The Making of King Shakooth

King Shakooth (pictured above) was my entry into the Charitymates 5 customizing event. I wasn’t sure exactly what kind of a character I wanted to make. I knew it had to be a tournament fighter, and I knew that I wanted to use a 2.5″ minimate, because even after making hundreds of minimate decals, I had never made any for a 2.5″ minimate! They had always been for 2″ or 3″ mates, with nothing for the size in between.

When the entries started rolling in, I saw that a wide variety of nationalities were represented by the custom tournament fighters that other customizers were making. I started thinking about which nationalities had not been covered yet, and which ones were not widely used in fighting games. I came up with the idea for a large African tribal warrior who was covered in skulls.

I grabbed a 2.5″ Bane minimate for a base, and got out my Fixit Sculpt. I couldn’t design any decals yet, because I wasn’t sure exactly where I was going to add the sculpted details. I started with the skulls on his shoulders, shaping them with my fingers and also the opposite end of a paint brush. Then I moved on to the shins, which resemble a spine and rib cage. I mostly used a hobby knife for those. He seemed to be top-heavy, so I made the front and back of his boots larger with some additional bone details. I gave him a belt and added a small skull on the front of it. Here is a WIP shot from this stage:

As I was looking for reference material online for what a tribal warrior might look like, I found some really cool tribal masks from different cultures in Africa. As soon as I saw them I knew that I wanted to give my fighter a mask. I didn’t want to use a slip-on mask, as I didn’t want the face sticker getting damaged when the mask was pulled on and off, so I used a separate head for his tribal mask. Here is a rough shot of this addition:

Now that I knew where my sculpted areas were, I started designing the stickers. King Shakooth received stickers for his chest, back, face, and tribal mask. As usual, these were designed in Illustrator. I spend a lot of time on these, because I wanted to get the details just right. I played around with several different color schemes for his mask, and this one seemed the most appropriate for a tournament fighter. A late addition was his bone piercing through his nose, which may not have been the best choice, as some people have confused it with a moustache! Here is the set of stickers:

After I applied the stickers, the belt didn’t seem to fit with the overall design, and everything wasn’t balanced well. So I scraped the skull off his belt with a hobby knife, and made him a waist sash out of a sheet of plastic. Then I superglued the skull back in place, and also trimmed two lego swords for him.

A few coats of paint later, and I had my final custom:

This custom was recently up for auction, with proceeds supporting Direct Relief International’s efforts in Japan. You can read his full bio on the auction page. The 2nd wave of charity auctions are now live here: http://charitymates.com/?p=50

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