Interview With KalSkirata

Here at Custom Minifigs we want to meet as many people as possible who love minifig customization, and get their views and inspirations. KalSkirata was kind enough to agree to be interviewed:

1. How did you first get into custom minifigs?

That’s quite a long story. I was a real clonetard at the beginning, painting the with markers and so on. Then (I don’t know how it happened) I got into the field of decals, and started searching them on the Internet. While doing that, I stumbled upon the CABG, which was still called Clone Army Builder Guild back then.

While wanting to do my application for getting into the guild, I got to know flickr. At first, I was a total fanboy of all the great builders, and the two major decal experts I knew:
Chaotic Good and Dutch, I don’t know their actual names today.

On flickr, I got to know Roaglaan, whose decals I tried out first. But after finding out that I was pretty much a noob with that, I stopped it (and still didn’t come back to it today, one of the reasons being that absolutely NO store in my town and the surrounding ones has decal paper).

Then I, not knowing what was awaiting me, I saw a comment of Geoshift somewhere. I clicked his icon because I liked it, and what I saw was overwhelming. He did really much camo’d minifigs back then, and that was exactly what I wanted. So I went to one of my local toy stores and bought two cans of tan Revell paint, one light and one dark. They weren’t fitting (one was glossy, the other matt), but I didn’t know anything about painting yet.

Hell, I even bought a Indy set, just to get a fitting torso with breast pouches! After finishing it, I bought another matt dark tan paint and overpainted it.

Then came my second fig. I asked the store owner what would be good for woodland camo, and I took the three cans. Then came more and more, I started to make my own weapons (from official Lego weapons) and I made different colored figs. I got to know the community better, and saw what others were making. Then I got my first BrickArms stuff, and I was absolutely astonished. The weapons were just so fitting, so perfect for Minifigs.
I remember spending about 100$ in my first order, because I couldn’t decide, and so I took just all of them that I thought I could find use for.

I got a bit better at making figs, and then I got my first Minifig.Cat order. That was where it got serious, and I still don’t regret buying the stuff (it was a few B12 vests, some IBH helmets and NVGs, as well as an M4). I also attempted to get a collective order at BrickForge, but that somehow never worked.

I got to know the good customizers on flickr, and became friends with some.
Then, another crack in my career. Pecovam sent me some Tiny Tactical stuff, and I got to know a whole other level of customizing.
Now it wasn’t only putting parts that were already there together to a fig, but also modifying these parts. And that’s about the story how I got into customizing. As you can see, it’s been quite a long way (I started at maybe 15 with clones, 16 with painting, and I’m 18 now), but I don’t regret one part of it.

Sadly, there is one thing though:
I have to do it all secretly. My parents are both against anything military, and, more importantly, Lego. They don’t like it in any aspect and think it’s childish. That’s why I often make only slow progress. Don’t get me wrong here. I have great parents, and they’re really nice and supportive, but there is just this one thing.

2. Where do you get your ideas and inspiration from?

That’s quite a bunch. First would surely be video games. I play lots of shooters, my favourite is still Modern Warfare 2, and now, Modern Warfare 3 (though I only played the campaign two times, and I didn’t come to playing multiplayer now).
Another big one is Halo. I only made one Halo fig yet, but I was desperately searching for any BF spartan armor I could get.

Some other games that inspire me:
-The whole Call of Duty series (I know I said some of them above already)
-The whole Battlefield series, by that I mean only the modern shooters (there’s a more military aspect to it than to CoD)
-All Halo games
-The Splinter Cell series
-The Ghost Recon series
-Operation Flashpoint (while they aren’t that good games, I like the characters, they inspired me to make my first version fireteam)
-Metal Gear Solid 4 (Splinter Cell is still better)

Another big point is movies:
I’m not a big watcher of war movies, but I do watch some. And of course all kinds of action movies. Here are some examples (I don’t guarantee they’re good, but they inspired me):

-Jarhead
-A-Team: the movie
-Shooter (still my favourite, Mark Wahlberg is a genius)
-Smokin’ Aces
-R.E.D.
-Battle Los Angeles

And not to forget the books. Yes, I do read books, even English ones (what some might not know is that I’m German). My favourite author is Matthew Reilly, and he made a great Character with Shane Schofield aka the Scarecrow. I read all of his books, and I can only recommend them to anyone who wants to read a book that could have been an Ego-Shooter too. They may be violent sometimes, but they are good to read and hell, they are the fastest books ever.

3. Are there any customizers that you look up to, or inspire you?

Ooooooh yes. I think I know every big one in the community, and I think I can call some of them friends.

Here’s a list (not sorted)
pecovam. Still my greatest idol, I absolutely love every fig of him and can’t wait until his store opens.
Shobrick. He had some great ideas (he’s a bit inactive right now) which really inspired me.
Family Bricks. Definitely my favourite style of figs, and I guess the one that’s most similar to mine (his are way better though).
Geoshift. A big thanks to him, he was the one who brought me into customizing first, and he still inspires me today.
PEDRO-79. Similar to pecovam’s style, though I don’t know him that good. Great figs.
eclipseGRAFX. Although he makes not that much figs for himself, he was still one of my main sources of inspiration back in my starter days, and I’m still talking with him on Skype today.
-JD from Toywiz. I really got into weapons painting lately, and JD is a real boss in that field.

There are some more of whom I get my inspirations, but these are the main sources.

4. What do you think of the Lego Collectors series?

I think it’s a good idea. There is some really cool stuff for customizing in there, which is especially good for people like me who can’t buy at third party vendors regularly. I’m especially looking forward to that Space Marine in the new batch. But they are a little overpriced in my opinion. I’m not the guy for reading the barcodes, and so I rarely get what I want. I think the last one I bought was over a month ago.

5. Are you currently on any new projects?

That’s also a long story.
Yes, I do have several projects, that’s what they are:

-MW2
I wanted to do as much figs as I can from MW2 (the ones that I liked at least), and these are:
-Cliffhanger Soap
-Loose Ends Ghost
-Just like old times Shadow Company, two different ones
-Just like old times Price
-A Cliffhanger Spetznaz remake
-My own version of Roach
-Maybe a Spetznaz from the Washington levels
-Maybe an Army Ranger
-And now definitely a Juggernaut from the SpecOps
I got a bit stuck here, I’m running out of torsos to paint, and I just get new ideas of improvement everyday, so I somehow don’t get to an end.
I’m also trying to do a Sandman, but I have to get a good MultiCam pattern first.

Battlefield 3 Multiplayer characters:
-The complete Marines batch (assault, support, engineer, recon) and the Spetznaz assault. I still need some parts for that though.

The Meta
This goes to all Red vs Blue fans. Everyone who watches the series should know the Meta, that cool guy in the white armor with the EVA helmet and that huge badass brute shot.
I have to mold the brute shot myself though, since I don’t like the firestar toys version, and there are no alternatives.
I also want to thank all the guys who support me with parts here, I think you know who I mean.

That would be about it. I’m making some figs here and there, but these are the main projects.
I won’t be so productive in the near time though, as I only have a half school year left, and I don’t know what I want to do afterwards, so that’s a bit hindering me.
I also got lots of fig requests lately, which is holding me up a bit.

In the end, I also want to thank everyone who supports me, who comments and faves my pics and simply everyone who likes my figs. I’m constantly trying to get better, and I hope I can achieve that somewhen.

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