This is my first action figure so I'll keep it simple. A figure of my own imagination. More advanced sculptors sculpt exact likenesses of anyone they choose! How cool would it be to have your own action figure?
This instructable does require some sculpting skills and a few hours of your time. The first few attempts at sculpting won't even come close. It's ok, that's how even the pros started out.
Before you start you will need a few things.
Armature wire (two different kinds)
Plastic bubble from a toy (the thin clear plastic cover that encases the action figure)
Sculpting tools are optional but highly recommended for detail
First off a primer on Polymer Clay
Polymer Clay is a clay like substance that when baked in a ordinary oven will harden to a plastic durability. According to it's wiki it's PVC based which could be dangerous if instructions are not followed closely ( we know what it can do if used in a laser cutter ). Can we agree PVC is just little bit dangerous?
There are many brands of polymer clays and each has it's own set of instructions. For this demonstration I will be using Sculpey III. Sculpey as well as the other brands all come in a rainbow spectrum of colors. I will be using "translucent". After it's baked in the oven it offers a pinkish translucent color that closely resembles my pale pink skin. Polymer clays can also be blended with other colored polymer clay to get the right skin color. Another apporach is to paint it after its baked in the oven. I'll have to double check which paints work. But I'm leaning towards acrylic paints.
Sculpey III comes in a small 2oz size that costs around $2.50. I bought three of them and that will be plenty. My plan is to sculpt the action figure as well as accessories. I will show you tricks on how to use less sculpey later if you are on a dollar a day budget as most of the world is.
Using Sculpey III
Sculpey III will pick up any dirt on your hands and then discolor the clay giving it a marbled dirt effect. So wash your hands before handling. Sculpey III will also leave a slight residue on your hands after handling. Regular soap worked for me. Some will suggest nail polish remover. Label on side of Sculpey III package states not to place uncured clay on furniture.
The majority of this project will involve sculpting. So learning the basic sculpting is a must.
I recommend heading over to Smartflix.com
Check out Patrica Roses series on Polymer figures. Smartflix offers a three disc combo set for beginners and intermediate. I have both and they are worth getting if you want your finished action figure resembling anything like your subject. Also Patrica Rose is a fantastic artist and some of her figures have sold thousands. If you get into this you could make a living!
Action figure accessories
So after you've mastered sculpting, it's time to think of some awesome accessories you might want to include with your figure.
Highlyflammabletoys is a company that will make custom action figures for you. Although they are a bit pricey their figures are the best looking and are amazingly awesome.
On the left hand side you will see names and links to finished figures. Check them all out and notice all the cool scale accessories. This is a good starting point for ideas. And with a little bit of effort you can create something close to what they offer.
Remember custom accessories are key here, the more personal the cooler you're figure will be! Turning your skateboarder friend into a action figure? They will need a scale skateboard accessory.
Another place for inspriation is intuition kitchen productions Again go look at allof them. Each soo unique and amazing. Each with it's own special details and accessories. One day your figures will look like these.
Another good site for ideas is Spectre studios. This guy has created some of the coolest action figures around. He's gotten huge attention on tv, and online about his unique peices. Check out Pamela Rogers, nutty Britney Spears in a straight jacket and recently his jailtime Paris Hilton complete with orange jump suit and pet rat. ::Jaw Drops:: It's also on ebay right now...