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The Spectral Soul Reaver Custom Action Figure

Custom #:40691  
Name:The Spectral Soul Reaver
Custom Type:Action Figure
Toy Series:Soul Reaver
Date Added:July 9, 2012
Base Figure:Gundam Beam Sabers
Height:5.00 inches
It was over a decade ago that I wandered into my local Ames after work, expecting to find nothing of interest, and discovered, much to my surprise and delight, a pair of action figures based off of one of my favorite games of all time. The figures were Kain and Raziel, from the Legacy of Kain series, and the toys were the Soul Reaver collectible figures from Blue Box Toys.

They cost me less than ten bucks a piece.

How times change, eh?

To this day, I consider this pair among the crown jewels of my collection. Even after NECA released their own versions of the characters, I still prefer the originals. For the superior paint jobs, for the massive scale, for the flawless likenesses, for the seemingly limited articulation that is actually quite versatile and more than adequate for all posing needs, without hindering the outstanding sculpts, these figures are some of my favorite toys ever made.

The ONLY drawback, in my eyes, is one glaring omission . . . Raziel lacks his signature weapon, the ravenous wraith blade, the Soul Reaver. Special editions of the figure came with the weapon, but it looked less like the weapon in the game and more like a spatula twisted into a spiral, and it was noticeably lacking from the mass market release. Fortunately, it was a fairly easy fix.

At that same time, the US was experiencing something of an anime explosion, and Gundam model kits were easy to find on store shelves. A pair of 1/100 scale beam sabers (from a Wing Zero Gundam, I believe) served as the base of my spectral Reaver. Using a hot glue gun, I warped the blades, twisted them, and bound them together. Then it was just a matter of carefully drizzling glue all over the surface of the sword, slowly sculpting a hilt, then trailing it all up Raziel's arm and peeling it off when it completely cured. Finally, the piece was painted with transparent green. It's a 10-year-old custom weapon, but it still looks perfect in Raziel's hand.

Eventually, I intend to make alternate Reavers, specifically a blue "material" blade, and an orange Fire Reaver. But for now, Raziel has the sword he needs to face off against the demons of Nosgoth and to rewrite his fate and the history of his ruined world.

Vae Victis!

User Comments
Cosmic Fantasy Customs - Sunday, July 15, 2012
love the custom, so epic and his weapon was made perfectly. when you make masterpieces like this, some sacrifices must be made and well worth it. 10 out of 10 and great technique.
Batman1016 - Sunday, July 15, 2012
Thanks CFC!
MCollector - Thursday, July 12, 2012
You know,I uses hot glue too,it's a bit hard,but get a good detail,like that one you did. Good job!
Batman1016 - Friday, July 13, 2012
Thanks much!
saber4734 - Wednesday, July 11, 2012
I have gundam weaponry that I could use for my Green Lantern customs. But I don't want to destroy their beam sabers.
Batman1016 - Thursday, July 12, 2012
Well that's the thing, this is an old custom. I made it more than 10 years ago, just updated it a bit recently to post it on the site. At the time this was made, you couldn't walk into a Walmart toy department without tripping over a dozen back-stocked Gundam model kits, they were so common and cheap. The Gundam I got these swords from was just a discount spare, not a kit I actually cared about. Thus, no sacrifice involved. Nowadays, it would be a more difficult custom, as you'd have to special order a Gundam kit online just to get the swords, and of course then you'd have this weaponless Gundam hanging out.

Anyway, thanks for checking it out!
NeCrollector - Monday, July 9, 2012
That weapon ROCKS!!!
Batman1016 - Monday, July 9, 2012
In game, or my custom?

Know what? I'm just gonna go with "Yes, it does," either way! Thanks bro!
NeCrollector - Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Why, the custom, of course! One can tell you put a lot of details into it! Very impressive! Very cool!
Batman1016 - Thursday, July 12, 2012
Yeah, well I do love energy effects. Hot glue can be a surprisingly versatile and fun medium to work with, but it takes practice. And heat resistant fingers! But you can get a LOT of different effects just by how you work with the stuff. It's actually a lot like glass blowing on a small scale.
NeCrollector - Thursday, July 12, 2012
COOL! I've been wanting to try using hot glue to customize, but I've been hesitant since I don't know if the end product lasts. Once you have your mold set, do you find it to be very strong or can it potentially break?
Thanks, Batman1016
Batman1016 - Thursday, July 12, 2012
Mold? You wish.

As I said, working with hot glue is a bit like blowing glass. As in, no mold, no touching, and you gotta let gravity do a lot of the work. And you MUST accept that you only have so much control over the final outcome. That's what makes hot glue so good for energy or slime effects . . . transparent or semi-transparent things that have no predetermined form.

Take the Reaver here, for example. The core is a pair of Gundam sabres twisted together. Then I drizzle hot glue over the surface to give it a rough, fluctuating appearance. For the "hilt," I squeezed out a pile of glue on the base of the blade, then held it upside down and twisted the sword in mid air as the heated glue flowed out to the side, eventually oozing to a point as it slowly cooled and hardened. I did this several times to get all those prongs you see. To make the energy tendril on his arm, I just put the finished sword in his hand, and poured a stream of glue up his arm, connected to the bottom of the sword and making little branches here and there. Have to be VERY careful not to touch the tip of the glue gun to the figure, because it can melt plastic as easily as it melts the glue stick! Once the tendril was done, I let it cool, and then gently peeled it off his arm, taking care not to stretch or break the tendril, let it fully solidify overnight, paint, and it's done!

It is technically possible to mold things out of hot glue, but you usually end up with soft details, bubbles are virtually impossible to get out, you can't sand it to a smooth finish once it's dry, the process of extracting the item from the mold is likely to stretch and warp the product because it adheres to the entire surface of the mold, and if you DO manage to get it out without any damage, the final piece will likely be opaque instead of transparent, which is half the point of working with hot glue to begin with! If you're casting pieces, better to use clear cold-cast epoxy resin. Not flexible, but MUCH easier to work with in molds.

As for longevity, that depends entirely on A) the quality of the glue you built your piece out of, and B) how much you try to bend it and fiddle with it over time. Hot glue is SEMI-flexible when it dries, but not like rubber clothes or something like that. It's ok for something that's going to maintain a specific shape, but needs a little give for minor poseability or to take it on or off an arm, or whatever. But it's NOT a good option to, say, make a flexible cape for your superhero. It WILL become brittle and fall apart after constant bending.

Hope that helped!
NeCrollector - Thursday, July 12, 2012
Wow, brother, thank you much for taking the time to explain the process. I truly appreciate it.
I've been intrigued about giving this technique a try. You've definitely pointed me in the right direction.
Again, thank you so much! You rock, dude!
Batman1016 - Friday, July 13, 2012
Hey, glad to help! Honestly, I'm surprised a customizer as accomplished as you needs my help. Your work is already stellar! But in any case, happy to share my experience. Can't wait to see you put it to use!
NeCrollector - Friday, July 13, 2012
Thanks, brother. I'm glad you enjoy my customs I've only been customizing since early last year....I still got a lot of techniques to learn, practice and hopefully master. You've been amazing! Thank you so much for taking the time to share your pointers with me. Realmers like yourself make this site the best!
Batman1016 - Friday, July 13, 2012
Happy to assist!
pinkspacedog - Monday, July 9, 2012
Awesome! Soul Reaver ROCKS!
Batman1016 - Monday, July 9, 2012
Thanks! The first SR game is one of my favorite games of all time. Maybe even THE favorite!
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