Tough Customs: Galactus

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I was never happy with the original Galactus Minimates Max statue. My main problem was with his face. In the image above, the original statue is on the left, and my modified version is on the right. You can see that the face area on the original is very, very small. I can understand why DST designed him this way – this was supposed to be a large minimate, so the head was in proportion to a standard minimate head wearing a helmet. But this ignores the fact that Galactus has a very long head, and other minimates with long heads have received special treatment, such as The Leader and Sinestro. So I came up with a plan to cut Galactus’s head in half and make him into my ideal version of the character.

This is a project I have wanted to do for a long time, but it kept getting set aside. I finally decided to start on it in September of last year after seeing pictures of the Infinity Gauntlet Box Set. I didn’t want to have this amazing Thanos and Adam Warlock displayed next to Mr. Squishy Face. I wanted a Galactus that blended in with the more recent levels of detail we are seeing on minimates.

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My first step was the most crude. I used my dremel with a cutting wheel to remove his antennas (for lack of a better word) and cut beneath his eyes. The wheel was not large enough to make it all the way through his head, so I had to finish off a portion of the middle with a fine toothed coping saw. This was a very messy process, and I wore goggles and a painting mask, because the dremel produced a big cloud of resin dust.

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As I was getting ready to start raising his face up, I accidentally snapped off his left arm (the one pointing down). This made me think about the position of his right arm, and I realized I would much prefer it to be pointing down, as opposed to the “hailing a taxi cab” position. So I snapped off that arm as well. The arms are glued onto a shoulder peg. It’s not a joint, because the arms cannot rotate. They can only fit onto this peg a certain way. I had to once again don my goggles and mask and dremel the peg and the inside of the arm to make it fit the way I wanted it to. I set the arms aside for now.

I knew that I would have to sculpt Galactus’s details in different stages because he would be unsteady at first with his head in two pieces. I filled in the gap with Super Sculpey, and baked him in the oven until it was cured. I superglued around the edges of this sculpted area to make it more secure. Galactus stayed in this unfinished state for over three months, as I was busy with the toy store’s holiday season.

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I was able to start working on him again after the first of the year. I used Apoxie Sculpt to recreate his face from scratch. I had to leave his antennas off for now, as they would have interfered with my range of movement.

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After it had cured, I attached the antennas again, and started filling in the gaps left by the rough cut of the dremel. I also started sculpting the top piece of his helmet, as I had accidentally snapped this off while cutting his head.

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I wanted to change his eyes to give him smaller pupils than the original. Galactus has square pupils, but the size of the pupils on the original statue made him look like he had googly eyes. I painted his eyes black first, and then took care of the skin color on his face.

I started mixing paints to match the bright pink color of the original statue. I tried using both Citadel and Model Master paints (not together of course), but I couldn’t get the exact color right. You can see this difference in the image above if you compare the area around his eyes with the area above his visor. The picture doesn’t show how different those two colors looked in person. It looked bad.

After wasting a good amount of paint trying to match the colors, I decided to just repaint the entire statue. I didn’t think that bright pink color was accurate to the version of Galactus I was making anyways. I hadn’t planned on repainting him initially, but if I was going to invest this much time into a custom, I wanted to do it right. I decided to add a little more purple into the mix, lighten the color, and tone down the intense saturation. You can see the color difference in the first image of this post. Every part of him received three coats of paint, which took me another five weeks to find the time to do.

After repainting all of the pink/purple, and then the blue, I started adding the black details. I wanted to do this statue using only a brush, and no sharpie. I can’t remember the number of the brush I was using, but it was really tiny. I sketched his face on using a pencil before painting it. I added much more detail than the original statue had, to make him look more like a modern minimate.

I painted the eyes last, which is what I usually do. The eyes always seem to breathe life into whatever I am working on, so I like to save them for the very end. Here are the final pics (click to view larger):

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Overall, I probably have eight hours into this project, which is more than I have ever spent on a minimate project. I think the only custom project I have put more time into was my Bates Mansion from Psycho. But it was well worth the time spent. I am very happy with how he turned out. I might even go crazy and modify the Sentinel some day too!

I hope you enjoyed this post! If you have a tough custom in the works, consider documenting the process and I will post it here at the Factory.

8 Responses

  1. karamazov80 says:

    Amazing work, Luke. Nothing else can really be said.

  2. groundhog7s says:

    I agree with Dr. Minimate, too amazing for words.

  3. Rheuls- says:

    Sensational job Luke. I wish I had the guts to try this with my Galactus. You really fixed the face. I always though the original face looked like Stewie.

  4. Bondjunkie says:

    sweet! I wouldn’t have even thought of that!

  5. onslaught says:

    amesome

  6. drgnrbrn316 says:

    Awesome job. Just add some articulation and you’d have the perfect Galactus.

  7. Hellpop says:

    As I was reading this, I kept thinking “okay, Luke, but was it worth it?” Glad you thought it was, but I bet the question went through your head more then once….

  1. March 23, 2010

    […] on my new minimate shelves, I am finally ready to show them off. I also wanted to wait until Galactus was […]