DARTH DADDY



Brian Fulton aka Darth Daddy
Star Wars custom action figure artist


Darth Daddy is most popularly known for being the co-founder of the Star Wars: Customs for the Kid blog where he is the resident artist/ photographer, administrator, and social media manager. Darth Daddy is a world renowned Star Wars custom action figure artist, and the author of the Darth Daddy's Customizing Corner column at The Star Wars Underworld.  He is popular throughout the Star Wars custom action figure community for being an ambassador for the artform. Darth Daddy's action figure artist directory for commission work is considered to be a priceless asset among both collectors and enthusiasts alike. Recently Darth Daddy and his son, Elias’ artwork was featured at Star Wars Celebration Anaheim 2015 in the Action Figure Customizing Panel’s "Customizer Showcase". Darth Daddy's custom action figure art appears regularly on the front pages of numerous Star Wars fan sites. He has made multiple guest appearances on several Star Wars podcasts including: The Star Wars Underworld, RebelForce Radio, The Wolfpack Podcast, Toy Run: The Star Wars Action Figure Cast, Voice of the Republic, SWAG77, The Expanded Fandomverse, and Custom Action Figure News. His latest endeavor is a podcast of his own that he hosts with Peak-OB1 Custom Creations called "Customizing The Clone Wars" where the two artists pay tribute to the television series with custom action figure art.  When Darth Daddy isn't writing about custom action figures, the NYC native is busy making his own.

Contacts:customsforthekid@gmail.com; BlogFacebookTwitterPinterestTumblr







I realize that I did a lot of posts introducing our audience to several Star Wars customizers and their Star Wars action figures, but I never say all that much about my dad, who has done a lot to help me with the "Customs for the Kid" project that I started.  The blog has a design that does a great job of showcasing the work of Star Wars customizing artists complete with a short biography while providing a place where our audience could see numerous artist's information all in one place (http://customsforthekid.blogspot.com/p/star-wars-customs-i-wish-i-owned.html).

When I looked at the way Dad's customs were displayed, I realized that they were spread out all over the blog and offered hardly any information about him.  I did have some of his customs displayed in the Customs for the Kid video that was posted at the bottom of our blog, but even then, my own customs were in the video too.  To show Dad how much I appreciate all the hard work he has done for my blog, I set up a page about him in recognition of all he's done to make my blog project a reality. It's my way to say thank you to my dad for helping make this blog what it is, and let our readers know a little more about the man behind the scenes.

As a bonus, I am conducting the first Customs for the Kid interview with none other than my dad, a.k.a Darth Daddy


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THE INTERVIEW


Elias: So Dad, first I want to thank you for helping me develop this blog.  Before I start asking any questions, can you please tell our readers the story of how this blog was started, and what is your involvement with the blog since its creation?

Darth Daddy: Well the blog all started from that conversation that you and I had after receiving a package in the mail of some custom Star Wars action figures that we won on eBay.  You had mentioned to me that you thought it would be really cool if we could make Star Wars custom action figures, and I was quick to tell you that I wasn't sure I had the skills to do the task.  I'll never forget what you said.

You said, "Dad, you can do it.  I know you can.  Just start and I know that you'll finish.  I believe in you."

It was hard to say "no" after that.  I figured at the very least I could start like you had asked.  I think I had made only about two action figures when you asked me to start a blog about Star Wars custom action figures.  I remember it made me giggle, because I couldn't believe I had this little 6 year old boy telling me that he wanted to start a blog.  It was a very funny moment as a parent.  It was definitely a question you wouldn't have heard a child ask when I was a kid.

My work on the blog consists mainly with making new figures for blog posts to establish a returning audience to the blog. I also do a lot of the correspondence with other customizers so we can showcase their work on the site and expose their work to the blog's audience with the videos I create. I try to help you edit the blog posts and take creative liberties wherever I can in the editing process to help the posts have a more polished look. It's really cool to do this work with you, because when we work on the blog together, the work I do with you is teaching you how to use a computer and helping you with your communication skills as a writer. The project is a lot of fun. When we work on the site together, I try really hard to make it a site where fans of Star Wars and customizing can go when they want to take in all the eye candy and get lost in all this great Star Wars art. I also keep my eyes open for any cool Star Wars links I can find to add to our Alliances page.



Elias: When making a custom action figure, what techniques do you use during its development?

Darth Daddy: It depends on the action figure that I'm making.  When I first started it was mostly doing new paint applications.  I later used the boil and pop technique to create combinations of several parts from completely seperate action figures to produce a new desired outcome and then applied a unique paint application. When you got me the Dremel, it really opened a lot of doors as far as recreating existing pieces and hard sculpting them into something completely new.  I recently felt like I started to gain some ground with my sculpting abilities, so now I have added molding and casting to my repertoire so I can start to create my own parts and I'm looking forward to seeing what results I get with that.



Elias: What is the hardest custom action figure that you ever made?

Darth Daddy: General Pong Krell.  He took me about a year to complete the 100% sculpted action figure.  I even had to take a molding and casting class with Star Wars customizing legend Luke Sprywalker to create Krell's lightsabers.





Elias: What about your easiest custom action figure to make?

Darth Daddy: Definitely the fully articulated Episode VI Darth Vader with the ball jointed hips.  A quick boil, pop, swap!







Elias: How long does it take you to make a custom action figure?

Darth Daddy:  The time that it takes definitely varies depending on the action figure that I am making.  It can be as quick as a few minutes like the Vader, or take a year long like Krell did.  On the whole though, I think the average repaint takes about 5-6 hours per figure, but now that I'm sculpting more the average time invested is closer to 15-30 hours.  Hopefully, as time goes on I can get that number down some.  It all really depends on what a project requires.



Elias: Are you a Star Wars fan?

Darth Daddy: Yes of course, although I don't think I'm as big a fan as you are.  I had a quite a few Star Wars figures and playsets as a kid and I saw all the films, but if you hadn't been into Star Wars like you are, I probably wouldn't have ever been a customizer, read the graphic novels, or would be able to say that I've seen every Clone Wars episode.  Because of you, I find myself in a position where I am able to correct misinformation that come from the mouths of Star Wars experts.



Elias: Where did you come up with the name Darth Daddy?

Darth Daddy: Well when we first started your blog, I tried to figure out ways to make your blog known in the customizing community.  When we sat down and tried to figure out what the goals of the blog were, we knew we wanted to create a blog full of Star Wars custom action figures.  A place where customizers and fans of Star Wars could come and see the different customs that were being made and just get lost in all the images.  The best place to let the community know that your blog existed was to post about your blog in the Star Wars fan forums.  To do this I had to create a username.  Since this project we started involved being a parent, I tried to incorporate "Dad" somewhere in my username.  Then I just led the Dad part off with a well known Star Wars word like "Darth" and the double D was born, Darth Daddy.





Elias: What advice would you give to our audience that are interested in customizing Star Wars action figures?

Darth Daddy:  If you are interested in starting just start.  It is fun, rewarding and easier than it looks.  Keep pushing yourself to try new ways of making a custom action figure.  I wouldn't have made half the action figures I made if I had stayed in my comfort zone.  Spend time in Star Wars fan forums looking at what other customizers are making.  See what tips they provide and ask questions that will help you learn whatever new skills you can.  Oh yeah, and practice, practice, practice.

One other thing that I think is important to add, is something I recently read in an interview with Sith_fire30 in the November/December 2010 issue of Star Wars Insider that really resonated with me. Dayton Allen said, "Learn to take good pictures of your work."  I couldn't agree more.  If it weren't for the way my figures were photographed, I don't think that your blog would look the way that it does.  To be honest, the photography is probably my favorite part of the entire process.




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DARTH DADDY's
ACCOLADES









Kessel Run Review #3

Align CenterFeaturing "Vixey" a custom action figure created by Elias and Darth Daddy 



Kessel Run Review #8


Dad has his "Jabba Dancers" action figures featured in the episode.




Kessel Run Review #19



Check out Dad's entry that took 2nd place in the Create a Wookielover1138 Contest.


Darth Daddy appears as guest on The Wolfpack Podcast #57: Remember The Clone Wars







with Darth Daddy of "Customs for the Kid"





with Darth Daddy & Elias of "Customs for the Kid"



with Darth Daddy of "Customs for the Kid"





with Darth Daddy & Elias of "Customs for the Kid"




Lucasclones did this really cool thank you video on his YouTube channel for the "Bones" custom action figure we sent him.



STAR WARS PODCASTS

Episode 28 - Lucasclones Interview
Darth Daddy assisted Tamer in interviewing Lucasclones about starting Custom Action Figure News, his own custom action figures, his Youtube videos, selling art on ebay, and the start of his new blog. 





My Jabba's Dancers have an appearance in the Dengar skit that is featured in one of my favorite fan videos of
all-time!