Monday, January 18, 2016

Merchandising! Merchandising! - Kain Viccon 9inch scale Action Figure

Kain Viccon, 9 inch scale Action Figure

This action figure is one of my favorites, this one and the Nancy Viccon 9” scale figure (coming soon!). I really feel like this action figure captures the essence of The Quest Saga and what I really want out of the toy line. It’s detailed, looks like the character I see in my head, it’s articulated with a lot of playability, and it has a ton of accessories. I can totally see myself at ten years old getting really excited to get this toy on my birthday or Christmas and making it one of my top tier toys come playtime. To be perfectly honest, I’d probably play with it now as the grown-ass man-child that I am if it were professionally made and thus wouldn’t fall to pieces if I looked at it the wrong way.
This is actually the second Kain Viccon figure I made; I also made one in a 4” scale, but I wanted to talk about this one first because it’s waaaaaaaay cooler. As I stated in my post about my 9” scale Noknor, the Scourge of Evil action figure, I am not an artist or sculptor and so I must rely on core figures (an existing toy that I mutilate in order to customize my toy). Anyone who’s been to my website as of late knows that if I ever do get The Quest Saga movie off the ground, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is my first and only pick so far to play the role of Kain Viccon and has been so for quite some time. Now, I had wanted to make a Kain toy long before this one and finding a suitable core figure is what was really holding it back; The Rock had been out of the WWF/WWE for quite some time (he’s back now, as is my understanding) and so they had more or less stopped making his action figures. I was able to find a couple of older figures on Ebay and Amazon’s version of Ebay, but nowhere near prices that I could possibly justify spending on my shoestring budget. As luck would have it, I finally found this one at Target (and later another one at Toys ‘R’ Us).
This “The Rock” action figure is from Mattel’s WWE Defining Moments line, reasonably priced (at the time) in the $15- $20 range (I just did a search and found it available, as of press time, from an Amazon dealer for…$250! CRAP IN A HAT!!!). This The Rock figure was perfect for me with its high detail and articulation. Extremely high resell value aside, this wrestling figure is actually pretty cool. It comes with a microphone, a stylish pair of sunglasses, a real cloth shirt and pants, and a faux leather jacket. I certainly don't feel it's $250 cool, but neat for any wrestle fan nonetheless.
Alright, getting into the actual construction of my Kain Viccon 9inch scale action figure. As I didn’t need the clothes he came with for this particular project, I stripped The Rock down to his wrasslin’ Speedo and got to work…hmmmm, if you arrived at this post due to a…shall we say, questionable Google search, all I have to say is: Howdy! Here’s a picture!
First, I painted his Speedo and legs blue to act as pants; I use acrylic paint because it’s easy to clean with water.
I then gave him an armored breastplate of air-dry polymer clay (the same Makin’s Clay brand discussed in the Noknor action figure post). Basically, I flattened the clay out with a roller, cut it to vague shape, and then molded it onto The Rock’s (hereafter referred to as Kain as I believe this was the true point of transition) torso. A little trimming and it was ready to let dry overnight.
Kinda looks like he’s wearing a white-beater shirt, ne? Just needs a cigarette and a beer.

It was only after the clay was firmly dried in place that I realized that I had allowed my impatience to screw me over again as I had forgotten to give Kain a shirt under the breastplate. I had planned to paint his torso and arms the same color as his pants (in the book the uniform of an Arcainian knight is described as dark blue heavy leather pants and shirt). No biggie, I just painted the arm, neckline and any other part of the torso that was exposed; any paint that spilled over onto the breastplate would be covered up with a later paint application. For Kain’s shirt and pants I used a regular matte paint, cobalt blue; when dry it has a grainy, leathery look. For anything that was supposed to be steel (breastplate, shield, etc.) I used a dark blue gloss paint that has a shiny, metallic look when dry.

For Kain’s shoulder guards, arm guards, and shin/knee guards I rolled out a large flat piece of clay and let it dry. Then sketched out the desired pieces and traced them onto the clay before cutting them out with a scalpel. I painted each piece (everything takes at least three coats) the same glossy dark blue as the breastplate and added some flourishes with glossy pewter grey; I used the glossy pewter for the steel toes of his boots, also. Once everything was dry and ready, I simply super-glued them all in place. The super-glue I use is a control gel.
This one! It’s much easier to work with than the liquid variety since it doesn’t run all over the place like water. I highly recommend it for projects like this.

Woo-hoo! Accessories time! Everyone knows that the best toys come with a lot of little toys to complete the figure (translation: the more crap a toy comes with the better it seems. Remember back to when you were a kid and getting a lot of shitty things was always better than one awesome thing).
We’ll start with the shield, simply cut out from a sheet of dry clay. I painted it glossy blue with glossy pewter edging. I emblazed it with the crest of the Kingdom of Arcainia (also found on Kain’s breastplate): a brown eagle fighting a rattlesnake atop a cactus. I lifted this right off the flag of Mexico as yet another (not so) subtle nod to my own Mexican heritage and the possibility that Arcainia may or may not be an alternate universe Aztec empire where they actually managed to get out of the Stone Age like the rest of the world. The white star comes from one of the original flags of the Republic of Texas/current flag of the City of Houston.
Kain’s removable helmet is described as being in the shape of an eagle’s head (see possible Aztec connection reference not two sentences ago). I got a bald eagle PVC statue thingie from Michaels hobby and craft store (although these PVC things can be found everywhere). You know, there is something to be said about one’s subconscious patriotism because I’ve destroyed a lot of toys in my day (some for art, others for fun), but this was the first time I actually felt bad as I looked at that decapitated eagle head. Three or four coats of glossy dark blue paint, glossy pewter touches, and some polymer clay to even out the back and sides and my conscience was good to go.
Originally, I had planned to make all of Kain’s weapons as described in the book: dagger, broadsword, bow & arrows, etc. I never did for time and patience reasons, but I did make the Elemental Sword and the Glok. The Elemental Sword is a magickal faery sword given to Kain by the Ladys of the Elements to fight the evil warlock Noknor. It’s described as having a crystal blade, silver hilt, and golden handle and it can do all sorts of fun stuff like throw fireballs, turn enemies to stone, call up a windstorm, basically anything having to do with the four elements: Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. For the blade, I cut it out from the plastic blister that the WWE Rock figure came in. The hilt was handcrafted from polymer clay and painted silver. For the handle, I used The Rock’s microphone since it was tailor-made to fit in the figure’s hand, painting it gold. A little control-gel super-glue holds it all together. In the book, a dwarf gives Kain a weapon he calls a glok, essentially a flintlock gun. The dwarf word “glok” first meant thunder but came to mean any loud, explosive sound; it is also a very colorful explicative, a dwarven F-bomb if you will. I actually used a scale model gun for it, a MG34 (the German machinegun of choice during WWI and WWII until it was superseded by the MG42). I used the butt of the MG34 for the glok’s butt and the MG34’s bolt for the glok barrel. Polymer clay filled out the stock and the MG34 leaf-sight became the glok’s firing mechanism. The glok does fit perfectly in Kain’s hand, although the limited articulation makes it awkward to point. Still, awesome fun.
Kain’s belt is real leather cut to size, painted black, and super-glued in place. His cloak is just a scrap of denim painted the right shade of blue; the paint made it pretty stiff. There is a button clasp on the cloak and on the figure’s back to facilitate the removable aspect of the cloak. Kain’s backpack was entirely molded with polymer clay and the same button snap-clasp makes it removable from Kain’s back. The backpack and glok again share the snap-clasp feature so that the glok can pop on and off for storage (the weight of the glok does cause the backpack to list slightly to the right, but meh!).
And that is how I made my 9" scale Grand General Viccon action figure from

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