Case Study: Mr. Monster


Earlier this Spring, I received a commission order for two Mr. Monster minimates, a monster-fighting hero created by Michael Gilbert. The order was very specific that these two minimates had to be identical. This made me stop and really think about how I was going to design these minimates before I moved forward. I realized that I tend to attack most minimate customs in the exact same way, and sometimes it pays to take a step back and evaluate all of your options before moving forward. Take a look at this source art:


First of all, Mr. Monster has a fairly bulky chest, but a belt piece that makes his lower torso very thin. Using a big chest piece would not work for this thinner lower torso. I could sculpt a bulky upper torso, but that would prevent me from using decals, which are the best way to make a custom look professional. Therefore, I decided to use a standard minimate chest, and make the artwork look as “bulky” as possible. Here is the chest decal:

Blank Male MiniMate

Next up is his head. Mr. Monster is wearing a mask. It is a very tight mask, so I didn’t want to use the classic style minimate mask with the face cut out. My other two options were to use a full slip-on face mask, like the recent Spider-Man minimates, or to use a normal minimate head. I wanted his torso to look as bulky as possible, so I decided to use a normal head. A slip-on mask would make his head look larger, and therefore make his torso look smaller. The goggles and head decoration would be pieces glued on top of the face decal.

For the two gun holsters, I wanted something that was functional, but also very small. Spymaster’s gun holsters were too large. Like the slip-on mask, they made his torso look smaller somehow. I ended up cutting the holsters off the movie Punisher chest piece and gluing them to his legs. I gave him Captain America’s gloves, since they flare out at the ends.

Here is the final result, along with some custom packaging:


Click to view larger image

Click to view large image

I am really glad I took the time to think about the big picture before starting on any individual piece. Since making these customs, I applied this same line of reasoning to my Eric the Red minimate, with good results. I encourage you to do the same.

You will probably notice a few changes to the site, mostly in the graphics. I am giving the whole site a makeover to coincide with another project I am working on. 🙂

Good luck with all of your upcoming customs!

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5 Responses

  1. Minifiend UK says:

    Very very good customs. I dont know the character but you caught it well.

  2. joshua (nervous) says:

    Hey Luke, this is excellent man, I really like the style and look of this dude…came out brilliant!

  3. groundhog7s says:

    Nice work once again. that chest decal looks like it could easily be adjusted to be an Etrigan chest piece.

  4. Marc Cawiezel says:

    I’ve been a Mr. Monster fan for over 20 years and this figure rocks! You nailed if perfectly! How much do you charge for such a piece? I’m currently in the process of making a 6 to 7″ MM figure. Hope he comes out half as good as your mini-mate!

  5. juan says:

    thats really cool i got to say!

    PS:(how do you get minimate bodies to make the customs?)