Custom Indy Figures – Old Indiana Jones

Hi everybody! Now this is an interesting Indiana Jones custom figure that I have created, and there’s quite a story behind it too!
 
#28: Old Indiana Jones from “The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles”
 
Having lived through a lifetime of exciting adventures and travelling to exotic places all around the world, the 93-years-old Indiana Jones now lives with his family in modern-day New York, where he happily relates his adventures when he was a little kid or when he was a young adult to an audience which may or may not be interested in listening to his story.
 
Recipe:
Head – Palpatine (“Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith”)
Torso, legs – Henry Jones (“Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”)
Arms, jacket – Monkey Man (“Raiders of the Lost Ark”)
Hands – German Soldier (“Raiders of the Lost Ark”)
Hat – Indiana Jones (“Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”)
 
“The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles” was a TV series that aired during the 1990s. The show told of the adventures of Indiana Jones when he was young, before the events of the Indiana Jones movies. The episodes of YIJC can be divided into two main categories: the ones which happened when Indy was a 5-year-old kid as he traveled with his parents on a round-the-world tour, and those which happened when Indy was a young adult, during which Indy was inspired to fight in the Great War. In his adventures, Indy would meet many historical figures, and also get himself involved in numerous complicated situations that he has to free himself from.
 
This is the 93-year-old Old Indy. (Photo from www.theraider.net)
 
When YIJC first aired, each episode was bookended by Old Indy, who will begin to tell of his story whenever he encounters some incident which reminded him of a similar experience. However, for reasons never satisfactorily explained, in the subsequent airings of YIJC and in the VHS and DVD releases, all scenes with Old Indy and his narrations were removed, and replaced with newly filmed bridging scenes or narrations. As a result, most people today are unaware of Old Indy, as Lucasfilm had made it look as if Old Indy had never existed at all. This matter still remains a highly debated issue among Indiana Jones fans, as to whether Old Indy can even be considered as “official”.
 
Close-up of Old Indy. Check out the scar across the right eye.
 
If Old Indy is considered as canon, then we can know certain details of Indy’s life after the events of “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”. Sometime between 1957 (the time of KOTCS) and 1992, on an as yet unspecified adventure, Indy suffered a slashing wound to his right eye, resulting in the lost of his eye and creating the need to wear an eyepatch. The injury also created a scar that runs over the right eye, a feature which I had replicated on Old Indy’s face. Old Indy also wears a pair of glasses, and he walks around with a walking stick. The episodes of YIJC also reveal that Indy has a daughter (or is it daughter-in-law?), and at least a grandson.
 
Young Indy (in 1912), Indy (1930s to 1950s), and Old Indy (1992).
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Custom Indy Figures – Agent Otto, and Tuxedo Indy

My custom work on Indy figures continues, with this showcase of my latest two Indy customs!
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#26: Agent Otto from “Raiders of the Lost Ark”
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Gestapo Agent Otto served as Major Toht’s henchman when Toht went to Nepal to obtain an ancient artifact from Marion Ravenwood. Indy interrupts Toht’s interrogation of Marion, and a gunfight breaks out. As Indy struggles with one of Toht’s hired thugs, Toht orders Otto to shoot both of them to save themselves the trouble. Before Otto could carry out his orders, Indy guns him down.
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Recipe:
The whole figure – Bruce Wayne (“The Dark Knight”)
Trenchcoat – Cobra Commander (“G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra”)
Hat – Indiana Jones (“Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”)
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Agent Otto was a straight forward custom, and all I needed to do to make this custom was to wait till I can acquire a Bruce Wayne figure for a cheap enough price, which happened when someone was selling it for only $1 at CSC. I was originally planning to modify a Monkey Man’s robe, and then I realised that I can use the Cobra Commander’s trenchcoat which I already had. Additional work included painting on the moustache, and painting his clothes in gloss black. In the actual movie, Otto’s trenchcoat was closed, not open. But I shall allow some dramatic leeway for this custom.
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“Fraulein Ravenwood, …we’re not thirsty…”
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#27: Tuxedo Indy from “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom”
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Indy dresses in his best as he enters into Club Obi-wan in Shanghai for some deadly negotiations with the crime lord Lao Che. Indy trades an ancient urn containing Lao Che’s Emperor ancestor, in exchange for a long sought-after diamond. Lao Che then tries to keep both artifacts for himself by attempting a double-cross, spiking Indy’s drink with poison, and forcing Indy to exchange the diamond for the antidode. A tussle breaks out between Indy and Lao Che’s men, and Indy escapes with the antidode, dragging along Lao Che’s trophy nightclub singer from the firefight.
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Recipe:
Head, torso, legs – Indiana Jones (“Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”)
Arms – German Soldier (“Raiders of the Lost Ark”)
Jacket –  Monkey Man (“Raiders of the Lost Ark”)
A bit of the vest – Comes from that of James McCullen XXIV aka Destro (“G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra”)
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A recent clearance sale of several Monkey Man figures had allowed me to proceed with the custom work for figures in suit, and Tuxedo Indy is among one of them. Some of the more difficult part of this custom involved the sculpting on of collars using epoxy and the addition of the bowtie. The bowtie was cut from a strip of rubber tie. The vest flaps covering the belt actually comes from that of James McCullen XXIV, cut out from his jacket, with the jacket now belonging to the Kazim figure. The rest of the vest were sculpted using epoxy, and that required several layers of epoxy and paint, to achieve the smooth uniform texture. Monkey Man’s robe was cut into the jacket, with lapels sculpted on with epoxy. And the red flower deco is a small round piece of red packet paper.
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There seems to be a misconception among other Indy figures customisers in that they created their Tuxedo Indy wearing an all-white jacket, when onscreen the jacket has an off-white, maize colour, which was what I used to paint the jacket. The difference between the maize and white colours become obvious when you compare the jacket with Indy’s white inner shirt.
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Indy inspects his diamond.
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[UPDATE – 18 August 2013: I’ve revisited the Indy figure to make some changes.]
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Shortly after I had created Tuxedo Indy, I developed a new method of creating a bowtie by sculpting epoxy onto a bowtie-shaped piece of paper, a method which was then applied on all subsequent bowtie figures. So I decided to revisit Tuxedo Indy to redo his bowtie. The previous bowtie did not look as prominent as the new one.

I want to criticize this bloody bitch

(Names have been changed so as to protect me from those who actually think that I am writing about them.)
 
There is this person, whose callous actions had pissed me off so much that it had even made me question my fundamental rationale of being such a nice, friendly, and helpful guy to all my friends and the people who know me.
 
About seven years ago, back in my university days, I was enrolled in my physics course, and one of my fellow coursemates is Mr. Xam, a friend whom I had known ever since primary school. Mr. Xam and I were also in the same secondary school and junior college, although frankly speaking I could not remember meeting him in JC as we did not bump into each other. Mr. Xam’s girlfriend, Miss Gone-Case, was also studying in the same university, and quite often I would have lunch with both of them, to catch up on the latest news and happenings.
 
Miss Gone-Case also gives tution, and it so happened that she was going to give some students tution on JC mathematics but she did not have the necessary materials to teach. Gone-Case asked me if I had any A-level statistics notes that I can lend her. And being such a helpful person that I am, I agreed to lend her my statistics notes, with the understanding that she would have to return them to me if I should need to use them.
 
Fine. Time passed, and both Mr. Xam and Gone-Cassie graduated first while I stayed on for one more year to do my Honours. And it so happened that in my last semester I signed up for a statistics course, and I thought that it would be useful to have my JC statistic notes to use as a reference. I contacted Mr. Xam, telling him to ask Gone-Cassie to return me my notes. However, apart from replying an "ok" sms, Mr. Xam did not seem to have done much of anything else to help me get my notes. On my part, I managed to find Gone-Cassie’s email address from one of her emails, and emailed her, asking her to maybe send my notes back to my address since she lives in Malaysia.
 
To my shock, Cassie replied saying that she had already passed my notes to Mr. Xam and was expecting him to return my notes to me. I confronted Mr. Xam about this. And then Mr. Xam mentioned that he had recently moved house and had lost my notes amongst his many boxes, and that he was unable to find them. As a result of all this ruckuss I was unable to refer to my statistics notes for the course, having my notes might have made the course easier to understand. In a final communique to Cassie, I scolded Cassie in a block letter sentence, saying that SHE SHOULD HAVE RETURNED MY NOTES TO ME DIRECTLY! Cassie only gave a half-hearted apology, saying that she thought that it would be easier for me to get my notes from Mr. Xam, now that the two of them are not together anymore.
 
And to this day I am still waiting for Mr. Xam to return me my notes. Ever since he graduated, Mr. Xam has moved on with his life. He had found jobs, changed jobs (at least twice that I know of), and even got married. I recently managed to reestablish contact with him via Facebook, reminding him to return my notes. Instead, he didn’t even offer to try to find them, or give me a possible timeframe to find them, still saying that my notes are lost among his stuff at his parents’ place and he cannot (or cannot be bothered to) find them. Personally, I feel that this incident had placed an unnecessary strain on my friendship with Mr. Xam, one that has dragged on far longer than it should have been allowed.
 
I have this fundamental belief that when you borrow something from someone, you must return the item to that person directly, or at least make sure that the person got the item back. This is basic courtesy. But somehow, my helpfullness to my friends has resulted in my statistics notes going missing, which made me question myself what’s the point of being so helpful. It did not further develop or strengthen my friendships but had instead brought me more trouble. My A-level statistics notes meant a lot to me, I wrote one whole bunch of equations in all sorts of colours during those memorable times of studying for A-levels. And I also hoped to use my notes to do some statistics surveys of my own, finding the average time or costs that kind of stuff.
 
And in all this, I somehow blame Cassie for not returning my notes to me directly. I am also her friend, she had my phone number, she could have easily called me to arrange a meeting. But no, she simply didn’t do that. She simply had to avoid me. This is madness. I don’t know why, or even pretend to know why, but quite often girls would avoid me for no reason at all. I know of someone whom I suspected decided not to take a particular bus to university so as to avoid bumping into me. On another occassion a JC acquaintance decided to sit somewhere else in the canteen just so that she would not be facing in my direction as I ate my lunch. But my notes going missing, that has got to be the worst case of "I simply have to avoid you for God knows what hell reason" as it resulted with my notes ending up in limbo, especially since it happened when I was only trying to be helpful.

Custom Indy Stuff – Kazim’s Sten Gun

Oh my, I’d been rather busy with work lately and had little time to do any blog. Aussi, j’avais un test de francais à samedi dernier, and had therefore placed on myself a one-week moratorium from any Indiana Jones custom work just so that I can concentrate on preparing for my French test. All right, now that’s over, I went straight into making a custom item that had been on my mind since my earlier custom Indy figure showcase.
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Kazim with gun (Photo from www.theraider.net)
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In “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”, Kazim shoots at Indy and Elsa with a Sten gun, which is recognisable by its distinctive side-mounted magazine. Therefore, I decided to create such a gun for my Kazim figure.
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 Kazim with the customised Sten gun
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The Sten gun (above), compared with the German MP40 gun (below).
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The Sten gun was created by modifying a German MP40 gun (with extended stock) that came with the German Soldiers twin-pack. The Sten gun was mounted with a front suppressor, which I create by cutting off the gun barrel and replacing it with a piece of toothpick. The foresight was also transplanted over onto the suppressor. The magazine was cut out and pasted onto the side of the gun. The Sten gun had a solid stock instead of the folding stock. To create the stock, pieces of toothpick were pasted onto the existing stock, and then covered over with epoxy and sculpted into the stock shape. Lastly, gun metal paint was applied over all the added-on areas.
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Personally, I think the final product looks real cool, since I’m adding some variety to my weapons.

Custom Indy Figures – Sallah in suit, and Helmut von Mephisto

Here’s two more of my awesome custom Indy figures:
 
#24 (Yes, I’m keeping track now!): Sallah in suit from “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”
 
Sallah has joined Indy in his latest adventure, to beat the Nazis in the quest for the Holy Grail. Sallah rendevoused with Marcus Brody in Iskanderun, only to lose Brody when the Nazis kidnap him. Indy and his Dad arrive shortly thereafter, and together with Sallah, they pursued the Nazi convoy into the desert and successfully rescued Brody. Although later at the Grail Temple, Sallah does not do or say much other than serve as Indy’s ally.
 
Recipe:
The whole figure – Sallah (“Raiders of the Lost Ark”), except for the jacket
Jacket – Monkey Man (“Raiders of the Lost Ark”)
 
And this is a customisation of the Sallah figure, to convert his appearance to that as seen in “The Last Crusade”. Sallah’s head originally wore a turban with a piece of cloth hanging on the right side of the face. That piece of cloth was cut off, and some dremeling was done to even out the plastic in order to recreate the face, with an ear sculpted on using epoxy. The turban itself was also dremeled to reduce its size such that I can apply on the epoxy to create the fez hat. The front of the torso was dremeled down a bit so as to create a space to sculpt the collars and the tie. The circular pattern on the tie was printed out, while the belt was cut out of Sallah’s original skirt. Epoxy was used to create additional length to the pants such that it now reached down to the shoes.
 
Sallah in “Raiders of the Lost Ark” (left), and Sallah in “The Last Crusade” (right).
 

The jacket was modified from Monkey Man’s jacket, with the lapels and pockets sculpted on using epoxy, a skill I had previously developed when I was customising Belloq in suit. I had difficulty in finding the suitable maize colour to paint the suit, as no such colour was for sale! In the end I figured out how to create the maize colour by mixing white with dark yellow. I thought that I can improve upon my previous attempt to create the suit. Belloq’s suit had a thick paint layer which obscured much of the lapels. However, for Sallah’s suit, I had no choice but also apply a thick layer of paint, as the ink I used for tracing the outlines for the lapels and pockets dissolved in the paint and was smudging through. A thick layer was needed to cover over the smudge. Damn. I’ll use a pencil to trace the outlines the next time. Lastly, Sallah’s gold chain was drawn on using a gold ink pen.

 
#25: Helmut von Mephisto from the Indiana Jones novel “Indiana Jones and the Mystery of Mount Sinai”
 
In 1941, Indiana Jones was hired by the US government, to search for advanced ancient technology and prevent them from falling into the hands of the Nazis. When Indy “borrows” some ancient scrolls from the Vatican archives for clues, he was pursued by the nefarious SS Obergruppenführer Helmut von Mephisto, who shoots force lightning from his mechanical right hand. Indy evades capture, and the clues leads Indy to an ancient missile site located in Mount Sinai. A final fight between Indy and Mephisto results in Mephisto getting trapped in the missile chamber during the launch sequence. The end of the book makes it clear that Mephisto survived.
 
Recipe:
Head – James McCullen XXIV aka Destro (“G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra”)
Torso and lower left arm – Colonel Dovchenko (“Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”)
Upper left arm – RPG Indiana Jones (“Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”)
Right arm – 4-LOM (“Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back”)
Legs and belt – German soldier (“Raiders of the Lost Ark”)
Gun and holster – Gung Ho (G.I. Joe)
Dagger – The dagger was converted from the sai of Storm Shadow (“G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra”)
Iron Cross – Colonel Vogel (“Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”)
Ribbon Bar – Cut from that of Admiral Ozzel (“Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back”)
  
       
The cover for “Indiana Jones and the Mystery of Mount Sinai” (left), and the concept art for Toht (right).
 
The character of Helmut von Mephisto was based on the concept art for Major Toht in “Raiders of the Lost Ark”, who was originally envisioned to have a mechanical arm. The cover for the Indiana Jones novel provided a picture of the awesome Indy adversary, which inspired me to customise the figure. The mechanical arm was obtained from one of the many robots from Star Wars. After the arm was attached onto the torso, plastic strips were superglued to the torso to create the straps that secure the mechanical arm to the body, as seen in the concept art. Mephisto’s gun holster faces the front, which made all of the spare holsters that I had unsuitable, except for that of the G.I. Joe Gung Ho. A close examination of the book cover shows that Mephisto carries a dagger on his leg. And so I had to create that as well, with the dagger scabbard made from the ink tube of a ball-point pen. In case you are wondering, both the gun and dagger are removable.
 
Mephisto vs. Indy. “Mephisto” is another name for the Devil.
 
Mephisto apparently wears his Iron Cross on his left chest pocket flap, which is a curious position since the Iron Cross is usually worn either centred on the left pocket, or at the neck. A small ribbon bar was made for Mephisto, just as shown on the book cover. The cover does not clearly show Mephisto’s rank badge for Obergruppenführer, and I have printed the rank badges which were pasted on the collars. The Nazi armband was also printed out and pasted on, different from my previous method of directly painting on the armbands for my customs of Colonel Vogel and Hitler. My research into detailing Mephisto’s uniform suggests that Mephisto could have been wearing an older design of SS uniform, since by 1941 SS personnel were wearing black uniforms of a new design, a fact that was mentioned in the book itself!
 
Let there be no doubt as to how the Nazi armband looks like.
 
Mephisto’s head belonged to that of the G.I. Joe bad guy Destro, who is an equally villianous figure. As an added bonus, I have acquired for Mephisto the force lightning of Darth Sidious, which makes Mephisto quite a formidable adversary for Indy since Mephisto uses three weapons: his gun, his dagger, and he shoots force lightning from his mechanical hand!