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Click hereMr. Stinkhead's Custom Munny "Stasis"
for the MODA-3 Save Huck Exhibit and Auction

by Mr. Stinkhead

You probably know that we cover a lot of Designer Toys and vinyl artists here at MPb. One particular artist in this community is in some bureaucratic trouble. He is known as Huck Gee, and he is about to be deported for something you and I would consider ridiculous. (see for more info) I had the opportunity to participate in a great awareness/fund-raising exhibit and customize a Munny vinyl figure, the SaveHuck Custom Munny Exhibit (and Auction!) at MODA3.

Today I'm going to show you how I customized my Munny, and what the show is all about. Then hopefully, following the show, I'll get one of our intrepid readers to cover the actual event for us, and we'll have pics of that here as well. We'll also feature details on the online auctions of each piece.

The theory is that organizer (and accomplished vinyl artist) Sket-One would distribute blank Munny's to to established artists (like MAD and Seen), and interested parties (like me). We would customize our individual Munnys to our liking, and turn them back in. They would go on display, and then be sold on eBay. The proceeds from each auction would go straight into Huck's legal fund.

Click hereThe Munny
So now I'm looking at this blank Munny. What do I make? I wanted to do something cool and unique, and something that wouldn't be a daunting undertaking once I got started. I also wanted to go with the theme of restraint, imprisonment, rehabilitation, and the blurry lines between them. I love stasis tubes, from The Empire Strikes Back's bacta tank to the individual pods in Alien. Is the subject hurt and getting better (a la Starship Troopers) or being held against their will (a la The Matrix)?

Click hereWith that theme in mind, I decided to build a custom stasis tube for my Munny. I started painting each separate piece a rich blue that is reminiscent of playmobil's trademark color out of simple homage. You know I have a problem when I find maternal comfort even in it's rich blue hue. I like how the Munny vinyl has a fine tooth to it, as it is intended to be painted or drawn on.

Click hereI like the traditional hunched-over Munny stance, but figured he'd do better in the stasis tube if he was looking up. His neck post is cut at a 45° angle. I switched his arms and rotated his head 180°. This creates a small problem however. In his traditional stance, his torso piece comes with a little tail on his rump. However, when facing the opposite way, he now has a weiner. Its not a penis really, it's a weiner. Some artists enjoy having phallus as part of their art. While it does not particularly bother me, I am a boob-man and decided his weiner would be distracting and I gave my little guy a diaper. He would have a diaper in a real stasis tube anyaway. This diaper is made from a cheap $5 babydoll diaper painted silver. I've never bought a baby doll before. They smell real nice.

I then picked up a simple fish tank at K-Mart for $10. And attempted to put him inside. Aw crap his noggin was just a little too wide to fit. No wait, it turns out if I pop off rim of top cap, he'll fit alright, but goggles won't. Ratzenberger. I painted the cap and base of the tank a silvery black. I wanted it to be less obviously a fish tank, and more sci-fi looking.

Click hereFor attaching the wires and hoses, all I could think of was if I glued them on, then they'd all spring loose in transit. Someone pointed out that the best alternative would be to drill holes all over him and insert the tubes and wires that way. It was perfect. The holes were just snug enough to the wires firmly, yet not so permanent I couldn't change my mind about color. (Once holes are drilled however, they are permanent).

For his IV tubes, I thought he'd need a little extra. So I got the slimmest clear tubing from the hardware store—about that hardware store... I'm not the most handy-of-men, and it shows somehow. I go in there all the time trying to buy do-it-yourself stuff for my house and you can tell the people working there know they're dealing with a novice. I try to use terminology and sizes, but to no avail. So anyway, I'm in this hardware store for a half an hour looking at tubes, fittings, joints, pipes, you name it, and they're like "Can I help you?" and I would be all "Um, just browsing"... great.

Click hereOh yeah, for his IV tubes I wanted to run glow in the dark paint down the middle to give the piece a little pizazz. The weird green would look more alien and sci-fi based, and the person that wins this auction gets something a little cooler. I can't tell you how hard it was to find glow-in-the-dark paint. I was at Michaels for twenty minutes and the clerks couldn't find it at all. I found these little tiny tubs of the stuff, but it didn't seem to be enough. You'd think this would be something kids and crafters alike would enjoy playing with. Anyway, after I got the paint, I mixed a batch with a tiny bit of water—to make it more runny— and gently oozed it down the length of tube. I taped it to my wall to help it spread out. (The occasional air bubbles 4re actually cool. They helped it look like something was moving through the tube and it wasn't just solid.) After a few hours I snipped the tube into appropriate lengths, which also let it dry out all the way. About this paint; if you "charge" it up, it glows beautifully for about 10 minutes. But you really have to put strong light on it. Basic ambient light won't charge it at all.

Click hereI figured he needed one additional touch. I have this old battery operated red LED light leftover from a Microsoft Optical Mouse package. A friend helped me add distance between the batter and the light so I drilled a hole in his back and inserted the light. It makes a sweet looking heart-beat glow. However, I knew the blue paint could possibly be too opaque. So I thought I'd be all slick and mask off an area before painting him blue. Good news—I was right, the blue is too opaque to see the light through. Bad news—the mask leaked a little and ended up making the whole thing look a little sloppy. Wonderful. I tried to clean it up with some markers, but it's not as I wanted it to look. If it came out right, it would have been this cool lightning shaped starburst thing of magicness, but instead it looks like he fell over while the paint was still wet. Eitherway, the beating heart effect is awesome. I also enjoyed how the flip-top aquarium cap made it easy to conceal the batteries and make it all self contained.

Click hereSo now I've given him a nice blue finish, connected his heart beat, given him a diaper, drilled holes all over the place and started to string wires and hoses out of him. He's starting to come together. I kept one piece of tubing clear (for air of course) and led that one out of his mouth. I also drew on squinty eyes (remember my planned goggles were too big) that I later found out slightly resemble Huck's signature scowl. That's cool.

Click hereSo I packed it the best I could and dropped it in the mail. Now it will be received and included with the MODA-3 Save Huck show opening up on February 17th. It will then be featured with other customized Munny's on MODA3's web site. All proceeds from this auction go to Huck's legal defense fund.

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Article and photos (and concept!) ©2006

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