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Swarm Custom Action Figure

 
 
Custom #:26912  
Name:Swarm
Custom Type:Action Figure
Toy Series:Marvel Legends
Creator:warrack  
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.


Pictures
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User Comments
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
incerdible
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.
GOLIATH_CUSTOMS - 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
GRAN TRABAJO,MUY BUEN RESULTADO PARA SU COMPLEJIDAD.
GREAT JOB, VERY GOOD RESULT TO HIS COMPLEXITY.
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!
Galactape- Middle Earth 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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The figures contained in the Custom Showcase are not for sale by Figure Realm, and the creators of the customs are no way affiliated with Figure Realm. The Custom Showcase is purely for entertainment purposes and only provides a means for the creators to show off their work. Figure Realm does not make or sell customs.