Mattel seems to have a knack for doing things
half-assed. I love that they made a Shining
Knight figure and took the time to make the
tunic, but the tiny face is ridiculous (especially
when taken in with the Knight's rather phallic
helmet). My solution was to slice off the silly
little face and replace it with the face from
a Superman. Some sculpting was done to smooth
out the seam, and I also opted to sculpt on
the wristbands rather than simply painting them.
Since he is the SHINING Knight, I gave his gold
armor the good old iridescent treatment for
a slight metallic sheen. A fairly simple custom,
but I feel it's a huge improvement
over the original toy. Now all he needs is a
I repainted the face to make the eyes a little
more accurate. I hated the look of the drawn-on
bowtie, so I sanded it off and replaced it with
a tie from the animated series Ventriloquist
figure. Another simple-but-effective improvement.
Wonder Woman (the second version sculpt by Mattel)
with all the costume details smoothed out, hair
from a Black Canary, and a sash made from vinyl
Hawkgirl body with the head from
a Black Canary (which was smooth featured
enough to paint the mask over without looking
weird). The legs and torso were smoothed down,
and the hair was taken from the Riddler figure
from “The Batman” line and trimmed and resculpted
An Orion body with the head of a Hawk figure
and sculpted ears. The star was cut from thin
plastic using a star-shaped hole punch, then
glued onto the chest.
Thor began as an exercise in trying to make
use of all those elbow-and-knee-jointed figures
that come with the three-packs (I hate the extra
joints; I think they spoil the clean aesthetic
of Bruce Timm’s designs). I started with a Superman
body and swapped the legs for those of a Batman
for a little more height. I then superglued
the elbow and knee joints in place. The joints
were then shaved down a little and smoothed
over with super sculpey. The helmet was sculpted,
the wings were taken from the helmet of a Total
Justice Hawkman, the hair is a combination of
Aquaman’s and superflex sculpey. The flared
shoulders came from a Green Arrow, the discs
on the torso were cut out of plastic and glued
into place, the tops of the boots are vinyl,
and the hammer was made with the head of the
hammer from a JLU Steel reshaped and set on
a random plastic piece.
Kilowog body (which still has a neck peg rattling
around inside it, alas) with sculpted boots
and gloves and a belt made from vinyl and plastic.
The head is a Lex Luthor with sculpted wings.
I used Lex’s head because I think it conveys
the arrogance which I remember USAgent having
in John Byrne’s run of West Coast Avengers,
and the larger body because I seem to remember
him having more super-strength than Captain
America. I thought it would make a nice contrast
instead of just repeating my Cap custom. The
shield came from a Superhero Showdown Cap with
the star sanded down and the whole thing repainted.
Waverider (great generic base figure) with the
flame removed, head filled in with sculpey,
a cut vinyl diamond symbol on the chest, and
a drop of acrylic molding paste for the gem
on the forehead. The cape came from Dr. Fate
with a collar from a Martian Manhunter glued
in place and blended together with epoxy.
Wonder Man’s torso and arms came from a Steel
figure who had donated his
legs for my Iron Man custom. I slapped a pair
of Green Arrow legs in their place (the boots
are a perfect match for Wonder Man’s during
the Byrne WCA era). Then I realized that Green
Arrow’s legs are freaky long, so I had to chop
about 3/16” out of each thigh to bring the height
down to fit in with the rest of the figures.
The head is a reshaped Superman, the wristbands
are sculpted, and the belt is a combination
of vinyl and plastic and some random plastic
bits for the two jets on the sides..
The scale of the Mattel Green Arrow really
bothered me-- it's as tall as Martian Manhunter!
So when I saw that Mirror Master had the same
boots as GA, I decided to make an obsessive-compulsive
scale-accurate custom. I cracked open Mirror
Master's torso and replaced to arms with GA's,
as well as the head (which I had to make a
neck peg for). The collar was sculpted, the
tunic was made from vinyl, and the belt buckle
was made out of plastic. I glued GA's quiver
onto the back, then I finished it off with
a more on-model paint job.
I'm surprised it took me this long to fix one
most inaccurately colored figures. Aside from
the paint job, I also sliced
about 1/16" from the legs (just under the
boot cuffs) to bring the height
down just a bit.