|by Davy Stone (with Chip Kraus)|
buys Robin figures, even the multistrapped versions, just because he likes the
character Robin that much. This figure was one such purchase. But
after I studied it for a while I noticed that he had many details similar to
Cyborg -- details such as gloves, boots, and even some of the straps.
There were actually a LOT of similarities. It
was almost too perfect not to use for a Cyborg because turning him into anyone else
would have required a lot more work than I like to do.
This figure probably required much less work than you would think. I sanded down the chest and upper arms with a dremel. Using an exacto I trimmed the angled tops of the boot cuffs to form a straight line. He's not exactly on-model, but then again, almost every different artist I've seen drawing Cyborg has done him slightly differently.
I switched the head (using boil-n-pop) with one from a Shaq Steel figure
I'd bought for the removable helmet. Shaq's head was slightly larger
than Robin's, which made the switch challenging, but the final result was a
good tight fit. Because it was a touch too large, I added a rubber
band at the bottom of the neck so that Cyborg's neck looked
proportional. It was a nice detail that both Cyborg and the original
base figure already had anyway. One pleasant yet unintential side
effect: Shaq's large head on the smaller Robin body give Cyborg a more
youthful appearance than Shaq has on his own figure, fitting in nicely with the other
Next I added joints to his elbows and knees using the small plastic perferations that come out of the 3-ring binder ziplock pouches that I give away to my students on the first day of class. I also used one of these small plastic circles to make Cyborg's earpiece. These things are great because they're not just flat disks, but instead have a small lip on one side of them. They are also quite plentiful around my office when I get new students, but you could achieve a similar effect by using a hole punch on blister-pack plastic.
I experimented with several varieties of spray paint, and I found a wonderful chrome paint that looked like vac-metal, but it just wouldn't dry right on the plastic. I played with various combinations of sealer and paint, but finally gave up and returned to the silver acrylic brush-on paint that I normally use. I also had my first experience with mixing African-American skin tones, but I didn't have that much trouble coming up with a color that satisfied me -- strange because mixing colors isn't my thing. I used a combination of brown, (caucasian) flesh tone and orange. ORANGE? Yeah, without it I found that his color looked too wooden.
Speaking of African-American skin tones, Cyborg is the first unmasked African-American I've made. Both my previous African-American figures, Steel and Black Manta, were customized with their masks on.
His robotic eye was painted using a clear red paint over top of the silver for a nice glowing effect. Finally, Chip did some last minute touch up work on his human eye. I was happy with the eye I'd given him, but Chip managed to improve it.
This is one of my most favorite customs in a long time.
See Also: New Teen Titans
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