Today is a super-exciting day here at the ZMFTS! I've got five new
projects ready to unveil that I've been wanting to do for a very long time.
The five-part Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon pilot from
1987 introduced the Neutrinos, three alien teenagers who drive around in
flying Starmobiles. There was a similar-looking toy released by Playmates
called the Footcruiser, but there were never any official Starmobile toys
released. It took some prodigious eBaying but I was finally able to
collect enough parts to build a red
Starmobile and a blue
Starmobile! There were official action figures of the Neutrinos,
but none of them were colored correctly and one, in particular, needed a
major sculpting overhaul. My Starmobile vehicles needed somebody to
drive them, though, so here are my new-and-improved versions of
Some years ago I was focusing on building tiny action figure versions of
all the assorted generic background Decepticon jets from the original
Transformers cartoon. My efforts eventually stalled when I realized
I wanted to put a lot of them in scene-specific poses, and the most challenging
of thesethe pair of
security guards on Cybertron from "The Ultimate Doom"would require
building a figure of
order to complete the scene. Well, I finally
gave it a go,
and I think the results turned out fairly well. Most of my projects
have been standalone figures, but this is the first diorama-style project
I've ever created, so it's really three projects in one!
I've built dozens of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles projects over the
years, and I've covered most of the major characters from the original cartoon
series, but one important character I had yet to address was
Splinter, ninja master and sensei to
the Turtles. His original action figure was woefully inadequate and
this project required not only an entirely new head sculpt, but an all-new
hand-sewn cloth outfit as well. This is a project I simply could not
have done justice until recently, but I think you'll agree it was worth the
Anybody remember Zach, the Fifth Turtle?
He was a regular character from the original Teenage Mutant Ninja
Turtles cartoon, and he appeared in a bunch of episodes, but for some
reason there was never an action figure in his likenessnever, at least,
until now! This is arguably one of my most ambitious projects to date,
requiring all my sculpting and customizing skils to bring him to life.
About 30 years ago, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were introduced and,
in the first issue, faced off against a fierce ninja master named Shredder.
I've always wanted an action figure of the
Mirage Comics version of Shredder
(his color scheme and costume design is entirely unique to the comic book),
so this is my loving tribute to the character as he originally appeared.
This was supposed to be a pre-holiday update, but I ran out of time!
Anyway, fans of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon
know that Baxter
Stockman spent a good chunk of the second season as Shredder's faithful
assistant, before he was eventually mutated into a fly. Baxter's first
official action figure was of his mutated fly form, which means that the
human scientist never got a toy in his likeness. I've been wanting
to do this project for a really, really long time, but only in recent years
has my customizing skillset become sufficient to tackle this character. I
had to hand-stitch a lab coat for him as well as come up with a new
head sculpt, creating the face and hair entirely from scratch. He also
got a whole slew of cartoon-specific accessories. Personally,
I think he turned out pretty good!
So, I've recently been getting into Darkwing Duck again, and I discovered
that there was an eBay seller who had this great, big pile of animation models
from the series. It was a bit pricy, but I figured that maybe I could
put together a crowdfunding effort, ask
some people to pitch in, and purchase the model sheets so I could scan and
upload them and share them with everybody. Previously, I had also purchased
a copy of the Darkwing Duck series bible (which, as a point of interest,
includes several more model sheets).
It took me pretty much all day to scan the models, crop and edit them, and
upload them. You're welcome. Due to file size limitations, I
had to break things up into several zip files. Enjoy!
Darkwing Duck Model Sheets (1
Darkwing Duck Model Sheets (2
Darkwing Duck Model Sheets (3
Darkwing Duck Model Sheets (4
Darkwing Duck Model Sheets (5
Darkwing Duck Model Sheets (6
Darkwing Duck Series Bible (1 of
Darkwing Duck Series Bible (2 of
Darkwing Duck Series Bible (3 of
The Rock Soldiers who appeared in
the old Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon were Krang's loyal soldiers
from Dimension X, but Playmates Toys never produced an action figure representing
them. I would have bought, like, dozens of them. Well, they don't
exist. Or, more to the point, a single one exists, and that's because
I created one. I made so many
changes, you'd hardly recognize the toy I used to build it!
There was a character named Ray introduced in the fourth-season episode of
the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles television series that was
ostensibly based on the Ray Fillet
action figure, but the character in the cartoon looked nothing like the toy
he was supposedly meant to make kids want to go out and buy. It took
some substantial structural work, but I managed to put together an
action figure of the character as he
appears in "Rebel Without A Fin."
I finally got around to building a custom figure of
Cid, the self-proclaimed mechanical genius
from Final Fantasy IV. He's armed to the teeth with clubs and
hammers and things, and he's even got a magnifying glass! (No, he doesn't
look much like the official Trading Arts figurine, but then, the Trading
Arts figurine doesn't really look like Cid from the video game, either...)
Over the years I've built action figures based on many of the playable characters
based on my all-time favorite video game, Final Fantasy IV, but I
also wanted to do some of the monsters from the game. I just finished
up a Floating Eyeball, the first
baddie actually seen in the game.
In a fourth-season episode of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
series called "The Big Bug Blunder,"
Genghis Frog makes
a return appearance, ostensibly to promote his action figure (he was the
only one of the four Punk Frogs who had one on the market at the time).
For some reason, he spends the entire episode wearing a business suit,
which is not how the action figure looked... until now, that is!
My wife's birthday was in January. I had originally intended these
as a birthday gift for her, but real life tends to get in the way sometimes.
Anyway, I bought up a bunch of LEGO Minifigure parts and built three
principal characters from the Butterfly Princess e-book series:
Four the Master Thief,
Mariposa the Butterfly Princess,
and Syzygy the Wooden Robot.
There's this thing called the
Soundtrack Restoration Project of which I have become a very big part.
The idea is to take the original cartoon episodes on DVD, isolate the
music, and come up with a soundtrack. Of course, it's not nearly as
simple as I make it sound, because there are numerous sound effects cluttering
up the isolated soundtrack and music that was routinely edited and chopped
up to fit the animated scenes. I have an encyclopedic knowledge of
the series music which has become vital in finding specific music themes
from specific episodes (and sometimes even specific notes!) to piece together
a complete soundtrack. There are around 195 unique musical themes used
during the 98-episode run and part of my role has been to dig through episodes
and identify them (and, eventually, piece them together for eventual
remastering). I've been doing this since December and there's still
a lot more to do. If I'm not at work or sleeping, then that's probably
what I'm working on.
Since I've been digging through the show, I also thought I would finally
put together some screen shots of the various Transformers in vehicle mode
to go along with my various die-cast toy cars
painted to look like the characters. Expect to see that soon-ish.
I recently made a MegaSCF version of
Skywarp for my good friend ViceGripX,
but of course I didn't want to unveil it here on the site until after he
opened it up for Christmas.
I also put together a toy version of the Man
of Iron, an otherwise unnamed Transformers character from Marvel
Comics who appeared only in the United Kingdom version of the comic book
(and the eventual reprint of that story in the United States). Cor