Dawn O’Connell– Her scale is still small but her scope is getting gigantic!


Introduction – Regular visitors to my site are obviously familiar with Dawn O’Connell’s work with Little Buddies Action Figures thanks to Lil’ Buddy Jim serving as my spokes model. And while ‘mini-me’ is great I gotta tell ya dear reader, she’s getting even better!

Recently a friend contacted me about having a little buddy made of him to serve as a marketing tool in conjunction with the release of his exclusive line of energy drinks (you can learn more about that project from Don Urgo HERE). For me this was great news for two reasons 1.) I was going to get to work directly with Dawn again and 2.) I was going to have another Little Buddy other than myself to play with. Sweet lord did that sound terrible. Moving on.

Prior to Little Don arriving Dawn sent proof pictures and ‘wowza’ was I impressed! Not only had she nailed Don’s likeness but she had done it so much cleaner and sharper than before. Imagine how much more I was blown away when he arrived for picture day. Let’s break down some of the particulars that are spectacular leaps above her previous (and also very good) works. I love watching artists grow!

The Head

The first most noticeable change comes in the materials used. While I can’t tell you the exact modeling compound used I can easily tell you that it’s an improvement. Look at my mug next to Don’s and you can see the smoother / cleaner look. It also allows for more details to be captured. Another thing I must point out is that Dawn does do ‘in scale’ head sculpts but the Donfather wanted his Little Buddy to have the same comedic charm as yours truly.

The likeness easily goes without saying but one thing the casual observer can’t see is the really neat and nifty thing that Dawn has don with the neck plug.

Where mine has a modified Mego plug with the sculpting clay built up around it Little Don has a smooth, extended, straight neck that makes it much easier to change costumes or bodies.Speaking of which is another great improvement.

The Body

Dawn has also made a serious upgrade in this area too. Originally she was using Classic TV Toys generic bodies but as all of you regular readers and customizers know, the quality issues and too tight rubber bands can lead to all kinds of problems. This is no longer an issue because has upgraded to Dr. Mego bodies. This particular body is one of the new swivel bicep versions. (The Mego Museum / Plaid Stallions Brick Mantooth figure also features this latest body style.) As a side note one of the best things about this new body is that the shoulders are much more broad and manly looking if you will. No slouching from our hero now!

Oh no,no,no! Little Don looks even more magnificent in his multi-layered duds that are also worthy of a round of raving…

The Costume

In this area we see not only improved skills in Dawns mini-tailoring abilities we also see she’s getting wiser in delegation. What I mean there is that the suit itself is a factory made item from CTVT. And in this area those folks shine quite well. Same goes for the shoes. Now let’s get down to the touches that a mass produced item isn’t necessarily going to be able to capture properly:

The overcoat – handmade by Dawn and fits perfectly over the other layers.

The scarf – again perfect scale and a brilliant touch.

The hat – Custom sculpted / made to fit Don’s head snuggly without fear of damage to either the hat or head.

The vest – Yep a vest! Don’s a three-piece suit guy s what you gonna do? This layer is actually the most impressive in execution mainly because she was able to create it and add it to the ensemble without bulking up Little Don too much.

And finally the icing on the cake – the rose boutonniere –

Not only is this a neat custom piece, it’s a perfect accessory that pulls the whole thing together. To see this up close is stunning. Again Dawn’s detail work is spectacular and the signature of a true artist.

In Conclusion

“I’m blown away. There’s a little version of me right there!” Those are the words of Don Urgo himself and they perfectly sum up my feelings as well. Having experienced the joy that comes from receiving a Little Buddy from Dawn and now having shared that experience I’m telling you dear reader there is no other product / good/ or service on the site that I can recommend higher. Dawn’s efforts are art… exciting… beautiful… elaborate… spectacular and the most important part… FUN!

Another reason I felt so inclined to write this follow up article to the original one from a couple years back was also to show you in the audience what you SHOULD expect from a custom figure maker. As of late a lot of companies have been promoting custom action figures that look like you but their quality is drastically lower than what your gonna get from Dawn at an even higher price. Those other folks use 3D printing techniques that are ‘okay’ when all the elements are in place perfectly (generic head is the right size and shape, base profile photos are perfectly positioned and lit). But like all things artistic and custom the details are what will make or break the end result. Everything I’ve seen in regards to those printed heads is far from impressive and get only a mildly passing grade when the ‘perfect storm’ of elements are present. Especially considering the money your going to have to shell out.

When it comes to your custom pieces such as this, whether they be for a gift, personal vanity, marketing or just because you have just always wanted to be Superman, hold out for the best. It is indeed Quality over Quantity and I can cyber-stand before you today and proclaim loudly from the rooftops that your Little Buddy from Dawn O’ Connell will in fact be the best of the best. And that’s basing my latest opinion ‘right now’… imagine how even more spectacular her work will be when you make your order!

Now Go Play! – Jim 07/08/2012

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