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The Truth About Re-Casts

January 12th, 2013

 

I have received about 20 emails from fellow collectors saying that they bought a Predator kit on eBay and when it arrived were totally disappointed in the quality of the casting.  That, my friend, is because you bought a re-cast.  What is a re-cast?  Simply put, a re-cast occurs when someone (the crook) gets a real kit and then makes molds from it and starts producing and selling the resulting counterfeit kits.  It is illegal but it is so common and wide spread that virtually no one ever gets arrested let alone goes to prison.  This practice results in the original artist losing the profits from their artistic labor and you ending up with an inferior copy-of-a-copy.  True kit artists like Randy Bowen and Narin limit the number of kits they produce from a single mold.  They do that because as the mold is used it starts to deteriorate and lose the crispness of its details.  The re-caster couldn’t care less.  They will keep cranking out inferior kits until the mold falls apart.  And that is why you get kits with rotten details, pin holes, seam lines and made from poor quality resin.  So, how do you know if you are buying a re-cast?  If the seller is in China, Thailand (I know that is where Narin lives but he does not sell on eBay), or any of the so-called Pacific-Rim countries, stay away.  Those areas are hot beds of re-casting and you can assume you will be getting a counterfeit kit.  Let me quickly add that the sole exception to that characterization is Japan.  They have brilliant artists (remember Fewture?) turning out quality work.  Our policy here at Predator Stuff is to NEVER sell re-cast kits.

Please do not be seduced by the unbelievably low price of a kit.  As the expression goes, if it’s too good to be true, it probably isn’t true.

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Spare Parts Have Never Looked This Good!!

September 10th, 2012

Take a look at this:

A few years ago, I was patrolling the vendor aisles at Chiller Theatre and came across a display of very cool items new to me.  They were an assortment of sci-fi and horror characters like Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees, Leatherface and Aliens made out of…well, spare parts.  Now, I’m sure you’ve all seen the little statues, cars and airplanes made from metal parts but they don’t come close to what this guy produces.  I wandered over to the small Predator display and moments later I owned these two beauties and had a much lighter wallet.  But, worth every penny, the detail is amazing.  Take a look at these close-ups:

An amazingly artistic combination of sheetrock screws, motorcycle chains, ball bearings, metal tubing, nails, bolts, gears and pounded metal all combined and expertly welded together.  Not little tiny guys either.  The Metal Pred (I like that) without the helmet (on the left) weighs in at 17 lbs (7.711 kg) and stands 22″ (55.9 cm) high.  He is holding a ball and chain – not really standard Predator gear – but the ball weighs about a pound and is covered with 25 one inch screws which would make one hell of a weapon.  He can be disassembled, he screws together at the waist with a heavy duty bolt.  His “dreds” are made of 16 lengths of motorcycle chain.  They are completely moveable.

His partner with the helmet (right) is 16 lbs (7.257 kg) and 19″ (48.3 cm) high.  An amazing collection of screws, nuts and bolts with a very cool shoulder cannon fashioned out of heavy duty metal tubing.  He also has heavy duty motorcycle chain for dreds and pounded metal armor.  And, yes, those are spark plugs acting as hydraulics on his arms and legs.

They were crafted by a guy from Thailand (is all the talent in Thailand?) who refers to himself as Metal Dude.  At the time I bought these two (as well as an amazing King Ghidorah) Metal Dude was making these types of statues available in the $500 range.  Since they are hand made out of “junk yard parts”, no two are the same – they are one-of-a-kind.  Since then, he has stopped making these statues and now only does commission work of larger pieces – check out the Alien Table on his web site.

So kids, am I willing to part with them?  Probably not. Of all the Predator items in my collection, these two are my favorite and since a) they are one of a kind and b) Metal Dude is no longer cranking them out, I would never be able to replace them.  Having said that, everything has a price.

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How to Upgrade Your Sideshow Celtic Predator Bio Helmet Lenses – Includes the Lens Template!

July 8th, 2009

Good afternoon guys and gals, time to post my promised tutorial on how I upgraded and installed more screen accurate looking plastic reflective lenses on my Sideshow AvP Celtic Predator Bio Helmet! Hope you like the final result and that you find the videos helpful. Don’t forget, at the end of this post you will find a link to download a free lens template you can use to create your own new lenses instead of having to make them from scratch like I did.

As I’m sure most of you have already seen, I put together a less than favorable review of the Celtic Predator Helmet from ADI and Sideshow Collectibles last week, and in the review I promised you a tutorial on how to upgrade the lenses so they looked a lot closer to what we see in the movie. When we see the Celtic up close, he clearly has a reflective plastic type material over the eyes that has a speckled finish with white, black and silver. In fact, the Chopper has the same lens material in his helmet, which we can see quite clearly in his death scene. Here’s a look at both bios and the look I wanted to duplicate for you:


Before you go to watch the videos (This tutorial is made up of 2 separate videos posted on YouTube in full HD), here’s a quick list of the materials you will need:

– Flat piece of plastic from a clamshell package
– 1 can of black spraypaint
– 1 can of white spraypaint
– 1 or 2 cans of silver/grey spraypaint
– Roll of blue painter’s masking tape (or download the pre-made template I made)
– Piece of paper
– Scissors
– Hot glue or 5 minute Epoxy
– Water-proof fine tip marker (Sharpie)
– Some patience and a coffee

Once you’re finished, you will end up with a look WAY closer to what you see on the screen that will improve the look of your helmet TREMENDOUSLY!


In the videos, I show you how I was able to make a perfect impression of the lens holes and how I made the templates. It was tedious but worked great… I’m going to save you the time of redoing all that by providing you with a free template of the lenses I made! Just click HERE or the icon below to download the template pack. In the pack you will find the template in 3 formats: MS Word (.doc), image file (.jpg) and Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) allowing you to print the template in your preferred program. Just make sure you read the template instructions carefully (the template itself has the instructions listed on it) and make sure you measure the print-out to make sure it’s accurate!

Now you’re ready for the tutorials! As mentioned before, I had to break it down in to TWO separate videos due to YouTube’s 10 minute maximum time per video, so please make sure you watch BOTH! Here are the videos (Please note videos may take a couple of hours until HD versions are available!):

PART 1 – Introduction and paint application
PART 2 – Creating the lens shapes and installation

You can also click on the YouTube icon below to watch the first video, then just visit my YouTube channel to find the second video.

Video Available on YouTube!

That’s it gang! Please be sure to post your comments or questions below by clicking on the comment button below and using the feedback form. I love hearing what you guys have to say about the products or reviews, so please don’t be shy, just be polite lol!

Until next post,
Dan

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Birthday Suprise! Custom Machiko Kitbash Birthday Present from Al!

September 18th, 2007

A few days ago, September 12th came and with the passing of that day, the dust got a little higher, my memory got a little worse and the bones started cracking a bit more than usual… yup, my birthday passed. This year was year numero 31 for me, otherwise known as the second anniversary of the death of my beloved 20s. But it wasn’t without plenty of surprises, and one of this them was this completely unexpected haul courtesy of my good friend Mr. Al DeGregorio:

Anime Machiko!

Now, you’re probably wondering just what the heck you’re looking at… well, I have been looking for a Machiko style girl for my Predator collection for ages and I have yet to get one until NOW! (If you don’t know who Machiko Noguchi is, you can read about her here.) Al completely customized a sexy Kotobukiya Ninja Gaiden Ayane PVC statue, which is a nice size at 1:6 scale, and converted her in to an Anime style female human hunter hauling human and Predator weaponry. All that with a hot bod too! She comes complete with several automatic weapons, samurai sword, Predator Plasma Cannon and armor detailing and wrist computer. It’s a gorgeous custom and I can’t thank Al enough for hooking me up with this.

Now what good is a haul without pics right? Click on the photo icon below for my photos of this sexy killin’ gal:

Thanks again Al, this was really very generous of you! I’d also like to thank all my friends in the community for the threads, PMs, and emails all wishing me a happy birthday. It’s pretty funny actually… some of my family never called me but I think half the internet got a hold of me lol! You guys rock, thanks everyone <3

Dan

PS. No, this is definitely NOT for sale 😉

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Killer Kits Kong and Howard’s Yoda Have Arrived!

March 13th, 2007

This week has been a VERY busy one and it’s only Tuesday! Two of the most unique and positively KICK ASS pieces to be added to my collection arrived this week, and they are quite literally mind blowing… They are both so realistic, it’s like they just walked off the big screen into my house.

The first piece is the Killer Kits Kong that my good friend Chris picked up from Wonderfest 2006 for me and handed it over to Joe Dunaway for some TLC. It took awhile, but it was worth every minute of wait time, because it’s absolute madness! The sculpt by Joe Bailey is just dead on and it’s MASSIVE at about 18″ tall!

Killer Kits Kong!

I had a ball photographing this piece and the photo above (click for full view) is one of my favorite photos I have ever taken of a figure. It’s just so realistic and a dead on likeness of the new Kong movie. If you are attending Wonderfest this year, check out the Killer Kits table to pick up your own, or you can go to killerkits.net to contact them. And as always, you can check out Joe’s portfolio and contact him from his site at modelzone.com.

As usual, click the icon below and check out all the pics of Kong in all his glory!

After that, we have something that I have been trying to get my hands on for a looooooong time now. I HAD to have a Star Wars kit in my collection to pay homage to my favorite series, and nothing short of Jedi Master Yoda would do. A year or so ago, I saw Howard Senft’s AMAZING full size Yoda statue and I almost lost my mind. It was the perfect sculpt and the built version he was showing off was just jaw-dropping. So that’s when it started… I harassed poor Howard into submission until he finally agreed to build one for me, and man did he pull out ALL the stops!

Yoda Statue by Howard Senft

Howard took his last casting of this piece and turned it into the ultimate Yoda statue for me… He went all out with glass eyes, real hair, leather pouch belt and a real material cloak that he carefully aged and frayed up. When I pulled this out of the box, I was completely stunned at how realistic this was, and even my wife, who normally couldn’t care a less about my kits, thought this was absolutely amazing. My daughter walked in and with an excited voice, announced that she was happy that Yoda was visiting! (Yep, she’s know about Yoda and Star Wars since age 2)

To top it all off, the package also includes a beautiful plaque made by Howard with the name and issue number (this one is 2 of 2) and a COA.

This was also TONS of fun to photograph, despite that it barely fit in my light tent! Check out the pics:

You can check out all of Howard’s work at www.howardsstudios.com and contact him should you be looking for a kit or commission work. Just a heads up though, Howard is a high-end, professional sculptor and his rates reflect his skills and experience. So please do not contact him with commission sculpting work if your budget is a few hundred dollars, and bear in mind that Howard does not normally do his own painting as he focuses primarily on sculpting.

Thanks for looking!
Dan

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Lara Croft Visits the Predatorstuff.com Collection and She is HOT!!

December 13th, 2006

From time to time, I like to stray from the Predator path and scoop up the occasional piece to add some variety to my collection to represent some of my favorite movies or movie stars. Now, unless you haven’t been keeping track, you know that I LUUUUUV Angelina Jolie and Tomb Raider is one of my big screen guilty pleasures, although I don’t really like the game. Anyhow, last summer I saw a piece that was coming up for sale at Wonderfest 06′ and it blew my mind! Well, 6 months later, here’s what arrived on my doorstep:

Lara Croft

Once again, Joe Dunaway blows me away with his painting skills on this MASSIVE kit! This is the Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft kit by Ray Vandamme and it’s 1:3 Scale, or about 28″ high! The kit is super sexy and beautifully cast with a very intelligent assembly breakdown, with all the pieces locking together to hide every seam. For those of you looking for some extra spice, this piece is available both clothed and nude and can be full body or bust only! Contact Ray at exousiastudios.com to find out how to order you’re own kit if he has any castings left. This kit is hot and sold like crazy when it was released, so I have no idea if there’s any left for you to score, but grab one if you can, you won’t regret it!

Click the photo icon below for more pics to drool over:

Enjoy Pred fans!

Dan

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Joe’s AMAZING Narin Long Spear Dead End Conversion!

October 24th, 2006

Don’t ask what I’ve been smoking lately, but I COMPLETELY forgot to show you guys a brand new piece from the studio of my favorite artist, mister Joe Dunaway, who just blew my mind with this kit build-up. He took a kit that I have wanted for ages, the Narin Long Spear Predator, and then modified the bio and made a custom belt and other goodies to style it after the Big Red in Sandy Collora’s Batman Dead End movie. So he basically took my favorite kit and modded it after my favorite fan film… can we all say DROOL?!

Custom Dead End Narin by Joe Dunaway

Aside from the AMAZING armor weathering and overall detailing of this kit, Joe has absolutely perfected his technique of creating semi-translucent skin patterns. It’s literally the coolest thing I have ever seen on any kit I have owned… the skin is covered in tiny veins and details that make it 100% life-like and it just blows my mind every time I look at it. His last 3 pieces use this technique and it’s absolutely the best skin paint job you could ask for. Well done Joe, this is a real center piece in the collection and it’s easily one of your best preds to date.

If you want to see some photos of this insanely kick ass custom, click the photo icon below:

Remember you can see more of Joe’s portfolio and contact information on his site at www.modelzone.com.

Thanks,
Dan

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Sideshow Predator Maquette Almost Here!

June 6th, 2006

Well folks, it’s been almost a year since it was ordered, but it’s FINALLY going to get it’s butt to my door! Just got this in from Sideshow:

Dear Valued Collector,

Thank you for your pre-order of our Predator Maquette – Sideshow Exclusive (item #71431) from our Predator Collection. We appreciate your patience in awaiting the arrival of this Limited Edition, Sold Out collectible.

At this time, we would like to inform you that this item is estimated to arrive into our warehouse within the next 5-7 days. We will BEGIN “pre-authorizing” credit cards for this purchase within the next 24 hours, in the sequence in which all of the pre-orders for this item were placed. A “pre-auth” is not a direct charge, but is a “hold” of funds pending the shipment of your order. Your credit card will be charged once the item is shipped from our warehouse.

*does a little happy dance*

Dan

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