Marvel Cinematic Universe "inspired" Luke Cage
Marvel Select 7" scale
NECA Terminator Genisys Guardian
WWE Titus O'Neil
Paints - Revell Aquacolor
Yellow 15 matt, inside of the hood
Anthacite 09 matt, the hoodie and arms
White 05 matt, T-shirt base colour and final dry-brush on jeans
Blue 56 matt, base coat and 1st dry-brush on Jeans
Black 08 matt, shoes
After finishing the 13 episodes of the Netflix Luke Cage I wanted to add the Harlem Hero for Hire to my Marvel Select shelf.
Like a lot of my customs, this wasn't about replicating a 100% screen accurate Cage, but one that was close and inspired by the show.
The recipe for my Luke Cage starts with the NECA Terminator Genisys Guardian. This figure is already 7" scale and with it being Arnie is sufficiently beefy to line up with Cage's physique. The hoodie is not a perfect match to the plain ones Cage wears in the show but without any skill in sculpting, this does the job for me - and isn't far off the look you see in one of the promo images - this image became my main reference.
The body is used in full, but for ease of painting I warmed up the figure in boiling water and then popped out the head and hands. I also popped off the torso at the waist joint, and this will then allow you to peel off the hoodie leaving better access to the T-Shirt and arms.
The T-shirt was painted first in white. I was tempted to go with a yellow shirt as a nod to classic Cage, and I also contemplated the grey shirt he wears in a lot of the promo's - although that would have made the outfit very dark overall.
The hoodie and arms were painted in a graphite grey, which has a green hue as seen in the show in some lighting. Once this was dry and covered I gave it a very quick wash in a black and wiped most off. The hood area was then painted in yellow.
For the head I am still hoping that the very talented Kent32 is successful in his Mike Colter sculpt, but for now I spotted the WWE Titus O'Neil head in Smyths Toys - and even with the grin, it is a decent likeness for Colter. The head was popped off the WWE body along with the hands. These were both painted in dark flesh tone using Revell Leather as a base, this colouring was also used on the neck of the WWE body.
The final part is the jeans, and I started these with a dark blue base colour, on top of which an even darker blue wash (base colour plus a touch of black) was applied. I then dry-brushed with the original base colour, and then again with white to finish the stone washed finish.
Hand re-assembly required a touch to be trimmed off the peg of the WWE hands. These can then be heated along with the NECA sleeve and the two pushed together. The head is a little trickier as the original NECA peg is now compatible with the WWE head. I found a spare double balled pin that would work and used this to connect the head to the body and retain full movement (albeit a touch loose). This will also allow me to add any future Mike Colter head without ruining the current body.