custom figure of myself
gotten some requests for a little background info on myself so here you go.
What is up with your name?
pronouced "Si" (like Psi
or Sci-fi ) and "llof" (like cough or pilaf) and no it is
not my real name.
Is this is your job?
No, I have an
overactive creative drive and always feel the need to be making something.
I am actually a high school history and film teacher in the suburbs of
Indianapolis, Indiana. But my dream job would be to work in film or
television (or comics) - anything creative really.
did you get started doing this?
building custom figures and dioramas when I was a kid. I had
very supportive parents who encouraged my creativity and often helped me
make things from figures, to toy weapons, to whole playsets.
What were your early work look like?
customs would have been simple things when I was a kid. Things like
putting a regular Luke head on the X-Wing Pilot Luke body or cutting off
Bespin Luke's hand and drilling it out, and putting a nail in it to make it
are some of my older custom figures.
dioramas would be a Cloud City my mother and I built when I was 7 out of
cardboard, construction paper, and paper towel tubes and when was 9 a wooden
Autobot base, complete with working elevators, my father and I built.
Here is a very early
My first props
would have been made with the help of my father a lightsaber made out
of different sized dowel rods, a He-Man sword cut out of wood, and a
Star Trek Phaser made out of a 2 x 4, broomstick and a pencil. Here
is a very early prop.
How long has your site been around?
I got back
into such hobbies in college. I opened my website in 1999. It
was then called "The Wookie's Workshop" and "The Wook's
Workshop". It grew from a geocities site, to sites hosted
via my internet providers, to the current site you are looking at today.
Do you do commissions or professional work.
Yes and no. I occasionally do
commission work but it leaves little time for my own endeavors. So
commissions are rare, but it does not hurt to ask. I have begun an
exchange of figures with artists where I give them a figure and they create
a work of art featuring my designs (some can be seen
have begun to do some professional work. Recently working on a set of
figures for a new Billy Bob Thorton movie called Baytown Disco. A
Television pilot is currently in production that exclusively features my
figures. I have also done some jobs for high profile clients, which
has been fun.
Where else have seen your work?
My work has
been featured online on blogs, websites, and online news services. In
newspapers at the local, national and international levels. In
books and magazines nationally and world wide. On television in
local news, national news, cable, and overseas. In independent
films as props, costumes, and set designs. Publicly displayed at
contests, fairs, & conventions including 5 of the 6 Star Wars
Celebrations. Recently my work has been seen in Toyfare and
Star Wars Insider Magazines.
Why don't you just do traditional interpretations of characters / what is
with all the redesigning?
I have gotten
away from faithfully creating characters and have begun to redesign these
figures in various time periods or aesthetics. I create these works
out of admiration for their original designs, but rather then just recreate
someone else's work I enjoy putting my own spin on classic characters, as
well as creating my own new characters.
is all this stuff / where do you find the time to make this stuff?
This is all
just the creations of my spare time. I have made all these creations myself
over the years. I have an active imagination and a real need to create
things. This is not all all do. I spend time with friends and
family, have a full time job, go to the movies, make films, workout,
etc. I basically work on a piece here and piece there, often after my
wife and daughter go to bed, or during nap times.
How do you do what you do / What is your process?
I start with a
general concept or direction (samurai for example) Then I brainstorm
what I want. This is mostly done in my brain. Then I make of
list of adjectives and descriptions of the character, maybe a little back
story and the physical elements I want to include in the figure. I
don't really sketch anything usually, this is all done in an excel document.
I then begin
the actual construction. I usually work on all of them at once.
So while the glue or paint is drying on one I work on another. Some
parts of the figures are recycled from existing toys. They are cut off
and glued together. Sometimes I sculpt over the old toy parts.
Sometimes I dremel down the part using it more as an armature and sculpt
over it. Often time I will sculpt an entire new piece. Some of
the figures are completely built from scratch. It really just depends
on what I want, need, and what I have on hand in my various drawers of
I sculpt using
a 2 part epoxy polymer sculpting compound called Apoxie by Aves Studios.
You mix 2 parts together and then in few hours it is hard a rock. It
is not as easy to wrok with as sculpey but more then makes up for with it's
durability. It gets easier to work with practice. Some other
artists use Green Stuff, Milliput, or Sculpey.
The final step
is painting and detailing with dry-brushing ( done with gentle strokes of a
brush with a very small amount of a lighter shade) and washing (a
heavily diluted paint solution using a darker color). I have created
my own techniques and color mixing using specific various brands to that
unique look and finish my figures have. That is a bit of a trade
secret I don't share - sorry.
I have made something based on your work, would you like to see it?
send images of your work to me whether it is a drawing, a costume, or other
work and I will add it to the fan section of my site.
I hope you
enjoy my creations.
questions? Click on the contact me link on the left and send me your