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Thread: Retoring a vintage Castle Grayskull

  1. #1
    Widget simensays's Avatar
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    Restoring a vintage Castle Grayskull

    Hi, I'm new to this forum, even though I have been reading and using the site for research for a while.

    So, after years of worrying that my original MOTU collection was lost, I recently found the box in my dads basement. It isn't that big of a collection, mainly the early 25 figures and some vehicles etc - but still, they were some of my favourite toys, and represent some great childhood memories. The figures was in great condition, as I packed them well about 3 decades ago. After looking them over, I decided that I needed to get the one major piece I never got as a kid - Castle Grayskull.

    I found one locally, which was mostly complete, and in good condition. However, even as a kid, I don't dig the sloppy paint job that it had from the factory. They seem to vary a little, but overall, it looks kinda random. so I made up my mind to totally repaint mine as part of the restoration. I had just done a full teardown & rebuild restoration, including complete paintjob to a vintage Kenner Star Wars AT-AT, and wanted finishing it off with some weathering. However, I've never done any weathering to models like this. I felt that Castle Grayskull would be a much easier piece to learn on.

    I hope this thread is placed in the correct section, and that posting pics of the progress is ok.

    This is what I started with:




    I use Tamiya TS paint for most base layers, and Tamiya Fine Primer. Ran out of primer at one point though, bigger surface than I'm used to...



    Had to do some repair work to the jaw bridge, which lacked the inner spring, and had some broken tabs - which the former owner had tried fixing with shoo-goo. I removed all that, pried the to main section apart, replaced the spring and epoxied it carefully back together - good as new.



    Then I did the base coats in Tamiya AS neutral grey, which is kind of light. My reasoning being that with a fairly light base color, I can get the highlights I wanted later. I would adjust the later applied washes to get an look I felt was right. As seen below, base coat only on the front, and dark washes applied to the back section. I used Tamiya acrylic paint, mixed with water for my washes.



    After doing the dark washes, I did some minor detailing like the wooden parts under the windows, helmet etc, but did not want that wooden roof tile look, so left that alone, but added some scattered moth in the form of a greenish wash, also applied to the rock foundation of the castle. Then I sprayed the whole thing with matt varnish, which seals in the weathering, and give the thing a better non-glare finish, well, I think it looks better like that anyways.



    For the inside, I opted for Tamiya AS Light Grey, and will not do any weathering to it - thinking this is a "clean" indoor space, even though it is a old castle. However, I did mask out the sections in the towers that is exposed to the elements, some of the same treatment as the outside. The floor/platforms will section out these color differences seen in the picture below.



    To give the inside some subtle depth and detail, I made a wooden floor vinyl decal, that I've used on all the floors and platforms. I bought a stock photo that had the look I wanted, and scaled the thing in relation to the floor planning of Castle Grayskull. I wanted a greyish, silver look, to keep the color scheme of the bigger surfaces low key, as the interior and cards later to be added, will stand out better. I had to do some major photoshopping, to make the pattern seem random, as I had to duplicate the photo several times in order to make the planks small enough and to build a big enough real estate to cover the various plattforms. I am a designer by trade, so I had the vinyl professionally printed at a print house I use a lot for work. I can make the pdf with the flooring available, if anybody want to use it.




    Then I primed and painted the jawbridge (Tamiya TS Light Sand), and applied a dark brown wash, Then I detailed the metal hinges with Humbrol enamel paint, and after drying over night, did another dirty wash.






    This is how far I've gotten, but am currently working on the accessories and the interior, and will update with more pictures when these parts are done and assembly starts (and if this is something people wants to see?).
    Last edited by simensays; December 24, 2015 at 10:54pm.

  2. #2
    Midwestern She-Raver Salamandra's Avatar
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    Awesome work! I've picked up one that I want to eventually re-paint - I'm glad to see someone else has gotten around to it. Looks amazing! Would love to see more pix!

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  4. #4
    Broncos lovin' admin! dorrmann's Avatar
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    Cool project.

    However, since this is more than a simple restore, and more like a total custom job with the paint, the jawbridge, the wood paneling, etc., I'm going to move it over to the Customs forum.

    Please continue to post photos of the progress over there!

  5. #5
    Master of Mix & Match Charlie Brown's Avatar
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    excellent job!

  6. #6
    Heroic Warrior jjhuehn's Avatar
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    Great work! I'm doing the same. I'll post some pics when I'm done. I stuck with the green though and the wood roof. I did floor stickers too but went for a green cobblestone look.

  7. #7
    Widget dotu's Avatar
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    great great job

  8. #8
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    That is beautiful. Like, "I'm a 40 year old man and wanna 'squee' like a little girl," beautiful.
    Insert witty comment here.

  9. #9
    Heroic Warrior jjhuehn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EarthGBilly View Post
    That is beautiful. Like, "I'm a 40 year old man and wanna 'squee' like a little girl," beautiful.

    haha... yes. I 'squeed'.

  10. #10
    Grayskull Warrior Oz-Scott's Avatar
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    Beautiful work!
    Grayskull never looked so good!

  11. #11
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    Oh so cool! I would never of thought to do that, but I have to say its looking wonderful!
    WhiteArmor
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  12. #12
    Heroic Warrior ShadowBeast's Avatar
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    Great work! I picked up an extra castle a couple years ago to do a similar color scheme, but I haven't done it yet. Always thought that vintage green color was moss with gray stone underneath. I'm not a very experienced painter, so it won't look like yours, but your pics make me want to get started! Thanks for sharing!

  13. #13
    Widget
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    Fantastic. Looks amazing.

  14. #14
    Widget simensays's Avatar
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    Thanks guys, I appreciate your feedback!

    I've done some work on the interior, and am getting ready for first assembly.
    There are plenty of detailing I purposely left out, and tried to keep the color scheme and inside feel low key, only did some minor detailing, and giving the wood work a light weathering, to go with the Jawbridge.

    Most of the interior gathered in a shot. All metal objects primed and sprayed with Tamiya AS Gunship Gray 2, and the wooden parts got the same treatment as I used for the Jawbridge.



    The combat trainer tri-pod base got some light weathering, and subtle metal detailing - as the surface is slick, I had to make some wooden grains with the paint. For the handle, I didn't want to start detailing it, so left it with the Gunship Gray only.



    The weapons rack and the ladder got the wood treatment also.





    For the laser cannon, the base got the Gunship Gray scheme, but I gave the actual canon a silver leaf base, and did some dirty wash.



    The throne and elevator also got the Gunship Gray 2 base to keep everything within the scheme I was going by. I did some variations, with weathering and alternate colors at first, but did't dig the look.
    Also, when later applying decals, and the figures, the needed variation and focus will be clearer - I think. I do have some very nice repro decals bought off eBay, but I am considering designing a new set myself, to go better with the overall colors - we'll see... I did some detailing to the elevator rail, as this would be bare metal, as a railroad track, I painted it silver, and added some greace slide stains, and topped those stains with clear gloss, as to mimic the wet grease.






    For the elevator stop/bat, I am playing around with some alternatives. I've painted some 1.5mm white nylon string in silver, and five it a dark wash, to look more like a thick wire. It is drying as we speak. I've also made a metal chain with a clamp hook, that I might incorporate into the elevator assembly, leaving just a bit of chain mounted to the nylon string. Due to the fact that the hole in the elevator rail won't allow for the chain, I have to figure out a solution for how much chain/string will work. I might even drill out the hole to accommodate it for the chain, and replace the nylon string all together - leaving the elevator ride less comfortable, but looking somewhat cooler.



    Did a quick assembly and shoot, but didn't get good pics for this. I will do a better shoot of the thing when I get some last few parts in the mail soon...





    I've also been contemplating designing and replacing the cardboard details, with 3D printed parts from Shapeways. Ive been printing various parts I've designed there for a couple of years, and will be looking into doing at least some of the flat cardboard in 3D.
    Last edited by simensays; September 18, 2015 at 03:42pm.

  15. #15
    Court Magician Beard of Stratos's Avatar
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    Excellent Work.

    Really has come up a treat !!

  16. #16
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    Tested a new fog gun (called Wizzard Stick, made by Zero Toys) for some pics today...






    The Wizzard Stick is cool, but pretty limited when it comes to noggin' up more than a small area at the time.
    It isn't made to do that, and perhaps it's just my skills that is limited, and I've never done any smoke/fog pics before. so I guess it's the latter.
    I had to operate the camera and fog gun at the same time, but that went pretty good as I can set up the cam on a tripod, connect from my iPhone via wi-fi and control everything from it, allowing me to work the Wizzard Stick and take photos all at once. I did have to fog different areas at the time, and put it all together in Photoshop later though. Still it's fun playing around with, and works great for misty backdrops for one figure and so on...
    Last edited by simensays; September 21, 2015 at 08:02pm.

  17. #17
    Heroic Warrior Tyke's Avatar
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    YES!!!

    I have seen MANY vintage C.Gs restored, but the floors? Never like yours. Your C.G. floors look spectacular, and overall? Your castle looks phenomenal.
    All of my VINTAGE MOTU customs are here:
    https://www.facebook.com/tyke.smyers...9003959&type=3

    All of my VINTAGE MOTU "CONCEPT" customs are here:
    https://www.facebook.com/tyke.smyers...9003959&type=3

  18. #18
    Eternian Genealogist SlyVenom's Avatar
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    Looking good.
    The cardboard sticks out, IMHO. You've gone this far so why not replace it with 3D printed parts?

  19. #19
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    I agree! The cardboard armour/robot was used just for the mock up shots I did, and def feel will look better in 3D.

    Now, that I gotten the old MOTU collecting bug, I'll continue with various projects also, already started some projects that I will share in the time to come
    Last edited by simensays; December 19, 2015 at 09:39pm.

  20. #20
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    Haven't gotten around to making the CAD interior to my Castle Grayskull, as I needed some figure stands more...
    I've made two variation for my collection which is mostly loose figures at this point.

    The GrandStand for displaying figures:














    and the FootLocker for storage (smaller lighter), but after testing they work well for display purposes as well:





    I initially made the FootLocker to mount on my loose figures in storage, to keep the legs locked into an optimal stance to keep the legs from twisting and hence preserve the leg rubber. Both the stands makes even loose legged figures stand and display really well. I'm designing a version to accommodate my other figures with the bulkier feet now, like Beast Man, Buzz Off and Trap Jaw.
    Last edited by simensays; December 23, 2015 at 10:20pm.

  21. #21
    Heroic Warrior skeletorinzecloset's Avatar
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    Great work. Many of us would be interested in your footlocker :-)
    Which software do you use? An autocad maybe?
    "I'm not insane i'm not insane i'm just smarter than you" The Dev

  22. #22
    Heroic Warrior
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    I've always been a huge fan of the vintage Castle, and seeing that sculpt come to life with an awesome paint job makes it that much more awesome. This is awesome!!

  23. #23
    Widget simensays's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeletorinzecloset View Post
    Great work. Many of us would be interested in your footlocker :-)
    Which software do you use? An autocad maybe?
    Thanks! I do use some of the AutoDesk packages, but not AutoCAD, for "simple" parts like this I used Inventor Fusion. I also use Cinema 4D (by Maxon) and have just started to play around with Maya.

    ---

    I made a quick video of the Footlocker stand and a loose legged He-Man...


  24. #24
    Heroic Warrior notaniceboy's Avatar
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    Nice Work! I would love to get that photoshop file! Im planing to restore a castle greyskull also
    My email: imnotaniceboy@gmail.com

    Quote Originally Posted by simensays View Post
    Hi, I'm new to this forum, even though I have been reading and using the site for research for a while.

    So, after years of worrying that my original MOTU collection was lost, I recently found the box in my dads basement. It isn't that big of a collection, mainly the early 25 figures and some vehicles etc - but still, they were some of my favourite toys, and represent some great childhood memories. The figures was in great condition, as I packed them well about 3 decades ago. After looking them over, I decided that I needed to get the one major piece I never got as a kid - Castle Grayskull.

    I found one locally, which was mostly complete, and in good condition. However, even as a kid, I don't dig the sloppy paint job that it had from the factory. They seem to vary a little, but overall, it looks kinda random. so I made up my mind to totally repaint mine as part of the restoration. I had just done a full teardown & rebuild restoration, including complete paintjob to a vintage Kenner Star Wars AT-AT, and wanted finishing it off with some weathering. However, I've never done any weathering to models like this. I felt that Castle Grayskull would be a much easier piece to learn on.

    I hope this thread is placed in the correct section, and that posting pics of the progress is ok.

    This is what I started with:

    http://www.simensays.com/motu/simens...ll_resto_1.jpg
    http://www.simensays.com/motu/simens...ll_resto_2.jpg

    I use Tamiya TS paint for most base layers, and Tamiya Fine Primer. Ran out of primer at one point though, bigger surface than I'm used to...

    http://www.simensays.com/motu/simens...ll_resto_3.jpg

    Had to do some repair work to the jaw bridge, which lacked the inner spring, and had some broken tabs - which the former owner had tried fixing with shoo-goo. I removed all that, pried the to main section apart, replaced the spring and epoxied it carefully back together - good as new.

    http://www.simensays.com/motu/simens...ll_resto_5.jpg

    Then I did the base coats in Tamiya AS neutral grey, which is kind of light. My reasoning being that with a fairly light base color, I can get the highlights I wanted later. I would adjust the later applied washes to get an look I felt was right. As seen below, base coat only on the front, and dark washes applied to the back section. I used Tamiya acrylic paint, mixed with water for my washes.

    http://www.simensays.com/motu/simens...ll_resto_4.jpg

    After doing the dark washes, I did some minor detailing like the wooden parts under the windows, helmet etc, but did not want that wooden roof tile look, so left that alone, but added some scattered moth in the form of a greenish wash, also applied to the rock foundation of the castle. Then I sprayed the whole thing with matt varnish, which seals in the weathering, and give the thing a better non-glare finish, well, I think it looks better like that anyways.

    http://www.simensays.com/motu/simens...ll_resto_6.jpg

    For the inside, I opted for Tamiya AS Light Grey, and will not do any weathering to it - thinking this is a "clean" indoor space, even though it is a old castle. However, I did mask out the sections in the towers that is exposed to the elements, some of the same treatment as the outside. The floor/platforms will section out these color differences seen in the picture below.

    http://www.simensays.com/motu/simens...ll_resto_7.jpg

    To give the inside some subtle depth and detail, I made a wooden floor vinyl decal, that I've used on all the floors and platforms. I bought a stock photo that had the look I wanted, and scaled the thing in relation to the floor planning of Castle Grayskull. I wanted a greyish, silver look, to keep the color scheme of the bigger surfaces low key, as the interior and cards later to be added, will stand out better. I had to do some major photoshopping, to make the pattern seem random, as I had to duplicate the photo several times in order to make the planks small enough and to build a big enough real estate to cover the various plattforms. I am a designer by trade, so I had the vinyl professionally printed at a print house I use a lot for work. I can make the pdf with the flooring available, if anybody want to use it.

    http://www.simensays.com/motu/simens...ll_resto_8.jpg
    http://www.simensays.com/motu/simens...ll_resto_9.jpg

    Then I primed and painted the jawbridge (Tamiya TS Light Sand), and applied a dark brown wash, Then I detailed the metal hinges with Humbrol enamel paint, and after drying over night, did another dirty wash.

    http://www.simensays.com/motu/simens...l_resto_10.jpg
    http://www.simensays.com/motu/simens...l_resto_11.jpg

    http://www.simensays.com/motu/simens...l_resto_12.jpg

    This is how far I've gotten, but am currently working on the accessories and the interior, and will update with more pictures when these parts are done and assembly starts (and if this is something people wants to see?).
    guspena.com

  25. #25
    Heroic Warrior
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    Love the restoration work here, as well as the color choices- I recently bought three complete CGs for custom and restoration, and this has given me a few ideas I didn't already have! Thanks!
    AUDACIEUX ET TENACE

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