Friday, 27 February 2009

Questions, answers and the Kingpin

Hello again,

As promised, this update I'm going to do my best to answer some of the recurring questions in the comments section, while also giving you a figurine update.

But first, I just want to address some of the comments that have come up due to the characters that made the extension.

My goal as editor of the CMFC is to try and put as many characters from across the Marvel Universe in the collection as possible. I need to balance the different 'aspects' of Marvel (Spidey characters, X-foes etc...) with the modern characters, the old characters, the popular, the niche and the more bizarre characters. It's absolutely fantastic that this collection evokes such passion from its collectors and I'm thrilled that choosing which characters to immortalise in lead is such an exciting process. However, what we do all have to remember is that it's impossible to tailor make the collection for each and every fan. Some characters you may feel deserve a place in the collection, another fan may think are a waste of space. So it comes down to a delicate balance when choosing new characters for the magazine and I genuinely hope that everyone can look forward to at least one figurine from the recent extension.

In a way I also like to think that we (the guys working on the mag) can act as ambassadors for each and every character in the collection. So you don't like X-Man/Jocasta/Son of Satan etc, well it's our job to show you that these are great Marvel characters with a rich history (whether that be 50 issues spread over 40 years or 100 issues in the '90s) and that they make great looking figures. Hopefully it's something we can achieve and something we'll always aim to do.

So moving on, I want to break down answers into a few segments.


The images we use in the magazine come from a number of sources. First Marvel have a database that we can download hi-res images from. These images tend to be from more recent or recently re-printed comics. The second method for getting images is to buy the comic and then scan artwork.

For scanned artwork the resolution it is scanned in at varies depending on the size and quality of the artwork, and the size we want to use it at. In general, we scan in between 400-800 dpi and then resize in photoshop to the standard 300 dpi print size.

All scanned artwork is cleaned up in photoshop using many different techniques including: recolouring, boosting blacks, as well as different types of blur and sharpening effects.


I'm very keen to put up shots of the sculpting and figurine process, discussing techniques, materials etc... but as I'm not a sculptor myself I want to get the guys who do the work on board. I'm currently discussing it with them and we'll see what we can do.

Main site:

I know we're a little behind schedule with the main site updates but we've had a couple of the Internet guys leave recently. I'm sure it'll be sorted very soon and we'll get back to regular updates.

Specials & double packs:

So far, I can confirm that (as previously mentioned) the Watcher and Kingpin will be the next two specials, after that I'm hopeful to get a Cloak and Dagger special out followed by another double pack. We're also looking at producing a figurine to tie-in with the Wolverine movie the details of which haven't been decided upon. Perhaps a Blob figure (as he'll be in the film) will work but I can't promise anything yet.

Looking further ahead to later specials, the characters that are on my 'working list' (but by no means definite and NOT in a running order) are:

Northstar & Aurora double pack
Omega Red
Power Pack (special double pack)

Plus a nearly unlimited list of other double packs.

We don't have a fixed schedule for the type or number of specials that we're going to produce this year but I'm looking to get the correct balance so that we can get as many characters into the collection without it costing the world and without the specials becoming regulars.

As far as double packs go, I believe Prof. X and Lilandra was successful (and the demand is there for more) so I will be sitting down with our marketing dept. and bosses in the next few weeks to discuss schedules.

Right, I hope that's answered a few questions so I'll move to the figurine update: the Kingpin painted!

As you can see we've gone for the classic white jacket costume with purple pinstriped trousers. The pose was adapted from a number of different sources with the sculptor producing a final sketch. I hope you'll all agree it captures the ruthless essence of the character and looks fantastic.

That's your lot, have a good weekend everyone.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

The complete line-up to #140...

Welcome back to another update.

This week I've got two pieces of news, the first of which is that we've finally picked all the figures for the latest extension (121-140).

The final eight figures were chosen on the superherofigurineforum and are:

Crimson Dynamo
Drax the Destroyer
Gladiator (Daredevil Foe)

They join:
Black Heart
Grim Reaper
Jack of Hearts
Son of Satan

So with those chosen, I just want to say a big thanks to the admins and mods on the message board for running the polls and making sure they are cheat free, and of course thanks to everyone who voted.

So with the extension now decided, I can begin work on the costume/pose choices and I promise to keep everyone updated as the figures go through development.

On to my second piece of 'news': with the overwhelmingly positive response to the Warlock image I put up, I thought I'd show you how we put together some of our front covers.

The cover in question is Nighthawk (Issue 96), which surprisingly caused us a little bit of trouble. As I've shown in the past, we do occasionally commission original pieces of artwork for covers, if suitable artwork is not easily available. However, sometimes we come across a character that has a lot of images that look great but none that really hit the mark when it comes to a cover. Sometimes the images don't fit the space well and sometimes we just can't get large enough copies of the images to use on the cover. With Nighthawk the magazine's designer (Dan) decided to make a cover using a number of different images for the background, logo and figure; here's how he did it...

First up we cutout an image of Nighthawk from the Last Defenders #1 cover.

We weren't keen on the background from Last Defenders cover (it highlighted too many other characters) so Dan chose an old Defenders issue for the background. This was knocked back to black and white and then rescaled for the magazine's front cover. A purple overlay was added to the cover to help the main Nighthawk image standout.

The logo we used was taken from a third comic (Nighthawk's miniseries) and placed on the cover to finish the artwork.

And that's really it, when no one image works for a character we tend to search the comic archive to find a few different pieces of artwork that can come together and make a good cover.

Hope you enjoyed the update, more figurine news/previews at the end of the week, and I'll answer some of the questions kicked up in the comments section.

Friday, 13 February 2009


A very quick update this week as I am a bit pushed for time.

Below is the paint master of Dazzler.

I also just wanted to remind everyone to go and vote in the polls on Http:// (link below)

Time is nearly up with the polls due to end in 9 days. This is your chance to choose a character for the 121-140 extension. Don't worry if your favourite isn't winning, still vote because you never know we may get another extension.

I did say it would be quick.

Have a good weekend.

Friday, 6 February 2009

Patsy Walker: Hellcat

Hi guys,

It’s Friday so I guess that means it’s time for another update.

First, I just want to say thanks for all the positive feedback to last week’s update, from now on I think I’ll try and mix-up the updates so that we show figurine sneak peeks as well as little bits and pieces from the magazine.

So as promised a figurine preview: Hellcat painted.

As you can see it’s the classic yellow Hellcat costume. The only point to note (other than it being a lovely sculpt) is that we’ve gone for a PVC effect on the mask, boots and gloves. This should give a similar effect to the Catwoman figure that our fine friends on the DC Figurine Collection put out.

As well as the figurine update I have a couple of covers to show: Issue 93 – Valkyrie and Issue 95 – Impossible Man.

Both these covers feature commissioned artwork by the fantastic artist Jack Lawrence. Jack is a UK based-artist whose previous work included Lions, Tigers and Bears from Image comics and Darkham Vale (from an independent publisher), as well as many others.

It was a real challenge to find a suitably large image for either of these characters and hopefully you’ll agree with me that Jack’s done a great job of capturing the essence of each character.

Right that’s your lot for this week, have a good weekend.