My classic Kraven the Hunter! The goal with this figure was to make a classic Kraven using modern Hasbro Marvel Legends parts; just to generally improve on a character that desperately needs a new release. Recently Hasbro released a more modern Kraven, but I’m a sucker for animal print so he wasn’t my cup of tea.
The old Toybiz Classic Kraven is a bad figure. The articulation is bad, the proportions are terrible, paint is bad and the sculpt work on everything but the head is strange. Really the head is the only thing that I like about that figure and even the head has some issues. So the nice thing is the bar is super low ha!
Check out the completed figure here and please feel free to ask questions if I missed something!
Here’s our base figure.
The vest, chest/upper legs, and spear are from the Rhino Wave Marvel Legends Kraven.
The fists are my go to fists from the Odin Wave Marvel Legends Iron Fist.
The arms, lower legs/boots and open hands are from the Abomination wave Wonder Man.
The knife and machete are casts I got from The Casting Cave. The head is also a cast of the old Toybiz Kraven that I made myself.
Alright feet first!
1: I apparently forgot to take a picture of the base feet before I dremeled the foot down to make the slipper sandal things, you can check the base photo to see what they looked like before. I just dremeled the shoe edge off.
2: I used a hairdryer to heat up the figure to soften the plastic enough to pop the foot off the leg. It normally takes a minute or so and should easily come off.
Next, I sand down the inside portion of the shoe, the lower part of the leg and the middle rotating joint. I normally use a 200 grit sandpaper followed by a 400 then 800.
You have to do this to prevent the joints from rubbing up against one another. If they rub together the paint will get worn away. 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.
It’s hands down the most dull part of custom figures but its a must do for good results.
I also do general sanding to remove any casting imperfections from the factory.
4: And through the magic of the internet our completed feet!
After finishing the feet I reattach the shin and sculpt on the slipper straps.
For the sculpting I use Aves Apoxie Sculpt. Aves 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 its a great product you can get off Amazon or from a good local art store.
That’s it for the feet.
1: Again, I use a hairdryer to heat up the legs to soften the plastic to deconstruct the leg, this makes it easier to sand. I’m going to sand each joint at the area I marked in red to prevent paint rub.
2: The legs all sanded and ready for sculpting.
3: I added some wrinkles and bunching to cover up the peg holes and that’s the final sculpt for the legs!
1: Arms next. Originally I deconstructed the arms planning to sand all the joints like normal. I decided that because my base colour is going to be skin, I might try just not sanding. If the paint doesn’t stick to the arm joints it would be fine.
2: I reassemble the arms and dremel down the little lip on the wrist bracers.
3: Next, I sculpted on the arm bands and bracers. I use my exacto knife to sculpt in hair texture to make it look more like a hide.
4: Last I fill in the arm pegs. When I fill in the pegs I make sure I move the joint while the clay is still wet to clear out anything blocking the movement. This will make sure the joints work properly once the clay dries.
Everything gets a light sanding and that’s the arms all done!
1: Here’s our base vest!
2: I had to cut a bit off the bottom of the vest to make room for the belt. I actually ended up cutting even more off the front and back because the teeth on the belt were hitting the vest but I will get into that later.
3: Our base chest. You might have noticed that I popped the leg out of the socket on the crotch, that is something I thought you couldn’t do without wrecking the socket hole in the leg. For whatever reason these legs popped off with no problem and I’ve never be able to do that before. I’m not sure if that was just my figure, or if all of the medium frame bodies can do it. It saved me having to pop open the crotch piece for sanding.
4: I then sand the inside of the leg area. I don’t worry about sanding any of the flesh area with the same idea as the arms. The flesh will be my base colour so paint rub isn’t an issue.
I then put some glue inside the lower crotch peg that crosses through the lower torso to prevent it from wiggling up and down. If this peg wiggles to much it is impossible to avoid paint rub, and adding glue doesn’t affect poseability at all.
1: Next I sculpt on the belt. I wish I could have made this taller but I was limited by the movement of the torso and the vest.
Finally I finish off the lower torso with some wrinkles and bunching.
2: The back view. Note the position of the fur on the back
3: Next up I sculpt a tooth for the belt and cast a bunch of them so they match.
4: I decide to add a pin to the join of the tooth to the belt to strengthen it even more. I don’t 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 small holes then I glue in a piece of paperclip.
1: I drill a little hole into the belt and glue in the other side of the paperclip peg.
2: Backside. I added another little fold too.
3: I had to trim a bunch of the hair off the vest at the bottom so the chest could bend all the way back. I’m going to sculpt back in some hair that wont get in the way of the teeth belt.
4: For the fur I’m using Procreate clay. Procreate is another two part epoxy, but is more rubbery than aves and has a bit of flex to it. It’s a great product if you need your sculpt to be flexible.
Here’s our chest all done! Next up I’m going to work on the head a bit.
1: This is the cast I made. I love this head sculpt with the exception of the big nose and the square soul patch rather than the classic triangle; so that’s what I’m fixing here.
2: I sanded down a bunch off the bottom of the nose and I also sanded a bunch of the sides of the nose. I then sanded the square soul patch into a triangle.
I did some general clean up of the seam lines mainly in the hair. The factory cast of this was a mess in the hair.
3: I added a missing chunk of the ear that the base head had, and used my dremel to enlarge the peg hole so it would fit on the body’s peg.
4: Not much to do with the hands for this custom. All I did was clean up the seam lines from the factory casts and I also sanded down the little bumps on the pegs so they are easier to switch in and out.
Again, because the skin is the base colour I’m not worrying about paint rub on the hand joints.
General sanding clean up for the weapons. I drilled in some little details on the handle of the machete and also carved the spear head so that it’s sharper and less round.
That’s it for the weapons.
Sculpt work done! I always reassemble the final figure before painting to make sure everything looks good and to make any last sculpting changes. I ended up sanding down the bracers a bit and I was happy with how everything else was looking. It’s on to painting!
Everything is taken apart and washed with some slightly soapy water. Once everything is dry I mask off a few of the bits I don’t want to get paint on, mostly the skin on the torso and the shaft of the spear.
Next, I prime the whole figure using my airbrush. I use Badgers Stynylrez primers for all of my priming. I used the zenithal method to help with shading.
For people not familiar with zenithal priming:
Prime the entire model black. Then from the top spray in a 90 degree cone using grey then from the top again spray in a 45 degree cone using white.
It adds a ton of natural shading very easily. Priming is super super important so the paint sticks. I highly suggest you check out my tutorial on priming and Zenithal priming here for a more in depth look.
Here is everything after our base coat was applied with the airbrush. For paints I mostly use Vallejo paints but really any of the popular miniature paints will work well. There is no secret miniature paint that makes things look good.
Now let’s look a little closer at the painting of each part.
1: I base coloured feet with the airbrush.
2: I use a brush to fix up the base colours and do the detail work.
3: I then do a red wash on the skin and hit the brown slipper areas with a lighter brown highlight.
1: Our base colour.
2: I hit the recessed areas with a dark brown wash then do a light yellow dry brush to highlight the raised areas.
3: Cheetah spots next! First I break out the airbrush and do a bunch of darker brown spots that will be the middle of our spots.
4: Originally I was going to do the darker outer ring with the airbrush to but I didn’t like how it looked so I just did them by hand. I had a blast painting these! All done!
1: Base colours.
2: I clean up the base colours with a brush then add the stripes.
3: Next I add a red wash to the skin. I then do a dark brown wash on the armband and I do a brown wash on the edge of the zebra stripes to dial back the white a bit and make them look more natural.
4: Last I do the spots the same way as the pants.
1: Vest time! I cleaned up up the base colour and added a few details with the brush.
3: Next I do a dark brown wash on everything.
1: Next I dry brush a light yellow highlight everywhere and I hit the eye areas with a lighter highlight.
3: I do some general clean up, accentuate some of the highlights and finish the eyes. All done! Seriously the most fun thing I’ve painted and I’m super happy with how this turned out.
1: Base colours
2: Just like the arms, I clean up the base colours with a brush add the stripes.
3: Next I add a red wash to the skin. I do a dark brown wash on the pants area, the edge of the zebra stripes, and on the belt teeth. Finally, I add the light yellow highlight
The spots are added and the chest is all done!
1: Zenithal Priming on the head. Again, check out my tutorial here if you want to see how I do it.
2: Airbrushed base colour.
3: Finished the other base colours.
4: I add a general red wash.
1: I use a lighter skin tone to highlight the raised areas.
2: Last is the eyes. This is the method I use for painting eyes and it works really well.
Head’s all done! Here it is next to the Toybiz Kraven head.
Hands are up next!
The painting of the hands is very simple. Red wash followed by a dry brushing of the light skin colour.
1: For the chrome I used Vallejo’s Metal Colour Chrome. This stuff is amazing and I don’t feel like I’m going to die from the smell like with the alclad paint. It’s my go to chrome paint now.
2: Cleaned up the base coat a bit and painted on some details.
3: Here’s the base coat of the spear.
4: Spear clean up. This is the same chrome as the weapons.
Added a dark brown wash then general clean up and that’s it!
Ladies and Gentleman, we are almost there! I spray a gloss varnish coat that dries hard to protect the paint then I let it completely dry for 24 hours and spray on a semi gloss varnish for the final look.
The final thing I do is drill a hole for a stand and that’s it! All done!
I’m very happy with how this guy turned out and I had a blast painting a more complex figure. I’m now over the half way point of my Sinister Six and for some reason I finally feel like I’m almost there ha.
Thanks for checking out Action Figure Toronto and reading my tutorial, let me know what you think and if you have any questions feel free to ask. I don’t keep secrets!