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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Custom Question

F.O.A.M.er Eddie Ossi sent me this email about customing his own Aquaman action figure: "I've had been looking for a DCU Classics Wave 2 Aquaman figure for a while now, and decided that I just wasn't going to get one within my toy budget.

I saw the repaint set at Wal-Mart and thought, 'it's good enough, and maybe I can paint that gold a proper orange.'

Do you know of any other Aqua-Fans that have done this? I found some generic tutorials online, but it'd be nice to get advice from someone that's done with this particular figure."

Howabout it, Aqua-Fans? Any advice for Eddie? Leave your tips in the comments!

(Photo of the Walmart-exclusive 2-pack courtesy F.O.A.M.er Leo Cherry. Thanks Leo!)


Russell said...

I used to customize action figures in the mid-90s to make them into DC characters for my daughter. I would use model paint and quick-drying model clay. One of my favorites was taking a "Dick Grayson" figure from the Batman Animated Series line and painting him to be Aqualad. He was adorable. I also paiinted somebody (Dax?) to be Mera. She looked pretty good, too. And Jordie as Black Lightning turned out pretty well, I remember.

In your case, I think a basic orange paint over the gold would suffice. The only advice I have for you is to not use too big of a brush, and to take your time.

Doug Hazlewood said...

Maybe a more transparent orange (sort of thin orange glaze effect) would would allow the metallic gold to show thru and would look cool. You could combine orange and clear to make it less opaque or maybe some of the fancier hobby shop brands have cool metallic colors (like orange).

Then he'd be more 'fishy' looking on the orange scales like the JUSTICE figure. Surely they could have done it for us instead of just plain gold. I've seen folks do awesome stuff using drybrush techniques and several thin layers.

Wish I had the time and drive to do more customs and models since it is easier to learn techniques online these days. What some folks do is incredible.

HollyH said...

One thing to consider is obtaining something that will create a sealing coat over the paintjob that you do. (I like Doug's suggestion above that you pick something sort of transparent to basically "tint" the gold orange, while allowing it to be faintly metallic/shiny.) If you plan on a final, transparent sealing layer, you won't have to worry about whether the paint you choose dries to a matte or gloss finish.

While I haven't looked into it myself, I'd be surprised if Testors model paints don't have a clear finish available. What I've used most recently in some projects is a brand called "Sculpey Glaze" -- it's made by the same company that makes Sculpey itself (a modelling clay that you bake to harden), and comes in Satin and Gloss finishes. It's cheap, and water-based. You'd find it in the clay/Fimo/Sculpey aisle of an art/craft store.

You don't have to bake the piece for the glaze part, you just let it air dry. It creates a durable protective coating, so that the paint you put on won't chip or rub off, and as I said, it will take even a matte-finish paint and give it a gloss that would make it match the plastic of the rest of the action figure.