Tutorials, Useful Threads, & Customizing Questions

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Tutorials, Useful Threads, & Customizing Questions

This is the Customizing Question & Answer thread - if you have a question about the customizing hobby - post it here! All questions are fair game, whether its about parts, paint, tools, photography, or even a request for a picture. From now on, all questions should be posted here - dont create new threads (they will be deleted). Fellow customizers - if you know an answer, please reply directly to the person asking the question, by quoting them and posting a reply! Thanks.
 
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Re: Customizing Question & Answer thread

QUESTION:

spect_spidey said:
I had a customizing question regarding the Clone Wars line of figures. Is the articulated Obi Wan or Anakin Clone wars figures legs compatible with the Clone Wars Plo Koon, Mace Windu, and Kit Fisto? I really prefer my figures to have the most articulation possible, but I don't want to spend extra money on Obi & Anakin figures for their legs if they won't fit on the other Jedi's. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 
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Re: Customizing Question & Answer thread

It looks like I'm wasting my time in this thread (36 views), but take a look at this and tell me what you think about the dye if you've used it before.
 
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Re: Customizing Question & Answer thread

Tontus, I have used this stuff in applications involving plastic dashboards and such on cars. Works very well. For figures....I am thinking it will work as well, but like the guy said in the article...if it has been painted before, paint fills up the pores in the plastic and makes it where the dye will not seep in the way its supposed to. But on the joints....may be a viable option. Just coat in thin layers. I have had the best luck on joints by boiling, popping, and sanding them down.

Plus, like the guy in the article stated, if you have black arm joints....you are going to have issues dying them. You will have to coat in white (I have never personally used white vinyl color at all) then put on a coat of whatever color.

Anyhow, just my two cents. If you do have a bleach stain, or want to dye carpet in your car, home or garage, this stuff works great for that. I had an 89 Convertible Camaro....the seats got replaced, but I wanted black carpet. The cost was ridiculous, so I opted for the dye. Worked like a charm, and never peeled or faded off the whole time I had the car!
 
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Re: Customizing Question & Answer thread

Here's a quick question...

What kind(s) of plastic are Hasbro modern Star Wars figures made out of? The reason I ask is that the glue that I have always used for figures (perfect glue 2) has been discontinued and I am looking for a really good glue that sets quickly. It seems like each glue I research says that it only works with specific types of plastic, but I don't know what type of plastic I am dealing with.

Any help or general glue tips?
 
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Re: Customizing Question & Answer thread

Heck, I just use plain 'ole superglue. Just don't overdo it and hold the parts you are gluing together really hard for like 30-45 seconds. I've never had any problems...
 
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Re: Customizing Question & Answer thread

Wow. That was a fast answer. Thanks. I've always had issues with white residue from super glue. Then again, it has been years since I've used it. Maybe I'm remembering it as more of an issue than it really is.
 
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Re: Customizing Question & Answer thread

No, it definitely can be an issue. Just go easy on it! It doesn't really take a whole lot to get the job done... you can always paint over the white stuff too!

Just set out a blob o' super glue on something, and use a toothpick or pin to apply it to the surface you are working on. Don't use so much that some oozes out when you squeeze the two pieces together and you oughta be fine!

One thing to know about superglue is that it almost sort of melts the materials and fuses it together. Not completely, but that's how it works on a molecular level. Or so I'm told. So it seems to hold the strongest for me.

I swap neckposts a lot and superglue is about the only thing I've found that works well with all the various types of plastic Hasbro has used over the years. By that I mean you can stick something made of the rubbery plastic to something made of the hard plastic with no trouble at all.

I know it's some relatively simple advice, but I hope I helped.
 
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Re: Customizing Question & Answer thread

Needs help finding a customizer:

Blitzkriegtrench said:
Hey There Everybody,
Last year I comissioned a customiser her to repaint me 2 Star Tours R4-M9 droids [Red and Green} and I forgot who it was

If it's you please drop me a P.M. .
Help Me 'Scummers You're My Only Hope
,
Thanx,
Spencer Dean Welch II?:>}
 
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Re: Customizing Question & Answer thread

O.k. Another quick question: Has anyone used goo gone on plastic vehicles to remove labels? I'm trying to remove labels off of a larger ship and having a *&^%# of a time. I just wasn't sure if goo-gone would affect the plastic. Anyone know of an easy way to remove stubborn labels?
 
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Re: Customizing Question & Answer thread

It does affect the plastic badly in my experience, it will work but if used do it sparingly and quickly then wash the surface ASAP! I try very hard not to use it, my best experience is either letting it soak in hot water for a spell or using windex with Soap & water cleaning. It's tough to find any detergent that doesn't leave a small amount of residue behind.
 
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Customizing a Clone Wars Y-Wing

I'm thinking of starting a customizing project on the new Clone Wars Y-Wing. I built models as a kid, but nothing since. So experience is light, but I'm a patient man who's willing to take the time and effort to get the results that I want.

Questions for the pros:

1. I'd like to open up the vehicle to install some LEDs, Any tips on cracking a vehicle open, without actually cracking the plastic. There are a lot of screws on the Y-Wing, but so far it looks like the plastic is somewhat sealed either by glue or by some kinds of "snap tight" mechanisms.

2. I'm going to repaint the ship, what is the best way to remove the yellow paint from the canopy glass without ruining it?

3. When I repaint the ship, should I primer it first?


I have been doing some research, and it looks like I have found some interesting tips on led types and installations from the RC car community. I have also seen some good weathering tips from the model railroad community. So this looks like it will be an interesting project and hopefully fun.

Thanks for any replies.

Don
 
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Re: Customizing Question & Answer thread

O.k. Another quick question: Has anyone used goo gone on plastic vehicles to remove labels? I'm trying to remove labels off of a larger ship and having a *&^%# of a time. I just wasn't sure if goo-gone would affect the plastic. Anyone know of an easy way to remove stubborn labels?



Cigarette lighter fluid and a q-tip work great.
 
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Re: Customizing Question & Answer thread

Yeah, I'd probably use some %99 isopropyl alcohol. That's a pretty good solvent without being strong enough to eat up the plastic.
 
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Re: Customizing Question & Answer thread

rogue1 said:
O.k. Another quick question: Has anyone used goo gone on plastic vehicles to remove labels? I'm trying to remove labels off of a larger ship and having a *&^%# of a time. I just wasn't sure if goo-gone would affect the plastic. Anyone know of an easy way to remove stubborn labels?



Cigarette lighter fluid and a q-tip work great.
Yes and make sure you work next to a candle!
 
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Re: Customizing Question & Answer thread

I want to make a custom version of Han's carbonite slab, but can't figure out which is closer to being screen accurate in terms of size- The Saga version or the Power of the Force version? Both are very different in terms of size.
Any suggestions?
 
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Re: Customizing Question & Answer thread

It has been awhile since I have seen them, since unfortunately I don't have the space to display a lot of my stuff right now, but if I remember correctly, the saga version was closer to accurate. If someone could jump in with more proof, though, that would be great as I am going off of memory alone...
 
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Re: Customizing Question & Answer thread

Hi guys! I want to do a dark wash of some kind on Romba's hood, since it has no paint apps at all and as such looks weak next to my other Ewoks. I'm not a customizer, so any tips and suggestions (i.e. what kind of paint, how to apply) anyone can give would be GREATLY appreciated!
 
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Re: Customizing Question & Answer thread

1. Get some cheap acrylic paint in the craft section of local megasupermarketeverything chain (Apple Barrel/Folk Art brands).

2. Get either one of those little watercolor paint pallets or those small cups for storing paint (~one dollar apiece at most craft stores).

3. Dilute paint with room temp or cool water to about 90:10 or 80:20 water:paint ratio.

4. Apply liberally to part/figure.

5. Wait ten to twenty seconds and wipe extra paint off raised and large flat areas, leaving the black wash in the crevasses (teehee I love pronouncing that word with extra rump emphasis).

6. (optional) Dry brush raised areas with lighter color than each part to give added detail to figure. Use a cheap paint brush for both. Dry brushing involves dipping the the tip of the brush into the paint, then wiping the tip of the brush onto the tip of a towel, then lightly brushing over the entire figure. If you get the cheaper paints that I mentioned before, it's a good idea to dilute them regardless as they come very thick. I usually go with ~70:30 paint:water ratio. It's never exact; I just add water until I get a consistency that doesn't leave clumps or dry too quickly.

Take a look at Chewie's figures -- prodigious examples of using both techniques.
 
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Re: Customizing Question & Answer thread

Ruprecht said:
1. Get some cheap acrylic paint in the craft section of local megasupermarketeverything chain (Apple Barrel/Folk Art brands).

2. Get either one of those little watercolor paint pallets or those small cups for storing paint (~one dollar apiece at most craft stores).

3. Dilute paint with room temp or cool water to about 90:10 or 80:20 water:paint ratio.

4. Apply liberally to part/figure.

5. Wait ten to twenty seconds and wipe extra paint off raised and large flat areas, leaving the black wash in the crevasses (teehee I love pronouncing that word with extra rump emphasis).

6. (optional) Dry brush raised areas with lighter color than each part to give added detail to figure. Use a cheap paint brush for both. Dry brushing involves dipping the the tip of the brush into the paint, then wiping the tip of the brush onto the tip of a towel, then lightly brushing over the entire figure. If you get the cheaper paints that I mentioned before, it's a good idea to dilute them regardless as they come very thick. I usually go with ~70:30 paint:water ratio. It's never exact; I just add water until I get a consistency that doesn't leave clumps or dry too quickly.

Take a look at Chewie's figures -- prodigious examples of using both techniques.
Ruprecht typed this out fantastically. The only thing I would like to add is that if you want heavier weathering, you can make the paint to water much heavier on the paint side - just make sure to wipe away the excess quickly, basically leaving a much darker wash in the crevasses (pronounced exactly as Ruprecht did) and a bit more dark paint on the raised surfaces. The way I learned weathering techniques of washes and drybrushing is that I bought a destroyed vintage falcon at a yard sale and went to town on it, trying different techniques in different spots. I'll still use a junk figure or vehicle from time to time to try out some different possibilities.

Edit: and though I am in the process of switching over to Tamiya paints for my customs, I find that I prefer the cheaper Rose Art paints for weathering. So... Yeah, listen to Ruprecht again.
 
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Re: Customizing Question & Answer thread

my_kind_of_scum said:
Thanks for the tips, everyone! I appreciate it.
For anyone else who is trying to remove a lot of stickers from a vehicle, the lighter fluid seemed to work the best, but even then - soaking the whole vehicle in nearly boiling water for awhile was the only way that I was able to finish the project without going batty. So, if that is an option for you, it is definitely what I suggest. (And again, I would like to thank everyone for their suggestions.)
 
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Re: Customizing Question & Answer thread

FLUORESCENT PAINTS / INKS

I was having a very slow day at work yesterday, and used our counterfeit-detecting blacklight to see what Hi-Liter ink looked like under UV. Answer: wicked.

So, going back to our single-digit ages, when "customising" our toys involved magic markers, has anyone tried using Hi-Liters on figures or vehicles, either striaght onto the plastic, or on top of an undercoat?

For anyone who may have tried it years ago, does it badly affect the plastic after a while?

Also, has anyone tried using "anti-theft" UV paint / ink on a figure? You know, it goes on clear, but shines brightly under a UV light? Or does anyone know of readily available fluorescent paints that would be good for use on action figures?

I ask because I have three ideas for projects I'd like to do eventually, in ascending order of complexity and scale: The first is a recommended "upgrade" to my Rudzi Kane figure, giving him fluorescent / glow-in-the-dark spine extensions for night clubs. The second is to give my TFU Felucian Battle Rancor really glowing war paint. The third is to make Ooryl Qrygg's X-Wing, with (apparently) plain white sides and wings that flare up with Gandish murals when UV is shone on it.

If simple Hi-Liters will do the trick, excellent. If I have to make a special paint investment, I'm not averse to the idea, as I may be able to apply the technique to future (or retro-fit old) projects.

Any thoughts, comments, info, links, or pics of existing projects would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
 
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Re: Customizing Question & Answer thread

Hey Guys,

I never picked up the latest Hoth Rebel Trooper. I really hate the weird stance that the legs ended up with. I was wondering if anyone had suggestions on swapping or possibly fixing the legs on this figure? Has anyone tried swapping with the Vintage Hoth Han legs perhaps?
 
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Re: Customizing Question & Answer thread

Hello. So Im starting to do models again and do custom figures. What is the best paint and glue to use. Could you list the brand and type. And do you use the same glue for models and figures. I have done a few small ships (Titanium) only cause I had an extra or 2. I used to do models all the time when I was a teen, but its been so long. Thank You. Alan
 
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Re: Customizing Question & Answer thread

Good old-fashioned superglue gel works for me, although sometimes I find a dab of hot glue is necessary. As for paints, I prefer Games Workshop - generally fairly smooth and easy to mix if they don't make a colour you need. Their protective varnishes are pretty durable, too.
 
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Re: Customizing Question & Answer thread

Thank You, is there a store or website thats best to get it from?
 
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Re: Customizing Question & Answer thread

Well, hobby, craft, model, comic book, and (role play) gaming shops may carry them. The best I can recommend is calling such stores in your area and ask if they stock Games Workshop or Citadel Paints (it's the same thing). They're kinda pricey, but quite good. If you can't find 'em, you may get some other people chiming in with their favourites, which may be easier to find.
 
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Re: Customizing Question & Answer thread

(EDIT, I found my answers on FFURG. Sorry I didnt dig deeper before posting this)


So I am so so new to doing custom work. I have read and read and think I'm good to try my first one. My question is what is the difference between Enamel Paint for models and Acrylic paint? Why does everyone say to use Acrylic? I went to the craft store and all they had was Enamel paint, they sent me to the arts and crafts part for Acrylic paint, (they said the only Acrylic paint they had was apple barrel type stuff). This washes off very easy with water. Is it the clear coat that seals the paint so it wont wash off? I'm sorry Im so noobish, and I thank You for all your help. (and what is the difference between the arts and craft stuff and the testors model acrylic paints. Thank You. Alan
 
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Re: Customizing Question & Answer thread

Enamel paint stays tacky after drying on the type of plastic they use for figures. I've had the best luck with Testors Acrylic, the stuff at craft stores doesn't seem to be the same quality and often drys with a powdery feel to it and flakes off easy. You can use a sealer but personally I don't lie doing that just in case I want to reuse that custom later.
You may have to try a few things to suit your tastes and the look you're trying to achieve.
 
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Re: Customizing Question & Answer thread

How can I do a dome-swap between a R5-K6 and Resurgence of The Jedi R2-D2?
S?:>}
 
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Re: Customizing Question & Answer thread

I have an enquiry as an Astromech collector.
Is the R4 unit in the box art on the Imperial Shadow ARC-170 box the same colour pattern as the Galactic Heroes Clone Wars Y-Wing Astromech?
Any opionions?
Spencer?:>}
 
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Re: Customizing Question & Answer thread

I know this has been asked somewhere, but I don't even know where to look. I'm going to try and do some customs and was wondering how you take modern figures apart. Like how to switch arms legs bodies etc.. Can someone let me know where to find a link to this info..

Thanks
Brian
 
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Re: Customizing Question & Answer thread

Search this forum section for "boil and pop" and you should find what you're looking for. If you're a kid, don't boil anything.
 
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Re: Customizing Question & Answer thread

Ruprecht said:
Search this forum section for "boil and pop" and you should find what you're looking for. If you're a kid, don't boil anything.
OR... you can microwave a mug of water for 2-3 min, then dip the fig in. MUCH safer than boiling water on the stove!
 
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Re: Customizing Question & Answer thread

For most things, I just point at hair dryer at the figure point blank for about 60 seconds until the plastic gets all soft. But sometimes you can't avoid boiling. I'm too impatient too keep microwaving water, so I just use pan on the stove and end up getting boiling water dripped out of the joints onto my hands... my poor old paws sometimes look like a cooked lobster when I'm done...
 
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Re: Customizing Question & Answer thread

AgentClaret said:
For most things, I just point at hair dryer at the figure point blank for about 60 seconds until the plastic gets all soft. But sometimes you can't avoid boiling. I'm too impatient too keep microwaving water, so I just use pan on the stove and end up getting boiling water dripped out of the joints onto my hands... my poor old paws sometimes look like a cooked lobster when I'm done...
Let me clarify...

If you nuke a large mug of water for 3 min, it stays hot enough to pop several figs. Be smart about it though, and have your figs ready knowing exactly what your going to do with them, i.e., popping one figs arms and then placing those arms into another torso.

Boiling water on the stove is sooo "old school".


But yes, be careful with the water either way you go!
 
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Re: Customizing Question & Answer thread

I like to leave my figure on the engine of my car, after I've driven around all day.
Really though the mug in the microwave is the best and safest way to boil and pop. Very seldom do I ever get burned doing this.
 
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Re: Customizing Question & Answer thread

AgentClaret said:
For most things, I just point at hair dryer at the figure point blank for about 60 seconds until the plastic gets all soft. But sometimes you can't avoid boiling. I'm too impatient too keep microwaving water, so I just use pan on the stove and end up getting boiling water dripped out of the joints onto my hands... my poor old paws sometimes look like a cooked lobster when I'm done...
Agent stop and use the Microwave, it's safer, otherwise you will look like Admiral Ackbar when your finished, and then how are you going to do your schooling, hmmmmmmm "Patience young one, you must learn Patience".
 
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