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Unread 03-03-2011, 10:10 AM   #1949
A. Saboteur
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 222
Name of Commissioner: Buster Cleveland


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Character commissioned and series/video game: Prop - Stun Rod from X-Com: UFO Defense (a/k/a UFO: Enemy Unknown), to be used as part of my X-Com Soldier costume.

Links to picture(s) of your commissioned item:
(There are also pictures of it from initial cutting and shaping through to final detailing and clearcoat in the photostream linked above, though you might have to jump back a page or two to find them.)

Timeline (how long your order took to process):
Initial contact was in late September, mainly for a price quote and initial discussion; due to circumstances beyond our control, however, construction of the prop was delayed until January 2011.

The prop was completed in February and received in early March (yesterday, as a matter of fact).

Describe your Experience.

As some of you may know, I've been working on making a uniform based on those from the first game in the X-Com series. One of the things I wanted for this costume was a Stun Rod prop, as no well-equipped X-Com soldier is without one (all the better for taking those pesky aliens alive for interrogation, don'tchaknow).

After doing some research and asking a few questions, I settled on Buster Cleveland as my final choice due to his experience and the positive reviews of his work that I'd read.

I first contacted Buster Cleveland in late September 2010 for a quote on the cost of constructing the prop; the price he quoted me seemed to be a reasonable one for the skill and attention to detail displayed on props he'd made for other people, so during October we worked on research and discussed certain details of the design.

Most of the details were hashed out by the end of October, and I attempted to send him an initial payment in early November. However, due to certain irregularities at both my local post office and the one on Buster Cleveland's end, the aforementioned initial payment was returned to me in late December, with the envelope marked "Return To Sender: Unclaimed". (We both have our suspicions as to what was going on, at least at his end. At my end, it was a simple procedural error.)

During the two months that the initial payment spent in limbo, we discussed both our worries about what might have happened to it and other, finer details of constructing the prop. With those details hashed out, I re-sent the initial payment in early January, and this time it got through.

Prop construction began on January 9th, and the prop was completed by February 20th (with occasional chitchat and banter between us during the construction phase). The second payment was mailed out on February 22nd, the prop was shipped on the 28th, and I received it yesterday.

Pros: Pleasant to work with, did an excellent job making the prop despite the lack of decent reference pictures (we were only able to find two: an in-game representation of the weapon and an artists' rendition), very patient when dealing with the postal shenanigans, and overall a fun guy to work with.

Cons: The aforementioned postal shenanigans - we both did more than a little worrying about what might have happened to the initial payment when he didn't receive it the first time around.

Final Grade: I feel that Buster Cleveland deserves an A+ for this project - he did an excellent job with the prop and was very pleasant to work with, despite having to deal with various shenanigans on the part of his local post office.
A. Saboteur
Brotherhood of Nod, 5th Combat Engineering Division ("The Saboteurs")
Motto: "We could use one of those . . . "

"Send me the best you've got, send me your strongest machine!
The fight my brother fought, here - now - will end with me!
Is this the best you've got? Is this your strongest machine?
Now with one powershot, you'll see what vengeance means!"
--Mega Man, "Vengeance"
The Protomen: Act I - The Protomen (a/k/a The Sons of Fate)
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