Monday, 10 October 2016

Toy Customizer: Mike McEvil

Interview with Toy Customizer:  Mike McEvil
Welcome to another awesome Toy Customizer interview!!
As you know by now, toy customizing has quickly become an ever-increasing hobby thanks to adult-collector toy lines, and the slow pace at which they release new product. There’s nothing stopping you from creating your very own ideal action figure.
Today I am fortunate enough to be talking to one of the best Toy Customizers around, who goes by the name of Mike from Evil Mike's Customs.
Mike has made some awesome custom MOTU accessories since the line started. He has made a wide variety of things to supplement just about any character in the MOTU Line. I have been keeping an eye on his work for a while now and I must say he just keeps getting better and better.
MOTU!: Hi Mike and thanks for taking time out to do this interview with me. Ever since I saw your custom work I wanted to interview you. I must say that your creating awesome add-on accessories for our MOTU Figures. Can you tell us a bid about yourself?
Mike!: Thanks for the invitation to this interview! I really like the Masters of the Universe-collectors-community and how everybody shares their part of this hobby with each other. I'm really glad to get the chance to say something about my work as a customizer.
I live in the northern part of Germany and like most of us collectors and fan boys I got into MotU and other great toy lines during my childhood.
MOTU!: So Mike, how did you get started doing action figure customs?
Mike!: It all started in 2009 when I discovered the MotU Classics figures. I'd say it's part of my personality that I can't fully enjoy a franchise/toy line simply by consuming the products. I guess I simply need more to do with it. So I enjoy contributing to it by doing drawings, 3D renders or like in the last years mostly customizing. The first 'custom' I did was painting MotU Classics He-man's axe shield black to use it with Wun-Dar. And from that point I tried more and more different techniques to create those parts of MotU lore for my collection that weren't available on the official market: Dioramas, accessories or full custom figures.
MOTU!: How long have you been customizing figures and creating add-on accessory kits?
Mike!: I'd say since 2010 until now. I think I didn't start directly in 2009 because I needed to gather some courage to buy expensive figures and cut/paint/break them at first.
MOTU!: You do a lot of sculpting on your figures, not just the same old repaints seen elsewhere. What materials do you generally use to "make the magic happen"?
Mike!: Since I discovered 3d sculpting I do everything possible with the program 3d Studio Max and have the items printed by the company 'Shapeways'. However, if I have to sculpt something directly onto a figure I use the material 'Green Stuff' from Gamesworkshop.
MOTU!: Your paint jobs are very well done. Can you tell us a little on your technique for getting a sweet paintjob that gets past the pesky joint rub problem?
Mike!: Well, mostly the secret lies within using thin paint and applying two or three or even more coats of paint. That creates a very smooth surface and achieves the best results. The kind of paint is also a thing, of course. I use acrylic colors from 'Citadel' or 'Vallejo'. Those can be mixed with water to make them more liquid and they have a very nice silk mat shine that looks similar to the paints on the official figures.
The joint rub problem... the world would be so much better without it. I'd say you never can eliminate this completely. Even Mattel's figures have suffered of this problem if they have painted joints. I prevent that problem as often as possible by using figures with the right color so I don't have to paint the joints. If there is no other way you can disassemble the joints completely and sand down the parts that will rub against each other so there is more space between them or you can try to put some superglue (the one that doesn't get white) on the painted parts. The superglue creates a plastic-like coat that is very durable against the rubbing-off-issue. But be careful not to glue your joints together.
MOTU!: Any horror stories of something gone horribly wrong?
Mike!: At the beginning I didn't use acrylic, water-based colors but other colors that were oil-based. These needed several days to get dry, smelled unpleasant and sometimes never stopped to be sticky. I really ruined a few pieces with those colors. I guess those experiences are part of the game and every customizer knows them.
MOTU!: On the opposite end of blood loss, what has been your favorite custom to date? Not necessarily your favorite character, but one that just turned out exactly, or better, than you planned.
Mike!: One of my very early custom figures was a MotU Classics Dragon Blaster Skeletor. I personally liked that custom much more than the official version by Mattel and it's one of the figures I still regret having sold.

MOTU!: Do you have upcoming MOTUC customs that you're excited to be working on, or planning out?
Mike!: I'm currently working on quite an obscure variant. The New Adventures 'Battle Punch He-man' for MotU Classics. It's quite special to me because it's the first time I 3D-sculpted complete body parts. As there were no boots in the Classics line available that seemed to fit I tried to make my own boots and I'm really satisfied with the results.
Regarding the accessories, I created I'd say I'm very proud of all the different iterations of Skeletor's Havoc Staff as these were all items I put an incredible effort into to get them as right as possible.

MOTU!: Where can people see more of your work? Also, what is the best way for someone to get in touch with you for custom commissions?
Mike!: You can view my work on my Facebook at:
For custom work you contact me at:
My Shapeways Store is Evil Mike's Customs.
MOTU!: Thanks Mike, great talking with you! We are looking forward to see more new customs from you.
Mike!: Thank you so much! It was a pleasure to be interviewed by you!
If you want to check out more of Mike’s Customs, click on the links below to for more reviews from The Fwoosh and Pixel Dan!!
Pixel Dan:

MOTU Classics Custom Weapons by Evil Mike Customs Video Review

MOTU Classics Custom Weapons by Evil Mike Customs Video Review #2

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