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A Few Customizing Tricks and Techniques

Here are a few things that I have discovered that can make your customizing a little easier.

  1. Rubber Bands- Yep, rubber bands can be a lifesaver. They come in all widths, colors, and diameters. What can you use them for? How about: belts, leg straps, bandoleers, boot cuffs, wrist and bands, head bands, quiver strap, and rifle slings. Give it some thought and I'm sure you'll think of other things.
  2. Joint Lube- Having a tough time getting a limb back on even after you've heated it up? Dry it off and put a small dab of KY Jelly on it, then put the limb on. It'll make getting that limb back on so much easier and since it's water based, it won't leave behind a sticky goo the way a dried up petroleum lube would.
  3. Plasti-Dip- Never heard of it? I'm not surprised. But you have seen it before. It's that liquid plastic that they use to coat pliers and screw driver handles. It's available in hardware stores. You can use it to build up areas on a figure. I've dipped a figures lower legs in it to make boots, then trimmed off the unwanted excess. You could do the same to add gloves to figure. You can do multiple coats of the stuff to build up to desired thickness. Practice first on a junk figure to get a feel for how you could use the stuff. Now that I think about it, you could probably coat a figures torso with it, let it dry, and then cut and peel it off to create a jacket or vest for another figure.
  4. Tackle Boxes- A cheap tackle box is a great way to keep all your misc. body parts and accessories organized.
  5. Antiquing Gel- I love this stuff. I use it to bring out the detail in a figure. Wipe on, wipe off. Add in those shadows that would be impossible to paint. Again, practice with a junk figure to get an idea of how to use antiquing gel for the best results.
  6. Painting Joints- Cut a 1-2 inch of plastic from a figures card bubble. Punch a hole in the center. Now cut a small, narrow wedge out of the disk. Now you can work the disk in between the limb and the torso so that the disk's hole is around the joint. This gives you a paint shield that allows you to easily paint an area without the accidentally painting the adjoining part.
  7. Screws- Break a joint trying to get a limb off? Depending on the piece, you might be able to screw in a small screw to substitute for the joint. I've used this successfully a number of times. The key is in selecting a screw that is just the right time. Take the fig and limb with you to the hardware store so that you can make sure you're getting the right screw. It never hurts to by two more screws, the next size smaller and bigger than the one you think will work.
  8. Slobber and Slime-Need to add some dripping slime or slobber to a fig? Try using a hot glue gun. The glue can create nice thin strands that will harden once the cool.
  9. Diorama Base-A great base for a diorama is a Tupperware tub. They come in all sizes. Made of light weight plastic, they're lighter than wood and sturdier than cardboard. You paint the inside of the tub as suits your needs and can glue on additional parts. I'm using one now to recreate the inside of the Predator's ship. If you want it to look more open you can just cut away one of the sides. I prefer to leave the sides intact that way I can put the lid on it to make it easier to transport. You can also easily cut a hole in the tub to insert a light for illuminating your diorama.

The preceding article was contributed by, who's great with all sorts of custom action figure stuff.  Check his stuff out soon at: