I am proud to announce the completion of what a line that is meant to celebrate 20 years of professional toy design and creation.
Click through to see all 10 figures, individual photos, & read about each character and their design inspiration. MAIN PAGE
I have posted a number of items including miniatures that were built by my and displayed at Star Wars Celebration & a number of custom figures. I have reduced the prices from what are listed here on the site and will be changing them here to reflect that. I also have the listed with free shipping. Many of these pieces are quite popular and were covered heavily by internet media sources. The listings can be found HERE>
As I have stated before I am a lifelong fan of role playing games, especially Dungeons & Dragons which I have been playing since junior high, through high school and college and into my adulthood still. I love making figures based on my various characters from my 30+ years of gaming.
My life long love of Akira Kurosawa and samurai history does frequently lead to my playing samurai-eque characters.
Varis Loreweaver is without a doubt my favorite character I have ever played. He is a medieval rock god, a la David Bowie and has an alternate identity, which I was able to fool my fellow players with for years. One of my favorite aspects was the playlists of songs themed around the spell he would cast that I would actually play when he cast is bardic musical magic.
Varis evolved over the years and rarely revisit a character, but as certain items became integral to his story I did add them to the figure. I also made characters based on my sister and brother-in-law’s characters that played in that group at the time.
I recently came across a local toy vendor that was selling a bunch of loose 6″ scale Hasbro Black Series figures. They were in rough shape and had no accessories. So I bought them and began a fun experiment. I would try to spend only a few dollars on each figure, other the the figure I bought I would only use parts I had on hand and my own sculpting, and complete one figure a day in the hours after I left my regular job. Some turned out great, others could use some work, but that was all in the spirit of the challenge I set myself. I hope you enjoy my return to my favorite Star Wars location…The Mos Eisley Cantina.
No scene has captured my imagination over the years like the Mos Eisley Cantina. I have been fascinated by it since childhood and created it in a variety of mediums over my career.
It started when I was a kid modifying vintage Kenner figures. Unfortunately due to an accident few of them remain. I also at this time made my first cantina out of scrap plywood in my dad’s garage. The story of my toy career was documented in a Lucasfilm approved documentary called “In a Galaxy” Unfortunately the documentary was bought by Verizon and launched on their failed media Go90 platform were it is now lost for ever. Here is an older photo (I am getting ready to get these figures out and take some good photos. I apologize for the quality but they were shot by me at a very young age with 1980’s camera, probably a Kodak disk.
In the 90’s as a kid I got really into customizing I had made virtually every Star Wars character you could imagine. It was era before Hasbro had made all the background characters. I wanted to have as many of them as I could. Here are some of the Mos Eisley characters. In this era I was mostly posting on message boards before I had my own site.
I, of course, made new dioramas of the cantina numerous times. Many have been displayed at various Star Wars Celebrations over the years such as at C2, C3, & C4.
All of the customs and dioramas were part of a long endeavor to recreate a lost film from my childhood that was a stop motion retelling of Star Wars with toys. I eventually remade the film with the help of my daughter who was 5 at the time. It was called “Toy Wars”. I was meant to be done in a purposely cheap looking style. Kind of a somewhat better version of the one I made when I was younger but featuring my customs and dioramas but some purposely low budget effects and gags. Here is part 5, featuring the cantina.
I have created this scene and its exotic alien patrons in virtually every imaginable scale and line.
In the coming days I will posting dozens of new 6″ scale customs of the Mos Eisley Cantina patrons.
So I have been playing Dungeons and Dragons for over 30 years. As a kid I would toil away trying to draw pictures of them. Well to be more accurate I would trace bodies out of my Marvel Universe comics and draw on the armor and tunics. Something I love doing now is creating my current D&D characters in 6″ action figures.
First up is my Halfling Bard named Joven Luckbender. Everything around his is themed to luck. His bard artform is jokes so he actually tells bad jokes in the game. He uses his magic flute as a flail.
Second, is Warforged Warlock name Furnis. He made a pact with Bahamut to free some dragons from a magical forge where they were all enslaved. He is from a new campaign I was playing with my daughter and her friends. They thought he was just a guy in a suit of armor for a long time. He has a familiar small dragon named Novis.
So 17 years ago I wandered into something called the Diorama Workshop at Star Wars Celebration 2. Little did I know that I would spend the entire convention in a small room making a massive diorama of Mos Eisley. Also, I did not realize that I would meet Frank Diorio, a man that I have now worked with know at 8 Star Wars Celebrations. Frank runs Dioramaworkshop.com.
If you don’t know what a Star Wars Celebration it is the name of the official Star Wars conventions that occur every 2-3 years. At the workshops fans come and build a small piece of a diorama that will eventually combine to make a massive scene from a film. It is all free and whatever you make you get to keep and take home.
We have built Mos Eisley, the Death Star, Endor, Hoth, Tatooine, Bespin, and the Death Star surface with a Hot Wheels race track down the trench. You can learn more about some of the past celebrations I have helped with here.
This years Celebration is in Chicago, IL on April 11-15 at McCormick Place. We will be back again for one of the largest and longest running events at the Celebrations.
Over the years we have partnered with companies like Hasbro, Mattel, Smooth-on, Aves, Sculpey and more. This year we are going in a whole new direction and partnering with Fantasy Flight Games, makers of such awesome products as X-Wing, Imperial Assault, and Legion. Our entire build is designed in 1/48 scale and will be the Battle of Scarif from Rogue One. Guests will be able to make beach, jungle, and water scenes and custom create trees, bunkers, and more.
For the last 4 conventions I have also been running what we call Master Classes. This years I will be free running daily classes on how to paint miniatures. So if you are going to be at Star Wars Celebration be sure to stop by and sign up for a slot as they can fill up quickly.
We have an amazing team of crew who have been with us as far back as C4 and on. Everyone has a role and is putting in a ton of work before the show. My contributions will include making a number of the most memorable scenes from Rogue One in miniature form as well as creating numerous small easter egg scenes to try and spot. Be sure to follow me on Instagram and Twitter as I have a lot of fun sunrises in store for the show and possibly some giveaways for subscribers.
If you would like to volunteer or keep up with all our announcements head over to Dioramaworkshop.com to keep up to date with all the videos Frank will be posting.
Over the years I have had many amazing creative opportunities. More than a few have come because of working with Patton Oswalt. I first heard Patton mention me in a tweet years ago and then later in an Empire magazine article while promoting the film Young Adult. The most flattering mention was when he wrote a post about me on his blog. It is quite surreal when someone who’s work you enjoy so much expresses an appreciation of what you do. Patton first commissioned me to create a line of figures where I imagined a world where Star Wars had been directed by the famous exploitation filmmaker Russ Meyer and all the characters would have their genders reversed. The line was called “Faster Empire. Strike! Strike!” Next, he hired me to create a line where Star Wars existed in a Mad Max-esque post-apocalyptic world. The line was called “Road Wars”.
We had kicked around a few ideas of what to do next and then Patton threw down the gauntlet and said, “What if you did Wes Anderson does Star Wars”. I was simultaneously terrified and excited. I have found that my best work comes when I am intimidated by the idea of the commission. Over the years I have never done a line that has been done by someone else first. I have tackled Samurai, WW2, Steampunk, Western, and Serials. But, to try to combine my favorite films with one of my favorite directors of all time was a quite intimidating. This fact was compounded by the fact that Wes Anderson has one of the most distinctive filmmaking styles of all time.
This was going to be a real challenge. Many times, when people do these kinds of creations they “mash” things together. That has never been my style and I knew I did not want to simply have the father Royal Tenebaum dressed in black like Darth Vader or do a Bill Murray as Obi Wan. I have worked as a production designer and art director on films, so I decided to tackle this project the way I would if I was lucky enough to work on a Wes Anderson film. I started with a 7-page script that I wrote that allowed me to create a complete narrative with the archetypal characters of Star Wars but in a Wes Anderson style world and story. Once I worked through who my characters where I began to design their look with heavy research on the recurring looks of Wes Anderson costumes but with subtle nods to the Star Wars inspirational characters and colors but muted palette. Patton always likes me to create vehicles, which I did for this line. But I counter proposed an additional idea to Patton that would expand the world I was creating. I pitched the idea of creating a miniature set for the figures to occupy. The sets are as much a character in Wes Anderson films as anyone and his love of miniatures made the idea even more appealing. Patton jumped at the notion and I was off.
The line consists of 11 7′ scale custom figures, a three story diorama, a scratch build truck, and an original movie trailer.
Click on the poster image below to read see all the figures, the diorama, vehicle, and more…
My love and admiration for Frank Herbert’s masterpiece Dune is evident by now. I am beyond excited to see Denis Villeneuve’s new adaptation. The recent editions of Mission Impossible’s Rebecca Ferguson and Timothée Chalamet from Call Me By Your Name only continue to increase my anticipation.
As I stated before with this version I tried to ignore as many influences from previous Dune works and approach it as if I was a production designer on my own version of Dune. I tried to create 4 distinct worlds with cohesive aesthetics and color schemes.
The next installment in my Dune 2.0 line is that of House Corrino. For this line I tried to incorporate the house symbol of the lion and their classic gold embellishments. I added the color purple as it is the most regal. I took inspiration from the Italian Renaissance and later nobility with the gilded and ornate filigree. I created the Imperial throne as it seemed the most imposing way to show the power of the Padishah Emperor. I had never seen a design of the Sardaukar the blended the right level of regal honor guard and fear inducing shock troops. For the Bene Gesserit I tried to create certain symbols and imagery that I could repeat on the Reverend Mother and Alia Atreides. I added the small touch of coloring the jewels on their vestments to the appropriate house, purple for Corrino and green for Attriedes.
Sillof.com is the showcase of the pop culture art, sculpting, and custom action figures of Jamie Follis. The site was started in 2000. Sillof is most known for his unique combinations of characters into different eras, genres, and themes. These redesigns are intended to serve as commentaries on the various influences and timeless archetypes of the films. While these lines are often imitated today each line on the site was the first attempt by anyone online to create such versions.
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