Custom Indy Figures – Walter Donovan and Sophia Hapgood

Here’s two more of my awesome Indiana Jones custom figures:
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Walter Donovan from “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”:
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Walter Donovan was a wealthy art and archaeology enthusiast who has allied himself with the Nazis in his quest to acquire the Holy Grail, drinking from which would grant him everlasting life. For the final leg of his quest, Donovan has changed into a safari outfit, as his convoy sets off for the Canyon of the Crecent Moon, where the Grail Temple is located.
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Recipe:
Head – General Veers (“Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back”)
Rest of the body – Colonel Vogel (“Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”)
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In “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”, Walter Donovan was protrayed by actor Julian Glover, who also protrayed General Veers in “Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back”. Since almost every Star Wars character got its own figure, it was possible for me to customise a convincing Donovan figure by using the head of General Veers. The other time I did something similar was when I used the head of Admiral Ozzel to create the Adolf Hitler figure. Strictly speaking, such instances are rare, and I think these are the only two instances of same actor – different character between Indiana Jones and Star Wars. Work on Donovan’s head involved slicing off Veers’ cap, using epoxy to sculpt the head top, and painting the grey hair, as well as the bit of skin on his scalp.
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General Veers (Star Wars)               Colonel Vogel (TLC)     
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I decided to transform Vogel’s military uniform into Donovan’s safari outfit as the two attire resembled each other. Vogel’s pockets needed some modifications in the form of sculpting an additional middle band on the chest pockets, and sculpting the pouches of the lower pockets. The two lapel badges were cut off, and they became the buckles on Donovan’s belt. One of the round medals on Vogel’s pocket became a badge on Donovan’s lapel. Epoxy was used to smooth over Vogel’s belt buckle.
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“Today is a good day to start living forever, isn’t it ? Herr Colonel ?”
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Sophia Hapgood from the Indiana Jones game “Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis”:
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Sophia Hapgood was an archaeologist who had previously worked with Indy during an expedition in Iceland some years back. Since then, Sophia had concentrated her research on the subject of the lost continent of Atlantis, giving psychic presentations to showcase her apparent connection with an ancient Atlantean God. In 1939, Indy contacted Sophia when he learnt that the Nazis were gathering all research and artifacts concerning Atlantis. Indy and Sophia then teamed up in an attempt to prevent the Nazis from finding Atlantis and acquire its advanced technology.
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Recipe:
Head – Mara Jade (Star Wars Expanded Universe)
Torso – Marion Ravenwood (“Raiders of the Lost Ark”)
Arms, jacket and belt – Indiana Jones
Legs – Mace Windu (“Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace”)
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sophia_sprite
This is an enlarged sprite of Sophia Hapgood.
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Sophia Hapgood is a character from the “Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis” game. FOA is one of the best Indiana Jones games ever released, but personally, I haven’t played the game fully as I couldn’t get the game to run properly on my computer yet. The face of Sophia Hapgood resembeld that of Mara Jade, the wife of Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars Expanded Universe, especially her long red hair. Mace Windu’s legs were used as I had those as spares, leftover from an earlier custom. Those legs already came with the brown boots, and the legs actually looked feminine. Some dremeling was needed to create the bustline on Marion’s torso. Fortunately, Sophia was wearing a brown leather jacket, just like Indy, and I can use my spare Indy arms and jacket for her. Sophia wears an Atlantean medallion around her neck. The medallion, which looks like a mask, was drawn by me, printed and cut out and pasted below Sophia’s neck, with the gold chain simply drawn on using gold ink pen.
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“Sophia, you take the lead. I’ll, uh, watch your back.”
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Note: Sophia Hapgood returned for another appearance in a subsequent game “Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine”, although in that game Sophia sports a different attire as well as a different hairdo.
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Custom Indy Stuff – The Ark Crate

Here’s another Indiana Jones custom that I know was within my ability to create, and that I have done !
 
The Ark Crate from “Raiders of the Lost Ark”:
 
The original crate comes from a Marvel Figure Factory “Doctor Doom” that I have specially bought to do this custom. Other customisers had either also used the same crate or they made the crate from scratch using wood. The Ark fits nicely into the crate. The wooden panels on the sides of the crate were downloaded from someone who has posted pictures of his work online, while I scanned the logo pictures from a Lucasarts Archive book, which had photos of the original crate prop. The wooden panels were printed out and pasted onto the crate using double-sided tape.
  
After Indy and Sallah descend into the Wells of Souls and locate the Ark of the Covenant,
they quickly placed the Ark within the wooden crate
and try to smuggle it away right under the Nazis’ noses. 
 
Belloq and the Nazis discover Indy’s clandestine activities and they take possession of the Ark.
Indy and Marion were imprisoned within the Wells of Souls, while the Nazis prepared to deliver the Ark to Hitler.
The crate was labeled “Property of the German Army”.
  
Indy and Marion escape from the Wells of Souls, and Indy soon steals back the Ark.
Indy attempts to smuggle the Ark out of Egypt via ship, and within the ship’s cargo hold,
the power of the Ark manifests itself by burning off the Nazi logo.

Custom Indy Figures – Dovchenko in US Army disguise, and Nepal Marion

Hello world! Here is a showcase of my latest two Indiana Jones custom figures:
 
Dovchenko in US Army disguise from “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”:
 
Disguised as a US Army Colonel, Dovchenko led his men to shoot their way into Hangar 51, where the US Government stores its secret artifacts. At gunpoint, Indy was coerced into helping the Soviets locate a crate containing alien remains. The Soviets steal the alien remains, while Indy escapes after an extended fistfight with Dovchenko.
 
Recipe:
Head – Colonel Dovchenko (“Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”)
Torso and upper arms – German Soldier (“Raiders of the Lost Ark”)
Lower arms, lower legs and cap – Zartan (G.I. Joe The Rise of Cobra”)
Upper legs – Mutt Williams with snake (“Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”)
Gun holster – Indiana Jones
 
This Indy custom came about when someone on the Indy discussion board customized a disguised Dovchenko and provided the receipe, and I realised that I already had all the necessary parts available. The most challenging part of this custom involves the transplanting of Zartan’s lower legs. Mutt Williams’ legs were amputated below the knees, and Zartan’s legs were likewise cut and superglued into position. Epoxy was then applied to cover-up the seams where the legs join. Epoxy was also used to sculpt the T-shirt below the neck. A top was sculpted onto Dovchenko’s head, taking into account that it must be small enough to fit into Zartan’s cap, and still be of correct proportion in relation to the rest of the head. The hair was painted in the way as it had appeared in the movie.
  
 
A close-up of disguised Dovchenko. I had designed and printed out the insignias. The original idea was to shrink photos of the insignias to the small size, but they all turned out like smudges. So the insignias were created, pixel by pixel, save for the shoulder badge, which was edited from a shrunk-down photo of the badge. There’s also a badge on the Dovchenko’s cap.
 
Some alterations were made on the webbing, to create additional straps on the front,  rearranging the ammo pouches, adding on the gun holster, and dremeling and sculpting the webbing on the back, changing it from a “Y” strap to a cross strap.
 
“I like Ike !”
 
Nepal Marion from “Raiders of the Lost Ark”:
 
Marion Ravenwood was Indy’s former girlfriend. She runs a bar in Nepal, and when Indy came asking for her help in the search for the Ark, the first thing Marion did was to give Indy a punch in the face, before she was persuaded to consider Indy’s request by his offer of money. Shortly after, Indy rescues Marion from a bunch of Nazi-hired thugs, and Marion joins up with Indy in the Ark search.
 
Recipe:
Head, torso and upper arms – Marion Ravenwood (“Raiders of the Lost Ark”)
Lower arms – Mutt Williams with snake (“Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”)
Legs and scarf – René Belloq (“Raiders of the Lost Ark”)
Ponytail and ears – Padme Amidala (“Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones”)
Belt – Indiana Jones
 
Nepal Marion is a rather interesting custom. The original Marion figure has long hair, whereas Nepal Marion has her hair bundled in a ponytail. Some on the Indy discussion board made their Nepal Marion by using the head of the Star Wars figure Dorovio Bold, who has a short fringe and whose face is said to bear a better resemblance to Marion than the Hasbro figure. However, no one in Singapore seems to have imported this figure, and I thought that it was rather excessive to order a figure from overseas just for its head. So I decided to work directly on Marion’s head to create the ponytail hairstyle. This involved cutting off extra sections of the hair, dremeling to create more of the face, transplanting over Padme’s ponytail and ears, and using epoxy to sculpt the hair to join with the ponytail. The epoxy sculpt was then painted to match the hair and the ponytail.
 
The ponytail looks good enough.
 
Marion’s torso along with the waist was transplanted over onto Belloq’s legs, using epoxy as glue. And the scarf was created using a strap from Belloq’s headpiece. The sleeves fold-up was sculpted using epoxy, and I simply painted onto the arms to create the rest of the sleeves covering the elbows.
 
The three faces of Marion. The middle is the original figure.

Custom Indy Stuff – German motorcycle with sidecar

This Indy custom will be a bit different from my usual custom work, and it’s not even a figure, it’s a vehicle !
 
German motorcycle with sidecar from “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”:
 
Indy and his Dad break out of their confines at Brunwald Castle, and they quickly commandeer a German motorcycle with sidecar to escape from the Nazis. Colonel Vogel sends four riders to chase after them, but Indy easily shakes them off, with his Dad less than impressed by his riding antics.
 
Hasbro’s German motorcycle with rider from “The Last Crusade”. Notice the peghole above the exhaust pipe.
 
Hasbro had released a German motorcycle from “The Last Crusade”, and it looked quite obvious that the motorcycle was intended to fit with a sidecar since there’s a peghole at the right side of the rear wheel. And when World Peacekeepers released a military motorcycle with sidecar, I immediately saw that it was possible for me to customise Indy’s getaway motorcycle by transplanting the sidecar over to the German motorcycle.
 
This is the World Peacekeepers military motorcycle with sidecar.
 
Modifications were made to the German motorcycle. The motorcycle drapes on the front wheel and the bundle of groundsheet at the rear were removed. Using plasticine and epoxy, I sculpted an additional seat that was placed behind the rider’s seat. As for the sidecar, sure enough there was a rear peg which fits exactly into the German motorcycle’s peghole. Attaching the sidecar to the motorcycle still required applying epoxy glue to fix the front peg into position. A piece of wood was stuck behind the sidecar to create a support for the spare wheel, and the spare wheel was made from the plastic cap of a small carton bottle, with the wheel cover printed out and pasted onto the cap. The machine gun stand was made out of pieces of plastic and toothpicks. A petrol jerry can was fashioned out of styrofoam and positioned between the motorcycle and the sidecar.
 
Rear view of the customized German motorcycle with sidecar.
 
The German motorcycle with sidecar is truly an awesome custom work. But for all its details, it still does not exactly match up with its onscreen counterpart. There’s an extra railing on the actual sidecar’s base, the motorcycle should have two exhaust pipes on each sides instead of one, and the number plates have a totally different numbering from the one in the movie. But I am quite happy with the custom that I had made, since it was a departure from my usual figure customs and yet it still compliments my customs collections.
 
And what do I do with the military motorcycle without its sidecar? I modify it to resemble the German motorcycle! Or I at least try, by fixing the groundsheet bundle onto the motorcycle’s rear seat. I still couldn’t figure out how to put the drapes over the front wheel without causing too much obstruction.
 
 The German rider can take this bike instead !
 
Indy and Dad on the run from the Nazis, with a German rider in close pursuit behind.

Custom Indy Figures – German Mechanic and Marion in white dress

What Hasbro fails to make, we Indiana Jones fans customise, and here is a showcase of the latest two Indy customs that I have made:
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German Mechanic from “Raiders of the Lost Ark”:
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After Indy knocks out the wrench-wielding German Mechanic, Indy continues on his attempt to hijack the Flying Wing, and this time he was interrupted by the massive muscular German Mechanic, who was only all too eager for a fistfight with Indy.
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Recipe:
Head and upper arms – Serpentor from G.I. Joe
Torso, lower arms and legs –  Chief Temple Guard (“Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom”)
Boots – Indiana Jones
Belt – Sandstorm Han Solo (“Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi”)
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The German Mechanic was one of the more memorable Indiana Jones adversary thanks to his down and dirty fistfight with Indy in ROTLA, although technically speaking he was the second mechanic to appear onscreen (the first one was the one with the wrench). The German Mechanic is another one of the canceled 5 Indy figures. He was protrayed by actor Pat Roach, who also protrayed the Chief Temple Guard in “Temple of Doom”. Therefore, it is possible to customise a German Mechanic figure by working on the Chief Temple Guard as they both has the same body sculpt since both were protrayed by the same actor.
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I acquired an extra Chief Temple Guard from eBay just so as to create the German Mechanic. The armor can be removed to reveal a bare chest.
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The German Mechanic’s head comes from G.I. Joe Serpentor, with the eyebrows and moustache painted on. Removing the elbow bands from the Guard, I found that the upper arms were too short and didn’t extend to the elbows. Fortunately, Serpentor so happens to have a pair of muscular upper arms which I transplanted onto the torso. The wrist bands were dremeled off. Epoxy was applied over the socks to create a smooth surface for the boots gaiters, while I replaced the shoes with Indy boots, painted black. The most difficult part was to mix a suitable skin colour to paint onto the torso. Most of the times I do not like to make alterations on the head as the delicate face details could get damaged, so I mixed a skin colour to match that of the head, finally coming up with the right proportions of mix for a close enough match.
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My custom German Mechanic (left), compared with the canceled figure (right).
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 German Mechanic in action, with Indy getting the punch.
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Marion in white dress from “Raiders of the Lost Ark”:
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After Marion was kidnapped by Belloq, Marion changes into the white dress offered by Belloq so as to play for time while she tries to figure out a way to escape from captivity.
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Recipe:
Head – Marion Ravenwood (“Raiders of the Lost Ark”)
Torso and legs – Padme Amidala (“Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones”)
Arms – Mutt Williams with snake (“Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”)
Ribbon – René Belloq (“Raiders of the Lost Ark”)
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The main part of this custom (torso and legs) comes from Padme Amidala in “black dress” from “Attack of the Clones”. Originally, the dress stretched all the way down to the shoes, and I cut off just enough of the dress to show the legs. The legs were joined together, which made the figure almost impossible to stand. Using a penknife I sliced between the legs and spread the legs so that the figure can balance on its feet, just barely though. Epoxy was used to sculpt the shoulder straps, the sleeves bludge, and the right shoe. Note that Marion was wearing only one shoe as she had dropped the other when she was thrown into the Wells of Souls. The dress has two flower decos, on the front and at the back. And the ribbon comes from the Belloq’s headpiece. The same skin paint from the German Mechanic was used to apply on Marion’s skin, the paint matched with Marion’s face.
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The back of Marion’s dress (left), showing that big flower deco. Marion’s dress originally stretched all the way to the floor, before Indy ripped her dress to use as fuel to keep the fire going. On the right you can see Marion’s dress as it frst appeared.
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My custom Marion in white dress (left), compared with Hasbro’s design (right). The legs don’t exactly match, Hasbro Marion’s legs has much more articulation. But at least, the figure can still stand.
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And with that, I have actually customised all five of the canceled Hasbro Indiana Jones figures! I consider this achievement a great feat in itself!
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The lost Hasbro 5, trying to look like heroes here.
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[UPDATE – 17 August 2013: I’ve revisited the Marion figure to make some changes.]
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revisit02_marion
I have replaced Marion’s arms (which originally came from Mutt Williams), with that of Leesub Sirln, so now Marion looks considerably more feminine.