Kaiju Eyezon customized by Mark Nagata

I recently completed this custom Kaiju Eyezon for an upcoming 5 man show at Toy Art Gallery in Los Angeles. The show opens July 8th check the their website for more info.

Besides the usual customs I’ll do for the show I decided to do something different. I’ve had it in my mind that Kaiju Eyezon, having been born from a mutant potato (hence the multiple eyes and tubular horns ) could at times morph or meld into duplicates of itself … so I thought what better way but to try to replicate this with a Kaiju Eyezon standard sized figure 😉

With that idea in my head the following is the process I went through. First up was slicing a figure in two … the figure was cobbled together with parts from broken Eyezons I have .. so it didn’t really matter what colors the base vinyl was .. as it would be repainted.

I knew to save clay and keep the weight of the figure down, I had to build a structure inside that spread the two halves apart, but also had to make sure the arms and legs could still move. Using foamcore and some 2 part apoxie glue I started gluing in the support.

once this was complete I covered the structure with heavy duty foil…

Using Aves Apoxie Sculpt I begin to cover the surface …

and slowly start sculpting in the eyes and the skin pulling and flowing apart…

I actually sculpted most of this with this paint brush ..using a bit of water to soften up the apoxie .. I wanted to keep this organic .. NOT symmetrical … I’m a big fan of asymmetrical figures … probably why I don’t like most platform figures ;-P

using water and some Apoxie solvent i feather out the edges to bleed them into the vinyl figure …

with the sculpting done, I base coat the whole figure with a flat V color white .. this also helps me see any parts that are not blending right … I fix those parts with tiny bits of Apoxie and recoat with white paint.

Next up using Monster Kolor paints I base coat the whole figure with black. Let dry and start building up from the top down with Monster Kolor Silver paint. I think of the figure as being lit from above so the silver is heavier above … some spots like the eyes get heaviest coverage of silver…

I slowly build up various hues of red, blue, yellow and green over the figure. Letting happy accidents happen as i go along .. colors blend into rainbow like color combinations. Eyes are painted using a circle template .. the blacks of the eyes are hand done, as are the red cracks … each one hand paint 😉 .. phew …

After a costing of Monster Kolor color change flakes the whole figure is glossy clear coated to seal all the paint in but also to bring up the depth and magic of the paint. It’s been said many times but really photos can not show you the very cool glittery effects .. especially in the Sun light ! If I could cue the music, you’d hear a thunderous TA DAH !!!

lets not forget the back side …

or the bottom of the figure. I have to say in my years of collecting and building garage kits and such, only the Japanese add details everywhere .. and even to parts that get glued and hidden away in the final figure.. it’s this super attention to detail that I strive for, too. I asked one guy why do you sculpt something that say a cape will hide in the finished kit.. and he said because he would know also he felt the builder or viewer of the figure would somehow sense something was missing, without being able to put your finger on it ..Wow .. call it a Sixth Sense in toy appreciation… it’s the Umami …if you will that makes a sculpt stand out … and I believe it.

About toykarma

Over the years Mark Nagata has collected thousands of toys and a fair amount of titles. The man behind San Francisco-based Max Toy Company is widely known as: Toy Collector. Illustrator. Magazine Founder/Publisher. Toy Designer. Artist. Author. Husband. Father. But the one description that might fit best is an unofficial one – Kaiju Toy and Art Ambassador. In the Japanese-inspired art and toy area, as well as throughout the larger toy collecting community, Mark is welcomed and recognized for his personal passion and commitment to supporting artists all around the world and the unique works they create. Beginning as a collector in his youth, Mark has had for years a keen eye for great art and a personal interest in collecting that he has spread through a variety of outlets. Trained at the Academy of Art College in San Francisco, Mark honed his skills working for himself and for some of the most notable businesses in the country. As a freelance commercial illustrator, he completed works for such prominent companies as Lucasfilms, DC Comics, Hasbro Toys, IBM, Sony, and numerous advertising and design firms, both national and international. Mark’s colorful style graces over 40 cover paintings for R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps book series – Give Yourself Goosebumps. After hundreds of assignments, Mark made the decision to move in another direction, and that choice has led to whole new career as a successful businessman. For four years, the owner of one of the largest Ultraman toy collections in the world co-published Super 7 Magazine showcasing the finest in Japanese toy collecting. “I’d been collecting Japanese toys all along and suddenly realized it would be cool to have a magazine of some type devoted to them,” Nagata says. Mark’s devotion to presenting collectors with a selection of original figures inspired by classic Japanese toys from the 1960s and ‘70s as well as new versions of licensed Japanese characters is at the heart of Max Toy Company. Named for his son, Max Toys specializes in custom and limited editions of “kaiju” (Japanese monsters) toys and artwork. Many of the original toys produced are hand painted by Mark, a tradition that goes back to Japanese toy makers of the past. “Since our target is the soft vinyl Japanese toy collector, which is a very small niche, our runs of toys can be extremely small,” Mark says. “Runs range from 500 pieces of one toy to just one for a hand-painted, one-of-a-kind custom figure.” Through Max Toys, Mark has taken great pains to widen the reach of his two passions – toys and art. He played a significant part in the development of the first group kaiju show in the United States. Held at the Rotofugi Gallery in Chicago, Illinois in 2007, the “Toy Karma” Show featured detailed work from artists from Japan, the U.S. and South America. Participants marveled at the custom-painted toys and art on display. “Toy Karma” led to Mark being asked to be one of the artists spotlighted in the “Beyond Ultraman: Seven Artists Explore the Vinyl Frontier” exhibit at the Pasadena Museum of California Art. The October 2007 show, held jointly with the Los Angeles Toy, Doll and Amusement Museum, marked the first time – in a museum setting – that the influence of Japanese toys on California artists was explored. The exhibit featured more than 30 of Mark’s original paintings, toys and a selection of his vintage toy collection. Mark continued to be at the forefront as interest in Japanese-inspired art and toys expanded in 2008. Prestigious art houses Philips De Pury and Christie’s in New York and London sold Mark’s hand-painted custom kaiju toys in its auctions, spreading this unique art and toy movement into new and uncharted areas of the art world. In 2009, Mark once again took his love of toys and art overseas this time to a receptive and welcoming audience in Tokyo, Japan. Here, Mark curated the “Kaiju Comrades” Art Show, once again bringing together artists from various aspects of the kaiju toy realm in this first-of-its-kind toy art show. The following year found Mark in Barcelona, Spain co-curating with Emilio Garcia “Kaiju Attack,” the European country’s first kaiju art show. As the growth of kaiju art and toys increases worldwide, Mark continues in his unofficial role of Kaiju Toy and Art Ambassador. He has written and had his artwork and toy designs included in several books and magazines, both domestic and international. In 2010, Mark served as guest lecturer on kaiju and the toy-making process at the Morikami Museum in Florida. The San Francisco resident and his art can also be spotted in the first volume of the “ToyPunks” DVD and the “Toys R Us” DVD, while the video for the number one song by Owl City “Fireflies” featured Mark’s popular Kaiju Eyezon character. During this same time period, Mark has spearheaded the “Toy Karma 2” and “Kaiju Comrades 2” shows and has plans for future shows both in the U.S. and overseas. “Max Toys allows me to produce original artwork, new toys and work directly with a lot of talented artists,” Mark says. “Max Toy is a synthesis of toys and art, both life-long passions.”
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