Mekakawa the Roller Terminator by NVC Crew

NVC Crew sure are a buncha busy customizers these days, what with their original creation; Ishikawa, Quasimoto, MF Doom and proposed blind-box series, starting with NVC Tactical Sniper - and now they've just completed a 10-year-old-commission piece dubbed Mekakawa The Roller Terminator based on a Mad*L-figure with a Transformers-theme! CLICK HERE to view more images, as well as a Q&A of the process with Dr. Bao of the NVC Crew :)

TOYSREVIL: how long was the commission again? how did it all begun?

DR. BAO: All this begun almost a decade ago, when a collector commissioned us for a custom ... oh man, we were asked to do it so long ago but because we're always busy doing something else that it was simply hard to finish it in one shot!

TOYSREVIL: 10 years? *faints* - but hell, it looks great! and sure was worth the wait, IMHO ... and in customizing, you've actually created a brand new character! how did the concept come about? was it a specific request or did you guys just created it out of thin air?

DR. BAO: Well, we had asked first what the person wanted from us, since you know our minds are so twisted that we can sometimes go wild with our ideas! And he had wanted something related to the Transformers Yeahhhhhh!!!!!!

And that was a good news! As you probably know Spive and I are fans of the Transformers ... But we didn't know enough to know what to do with such a topic! And he had wanted something related to military with some Asian twist and sci-fi ... Or a Soundwave and stuff like that ... You see the picture?

TOYSREVIL: Soundwave rawked, but only if done well, IMHO...

DR. BAO: So we had a brief idea of what we've been asked to do ... For us it was clear that we would not make a Soundwave, and because we have here the chance to create something new with a Transformers theme, so forget about a reproduction of Sondwave for sure!

And so I had this Encylopedia of all the Transformers, back in the day ... So Spive and I just flip thru all the pages to have an idea and to see how these guys design their robots ... and from there we created our own Transformers style of robot!

DR. BAO: But we then have to see what kind of robot we wanted to create, so once again we decide to blend stuff that we like together, to achieve something original, and we created that robot with an idea that it has to be a kind of samurai-warrior ... I remember seeing some Japanese toys with that idea but just can't remember how or what they were...

TOYSREVIL: is it an original base/body sculpt? or is it based on a platform figure?

DR. BAO: We had to build all that on a MadL platform! The Madl is a very very nice platform ... but, the main problem has always to deal with the shoulders. And this is one of the reasons why we choose not to do a Soundwave too ... To me, Soundwave must have shoulders!

DR. BAO: we kind of adapted our design so it can fit and make sense on a MadL ... And believe it or not, we made some sketches of our design for this custom!!! Spive and I usually work just by brainstorming together but never really have to sit down and draw anything ... we just understood each other well enough what we had wanted to do and that's how it had worked so far!

But, when it comes time to designing a robot, well it's another story altogether - because, a robot is something that is very symetrical, and where the shapes are kind of well defined ... so free-styling a robot can be possible......but it might end up kind of weird too!!!!!!!

TOYSREVIL: oh wow. a first for NVC Crew! LOL (Editor's note; Bao mentioned the sketch has since been chucked away *gasp* lol) should be an easy-easy-jobbie then?

DR. BAO: Believe me, this custom may look easy and simple, but it's just damn hard, because we had to sculpt big masses of shapes that sometimes start very thick and then gradually gets thinner, and stuff like that are very hard to do, especially when it's hand sculpted! The other thing is that these shapes have to look quite symetrical and identical ... and once again, Spive and I are only working with our hands - so there's no machine there cutting perfect sheets of polymer for us!

TOYSREVIL: your hands are your weapons! LOL but essentially you're "transforming" one shape into another, right? (pardon my weak pun - please continue reading ... :p) ... what struck me as much as the sculpt was, was the colors - slightly more vivd compared to previous NVC Crew-customs, IMHO, at least in terms of color-combination ...

DR. BAO: Once the sculpt was done, it was time to paint this thing.....oh man, this was quite hard too - just separating the colors was already quite time consuming!!!!!!

You can see that we tried to make a kind of samurai helmet with the head of the robot. Samurai warriors used to have a helmet where there's some kind of pieces that protect the side of their head, which we replicated, and what is funny was that it actually looked like a normal head of Transformers!!!!!

DR. BAO: We then added some kind of protectors or pads that simulate the armor of a samurai ... also at the back of the robot - we decided to add some kind of "reactors" - to make it look credible like a mecha!!!!

TOYSREVIL: which was cool, becoz essentially the original Japanese-designed Transformers (specifically the head-gear) had also taken their inspirations from ancient Samurai-armor! ... and what's a Samurai warrior without his katana?

DR. BAO: Exactly! And with this we had wanted to exaggerate it big time by putting in a huge katana, and surprisingly this created a quite cool look to it!!!!

DR. BAO: And the project was actually supposed to have finished there, but you know what? I suddenly had this idea to just create a Ishikawa, but in a futuristic way!!!!! Right??!!!! so I shared the idea with Spive: "what do you think if this mecha is a Roller Terminator!!!!!! hhahahahaah!!!!!!" ... Spive totally agreed and Mekakawa: The Roller Terminator was born!!!!

DR. BAO: And what's cool about the roller is that I use a real paint brush that I had been using to paint with, and simply cut the bristle and reshape everything ... I think the final look is quite cool, and since it was a very unexpected result ... and that's what makes the character interesting. And at the same time it reminds people about our Ishikawa character!!!!!

TOYSREVIL: kudos for another job well done, Dr. Bao (and Spive!). thanks for sharing again with us, and hope to see more, and more and more from NVC Crew soon! muahahahahaha :p

so will we be seeing more Roller Warriors soon? heh.


Anonymous said…
These guys absolutely just kill their customs!!!

Applaud to the NVC Crew and cheers to you Andy/Tre for a great interview!