Sep 29, 2010
I had the pleasure of driving up north in the 103 degree heat to do a studio visit in Anaheim with Rohby. For those of you who do not know, Rohby is a maniac when it comes to his Mech customs. He has had two shows at myplasticheart, one being his solo show “Elbow Grease” back in 2007 and his most recent duo show with Phu, “The Confrontation”. He showed me around his workspace, as well as gave me a peek at his current project. He was also nice enough to answer some questions for me. Take a look after the jump for the full interview!
VP: So Rob, let’s start off this interview by asking a little about yourself? The people want to know!
Rohby: Hmm....I’m a 32 year old toy maker that specializes in robots.. lol. A lot of people ask me if this is what I do for a living. Yes, it’s definitely my full time occupation and it takes up a whole lot more than the usual 40 hours a week.
VP: It’s obvious that Robots are your thing. Is that due to Mech related anime, such as Robotech, Voltron, and Gundam? Have you ever put together any Gundam Model Kits?
Rohby: Gundam kits and models, I was never too interested in. I enjoyed looking at them, but never really got into them as a hobby. What made me like mechs was infact the 1980’s Robotech. I watched it as a kid (I think I was like 5 maybe) and instantly fell in love with the whole transforming mech theme. To top it all off, after the Robotech series there was this huge anime/mech drout for me. It was the times before internet so the whole “mech” genre was quite rare and hard to come by here in LA.
VP: Yeah I put together my fair share of Gundam Kits, never looked as good as the professional ones though.. Sooo anyways… how did you get started in the toy customizing game?
Rohby: Probably around 7 years ago I decided to do a couple of customs for fun. The one that did it for me and got my work noticed was my Munny custom called Power_Suit. From there on people just referred to me as an artist and it went from there. The next thing I know is that I was hit up by a collector by the name of Jacranky (Ken) to do a show at mph.
VP: That was quite a memorable show for me and it’s no surprise that Vince asked you to come back for another. Your customs have a lot of small detailed pieces to them. Do you sculpt a lot of them or do you recycle from model kits?
Rohby: Ahh…kit bashing. I’m slightly against kit bashing for myself. Reason why is because I like my pieces to match up. When you kit bash, its hard to find an exact piece to match smoothly with your design. Say guns for example…if I were to grab an existing gun from some other toy to use with my piece it would create an inconsistent look. Especially if my piece is somewhat simple in detail and I kit bash a gun that’s totally detailed. For the most part I sculpt every piece that you see from scratch.
VP: You’ve done a lot of work with Mad*L’s and Munny’s, any particular reason for that? Are there any other type of platforms you would want to work with?
Rohby: I sway towards using Mad*L’s and Munny’s because they’re easy to use. Good solid platforms to manipulate. Not to mention they’re probably two of the more popular ones too. I’ve tried other platforms such as Qee’s in the past but they don’t really work well with my particular style. I guess Mad*L and Munny for some reason gives me the most range in terms of design.
VP: If I were to take apart one of your customs, which is something I would never do. How many individual pieces do you think I would have?
If you were to take apart one of my customs it will have anywhere from 6 pieces up to 50 parts. I'm a articulation whore when it comes to toys so I have a bad habit of including as much articulation as I can pack onto it. It makes an interesting visual when you have a decent amount of pose ability.
VP: That’s exactly what I love about them Revoltech figures. Makes it lots of fun to take pictures with. Speaking about your customs, when will more of these pop up? Do you have any upcoming shows or releases around the corner?
Rohby: Yes, the closest one to date for me is going to be at the TAG. It’s a collaboration show with 4-5 other artists with a mech theme. It’s going to be my first LA show so I’m super excited and looking forward to that.
VP: Any new toy releases? Don’t you owe us one last figure for your Metal Gear Solid Series? Who is it!?
Rohby: Yes, I still owe one more figure to my MGS series. I've been somewhat putting it all together slowly and whenever I have the time to spare aside from other projects. I hope to officially release it in December (yes, of this year lol).
Which character? Ok, I'll just put it out there for everyone. It's going to be the most current version of Raiden. Even though the past figures are the older versions from MGS2, I want to end the series with a pimped out Raiden.
VP: I noticed the Sumo character you are currently working on for a client. What’s the story on him?
Rohby: Ahh, Bitsumo! An artist by the name of Dai from “RAWRS.co” commissioned me to sculpt his design. I just finished framing the sculpt and will start slapping on the clay later today. Hopefully I’ll finish in time for him to debut it at NYCC. Just visit his site for more juicy details!
VP: Moving from your old studio to your kitchen, did you find it harder to work sometimes? Does your girlfriend nag you to get to bed when it gets to late? Or even your PS3 screaming at you to play some COD?
Rohby: Oh yes, it's definitely more difficult but you can still get the same amount of work done with some creativity and order. I've been working at home for the past 6 months ever since I got rid of my work studio in the attempt to save money. But this hasn't slowed me down a bit in terms of kicking out projects. If anything it has allowed me to work more hours.
VP: All your supplies must take up a lot of space in your pad. I did find it strange going to the bathroom with a huge Pressure Pot and Air Compressor next to me.. Ok! Last question… While up late at night working on your latest project, what do you reach for? Energy Drinks or Coffee?
Lol, Red Bull is the only way to go for me. Not so much for the caffeine effect but purely for the taste of it!
VP: Gross…. but alright! Thanks so much for spending your time from your busy schedule to hang out. We will definitely be looking forward to see your customs at TAG!
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Very nice pieces. This man really rocks!