To clarify real quickly before I get started, what you’re seeing here in the pics is a painted sample from Evil Mike. I’ll give some details about how to get one just like this from Mike at the end of the review, but if you hit up his SHAPEWAYS STORE you’ll find that the two pieces are available to order separately (due to their immense size).
If you order these from Mike’s store, it’s about $34 plus taxes and shipping. You’ll have some color options at the Shapeways site, but white is likely best and you’ll need to paint it. A painted version as seen here, you can order directly from Mike via his Facebook or e-mail (which I’ll provide at the end of the review). That’ll run you $49 plus shipping and all you’ll have to do is glue the two pieces together as I did here (here’s a tip: the hook in the staff curves with the blade, not against, I had to look that up!).
So the question is, it this accessory worth $34-49? I think that’s going to depend on how bummed you were about Nekron not getting his staff in the first place (or if you have a cool, creative use for this piece for someone other than Nekron). I was pretty annoyed by not getting this accessory included back when Nekron was released. There are optional accessories a figure could do with out – batarangs, kryptonite, clip-on lighting, etc. Then there are things like Wonder Woman’s Magic Lasso, Starman’s Star Rod, bow & arrows for GA. Nekron doesn’t have the length of publication like those guys, but he does have his Scythe. Mattel screwed that up. I think I would land on the spectrum of being bothered enough to pay out for a well done accessory to correct for a Mattel mistake.
I tell folks that we’re in a great time for toy collecting. The internet, while still evil, provides us better communication between collectors, access to line information and availability, and, recently, has connected to some amazing custom designers. Things like 3D printing and Shapeways have further enhanced collecting. I still marvel at the few 3D printed pieces I own. The idea alone is awesome and to see how far the technology has come so quickly is even cooler.
That advancement is showcased here with Mike’s piece. There are still some restrictions with 3D printing, at least at the affordable level, but the scythe wisely utilizes them. The blade is done in what’s call “strong, flexible, and polished”. It’s smooth, but still has the great forged look. The staff meanwhile is done in the rougher, unpolished plastic which translates amazing well with the wood detailing. And we can take that “strong, but flexible” thing to heart. These are on the sturdier side (i.e., don’t sit on it), but still have some give as you move the figure around for poses. Take that and combine it with being a faithful adaptation of the original and this piece is pretty great.
What really surprised me though was how much more it made me like the original figure. Real quick, I do have one nitpick – the staff could be a little wide to better fit in Nekron’s hand more snugly, but I could see this looser size ensuring that no paint is chipped. I do appreciate that. Since the staff slid around a little freely, I found myself tinkering with Nekron for good poses . That’s when I realized that Nekron had some great articulation, particularly in the arms! He was quite literally designed to be used with an accessory of this caliber and finally having it really brought the figure to life. And that, by the way enhancing the original figure, is the hallmark of a great add-on piece.
Thank you again to Evil Mike for sending the Scythe along!
Continue to Evil Mike’s Customs!*
* – If you’d like to order a painted scythe from Evil Mike directly, please contact him at Facebook or via e-mail!
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38 thoughts on “Evil Mike’s Customs
Necro-Scythe Blade & Hilt Review”
Talk about perfect timing… Was just looking around to get a DCC Nekron just for the scythe, after seeing Evil Mike’s version (and just how small the DCC version looks with the Mattel figure) I’ll be off to order one in the very near future! Thanks to you and Evil Mike!
The DCD one is definitely too small. It’s neat, but this one works much better.
“A few business days later…” LOL :D. Thank you so much for this awesome review!!! I love reading your articles – keep up the great work 🙂
Thanks, Mike! You did the hard part!
@Jim Abell Haha, just in time^^. I’m glad that we saved you from getting the small DCC Necron scythe ;).
That evil mike is a genius. I have a half dozen now of his motuc pieces and love every one. The intent on my end us to continue adding to the library.
I was looking through his store before doing the write up and he thinks of some great additions and 2.0s for the line.
Wow, that’s a really nice piece! Great work, Evil Mike. Though I love Shapeways stuff, the fact that you need to paint the items puts a lot of things out of my range. I just don’t have the skillset or the supplies to paint things up properly. Kudos to Evil Mike for making a painted option available. I’d gladly pay the premium to get a truly finished version.
If it’s a solid color or two-tone, I’ll try it. I do like dyeing stuff too.
@paul just a little practice and you can get there. Check out Casimir’s great custom tutorial:
*scroll down to the painting topic*
And as for the future, yes Noisy, interesting times indeed. Say we move past 3d printed accessories, and onto full figures. Then if the Mattels and Hasbros of the world aren’t willing to make your 90’s JLA or your Red beast, we’ll make it for ourselves. Transformer fans are already at the doorstep of this promise land…
It’s interesting, in light of Speedbump’s issue with the licensing below, to think about personal 3D printers. What if I can design a Red Beast figure on my own computer and print it out like a custom that is nearly indistinguishable from the real thing.
It’s fascinating to think about how that might effect company’s decisions. Nekron is now “complete” if you pick this thing up from Mike. Now, in Mattel’s case they weren’t holding off on it or having something planned, they just cut it due to costs. But in the future, will 3D printing affect their decisions? Will they include more to create value? Will they include less cause you can print it anyway? Will they include the codes to just make it at home “Buy Nekron and a get a code to 3d print his accessory?”
Interesting times ahead!
It’s starting to happen, in a small way.
There’s a company, Moebius Models, they make nerd interest model kits. They were early adopters in bringing on board third party aftermarket makers, to cross the line of ‘official maker’ and work in cooperation as a kit is developed, so, for example, photoetched brass detailing parts are available when the kit ships, not months later.
A current thing they’re trying is creating ‘accessories’ for their kits via Shapeways, things that they feel they would never sell enough of to get any ROI on design and tooling, even if they went the resin & RTV garage kit route.
So, just some small stuff so far http://www.shapeways.com/shops/moebiusmodels
But it’s a start. Diorama gear for Galactica Vipers is a natural thought.
So here’s an idea for the near future. Four Horsemen design an action figure ‘buck’, broken down into parts, decent articulation. Totally blank. There may even be different pricing levels based on how much artic you want.
You pay the fee and lease the buck. Then you can do ANYTHING to it, design the living daylights out of it, create that 4″ tall Agent Coulson that Hasbro refuses to do, and print it out on your home 3D printer. The 4H could even design ‘plug and play’ skins so you wouldn’t have to draw your own business suit, or whatever.
And it would be like the old days, when Dragon/Hot Toys wasn’t licensing, so you didn’t buy ‘Indiana Jones’, you bought ‘Adventurer’. 🙂
Being a customizer I don’t have a problem painting this at all. I’m just not sure I’m 100% sold on the Shapeways plastic. I’ve heard some items can be chalky and powdery. I guess I’ll just have to bite the bullet and try them out. This seems like the perfect item to dip my toes in the Shapeways pool.
DO IT MS!! 🙂
i will say, the results depend on what you get… all of the *color*SF plastics are, shall we say, textury… i wouldn’t call them chalky per se, but more like a slight wood grain… which coincidentally, if you intend to paint them as a wood grain or like bone, works enormously well. the unpolished *color*SF plastics are strong (so are the polished) unless done very thin, and they do have an almost chalky texture, but with a little sanding and some sealer, they will still come out nicely. i’ve found that if you seal the WSF plastics first, then paint over them, you get something much more akin to smooth looking.
that said, the detail plastics are smooth finished and feel similar to the PVC used in actual figures. but they don’t take paint anywhere near as well as the WSF plastics do and they are, by feel, more fragile. i haven’t broken any of my shapeways pieces yet though, but i’ve only had the courage to stress test the WSF plastics a bit, the extra cost of the detail plastic keeps me too scared to give it a good bend.
Painting something like this, I would likely be okay. Faces though, faces… ugh. lol
This gives me hope that someone will eventually do Despero’s sword/scabbard.
Should be perfect for Despero AND MOTUC figures.
That is my #1 dream accessory.
I forgot all about that scabbard getting cut! Wow!
Hmmm. I know a Black Widow who doesn’t have her pistols, I wonder…
3D Printing and services like Shapeways have some really exciting potential. In my foolishness I tend to think we’re at (roughly) the ‘dot matrix printer’ stage of the evolution. When the tech hits ‘laser printer’ look out! Actually, I think it’s already there for serious industrial applications, I’m talking about when it trickles down to ‘affordable for the rest of us’ stage.
I think that’s about right. We have some local machines here that are more dot matrix, but the shapeways stuff seems closer to inkjet. lol
First of all thanks for the nice comments, guys :).
I can only confirm what dayraven is saying. Up to now I really have a lot experience with the shapeways products and the best material for use with action figures is the “strong, flexible – polished” material. I use to apply two, sometimes three layers of paint (which should not be too pasty, keep it liquid). After that the surface of the items is much more smooth and looks great with the figures. I can’t recommend the “detail” plastic dayraven talked about. Actually it’s too expensive and I have already managed to get it broken. Moreover it warps over time.
@kantboy2, can you show me a picture of Despero’s sword? If there would be some interest in it I could imagine to take care of that in the future 🙂
That link should show you the prototype sculpt, which included the sword and scabbard based on the Total Justice figure and the Justice League Task Force comic.
I have the scythe and a dual sword for Keldor, but I can’t remember who I bought it from for the life of me. The quality of the scythe blows the other out of the water though.
“I don’t really want him at this size. I would’ve been happy with 7-8″. I think that would’ve been more in line with most of the time he spent in Blackest Night.”
– IAT Nekron Review
And yet here you are, promoting a $50 bootleg that you didn’t even pay for. Of course you’re going to like DCU Nekron more with a free upgrade. But the DC Direct Nekron is complete, acceptably scaled, usually more affordable, and most importantly, 100% officially licensed.
Mike doesn’t even have Nekron, didn’t even pay a penny to Mattel for the product he’s modifying. That solves the ‘doesn’t fit in Nekron’s hands’ mystery.
It’s not a great time for toy collecting if you’re going to do stuff like this, which is basically telling toy companies, ‘f*** your legal rights as a manufacturer and licensee.’ Mattel has every legal right NOT to make this. I’m tired of collector entitlement.
Well… that escalated quickly.
Folks sometimes have strong feelings about certain issues. It’s cool.
Speedbump, you’re welcome to your opinion and, moreover correct, about the licensing issue. It’s such a sustainable argument that it’s not really necessary to cloak it in a faux-rage post.
By doing so, we can only further move away from what appears to be your main issue and reason for posting. Reading your whole post, I feel the need to navigate into separate discussions. For one, you believe I’m not allowed to change my mind on a figure (which I have, the accessory really makes it much more fun and helps me appreciate the articulation, even if it’s still horribly scaled. I enjoy that I can experience my opinion being altered, I wish more folks could do likewise. You will likely find many instances of my opinion changing over time if you go back through the site). Then, there’s also how you believe my opinion is jaded by receiving this item free (which you only know because I dutifully believe I should always point that out so the readers can judge for themselves). Here again, you’re welcome to your opinion of my opinion. Though don’t expect me to give yours any more credence than you’ve given mine. Finally, we get to an entitlement issue – of course, Mattel has the right to not include a critical accessory with the figure. I don’t believe I said they didn’t. Though I am free to criticize their decision, just as you are free to criticize my opinion. The question, for me, is then if they’re entitled to not produce it, and you’re entitled to express your opinion about my stance, why is it an entitlement issue to express my own in the first place? That’s confusing.
As for the legal rights issue, I don’t find it really discussable. It’s one of those things when an opinion is lightning-formed and and is followed by little tolerance for the opposing view. While I cede to you the letter of the law and applaud your steadfastness, I could discuss at length why I don’t personally take issue with it or particularly agree with your interpretation. But if I did post all that at length, would you care to listen? A faux-rage post like the one above indicates to me that we’re not really here to converse, so as much as you telling the rest of how it is. I look forward to future posts from you here at IAT, but I don’t have a lot of time to spare for a one-sided conversation.
I used to shy away from third-party products for exactly the same reasons listed. Also, they were usually cheap and shoddy and fragile.
But then toy companies started churning out the same four to six characters over and over and over and over, and when they finally did a different character, they cut corners on it. Or, more frequently, gave up on producing the more interesting characters altogether.
If the duly appointed toy companies aren’t going to step up and give the fans what they want, the fans are just going to go elsewhere. Simple supply and demand. Used to be it was up to the individual collectors to customise what they wanted. Then, as the internet became more widespread, they started to pay others to customise something for them. This is the logical next step as technology advances. So long as they’re not using trademarked names and claiming their products are The Real Thing, I don’t see there’s much can be done to stop Third Party manufacturing.
i won’t do it here, cuz it’s not the forum, but i’ve long argued that we overextend copy rights and trademarks as they pertain to IPs for commercial use… think of it this way, were i stock investor, i get some measure of say in how the business executes future business decisions, proxy votes, share holders’ meetings, etc… but if i back the product, and company, through a commercial transaction for their good or service, i have ZERO right to impact the business that provided me that good/service. why not? i didn’t invest in the business as an intellectual exercise, or as a get rich scheme like the stock guy, i invested in their actual product, had an actual experience with the product, and came back for more… i should be allowed some say in how the subsequent transactions take place. i am not a spend machine, good for a wallet dump and then to be tossed aside like a used profo.
So, Noisy? If I get with a friend who has been developing (and selling) product on Shapeways, and I manage to design a proper Springfield Armory XP in .45APC for the recent Marvel Legends Black Widow, is that something you think people might want?
(I’m totally guessing on the pistol because I’ve not been able to find a drop of documentation about what she’s using so I have to go by the look, the other choice might be a Walther P99 in 10mm. blah blah guns. 🙂 )
Yes, please! My Black Widows need their arms. I can not believe that Hasbro did not have an acceptable handgun to give to Widow. Godspeed with these aftermarket accessories. 😀
I believe BW carried either the Glock 26 or 27.
Yeah, that does seem to be the most common wisdom, I can’t find a single official source from the movies.
Man, they sure don’t look like Glocks to my eyes.
Funny thing, all the pre-pro art, the costume art tests, very consistently show Springfield XDs, with those distinctive deep cut lines on the front of the slide.
OTOH there’s a couple of pics that show a safety on the slide, which I KNOW the XD doesn’t have and I’m pretty sure the Glock doesn’t have either! It almost looks more like a SIG of some kind…
arrggh. I’m not gun otaku enough!! 🙂
These guys have been my go to source and I haven’t found any inaccuracies there:
They also state that she carries the Glock 26 (9 MM).
That scythe is absolutely stunning. I really love the wood looking on the holder.
When I bought my Nekron I could not understand why Mattel released him without his scythe, such a very important accessory for this figure, so I decided to make my own (actually I made two because I had two Nekrons). It’s really similar to this one, but I used real aluminium for the blade and the metal parts, rosewood for the holder and epoxi resin in little details.
If you guys want to check out, here’s the link:
I am willing to bet when you factor material cost and your time and skill (because that DOES have value, people forget that craftsmanship is a process) your scythes would price out at much more than $50. 🙂
I think I know why Evil Mike’s scythe pole comes across as a little narrow. I suspect he was allowing for paint thickness, assuming the buyer might use bottle paint applied with a brush. Naturally if one is airbrushing, rattle can spraying or using figure paint and thin washes there’s less paint thickness built up.
This is great!
I find nothing wrong with making accessories or additional items for existing figures. It’s not like making knock-offs of characters that you can find these days in some market areas.
I hope this works well for Evil Mike and that he makes more items for the DCUC line. An elongated neck for Elongated Man, metal parts for some of the Metal Men, colored energy constructs for the other non-green lantern corp members for instance. Some cool energy trail flight stands would be cool.
Matty promised to find a way to get the scythe to us and failed, so bravo to Mike for making it happen.
I’ll be ordering one for myself and a friend.
Keep on keeping on Evil Mike! I already placed an order.
And while there really is no legal argument for knock offs, I have ZERO problem supporting the guys and gals out here doing what the large manufacturers won’t do…meet demand. You know, demand for the very small finite group of fans who support their product calling themselves collectors. Remember, this market is soooo small, they can afford to abandon and ignore it. So to them I say, BYE! I’ll make my own customs and support the customizers out here making good product that this very very small corner of the toy market wants.
Until they can turn that great battleship around and change their manufacturing process to meet today’s just in time manufacturing reality, they can just continue to ignore us…we don’t account for any significant part of their business/profits anyway…so eff em.
A really nice looking piece, and while I appreciate all the work put into it, realistically I don’t think I’m going to be shelling out that kind of $ for it. Still, I really like just knowing that it’s out there, so maybe I’ll eventually be able to swing it. For that, I thank you, evilmike!
In the meantime, I’m gonna go ahead and not shed a tear for Mattel and their precious licensee rights and Trademarks and legal mumbo-jumbo. They told us they were making a damn scythe, and they didn’t for reasons only TG and the never-to-be-heard-from-again Fangirl 2.0 will know. So if some industrious soul wants to make a toy scythe that “just so happens” to work well with Mattel’s stupid toy, well, God bless ‘im.
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