Almost two years ago, I met Guy Caldwell of Garage FX. Garage FX creates movie props, weapons, costumes, and helps Cosplayers with their costumes for Comic Cons. We decided that we were going to build Spawn Vehicles, once we received permission from Todd McFarlane. It took almost a year to receive the permission. As soon as we received the Go, work began on the Mustang. The Mustang was to be accompanied by a CRX in the same style of wrap, but a month and a half before the debut, the CRX was totaled in a highway accident. Since I had promised two vehicles to debut at Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con (ALVCC), I purchased the new 2017 Jeep in May. We built the Jeep in less than 5 weekends, and showcased both vehicles at ALVCC.
What inspired you to make the Spawn Car?
I have been a fan since IMAGE launched…..I just started opening comic boxes that have been sealed since 1995
I first starting collecting Spawn when I was in college. It was my distraction from Engineering classes (I have a Masters in Project Management and Engineering now). The dark side of the comic, appealed to the oculus nature of my Scorpio sign. Fast forward 25 years, and I met Guy Caldren from Garage FX, who liked my concept of a Deadpool GT350, we built for SEMA 2015. We talked for weeks, and devised a plan to create the Spawn Mustang, it took us a year to get approval from the McFarlane group
Besides creating something awesome is there an ultimate goal behind the project?
I wish to blend the two industries, automotive and comic; because I believe we are all creating something different, and artists within our own genre. Comic artists can be identified easily, I truly feel each cosplayer is artistic in their costume design, and we as car builders must be creative from the initial rendering of a project, all the way until completion (which can take years)
Is there are particular cosplayer(s) you follow? Or that inspired the
idea of car cosplay?
I do not follow any cosplayers, Yet…..but, I have been to many Comic Cons, because my affinity with the comic characters, I collect statues more than anything. Over the years, I have seen cosplayers transform into these spectacular costumes, much like what we do with cars. When we did a show in Houston, Matsasuri, I believe, they combined it with a car show. The vibrant colors of the cars matched the unbelievable costumes of the cosplayers who attended. Made for some cool pics. So I toyed with the idea last year, and created a GT350 with Deadpool and Wolverine. I unfortunately, did not get permission from Rob Liefield, and therefore made steps in ensuring Todd McFarlane approved every step of these builds.
How much planning goes into a project like this?
The Jeep and the Mustang are what we consider “theme builds”, which we normally do for the largest automotive expo in the world, SEMA. SEMA is the Specialty Equipment Manufacture’s Association expo held in Las Vegas each year. It is our Super Bowl, over 100K people go through the doors each day, in this week long expo.
A build starts with a rendering, JAN-FEB timeframe. It normally gets approval between FEB-APR. After approval, that a company has selected the vehicle, all products are acquired, and the build process starts…..the build sometimes continues all the way until hours before SEMA, held on the first week in November.
The Mustang was on track. Initially, we were going to showcase a CRX, to bring a mix of New vs classic styling, American Muscle vs Import Performance. The CRX was totaled on the last week of April. So I decided to buy a Jeep, the first week in May, and test my ability. In essence, crunching a 9 month process in 8 weeks
How much of the original jeep will be modified or replaced for this
project? Or is this mainly exterior work?
EVERYTHING will be modified. Exterior, Interior, Performance, Suspension, Audio/Video….I will add a complete modification list.
So far, bumpers, fenders, doors, hood, exhaust, intake have been removed/replaced
Will you be incorporating the amazing cape Spawn has in some way?
Personally that’s my favorite part of the character design.
For the Jeep, Yes, the top mesh and Exo skeleton will be red. The Mustang has a marvelous image of spawn and his cape
When did you start planning the project? Actual work on the project?
The Mustang has been an ongoing projekt since we started the discussions, the Jeep, since I bought it, May 5th. Both are on-going, not much time left
Mustang: all the performance, carbon fiber, interior, suspension is done. Still needs wrap, guns, wheels powder coated and minimal interior work…..at about 85%
JEEP: whew….gotta lotta work ahead, will have sleepless nights….follow the process on our page, Todd McFarlane’s Spawn Vehicles
Is there a point in a project you get nervous you might not hit your
deadline? Or do you work well under pressure?
I work very well under pressure. I have been a Production Manager for DaimlerChrysler in a Union Environment, and an Army Officer in a deployed combat unit, 173rd ABN BDE
Since you are a car guy and not a cosplayer, you might not be aware
that a majority of the cosplay community work on their costumes up
until con, while traveling to con, and even sometimes up until the
convention’s competition start. Seriously, some even have to pack
their sewing machines. Do you have pointers or recommendations for
people to avoid this? Planning tips? Ext.
I can relate….SEMA is our big showcase. I have had wheels shipped to Las Vegas the day before roll-in, and at another time, a pallet of brakes arrive a day before we leave to SEMA….I can tell you stories. This is why we start planning, the day SEMA ends.
It seems there are other creative people involved in this project. Who
are they and what have they done? If they have websites or social
media please include this and I can link it.
Guy Caldwell: Garage FX | https://www.facebook.com/Garage-FX-542957855842317/
Guy Driver: Old Craftey Creations | https://www.facebook.com/OldCrafty/
The creative nature of those who make these amazing costumes, and knowing each costume could be matched with a certain vehicle….almost like, if Rogue:Xmen, had a car, what would it be?
Why did you choose Spawn? And what is your favorite version of the character?
Spawn was my escape in college, I still have 1-60 in triplicate, I like many aspects of the character. My favorite version is the original
What elements of Spawn are being pulled into the car? Is it not character design or story focused?
Mustang: The exterior wrap was developed by the Todd McFarlane group using past comic images. The weapons are just our rendition on what a “Spawn” car would have, if he needed to drive
JEEP: The concept is Violator Hunter. It will have an image of issue #4 on the hood. The theme is black and red with some lime green, Spawn’s necromancer power. I plan to have LOTS of guns and missiles on this all-terrain beast, with chains going around body of the Jeep
What has been your favorite part of this project so far?
The whole idea that Todd McFarlane is involved, and gave his blessing…..it also allowed me to meet some great individuals like Guy Dwyer (Old Crafty Creations), and create a bigger bond with Guy Caldwell (Garage FX)
Do you have advice for others interested in a project like this?
I have YouTube videos full of advice when building major project vehicles
If people want to follow the progress on this or future projects where
can the find you?
Todd McFarlane’s Spawn Vehicles: https://www.facebook.com/SpawnMustang
This car will be at Amazing Comic Con in Las Vegas. Are there other
conventions that this car will be at?
YES, Guy at Garage FX is helping coordinate appearances after the initial debute