Adding Toe Articulation

Marvel Legends Custom Action Figure Toy Painting Miniatures Priming Tutorial

I love toe articulation when im posing and displaying my figures but more and more its not being included with figures.  I especially miss it on the new Marvel Legends and its something I like to add on my custom figures.

I normally only add this articulation to figures that will mostly be posed standing, like I didn’t bother doing it on my Vulture because hes going to be flying most of the time.  Iv done this for both my Jubilee and Electro complete figure tutorials and I was super happy with the end result.

The dream with these feet is to eventually do a cast of them so I dont have to hand make them every time but im waiting till I get a bit better at doing them before I make the final cast.

So first, this is one of the harder things iv ever done on a custom so unless you are fairly comfortable with general sculpting/cutting/modeling techniques you might want to do a few practice runs on fodder feet.  It can be a bit finicky.

Alright here we go!

Marvel Legends Custom Action Figure Toy Painting Miniatures sculpting Tutorial

1:  Heres our base foot.  This is the slipper foot I made for my Kraven custom.

2:   The first cut I make separates the foot in two as close to the end of the ball of the foot as I can.  The difficult part of these cuts is you need to make them match as close as possible.  You dont really need to worry about cutting into the shin socket as we will be gluing the middle chunk back on so you need to leave something to glue the foot back onto the heel portion.

You can also move the cut further up the foot depending on which part of the foot you want to bend.  For boots/shoes I keep it further back but if I was doing like a bare foot I would move the bend closer to the toes.

Iv also marked the area that we will be cutting out.  The modern marvel legends feet normally have a bit of folds/bunching sculpted on the feet and I like to cut as close to that as I can so the bend makes more sense.

3:  Here is the second cut.  The foot on the right shows the chunk I cut out and the next thing we will do is glue that middle chunk back onto the heel portion of the foot.  You can see the middle chunk glued into position on the left foot.  This can be a bit of a pain but you want to make sure its lined up the best you can.

4:  Next I sand both pieces to help soften the cut edges and our joint from gluing the middle part.  I then hollow out the toe as much as I can so that the toe has room to move up and down.  This can be a bit finicky but you need to make sure there is enough clearance inside the toe for the top of the foot to move into.

Marvel Legends Custom Action Figure Toy Painting Miniatures sculpting Tutorial

1:  Next we are going to drill a hole through the foot to connect both parts.  When I first did this I thought it was going to be a pain but its actually pretty easy to do.

First thing I do is position the foot tight with the other side and make sure it doesn’t move when im drilling.  This needs to be as tight as possible or we will get big gaps between the two parts and it will look bad.  We will end up doing a bit of filling with clay but try to get it close.  Next I basically just 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.

Then I slid a paperclip through and viola!

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.

3:  Once the clay is dry I normally sand the area smooth and make sure the joint moves well.  If the joint is a bit loose I will put a drop of glue on the two sides of the joint where the paperclip is from under the foot.  You then keep moving the joint for 4-5 minutes till the glue dries and you will have a stiff joint!

I use glue on all my loose joints and its a amazing how well it works.  You just need to make sure you keep the joint moving till it dries or you will obviously glue your joint solid ha.

4:  Heres the finished foot!


Marvel Legends Custom Action Figure Toy Painting Miniatures sculpting Tutorial


Its a lot of work for such a small thing but iv been getting faster ever time I do one and I think an extra hour or two is worth it and really helps pushing your custom action figures to the next level.

Thanks again for coming to Action Figure Toronto and for checking out my tutorials!  Let me know if I didn’t explain anything well enough or if you have any additional questions!




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