As some of you reading this might know, I'm a little bit fond of the film franchise Star Wars., and so is my fiancée.
We love the toys that were produced for the original films and have collected them i recent years (after my childhood collection went as dust to the wind in many house moves) i have been collecting the original figures, I'm not too bothered about the condition as long as they aren't broken in some way.
I have made an Instructable about a display case for the little fellas, and also my fiancée and I had the pleasure to meet David Prowse and Jeremy Bulloch last year, knowing i was going to meet them i wanted to get something unique for them to sign for my collection so i looked into Re-carding my vintage Darth Vader and Boba Fett figures. (see the second and third image) and doing so with the re-card kit i thought it would be fun to make some custom figures from the films using similar techniques. And even more I thought it would make a fun gift for my fiancée and I was right, she loved them.
In this instructable i will show how i went about making some custom figures.
Step 1: Tools and Materials
Computer with a photo editing software
Lighter or a candle.
High gloss printing paper
Spray mount / Spray glue
Narrow strips of double sided sticky tape
Fantasy Skeleton figure
Bubble or blister packaging (this is made with a vacuformer)i purchased mine on the internet as i dont have a vacformer
Paint (acrylic paint is what i used)
I'm sure there is something i have missed out so i suggest you read the instructable all the way through before you start making it.
Step 2: Shaping the Skeleton.
The Skeletons come in an attack stance, the spear/axe that they are holding pulls out as they are made to be removed.
For the figures to (a) fit inside the bubble and (b) look more like the bodies of the Uncle and Aunt Lars, i need to shape them by bending them.
To do this you need to gently heat the figures at the joints that you want to change. I started with the shoulders to narrow down the stance of the figures.
Gently heat the figure at the shoulder with the candle or lighter to soften the plastic enough. keep the figure moving around as to not set the plastic on fire. It doesn't matter if the figure gets scorched or singed because we will be painting the figure later.
Just repeat this with all the joints you want to change to make it how you like. I made the two figures different and tried to match them with the screen shot of the bodies outside the Lars homestead.
Once you have the pose of the skeleton repeat with the next one, then allow the figures to cool completely before moving on.
Step 3: Painting the Skeletons.
Using Acrylic paint i painted the White/Cream (glow in the dark) skeleton to look like it has been burned up by some stormtroopers.
To do this i dry brushed a brown paint onto the figure and the layered black and charcoal. once the paint has dried i applied a layer of red in small amounts to emulate the scene in the movie.
Step 4: Making the Card Backs.
First off a little Googling of actual vintage card back gives you a wealth of images for the card back front and reverse sides. i just found the highest quality file i could find for each side that mach each other in age and style.
Once i had the two sides of the card back i put them in Photoshop and found some screen grabs from the film scene where Luke gets home to find his uncle and aunt.
I then took out the original character from the card back and put in one of the skeletons from the screen grabs into the space left behind. I also removed the name and replaced it with Uncle Owen or Aunt Beru.
on the reverse i removed the bottom half of the information on the back of the card and put a picture of Luke getting home and a little info about each Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru from their wookipedia pages.
Step 5: Making the Card Backs.
I printed the front and back of each card onto a nice quality semi gloss paper. i printed the card faces out with a large bleed of black around the image as to hide any miss alignment of the images when cutting out the card backs.
Once i had all four sides i stuck the front onto a piece of thin stiff card. once i had the front stuck down i trimmed the card to the outer edge of my bleed and turned it over to glue the reverse image onto the card, Getting the images to line up was tricky its just a case of taking your time and making sure you have measured the bleed and cuts correctly. So when you line the bleed of the back to the cutout of the front the images match up in the right place.
once you have a piece of card with the front image on the front and the back image on the back its time to trim the card down to the right size. i cut the card to the right size using the image as the guide.
Step 6: Sealing the Figure Into the Blister Pack.
Time to put all your work together in one awesome custom carded figure.
I got the blister packaging from the seller i got the Boba Fett and Darth Vader Re-card kits from on ebay. he sells lots of reproduction star wars things and i emailed him and asked him kindly if he would sell just the bubbles and he did.
i would have made them myself but i don't have space to build up a vacuformer to make my own bubbles and blisters so purchasing them is the way i went.
First off i printed out a sheet of Orange that matched the background of the figure zone on the card back. i then glued it to both sides of some of the same card used to make the backs. i cut out a rectangle, i made them just big enough to fit inside the bottom of the packaging bubble. (something for the figures to stand on)
I applied the narrow strips of double sided sticky tape to the edge of the bubble packaging, ready to stick it to the card back.
Now place the skeleton in the figure zone of the card back, peel the backing paper from the sticky tape, (the next bit is a little tricky) Put one of the orange rectangles in the bottom of the bubble and squeeze the sides slightly to grip the rectangle when turned upside down so it doesnt drop out and stays in the bubble. align the bubble over the figure and slowly lower it down over the top of the figure and place the bubble around the figure and make sure to position it so the top corner of the bubble doesnt stray into the main picture of the card back, and make sure the bottom of the bubble is aligned with the bottom of the card back. once it is placed its pretty hard to realign it as the sticky tape sticks as soon as it touches the card.
once you have it placed press down on the edges of the bubble where the tape is to make sure its stuck to the card back.
Repeat this with the second set of figure, card and bubble to make the other one.
Step 7: The Finished Custom Carded Figures.
Now you have a set of custom carded figures.ready for display. These carded figures look great next to my carded vintage figures and will be displayed with them.
There are things that could be done to make these items better or more authentic like adding a punched hanger hole at the top to make it look more like something that would have been sold in stores.
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