Interview With a Phantom – Mod maker follows artisan family tradition

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By Pedroh H.

High-end mods. Everyone wants them. Most will never own one.

Our industry has transformed the high-end mod market to the point where most can only be obtained by knowing the secret handshake or belonging to the right private group of some social media outlet. Erik Colvin, the man behind the renowned Phantom’s Revenge, is handling things quite differently.

Looking back through Colvin’s familial roots of artisans and wood workers, there is no question why he chose to follow this path. His family built Italian wooden race boats in the 1960s – so it was a natural transition for him. Throughout his life, Colvin has mastered many trades from comic book artist to hot rod restoration specialist, he’s even fashioned an entire Boba Fett costume out of plaster of paris and casting materials.

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Colvin’s passion for his trade is unmistakable and immediately apparent. His eyes lit up with excitement when he began to explain his process. He crafts each stabilized wood blank, has custom C-Frames made to his specifications, and personally wires and solders each Phantom. He has a careful attention to detail and hand wraps the finished mod in parchment paper to be sent to his clients.

Colvin was working as a foreman for a construction company when he first began to explore modding. The Phantom V1, his first dive into the modding world, took off quickly after AL “ModMen” reposted him and shortly after @vapeporn reposted AL. Colvin mentioned “it had to been the craziest half hour of my life.” After some time and tweaks he released the Phantom 209, followed most recently by The Spectre.

With any mod, what’s under the hood is always as important as what’s on top. Colvin uses the Evolv DNA 200 chip inside his Phantoms 209 mods and the YiHi SX350 J v2 in the Spectre models.

Colvin wanted to do something different. He had noticed that a lot of the high end mods at the time had DNA 40s and that just wasn’t enough for him so he heard about the DNA 200s and got his hands on them. I would say it was a wise choice. Naturally wanting to add variety to his mods he started to use the SX 350j v2 for his Spectres. Both are the DNA 200 and the SX 350j chip set are the best chips on the market and he wouldn’t want anything less for his mods.

Colvin also said he prides himself on his customer service – always striving to find solutions to problems that arise in a timely manner. Holding a Phantom’s Revenge mod in my hand I could understand how important his work is and the dedication he has to make each and every design unique.

In the beginning, his goal was to create an attainable mod that he would appreciate, own and people would not have to jump through hoops to find. The Phantom mods are one of few high-end mods on the market sporting the power of the DNA200.

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Phantoms Revenge is based out of Simi Valley, California, just up the street from where Colvin lived as a child.

It’s been an interesting journey for him to come so far from his V1 to the Spectre. When discussing his process and trying to understand how he makes all of those beautiful sleeves that set his mods apart from everyone else, he laughed and said, “It took me about two months to figure out the perfect recipes for stabilizing the sleeves.”

With stabilized wood, each mod is unique and has its own style. Colvin always makes it a priority to take consumer suggestions into account with his own techniques.

Colvin said his wife, Tara Colvin, has supported him every step of the way. At first it was difficult to balance his full-time job with his work as a modder. Finding a way to make a living with something you love is no easy task, but having her behind him along the way was a difference maker.

He said his inspiration to make the first Phantom mod came when he began seeing $500 and higher mods, but he never felt they were worth the price. Maybe it was the button configuration, screen placement, the chip set or a variety of other things. Regardless, he just wasn’t seeing anything he felt was truly worth its price tag.

So Colvin began with a design and stuck to it, making a few changes here and there. The goal was to make something that anyone at any level of vaping, from the beginners to the most skilled and well versed, could enjoy.

And he found it in the Phantom.

For more information on The Phantom’s Revenge mods check them out on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Tprevenge/, or on IG @thephantomsrevenge.

Pedro H. has been involved in the industry for the past 4 years. He now works for Flawless Vape Distro. Follow him on IG @theohmbre.

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