hello! this is my first instructable, hope you like it!
in this instruc. I will be showing you how to make lego clone commandos without spending a load of money on third party armor. of course, places like clone army customs will probably do a better job, but, if you want to make your own squad, this will undoubtably come in handy anyway. some of you will know what clone commandos are, others won't, for those of you who don't, this is a link to the wookieepedia article:
so, lets get started!
The matierials you will need consist of:
a standard white phase one lego clone trooper for each commando you make. I have been told that it doesn't matter whether it is a trilogy clone or a clone wars clone, but I recommend a clone wars clone. if you don't want to use any of yours, or don't have any (I have noticed they are not in as sharp produce as they used to be) you can go on amazon or ebay and find them for, like, five clones for 20 bucks. and on ebay, I think I once saw singles the the 1-5 dollar price range
sharpies or paint
lego pieces for backpack
and a pencil eraser (note: I mean the eraser you find on a pencil, not the single ones. those will be too big)
Step 1: Before All Else...
this step is in case you are making your own squad or commando, like I did. if you are making an official star wars commando, like, Delta squad or Omega squad or Gregor, etc. you can skip to step 2.
otherwise MAKE SURE YOU READ THIS STEP!!
you will want to figure out as much as possible about your squad. you will want to figure out what their number designations are, what their nicknames are, what their armor looks like (so far as their personal paint jobs go) wether they have non-standard facial details (scars, burns, facial hair, etc.) what position they have in the squad. (oh, and what the squad's name is...) you will want to figure out how they got their names, how their names tie into who they are, etc. for figuring out how their armor looks, I recommend 1 of a couple of things. first, you could get a star wars the clone wars coloring book and color the patterns on the armor of standard clones in it. (the rest of the coloring book could be potentially useful for further SW designs, so don't throw it away after that!) or, you could try and copy the minifigure outline and armor design onto a piece of paper. this would probably work best, because it is hard to smoosh life dimension drawings into minifigure dimensions. for example, try, in your head, to invision super man, except in adition to his red underwear, he has red stripes around his thighs, red knee pads, and long red boots. now, try to imagine that smooshed down onto a pair of minifigure legs. see the problem?
the last thing you could do is you could try to trace a commando drawing off the internet. if you do, I recommend this one:
after this, just color in the armor designs, and don't forget to think up as much as possible about them! spend as much time as you need on this step, and make sure you are absolutley satisfied with the results. then, and only then, should you proceed to the next step.
Step 2: The Helmet
the first thing you want to do is to remove the fin on the helmet. you can do this by cutting it off (if you do so, you should try to cut it in one piece; if you continue customizing figures, it will come in handy eventually) or by filing it off. If you cut it, I recommend filing it anyway, because you probably won't get a perfectly smooth helmet just cutting. if you file it, I would start with something really rough, a 100 grit sandpaper perhaps. MAKE SURE that whatever you start with, you work your way up to, say, the diamond file found on most leatherman multi tools. I did not, and the result is above on Rambo's (the green one) helmet.
next thing is to change the visor color. if you are using paint, you can just paint over it. however, with sharpies, you will need to remove it first. but, you don't need to go to as much trouble as I did and file it like I did (twice), because I have recently found out that if you apply a pencil eraser to the printing long and hard enough, it will remove it. this technique works much easier with sharpies as well. be careful with this, though, if you remove sharpies enough times while you are trying to perfect it, you will remove printing around it! I did this with Striker's (the one with purple markings) scars, which can be seen in step 4. it's not immediatley noticeable, but it's easy to spot when his head is next to another clone head.
btw, the picture of the clones with no fins and blue visors above is an old one, with visors made using the dark sharpie mentioned in the next step. this is not how they should look, but it's the only in between photo I have of them.
Step 3: A Note About Sharpies
sharpie caps can be deceiving! the first picture above shows what a standard blue sharpie looks like. it is all fine and well for actuall coloring (I recommend it for that) but as a visor, and therefore in such small amounts, and next to the black, it is hard to notice except when close to it and in flash photographs. instead, you will want to use the second sharpie shown. in fact, this is probably a good time to say that you will want to spend a little extra and get a nice big pack with lots of colors in it. don't just go for the 8 pack with a basic shade of each color.
Step 4: Adding Other Details
this is where you add any custom paint jobs the commandos might have done to their armor. remember step 1!!
there's not much to say here, just again that you can remove sharpies with a pencil eraser, but, be careful as you may easily erase other armor details if you do it to one spot too often. actually, this should be a very good way to make the extra plates that the commandos have. I am still debating if I care or not, and have not done this yet, tell me if it works! and again, make sure you have the right colored sharpies. a good way to find out would be to test them on paper (for example, I can tell you right off the bat that if you are making Sev, from Delta squad, the red found in the 8 packs is not going to look right at all). oh, and most big packs seem to have all the colors that the 8 packs do, as well. so you shouldn't even need to worry about the 8 packs.
another thing you can do here is add any non-standard facial details. remember, these are clones, so they should all look alike, but if you wanted to, say, add scars, or maybe change how the mouth looks, then this is the time to do it. like, for example, the scars that Striker has, which can be seen above. and, yes, he did base the lines on his helmet on his scars.
btw guys, help me out here. Sharpies seem to look better than paint usually does, but they keep wearing off (some permanent marker). is there some sort of sealant or something I can use? like, a spray? I've read that gloss gel can smear the sharpies, so anything applied with a brush probably won't work.
Step 5: And Lastly...
finally, you want to add accessories. this could be a backpack (a must for any clone commando), extra guns, bombs, range finders, or other things, most of which shouldn't need customization. this step is also pretty straight forward, because these things shouldn't really need instruction (even the backpack, which is the only thing you actually build). except, if you want to make a Z-06 rotary blaster, like I did for Rambo. it is basically a laser machine gun (guess how he got his name). if you don't want to make one yourself, ask me in the comments and I will make an unofficial step (in the comments) telling you how. just make sure I haven't already done so for someone!
and, that is it. hope your commandos turn out great and cheap!