rip-off of another famous droid of the time period that you may have also heard of, R2-D2! Battle of the Planets was awesome and was ahead of its time for action packed animation. The team of five teenagers, known as G-Force, flew their ship called the Phoenix and fought the evil forces of Spectra led by the devious Zoltar. The Phoenix to this day is still my favorite space ship! So, there was some history that went into custom Hulkbuster #76: my Battle of the Planets G-Force Zoltar-buster! I had such fun making it that I am seriously considering making the other four team members, but I only have 24 Hulkbusters left until I reach my goal of 100; so, only time will tell if the whole team makes the cut. Stay tuned and find out!
I am going to be honest with you right up front. I do not really know much about the Green Hornet and Kato. Here is what I do know. As a child I used to listen to a radio show every Friday night that included the adventures of the Green Hornet and Kato. This was a re-broadcast from the fifties as far as I could tell, that absolutely stoked my imagination to listen to it each week. I also remember watching re-runs of the sixties Batman t.v. show every week as a child and remember the Green Hornet and Kato's guest appearance. It thrilled me to see images of the characters I had enjoyed listening to and imagining on the radio broadcasts. I also know that Bruce Lee did a stint as Kato at some point. And finally, in 2011, Seth Rogen appeared as the Green Hornet in the movie. The movie didn't thrill me. These customs are my homage to a very different set of heroes cloaked in the shroud of the criminal. Trendsetters at the very least of a wave of vigilante heroes that would come to be popularized in the seventies. Interesting characters and fun customs!
Well, I have made so many Hulkbuster customs lately that I had to put six into one blog just to catch up! From the top left going clockwise, we have the Punisher HB, the Grand Admiral Thrawn Rebel-buster, the Wolverine HB, the Arnim Zola HB, the Phasing Vision Infiltrated HB, and the Tron Legacy Grid-buster! You can get a better look at the Phasing Vision Infiltrated HB on the CUSTOMS tab. The side views show the Vision flying through the Hulkbuster. My favorite out of this batch has to be the Tron Legacy Grid-buster. I have wanted to do a Tron custom for a long time. I felt like the disc was the frosting on the cake. Grand Admiral Thrawn came together by chance with the parts that I had left over after making the Punisher HB. It was tricky painting the blue face but was so worth it! The Grand Admiral has been a reoccurring character on Star Wars Rebels, but I was first exposed to him in the original Timothy Zahn "Heir to the Empire" trilogy. If you've never read it, it's worth the time. Unfortunately, it is not considered Star Wars canon anymore. I have had Arnim Zola and Wolverine on my to-do list for a while. For Wolverine, I chose extra long adamantium claws (made from ninja swords) to tear through opposing suits of armor if needed and extra-thick Hulk hide if possible. Well, that's it. Check out the 360 degree pictures of each one on the website. 75 Hulkbusters down, 25 more to go!
Wow, three years has really flown by fast! I cannot believe that this is my 200th blog post already. A lot has changed in three years: I live in a different part of the world, I now have two teenagers in the house, I have been married for over two decades (22 years to be exact), and let's not get started on the political scene! One thing that has not changed is my enjoyment of those little two inch action figures with 14 points of articulation...minimates! In the last year, I have gotten really involved with customizing Hulkbusters. If you are a regular reader of this blog, I'm sure you have noticed. Over the course of the last three years my customizing focus has gone from Marvel Zombies to Angel to Venom to Hulkbusters and to what I like to call my Marvel Lantern Corps. And there have been many one-offs in between. All of those customs can be seen on www.minimateaddicts.com on the "Minimate Customs" tab. My wife and children all still enjoy my work and occasionally help with the process of customizing and collecting. My youngest, Aaron, has his own collection of mates and takes time quite often to talk minimates or seek a trade. All-in-all, it is still not a bad hobby and is as addictive as ever! I will never regret the choice of names for my website! I hope you all have enjoyed the previous 199 blog posts and will stick around with me for the next 200. And, as always, make 'em the way you like 'em!
I recently added two new HB bat suits to the collection: the Green Lantern Batman Hulkbuster and the Superfriends Batman Hulkbuster as my 67th and 68th HB customs. After seeing the movie "Batman vs. Superman," I remember thinking that the Dark Knight would be a good candidate for some HB customizing. As you may recall, I have previously created The White Lantern Batman HB and the Dark Knight HB as my 43rd and 52nd HB customs, respectively. The symbol for the GL Batman HB may have been the single-most difficult chest element I have had to do because of the inside curves of the bat wings. Other than the symbol, the gauntlet guards were pretty tedious. Using white styrene, I created a little stencil for each custom (slightly different from each other) and used them to cut out the six guards. I have a couple more Batman variations in mind, but I will have to restock on my capes and cowls! Same bat time, same bat...well, you get the idea!
I am not sure. I was only seven years old at the time, but did anything better happen in 1979 than the release of the movie, "The Black Hole?" I mean the first woman was elected Prime Minister of Great Britain in 1979. The ESPN network was launched in 1979. But I am sticking with "The Black Hole." I mean wasn't it the first Disney "PG" movie? It had cool spaceships, robots, suspense, weirdness, and a giant flaming meteor. It was a great space movie when Star Wars had just redefined what "great space movie" meant a couple years earlier. And who was cooler than Maximilian? He was absolutely silent until his spinning assassin blades began to whir. So, as a tribute to this early robot space ninja, I present my 66th HB custom, the Maximilian Palomino-buster! I cannot detail all of the effort it took to put this guy together; so, I'll just list a few features. His head is from the X-Men movie Juggernaut. His legs are made from regular minimate legs turned upside down. And his arms are made from dental flossers. Oh, and his exhaust port was scavenged from the bottom of a M.O.D.O.K. chair. About the only part of the original Hulkbuster left was the chest piece. One thing that I would still like to go back and add is to put a minimate head inside his head with the two eyes of Dr. Hans Reinhardt looking out like at the very weird ending of the movie. If I do, I will post a picture. Some people may have thought this mate was not possible, but as Dr. Reinhardt reminded Ernest Borgnine's character, "The word "impossible," Mr. Booth, is only found in the dictionary of fools."
Well, it only took 65 Hulkbuster customs to finally get to my favorite Marvel super hero of all time...Spider-Man! Yes, it is true. I have been avoiding him. Good friends do that sometimes, don't they? It was nothing personal. I have just been afraid of Spidey's webs. Those fine, straight lines that adorn his costume have been a sticking point for me. How do I make a Spider-Man HB custom with webbing? I made a Venom. I made an Anti-Venom. I even made an Iron Spider, but, alas, no Spidey. Now, I know what some of you long-time minimate collectors are thinking. The early released Ultimate Spider-Man minimate had no webs on the costume. I have thought about that a lot! But still, a traditional Spidey with no webs is, well, can we say it...BORING! So, that brings us to Deep Immersion Spider-Man. He was recently released in the Walgreens line from the now-departed "Web Warriors" animated show. He's pretty cool looking and, yep, no webs in the costume! The only visible part of his costume is his head, which I transferred over to the Hulkbuster. So, there we have it. Finally, a Spider-Man Hulkbuster. Hopefully, he will be joined by other Spider-Men like Spider-Man 2099 or black-suited Spidey and SOMEDAY, a traditional red and blue Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man, complete with webs! A man can dream!
Sometimes the custom you want to make is not as easy as a simple part swap. Sometimes you have to destroy before you build. That is a pretty scary feeling when you take your Exacto knife and plunge it into your minimate (in this case a Hulkbuster in particular). My 64th HB custom is the Mysterio Hulkbuster and I have to tell you that when I started by cutting the back engine off of the HB, I remember thinking that I was turning it into a "parts mate" if I didn't get the cut exactly right. Believe me when I tell you that has happened to me more than once! Another moment of trepidation arrived when I had to super glue the engine on the back of the Mysterio cape...a minimate destroying activity if I've ever seen one. Well, maybe five years of customizing has helped steady my hand or maybe I just have blind, dumb luck, but this time it turned out okay. Mission accomplished. Custom minimate completed. Stomach acid subsided. On to the next project!
Here is another memory from my childhood. I remember getting home from junior high each day in time to catch G.I.Joe: A Real American Hero and Transformers. The quality of animation was a bit weak by today's standards, but it kept my attention back in the day. And those toys! Those wonderful toys! Well, here is my homage to the character Storm Shadow.
Whew! It has been many long months of customizing Hulkbusters and my "Hall of Hulkbusters" is bursting at the seams. I started this project on 12/05/2015. A few days ago, my Silver Centurion HB amazingly claimed the 60th spot. It is hard to believe that my original goal of making 50 HB customs was 10 figures ago! I think 100 will have to be my limit. That is 40 more suits of armor. Wish me luck!
What if Tony Stark was helping the Nova Corps on Xandar do some systems upgrades? Well, the Nova Corps Hulkbuster might be a product of that venture. And so, I present my 59th custom Hulkbuster. This was mostly a custom paint job with the exception of the discs on the chest and the belt. I sheered off slivers of a glue stick (used in hot glue guns) to create the discs and made the belt out of white styrene. The colors I used were white, black, yellow and metallic silver. I don't know a lot about the Nova Corps; so, feel free to imagine whatever character you want as the pilot. Now, on to custom HB number sixty!
What happens when a genetically engineered evil scientist takes over your most lethal suit of armor? You get the M.O.D.O.K. Hulkbuster! Of course, when the Modified Organism Designed Only to Kill has your toughest suit of armor, his job just got a little easier. My job putting him together was not easy, though! There was a lot of chiseling to get this custom to work. The great news was that besides the M.O.D.O.K. mate, all of the HB armor pieces were leftover scraps from other projects. The colors consisted of spiced carrot, passion, yellow and metallic silver. I'm glad this one is done...it was a real killer!
Here is the Captain Marvel Hulkbuster. She is my 57th custom HB and was pretty much unplanned. I found a pack of Captain Marvel and the New (Lady) Thor in Ross Dress for Less pretty cheap and decided to pick it up for custom parts. The more I looked at it, the more I realized it would translate well as a custom HB. The head and hair were reused from the mate and I created the starburst on the chest from white styrene. The colors I used were flag red, bright blue and metallic gold. I did have to do a little chiseling so that her helmet would go all the way down so as to make her lips visible. I also had to remove a small piece in the back so that the back of her hair would have an outlet. It's nice when something happens to come together with very little planning. I'm hoping for some more of that kind of inspiration in my future endeavors!
Here is a Hulkbuster homage to Hal Jordan when he wore both green and blue power rings! Of course, blue lanterns supercharge green lanterns; so, this was an interesting storyline. I created a special half-and-half green lantern/blue lantern symbol for the chest. For paint, I used metallic Christmas green and metallic sapphire blue and then accented each side with white or silver depending on what I had done on my earlier Green Lantern and Blue Lantern Hulkbuster iterations. I used a masked face from the "Kill Bill" Crazy 88 gang which I painted half green and half blue. The hair was a grab from my scrap box, but I recalled Hal Jordan's hair not being its normal well-coiffed style; so, I picked a messier looking hairpiece. Between the two colors and the metallic paint, this custom plays with my eyes a little in the light. Well, that is Hulkbuster custom number 56 in the books!
Diamond Select Toys has finally revealed Series 74 of their Minimates line. This wave includes: Captain America, Ironheart, Thor, Surtur, Spider-Girl, Old Man Logan, Red King and King Hulk. These are some good looking "must have" mates! Good job, DST!
Well, I guess if any crossover Hulkbuster armor makes sense, it would be the Iron Spider. Iron Spider is already armored. He already uses Stark Tech. He has an Iron Man color scheme. So, I started by creating a modified Iron Spider chest symbol stencil for a design that flowed with the natural lines of the HB armor. I used white styrene and then "Kragled" it to the chest piece. I painted the whole HB flag red then went back and brushed on the metallic gold. I used pre-existing Iron Spider claw arms but repainted them to match the armor. I just had to drill three holes on the back of the mate. I carefully hand painted the Spider eyes except for the eye slits that stayed a contrasting red. Amadeus Cho would be proud! And that concludes custom HB number 55. Stay tuned for more!
Here is a quick update to the "Hall of Hulkbusters!" I have now added Wave 9 which brings the grand total up to 54 Hulkbuster customs! Enough said.
This HB custom is a look into the not-so-distant future. I wanted to imagine an upgraded, futuristic Hulkbuster armor that retained elements that are familiar but incorporated common sense upgrades. Hulkbuster 2029 utilizes dual shoulder-mounted force field emitters, an oversized turbo-charged arc reactor, multiple body-mounted repulsors and hands that fold in to reveal dual pulse cannons. I debated on a color change but decide to remain with the traditional Iron Man gold and red color scheme.
Happy July 4th, America! Today, we celebrate two hundred forty-one years of freedom and counting! For this special occasion, I present my 53rd HB custom: the Iron Patriot Hulkbuster. This was almost solely a paint challenge except for the addition of the shoulder-mounted artillery and chest arc. This mate utilized spray metallic silver, brush-on metallic Sapphire and brush-on flag red. The chest arc was stenciled on white styrene, cut out and attached with "Kragle." Hopefully, this HB custom makes you want to salute the flag and destroy some bad guys. Happy birthday to the good ol' United States of America! God bless the U.S.A.!
There is something so gratifying about the color black when customizing a Hulkbuster! This one with yellow accents rises to the top. I used the ears from a Stealth Batwing Batman pilot mate and a leftover Batman cape from the scrap box. The symbol is printed on sticker paper, attached to white styrene and then edged with black paint. I really felt like less accent trimming would be more on this custom; so, I only trimmed out a few parts in yellow. I freehanded one of the gauntlet guards on white styrene and then cut it out with my Exacto chisel. Then I used the cutout as a template to make the rest. That was it. This was a moderate level custom mostly because of the small amount of fabrication required. Tune in again...same bat time, same bat channel!
And we have FIFTY Hulkbusters! Space Ghost has always been my favorite cartoon character since my childhood! It makes perfect sense that he should be my fiftieth Hulkbuster custom since he just turned 50 years old this past September. For those of you too young to remember, Space Ghost was a Hanna-Barbera Saturday morning cartoon that debuted on CBS on September 10, 1966 (before I was born, too). In 1994, he returned to the Cartoon Network with a talk show called, "Space Ghost Coast to Coast."
Here is the latest look at the "Hall of Hulkbusters." I have completed 49 Hulkbuster customs (the picture only shows 48). Red Son President Superman was the latest (see a couple blogs ago) and I am planning something special for number 50! I have fielded a lot of suggestions, but I wanted to do one that is special for me; so, I am taking on a childhood cartoon character. I have also been asked if number 50 will be my last one. I do not know! 🤔 I am certainly not out of ideas. And the supply of Hulkbusters is about to be refreshed with the launch of the next Walgreens wave that includes a new HB. So, I am solidly standing behind my statement, "I do not know!" Let's see how number 50 turns out! In the mean time, I am really enjoying my custom Marvel Lantern Corps team. Same bat time, same bat channel.
I have completed 20 custom Marvel Lantern Corps members for the Green Lanterns, Red Lanterns, Blue Lanterns and the Sinestro Corps. This custom team is fun on so many levels. I am clearing out space in the old scrap box. I am making mates that will never be produced by DST. I am creating a minimate army (which is always fun). Finally, I am getting to experiment with different looks in which we would never see the Marvel characters appear. Now, I will be moving on to Wave 1 for the Orange Lanterns, Indigo Tribe and the Star Sapphires. The Black Lanterns and the White Lanterns may make an appearance, but only time (and my scrap box) will tell!
I have had a lot of fun working on this group of Superman themed Hulkbusters. I am a real fan of Superman and really enjoy the Supes-related characters from the nineties. Pictured above are: the Superboy HB, the Eradicator HB, the Kryptonian Life Suit Superman HB and the Red Son President Superman HB. These will not be the last of the Super Hulkbusters that "fight for truth, justice and the American way!" Stay tuned for more!
This was just about having a little fun! Tony Stark was off-world and encountered the Xenomorph alien. After an extended battle, he instructed VERONICA to send pieces of the Hulkbuster armor to encase the alien and trap it. BIG MISTAKE! He underestimated its intelligence and learns the hard way when the alien turns Tony's own armor against him! You see what I'm saying? This was just about having a little fun with my toys! Back to serious on the next one...see ya!