Spotlight Member For April is....Stronox!!
This month, we're spotlighting the one and only Stronox! Stronox has been a very professional acting and contributive member here at PC.com, with tons of great customs to boot. Check out the interview below and the impressive customs which follow.
So first off, what's your name and what does your daily life consist of?
My real name is Robert Parker and I am a 35 year old single father of 1 great little boy who shares my name. I also work full time as a nurse.
How long have you been customizing, and what brought you into the hobby?
I have been into this hobby going into my third year now. When I was young, my Grandmother taught me all about sci-fi, military adventures, and superheroes and I can still remember her stories of great characters like the Spirit and The Sahdow. My Mom has always been an armchair artist of sorts and for as long as I can remember I was always drawing and building stuff. More than anything, my figures and toys were very special to me and I took great care of them. I never really grew out of them and have been a collector forever. I started using my painting skills locally painting small armies for guys that were into 28mm minis, and loved everything about it. I actually got the customizing "bug" when I first joined the Hisstank.com and saw how many people were into making their own custom toys. I thought to myself, "I can do that" and here I am, still at it!!
Why did you start customizing figures?
I thought to myself that there could be ways to improve upon the modern era figures, making them even better than they were. Once I actually plugged into the internet, I saw many, many, people shared the same thoughts about their toys and I began lurking and studying how things were done.
If you had to define your style, how would you?
Darker, more earth toned I guess. I do tend to use more heavier applications of washes vs a clean paint application.
Since you began, what is one thing you've learned that you could pass on to newcomers of the hobby?
Always, always, always, take your time and do the best you can with what you've got.
What does your family/friends think of this hobby?
I think they think I just play with toys!! It is funny as I am getting to a point where I make more monthly on commissions and auctions than I do working my full time job, yet I still get strange looks kinda of like I am speaking a different language or something.
What is your favorite toyline to customize and why?
GI Joe hands down. I love the GI Joe franchise and I think more than any other line of modern era toys GI Joe has the most fans that all have different ideas of what it is in their minds. For example, there is no doubt in series like Transformers or Star Wars that it is all fantasy and fiction right from the start. WIth Joes I tend to see a little more diversity as some like to make it very realistic, while others like the fantasy aspect of it. I also just think that they are superior figures over others of that scale.
What kinds of figures do you specialize in?
I feel it is a toss up between Joes and Star Wars.
Do you have an ultimate project you wish to tackle in the future?
I want to start making more dios and actually keep some of my work. I have found it has become impossible to be a collector and a customizer. Everything I see now can use some kind of improvment in my mind.
Who are some of the other customizers or artists you admire/respect and why?
First and foremost my good buddy Tankster, who befriended me early on when I first started posting my stuff. Since then he and I have become pretty close, though have yet to actually meet. He is one of the few people I would actually call a real friend. Other than that I am not much of a talker on boards and forums really though I do want to say though that I have a huge respect for tons of other artists in various genres who act professionally and show that through their work.
If you had the opportunity to work with one other individual who would it be and how come?
Well again I would have to say Tankster. That guy builds some crazy stuff and it shows that is his favorite aspect of the hobby. I love to paint. A perfect business relationship if you ask me.
I do kind of have a partner already. My son actually helps me with play testing and has more recently gotten into helping me with designs on my figures. He is becoming very, very, good at coming up with alternate parts choices to make figures and has also begun plans on his own creations. I have even used his ideas in more of my recent customs and I have began paying him too!!
What sort of music do you enjoy?
I enjoy everything from musical scores and classical to hard rock. Music sets up my moods heavily for what I am about to work on.
Do you have any other hobbies outside of collecting and customizing?
I enjoy a good video game once in a while. I am currently into Skyrim and Rage right now.
What is currently in your dvd player?
Oh geeze...Green Lantern!!! My son loves GL and I have seen that movie like 63 times or something.
Are you open for commissions and/or collaborations?
Right now I am taking very limited commissons as I am maxed out almost all the time anymore.
Have you ever worked in the Toy industry professionally?
Do you make customs as your full time income?
No, though I have given it serious thought. If I lost my job right now I think I would go into it full time.
Do you collect figures as well?
I try, but anymore when I go into the toy store all I can see is potential rather than toys. Everything I see I think can be improved or used for some other project. I am trying to leave some of my DC Universe figures alone for now...
Who is your favorite toy character and why?
DC Universe Classics BAF Darkseid and that is because I still remember my DC Superpowers Darkseid I had when I was a kid. I had no idea who he really was then except he was a bad guy and I used him to kick Superman's butt. When I found out he can kick Superman's butt I liked him even more. The more recent BAF Darkseid is actually one figure I find almost perfect as is (except I plan to make him a cape that the old Superpowers figure had).
What do you hope for, in a commission customer?
Good communication in a timely manner, patience, and follow through once the project is completed.
Advice to those wanting to make customs for a living.
Tell us one interesting fact about yourself that NOBODY would ever guess!
I am a terrible Insomniac.
Yeah dude, well deserved !
Awesome stuff! Pretty sure I had that same Darkseid figure. He was the one with the red light piping, right? Loved that thing!
Like a BOSS! Great stuff, Stronox, your stuff is always on my favorites list.
From the top of the key for three, Villain...
been on in the game as long as he could wheelie a Schwinn
Damn fine choice, that Storm Shadow still gives me chills.
Always admired your work man, congrats..Good read too!
Very nice stuff man,my fayorite is the Storm Shadow!!
Well deserved recognition!!
Keep up the awesome work!
Gratz man! Huge fan of all your work but the Joe stuff especially!
Congrats man, you had my vote from the get go!