miniature collection of Final Fantasy VIII figures! The man behind the art is of course Tomasz Rozejowski of TR Creations, and I was lucky enough to get a short interview with him as a follow up to the article.
So what made you want to start making these figures?
The idea of customising Final Fantasy figures started with Final Fantasy X's Lulu. I was very happy with all of the Play Arts figures but unfortunately less popular characters were not getting any love. I bought a Final Fantasy VIII Rinoa Play Arts figure on eBay that turned out to be a bootleg. She was out of scale with other Final Fantasy VIII characters but in scale with Final Fantasy X so I decided to give customising a shot and after couple of days my 1st custom Play Arts figure was born. At that time my knowledge and skills were limited so I wasn’t able to keep all of the articulation but I was quite happy with the final result.
The most important part of making my customs is the idea! I want to make a lot of characters but the problem is to find the “perfect” parts. I want to make them as good and detailed as I can but also keep the articulation. Once I have all of the materials I always start with the head/face. I think it is very important for the figure to look as close as possible to the original character design. I can I re-use parts to keep the articulation but most of the details is sculpted. I used various clays in the past but my favourite one is FIXIT® Sculpt – it is a very good product and it gives me about 5 hours of sculpting time before it turns rock hard. Once the clay is dry I polish it to make it smooth and add more details if needed. I’m using Model Color – Acrylic Vallejo Paints and I finish the figures off with the matte or gloss varnish to preserve the paint.
How long does it take you to make a figure?
It depends on the project. I think the shortest time I spent on the custom was one week with Final Fantasy XIII-2's Snow as it was a fairly easy custom, and the most time was couple of months. My Fran Play Arts figure is an on-going project and whenever I find some spare time I will add some more details to her armour. Just the “helmet” part took me 3-4 days to make as I was able only to work on one part of it before moving to another so I don’t damage still wet clay. I would say on average each project takes about a month if I do a bit of work every day.
I have been customising Play Arts figures for over 5 years now and up to date I have done about 30 projects.
Which figures are you planning on making in the future?
I have coupe of project started including Final Fantasy XII's Bash, Final Fantasy IX's Steiner, Final Fantasy VII's Barret and XIII-2's Chocolina so I would like to finish those first and move on to new projects. I would like to do the full playable cast for Final Fantasy IX but it is quite difficult to find parts (Freya for example) If Square Enix do not make a Snow (Lightning Returns) official Play Arts figure I will definitely make one as I really like his new design.
Which are your favourite figures that you have made?
Hm… that is very difficult question as I love them all, they are like my babies! I think I’m really proud of Final Fantasy IX's Beatrix and Kuja, Final Fantasy XII's Fran, and Final Fantasy XIII-2's Noel and Caius. But if I would have to choose one it would be Final Fantasy VIII's Zell as he is my favourite character and I would love to see official Play Arts Kai figure of him in the future.
Yes! I have been collecting FF figures in general since 1998 and Play Arts figures from their 1st release of Final Fantasy X-2 YuRiPa. Up to date I have ALL of the Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts Play Arts/Play Arts Kai figures and various other Play Arts series like Metal Gear Solid, Tomb Raider, Arkham City and more...
I know you've made something smaller (FFVIII minis) but would you ever make anything bigger than the 'standard' size?
Yes, I love to discover new techniques and new projects. I have been working with many figure scales and I like Play Arts the best. I would like to do at some point a huge static arts statue but I haven’t decided what character it will be. At the moment I’m working on a small Lightning Returns Static art figure that I will show very soon
If you could make a life-size model of any Final Fantasy character, who would it be and why?
It would be Zell as like I mentioned before he is my favourite Final Fantasy character.
What is your favourite Final Fantasy?
I love the entire series but Final Fantasy VIII is my favourite.
Who is your favourite Final Fantasy villain?
Hm… I'm sure many people would say Sephiroth but really I'm quite fed up with him being all over the place. I think if I can call her a villain it would be Final Fantasy IX's Beatrix.
Which is your least favourite Final Fantasy?
Hm… I’m not sure maybe Final Fantasy III
Thank you Tomasz! With such big projects in the pipeline, I'm sure this won't be the last we'll hear of TR. In the meantime, if you'd like to send him any questions of your own then please visit his Twitter or Facebook!