#FanFriday: Mortician Makes Marvelously Macabre Underworld Display

Some collectors are not content to display their figures on just any old plank of wood.

Grant Boardman, @mortician831 on Instagram, puts the dark “elf” in “shelf” with the custom Underworld display that he created for his Court of the Dead collection. Armed with experience in prop making and set design, Grant combined his talents for creating original works and modifying existing pieces to make a unique environmental backdrop for his figures and busts. He even created a custom 6th scale Death figure!

Did we mention he’s a mortician who lives in his mortuary? Color us intrigued!

We caught up with Grant to get the exclusive details…

Tell us about yourself! Where are you from?

Greetings to the Court! My name’s Grant. I’m originally from Santa Cruz, Ca. But now live in Petaluma, Ca. I actually live at the mortuary I work at so I have a great commute! Life kinda revolves around the funeral home. My wife Jessica and I were actually married in our chapel (Joker and Harley themed, of course). My mom and I made our wedding cake and my wife occasionally comes in to do hair or make-up for some of our decedents.

What is your faction?

I am definitely Spirit Faction, and so is my wife. It really encompasses our personalities. Plus, all our favorite Court characters are in the Spirit Faction.

How do you spend your time?

When I’m not at work, I spend a lot of time either customizing already made 1/6 DC figures or making my own. I’m very fortunate my wife collects 1/6 scale figures as well. We both work on cosplay, customizing figures or adding to pre-existing figures and/or statues.

I had a lot of fun adding accessories to my Xiall and Oglavaeil busts. Xiall received a nice scaled cape and a custom necklace made from a rosary and a court insignia pin. Oggy got a few leather straps and rings around his horns, a beautiful opal necklace that really brings out the Spirit Faction, a weathered cloak, and I added a bit of gloss to the strange nubs on him.

How did you find out about Court of the Dead?

I’ve been an avid Sideshow follower for almost a decade now. I loved Court of the Dead as soon as it was a thing, but kept myself focused on what I collect, so I stuck with 1/6 DC figures…until this year’s tax return! lol I picked up the Xiall and Oglavaeil Legendary Scale Busts and realized they really needed a custom display area.

How long have you been collecting?

I’ve been collecting 1/6 scale figures since 2009-ish when an ex bought me the 1/6 Jabba the Hutt, and I was hooked! A few years later I ended up in the hospital due to a ruptured aorta and had to undergo a huge surgery and month-long hospital stay. Recovery was long and slow but I discovered my love and appreciation for all things DC. Especially Batman. His struggle for justice really helped me pull through and make huge changes to my lifestyle.

I started collecting Court of the Dead only a few months ago and started with the Legendary Scale Busts. I instantly pre-ordered the new Prestige line and I really hope we get a lot more of them. But I’ve also picked up all the pins, cards, books, journals, coins and 1/4 Masks of Death.

What inspired you to make a custom display for your Court of the Dead collection?

With how unique all the characters from Court of the Dead are and how detailed and in-depth their world is, I realized they couldn’t just sit against a white wall. Especially after seeing the incredible display Tom Gilliland and the rest of the Court crew made for SDCC, I knew exactly what to do with the limited space I had available.  The LED lights give lots of great mood lighting.

How long did it take? What was your approach?

The full display took me about a month but that’s just cause I spent so much time waiting for different parts or tools. The actual time spent on it always probably around 12 hours. I work best late at night. I grew up doing a lot of theater as a teenager and in my early twenties and eventually became a drama teacher for two elementary schools for their after-school drama programs. So I have a lot of props and set building experience that I knew I could apply to the Court of the Dead display. I bought a few foam sheets and started carving them into the basic stone forms I wanted, then used a lighter to melt the foam into a natural stone texture. I also used an airbrush for a nice color palette. The window in the middle I found on eBay and used pictures from the Court of the Dead poster book to fill it in, then used a light spray of ethereal blue on the stones that encircle the window.

It looks like you have a lot of custom “spirit flames” throughout! Did you make these yourself?

No, I used blue flames by Art Figma, but if you guys ever decide to release the spirit flames that were all over the Court display at Comic-Con, I’d happily pick up quite a few of them! And the awesome apples and the frames that held the nameplates. Lol Pretty much anything and everything Court related.

Is that a custom 6th-scale Death? Tell us about him!

Glad you spotted him! As soon as I received my Aspects of Death Mask I knew I’d be making a 1/6 Death figure. It’s mostly a kitbash but I’m really happy with how he turned out. I started with an old 1/6 Emperor Palpatine head sculpt, a standard 1/6 body, the Hot Toys Jor-El costume, some Lord of the Rings armor and a lot of faction pins! I lopped the top off of the head and attached the ossein unity mask and repainted all the armor and clothing. Took a long while but he looks epic! I call it Death in his Court attire.

If you could decide what the next Court of the Dead collectible would be, what would you choose?

Apart from all the small stuff that’s all over the Court display from SDCC, my top wish is a Legendary Scale Bust of Malavestros or Mortighull! Thank you Sideshow and Court of the Dead for creating all the awesome statues and figures. Your creativity fuels our own and we can’t wait to see what the future of collectibles holds!


Do you have something for #FanFriday? Email us at CotDSocial@Sideshow.com!

Rise. Conquer. Embalm?