|copyright by J. A. Flores. All rights reserved.
Noknor, Scourge of Evil, as seen in The Quest, Book I: The Roots of Evil.
This is actually the very first action figure I custom made and I must say I am very, very proud of it. It is by
no means perfect, but it certainly isnâ€™t a piece of crap either. It was definitely a learning experience,
working on this taught me a lot of lessons, the most important of which was patience (a lesson I am still
trying to grasp, mind you).
I am by no means artistically inclined, particularly when it comes to the human form. Thus, for any of these
custom action figures, I begin with a core figure, that is an existing toy that will be mutilated in the name of
art and form the base of my figure. This Noknor figure is made from a 8â€� WWE wrestling action figure,
the Big Red Machine Kane (ironic, no?) to be exact. I took a razor blade to the head to try and round out the
bald head and give the face a more angular look. I also shaved down the brow, since the guy has a forehead
like a mountain gorilla. Then painted him green and filled in the eyes with bright apple red; in keeping
attention to detail, I painted his fingernails black. The little details are what really make things like this work,
This wrestling figure had pants on at least, but I painted them anyway to cover up the barbed wire decals.
Next I gave him a robe. Now, even though I come from a family of tailors, Iâ€™m not much of one myself
much less of the miniature variety, so I used a polymer clay that air hardens (quite hard, actually) as opposed
to oven-baked clay. The air-dry stuff is a lot easier for me to work with, and I can mold it directly onto the
figure without risk of melting said figure in the damn oven. Although I did my best to leave the joints
uncovered by clay in an attempt to retain some articulation, Iâ€™m afraid it really isnâ€™t that poseable
because of the clay robe. The sleeves are of course clay also, but I left the joints uncovered and just painted
over them. It looks okay, but moving the joints does chip away the paint (as evidenced by the specks of
green paint poking through the black at the elbows and shoulders. Another lesson learned.
The Swuenedras Amulet (I canâ€™t believe I still have to check the spelling on that!) is also of polymer
clay, modeled by hand and painted gold with a red gem sticker that is normally used to be-dazzle girlsâ€™
notebooks. Oh, and check out his cape, itâ€™s real cloth! Yep, a real velvety cloth cape. As I stated before,
Iâ€™m not much of a tailor, so the cape is simply red velvet hot glued onto black felt and OH MY
GODDESS IT WAS A PAIN IN THE ASS!!! Well worth it, though; it came out really well, certainly much
better than it had any right to be. The removable Crown of King Edwardâ€™s Skull and BonesÂ© is a nice
feature if I do say so myself, made from an old Halloween mini-skeleton chopped up and super-glued to a
painted polymer clay cap.
Iâ€™m not too fond of the staff, a wooden dowel with polymer clay for the blades and a plastic diamond
for the Volar Stone. It looks okay, I guess, but it seems somewhat disproportionate, especially between the
enormous blade and skinny shaft. Itâ€™s also a little tall for the figure, but that actually serves a purposes as
it acts as a prop and holds Noknor standing on his own.
All in all, I must shed any sense of modesty and admit that itâ€™s pretty exceptional, particularly for a first
try and especially since I showed little to no patience in constructing it given my level of excitement that grew
the further along I got with it.
I didnâ€™t make Noknorâ€™s box right away; I actually didnâ€™t get the idea until several months later.
It was still a few weeks before I found the right box (like the figure itself, I needed a core box to act as a
base), which happens to be an American McGeeâ€™s Alice Alice box. I have a few of those laying around,
as previously mentioned Iâ€™m a fanboy collector and AMâ€™s Alice was certainly one of my big
obsessions. I didnâ€™t collect any other figure, just about six Alice figures, including a couple of Goth
Alices and an extra bloody Alice. Anywho, what Iâ€™m trying to say is that I had a box to spare. It is really
perfect for the Noknor figure, itâ€™s just the right height and depth and the large plastic blister really shows
off the figure.
I started by painting over the entire box; I found out early on that I had to give it a couple of priming coats of
white before applying the blue so the Alice box art wouldnâ€™t show through. I outlined the edges with a
metallic gold paint pen, blue and gold being the colors of Book Iâ€™s cover. All of the box art stickers were
made using PrintShop. The front features the Quest emblem and a sticker with Noknorâ€™s name. On the
right side is a sticker listing what the figure includes: Swuenedras Amulet, Crown of King Edwardâ€™s
Skull, Bladed Staff, Velvet cape. The left side has an â€œAlso Availableâ€� sticker; listed are Kain Viccon,
Nancy Viccon with Uni, Battle of Qinling Hua Li, Final Battle Noknor, and More!
I really like how the back of the box came out, especially with Noknorâ€™s picture peeking out of the
darkness; PrintShop is such a neat little program! The back gives a brief background on Noknor and a
synopsis of The Quest, Book I: The Roots of Evil. Thatâ€™s actually the same brief from the back of the
book, but since I wrote it I really donâ€™t think itâ€™s stealing.
The bottom of the box is pretty simple, just the usual legal mumbo-jumbo found on boxes for toys. There
are a couple of gags, most notably the Made in Arcainia sticker, but also the UPC barcode. Each set of
letters and numbers has a specific meaning, but Iâ€™ll let you try and figure it all out. ; )
The top is pretty self-explanatory, but I did want to mention that the original box plan had much smaller
stickers. My brother Mike advised me to make bigger stickers, in fact so big that they covered up as much
empty space as possible. They really made the stickers pop and the box as a whole stand out, so major props
to my bro Mike for the advice!