and Materials
(not all of them, mind you....)

 

 

-

Hot Glue (Gun)

-

Dremel (and alike)

-

"Das Pronto" Clay

-

"Efa Plast" Clay

-

"Fimo" Sculpting Compound

-

"Kids Dough" Clay

-

AL's

-

Bottle Caps

-

Disposable Gloves

-

Revell Color

-

Marabu Paint

-

Citadel Paint

-

Clear laque

-

Clear laque spray

-

Primer

 


 

 


Hot Glue


Never underestimate the benefits of
hot glue. Next to it's itentional proper-
ties of quick hardening and durable
adhesion, it can also serve as a
minor sculpting tool. Tentacles, claws,
ornaments and hair are just a few, yet
likely the most important things you
can sculpt with no more than the push
of a button.

Of course there are some downsides,
too. The main problem is that some
glueguns just get too hot for action
figures - They melt them. So if you
plan on purchasing one of these non-
assault guns, make sure it doesn't
reach temperatures higher than
170°C. The other problem is that
hot glue can not be fixed. If it gets
too hot around the figure, it may
very well fall apart again. You
should better not put your figures
in the ofen after using it....

No silencer needed

.

 

 


Dremel (And Alike)



Spinning tops....

 

 

Another highly valuable tool is the
Dremel (or, as in my case with the
"TopCraft TMW-40f", a tool that
works under the same principles).

The idea behind the dremel concept
is to have a tool with easily exchange-
able functions such as drilling, polli-
shing and, most forewardly, sanding.

It is an extremly useful addtion to
any customizer's toolbox and high-
ly recommended.

 

Caution:
This a powertool. Never forget that,
as tiny as the thing may seem, it comes
with some risks that can not be ignored.

- Never get the tool wet.
It would electricute you.

- Wear protective googles. Working
with this tool will produce flying splin-
ters and shreds that could blind you.

- If you have long hair, always
remember to tie it back and stuff it
into the back of your shirt before
working with this tool. If a strand
of hair gets caught in the rotator,
you can kiss your scalp goodbye.



"Das Pronto"
Modelling Clay 

"DAS Pronto" is a mediocre material for raw sculpts.
It can always be re-softened with water (= not water-proof !)
and does a good job sticking to the figures. It is, however not very
good forsculpting fine structures as it will easily break in the
process due to it's fragile nature and great weight.

 

"Efa Plast"
Modelling Clay 

Efa Plast is another air-curing compound and - in my view-
superior to "DAS". It is great for smooth surfaces, nice for
sculpting and filling fine ridges and bumps and hardens relatively
quick. Like Das Pronto, it remains water soluble.
Yet, it seems to be less brittle and is a tad lighter.
Oh, and it doesn't stink like Das Pronto does.


"Fimo"
Sculpting Compound

This is some great oven-hardening material.
When hardened properly, it assumes a consistence
which is very reminiscent of harder plastic and the surface
remains very smooth. It is easy to sculpt and flawlessly
assumes almost any shape you apply to it,
making it a good choice for negative casts.
Of course the only few figures can withstand the "baking"
procedure, so take that into consideration before you
sculpt directly onto the figure. If you need to, Fimo can
also be hardened instantly with boiling water, but this
"shock-therapy" will make it rather brittle, so distant
details will break easily. Choose wisely !
Also, I would suggest not harden it in the same oven you
use for your lifestock - You can never be careful enough.
However, the most favorable method would be the use of
a heat gun - That would be the most dangerous method,
as well, though.



Kids Dough
Clay

I could as well put the ever-so-popular
"Play Doh" clay into this spot as it's nearly
identical with this. Kids Dough does, how-
ever have a deciding advantage: It's cheaper.

I use this stuff for the finer works of sculpting.
It is, intentional or not, air-drying and very
user-friendly. The downside of it is that it
fails where "Das Pronto" succeeds: It is very
hard to wrap around and stick to a figure.

Fortunately, It can be applied to a "Das Pronto"
base quite nicely. The rough surface does keep
the Clay attached and the moisture of it re-softenes
the ground enough for the to materials to slightly
blend into one.

 

AL's

When you read my little reports,
you'll likely stumble over the term `AL´.
In case I left you wondering what the
hell that means, I'll tell you just that:
AL's are something I'm lucky to have.

You see, one of my relatives suffers of
Diabetes (that's not the lucky part !)
and therefore has to measure his
blood/sugar level several times a day.
In order to do so, he has a little device
that he uses to open little wounds that
leak no more than a tiny drop of blood.

Ames Lancetes, or AL's, as I like to
refer to them, are used as "ammuntion"
for the piercing device. They are basi-
cally little plastic rods (about 2.2 cm/
1.7 inches in lenght) with a pointy
needle at the tip. (The picture to
the right shows just how pointy
they really are)

 

When this medical instrument they're
used for broke, my relative naturaly
got a new one. Since the new unit
does use a slightly different kind of
lancets, I got my hands on the last
box of old AL's.


The good thing about those AL's is that they can be used for many
purposes. They are small and soft enough to be cut with scissors,
yet durable enough to hold parts together. The rounded side fits
into the hands of diverse figures an can serve as part of weapons
and alike. One could even use those thingies as a base for entire-
ly new parts. And I'm still exploring the possibilities.

The bad thing about them is the pricing. In order to serve their
original purpose, they need to be sterile, which makes produc-
tion and transport a pretty delicate operation. This manifests in
the price... a single box of 200 units costs no less then 40 ...

I'd better settle with this box for now.

 

Bottle Caps

Yes, bottle caps. Believe it or not, those
things (or rather: Their safety seals) are an
excellent, cheap source for little pieces of
plastic that can be used for things like fangs
or claws.

 

Disposable Gloves

Apart from the fact that you should wear those
to avoid fingerprints and similar things on your
costums, they are also made of nice, flexible
material which is easily colored, so they make
a natural base for capes and clothing. The one
problem with them is that the color can just as
easily peel of if you move or stretch the mate-
rial too much.

 

Revell Color Paint


These paints are a classical choice
for plastic models - Preferably those of
the same brand.

On the plus side, Revell Color applies very well
to the surface of almost every figure and is 100%
water-proof.

On the other hand, they're not exactely quick-drying
and don't mix all to well. You will also need some
paint thinner - At least if you want to use your
brushes more than once.

Another problem is that the chemicals in this paint
often react with the plastic of figures, resulting in
a perpetually sticky/shiny surface.

All in all, I have to say that the downsides overweight
the advantages, making this a non-recommended
product.

Remember to use this in well-ventilated areas only !

 

Marabu Paint


Albeit virtually unknown, these paints
are very user-friendly.

These are waterbased and come in three variations:
BasicColor (poster paint) Decorlaque and Decormat.
Of course, "Decormat" is the thing to use in most cases,
but since this line doesn't cover every color there is, you
likely won't get around using the other ones, as well.

Marabu colors are water-based. They are water-proof after
drying, though, and you won't need expensive
& toxic paint thinner to thin the colors out, mix them,
or remove them (as long as they're still wet).

They are also very, very easy to mix. Once, I mixed
one color of each line and some ordinary aquarell
paint (!) for good measure and it worked like a charm.

 The disadvantage to this brand of paint is that it is
rather thick and thus highly likelable to rub off
joint areas.


Citadel Paint


Citadel Paint is very comparable to the aformentioned
Marabu Paint, but it's consistency is much thinner - I'd
even say "cremier" - and more liquid without losing any
of it's paint brilliance. It's also internationally available.

 

Clear Laque


A clear laque finish is the best way of
giving a custom it's final touch - Only
a unified surface can make the illusion
perfect.

For quite some
time, I've been using glossy laque, but I really can't not
recommend that. The shine usually only just reveals a fi-
gure's fault and doesn't fit very well, anyway.

My current laque of choice is another product
coming from the fine Marabu brand (I hope my
paycheque is in time this time around). It's Marabu
Satin Matt Varnish, which, unlike other Marabu
paint, requires paint thinner for proper use.

Remember to use this in well-ventilated areas only !

 

Clear Laque Spray

What's better than a good finish ? A better finish.
(I know, that was horrible).
Spray is usually the best way to apply to achieve
an even surface, and this spray here does it's
job well. The only downside is that some
figure's joint seem to stick to the torso a
bit after extended periods of rest, but that's
rather minor.
A word of advice:
When finishing figures this way, it can happen that
the paint starts to fold and crack if paints like Revell have
been used. In that case, don't o anything until the laque has dryed.
You can only make matters worse - And it's likely that the paint
will settle back to it's usual form on it's own while
drying off.
If possible, use a water-based product to avoid such problems.

Remember to use this in well-ventilated areas only !

 

Spray Primer

Primer is a great help in even application of paint...
But if you're going to prime your figure, do it the spray
way. Bumpy priming by brushes basically defies it's
entire purpose.
It is, however, important to choose a primer that
is compatible with your paint of choice - If that is
not the case, the paint job will turn into undrying
mush or a cracked mess. So before you go, put
primer and then some paint onto a test surface
(plastic clothes pegs work well) to see if things
work out. If possible, use a water-based product.

Remember to use this in well-ventilated areas only !


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