Custom Tamashii Nations Movie Realization Ronin Prototype Boba Fett by Dale Schenck
On April 13, 2017, the Tamashii Nations Movie Realization Ronin Prototype Boba Fett was unveiled at Star Wars Celebration. While this may have been big news to some, it triggered an odd case of déjà vu for us and many in the Instagram toy community. The reason for that is, of course, because Dale Schenck had already created a custom Tamashii Nations Movie Realization Ronin Prototype Boba Fett over six months prior to that. Could it be that someone at Tamashii Nations was taking notes?
We would be selling Dale short by implying that he simply took an original Ronin Boba Fett figure and painted it all white save the visor. Take a closer look, and it becomes evident that a significant portion of the armor has actually been left unpainted. That the partially painted figure still unmistakably portrays prototype Boba Fett is a testament of Dale’s artistry and discerning eye. By the way, this was also the first time Dale has ever painted a figure. Wow.
It would be impressive if it had just ended there, but it just so happens that Dale is also a highly accomplished photographer. The images he crafts more than adequately does justice for his striking creation, as shown throughout this feature. Of course, Dale’s work doesn’t only revolve around Boba Fett and the rest of his impressive portfolio can be found on his Instagram account. There are way too many to mention of course, but a few of our personal Star Wars favorites include a light saber-wielding K2-S0 on a speeder bike, a half and half Darth Maul/Vader portrait, Captain Phasma not looking at an explosion, and exploding battle droids. If you’re up for a non-Star Wars laugh, be sure to check out Animal skateboarding with drum sticks.
The last example of Dale’s creativity that we would like to point out is also an example of his generosity in giving back to the Instagram community. Arguably one of his largest projects to date, he has started creating a set of trading cards dedicated to highlighting the amazing work of his fellow Instagram photographers. Like any master of their craft, Dale is not afraid of helping others and the toy photography community is better off because of it. Thanks Dale!
What are three interesting facts about yourself?
Now that’s a tough one. I don’t consider myself all that interesting. I’m pretty much just your average nerd: I collect toys, play video games, read comics, and take pictures of nerdy things. I started off taking photos of cosplayers at comic cons and while trying to figure out what to take pictures of for my homework assignments, I turned to my toy collection. At the time I wasn’t really aware of the toy photography community but after posting a few shots on my Instagram, I was quickly welcomed by a lot of great people. For the most part, this community is filled with really great people and I’m beyond grateful for all the friends I’ve made on here. They’re probably the biggest reason I’ve stayed so active and pushed myself so much.
What inspired you to give your Ronin Samurai Boba Fett figure a prototype makeover? And for the record, we would like to acknowledge that you came up with the idea long before Tamashii Nations announced their version.
I had been contemplating a repaint of one of my samurai stormtroopers for a few days but I couldn’t decide on what color I wanted to go with. Then while just sitting around watching TV it just hit me. It seemed so obvious as most other companies had come out with a prototype version of their Fett figures but as far as I know, I was the first to repaint the Ronin Boba Fett as a prototype. I was pretty surprised when I first saw the new Ronin Prototype Boba Fett on display at Star Wars Celebration. I made mine about six months prior so my first reaction was “hey, they stole my idea!” but the more I thought about it, the more I realized it was only a matter of time before they made it. I’m just happy I did it before them. And maybe I’m a little biased but I actually like my paint job better than the one they will be releasing.
What was the most fun and most challenging aspects of creating this custom figure?
The most fun part for me was definitely taking that first shot of the figure and reading people’s reactions to it on Instagram. It’s always nice to get some positive feedback on something you’re proud of. As far as the most challenging part, that would probably have to be choosing which parts NOT to paint, it would have been really easy to just paint everything white and call it a day, but I feel that leaving a few areas unpainted made it a much more dynamic piece.
You are clearly an accomplished photographer as well. Do you have a background in photography or art?
I really appreciate that! I’d certainly like to be a little more accomplished but I do have my degree in both photography and graphic design. I had been a freelance graphic designer for a few years before I took photography seriously but I never really enjoyed it like I do photography. I’ve always liked taking pictures but never took it seriously until two years ago when I went back to school for it. Having the background in graphic design has definitely helped though, especially with the composition of my photos.
How would you describe your style as a photographer?
That’s a tough question, I try my best not to get too comfortable in one style as I’m always trying new ways to approach a photo. I guess in general I try to make my shots look as cinematic as possible while exploring all the different methods to achieve that effect.
Somewhat off topic, there is a video of you opening a Star Wars Black Series Luke Skywalker figure with a hammer (language warning). Is that how you normally unbox your toys?
HAHA! Only the ones that make me angry. Every now and again you’ll find a Black Series on the shelf where you’re just like “How did this make it past quality control?” I went through a phase where I was very much anti-Hasbro so instead of just complaining to myself about their horrid paint jobs I made that series of videos, which got some mixed reviews haha. I know I’m not the only one that feels this way and I like to think that we as a community, complaining about their declining quality, helped Hasbro get back on track (the last few lines haven’t been nearly as bad).
Lastly, what are your dream goals as an artist?
I think the goal of most toy photographers would be to become a product photographer for a major toy company. I look at a lot of the shots used for promotion of a particular toy and wonder why they don’t hire some of the really gifted photographers in this community. But at the end of the day, I’m happy with just taking toys of my collection and having fun with it.
About the Artist
Dale Schenck is a photographer from Austin, TX. His portfolio be found on his Instagram account @darth_shank and his work is available for purchase on his Etsy store. Dale also specializes in curating toy photography that involves explosions (minor language warning).