Howdy all! What's this? I'm posting something OTHER than a Metroid figure?! How can this be? What have I done with the actual Batman1016, you ask?? Relax. As my latest Metroid creations are coming rather slowly, and because I don't want to become identified as a total one-trick monkey here, I thought I'd vary things up a bit by showing off an older piece of work, namely the first custom I ever produced that got me thinking I may just have some skill at this geek hobby after all. So, to stall for time and demonstrate my versatility, I present Drizzt Do'Urden and Guenhwyvar!
Ok, it's not the most original idea, but at least it's not a custom Deadpool, am I right?
So, for those of you not familiar with him, Drizzt is a popular Forgotten Realms character created by R.A. Salvatore, a rare Drow warrior who turned against his people and journeyed to the surface to live among the humans of Icewind Dale. He has starred in numerous books, comics, D&D campaigns, and even had appearances in a few videogames.
Though I'm not personally a huge D&D/Forgotten Realms fan, I lived with a friend for many years who was a big fan of Salvatore's work in general, and Drizzt in particular. I became fascinated with the character, and after buying a handful of Lord Of The Rings figures to use as fodder for other customs, I decided to throw the leftovers together and make a Drizzt of my own.
One of the things that annoyed me about making this figure was that I had little to no accurate character art to work from. When you're dealing with a character from a novel, almost exclusively depicted in words and descriptions rather than pictures, you're forced to work mostly from imagination. Of course, there's plenty of cover art of the character, but most of these depictions are produced by Forgotten Realms artist Todd Lockwood, and his portrayal is ironically ENTIRELY inaccurate to the in-book description. For starters, Drizzt is essentially a ranger, wearing loose, soft, earth-colored clothing. Lockwood's art typically has the character in full Drow plate armor. The only armor Drizzt is known to wear is a mythril chainmail shirt, under his regular tunic. Further, the character carries two scimitars, Twinkle and Icingdeath. Each weapon was acquired individually, at different points during Drizzt's travels, and each has a distinct appearance. Yet Lockwood consistently draws the weapons as looking virtually identical. So iconic has his image of Drizzt become, that actual replica swords available for purchase online use the same incorrect design taken from Lockwood's art! And of course, most custom figures of the character, though of excellent quality, are likewise based on the work of Todd Lockwood.
Well, I decided to go a different route and thus remained faithful to the character's creator, R.A. Salvatore. Instead of armored figures, I used rangers and elves to make my Drizzt. Also, contrary to the usual recipe, I strayed away from an over-reliance on Legolas. The legs and loin-tunic came from Aragorn, and the torso and arms came from Boromir. Only the head was pulled from a Legolas figure. The cape came off of a Spider-Man Classics Hobgoblin, and the furry liner collar is actually the toe of a fluffy sock, turned inside-out. I was REAL particular about the paint job on this figure. Though it doesn't translate well through my amateur camerawork, I used five shades of brown to give his tunic, belts, and boots a mottled leather appearance, each in their own specific shade. Likewise, his skin used about three shades of gray, his hair uses two grays and two whites, his cape is three shades of green, and his eyes are actually purple, as described in the books.
As for Drizzt's swords, Icingdeath, the right-hand sword, is described in the book thusly: ". . . uncovering a gem-encrusted sword pommel, its black adamantite hilt masterfully sculpted into the likeness of the toothed maw of a hunting cat." As you can see, I used Boromir's sword and painstakingly sculpted the hilt into a tiny cat's head. Twinkle, held in the off-hand, is less clearly described, but is said to have a star-cut sapphire in the pommel, and has a blade that glows when danger is near. For this, I used the sword from the King Of The Dead, a completely glow-in-the-dark figure. I gave it a blue wash and painted the hilt. Now Drizzt has a glowing sword!
Finally, his most important accessory, Guenhwyvar. Unfortunately, when this figure was first made years ago, Mattel had not yet released it's spectacular Masters Of The Universe Classics Battlecat figure, and the 2003 MOTU toy was no longer available, or I would have tried to get ahold of one of these. Guenhwyvar is supposed to be HUGE, as tall as a man's shoulder at the top of her head. I was forced to go with a substantially smaller cat, more in keeping with the Lockwood art. The figure was originally a generic jungle toy, a tiger scaled to 4-inch figures. However, it's still reasonably sizable, and has a push-button action feature that causes the mouth to open and close, so it's not a bad trade-off. Together, the pair look absolutely perfect on my shelf.
May Mielikki walk with you!