Spotlight On: Custom Vinylmation Artist John Ward

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We spotlighted John Ward last year with some of his great 9″ customs and he is back to share a couple villains and a non-Disney set as well.

Destination Vinylmation: Why all the villains?
John: The villains are some of my favorite characters in Disney movies, so naturally I enjoy creating customs of them.

DV: What is the first custom you’d like to share?
John: First up is my 9″ Gaston, from Beauty and the Beast. I sculpted a rifle for him to hold and also a quiver, with a couple arrows, for his back. This was the second time I sculpted something from the reverse of a Vinylmation figure, which made things easier since I knew what not to do.

DV: What was one challenge you had with this figure and how did you overcome it?
John: I had a hard time deciding what to put on his ears, but finally decided on making it a stormy night, like when he confronts the Beast towards the end of the movie.

DV: Your next custom is Judge Frollo, from Hunchback of Notre Dame. What are some of the features of this character?
John: I must be honest, I still haven’t seen this movie, although I really want to. I just never got around to watching it, but I will one day.

 I knew that with Frollo I needed to sculpt his hat, it was a must because the figure wouldn’t look right without it. I also wanted to sculpt his rings. I felt they would also add something to the piece. The hat is the largest sculpted piece I’ve done to date, which was a challenge in itself.

I also added the cloth red part. I was thinking of sculpting that too, but decided that using cloth would make it look much nicer. Also, if you remove the hat, you can see I added a couple arches on the ears.

DV: One of our favorite TV shows is The Big Bang Theory. So your next set really excites us. Tell us about these figures.
John: I don’t normally work with 3″ pieces, I’ve only created 2 so far, and both were commissioned pieces. However, I felt that for this set, 3″ would work better.

The set is the main characters from the show. I enjoyed creating them more than I thought I would. My number one concern was if I’d be able to get the detail I wanted to achieve on a much smaller work area than I’m used to. In the end though I was able to through using the small brushes and lots and lots of patience.

DV: Can you give us some hints on what your working on right now?
John: Currently I’m working on several projects. A piece for a charity event here in Jacksonville, some 3″ pieces for Evilos’ Blind Bag Series coming out later this year, and also I’m re-working one of my earlier customs, Jafar. I have a couple ideas on how to improve him and make it a better custom piece, along with adding something to him that I haven’t tried before.

DV: If readers would like to inquire about purchasing your work, how can they do that?
John: All of my current customs are for sale on my website; along with all my other artwork. Any questions about my pieces can be sent to [email protected]
You can also see my latest projects and updates on my Facebook page; Siberian Vinylmation Customs.

About the author

Nick LoCicero

Nick LoCicero has almost 20 years experience in the media industry. He has worked on numerous Disney related media projects, most know at WDWNT for WDW News Tonight. He has been visiting Walt Disney World since 1982. After moving to Orlando in the late 90's he became a passholder, developed a fascination with the history of the vacation kingdom and has spent way too much money on park merchandise.