Oh hey look, another Sinister Six founding member tutorial! So again not a crazy complicated custom but iv wanted to do a classic Electro forever. He recently got an updated figure from Hasbro but the only thing really classic about it was the alternative head.
The body on the new Hasbro is just way to skinny for the buff Electro I remember and the paint obviously isnt for a classic Electro. Loosing the butterfly shoulders sucks but the bucky cap mold is perfect for Electro. Plus iv already used the skinny body mold for Vulture (In fact I used the Electro body for Vulture) and dont want any duplicate body molds for my Sinister Six customs.
Check out the completed figure here and please feel free to ask questions if I missed something!
Ladies and gentleman, the tutorial!
Here are the base pieces.
The body is from the Marvel Legends Hulkbuster Series Vision figure. The Head and lightning hands are from the Marvel Legends Space Venom Electro figure. The open hand is from the Odin wave Marvel Legends Iron Fist and the fists are casts I made from the same figure.
Alright feet are first. Im adding articulated toes just like in the Jubilee figure. Eventually im just going to cast a pair of these but I want to get all the bugs worked out then make a perfect pair for casting.
1: So these are the base feet. I use a hairdryer to heat up the figure to soften the plastic enough that I can pop the foot off the leg. It normal takes one minute or so and should easily come off.
2: Next I cut the foot in two as close to the end of the ball of the foot as I can. You need to leave something to glue the foot back onto the heel portion. Im going to cut the middle chunk out of the toe piece then glue it back onto the heel side of the foot.
3: The middle chunk is cut out then glued back onto the heel portion.
4: Next I sand both pieces and hollow out the toe as much as I can so that the toe has room to move up and down. Next I drilled a hole on each side of the outer foot till I had a little mark on the inner foot. Then I just drilled half way from each little mark on the inner foot till they connected. I then slid a paperclip through to connect the two parts.
I forgot to take more pictures of this process but you can check out the Jubilee tutorial for some more pictures if im doing a lousy job explaining it!
1: The feet together! You can see the drill marks and they are sealed with a bit of glue.
2: I then use a bit of Aves Apoxie Sculpt to fill in the small gaps to make the articulation blend together better. Aves Apoxie Sculpt is a two part air dry clay with about a two hour work period. After about 24 hours it dries hard enough to be sanded or drilled into. I use it for most of my sculpting.
And thats it for now on the feet.
3: Next up is the prep for the shin part of the foot. Im going to sand each joint at the area I marked in red. You have to do this to prevent the joints from rubbing up against one another because if they rub after you paint the figure it will rub the paint off. This is called “Paint Rub” and its super important to avoid if you want your final figure to be pose-able without damaging the paint job.
4: All done the sanding! You can now see the extra clearance the joint has so we wont have to worry about paint rubbing off.
I finish off the feet by reattaching the two parts and use Aves to fix up smooth out some of the areas on the foot. Also I eventually come back and fill the little crease in the toe which you will see later. I then sand everything smooth and the feet are done for now!
1: First I use a hairdryer again to heat up the figure and deconstruct the leg. Just like the feet, im going to sand the joints that I marked red.
2: After sanding I reconstruct the leg.
3: I then use my Aves clay to fill the peg holes and thats it for the legs, again, FOR NOW!
4: Torso’s next and heres the base torso.
1: First I separated the shoulder balls from the main torso by sliding an exacto knife between the shoulder joint and sliced the piece of plastic in the middle. This is going to make sanding down the shoulder joints to prevent paint rub much easier.
To remove the lower torso from the upper torso you need to do something people call cracking the lower torso.
To crack a lower torso you drill into the seam once on each side then you can jam a screwdriver in and lever the two sides apart. You need to be careful doing this as its easy to damage the figure but eventually you will hear a crack and the two parts of the torso will separate. You can see the hole I drilled in later pictures.
Again I do this so its easier to work on the leg socket area as its one of the worst places to deal with paint rub.
I then sand the areas in red. The other area I marked in pink is something I just recently started doing that helps a ton with paint rub on the leg area. When I reassemble the crotch I will glue that area to the little notch it fits into in the lower torso. This keeps it from wiggling up and down which is normally enough to make it impossible to avoid paint rub. This doesnt effect possibility at all.
2: I then reassemble the torso.
Once the torso is back together I fill in the seams and the cracking hole with Aves then sand it smooth. And thats all the major prep work! Next up is lightning bolt time!
So heres how I sculpt the lightning bolts. The right bolt is the finished bolt and the left is showing how I got there. Making these symmetrical was a huge pain, the first one takes like 10 minutes then making the second one match takes like 45 minutes ha.
First I take my Aves and stick it on the figure in the general area the bolt is going. Mainly you just want to make sure you press it onto the surface well and keep it somewhat an even thickness but sanding later makes thickness not super important.
Next using an exacto knife I mark lines that will be my bolt points. Then I dip the exacto knife in water and slice the edges of the bolts into place using my lines as a guide. Its better to get as even as possible at this point because making it even later is a way bigger pain.
Remember, if its not right, restarting at this point is totally fine. It took me a few trys and the results get better ever time.
Then I do the same thing with the exacto knife to cut the other side, use a bit of water to smooth out the surface to hide the lines. Then either use the exacto knife or a sculpting tool to straighten any edges and massage the corners into symmetry.
1: Lastly everything is sanded even and smooth. Bam! Lightning bolt!
2: I use the same method next on the front. I did the front last so I had a bit more practice at the technique ha!
Lastly I sculpt on the cowl part of Electro’s mask and thats it for the upper body.
Next up was the feet lightning bolts. This was a GIGANTIC pain to do and get symmetrical. I used rulers and calipers but it was a struggle. Not to mention the first time I did it I sculpted them on the wrong side. Whoops.
First I attached the feet to the legs and eventually attached the legs to the torso. The lightning bolts run from the boots to the legs so I needed to make sure they lined up.
To actually physically sculpt them I did the same thing as the chest bolts. I layed on a thin layer of aves. I marked the areas then cut the marked areas with an exacto knife. I then cleaned up the edges the best I could. They arnt 100% perfectly symmetrical but they are as close as I could get them.
Also, you can see I filled in that toe seam on the boot I mentioned before.
And here is the final leg bolts! I did the exact same thing to make the bolts on the legs and because you cant really see both leg bolts at the same time I didnt have to worry about making them 100% perfect which was great.
Thats the legs done and next up is the arms.
1: So again I use the hair blower to heat up the arms and then disassemble them. Then you do some sanding along the red lines.
2: Here are the sanded arms
3: I fill in the peg holes and im ready to move onto the gauntlet.
4: First thing im going to do is the lightning bolt that sticks out. The plan is to quickly draw a perfect lightning bolt first try that I will use as a pattern for gauntlet bolt. And heres the proof that I cant draw a lightning bolt and the worst part is there was another one of these that was even worse.
Anyways im going to use the darker one in the top left corner.
1: So I cut out the lightning bolt I liked and rolled out a 50/50 mix of Procreate clay and Milliput. Mixing these two clays gives you a slightly flexible but strong material that wont chip or crack. Its a plasticard like material thats easier to cut. So I trace out the bolt twice using a magic marker and then I use an exacto knife to cut them out.
2: Here are the finished bolts. Next up is mounting them to our arm.
3: First I dremel out a little notch that the bolt will sit in. Im going to sculpt over this so you dont have to be to neat about it.
4: Next I decide to add a pin to the join just to strengthen it even more. I dont want to accidentally break it off sometime in the future so every little bit helps. To make the pin holes I use my pin vise to drill the two small holes then I glue in a piece of paperclip.
1: Next I glue the bolt into the arm and now we just need to fill in the gap and finish the sculpt of the gauntlet.
2: Here is the finished arm! I used Aves to sculpt the gauntlet and to fill in our gaps then I sand everything a bit and we are done! Next up is the hands.
So here are the base hands. Im going to sand down the joints to avoid paint rub and also trim the end pegs so I can swap out the hands.
For the fists casts, I dremel out the center portion then do a general clean up with sandpaper. For the open hand I slide my exacto knife between the joint and slice one side of the center peg then pop the joint out to making sanding easier. Then I do the same for the lightning hands.
Then all the wrist joints are sanded down to avoid paint rub.
Next I drill a little hole in the side of the fist hands that I will put a tooth pick through to attach the wrist joint to hand so it can move. Im getting way better at doing this and can do one in like 10-15 minutes now and you end up with a really great joint that can hold a pose. Being able to cast hands is a great way to cut down buying figures just for the hands.
I then put the toothpick through the drilled hole and use my Aves to fill in the hole. All done!
The last thing I do is shorten the pegs so that they can pop in and out of the wrist easily and the hands are all done.
Not much to do for the head. I had to enlarge the peg hole with my dremel to make it fit then I added a bit of aves clay into the top of the peg hole so the head would sit a bit higher up.
I also fixed a little casting error on the front of the mask.
And thats it for the sculpt work! I always reassembled the final figure before painting to just check to make sure everything looks good and to make any last sculpting changes. I was happy with how everything was looking so its on to painting!
The figure is disassembled and then everything is washed with some soapy water to get ready for priming.
Priming is a really easy step to skip but its super super important to help with paint rub and general wear. YOU SHOULD BE PRIMING!
Using my airbrush I prime the figure. I use Badgers Stynylrez primers for all of my priming and in this case I just used black and white. Normally I do zenithal priming but because of how I plan on painting this figure its not going to be needed but I hit the yellow areas with a white primer and the areas that will be green with a black primer.
My plan is to try a slightly metallic finish for the green parts of Electros suit similar to my Cyclops and im going to be using the same method as I did for the Hulkbuster metallic paint. Its a Metallic undercoat with Tamiya clear paint over top.
So here is the metallic undercoat I did with my airbrush. I used some silly putty to mask off the gauntlets and the feet but didnt worry about masking the bolts. I felt like even if I did mask them I was going to have to touch them up with a brush anyways and it was going to be a huge pain to mask them all off. I make sure to get all the areas I primed black and then im going to do some highlighting before I do my clear top coat.
I hit all the recessed areas with a black wash as well as all the edges where the green suit touches the a yellow portion of the suit.
Finally a dry brush the metallic paint over the figure just to smooth things out a bit and give a little highlight to the layer. The base coat is all done so next up is the clear coat!
I use my airbrush to spray on the green Tamiya Clear paint and Bam! Shiny! Im not actually going to keep it this shiny but I was really happy with how everything was looking and now its time to do the yellow.
Yellow! So I kind of dropped the ball with the photos for this one so im going to try my best to explain what is happening.
Painting yellow can be a bit of a pain but if you treat it like a tint rather than a paint it gets much easier to do. So if you want a bright bright yellow you paint a surface white then paint it yellow. So first I used a brush and painted all the bolts white then used my airbrush to paint the gauntlets, groin and feet area white. Then I did the same thing but with the yellow paint.
Then I use an orange wash to darken some of the recesses and then as a filter to slightly warm up some of the yellow areas.
Last I hit the tips of the gauntlet lightning bolts with some white from the airbrush. Im going to be doing the same thing on the mask as well. Thats it for the body till we get to protective varnishes.
Hands and head are next!
So its the same process with the hands as the body. Over the white primer I spray the yellow base coat.
Then once again I use an orange wash followed by a filter to slightly warm up the yellow.
You might have also noticed that the lightning hands are gone. Unfortunately I canned them after I tried a bunch of different ways to make the lightning look good but it just didnt work out. I should have maybe got the yellow ones but im not super torn up about not having them as iv always been so so about how they looked. Plus im going to have a ton of lightning effects.
1: Heres the head after the airbrushing
2: Next I paint the base tones on the face.
3: Next I hit all the recessed areas with a very red flesh tone wash.
4: Then I use a dark purple/red paint to paint the lips and then I use it as a wash for the mouth and the edges of the mask. Finally with a brush I use a lighter skin colour than the base to hit all the raised areas of the face. Imagine a light pointing down onto the face, I hit all those areas.
This is the method I use for painting eyes and it works really well. Im still not an expert at doing eyes but I feel like they are getting better every time I do a set.
Last I do some highlights on the mask. I do a bright yellow highlight on the eyebrow furrows and all along the edge of the mask. Then I hit the tips of the bolts with some white from the airbrush.
The back of the head is then painted black and I do a subtle dark blue highlight with my airbrush.
Boom! Done! The last thing I do is hit the whole figure with a gloss varnish that dries hard to protect the paint, let it completely dry for 24 hours then spray on a semi gloss varnish for the final look.
I really love the subtle metallic look of the suite but it sort of a pain to get it to photograph right. I had a really hard time getting it to look in photos the way it looks in real life.
Im very happy with how this guy turned out. I think the proportions are perfect and im pumped about being one figure closer to my complete Sinister Six!
Thanks for checking out Action Figure Toronto! Let me know what you think and if you have any questions feel free to ask. I dont keep secrets!