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Dearth/Alex's Customs and Dioramas v2

Discussion in 'Action Figures' started by Dearth, Jun 5, 2011.

  1. Muppet fan 123

    Muppet fan 123 Well-Known Member

    No way you make these. How is that possible?! (DO you make these?)
    You have got to tell me how you made these.
  2. LamangoNumber2

    LamangoNumber2 Active Member

    I'm still here, don't worry, Dearth.
  3. Dearth

    Dearth Active Member

    No plans at present for Biker Link and Biker Piggy, but it does sound like an intriguing idea. Any custom Link is a VERY time-consuming project, so after I finish one, I generally avoid him for a while.

    I thought at one point about making Link in the red track suit (like when Peter Sellers had him tied up in knots) but that figure wound up becoming Link-as-Robert-Muldoon for Jurasick Pork.

    Glad you like them. The methods vary from figure to figure, but they usually involve techniques like:

    *Subtractive sculpting-- where details on the original toys are removed either with a knife or a rotary hobby tool like a Dremel
    *Additive sculpting-- where new details are added, usually with Super Sculpey
    *Spray-painting-- sometimes the entire figure, sometimes only certain areas while other areas are masked off to keep the Palisades paint
    *Hand-painting-- maybe just a few details, or maybe the entire figure

    And then there are all sorts of things that can be done by adding craft items to the figures with various glues. Hobby Lobby is a veritable cornucopia of cool feathers and textures and dollhouse accessories that can be added to Palisades figures with great results.

    You can even make 'figures' entirely from scratch. I did that with craft materials for my Bossmen, but in one of the other threads on here there's a guy overseas who sculpts his entire figure out of Sculpey, without using a Palisades figure as the framework, like I do. Of course, his are non-poseable, whereas mine can usually work just as well as the production toys, so to each his own.

    Anyway, I know I've been missing for a while, Lamango, but I hope to get productive soon. My old computer died and we just got a donated replacement that looks like it will be even more powerful than the dead one was. So cross your fingers!

    Alex
    Nasubionna and Muppet fan 123 like this.
  4. LamangoNumber2

    LamangoNumber2 Active Member

    I've been missing too... TF2 does that to a man...
  5. Dearth

    Dearth Active Member

    So, I recently sold a spare Backstage Playset, and fittingly enough used the money to fill in some gaps in my Muppet collection. I got Minis of Kermit and Beaker finally (all I need now is Blown Up Beaker) and a more complete Tyco Muppet Babies Imagination Park playset. I also finally saw a listing for a Knickerbocker Play With Me Bert to finish my set of Sesame Street figures.

    Well, technically, I did already have a Bert, but he was naked. So I was buying this one mainly for his clothes. And my previous nude Bert was in better condition, so I did swap the clothes onto the nicer figure.

    Best of all...

    [​IMG]

    ... he arrived the same day I had my first preliminary meeting about directing a stage production of Little Shop of Horrors next October. So I consider that to be a very positive Frank Oz omen!

    Alex
    KirbTreelo05 likes this.
  6. Muppetaz

    Muppetaz Member

    Hey Dearth, how do you remove Scooter's arms without boiling him in water? Mine's wrists broke and I want to replace them with the arms of another Scooter I have.
  7. Dearth

    Dearth Active Member

    The entire arms? For that, you'd have to crack open the torso, and there's a chance it may not split along the existing seams. I've got some Scooter torsos where the plastic broke on the front as I was prying him apart, right below his collar. Ruinous. Too risky.

    If you're gonna try to do just the wrists or from the elbows down, that might work better. But just dip the arms in warm/hot water and try to avoid getting his head warm, as his glasses will warp very quickly.

    What's wrong with the Scooter whose arms you are donating to the one with broken wrists? It may be easier to go the opposite direction on parts-swapping.

    And once it's fixed, if you are gonna throw away the leftover broken parts of a doubly broken Scooter, I'll take them!

    Alex
  8. Muppetaz

    Muppetaz Member

    Thanks. The broken Scooter has a bunch of dings and scratches all over him, plus he's missing his glasses.
  9. Dearth

    Dearth Active Member

    I'd try to just swap the hands instead of the entire arms. If you can't get the broken posts out of the one who still has glasses, try the warm water technique to soften the ends of the sleeves and pry the broken posts out with something small but strong, like maybe the kind of screwdrivers used for fixing eyeglasses.

    You could theoretically move up to the elbow and slide the pins out, but there's a greater chance of warping or tearing the plastic around the pins. And they're a real bear to try to reinsert.

    (Never done it on a Scooter, but I have on Link and other figures, and I will avoid it at all costs in the future.)


    Alex
  10. Muppetaz

    Muppetaz Member

    Thank you. Scooters fixed.
  11. Dearth

    Dearth Active Member

    Glad I was able to help. Just remember, if you're gonna get rid of the broken parts, I can probably find a use for them. Scooter hands, even broken ones, are always useful for customs. All my Strangepork customs have Scooter hands.

    Alex
  12. Muppetaz

    Muppetaz Member

    I think I'll hold on to him for now.
  13. Muppetaz

    Muppetaz Member

    I have another question, to harden the clay do you put the figure in the oven?
  14. Muppetaz

    Muppetaz Member

    I mean would it damage the base figure? Is there a specific way to do it? And if you do put it in the oven how long would I bake it?
  15. GAR

    GAR New Member

    I always use Aves Apoxie Sculpt. That is a two part self hardning sculpting material that completely dries rock hard without baking it and without shrinking. It takes some time to get to know the material but it really is great for customizing as you don't have to put it in the oven and afterwards you can drill holes in it or sand it.

    That said, there is no way to sculpt on a figure without damaging the original figure. That is why I only work with figures that are already damaged. But at least with Apoxie Sculpt there is no risk of any plastic melting in the oven. Hope that helps. I guess it is just trial and error for everybody and stick with what feels best for you. There is not 'one way' to get a custom figure done.
  16. Muppetaz

    Muppetaz Member

    Thank you, I acualy already sculpted me figure with super sculpey, do you know how I should harden it?
  17. Muppetaz

    Muppetaz Member

    Never mind, It worked at 350 degrees for about 5 minutes.
  18. Dearth

    Dearth Active Member

    A better way to cure the Sculpey is to boil it. I haven't baked Sculpey in the oven in nearly 20 years. Too risky to the figure, and it stinks.

    Alex
  19. Muppetaz

    Muppetaz Member

    Thanks. Sorry for asking so many questions, but how do you paint the figures without the paint creating bumps on the surface and where can I find a replacment flower for the one that comes on gonzo?
  20. Dearth

    Dearth Active Member

    The bumps could be a result of many different things:

    They may be present in the Sculpey, and just harder to see until it gets painted.

    If you're brushing on the paint, it could be something on the surface of the item or in the bristles of the brush, or perhaps the paint needs to be thinned.

    If you're spraying the paint on, it could be a reaction to dust or even skin oils on the figure, or possibly the humidity is trapping moisture in the paint as it is sprayed on.

    So without being there and knowing exactly what's causing it, here is just some general advice...

    Be sure to prep your surfaces before painting. You may wish to sand the Sculpey with a very fine-grit sandpaper. Whether you sand or not, make sure the surfaces to be painted are clean and dust-free. Rinsing them in soapy water is a good idea.

    Wash your hands frequently when handling an item that is to be painted. The oils in your skin are constantly contaminating the prepped surface. I even know some people who wear latex gloves when painting, although I prefer not to.

    If you're brushing on the paint, it's always better to do several thin coats than one thick one. Acrylic paints can be thinned with water, and are my medium of choice. Enamel paints will require a chemical paint thinner, which leads to more dangerous fumes to inhale, so please be careful. You've only got one set of lungs, so take care of them.

    If you're spraying on the paint, it obviously MUST be done outdoors (unless for some reason you actually want chemical pneumonia, which I contracted once when using gold spray-paint to finish a stage set in a hurry... and believe me, you DON'T actually want chemical pneumonia!) But the outside temp and humidity do affect the spray-paint's behavior, so you just have to learn when it 'feels' optimal outside for painting. Too cold, the paint will go on thick. Too hot, it will stay tacky and melty for longer. Too moist outside, you're gonna get water inclusions as the paint goes through the air.

    Hope these tips come in handy.

    As for Gonzo's flower, I'll keep an eye open for one, but I don't think I have one loose by itself. Not sure what you might want to use for a substitute... I've considered just filling in the hole in the jacket left by removing the flower before, but never found a flexible material that worked in the rubbery jacket, to my satisfaction.

    Alex

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