CUSTOM ACTION FIGURES: 101 – Customizer Product Reviews – “Vortious Custom Accessories: Headless Horseman Kit”
By Rob Panick
This week on Custom Action Figures: 101’s Customizer Product Reviews, we have an action figure kit from Dennis Plourde of Vortious Custom Accessories. This is his new “Headless Horseman” kit. I sat down and asked Dennis a few questions about him and his business.
CUSTOM ACTION FIGURES: 101- Tell us a little about yourself Dennis.
DENNIS PLOURDE – I live in Aberdeen MD, where I grew up from the age of 12. I’m 34, and I’ve been married to my wife since we were 16 (proving that geeks CAN get, and keep a girl, and yes that is sixteen we, started having kids young LOL), we have 4 kids 3 sons (18, 7, and 5), and 1 daughter (16). Our oldest son who has been a great ally in this venture, and was the one who suggested trying to mix the different resins to get a material that I was happy with the feel of. Of course the younger boys just like that daddy does “magic”, and makes toys. Up until the summer of 2014 this was a side job, and I worked in a warehouse, but now this is my main source of income to pay the bills, and keep the roof over our heads. I love doing this, and working for you guys. I really hope I never have to go back to working for someone else’s company.
CAF: 101- How long have you been casting?
DP- I started casting almost 4 years ago in the January of 2012 just 2 months before I opened my store.
CAF: 101- What got you started?
I got started because I was going to be helping another castor with keeping up with his orders, however inexplicably he decided that I should go, and do my own store instead of helping him. Not long afterwards he tried to make it look like I had betrayed him, and we parted ways. To this day I still don’t get what happened.
CAF: 101- What do you consider the hardest part of making cast parts?
The hardest part at least for me was finding just the right combination of resins to formulate the resins that I use for the joints, and surrounding materials in the hidden peg technique. The second is when folks want their parts perfectly matching a certain color. Allot of the time due to the amber hue of the part A of the resins you’ll get unexpected color shifts while the resin is curing, so it could look perfect when you’re mixing the plastic, but then when you pull the parts out they might be a completely different shade.
CAF: 101- Which one of your cast creations are you the most proud of?
I’d have to say that the Big Boss figure kit which was sculpted by Thorodinson is definitely one of the highest ones on that list. Really anything that utilizes a multiple pour process, i.e. hidden pegged parts, and the clear into solid cast parts like the Jack O’ Lantern (MC58) head. The single pour items are just too easy for me, so I’m so often looking for ways to up my game.
CAF: 101- What kind of upcoming parts do you have planned?
I have allot of different new parts that I’m working on. It’s mostly more of the same kind of items that I’ve already got in the store torsos, new sets of arms, legs, hands, feet, heads, and always more weapons, coats, jackets, web gear, and other accessories.
CAF: 101- Any advice for someone who wants to cast their own parts?
DP – My advice to anyone who wants to start casting is to get with one of the castors who’s been casting for a little while. Try to maybe get some advice from 2, or 3 different castors. Me personally I learned how to make a pressure pot, and some of the basics of casting from Onyx, and then I learned some other basics from Slayer Dave. Dave was actually the one who verified to me that I was on the right track with my theory of how to do the hidden peg technique. The only other advice which I give to everyone who is looking to start casting is to not bother with the Allumilite kits, and go for the good stuff. Sure the Alumilite kits supposedly don’t need to be pressurized, but in all honesty ANY casting you do is going to need to be pressurized if you don’t want allot of air bubbles. So get either a painter’s air pressure pot, or get a 6 quart pressure cooker, and modify it for air pressurizing like I’ve been using. Just remember whatever you do, DO NOT get an Aluminum pressure pot. IT WILL blow up in your face. I know from experience, my first one was aluminum, and after over a month of trying to get it to hold pressure I thought I finally had it right, and POP! The lid blew off smashing into my thumb. Always, ALWAYS get a STAINLESS STEEL pressure pot. As for what to get instead of Alumilite I suggest going to smooth-on.com, and getting some Mold Max 27T, and some Task 3, or Task 9 to get started. Neither of these is perfect for casting parts that feel like what I use but what I use is a mixture of Task 9, and one of the softer resins that they sell.
Be sure to check out Dennis’s group on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/Vortious-Custo … 1750793828
You can find all of his casts in his store at: http://vortiouscustomaccessories.ecrater.com/
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