Tough Customs: The Diva

As you might have seen, I made a set of Fifth Element customs for CustomCon 27, including Korben Dallas, Leeloo, Zorg, and Diva blah, the star of this article. She was definitely the most challenging minimate in the set, and I took some pictures of her during her creation, so I could show you exactly how she was created.

The decals were designed in Adobe Illustrator like usual. I used several reference pictures to capture her likeness as best as I could. I made the decision to have her singing, as opposed to having a closed mouth. Click to view a larger image. I’m not sure why the lines are on the smaller image.

There weren’t any existing minimate dress pieces that captured the flowing shimmering blue of the Diva’s outfit, so I sculpted mine out of Fixit Sculpt on top of a standard set of minimate legs. I sanded it like crazy to make it as smooth as possible.

For the top of her head, I also used Fixit Sculpt. I started by making a tall cone coming straight up. Then I used water to smooth out the cone and keep the surface very moist. I slowly rolled it into a curl on the back of her head. The wetness kept the clay from cracking or breaking. I added the additional details on the back of her head, and then I let it cure. Once the clay had set, I added the band around the top of her head, which was cut from a piece of minimate packaging.

I wasn’t looking forward to sculpting her back “armor”, as it was very intricate. As I was looking through my parts bin, I found a Lego dragon whose body matched the Diva’s armor almost perfectly! I sanded it down on my belt sander and super glued it in place.

For her tendrils, I knew I wanted to use twisty ties, as they are translucent, thin, and bendy. But they had to look very smooth, so any that were already bent up couldn’t be re-straightened, as the former bends were still slightly noticeable. So I found the straightest pieces I could, and I shaped them by gently rolling them along a bottle neck for the larger curves, and a paint brush handle for the smaller curves. I superglued them in place.

Her paint color is a mix of Skull White, Enchanted Blue, and Goblin Green (Citadel paints), with white highlights applied using a toothpick.

The Diva didn’t seem to be anyone else’s favorite figure in the set (and let’s face it – it’s hard to compete with Milla Jovovich!), but she is definitely my favorite. More Fifth Element customs are coming soon!

Bonus: Zorg work-in-progress shot

I should also add that while my personal website hasn’t been updated in a while, I also post my customs at MMV, Facebook, and Flickr. I should have a few new customs finished by early next week. 🙂

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