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Rei Kurohi
Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014

Showbiz

Die-hard Batman fans: Playing switcheroo to create new figures

The New Paper | Rei Kurohi | Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014

MODIFIER MAGIC: Mr Jedd Jong holding his original character, Helena Troia Wayne, whom he imagines is the daughter of Batman and Wonder Woman.

While Batman's cave is located somewhere below stately Wayne Manor, Mr Jedd Jong has his "Batcave" on the top floor of his four-storey home.

The 21-year-old film critic has a room in his parent's house dedicated to his hobby of turning thrift shop action figures to look like characters from the Batman series.

His hobby, which began four years ago, mainly involves mixing and matching parts from different figurines to create new ones.

For instance, he transformed an Invisible Woman figurine into a "Stephanie Brown" Batgirl (left) by replacing the head, sculpting the bat symbol onto the chest and adding a cape and belts salvaged from other figures.

Batgirl is played by several fictional characters appearing in DC Comics.

Hours fly by when he gets engrossed in his projects.

The process, which requires Mr Jong to sculpt and sand new masks, armour and body parts, takes about two to three days to complete.

In his "workshop", as he calls it, a large plastic sheet lines the floor, with pots of acrylic paints, tools, brushes and - slightly spookily - the limbs of superheroes strewn haphazardly across it.

"I'm like Sid (Phillips) from Toy Story," he says jovially, referring to the character in the animated film who enjoyed pulling toys apart. "Except I don't derive any pleasure in their 'suffering'."

His passion for the craft is evident. His eyes light up with boyish joy as he talks about the origins of each figurine.

His imagination comes to life through his hobby - he created a character he named Helena Troia Wayne, his idea of what the daughter of Batman and Wonder Woman would look like.

Mr Jong's favourite design is the Exoclad Batman (below). It was built from the parts of four different Batman figures. He custommade parts of the armour.

His parents, who are both academics, are supportive of their son's passion.

His mother, Mrs Jong Cher Leng , says: "It's hard having alternative interests in Singapore where everyone has this idea of the 'correct' path to success. We try to facilitate his hobby in any way we can."

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