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Attack of the Spider-Men Custom Action Figure

Custom #:38074  
Name:Attack of the Spider-Men
Custom Type:Action Figure
Toy Series:Spider-Man
Date Added:April 3, 2012
Base Figure:Various
Height:6.00 inches
Hello there Realm! Fun little entry for today, and with it, a bit of history. I've only been posting my work here on Figure Realm for about two years, but I've been customizing figures since I was in my mid teens (about a decade and a half now . . . yes, I'm an OLD MAN). As a result, I have a LOT of old customs lying around, many SORELY in need of repair/updating. Eventually, I intend to post them all, but there's so many, it would take AGES to do them one at a time, and many of them are just minor mods. So it occurred to me, why not post in groups? So, here's my first custom figure theme team, the spectacular Spider-Men!

What we have here are four full customs, three minor mods, two straight-up factory figures, and a partridge in a . . . I mean, and a playset for display purposes. Only classic ToyBiz Spider-Man and Marvel Select Black Spider-Man are original, unchanged. The other seven figures have been altered to varying degrees, from the addition of a single accessory, to sculpting and a complete paint job.

We'll start with the latter, the full customs. First on the list, Spider-Armor Spider-Man! This figure was made using parts from at least three others. I couldn't use a basic, smooth "painted-on webbing" figure, nor could I use a movie-style "raised webs" toy, I needed figures with carved texture, "inset webs" for that scaled, armor-plated look. The base body is clearly derived from the old Spider-Man Classics body with its limited detail and articulation, but the left hand and feet come from a "wall-crawler" figure with magnets in the palm and soles, allowing the figure to stick to metal surfaces. A simple but effective conversion to Spidey's armor suit.

Next up is Spider-Man India. For those not familiar, some years back, Marvel released a miniseries in southeast Asia, centering around Pavitr Prabhakar and his battle against demon-possessed villain analogs of Green Goblin, Doc Ock, and Venom. A cool idea to spread comics to a wider demographic, certainly a better marketing plan than, say, destroying the wall-crawler's marriage and ruining four decades of character growth (Dear Joe Quesada, please retcon yourself, no love, Jay, kthnxbye!), but I digress. SMI was a basic Spider-Man (came in a two-pack with Absorbing Man or Abomination, as I recall), upon which I sculpted loose pants and the new India spider logo using LocTite epoxy putty. The belt, sash, and loincloths are rubber segments of various capes and LOTR figure costumes.

Spider-Man 2099, like Spider-Armor, uses a basic Spider-Man Classics body, with feet from the Hasbro ML Ben Reilly Spider-Man figure. I cut plastic wrist blades out of some fodder plastic, and his "cape" is made from medical gauze, separate pieces attached to his back and arms. A full metallic paint job, with special attention to give him a slightly rough texture reminiscent of the version seen in the videogame "Spider-Man: Edge of Time," and you've got an excellent Spider-Man of the future!

The last full custom is Ben Reilly Spider-Man. Right off the bat, I'd like to say for the record, I LOVED this costume. It was just such a slick, stylish update to the classic threads. However, neither ToyBiz nor Hasbro has ever managed to do this character justice. ToyBiz produced a version of the character for the Spider-Man Classics line *Web Attack Spider-Man), but forgot to include his gauntlets, and gave him LOUSY leg articulation. Hasbro made their own version, but made it using the Bullseye body (a perfectly fine buck, but not for a tall, lanky, flexible character like Spider-Man) and poorly proportioned hands. I wanted a proper, scrawny, super-poseable Spider-Ben. I took the upper body of the Web Attack figure, and the lower body of Parachute Spider-Man (probably THE most poseable SM figure available), and combined them into a single, perfect whole. Sculpted some web shooter gauntlets, and viola! A Spider-Man worthy of Ben Reilly!

The remaining three figures are minor mods. Iron Spider was the original release of the figure, with yellow paint. I simply repainted him gold to match the metallic red. Scarlet Spider is the original SMC release, which was perfect save for the lack of a belt. Easily remedied with a TMNT belt (Cowboy Raphael as I remember).

The final mod, Secret Identity Spider-Man, was rather interesting. People familiar with the toy know that, originally, he came with a rubber hoodie and rubber jeans to accommodate his costume change while allowing full poseability. People familiar with rubber action figure clothes ALSO know that such garments are prone to dissolve into goo while in storage. I was NOT familiar with this concept and, after pulling him out of the box where he was stored for several years, I discovered to my dismay that his hoodie had melted into a greasy smear. Fortunately his pants were intact, so it was a simple matter to sculpt an exact duplicate of his shirt using LocTite. Rather than a flexible shirt that pulls over his torso, he now has a two-piece "breastplate" shirt: the back snaps on, then the front hooks over top, the hood and backpack securing the two pieces together. Aside from a seam running up the sides, you'd never know the difference, and he retains full poseability!


User Comments
MrBenibo - Thursday, October 25, 2012
Amazing! I love the Spider-Man India figure. Could you give me tips (pm maybe) on how to sculpt pants on the legs of a figure without losing articulation? I've been trying to figure it out and the answer keeps alluding me.
Batman1016 - Thursday, October 25, 2012
Hey, thanks for checking out my Spider-Men!

Sculpting pants is basically like any sculpting, there's two types: additive and subtractive. And it helps to have a reference to start with, say a photo or a live model (I occasionally have my brother model for me).

For additive, the idea is to put sculpt on the legs where the pants would be "textured," I.e. wrinkles. First, I fill in any muscle gaps, because in loose pants, musculature doesn't really show through. Then, I take thin strings of putty and just lay them on the leg in the same places the wrinkles in the pants would be. Once your wrinkle is in place, smooth down the edges (so it doesn't just look like a string of tubing on the surface, obviously), and repeat with the next wrinkle. Vary the width, because wrinkles are not uniform, some are wide, some are narrow.

For subtractive, the idea is to cover the ENTIRE leg with putty, and then remove where the pants lie closer to the skin. The remaining material will be the wrinkles. This process is better for really baggy pants. Cover the entire leg, then use a slender, smooth, rounded tool (say, the back end of a thin paintbrush) to gouge grooves into the surface. You're essentially carving the wrinkles out of the blank pants. For tighter wrinkles, just use your typical sculpting or hobby knife to carve thin lines in the surface. Make sure to vary the thickness of the wrinkles, and cluster multiple wrinkles together at the joints (knees and ankles, particularly), where clothes have a habit of bunching up.

As for avoiding movement restriction, just make sure never to put putty in the way of the actual joint. Move the joint as you're sculpting it. If there's any putty blocking the joint, get rid of it, simple as that. For loose cuffs, you have to sculpt a sort of bell shape around the ankle, the inside of the bell being the area where the ankle moves around inside. Let the bell harden, then sculpt your wrinkles on top of that.

Hope this helped you out!
Controlspire - Saturday, April 7, 2012
Armored, silver and black Spidey, wins if my vote that costume! Very cool customs, great ideas in make them as well, you are very creative!
Batman1016 - Saturday, April 7, 2012
Yeah? Honestly, I kinda thought he was the weakest of the four, but then I tend to be hyper-critical of my own work. Glad to see someone likes my work even when I don't!
Controlspire - Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Nope! Its armored Spidey for the win! They are all good though don't get me wrong. I just hold a special place in my heart for crystalized webbing armored Spider-man, and I think this is a great version of him!
Batman1016 - Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Glad you like him!
Cosmic Fantasy Customs - Wednesday, April 4, 2012
excellent work, really love it. all those years of practice really show up in your work, so keep it up and inspiring.
Batman1016 - Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Yeah, well with these guys, you can DEFINITELY tell which ones are "vintage" customs, and which ones are more recent (HINT: Armor, Scarlet, and 2099 are OLD).

But yeah, this set definitely serves to illustrate a sort of "before and after" progression of my work. From using any old crappy figure to make my customs back in my early days, to carefully selecting my base figures for compatibility and simplicity in the intermediate years, to sculpting complex details now that I've advanced, this set provides a good timeline of my hobby.

Thanks for reading, as always!
ridhwan5 - Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Very Well Done! I love your Spider-Ben and spiderman india! Great customs that put both ToyBiz and Hasbro to shame! now, how abt modding the FF and Big Time spidey?
Batman1016 - Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Thank you very much!

As for FF and Big Time . . . eeeehhhhhh. Three factors there.
1) There are high quality figures of said costumes already on the market (newest wave of ML).
2) I don't have anymore spare Spidey figures lying around.
3) I despise the direction Marvel has taken Spider-Man in particular, and in fact the entire company in general. They've stopped caring about universal progression and character development and actual storytelling, and instead focused on a "wouldn't it be AWESOME if-?!" style-over-substance mentality, with no lasting ramifications or quality storytelling. The new costumes are representative of that company-wide stupidity, and I really want no part of it.

Aside from money issues, that last one is the big reason why I've stopped reading comics and collecting MLs over the last few years.
pinkspacedog - Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Batman1016 - Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Many thanks!
kngfu - Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Now do Ice Man and Firestar
Batman1016 - Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Heh, Firestar maybe. As for Mr. Drake, I generally don't make customs of characters that already have excellent figures on the market. But if I ever make a Firestar, I promise to post a group shot with ML Ice Man and SMC Spidey.

Thanks for lookin' man!
suprasizeme - Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Great job on all your Spider-men but the details on the Ben Reilly spider is super clean. Awesome job.
I never knew there was a quick change spidey, he looks really cool. Even after he melting mishap.
Batman1016 - Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Thanks for the props!

Yeah, I'm really happy with Spider-Ben, and the recipe is so simple. And I LOVE Secret Identity Spider-Man, it works SO much better than your typical costume change figures: normally with Batman figures, you snap the costume OVER the "plain clothes" like armor, and the finished product looks bulky and stupid. With this figure, he wears the normal clothes over the costume, as it would work in reality. I was devastated when I discovered the shirt was ruined, you just can't get that figure ANYWHERE anymore. Fortunately, the shirt turned out to be an easy resculpt. It looks flawless IRL.
Bartowski - Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Cool! Well done
Batman1016 - Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Thanks much!
Nsp - Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Batman1016 - Tuesday, April 3, 2012
JmTrtt - Tuesday, April 3, 2012
You did good!!
Batman1016 - Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Thank you!
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