Minor/Repaint: Antagony and Vice Grip - Updates/Review

Discussion in 'Radicons Customs' started by mrduce1018, May 5, 2016.

  1. mrduce1018

    mrduce1018 Well-Known Member

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    Commissioned Customs Review for Antagony and Vice Grip

    With Fun Publications, the Collectors Club and Botcon redoing some of their previous exclusive figures such as Ape-Linq and Shokaract, I started thinking about other older characters that would be due for an update as well. This led me to the very first Botcon I attended, Botcon 1998 in Anaheim California. The exclusives that year were a repaint of Beast Wars Inferno as Antagony and Beasty Wars Powerpinch as Vice Grip. These two characters were my first exclusive Transformers ever and they hold a special place for me, so why not have them updated?

    I have been privileged to be able to work with Fun Publications on occasion to write some character bios and some online fiction. This gave me an avenue to pitch some ideas as to how these characters can/should be updated. Many of the older Botcon characters used older Beast Wars figures. Unfortunately there have not been many ‘Beast’ figures since then so many of the updated characters have been given vehicle forms with similar paint schemes as their predecessor, maybe with a new head to make them look similar. However, Transformers Prime gave us more ‘Beast’ figures in the form of dragons, whether they be winged or ground based. This presented an opportunity for Antagony and Vice Grip to be updated!

    I set out to figure out which of these newer beast molds would work for the two characters I wanted updated. Enter Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Voyager Predaking. This big beefy multi-headed dragon seemed to be a good pick for Antagony. One of the distinguishing feathers of the original Vice Grip figure was that he had a pincher on his tail/gun, which gave him his name. Takara released a version of the Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Ripclaw figure with a new head, named Bakudora. This dragon featured a claw tail that also doubled as his weapon, with the new Takara head, this figure seemed perfect to be the newly updated Vice Grip.

    Now that I have the Characters and Molds chosen I need to figure out how to get them made. My custom skills are pretty novice at best so I decided to reach out and contact Shawn Tessmann, the organizer of the Customs Class at Botcon every year. We spoke about the ideas that I had and he was fairly confident that he could do what I was asking and in relative short order. I chose Shawn because he also works with Fun Publication but also because I have contracted out some other popular Customizers and have been extremely disappointed with the final results, so I wanted to go with someone that had a really good track record with detail to work and understanding paint application and the different plastics used by Hasbro and Takara.

    Antagony
    Shawn Tessmann did an amazing job matching the colors of the original 1998 figure. The purple details of the limbs are stunning. On the original figure the Ant Eyes were a dark red/maroon color; this was also used on the chest and shoulder pad area and sword. Another detail on the Predaking mold that Hasbro did not utilize was the Cybertronian Glyphs molded into the plastic all over the figure. I wanted these to stand out also, so looking into the fiction and art of Antagony there was an Acid Green accent color used for her. I asked that the Cybertronian Glyphs be filled in with this color. Shawn liked this idea and took it a step further and added it as a Glow in the Dark paint. In a pitch black setting the runes actually glow in the dark making this figure stand out constantly. That was a great idea that Shawn through in there and it was a home run in my opinion. You can also see that Antagony’s hands are still grey as the original figure. This is because Hasbro used a soft plastic that cannot be painted. That is fine, in my opinion it does not take away from the figure. However, I go back to my previous statement about choosing a customizer that knows plastics, Shawn knew this could not be painted and sent me a picture of what it would look like if he did paint it. Basically the paint would just lay on top of the plastic and any movement or friction would rub the paint off anyway, probably in places you don’t want. I mention this because, again, having other popular customizers do work for me in the past, I have received soft plastic painted and without warning.

    Overall – I felt like Antagony is a true updated representation of her original self. After receiving the figure in hand and playing around with it, I was convinced I wanted to pitch this idea to other at Fun Publications to see if the figure would be made. Unfortunately it was too late for any more figures to be made by Fun Publications, regardless I am very happy with this figure and the work that Shawn did.

    Vice Grip
    The second figure Shawn worked on was the new version of Vice Grip using the Transformers Go Bakudora figure. Now this figure was primarily blue already and since Vice Grip was also a blue character there shouldn’t be too much going on. However, Shawn matched the blue almost perfectly with the original figure. So much, that apparently the blue used on the original figure really doesn’t exist anymore so Shawn blended other blues to match the color he needed. Personally I think attention to detail like that is something every person seeking a customizer should look for. Standing next to the original figure you can’t even notice the shades of blue being different.

    On the original Bakudora figure the wings are red these have been pained silver with blue bordering. Predacon symbols have also been placed on the wings to show proper allegiance. The red on the legs and best chest have also been changed to silver. The face was also painted silver to match the original Vice Grip figure, thus eliminating all red from the figure. The Bakudora figure also featured a lot of black, this has been changed to blue and silver to give the new version of Vice Grip the proper overall color scheme of blue and silver to match the original figure.

    Again, Shawn took some liberties when dealing with the detail of the figure. Hasbro molds in details to every figure but rarely paints them. One of the great things that Fun Publications and Shawn during the Custom Class do is paint those details. This figure is no different. Many of the nuances and vents and patchwork of the base mold are painted, showing much more detail than either the Hasbro or Takara version did.

    Overall – I feel like this mold was meant to have a Vice Grip update and that the Club would be able to do it. Unfortunately time has slipped by and these homages will probably never be made. I did send these pics over to Fun Publications and the response I received was very positive. Personally these figures are done so well that they will go on to my Botcon/Club shelves and remain there as if they were always meant to be there.

    Overall Opinion of Shawn Tessmann’s work – There are a lot of customizers out there and admittedly I have only commissioned through a few of them. I can tell you that Shawn does things the correct way. He was in constant communication with me at every stage of each piece. Shawn fully disassembles the figures and paints each piece before putting them back together again. When he has questions about detail he communicates. When something won’t work he explains why. He also sends detailed pictures of what the finished product looks like and asks if there are any changes that needs to be made and if you are happy with it. One of the best aspects of Shawn is that his also humble, probably humble to a fault. He does not have the ego that some have, which makes it all that much easier to work with him because he listens to you and your ideas.

    Shawn Tessmann is a top notch guy and customizer and I welcome you to try and contact him for a custom piece of your own. You will not be disappointed A+++++++
    You can find Shawn on Facebook at Shawn Tessmann
    Or
    sdtessmann on TFW
    Or
    Delta Source on Allspark.

    I will update with his TFW name and also pics of alt modes later.
    Thanks for reading!
    Greg
     

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  2. primalxconvoy

    primalxconvoy グーグル 翻訳は素晴らしいです!

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    Nice paint job, but I don't really feel Antagony in the mold choice. Perhaps using Inferno, with some modified limbs?
     
  3. mrduce1018

    mrduce1018 Well-Known Member

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    Well I wanted an updated version of Antagony, similar to how Botcon has redone Ape-Linq, Flareup, Hunter ect. With that in mind I wanted a new mold. If I just used an Inferno mold and added new parts, then I might as well just skip the project altogether since the original Antagony is already using the Inferno mold.

    So with that in mind I was looking for a beefier looking mold choice that could capture the bad ass that Antagony is. This is why I settled on the Predaking mold.

    Greg