Ashram The Black Knight (Record of Lodoss War) - Created July 24, 2011
Ashram here has easily been the most challenging custom I've ever worked on. He involved so much sculpting and intricate detailing that it really pushed my talents as an artist. He was made using the body of a Marvel Legends Mr. Sinister, the head from an Epoch Toys Vampire Hunter D figure, and the belt from a Lord of the Rings figure.
I had to dremel out D's head to get it to fit on the Sinister neck and removed the had D was wearing. I also sanded down Sinister's neck to make it shorter. A lot of prep went into making this custom, with sanding down joints and whatnot. I also chopped off Sinister's hands at the wrist and added a screw for a wrist peg so he can actually rotate his hands now (the thing that bugged me the most about the Sinister figure).
As I said before there is a TON of sculpting involved in this figure. The entire torso is sculpted onto, the knees are sculpted, and I sanded down the wrinkles on the legs and sculpted over his entire legs to get that smooth armor look. Then I sanded it down with sand paper to smooth it out more. I also sculpted onto the ends of his boots to give him pointed toes. I had to look at a lot of source material of the character from Record of Lodoss War to make sure I got the armor as accurate as possible. Several layers went into the torso armor and ultimately I'm happy with the accuracy. Then I sculpted onto the head. Since D was wearing a hat before, it left glue residue as a hole in the top of his head so I filled it and sculpted onto his hair, and gave him a widow's peak to match his look in the show. I used the head from a Vampire Hunter D figure since he had the anime look and had a very long pointy face. Plus the long hair. Perfect match for Ashram.
After the sculpting was done I used styrene to make the extra armor pieces. I used strips of styrene on his feet to get the segmented look, and used styrene to make the armor that sits on his neck, the hanging thigh guards from his waist, the armor on either side of his head, and his shoulder armor. His cape was cut out of some clear vinyl and painted. Before I attached the armor to the figure I reinforced it making sure each piece would have pegs attached to make them stronger.
The best part about this custom is his sword and sheath. His sheath was made from styrene and attached to his belt. His sword is made 100% out of polystyrene. I took the thickest styrene I have and glued two parts together. I drew the shape of the blade onto it and used the dremel to cut it out. Then I kept using the dremel to slowly sand down the styrene making sure to match his sword from the show. I was basically widdling it down at this point, but it works really well. I got the edged sharpened and got the shape of the blade down. I made the blade, hilt, and handle each separately and attached them by inserting the blade and handle into the hilt and gluing them in place. Each piece was made the same way by sanding them down, and smoothing them out with sand paper and then painted. I had never used this method before to custom make a weapon or accessory so that was easily my favorite part. I love doing new things and I love being challenged and if this custom was anything it was most certainly a challenge. And a fun one at that.
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