Monday, June 12, 2006

Silver and Black Custom Raiders

(Note: This entry was started on June 12th and completed on June 24th.)
In a new item to Silver and Black Forever, I am featuring one of the many unique characters that make up the Raider Nation. Tom is a die-hard Raider fan who has put his artistic talents and passion for the Silver and Black into customizing 6” and 12” individual Raider statues and multiple set pieces. (see link)

To view more of Tom’s works of art (go to this link.) One of my personal favorites is this Lester Hayes piece (scroll down to middle of the page).

The attention to detail is quite remarkable. This piece brings back a flood of awesome memories of #37 in his trademark press coverage about ready to jam the receiver at the line. The old “Bump & Run” baby!

Below is an on-line interview that I conducted with Tom which will hopefully give you an inside look into Tom’s creative outlet.

Calico Jack: Tom, how long have you been a card carrying member of the Raider Nation?

Tom: I've been a Raider Maniac since 1976. I was 7 years old and remember reporters dogging them out because they would be out boozin and cruisin until dawn's early lights, kick the women out of their rooms, grab some toast and coffee, head to the field, suit up and kick the %$&* out of the opponents. I was watching them on TV and thinking, "What's so bad about all that?" "Hell, they're winning and winning big."

Calico Jack: How did you first get involved with customizing Raiders? How long have you been involved with this work?

Tom: In December 2004, I got into customizing because I was disappointed McFarlane wasn't kicking out more Raiders on their production line. I had the Terrell Owens Series 4 piece and thought what a great Charles Woodson. At that time, I didn't even know I could paint. I grabbed some black and silver paint, a brush and went to work. I went to a bunch of websites for pointers and found Jomo is the Godfather of customizers and there I found this HUGE underground of customizers I never knew existed. The rest is Raider history.

CJ: Approximately how many pieces have you completed and sold? Is this a hobby or has it evolved into a full time line of work?

Tom: I've probably made close to 500. It's for sure a hobby. I looked into incorporating and getting a business going, but it's a legal monster I'm just not ready to fight.......for now.

CJ: What aspect of your work do you find the most gratifying?

Tom: Getting to know the Brothers and Sisters of the Raider Nation while I'm working the customs they want. I like chatting with everybody and getting to know about who the people are that make up The Nation. I've now have met several Raider Maniacs I've done work for from D.C. to Oakland. It's just awesome.

CJ: If you had to pick your all time favorite piece, who would it be and why?

Tom: I was really partial to the Lester that is also your favorite because I feel I really captured Lester's personality in that piece, but I'd have to say the no-helmet Stabler now has my 1st vote.....I really nailed that one.

CJ: Which player (past or present) have you received the most requests for?

Tom: Lester, but Randy will probably overtake the most requested spot here shortly.

CJ: How long does it typically take to complete a 6” custom Raider? Take us through the step by step process of your work.

Tom: Great question. I'd take a bunch of blog-space going into the finite details I get into, but I will say that on a good week I could knock out 3-5......that dang real job of mine just keeps getting in the way. I like getting into the detail like Lester's stick 'um, Christensen's/Millen's mustaches, Randy's tatoo, Howie's arm wraps and that weird little U-shaped thing at the top of his facemask. Those are examples of the typical process. The "Make Your Own Dang Raider" link on my website has the nitty-gritty details.

CJ: What was your most unique request? Tell us about it.

Tom: The entire '76 Championship Team. Quite the undertaking indeed and a ton of fun. The Raider Maniac that requested the team built his own custom football field about 2' x 4'. It was just awesome. He wanted the O in black and the D in white. It turned out incredibly. Unfortunately, I don't have any picks of the entire team together yet. I sent customs to him as I finished each one. I expect pics shortly.

CJ: What is the typical price range for a 6” custom Raider? For a 12” custom Raider?

Tom: It depends on the cost of the base figure and if I have to change the ethnicity, but usually the first custom is $50 for a 6" and $60 for a 12". I'll bring the price down for each subsequent piece. I'll also throw in different things from time to time for no extra charge, like a custom Raiders base for instance. I offer to let fans send me the base figures themselves and I'll paint them for half the price listed above.

CJ: Thanks for your time and most importantly, putting so many smiles on the faces of the Raider customers that you have served!

To visit Tom’s site go to

To contact Tom to request a custom Raider, send him an email at:


Blogger The Analyzer said...

Those look pretty sweet. Maybe he can do one of Ronald Curry's miracle catch against Denver two seasons ago.

9:46 AM  
Blogger The Analyzer said...

Nevermind, I see he already has done one on his website. Looks pretty sweet

9:50 AM  

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