Ben Mininberg has been doodling, building, or painting things for as long as he can remember. He first cut his teeth repainting Mage Knight prepainted plastic miniatures before moving up to the big leagues of Classic Battletech. While rarely playing, let alone winning a game, he assembled vast forces of battlemechs, Warhammer 40k Space Marines, WARMACHINE Khador, and HORDES Legion of Everblight. Somewhere in there he realized that gaming miniatures are just too small, and he moved on to bigger and better things. From Gundam plastic models to historical armor, resin garage kits and vinyl mecha kits, dioramas and vignettes, Ben has tried it all.
Model kits are fun, but a deep passion for toys that can be handled and displayed led Ben to spend more time working on plamo kits and Japanese vinyl kaiju customs. He has had figures displayed in multiple shows listed below, in galleries across the country as well as in Japan. After spending enough time building kits and customizing other people’s work, Ben decided it was time to start from scratch making his own original toys. Ben started making his own hand sculpted, resin cast, and painted toys called Killer Culture, designed to combine his love of science fiction and biology. Ben’s sculpting and casting abilities were too limited, though, so he moved on to a new means of production, 3D printing. With the help of Brownnoize Productions, Ben has been learning to 3D CAD model his own designs. Ben started with Shapeways and then purchased his own 3D printers to manufacture his own line of mecha action figures under the name Prometheus Rising Heavy Industries. Early PRHI toys have been available at two shows locally and a show in Portland, OR, described below. 2014 is shaping up to be a banner year for Ben, with multiple projects and events, and hopefully lots of toy releases.
You can follow Ben by subscribing to this site (link on the left), as well as by following him on Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram (@Prometheum5 on all three). Ben regularly posts toy glamour shots and PRHI work-in-progress shots there before putting the good stuff up here. He has also been recognized as one of the top 3D printing innovators to follow on Twitter. You can read the toy reviews Ben writes on CollectionDX.com, where he has also appeared as a guest host on CollectionDX The Show. You can get a hold of him using the Contact Me page to discuss commissions, provide feedback, or ask him any question you can think of. You can buy some of Ben’s work from the PRS Store site.
Shows and Displayed Works:
- Grasshut My Friend the Micronaut- August, 2013
My Friend the Micronaut was a group show themed around the venerable Micronaut toy line. Prometheus Rising Heavy Industries continued with an exclusive run of Allaround 1/18 scale power suit figures in a Diaclone/Microman themed color scheme, as well as the debut of the first prototype PRHI Microman-scaled fully posable Union Fighter Blockman.
- FOE Rise of the Robots- February, 2013
Rise of the Robots marked the first time the Prometheus Rising Heavy Industries line was shown publicly. Bounce Tortoise figures were available in multiple scales and the freshly completed first pair of Allaround prototypes were on display.
- Restore’s Debris Japan Painting Contest- November, 2011
Restore is a Japanese sculptor that hosted a painting contest of his first vinyl figure, Debris Japan. Prometheus Rising Studios placed 3rd place from a worldwide entrant pool of 22 submissions.
- FOE Gallery Monster Invitational- July 2011
Killer Culture Microcultures– debut
FOE Gallery recently opened in Northampton, Massachusetts and immediately got to supporting and building relationships with local artists and designers. The Monster Invitational featured contributions from both local and abroad. It also featured the exclusive debut of the third Killer Culture figure, the Microculture mini pack.
- Open Call Resin Show at Toy Art Gallery- June 2011
The TAG resin open call show was the gallery debut of Killer Culture, featuring an exclusive two-pack.
- Kaiju For Japan Tsunami Aid Online Show and Sale- April 2011
In response to the March 2011 tsunami that hit Japan, artist Troy Stith organized an online display and sale of works specially made for the show, with all proceeds from the sale going directly to relief efforts.
- Max Toy Co 5th Anniversary Argus Debut Show at Toy Art Gallery- February 2011
The Max Toy Co 5th Anniversary Argus Debut show brought Max Toy Co’s new mold onto the scene in style. The exhibit at Toy Art Gallery in Los Angeles featured Argus figures painted by a number of artists invited and provided blank toys by Max Toy Co and TAG. My contribution was featured on the promotional material and postcard for the show.
- Glyos Ceekoar Custom Release– January 2011
The Ceekoar release was an unofficial custom assembled and painted release of Glyos figures that I did based on my own microcosm fiction within the Glyos universe.
- Super 7 One-Offs Show- January 2011
“We killed Seymour” Monster Family Rose Vampire and Fire Robo
The One-Offs show was the next evolution of the It Came From Skullbrain show at Super7.
- Neo Eyezon Mark Nagata X Prometheum5 Collaboration– October 2010
Mark Nagata asked me to paint one half of a two-pack of his Neo Eyezon figure in collaboration with him, based on a vintage Hawaii-edition kaiju toy theme. I also provided the header card artwork, my first ‘serious’ 2D painting.
- The 100 Greatest Kaiju Battles– August 2010
I contributed digitally manipulated photographs of toys in the real world for an online art exhibit at Le Studio Plastique, an online art gallery.
- It Came From Skullbrain II- January 2010
It Came From Skullbrain is an open show hosted by Super7 in San Francisco.
- Blobpus Blob Open Painting Contest- November 2009
In 2009 Blobpus held an open contest for people customize one of his figures. Mine was among only five non-Japanese entrants that were chosen to be shipped off and displayed at a show in Shinjuku, Japan. The show and entrants by name were also featured in the February 2010 issue of the Japanese magazine Hyper Hobby.
- RealxHead Mutant Head ‘Real-Type’ Color Custom– August 2009
This Mutant Head was painted as a gift for Mori Katsura, the man behind Real X Head, and hand-delivered to Mori in Japan by Matt Doughty. Mori reportedly loved it, and it now proudly stands on display at the Shinto Gangu shop alongside other custom gifts.
- Hobbytown USA Albany Local Show- January 2009
Awarded Best of Show for the GP-01FB model. Currently on display at this location: Tiger I 332, August, 1943 – Tamiya 1/48 diorama