Toy Review: Sheamus


I’ve been so busy lately that I haven’t had a chance to do any toy photography in a long time! So while hanging out and watching wrestling on the DVR, it seemed the only thing appropriate was to take some wrestling action figure pictures. I went to my trusty toy box and pulled out none other than Sheamus of WWE fame!

Sheamus was a gift a while back from the girlfriend, as she’s one of the wrestlers that we both think is awesome. But taking pictures of him by himself at ringside is no fun! Sheamus winds up fighting with Randy Orton!

Sheamus vs. Randy Orton

And because Sheamus is a strong brawler, he would like nothing more than to throw poor Randy around! Sheamus is picking him up for a brutal looking bodyslam outside the ring!

Sheamus vs. Randy Orton

Orton fans don’t have to worry because he countered the move into his RKO neckbreaker!

Sheamus vs. Randy Orton

A little motion and radial blurring in Photoshop only makes it look a little more brutal.

But getting back to Sheamus, one or the reasons we like his character so much is that he’s like an old timey strong man. He’s a huge guy whose likely to kick your ass if you cross him. That said, I played around with the color values to make it a black-and-white image.

Sheamus vs. Randy Orton (black and white)

The result? Pretty cool but not old timey enough. It’s getting there, but it feels like there is still something missing.

Old Timey Family Watching Sheamus vs. Randy Orton on TV

So with some searching on Flickr’s creative commons pictures, we made it a super old timey photo by merging it into an image of a family watching television. I bet these guys are betting on the big guy from Ireland.

So who do you think wound up winning the match?

Toy Photography: It’s Wildcat!

The Brave and the Bold #127I guess I’ve been on a bit of a DC infinite Heroes kick of late, so let’s at the Justice Society of America’s resident pugilist-turned-crimefighter Wildcat!

Inspiration for the project came from The Brave and the Bold #127.  This back issue from 1976 has Batman teaming up with Wildcat to stop the villainous El Zapatero who is running a smuggling ring specializing in humans among other things. The art in this book was done by the late Jim Aparo. His work on the title during this period is just awesome. You can find some of his original art for sale over at the Artist’s Choice.

The Brave and the Bold #127The Brave and the Bold #127I made two other versions, a little more effect heavy, but I like the unedited version. Here are the other two for your viewing pleasure.

So why would I make a pitting the two against each other? It turns out that they have a history with each other.

Wildcat bodyslams BatmanRemember how young Bruce Wayne went off on a journey to train himself to be the worlds greatest detective and hand-to-hand combatant? He made it a point to train with Wildcat, who as Ted Grant was one of the top professional boxers in the DC Universe.

Whether Wildcat knows Batman’s secret identity is unclear to me. They could have trained together under the guise of Bruce Wayne wanting to learn from Grant just as easy as Batman learning from a legendary hero. Who knows. So who would win in a fight?

Batman curb stomps Wildcat
Obviously Batman, as his fighting style is a bit more varied than the primarily boxing-based  Wildcat. But all Wildcat needs is to land one punch and the dark knight will be looking at the stars.

The Avengers discover Captain America

the Avengers find Captain America frozen

This was a fun picture I took a few years back of the Avengers finding Captain America. We were in the middle of probably the biggest blizzard/winters I’ve ever experienced; there was pretty much two feet of snow accumulated. Anyway, I wanted to take some pictures with my toys out in the snow.

Having recently acquired the Wasp and the mask-less Captain America, it  seemed like a fair enough idea with this picture. I really like how it turned out, but unfortunately it doesn’t really show that Cap is frozen in a block of ice!

I stuck the action figure in a bowl of water, letting it freeze him. I think I might have to do some Photoshopping on it this week…

Photoshop Fun With DC Universe Infinite Heroes Batman!

Today we’re going to share a Photoshop procedural, starring the DC Universe Infinite Heroes Batman action figure! This line of Mattel action figures were pretty cool, although they were slightly smaller and lacked some of the articulation of the Hasbro line of Marvel Universe toys. I like the Batman figure because of its simple design, reminding me of the Dick Grayson-as-Batman from the Batman and Robin series, save for him not having the Batman logo belt buckle. Sometimes I like the yellow and black bat shield, but this larger, more subtle icon.

For this photo project, I took a picture of Batman in front of a cityscape shot that I found online. I took the picture with Batman right in front of the LCD display on my desktop. Doing this is a lot easier than superimposing him over the background image. The trick is to make sure your camera is focusing just on Batman instead of the whole background. That helps make a sense of depth.

Batman black and white

I wanted to do something in black and white, because I was looking through the Batman: Black and White book the other day at Barnes and Noble. First step was to convert the image to black and white and I played around with some of the contrast settings. Next I duplicated the layer and used the motion and radial blurs, followed by the feathered erase to have Batman popping out.

Old Batman Comic Book

I decided that I wanted to make an old comic book or magazine cover, so I lifted the “Batman” comic mast-head, the old DC and Comics Code indica from an actual Batman cover. I wanted to make this really beat up, so I added a scratched up texture to the image. This was done by finding a scratched up texture on Google, adding it as a new layer on top, switching it to “Multiply” mode and lowering the opacity.

I really wanted to make it look even more beaten up. Enter Pixlr-O-Matic. This site lets you apply Instagram like color processing and all kinds of effects to your photos. It’s free and web-based.
Old Batman Comic Book (really beat up)

I played around with the settings to make it look like it was extremely beat up. Voila! We’ve made a really, really b eat up old Batman comic book cover!

Iron Fist and Power Man reading Batman

Then you can use the picture for fun stuff, like the time Power Man and Iron Fist were walking around down-town Taipei reading a reprint of it!