Only one custom today, but it's a cool one! As I explained when I posted my custom Ridley, the next few submissions are going to be "off series" stragglers and special pieces. And today, I'm posting my first Metroid playset . . . the nefarious, neurological nightmare, Mother Brain!
Ridley is, without question, Samus' most recurring opponent, but Mother Brain is arguably her most famous. The final boss in the very first game, as well as the legendary Super Metroid, Mother Brain has only appeared in four and a half games (Metroid, Super Metroid, Metroid: Zero Mission, Metroid: Other M, and the Aurora Units in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption bear many striking similarities to the sinister cerebellum . . . God, I gotta stop with the alliteration!), but due to her major role in the popular Captain N cartoon series, she made a lasting impression with fans, and became a series icon.
I imagine many of our younger readers don't remember Construx, and that's a real shame. They were a great, durable, fun building toy in the 80s, and without them, I could never have made Mother Brain a reality. I can think of no better fodder to duplicate the metal framework that composes Mother Brain's containment system. It was sheer luck that I found a pile of these tossed into a box of old figures and assorted toys my best friend gave me to use as custom fodder. Don, you're awesome!
Anyway, the base was built entirely out of Construx and painted silver. The Zebetite tanks (the energetic ore that powers Mother Brain) were made using the plastic tubes from my epoxy putty, and hot-glued stacks of decorative craft beads. The various life support cables were made from the tentacles from a Spider-Man Classics Doctor Octopus figure (the one I used to make Old Bird) and from Krazy Glue bottle tubes. The brain stem support column was a large tire from a GI Joe vehicle. The brain itself was a foam stress ball. The only sculpting required was the "face." And of course, the containment jar was a small fish bowl.
Like any good playset, Mother Brain has a few action features! Optional firing beam cannons (Star Wars Attacktix blasters) can be added to the top of the Zebetite tanks, and can aim up and down and rotate to track enemies. The Zebetite tanks themselves can be removed a Samus "destroys" Mother Brain's defenses (hey, I didn't say they were GREAT action features), and Mother Brain's eye can blink open and closed using a pull-cord at the bottom of the base.
I can't adequately describe what an incredible pain in the butt it was making this playset. From the crumbly foam of the stress ball, to the multiple coats of paint required to cover the army green of the Contrux, to the multiple failures getting the blinking eye gimmick to work, this custom really made me work for it. But the result was absolutely worth it, without question. I did briefly consider getting REALLY ambitious, and making it so the brain could be removed and attached onto a dinosaur-like "Super Mother Brain" body, but it wouldn't have been feasible. No matter, the playset as it stands is one of a kind and totally perfect, in my opinion.
See you next mission!