Fwoosh artist Snowman breaks down action figure photography method

Posted on 12 November 2013
By James McAllister
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There has been a dynamic movement gathering momentum on the periphery of internet comic book forums for some time now, which really demands more attention.

Action figure photography showcases some of the best collections, brought to life by backroom artists the world over, all retelling their favorite stories using only a camera, action figures and some basic modeling techniques.

Purple Revolver caught up with Fwoosh artist Snowman to ask him what it’s all about.

Working out of Florida Snowman is one of many figure collectors who turn their beloved collections into the subject of outstanding photographic art for the enjoyment of an small online community.

Explaining his pictures in terms of comic books, he said: “It’s basically like splash pages, where you see one or two shots.

“I’ll just find a shot online from the film, and that’s what I use as my reference.”

Using basic modelling techniques he found on model trains and tabletop gaming forums, Snowman sculpts his action figures to create unique expressions in excruciating detail that make his subjects come to life.

Once they have been custom painted and sculpted, Snowman creates a scene out of any shapes he can find lying around, explaining that detail isn’t needed to make a good Dio.

He added: “There are guys who will spend months replicating it perfectly. I’m more interested in the photo, I just need it for those two shots and then I’m happy.”

Like comic books, which also used to exist on the peripheral of society, action figure photography is being given more weight as a legitimate art form – without taking itself too seriously.

Snowman said: “I’ve been doing it for about four years. I got tired of my own art and I wanted to try something new.

“But, it’s my hobby so I don’t take it seriously at all” adding “It’s definitely an art form – anything that comes out of your mind, can be an art form.”

With a thriving community built up around this phenomenon over at Fwoosh.com, the community of action figure photographers is constantly growing and fast improving.

Fwoosh stands as a prefect example of how even a specific interest like taking photos of action figures can quickly build a community around itself – a shining testament to the work being produced by these backroom artists.

Snowman admitted, “My friends don’t know. Well, I try to keep it secret just because of the ridicule. My wife knows and she’ll just poke fun – she supports me even though she doesn’t like to admit it.”

The intricacies of painstakingly crafting a scene out of nothing might not be to everyone’s taste, but the results speak for themselves.

You don’t need to have an understanding of a character to appreciate the skills being used throughout the community.

Snowman assures that the amazing results might not take as much time as you might expect and urges anyone interested to get involved.

“I don’t usually have the patience to work for days and days, so if I can get it knocked out in a day then that is ideal for me.”

“If you’re just starting out you going to have a lot of upstart costs like the paints and the glues. But, once you’ve amassed a collection you can do a Dio for about $15.”

Snowman urges people: “Get online and join a community like Fwoosh.com – or even if it’s model trains, which I have no interest in. Communities like that can offer you wonderful tips on using materials”