Michael L. Milstead

 

 

 

This was one of my early attempts at customizing an existing market figure. This would be my Terminator ver.1.0 for lack of a better title and this one goes back to 1997 or there abouts.

 

The base figure is actually that of a 12" Kenner figure that started its life as a TERMINATOR 2 3-D figure. These started out as exclusive that could only be purchased at the gift shop of the TERMINATOR 2 3-D : Battle Across Time theme ride that was located at Universal Studios Hollywood in Florida and California. Overstock of these figures were eventually dumped on the retail  market and showed up at various KB Toys stores. 

 

Overall this was not a bad figure for it's time. Keep in mind it was the 90's and our pickings at that time were slim to none! Although the head was a bit on the large side, and the two weapons that came with the figure were for crap, it was impressive none-the-less to see a 12" Terminator figure with part of it's face blown off.

 

At the time I had a friend of mine repaint the head-sculpt for me. Once competed I then went back and did some extensive detailing to make the various sections of the "metal" battle damaged sections pop out. These sections were located on the head, chest, leg and arm. Once detailed I then went back and bloodied up the various "damaged" areas to give it a more realistic and gruesome look. The original weapons that came with the figure were scrapped in lieu of those produced by Dragon at the time. The bandoleer was swiped from a BBi figure and repainted from its original gray to black.

 

Current Status: Sold to a 12" figure collector overseas.

 

 

 

And here we go with my 12" Maverick custom figure...

Oh Tom, you were so manly in '86 and then you went and got all weird on us and Val went and got all fat.

What the F&%K happened?!?!?

 

Here we have Pete "Maverick" Mitchell  in all of his lame 12" glory. This custom figure can barely be called custom. Actually, to call this figure custom is pretty much a crime against other custom figures.  Again, this was one of my early early  attempts at customizing and frankly it's very WEAK! If this one was anything it was a guilty pleasure as I really liked "Top Gun" when I was a teen. Again, like my Terminator figure, this one dates back to my attempts of the late 90's.

 

The base figure this is built on is a Dragon body. The uniform was swiped off of a Dragon F-14A Tomcat pilot as were the boots, glasses and anything else that you see. The head is a different story though...the head on this figure was one of the early pirated heads that was being produced by our friends across the pond. For it's time this was pretty damn cool and a "must have" for collectors as it was supposed to be our buddy Tom.

 

In retrospect , it probably resembles Tom if you a.) squint  to the point of almost closing your eyes or b.) are drunk off your ass and squint to the point of almost...well, you get my drift! The patches on the uniform are wrong as is the shirt color, It should have been white and not yellow. Dragon zippers at the time were none to secure. I had two of these bad boys break on me while zipping up so the option of switching out the shirt , after I realized what I had done, was off the table.

 

The key piece that would have made this figure was the helmet. At the time a company, whose name escapes me, was producing various fighter helmets and a film acurate "Maverick" helmet was going to be produced but sadly it never found its way to production.

 

Thankfully the shades help to hide some of the lame...but not too much! 

 

Current Status: Sold to a 12" figure collector at a local convention who really loved

                             the movie "Top Gun."

 

 

 

 

Anyone actually remember N2 Toys? Yeah, I thought not. Well, long story short, back in 2001 they produced a 12” Rambo figure that almost didn't see the light of day, at least not down here in Texas anyway. By my recollection the 12” Rambo never showed up at retail but was dumped at KB Toys for next to nothing on clearance. Even finding them at KB was a bit of a challenge at the time as they were dumped at their outlet stores and not their regular retail chain stores.

 

The N2 Toys 12” John Rambo came dressed in hugely over-sized and ill fitting green fatigues, cheap black boots, and came equipped with a M-60 machine gun and ammo belt. There was simply nothing good about this figure out of the box other than the head-sculpt for the time (2003), and even the head-sculpt was a bit on the “meh” side.

Soooo…after beheading the figure and scraping everything from the neck post down you actually had something decent to work with. Our tally at this time stands at, one useless body out, one pair of boots out, one set of green fatigues out, and one craptacular M60 machine gun and ammo belt out.

Due to the length of the neck post on the head-sculpt using a basic Joe body was out of the question’ unless you wanted to saw off a good portion of the sculpts neck, which I didn’t. Instead of going that route I decided to build the figure on one of the 21st Century/Ultimate Soldier bodies. The nice thing about these bodies was that they looked a bit more muscular than your average Joe bodies at the time.

No painting or detailing this time around. What I did need was a black tank top, black pants, black belt, combat knife and sheath, black combat boots, and the key to the piece would be a fairly cool looking bow. I picked up the black tank top from Project ARE Action Outfitters, the black pants were taken from a 21st Century/Ultimate Soldier Night Ops Navy SEAL figure, the black belt and combat knife were Dragon pieces, the black combat boots were swiped off of a BBi figure. The bow was taken off, of all things, an Ertle Babe Winkelman Deer Hunter figure that I picked up for all of $4.00 at a convention.

 

Sure, this head-sculpt was not the greatest likeness of Sylvester Stallone but at the time it was the only thing I had to work with. It’s not all that detailed but you get the general idea at first glance. A quick head swap and a change of clothes later and there you have it...Rambo! 

 

Current Status: Decommissioned, dismantled, and sold off as parts at a recent G.I. Joe Convention.

 

Ahhhh….another of my early works. Here before you is my custom built Terminator ver. 2.0.  Again, this was one of my early attempts at customizing an existing market figure. This one dates back to 1998 or 1999.

 

Once again, the base figure for this custom was that of a 12" Kenner TERMINATOR 2 3-D: Battle Across Time figure. Not a bad figure for the time once you stripped off the shirt, “pleather” jacket/pants, and then promptly trashed the rest of the thing, or in my case, dumped the leftovers on E-Bay for a couple of extra dollars at the time.

 Keep in mind the base body was totally worthless. I failed to mention that bit it my fist Terminator write-up. Straight out of the box poor Arnie here  shared about as much mobility as you would expect from your typical Ken doll. So sad! So, for this custom build, the body was out, the head was out, his two weapons were out, and the boots were out as they were very generic looking.

 

The body itself was upgraded to that of a much more highly articulated G.I. Joe body. No more oversized melon heads this time around! Thanks again to our good friends overseas, they decided to make not one but two different Arnie heads this time around. They did one with battle damage and one without. This gave you, the customizer, the option of either kit bashing your very own 12” Terminator or Dutch (from Predator) figure.

The nice thing about this particular head-sculpt is that it actually looked like the actor, no squinting required.  Again, for it's time, this was a pretty damn cool sculpt and  a "must have" for us 12” figure collectors!

 

No more “friend” repaint this time around! The nice thing about this sculpt is that it actually had a good looking flesh tone to it. What was needed, was a change in hair color and some more in depth detailing to the battle damaged sections of the face. The hair color on the original sculpt was, I believe, blonde. This was easily changed to brown. For some reason the hair color looks real glossy in the photos and it isn’t glossy at all in person. I went back and did some extensive paint detailing on the head to make the various metal sections stand out and then went back and bloodied it up liberally.  I then did the same to the “battle damaged” sections that were also located on the chest, leg and arm to give them a more realistic and battle worn look.

 

The original weapons included with the figure were scrapped. The shotgun is from a 21st Century/Ultimate Soldier weapons set. The bandoleer was swiped from a BBi set and repainted black and the grenade launcher was a Dragon piece. The sun glasses are from Cotswold Collectibles.The boots were also upgraded to a better looking G.I. Joe boot.

Current Status: Dismantled and sold off as parts at a G.I. Joe convention.

 

 

 

 

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