Collecting action figures is a fun, rewarding, and expensive hobby, but others want to go further by creating customized action figures using pre-made parts or by creating all the parts from scratch.

Here are some of the basic information about action figure customization that you might encounter when you try this hobby.

Customization Tools

You will need basic items such as cutting tools (razor blades and knives), paints and brushes, sanding tools (fine grit file and sandpaper), grinding or cutting tools, pliers, screwdrivers, clippers, and a sewing kit.

Joint Types and Assembly

If you’re planning to create figures using pre-made items, you should have a collection of fodder, or various action figure pieces such as legs, arms, feet, hands, bodies, heads, and accessories. There are hobby shops that sell these pieces that you can collect and connect to create a new figure. To understand how to connect these pieces, you should learn about the different types of joints such as the hinge (for bending parts), double hinge (a joint with two hinges), swivels (for twisting or turning parts), and ball-socket joint (has a ball that pops into a socket).

Painting and Brushes

Most artists prefer acrylic model style for figure customization, but don’t just pick the first acrylic paint you see in the hobby shops. Pick products that are designed for painting on custom figures so that they don’t chip and smudge easily. Get as many colors as you want, but stick to smaller jars so that they don’t dry up when not in use. Next, you need to buy an assortment of paint brushes. Any shape and size will do, as long as the bristles are made for acrylic.

Modifications and Effects

You can customize your figure’s joints, digits, neck and head, and add special effects and accessories, such as guns, hair, LED eyes, mounts, weapons and many more. For example, if you need to create weapons attached to the hand of the figure, assemble plastic pieces using a knife, glue, epoxy, and scissors to enhance the appearance.

Fabric Costumes

Some hobbyists prefer to use fabric to create costumes for their figures. For this task, you will need to learn how to sew. Gather the following materials for your sewing kit: dressmaking shears, measuring tools, steam iron, pins, needles, threads, buttons, zippers, and other sewing tools. First, you need to measure the body of the figure, then draw a pattern using the measurements. Next, cut the pattern and place it on the figure before using it as a guide to cut the fabric. Finally, sew the fabric then try it on the figure.

Repairing Customized Figures

Lastly, you should learn the tricks on how to fix damages on your figures. Some of the most common problems you might encounter are the following: broken screws and pegs, loose joints, bent parts, broken shoulders and hips, and problems with ball-joints.