Name: Leon Arseneau
Location: Cloquet, MN
How did Darth Leon Customs get its start? What prompted you to start creating custom action figures? My first customs came about during the Masters of the Universe 200x Era. I loved He-Man when I was a kid in the 80's, and fell in love with the new Cartoon and Action Figures. The only problem was the figures we coming out terribly slow for me. I wanted more and more figures. I found a site that showcased custom Motu figures and I decided to try my hand at customizing a figure. My very first custom was Hordak, and to this day he is still one of my favorites. I'd put him up there still as one of my best, even though he was my first custom.
Let’s talk a bit about the creation of these figures a bit. To start, what type of material do you use to create them? Are the parts scrapped from existing action figures, or do you create everything from scratch? I use Aves Apoxie Sculpt for the sculpting. It is a two part apoxie that gives about 2 hours of work time to sculpt all your parts. As for the paint I use Tamera Paints as well As testers Acryl.
How are they colored? I use a more realistic style of painting. My favorite technique is Drybrushing. Shading is done by watering down the paint.
How long does it take, on average, to make a single figure? What is the process for you? It usually takes me approx. 6-8 hours to mostly finish a figure. I say "mostly" because I have a hard time calling a figure done. I am never satisfied and will keep adding small details after the fact.
You have a huge collection of Marvel characters. What is your background with Marvel, and how do you choose what figures you’re going to do next? I don't really keep up with comics now a days. To be honest my favorites were He-Man and GI-Joe. Marvel has such an unlimited array of characters to choose from, I always have a great pool to choose from when picking the next character. I usually try to do the most up to date costume of a character. My favorite character when I was a kid, and is still to this day, Is Thor.
What other influences do you have? My influences are actually anything that will be coming out in the future. I will read a magazine about an upcoming movie/ comic/ game, and I will get all the info/ pics I can and try to be the first to make that figure. An example would be my Big Sister figure that came out almost a half a year before the game even was released.
Are they primarily created for a personal collection, or in hopes of sale?
My collection is the hundreds of pictures I take of my figures. Like I said, I have a hard time calling a figure "done". I take great pride in my figures. With that being said my figures are for sale. I don't have room for a collection, and take more enjoyment knowing someone out there is displaying "MY" figure on their shelve. Thats a great feeling.