Swarm (Marvel Legends) Custom Action Figure
Custom #:26912
Contest:Just Bug Off!
Custom Type:Action Figure
Toy Series:Marvel Legends
Date Added:January 21, 2011
Base Figure:LCBH Madman
Height:6.00 inches
Sometimes I'm a victim of my own convictions. Take this guy for example, Swarm. I made a decision last year that I would enter the next Figure Realm contest, no matter what it was. I wanted the challenge!

So I was a bit lost when the next contest was insect themed. Not because I couldn't think of insect based characters to make, but rather because I instantly thought of Swarm and the challenge of realising the character really stuck with me.

How do you convey the idea of a human skeleton covered in bees, wearing a purple cloak and gloves?

The answer was unfortunately, not easily.

I chose a LCBH Madman figure as a base. He had very little definition to his design, so I wouldn't be losing a good fodder piece by tearing him up for what was a bit of an experimental custom.

I dremeled randomly all over him to create a rough surface and gouged out holes in his limbs and hollowed out most of his upper body. I swapped his head for a Spider-Man Classic Hobgoblin, and his hands for a F4 movie Reed Richards.

I chose Hobgoblin's head as it matched the image of Swarm I had in Runaways. It also already came with the hood. I sliced the face off of Hobgoblin and attached a magnet to the back of the face and embedded one in the head so that the face could be swapped out for his alternate look which comes from a ML Face Off Red Skull.

Then, to create the skeleton inside his body and limbs, I took some electrical wire and glued it inside the cavity of his upper chest, arms and legs. To get the flexible wire to remain stiff I covered it in superglue and then sprinkled talcum powder over it. The powder was absorbed into the glue and when it dried it created a hard crust which made the wire rigid. It also helped to create a nice, calcified effect rather than the smooth surface of the insulate wire.

Next, I started to work on the main feature: the swarm of bees. I had thought long and hard about how to convey the effect, but I just didn't have the patience to be sculpting lots of little bee sized balls and glueing them on. I thought that would look like he was covered in yellow balls more than anything, so after wandering round the craft store looking for inspiration I settled on using beads. I chose the smallest transparent yellow, gold and black beads I could find and just went to town on him.

Before I put the beads on, I coated the whole thing (apart from the skeleton) in yellow paint.

I used hot glue on some parts and then just poured the beads over him, letting them attach in their own haphazard way. I was careful to stay away from the articulated sections as I didn't want his movement to knock the beads off. I also just superglued the beads on in some sections and they started to make cool shapes. I used wire in some sections where you can see the bees spiralling out from him.

I covered the beads in transparent yellow paint, and then washed it with transparent black at certain parts. I drybrushed some sections with gold as well to pick out areas.

The final addition to him was his cape. I had been working on it all the while I was making him as it was a very time consuming process. It is made from scratch using liquid latex. I drew out a rough shape on greaseproof baking paper /parchment paper, and mixing a little purple paint in with the liquid latex, painted onto the paper. After a thin layer had dried I would mix up another batch of purple latex and add another layer, and repeat. Once I had about 5 layers down, I added in some electrical wire around the edges of the cape so that it would be poseable. I then painted another 5 or so layers on top of the wire to make sure it was good and embedded in there.

Once the cape had dried, I coated it with talcum powder so that it didn't stick to itself and peeled it off the paper. I then cut it to shape and attached it to the figure to create a full poseable cape.

All in all, I am happy with how Swarm turned out. He was a lot of work and quite experimental, but satisfying. I don't know if I've quite managed to capture the effect of a humanoid swarm of bees, but I'll let others be the judge of that.

I hope you guys like him.

User Comments
bluebery -
Monday, January 11, 2016
One of your best. There was a lot of work that went into this and it truly paid off. Your creativity is unlimited
Heroes Assembled Customs -
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
I love this damn figure. Absolutely a genius at work here folks.
Carnage99 -
Thursday, August 9, 2012
Ohhhh... my... god... I want to do that.... SUPER-CRAZILY-AWESOME!!!
a9j8tgh6yhnf456m -
Friday, February 10, 2012
jarasa1 -
Monday, June 20, 2011
You knock the ball out of the known universe! Kudos master customizer.
fitzjedi -
Sunday, February 20, 2011
Good lord that's cool!! The amount of work is evident! -Fitz
Madtinker76 -
Sunday, February 13, 2011
just amazing.. darn I say the standard is set for any Swarm custom to come? They will be measured against this one time and time again.
Friday, February 11, 2011
WOW! Just WOW!
Comicustoms -
Thursday, February 10, 2011
whoa!!! insane!!! love it.
rpetras -
Thursday, February 10, 2011
This absolutely deserved the win!
It is an awesome take on an interesting character using great techniques.
Many kudos on this one!!!
getsa -
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
a well deserved gold sir!
Unknown User -
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Congrats to the winner!!!!! You definetly deserve it!!! Truly Awesome custom.
warrack -
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
YAY! First place!
Thanks to everyone who voted, and of course to everyone else in the contest. Looking at those scores it was really close!
I can now put this guy up on YouTube and my blog, etc. so make sure to check him out there if you want to see more.
Thanks again!
ferrytalecustoms -
Sunday, February 6, 2011
This custom is great, I will personally say this is probably the best entry in this contest. Hope you win my friend.
Unknown User -
Sunday, February 6, 2011
totally clever, nice job!
Unknown User -
Friday, February 4, 2011
Totally awesome SWARM!!!! Excellent execution on the "bees" That was really a inspired idea.
Patraw -
Friday, February 4, 2011
Truly excellent Swarm--using tiny beads to create the swarming bee effect was quite clever and it worked out very well. Outstanding effort/quality nets you 5 stars from me.
Unknown User -
Thursday, February 3, 2011
This is just awesome! This is the type of character that it almost impossible to do a good custom. Great job!
HULK13 -
Thursday, February 3, 2011
chaosemperor -
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
WOW, this custom is the (ahem) bees-knees, sorry it's a term I rarely get to use. but really 5 points from me on this truly excellent custom.
rpetras -
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Oh my god!
That thing is AMAZING!
That is the best interpretation of Swarm I have ever seen, and bringing out the skeletal effect was genius!
tommyx -
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Amazing idea, and perfectly executed.
pock63 -
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Amazing work!!! The sheer amount of work that went into this is amazing!!! It really payed off!
Group customs -
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
so awesome
Automatauntaun -
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
thats amazing. really awesome concept! please make a tutorial for the cap. I have seen capes done this way and have been trying to think of a way to make one as well this way and you need to do it.
Or I will! but for real awesome job! also did you place the wire only along the front edges or bottom as well?
RedRebelCustoms -
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Wowww! This is absolutely fantastic!
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