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

  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
    POP and Customs Mod heftysmurf76's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angel-T
    I I made my first mold based on one of my broken customs about 8 weeks ago. I checked out some of these instructional videos from Tap Plastics. I found them really helpful.

    http://www.tapplastics.com/info/video.php

    I am not suggesting you buy these products or anything! You can find the materials quite cheeply on ebay. As a total novice I found the videos to be a good visual guide on many areas you need to consider when mold making and casting. I specifically watched the "how to make a two part mold" video.

    Here are some more links that might be helpfull.

    http://www.tomps.com/shop/links.php?...4d78ee386e7624

    This was the first time I have ever tried to make a mold or cast a figure: These were my results. The first picture is the original custom standing next to my first cast version. The rest are the newly cast version.

    http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p...s/CIMG0223.jpg

    http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p...s/CIMG0221.jpg

    http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p...s/CIMG0218.jpg

    I hope this helps!

    Whats the best method for Black Washing?
    Quote Originally Posted by Choanata
    1)Find the right color. Not always black. Sometimes a dark orange or brown will look a lot better than a black wash when going over orange paint. Depending on the color you wash with, it gives different emphasis on certain parts.

    2)Dilute the paint with water, but use just enough. If it looks like you could paint with the wash, it's too strong. If it looks like colored water, it's too weak. You need right in the middle for the perfect consistancy.

    3)Apply with a paintbrush. Pretty simple. Run the wash over the areas you want darkened (or highlighted), and you can actually use the paintbrush to suck off extra wash. Blot out the brush on a napkin, and then touch the area lightly with a few of the bristles, it will suck off extra liquid.

    4)Apply evenly and quick. The more uniform it is, the better.

    And that's about it. Pretty simple stuff. I wouldn't suggest this for all figures, but there are instances when it looks great.

    And for fine details, I use my exacto blade (I use my exacto ALOT) as well as sewing needles. Seems to work out pretty good so far.
    Paint removal:
    I want to remove the grey color of King Grayskull's (V2) sword to have one in clear blue.
    Does anyone know the best way to do it? Do I have to scratch it off, or is there a way less extensive that does not damage the surface of the plastic?
    Nail polish remover would be the least harmful, though it may take some "elbow grease". after that try acetone. I think this may have been covered in the paint grades part of the tutorials thread, but it's definitely a question that merits highlighting in there


    How do I go about boiling a figure to take it apart?:
    As far as boiling, I suggest you make a trip to good will or someplace cheap and get a pot specifically for doing this as well, as you can sometimes end up with a paint residue on your pots...

    Also, check out this GREAT tutorial at figurerealm.com

    Nightwings Tutorial for simple hair transplants (200X & MOTUC)

    For POP dolls and Horses: Whats the best method of dying doll hair? OR: Where can I buy doll hair to re-root?
    Most POP hair does NOT take to dying using traditional methods including RIT dye. However, I have had some success watering down Acrylic paints and brushing it on.

    Here are some sites you can go to purchase doll hair for re-rooting
    Restore Doll
    Dollyhair.com
    Custompony.com
    Ragdolly
    Hushabye's Hair Shoppe
    Dr. Locks
    Dolls N Hair


    If you can think of a tutorial that would be helpful that we don't already have, please let us know so we can work on it. If you would like to submit a tutorial, please PM Heftysmurf76. When a tutorial is submitted, the thread will be open for 10 days for replies, then locked again until a new tutorial is posted

  3. #3
    Cheap Repaint FAKER II's Avatar
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    Here's an alternative to the boil method that I came up with many years ago customizing Star Wars POTF2 figures.

    - Heat oven to about 160 degrees.
    - Wad up a piece of aluminum foil to about 1/2 to 1 inch thick. (must be big and thick enough to support the figure.)
    - Place aluminum foil onto cooking sheet.
    - Place figure on top of foil. (Make absolute certain the figure is not touching the pan.)
    - Place in oven and bake for anywhere from 8-15 minutes depending on what you are trying to pop off.
    - Remove from oven and dismember the figure however you please.

    Every time I mention an oven in relation to a toy people freak out. Boiling water is actually way hotter than 160 degrees.

    This method works great for getting the parts to pop off. That is the hard part. Putting them back together is usually much easier. A hair dryer is usually sufficient to get the parts back together.

    But if all you want to do is swap the feet, then a hair dryer should be sufficient.
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  4. #4
    Always Lurking Around Son of Keldor's Avatar
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    the loincoths can be swapped as well just a bit trickier to get off and on. just heat them up w/ the boil and pop method or w/ a hair dryer and use asmall flathead screwdriver or a butter knife to help w/ the flaps.

    =)
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  5. #5
    Johan Eggink Eterniandreams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kylun flac View Post
    thank you for the advice. where would i buy this styrene?
    i think i'm a little more lost on how the process works on how to make the capes using styrene sheets. never herd of it. i was thinking brush on molding or two part mold. the cape being made by hand from clay. i'm very new about learning about all this custom making.
    thanks, would love to hear more.
    Evergreen is probable the best known styrene brand. Just google who sells it close to you or ships cheap to you:
    http://www.evergreenscalemodels.com/

    You could use stryrene to build the cape "skeleton/ frame" and then use clay to shape it.

    Just my 2 cents

  6. #6
    Heroic Warrior snakeeyes0217's Avatar
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    I use non-acetone nailpolish remover. It takes a bit of elbow grease but it won't harm the plastic unless you soak it. I recommend washing it thoroughly afteward to make sure there are no remnants.

  7. #7
    Heroic Warrior FakeEyes22's Avatar
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    I've recently discovered a spray can of this Goo-Gone stuff in the garage. I assume they still make it, although this can looks at least a decade old and I've never seen it before in my life.

    Anyway, however the mysterious aliens planted this stuff, it declares war on paint. I spray a tiny bit on a folded, twisted corner of paper towel to take of excess paint or remove paint entirely from projects I'm working on. It's harsh on the lungs, so ventilation is extra important. So far, plastic has been fine, but I wouldn't be surprised if it ate up some kinds. As with all harsh chemicals, I'd try it out on some junker toys first.

  8. #8
    Heroic Warrior Mistico's Avatar
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    This isn't a video tutorial, but it does give you a step-by-step on fixing Hiss/Hssss' shoulders. I also used the same technique (minus separating the torso from the waist) to fix my Roboto shoulders.

    http://he-man.us/Innovations/MOTUC-C...KingHssss.html
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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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  10. #10
    Heroic Warrior stprime's Avatar
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    does it need to be trimmed like on the hsss swap?
    "Evil, it's just so much easier." Exclu-DEAD
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  11. #11
    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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    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

  13. #13
    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.

  14. #14
    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
    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.

  16. #16
    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.

  17. #17
    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

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  18. #18
    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

  19. #19
    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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  20. #20
    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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  21. #21
    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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  22. #22
    Evil Witch of Metternia Met-Hild's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sword-of-Grayskull View Post
    Was this the easy fix you were looking for?
    No, the problem is that the ankle rocker can't move freely inside the foot, not that the ankle joint is loose. And I doubt there are any easy fixes for that, I'll have to look inside the foot to figure out what's hampering the movement.

    Loose ankles are something I've fixed on a couple of figures by using various products though never a heat glue stick. Does it produce permanent results?
    The artist formerly known as Mechthild

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  23. #23
    Heroic Warrior Jyrki's Avatar
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    What is more safe way to soft MotU Classics figure's joints so I can fix ankle joint issue : Hot air from Hair dryer or hot water? Just wondering.

  24. #24
    Evil Witch of Metternia Met-Hild's Avatar
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    I seem to have run into a bit of a bump down the road. I got the bottom of the foot off pretty cleanly, but I can't seem to get the joint piece out. The hole for the rocker seems too much of a snug fit to get it out by pulling downwards or pushing upwards without damaging the shoe. Should I just force it harder?




    What is more safe way to soft MotU Classics figure's joints so I can fix ankle joint issue : Hot air from Hair dryer or hot water?
    I'm not sure about safety, but I use hot water. Sometimes a hair dryer if I'm worried about the paint, but usually my hairdryer stops working before I can get all the parts softened and separated, so I prefer water.
    The artist formerly known as Mechthild

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  25. #25
    Golems for 2016! 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.

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