For my 100th custom, I wanted to do something special. Seeing as how my favorite musician, Voltaire, was coming to play a show near me, I decided to surprise him with a custom action figure of himself. For those who don’t know who Voltaire is, he’s a gothic folk singer. Almost all of his songs are comedic in nature, usually lightheartedly poking fun at the gothic subculture, or at least how most people would consider gothic people to act. A fan of his once aptly described his music stylings as akin to “Riding a Black Unicorn Down the Side of an Erupting Volcano while Drinking From a Chalice Filled With the Laughter of Small Children”. Voltaire loved this description so much, he used it as the name for one of his albums, even going so far as to write an entire song revolving around that title.
The custom set I made him revolves around his “Black Unicorn” album. The actual figure itself was made using the body of a Diamond Select Toys Deluxe Angel, the head from a Marvel Legends Dr. Strange, the hair from a Lord of the Rings Boromir, and the top hat from a DC Universe Classics Zatanna. I resculpted the collar of the shirt so it would be more open, and made a smaller version of Voltaire’s signature key blade necklace myself out of carved down polystyrene strung around the figure’s neck with black thread. I also heated up the figure’s left hand and let it cool down around the chalice I gave the figure, so it would perfectly fit in his hand. The reason I chose the ML Dr. Strange head is actually a funny story. Not many people know this, but that figure’s head was actually sculpted after Voltaire’s likeness. A friend of his was working on the figure for Toybiz many years ago and thought that Voltaire had the perfect face for him to use as a reference for Dr. Strange’s face. So with that knowledge, how could I possibly use any other head, but one that was made to look just like him? I had to sculpt his full beard on, and shave down the back of the head greatly to fit the Boromir hair on, then just glued the top hat to the hair. I also used thin styrene rods to pierce both of his ears.
And for the coup de grace, the black unicorn. I used a Lord of the Rings Ringwraith Horse for him, and used part of a Gandalf cane for his horn, that I sculpted over to blend in with the head. I took some flame accessories in my fodder bin and glued them to either of the horse’s eyes, and painted the flames so they would fade to red. I also painted the horse’s nostrils and mouth to look as if they were glowing fire, and dry brushed some red around the horse’s head to simulate the flames glowing against it.
After the bulk of the work was done, I gave the figure several accessories. I included a chalice that came with the same Deluxe Angel figure that I used for the body (and yes I filled it with the laughter of small children). A beer bottle was given to him as well from a Spike (from Buffy) action figure. The guitar came from a NECA Johnny Cash, the guitar case came from an Alias action figure. His chair came from a movie Spider-Man Norman Osborn figure that I had to fill in part of with apoxie sculpt, and then completely repainted it a red leather color, and gave the legs a rustic worn wooden look. And after all of that, the figure was finished. I presented the entire set to Voltaire on July 22nd, 2012. From what I gathered, he was very grateful for the gift, which alone makes it completely worth it.
If you’d like to find out more about Voltaire and his music, here’s a few links to help you out: