Friday, July 21, 2017

Jessica Rabbit Custom Figure By Gary Anderson

Back in April I posted an article about artist Gary Anderson creating a custom Miss Switch action figure for me using the vintage She-Ra Princess of Power toys. His incredible skills delivered on exactly what I had asked for and I immediately knew I wanted another figure. However, though I brought up Jessica Rabbit as a possibility, I had a list of others to pick from. My assumption was that the vintage She-Ra figures would be too limiting, and I am very picky when it comes to how Jessica should look. He told me he would definitely be able to work the figure into Jessica and I agreed. I sent over reference photos for colors and style and a long list of what I would be looking for. I was very anxious about this figure, but his work on Miss Switch and various other figures gave me hope that he would deliver on this very difficult custom. Read on to find out more...

I was astonished by the fantastic work on my Miss Switch figure by Gary Anderson. He followed the list of what I was looking for exactly. The other little added details (which is often where some artists can go wrong) were all perfect for this figure. Unfortunately I did not have any kind of mock-up in mind for a Jessica Rabbit figure like I did for Miss Switch. Whatever she ended up looking like would be it! I couldn't even get a clear image of it in my mind but I did have my Very Long list of things I wanted incorporated. This is where Gary's artistic talents show, bringing out something from this vintage figure I didn't see possible.

You can read Gary's process for making this vintage Peekablue figure into Jessica Rabbit:

To make her I used a vintage Peekablue figure as a base. Jessica is famous for her hourglass figure so I started by sanding down Peekablue’s waist as thin as I could get it. I also sanded off her bracelets and boots. After that I sculpted her chest and glove tops using a product called ‘Fixit sculpt’. I also gave her more rounded hips with a little lip underneath which I will place her skirt later. This will prevent the skirt looking bulky around her waist.

After cutting off Peekablue’s original hair, I then re-rooted her some new nylon doll hair. The color of her new hair is called Tigerlily. The next step was to paint her body, which I did using Humbrol enamel paints. I also bought some fine, deep pink glitter which I used on her bodice. I then coated the glitter with layer of gloss varnish.

After the paint and varnish had dried I added a little pink craft gem stone just below her chest. This was a nod to the vintage She-Ra figures. I then made the skirt part of her outfit using a deep pink glittery fabric. To complete the figure I repainted her face, trimmed her new hair and styled it using the boiling water method.

Having received this figure and being able to check out the details up close I can say that I'm absolutely amazed by Gary's skill and the ideas he implemented here. I mentioned I had a list, basically how I thought Jessica should look, her correct colors and such. I didn't have much input on how to do it. Gary had brought up sanding down the waist and I thought this was a good idea. Not only did he make the waist thinner but he very intelligently added that piece for the hips below it which really gives it a great shape. He furthered that by adding a lip underneath it to put the dress under. When we talked about adding her skirt I assumed it would just go around her waist like the vintage She-Ra figures. It might not have looked perfect but would have been okay with me. What Gary chose to do was far beyond my thinking for the figure and works perfectly. He even painted the back point of the dress just like how it's supposed to be, something I didn't even think to ask for.

Of course the bust was quite an issue. I was afraid if the bust was made too big then she would be top heavy and not stand up. I gave some instruction on just adding to the shape but not coming out very far. I didn't know if he was going to get this part to look right but again he managed to know what I was thinking just from my small description. He used a glitter technique for a Jem custom he created in the She-Ra figure style that I liked and I had him use that here for Jessica's bodice. The glitter is sealed so it will not come off, and also manages to match the fabric skirt color identically! I also wanted to keep the aspect of this being a She-Ra figure and had him add the dark pink gem right at the point of the sweetheart neckline. He also added tops to the gloves. I would have been fine if they had just been pained but the extra sculpting detail really gives it that extra dimension.

One issue that arose were her shoes. Jessica wears heels and there didn't seem to be any figure to swap parts on to make that work. The feet of the She-Ra figures, while flat, have a raised heel. Gary said he could sand away some of the shoe on the figure to make it a heel. It's one aspect I was sure wouldn't work well, but not only did he manage to make it work, the figure stands completely on her own. Her hair had to be completely re-rooted and styled, two very valuable skills he pulls off expertly. His combined talents of sculpting, sanding, painting, hair re-rooting and styling have made a custom Jessica Rabbit figure that I'm very exited about. It keeps the fun aspect of the vintage style She-Ra figures from the 80's while working in the aspects of Jessica and pulling it off perfectly.

Gary's attention to detail is very specific. He'll follow your instructions and ask you questions along the way. Check out his DeviantArt page and you'll see all sorts of wonderful illustrations and custom figures. You can contact him directly to order and I can say, without a doubt, you won't be disappointed!

Please check out the artwork of Gary Anderson on: