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Thread: TUTORIALS: New to customizing and need Help? Check here first for tips!

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  1. #1
    POP and Customs Mod heftysmurf76's Avatar
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    TUTORIALS: New to customizing and need Help? Check here first for tips!

    I've merged some tips from the original thread (and some others) to make it more concise and easy to find tips. This thread will be locked, however, if you wish to add a tutorial or suggestion, please feel free to PM me.

    This thread will include:
    * Questions on materials and how to do certain things
    * Give techniques that you have learned
    * Request spare parts

    Also, there's a plethora of customizing tutorials on the internet.
    Figurerealm has an entire page dedicated to tutorials, located here http://www.figurerealm.com/viewcustomtutorial.php

    PLEASE be sure to read through and check out the links in this thread BEFORE posting a thread asking how to customize. Thanks

    Where to buy sculpting materials?
    Aves Studios
    Jerry's Artarama
    The Sculpting Studio


    What paints are best to use?

    In most cases Acrylics work better with action figure plastic, enamels tend to dry sticky. I use a broad range of paints including Americana,Apple Barrel Folk Art, Testors, etc.

    The Colorful Truth About the Difference Between Acrylic Paint Grades
    Cel vinyl Paints
    Quote Originally Posted by Passiondesigns

    Paint and other supplies can be expensive .........

    LIst of some I use!
    http://www.micromark.com - supplies
    http://www.ebay.com - auctions
    http://www.avesstudio.com - sculpting clays
    http://www.plastruct.com/ - plastics

  2. #2
    Heroic Warrior
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    Fixing MOTUC arms

    Hello all,

    Not sure if this is the right forum, but I was wondering about fixing a classics arm. I just performed the arm switch on Roboto, cracking the torso and all, but on one of the arms (the left arm), I am having trouble inserting the shoulder pin into the the bicep all the way. It won't go all the way down into the socket. It goes in well enough, but does not form the tight fit it is supposed to. I was able to do it correctly on the right arm (former left shoulder plus original right arm) but not on the left arm (former right shoulder plus original left arm. I have heated the pin, I have heated the socket, does anyone have any advice???
    "Mattel's policy of things being seen as a failure if they don't sell out in minutes still annoys the hell out of me." — .org Member paulioscorchio

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  3. #3
    Master of Shapeways He-bro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skystalker View Post
    Hello all,

    Not sure if this is the right forum, but I was wondering about fixing a classics arm. I just performed the arm switch on Roboto, cracking the torso and all, but on one of the arms (the left arm), I am having trouble inserting the shoulder pin into the the bicep all the way. It won't go all the way down into the socket. It goes in well enough, but does not form the tight fit it is supposed to. I was able to do it correctly on the right arm (former left shoulder plus original right arm) but not on the left arm (former right shoulder plus original left arm. I have heated the pin, I have heated the socket, does anyone have any advice???
    Heat up the bicep, but make the shoulder is cool/cold:


    (Hot Water in the cup from the microwave - 3 minutes on high, just microwave the cup and water not the arms)

    (Cold water from the facet)


    This should work, I did the same hing for both my King Hsss and my Roboto.


    Here's I link to the full fix for Hsss:
    http://he-man.us/Innovations/MOTUC-C...KingHssss.html

  4. #4
    Heroic Warrior FakeEyes22's Avatar
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    I've noticed on both of my Robotos, which I haven't swapped, that there is a slight gap in one of the bicep/shoulder connections when compared to the other one. It's just the shape of the pieces from the sculpt or the production process.

    I'm not saying this is what's going on with yours since i don't know how severe the gap is, but it could be something that you didn't notice until you put the work into fixing the figure. If it feels like it's turning properly, then it may be in there all the way. Take a look at photos of fixed Robotos and see if yours looks the same. It sounds like you did everything right to me.

  5. #5
    Heroic Warrior AdultCollector's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by He-bro View Post
    Heat up the bicep, but make the shoulder is cool/cold:
    http://he-man.us/Innovations/MOTUC-C...KingHssss.html
    DO NOT use hot water to heat up the plastic. This will change the chemical makeup of it, and the plastic will eventually become brittle. Instead, simply use a hair dryer to heat the plastic. It's faster and in my opinion a much more effective method. I was taught this method by Hunter Knight Customs.

  6. #6
    Heroic Warrior Mern-Ra's Avatar
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    How do I remove an arm from the shoulder socket? I'm trying to turn a Karatti into a green Trap Jaw. Thanks!!!
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  7. #7
    Heroic Warrior Lerath666's Avatar
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    I'm trying to swap an upper torso with ab-crunch, to another body's pelvis and legs.
    I Have NO idea where to get started. can anyone help me?

  8. #8
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    How do you take apart (and repair) a Vintage body?

    Howdy, y'all.
    I'm largely new to customizing MOTU figures (from any generation).
    I used to have a huge collection (about 20 or so... enough to fill up the vintage Battle Bones, plus Orko.), but I ended up giving all but 4 -- Orig. He-Man, Orig. Skeletor, Clawful, and a Heroic Warrior I can't remember (5... I recently found a nude Man-At-Arms I forgot about) -- to my next-door neighbor, who incorporated them with his stable of wrestling figures.

    That being said, I'm trying to start my collection back up, though I still haven't decided which scale/generation is best for me (Vintage, 2002, or Classics; the latter of which is expensive, even for the cheapest figure).


    Most of the figures I collect, I tend to want to customize. Nearly all of my customizing expertise has been with Transformers and G.I. Joe (mostly ARAH). I've learned that acrylics work best, how to paint match (in comparison to factory colors), and that anything black MUST be primered!

    What I need from this thread is the following: How do you take apart a Vintage body for customization, or repair? I came up with an idea for the 2011 MOTUC create-a-character contest, but discovered the post office was closed on the last day to submit my entry. Because the parts I need are a bit pricey in MOTUC, I've decided to try and build my custom Evil Warrior (well, the non-original pieces) with Vintage parts. I want to start with Faker's legs on a Stratos upper body (buck and arms), have him wear Webstor's body armor, and until something better comes along, use Clamp Champ's head.
    (Now if someone thinks they can make Clamp Champ (or Jitsu)'s head resemble Sho'Nuff from The Last Dragon, send me a PM.)

  9. #9
    Master of Shapeways He-bro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cybertronian View Post
    Howdy, y'all.
    I'm largely new to customizing MOTU figures (from any generation).
    I used to have a huge collection (about 20 or so... enough to fill up the vintage Battle Bones, plus Orko.), but I ended up giving all but 4 -- Orig. He-Man, Orig. Skeletor, Clawful, and a Heroic Warrior I can't remember (5... I recently found a nude Man-At-Arms I forgot about) -- to my next-door neighbor, who incorporated them with his stable of wrestling figures.

    That being said, I'm trying to start my collection back up, though I still haven't decided which scale/generation is best for me (Vintage, 2002, or Classics; the latter of which is expensive, even for the cheapest figure).


    Most of the figures I collect, I tend to want to customize. Nearly all of my customizing expertise has been with Transformers and G.I. Joe (mostly ARAH). I've learned that acrylics work best, how to paint match (in comparison to factory colors), and that anything black MUST be primered!

    What I need from this thread is the following: How do you take apart a Vintage body for customization, or repair? I came up with an idea for the 2011 MOTUC create-a-character contest, but discovered the post office was closed on the last day to submit my entry. Because the parts I need are a bit pricey in MOTUC, I've decided to try and build my custom Evil Warrior (well, the non-original pieces) with Vintage parts. I want to start with Faker's legs on a Stratos upper body (buck and arms), have him wear Webstor's body armor, and until something better comes along, use Clamp Champ's head.
    (Now if someone thinks they can make Clamp Champ (or Jitsu)'s head resemble Sho'Nuff from The Last Dragon, send me a PM.)
    Check out some repairs here:

    http://he-man.us/Innovations/BrokenBattleArmor.html

    http://he-man.us/Innovations/BrokenLegs.html

    http://he-man.us/Innovations/HeadsBackOn.html

  10. #10
    Heroic Warrior Vgarrus's Avatar
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    If I'm just exchanging the lower parts of a figure's legs (with feet attached) could I just use the hair-dryer method? Would a bowl of hot water work as well? I'm anxious about putting figures in the oven because I've never done it before.

  11. #11
    Master of Shapeways He-bro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vgarrus View Post
    If I'm just exchanging the lower parts of a figure's legs (with feet attached) could I just use the hair-dryer method? Would a bowl of hot water work as well? I'm anxious about putting figures in the oven because I've never done it before.
    Use a large paper cup (20 oz), heat it up in the microwave for about 3 minutes, then put the figure in the hot water for about 2 minutes (On the counter not in the microwave).

    Note: Non wax cup

    (see this for the cup type and size : http://he-man.us/Innovations/MOTUC-C...KingHssss.html)

  12. #12
    the .09% stprime's Avatar
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    does it need to be trimmed like on the hsss swap?
    Part Needs: MOTUC
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  13. #13
    Heroic Warrior
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    Quote Originally Posted by stprime View Post
    does it need to be trimmed like on the hsss swap?
    No, it's not the piece that goes into the torso, but the joint where the shoulder connects to the bicep for the bicep twist.
    "Mattel's policy of things being seen as a failure if they don't sell out in minutes still annoys the hell out of me." — .org Member paulioscorchio

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    Heroic Warrior Jyrki's Avatar
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    Help with figure basic fixing. Help needed.

    Since I have read many forum threads and web pages. Various issues in various figures. So I thinked create Thread here in Custom Figure and Sculpture Forum about how people easily can fix issues with own figure. So I ask help He-Man.org forums talented custom figure builters help on this case. Example Those who know how to fix basic issues like loose ankle in MotU Classic figures. Please post simple image series how fix such issues without bigger risk damage own Classic figures . So people easily can learn fix issues. I have few issues with few my MotU Classic figures. I like fix them but not founded any good page how do it. Example my Skeletor has loose ankle and his right wrist is very loose. I will post more detailed images of these issues soon. Help us our He-Man.org talented custom figure creators.How We can fix such issues. Thank you for all people who post reply for this Thread about how fix various issues.

  15. #15
    Evil Witch of Metternia Met-Hild's Avatar
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    Fixes for rocker ankles?

    I'm trying to figure out if there's anything that can be done with rocker ankles that don't, well, rock? I have at least two figures where either both or one of the ankle rockers don't have any or barely any sideways movement. I got both loose so there's no hope of getting them replaced.

    Once, I don't know how long ago, I saw an online guide with photos to how to take a rocker ankle apart and I think it included some other related foot fixing, but I can't for the death of me find the right search phrase to find it again. Perhaps it got even taken down, because I can't remember where I saw it. I'm guessing someone must have dealt with the rocker inside the foot during customization so... help?
    The artist formerly known as Mechthild

    Please check out my MOTU revision fan art, and fan fiction: Metternia bios and history & myths.

    Now also on DeviantArt: http://osmatar.deviantart.com/

  16. #16
    Always Lurking Around Son of Keldor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Met-Hild View Post
    Once, I don't know how long ago, I saw an online guide with photos to how to take a rocker ankle apart and I think it included some other related foot fixing, but I can't for the death of me find the right search phrase to find it again. Perhaps it got even taken down, because I can't remember where I saw it. I'm guessing someone must have dealt with the rocker inside the foot during customization so... help?
    i had to take apart skeletor's feet to make a pair of 200x skelly feet, and i had to open the bottom of the foot to get to rocker joint out to fit inside the new foot i modified.

    you need an exacto knife to slice along the seam and slide it in and pop it off, then you can remove the rocker joint. you might need to heat up the joint to remove it otherwise it will crack/break from the stress of removing it.

    =)
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  17. #17
    Evil Witch of Metternia Met-Hild's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Son of Keldor View Post
    you need an exacto knife to slice along the seam and slide it in and pop it off, then you can remove the rocker joint. you might need to heat up the joint to remove it otherwise it will crack/break from the stress of removing it.
    Thanks. I'll try that with Trap Jaw's boot tomorrow. And if it doesn't look too hard, I'll probably try transplanting some 200X feet on my Skeletor too. I really really want him to have those Alcala style five-toed feet!
    The artist formerly known as Mechthild

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  18. #18
    Heroic Razor-Edged Weapon Sword-of-Grayskull's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Met-Hild View Post
    Thanks. I'll try that with Trap Jaw's boot tomorrow. And if it doesn't look too hard, I'll probably try transplanting some 200X feet on my Skeletor too. I really really want him to have those Alcala style five-toed feet!
    Was this the easy fix you were looking for?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_qeHS_v3rY
    I've read that a lot of guys use superglue instead of the melted glue stick used in this tutorial, but it's the same principal of lining 3/4 of the ankle socket once you ply it off of the joint with a blowdryer and a flat-head screwdriver.

    EDIT: Would a mod please be so kind as to add this video to the index at the top of the page?
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  19. #19
    Heroic Warrior skeletorous's Avatar
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    Paint to use of MOTUC KING HSSS?

    Hey guys
    Just wanting abit of advice, recently added few more snakes to King Hsss but wanna touch up/ repaint bits on the snakes, What paint has been used, also looks like a varnish has been applied..any help. I use citidal paints and testors duel coat matt.

  20. #20
    Heroic Warrior BlueStreak's Avatar
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    Regarding paints, I typically use folk art, apple barrel and delta ceramcoat acrylic paints and coat with delta ceramcoat matte or gloss varnish.

    A few people a cel animation paint - but I can't remember what it's called.
    Last edited by BlueStreak; October 1, 2011 at 12:43pm.

  21. #21
    Heroic Master of Magic kalel0201's Avatar
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    I use Citadel, Testors Acrylic pro.....Any type of acrylic formulated for model kits( cars,planes starships etc). They have better adhesion quality and lay smoother with less chance of the dreaded brush stroke look. Make sure to do several thin layers with plenty of ry time and thin with Testors acrylic thinner. Water seems to lessen the ability to stick well

  22. #22
    Evil & armed for combat TJRules's Avatar
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    Painting your Classics figures

    Hey guys! Just thought I would pick your brains regarding painting Classics figs.

    I know not everyone is happy with the color of their figs and the flocked/unflocked issues (i.e. Panthor, Mossman's ears) so I'm sure a lot of you do it yourself. I was just wondering a few things about the process, and maybe get some tips/tricks and what worked and what went wrong.

    What kind of paint do you use?
    Do you use "model" paint?
    How many coats?
    Drying time?
    How to remove/fix errors?
    Is painting Classics figures a good idea?

    Any advice/suggestions are much appreciated, thanks!

    P.S. Please post pictures too!
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  23. #23
    Lord of the Patch baronterror's Avatar
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    I've painted quite a few things, mostly not large amounts of area.

    Excepting King Grayskull (rerelease) cape brown from red. On that one I did about 3 coats. 2 of my choice of brown, and then a thick wash of a lighter brown. Not perfect, but it's great compaired to the red, I'm glad I did it. I may add another coat to lighten the colour again.

    Otherwise, I've touched up flaws, paint mistakes or other problem areas. I use my games workshop brand model paints for the 40k miniatures. Works great and comes in a ton of colors.

    I've actually painted more 200x figures, matching variants to the original color scheme.

    But at any rate, it's awesome. I'd highly suggest it. and dont forget that sometimes you need primer, sometimes not. I try to avoid primer when I can because too many layers (or too thick of paint) hides detail. Test it.

  24. #24
    Evil Witch of Metternia Met-Hild's Avatar
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    I use acrylics designed for gaming miniature painting, mostly Vallejo and Citadel which are water-based, but also some Tamiya acrylics that work with alcoholic thinner. They don't mix when wet, but there seems to be no problems when used on top of each other after drying. Sometimes you absolutely need a primer, because certain plastics don't seem to take paint readily. If you don't want a total repaint, then at least in my experience the alcohol-based acrylics tend to stick better and create a layer that can be painted upon.

    The amound of coats depends on what you are painting and with what paints. Covering a black surface with light colors takes more layers of paint than light on light or dark on dark. It's something you just have to see for yourself. Just remember to keep the paint well thinned with either water or alcoholic thinner to avoid leaving brush marks. That's something you learn by trial and error too, so it's good to practice with some rubbish toys first.

    Drying time seems to vary. You can paint water-based acrylics on a previous layer fairly soon (within the same day definitely), but if you want to use alcohol-based ones, you need to give the paint plenty of time to dry properly or things may get messy. I'd say 24 hours is a minimum but I've seem much longer times quoted in places.

    Fixing mistakes is something you need to take on an individual basis. Sometimes you can just paint another layer to hide whatever happened, sometimes you need to sand off the paint or use a cotton bud dipped in alcohol to remove the paint. Remember to only use the finest grit sandpapers for sanding, you don't want to damage the plastic underneath.

    A good idea if you want to paint a figure completely is to sand the areas of the joints that rub together to remove some plastic or previous layers of paint. Otherwise the paint may be rubbed off or the joint may end up stuck because of the paint. (This is something I sadly don't quite excel in yet).

    As for is it a good idea? Definitely. It's fun! A well thought out repaint can also bring out details of the sculpt that get lost in the simple factory paint job. As an example, this is the standard Skeletor face with just three layers of paint:


    This would be the wrong area to ask.
    I'm sure this will be moved to the Fan Creations forum's custom figure area soon enough.
    The artist formerly known as Mechthild

    Please check out my MOTU revision fan art, and fan fiction: Metternia bios and history & myths.

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  25. #25
    Heroic Warrior AdultCollector's Avatar
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    What kind of paint do you use?
    Acrylic paint. ~$2 a bottle. Drying time is maybe 30 minutes per coat, probably less. Fix errors by painting over them, carefully wiping them off quickly, or don't make any errors.
    Painting figures is a great idea!

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