Satoru Tojo is Taiga, one of the 13 riders in Ryuki series. He is a bloodthirsty psycho (who oddly respects his teacher very much) who will do anything to gets his way and his belief in a twisted version of heroism. In the end, he sacrificed his life to save a father and son being run over by a truck. When Shiro restored time to its right course after Yui's death, Satoru on his bike bumped into Shinji (Ryuki) without any recollection of who he is and apologised to Shinji.
The Ryuki line has held many fascination for me for 2 reasons (1) my first ever SIC was Taiga Zolda set and (2) I love the idea they have survive modes. The 2nd reason got blown to hell when every other rider series that came after that has some kind of powered up for every rider in the series -_-
Anyway, I really love my SIC Ryuki and its Survive form and the Knight survive form. I wanted to really do something that matches the granduer of the survive forms. And I wanted to do it on either Zolda or Taiga, my first SIC set ever. At that time back a year ago, making a Zolda Survive sounds daunting so i settled for Taiga.
Taiga Survive was another step in my learning process in doing customs as I taught myself:
1) better designs
2) better manipulation of putty
3) new techniques
4) use of unwanted materials
Straight off i wanted to have tiger head on his chest piece for survive form. To do that I searched high and low for a children rubber tiger toy. Couldnt find one until i happened upon a rubber lion instead! I wasnt sure if it was lack of sleep or what, but I was very taken in by the cute rubber lion and bought it for S$5 (together with a few other rubber animals which I sacrificed to my two little monsters who immediately ravaged them and then lost them -_-).
All right for this custom, again, there is a few workstreams:
1) The Head
2) The Body, Arms and Legs
3) The Weapon
As usual before i start the custom, I made a design of how it would look like first. I wanted the Survive form to be exagerated in everyway. So I plan to expand his shoulder pads (which really looks measly), his axe becomes double axe, and his face mask more feline (wanted to make more tiger lined patterns on him but at that time, again, I wasnt very good in manipulating putties so i dropped that idea).
Ok the head is quite simple. I wanted it more feline so I made his face mask more cat like by adding more "fur" to it. I also have some spare Garo hands which is perfect to replace Taiga's hands as it has sharp feline claws and better design. I dont need the tiny skull design on Garo's hand so i cut that up and stick it on top of Taiga's head. For the putty, I again used my fingers to first mold the shape of those sharp fin like designs and then use toothpicks to position them on Taiga's head. I first attach the fins on the top of the head mask and let them dry. I then attach the side fins to the head and let them dry. The Garo ring is being propped up by a small dap of putty behind it.
There are a few things to do here. The Shoulders, the chest and the shield weapon.
For the shield weapon, I was thinking those giant claw weapons are usually useless and if you attached them on Taiga they'll just make Taiga topple or make him look like slouching as the weight of the claws weight down on his arms. So I thought it would be a great idea to use those claws to replace the puny clawlike design on Taiga's shoulders. (little did i know someone already made this design in his customs T_T At taht time i hardly do research on other people's customs). That left the giant arm parts. I threw one in my box and use the other one as a Shield for Taiga Survive.
The shield would look incomplete if I dont alter it abit so that it doesnt look like an inverted Taiga's giant arms with cut off claws. So I added linings on the giant arms design. You can see from the pic below my putty skills still quite bad hence the uneven linings :/ Once the putties dries, I try to sand the uneven-ess away but it kinda stayed ;p You can also see Garo's hand in the pic which fits quite well on Taiga's arms.
For the chest piece, I cut off the rubber lion's head and place it on Taiga's chest as a reference point on how the lion head will look like and also where to sculpt. The other reason for putting the rubber llion head there is that it replaces the need to slap multiple layers of putty on his chest before actually making the actual shape of a lion head on Taiga's chest. This not only saves on putty but make the figure less heavy (putty heavier than rubber). I also heaped unwanted rubber pieces behind the lion head before i glue it on Taiga's chest to prevent it from getting misshapen.
So once you did all the cutting, glueing and wirings, you will have something like this:
I'll continue in Part 2 ;p