Introduce yourself and let readers know where they can see your work.
My name is Aaron Paige, I am a Mythic Legions customizer. You can see my work on the Mythic Legions Cabal Facebook page. I don't have an Instagram or any of the other social media platforms, so you probably won't see my work anywhere else. I do try and clean up my post history though, so that if you click on my profile in the Cabal, it will be easy to browse through all the customs I have posted.
How long have you been customizing action figures?
I made my first custom action figure maybe 15 years ago. It was a custom Marvel Legends Psylocke. It was really my only full custom I ever made prior to Mythic Legions. After that I didn't really do any other full customs. Maybe just a touch up of a figure's face here or there, or a head or hair swap. Before they started using the photo print process they use now, the faces could sometimes come out pretty terrible.
It wasn't until I got into Mythic Legions a couple years ago that I got big into customizing. I started with some simple part swapping, then started adding a bit of paint, small details, just dipping my toes back into it. Then I just dove straight into the deep end. The community in the Cabal and the artistry, creativity, and passion there just swept me up.
What got you into Mythic Legions?
I first discovered Mythic Legions after joining the ACBA Facebook group. For those that aren't familiar with it, ACBA stands for Articulated Comic Book Art, and it's a toy photography group. I have been into action figures since I was a little kid, and continued to collect them into adulthood. The idea of creating these awesome images with them appealed to me and I joined the ACBA group to admire and learn. I saw a post of a picture of Jjuno fighting a giant snake, and as a huge fan of the fantasy genre I loved what I was seeing. I wasn't aware of any line of decent fantasy figures outside of the old Toybiz LotR figures from when I was a kid, and the HACKS line, which I don't collect 1:18 scale. I inquired about the figure, and started to look into the line and was taken aback by the quality I was seeing. How the line was several years old and I had never heard of it up until this point was bewildering. While there were MANY figures I wanted that were no longer available, thankfully, the Advent of Decay line was available for preorder at BBTS at the time. Jjuno, being the figure that pulled me into the line, was an obvious must buy. I decided to pick up Mandibulus, Delphina, Xarria, Elf Ranger, and Malachai to round out my first purchase. Needless to sa,y it was far from my last. I went back to buy more AoD figures than I care to count, and the preorder from 4H for Wasteland dropped shortly after.
Do you have what you would call a signature custom, or any favorite customs you have done?
I don't know If I could say what my signature custom would be if I had one. I think the answer would be different for different people. I think my Wonder Woman tribute custom was my first that really blew up. I had so many offers coming in to purchase her or commission one to be made. The Bloody Baroness is another really popular one that people tried getting me to sell. My recent custom, Talona, the Plague Maiden, was also quite well received.
What are your favorite kinds of Mythic Legions customs to do?
I'm not sure what I'd consider to be my favorite kind of Mythic Legions customs to make. Numbers wise you would probably guess Shadow Elves. Dark elves and Drow are my favorite fantasy race. So I really wanted to expand on that group in my Legions. I have made several custom Shadow Elves at this point, and have several more planned for the future. In cases like this, I am expanding an established faction, so I am very much trying to stay true to what has already been done, while at the same time, making the new characters I create unique and individual. Mostly though, I really like the openness of possibilities that this line allows for, and I like to do a variety of different things with it in my work. I think that keeps things fun and interesting. There are so many different types of characters you can make in a fantasy world. There are always new things you can do. There are certain things I know I want to make, but other things are a surprise to me too. I may see a new part and an unexpected idea will spark from that. It can fluctuate between the parts being sought to meet a vision, or the idea being sparked by a part or parts. That variety even within the creative process really helps keep things fun and fresh. The fluidity of that though also leads to a lack of focus where I have several customs going on at once and it takes longer to finish them.
Do you have any “wish list” character types or races that you would like to see from Mythic Legions, and which you would love to be able to work with as a customizer?
My big wish list items to see in future waves of Mythics are ones I think a lot of people, customizers and non customizers alike, want to see. The big one is, of course, a dragon. I am wanting a giant 3ft long monster of a dragon. I am a very price conscious collector, but I would put on my blinders and pay what it cost for that without hesitation. Aside from that, I would love to see skeletons of other races. Dwarf skeletons, orc skeletons, goblin skeletons, ogre skeletons… I think we will see at least some of these in the Necronominous wave. I would also really love to see some bare bodies and limbs in other skin tones. Right now we really just have Calavius and Herra for non Caucasian body parts, and those figures are getting harder to come by, and priceier. I also really love the idea of these head packs. I would love head packs of newly sculpted heads down the line too. That could be really cool. And man, don't even get me started on Cosmic… that is going to be a whole new ballgame. I have never had so much to look forward to as a collector, or as a customizer, as I do right now.
What kinds of tools do you use your customs work, including paints and brushes?
I have plastic bins I keep all of my customizing tools in. I have one of my paints, one that has brushes, sponges, scrape tools, scissors and such, one that is for soft goods, fabric and furs, one of spare Mythic parts, and one that is for fodder (various pieces and parts from a multitude of different lines). One thing that I picked up from Mythic Customs, in particular, was the borrowing of parts from other lines. I think this is a great way to open up the parts library you have to work with, and by adding those bits in, can make a piece feel totally new and unique despite using the same base parts. I have learned to keep anything I can see having potential at some point. The loose and broken figure bins at the local shop has become my friend. For paints I use mostly Citadel, but also some Vallejo. I have tried a variety of different paints before, and these two brands are by far my favorites. For clear coats, my go to is the Model Masters/Testors flat and gloss clears, but they no longer make them, so after my supply is out I will need to find something new. I have heard good things about Mr. Hobby and plan to give that a try next.
What would people be surprised to learn about your customizing or collecting hobby?
My collecting hobby, while focused on Legions, does extend beyond. I also collect Star Wars Black Series, a small number of Transformers, a small number of Marvel Legends, Witcher merch, and everything of Psylocke or Gambit that I find. I also have a small collection of custom Lightsabers from Vader's Vault. On the customizing side of things, I am mostly just focused on Legions figures, but do plan on branching out into making dioramas for my Legions. I also cosplay and make my own costumes which is somewhat related I suppose.
Any tips or suggestions for Mythic fans looking to start customizing?
My tips for anyone looking to get into customizing are:
- Invest in good paints. Get some Citadel or Vallejo paints. They are pricier, and you may be thinking getting some cheap apple barrel paints while you are starting out may be the way to go, but I would caution against that. The cheap paints will limit the quality of job you can do and increase frustrations in the process. It would be like trying to learn guitar on the 30 dollar acoustic from the toy department at Walmart.
- Get at least a few different decent brushes. One for fine detail work with a nice thin and sharp tip, one a little larger for laying down larger amounts of paint, and one to use for dry brushing, as dry brushing will rough up your brushes and you won't want to use it for other stuff.
- Water your paints down a bit and do multiple thin coats rather than thick coats. This will give you a much smoother surface. Thick coats will show texture when it dries.
- Watch some figure painting tutorials online. There are a variety of different customizers with tutorials on YouTube, including Mythic Customs, who has a variety of short tutorials and tips on various aspects of customizing.
- Practice on some cheap figures before moving on to your pricey Legions figures.
- Start with armor and weapons. Get comfortable there before moving on to something more challenging like faces. When you get to faces, eyes tend to be the most challenging and intimidating part. It can be particularly hard painting the iris and pupil and not having them come out cockeyed. To start, you can always go with a solid eye color as seen on the orcs, goblins, and elves of Mythic Legions.
- Have fun. At the end of the day, it's all about creativity, passion, and enjoying the hobby. Be the best you and enjoy what you make, and be proud of your own improvements and accomplishments and what you create. In the words of Jeremy Girard "I can't wait to see what you make."
Final question - who is your favorite non-customized Mythic Legions figure?
Making me choose a favorite non custom Mythic Legion figure is a tall order. Rahmulus had been that unobtainable grail for me since I started collecting the line. But there is always something new coming out that I think could be my new favorite. Thraice and Azahazzar both have me drooling at the moment. Aracagorr looks stunning. However conflicted I might be at the time though, whatever new figure might have my attention, I always have to answer with the figure that brought me into the line in the first place, and is responsible for every figure I have bought since, and every custom I have made… Jjuno. Chances are at this point I would have discovered the line and have some stuff on pre order at least, if not in hand by now, but Jjuno is what started it all for me, introduced me to this amazing line, and brought me into this wonderful community. She will always have a special place in my heart, and sentiment aside, is still one of my favorite figures without question
Published on 01.25.22