Customizer Gallery - Dave McCormick

I never intended to customize anything. I wasn't even really interested. I was just reproing out my original mego's when I hooked up with Paul Evans. Looking over his catalog to order parts, I kept hesitating over the custom Sulu and Chekov heads. Man, that would be neat. So I ordered them and asked Paul if he would paint them. Paul declined saying I wouldn't want anything he painted. So I bought the heads and some paint and made a couple of really sloppy looking customs. Then I was done.

A month or so later I stumbled onto James Brady's site. At the time he had 3 custom figures for sale, the latest being Khan from Star Trek, one of my favorite villians. Well, this should be easy! James sells painted heads! That's what I was thinking. I bought that one and asked my wife to make him the red suit he wore in the series. She agreed, but weeks passed and nothing. I bought the material for her. A couple more weeks passed. One night I had trouble sleeping, so sat up with nothing to do. I started cutting material and sewing. I had no clue what I was doing, but I made a really poor Khan suit. I was thrilled. Then a couple folks saw it and wanted one. So I made a couple more. Next thing I know, I'm hooked on customs. Customizing has a way of doing that.

I can't do figures 100% from nothing. I can't really sculpt, although from time to time I try. For the most part, I depend on other customizers for heads, or shrunken heads from other lines, then I paint them and design the clothes. The upside to that is I end up working with other customizers on team projects, which to me is a really fun part of customizing mego.

Here's some of those customs and projects that started with two sloppy paintjobs on resin Sulu and Chekov heads that were meant to be my only dip into custom waters.

The above mentioned Khan. Head sculpt by James Brady, duds by me. This is probably the last one of the red suits I made, so I had the chance to work out some of the bugs. Somewhere in making all those red Khan suits, I made up the gold jacket version pictured.

One of my very early Mego clothes designs was the green shirt Kirk wore in some Trek episodes. I made a ton of them at one time. Later, I went back and redesigned a more accurate version. Again, this is probably the last one of these I made.

One of my first Super Hero customs was Moon Knight. I always loved the look of this character. This is a Doc Mego Flatt head with one of Doc's jumpers as a base. A pretty simple custom, but still one of my favorites.

Another one of my first Super Hero's was Martian Manhunter. A shrunk down DC 9" head, a few DM parts, a hand made cape, some vinyl here and there and he was done.

My first ever "customer", Mike Farence, asked me to make a Space 1999 suit for him. Man that first suit was rough. The suit was okay, but the material (I didn't know anything about material at the time) was way too thick. He was kind enough not to say anything about that. Later I redesigned the suit using some material I found that was the closest thing to original Mego I've ever seen. Before CTVT, I made a lot of these in various colors.

Between projects I was working on alone, I was still working with James on the Star Trek stuff. He sculpted the Kor head and I broke out my needle and thread. Kang is also a Brady sculpt with the same uniform design.

More James Brady sculpts, Marta and M113 were challenges. By this time, James was telling me what was coming, so I could suit up the figures before the heads were done. We started having a lot of fun with this stuff. It was becoming more fun talking and planning the customs than it was making them in some ways. Bantering back and forth, debating where that thin line between what looks Mego and what is too detailed to fit in with the original figures, then attempting to make it reality. We tried to keep that Mego cheesy look while making an accurate looking figure.

I worked this one with Paul Evans. Well, a lot of people helped on this one. Paul and I got it into our heads to do this one and made a real commiunity effort out of it. Paul took on sculpting the head and I took on painting, and finding people with the know how to get the rest done. Cory Wood jumped in and designed the silk screen suit pattern, David Lee helped us actually get them printed. We has to sell these as kits just to break even on the printing costs, so I did half the sewing and Anthony McElveen did the other half. This project got around! I'm still happy with the way it came out.

I played with Superhero's for a while between Trek and Sci Fi projects. Two Face has always been one of my favorite Bat-villians, so I bought the DM Flatt head, painted it up and fabric painted a DM suit.

Sticking with villians I attempted to make my favorite Marvel baddie, Hobgoblin. I've thought about recreating this one several times, but he has that simple Mego-ish quality in my mind, so I never have updated it. Another DM Flat head I think.

I had wanted to do a Hawkman for a long time, but there wasn't a head I liked out there at the time. Then I saw Troy Youngers latest sculpt. That did it. I painted it, made the suit out of DM suits and vinyl, and adapted and painted some angel wings I found at Micheals.

Another project with Paul was Darth Vader. Paul had adapted a Pez head, and when he told me about it I was geeked. He sent me one and I started working on chest pieces, robes, etc... Paul started drawing up designs for the stickers that went on the chest piece and belt. Klingon boots finished him off.

Once I started playing with Star Wars figures, it was like Mego crack. I wanted to have more. Georg was shrinking some vintage Kenner 12" heads and sent me some. I designed the suit and gave Vader someone to duel. Then I dropped the line for a bit due to lack of time.

I've always enjoyed Star Trek: The Next Generation as much as the original Trek, so I got it in my head I had to have them as Mego's. I started buying up 9" Playmates figures and shrinking the heads and adding Mego necks. Paul Evans cast them up again, and armed with a Cory Wood designed pattern, it was back to the silk screen shop. James Brady assisted on the com badges.

Speaking of Cory, he has sculpted this really cool George Reeves Superman head that he made available through David Lee at David had made a color Supes that I really liked, so I made one similar. After I got it done, it struck me as missing something, but I couldn't figure out what. After a while it dawned on me it wasn't missing something, it HAD something that seemed wrong to me... color! So I painted one up in greyscale and it came out decent. That started a little black and white custom kick for me that I still continue from time to time.

I always wanted to do a line based on one of my favorite comics, Watchmen. Problem was there was no head available for a lot of the characters, and I wasn't a good sculptor. I tried anyway and sculpted the head of Niteowl over an old original Mego head. It came out okay I guess. Later, I added one of my favorite all time characters, Rorshach. One day I'll get back to this project and finish the line up.

While I had that cool Paul Evan's casted hat available, it was a good opportunity to do another of my favorites, The Question. A Doc Mego suit with a dyed shirt and a home made tie dressed him, and I took a DC9 Green Arrow head and removed the face. A simple custom and still one of my favorites.

James and I always come back to Star Trek eventually, and this time he wanted to create Spock's parents, Sarek and Amanda. James always comes up with stuff that challenges me as a Mego tailor. The Sarek chest piece was a challenge until James came up with some iron on trasfer stuff that work and he designed the actual chest piece.

Around that time I was pleased with my "complete" Dunsel Trek collection and voiced that to James. A week later I got this head in the mail. James had sculpted only one of these for a Mego Museum member who's favorite alien was the Sarian, only seen in TMP, and in a white TMP crew uniform. He sent it to me with a note that said "now you have a complete Dunsel collection". I loved it, but didn't want to go with a TMP uniform, that wouldn't have fit my classic Trek stuff. So I started making this kind of wild suit with no reference at all to anything, kind of like Mego did with some of the aliens they produced. Just a weird 60's looking thing that might have been if the character would have appeared in Trek TOS.

Another I wanted to do but didn't have a good head to use as a base until Cory Wood sculpted this one. Loved the head, and with a cool Mego scale motorcycle from Paul Clare, he was completed.

Batman's villian Mr. Freeze seemed to look different every time he appeared, so when I customized him, I just used what was available to make something that looked like something he might have worn. A modified AJ suit was the base, with a Flatt head and this cool bubble helmet thing Paul Evans found somewhere. He may not be accurate to anything, but I was satisfied with him anyway.

When James told me he wanted to do Trelane next, I was both excited about the character, and worried about the suit design. There were a lot of issues to overcome with him. The proper material, the proper trim, his medals, his collar and lace trim. *sigh* I started playing around and ended up with what is probably the hardest suit I ever made. A shirt, vest, coat and pants on this guy. Took me forever to finish, but he came out alright. James added the medals with more iron on transfer to complete him.

After seeing Mike J's Ivanhoe jousting horse cover at Megocon, Ron Peritore and I started chatting about how cool it would be to make a reproduction. Armed with a scan of the Ivanhoe cover and the prototype Black Knight cover from Rob Chatlin (that and a day at work with nothing going on) I started recreating those covers in photoshop with the idea of having them silk screened. This was totally a labor of love. I didn't care a bit if one sold or not, although selling a few would help with the silk screening costs, I just wanted a set. Ron felt the same way and help me cover the costs of silkscreening this first set. We liked the way they came out so much we wanted to create covers for the other knights as well. I started designing Lancelot's cover, Ron started working on Galahad's, and Bryan Bossart volunteered to design one for King Arthur. The results are as such!

Somewhere along the line I hooked up with Dale VanSlyke who had an arsenal of really cool 12" scale movie heads. Dale sent me some to shrink down and Dirty Harry was one of them. Easy to do really. Parts from 2 DM suits, and an old Scotty shirt modified for the vest.

I've always been a fan of John Carpenter movies, and Escape from New York is a favorie. This is another shrunk 12" head. The pants started life as a DM white jumper that I added some fabric marker to.

Phil Rose sent me a Pez head of the Emperor after AOTC came out. I shrunk it down and adapted it a bit to create a more ROTJ looking Emperor.

Don't ask me what I was thinking here.

From the time I started customizing I wanted to do this custom. It took me 4 years to get around to it. Frank Miller's Batman, The Dark Knight. In the book, Bats was very large, so I used a Hulk body with James Brady's Gorn extentions for the legs and arms, just modified a bit. The head was a 9" head Austin Hough cast up and I shrank it, cropped the ears, and made the suit. He's big, he's bad, he's BATS!

Justice comes to Tombstone! One of my favorite modern westerns. I shrank a 12" Russell head, added a CTVT hat, and made up a suit.

I bought this Lone Ranger custom from Steve Moore at Megomeet, but it seems so wrong to not have on his horse. Since I'm a fan of the Mego remote control horse, I picked up another and did a custom paint job to create Silver! Hi Ho!

I came into another horse at that time as well, so what the heck, I made a Tornado for my custom Zorro that I had made a couple years back.

Han Solo brought be back to the Star Wars universe. I remember when the original SW toys came out, how disappointed I was at the size. I just expected Mego figures. I always wanted Mego Star Wars figures and had done a couple here and there, but Han started a short run that helped me fill out the line some. The Solo figure has a shrunk (by Georg) 12" Kenner head, and custom clothes and paint by me. The holster was made from two Paco western holsters.

Leia was next on my trek through the Star Wars universe. Another George shrunk head here, with my paints and custom clothes.

I had bought this head from Russ a year or two before, but being on a Star Wars kick, I had to dig it back up and complete him.

The lastest SW figure I did was Yoda. This one sat for about 2-3 years in my heads box. Dana Shaw sent me the original head and Paul Evans cast it up for me. I painted it and waited for a solution to the obvious size problem to present itself. Finally, I had to kind of rig a body. His torso is a Lion Rock torso, as is his upper arms. He has a LR pelvis that has been shortened a bit. I sculpted feet to sit right into the pelvis leg holes, and sculpted new lower arms and hands on the upper arms. Then I made the suit, carved a cane and called him done.

The Jedi Luke I had done a few months before. Another Georg shrink and my own suit.

Seeing a bunch of new monster customs on the forums, and after getting a few monster heads from Roberto Liggoti, I decided to give a classic monster a shot. Again with the greyscale paints. A dyed CTVT suit does the trick here.

Back to Star Wars, I finished Chewbacca that I had struggled with for two years. I modified a modern Pez head, sculpted it longer, cast and painted it. Used a vintage Steve Scout body for height and thickness, and some brown fur I found. Then made the belt/bag and stole a crossbow from the Chewbacca unleashed figure.

Grand Moff Tarkin- Another head shrink from Georg I painted. The suit is made by me. Those puffy pants were a little tricky!

Lando was next up on my list. The head is a shrunk Hasbro head with a suit I made.

Finally, one of the ones that I struggled with for 4 years. Boba Fett's head was a Pez shrink done by Paul Evans 4 years before I completed the custom. I even had it painted that long ago, and there it sat on a naked body. I'd pull it out now and again and stuggle with how to make the armor, then I'd put it away in frustration. Finally decided to just do it, and sculpted the armor right over a T2 Torso. Cast it, painted it, cut up an AJ Airforce suit and a Force Battlers Jango Fett for the belt and certain trim pieces, then finished him off with a Jet Pack Captain Mego sent me about 3 years back. It was such a relief to finally finish this one!

The above are my favorites. One of these days I'll get to the other 40 or so painted head in my parts box waiting to be finished.

For fun, I'll end with this one. I had made customs of a handful of Museum members as heads reminded me of someone, so I thought what the heck, and did one of myself.