Deviant Feature:clem-master-janitor

One of my faves: his custom Master Chief figure that's fit to be a Space marine Chaplain 

The deviants just keep coming, and from the look of things you all seem to love 'em! Up on our Deviantart hotseat is the 'lord and master of the custodial arts', kit builder and hunter extraordinaire: clem-master-janitor. When he's not on his divine custodianship he's churning up one model kit to another ranging from good ole Gunpla, HALO, Star Trek and even much appreciated kits from popular anime and video games. This guy is to be seen and heard off to be believed. So without further ado, I'll give the tables to him:

Rai's Garage:  First off, what’s your real name? Can you tell us that or would you stick to your DA persona?
clem-master-janitor: My first name is Josh but I usually prefer Clem.  I know way too many people with the same first name.  I have a bad habit of ignoring everyone yelling my regular name but always tend to respond to Clem or the couple hundred other nicknames I have.  Most of these nicknames I can't really repeat thanks to them usually being rated 'R' on a good day.

Rai's Garage:Tell us something about yourself:  age, occupation, country of origin, other hobbies/interests beyond DA etc.
clem-master-janitor:  I'm a lord and master of the custodial arts, or a janitor if you want to be a dick about it.  I love being able to use that quote.

his Z'gok
Currently I'm 30 and stuck in the slowly withering frigid wasteland of Northern Minnesota in the U.S.  As of such, I tend to like going out into the woods when I'm not working on kits.  Hunting season just opened last week so I'm sure to distract myself with grouse hunting.  I've been on a long hiatus from whitetail deer hunting but have considered returning to it to save a few bucks off the grocery bill.  Another hobby that goes hand in hand with hunting is target shooting.  I love blasting my 12 and 20 gauges at a few clays or lining up targets to hit with the .243.  I also get a kick out of fishing and camping but had a wedding that ate up most of my free time for either this summer.  Next year I'm hell bound to make up for that lost time.  I could go ice fishing this year but that's damn cold and boring unless I head farther north.

Rai's Garage: What do you normally post in DA?
clem-master-janitor:   The majority of my posts on DA are models, particularly Gundam.  I have a few Armored Core, Martian Successor Nadesico, and Rockman X kits I need churn out in the future along with a few more Star Trek, Star Wars, and Babylon 5 kits.  There's even a few model cars that I should work on, too, but dread the idea of working with that particular company's products.
I just started working on painting action figures for the hell of it.  Action figures reduce the amount of prep work but give me a quicker out to practicing painting techniques that I normally don't hit upon while working with the Gundam kits.  I'm also starting to work on sculpting.  I guess I'm branching out a little bit from the cut and dry model building.
Masterful S-Gundam

Rai's Garage:How did you know of DA?
clem-master-janitor: I ran across DA awhile ago looking at image ideas for painting.  I have trouble telling what a color is from time to time.  I'm not color blind.  I don't differentiate subtle hues worth a crap.  When I began working on models I had the full spectrum of color of ROYGBIV with black, white, and gray thrown in the mix.  Honestly, I could ditch the Indigo and Violet on that list because it would register as purple.  So, with that limited range of color awareness, I was aggravated that I couldn't match the red on the Epyon or white on the Wing Zero with the red and white I had at my disposal.  Wanting the kits to look 'right,' I started searching the internet for answers as to whether Epyon was red or purple or if Wing Zero was gray or white.  I started to hit DA artists in my search with their slants on color schemes and wanted to search more within DA's system.  At the time DA wouldn't let you search it without being a member (not sure if that's still the case).  After a month of grumbling about it, I signed up.  My first kit was posted soon after.  It's been a maddening battle from then on of improving every little aspect of my models and how I post them ever since.  I should also point out I'm getting better at realizing there are tons of shades of colors.  I've yet to figure out how to mix them but at least I'm aware.  I count that as a victory. (← love this quote of his)

Don't see much Nadesico kits but he's got one.
Rai's Garage:What does your interests/hobbies mean to you?
clem-master-janitor:  This insane little hobby of mine started as a geek interest in building something that was odd.  I think it was a NG 1/144 Epyon that I bought for my cousin as a birthday gift mistaking it as a toy that triggered it.  When I saw what I had, I went out and bought him something else while I dusted off my old model kit equipment (nail clippers, an old steak knife, and a really crap-tacular set of enamel paints and brushes).  Since then, it's more about building something I never see around here (Northern Minnesota isn't exactly the sci-fi geek haven of the world) for the sake of conversation pieces.  Since hitting DA, it's about pushing myself to see just what I can accomplish.

So, to sum it up, I'm bored and this entertains me more than movies and games ever can.

Rai's Garage: What normally inspires you as an artist/deviant?
clem-master-janitor:  Ya know, I've never pondered what inspires me when I'm building until now: sometimes I'm asked to paint something a certain way (action figures), other times I decided to paint and build something to help me remember a person better (Zaku III with its number scheme helped me remember the wife's birthday), somedays I just want to build something I saw with whatever I have laying around my work area (I have a Gelgoog Jager that is being turned into the White Wolf's custom unit I saw),  and lately it's been about bringing the unique little kitbashes that would pop in my head in my earlier days of building to life with a little story (GM II-R or S-Gundam Unit 04).  Before building model kits, I wanted to be a writer.  It's fun to give the kit an actual pilot and back story to help understand why it looks and feels the way I build it.  I actually wrote a book that's 3/4 finished downstairs.  Life became too hectic with college and taking care of my grandfather so I stopped writing.  I really should get back into that, too.

Yes, I tend to go off on tangents all the time.
His AC Split Skull

Rai's Garage:Craziest thing you did for a piece of work/deviation?
clem-master-janitor: The craziest thing I've ever done for a model kit was to tear apart one of my older kitbashes to rebuild it accurately to put in the local county fair.  I think I found three images and realized my first attempt was no where close to correct.  I stripped it down and reworked the whole thing using every technique I had at the moment.  I spent two months filling, sanding, cutting, glueing, shaping, and painting it until I had built a pretty accurate Wing Seraphim out of my broken Wing Zero Custom.  I finally put it in the fair figuring it would be against the other model kits (there were a couple of straight from the box AMT/Ertl kits and one Dale Earnhardt Winston Cup NASCAR kit).  I discovered that the model competition was for cars only.  I was entered into the 'Special Class' art competition for things they couldn't classify.  There were only two entries, the Seraphim and a four foot tall ceramic angel painted... well, painted would be a rough way of putting it.  Glazed haphazardly with speckles and random colors would be more accurate.  I lost to that monstrosity.  Next time I go on a massive build to enter it in the local competitions I'm going to build a custom Spartan figure and say it should be in with the dolls.  Though I doubt I'll be allowed to put a reworked toy in with the Raggedy Anne dolls that people sew together, I would laugh my ass off being able to see all those cloth and porcelain dolls looking so sweet and cute and then a dirt and blood soaked Spartan in full armor holding an assault rifle and knife.  I'd have to work to make sure it was staring down the dolls for that extra bit of deranged.

Kudos on this Klingon Battlecruiser
Rai's Garage: What is your favorite piece of work?
clem-master-janitor:  My favorite piece I built would be a tie between my AC Split Skull and the Klingon Battlecruiser.  I love how they looked with the final paint jobs.  I think what makes them my favorites are the sentimental values.  Split Skull was the last kit my grandfather saw complete before he died.  He was amazed at how much detail something so small could have and how I built that with my own hands.  I was about to make a comment about how great the craftsmanship was of the Japanese kit designers but decided to bite my tongue.  He had often said WWII made him skittish of being around anyone Japanese many times over the last few months of his life.  I remember taking care of him at night hearing him yell out orders to adjust the height and range of mortar rounds or calling out for medics to try and help one the men that were shot.  He said he knew that it wasn't the right way to think about a group of people but could never forgive and forget what happened in the Philippines. I just agreed that it was incredible the details and left it at that to avoid conjuring up more of those old ghosts.

He sculpts too.
The battlecruiser was being rebuilt when he finally died.  I had been tinkering with it over the course of the Armored Core build while I waited for parts to cure.  It was a labor of love because it was the last real Christmas gift my Dad gave me the year after my parents divorced.  Originally built by my buddy and myself, it had fallen apart over the decade of hanging from my ceiling.  I popped it apart and signed the original year built and by who before reworking that damn kit again.  Then my grandfather died.  I stopped building for about four months.  It took moving in with my then girlfriend (now wife) to make me finish the build.  It was a moment of real strong emotion seeing that thing complete.

Then my step-daughters smashed it.  I suppose I'll have to rebuild it a third time in the future.  Whiskey may be involved in the third round.

Rai's Garage: Aside from DA, where can we watch you?
Baddest Rockman X kit ever.
clem-master-janitor:   I really don't wander too far from DA.  You can find me writing reviews on about kits they have no reviews for once in a while (been a long while, actually).  I just started to post on the Halo Figures Forum but haven't quite mastered how to post images on it.  One day I'll figure it out.  I'm also prone to wandering the halls of the and forums.  I'm a bit of a Halo fan.  The only place I'm regularly on is the 360 playing Halo Reach Firefight on Xbox LIVE.  I would love to buy more games, but it's hard to justify buying a new game that I really want at full price, so I play the hell out of a game until I've squirreled away enough cash to buy a new one.  The models take priority on my spending habits.

Rai's Garage:Advice for fellow deviants with the same interests as yours:
clem-master-janitor: My advice for my fellow builders is to keep plugging away at the kits.  They can be frustrating at times to see what is possible versus what a person's skill will allow at the moment.  Reading books and guides, asking advice from people within the model building community and similar branches of that tree, watching videos on how to do 'x' skill from multiple sources, and just trying everything as you're ready will bring you to where ever you want your goals to reach.  Model building can be a brutally expensive hobby, but the rewards often outweigh the costs when you're staring at your first kit that is completed to the way you've always dreamed.  It's especially satisfying when you hear the words muttered from someone, "What the hell have you built and how?"  That moment of shared astonishment is worth it all.

Thanks Clem, this has been a very interesting talk with you.

Watch clem-master-janitor on his Deviantart account here.

All works and pictures are owned and copyright by the artist and is used with proper permission.
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