Mysterio is tied with Doc Ock as my favourite member of the Sinister Six so this a big custom for me. He was hands down my most challenging custom to date and I’ve been planning and sorting him out in the background ever since I started making my Sinister Six figures. He’s a pretty complicated custom and has some big hurdles to overcome, which I think is why you don’t see more custom figures of him. Mainly I’m talking about the cloak, the body squares, and the ever elusive dome.
All of these things are huge parts of the figure and really need to be made from scratch as no other action figures, including the old Toybiz Mysterio solve the problems well. The Toybiz Mysterio does a great job with the sculpted body squares but they are sculpted on a weirdly proportioned, incredibly dated body.
The goal is to create an updated classic Mysterio that solves all the problems I’ve listed above and to finally finish my SINISTER SIX!
Check out the completed figure here and please feel free to ask questions if I missed something! Lets do it!
Here are the base parts that will make up this figure. Originally I had planned to use some of the parts from the Toybiz Mysterio, but I ended up not using any parts of it. Like I said before the proportions are totally off and its too big to scale properly. I had planned to use the gauntlets, arms, and legs.
The base body is the Marvel Legends 3 Pack Vision, but really any Bucky mould body will work.
The closed fist hands are casts of the Marvel Legends Odin Wave Iron fist and the hands I’m going to use for “casting illusions” hands are from the Marvel Legends Green Goblin wave Superior Spider-man.
The head I’m using for inside the globe is a random cast I got in a missed casts grab bag from The Casting Cave. I’m not really sure what skull it is honestly but any head shaped clear piece would work.
The fabric for the cape and cowl is a spandex I got from a local fabric store. I’ll go over this in more detail later!
Here’s the base figure. I’m going to end up re-sculpting the whole thing but first we need to do general clean up.
I completely break down the body to start sanding and dremeling. 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 a must do for good results.
I also do general sanding to remove any casting imperfections or mould lines from the factory, but because we are going to be sculpting on top of everything it’s not really important this time.
To remove the lower torso from the upper torso you need to do something people call cracking the torso.
To crack a 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 it’s easy to damage the figure, but eventually you will hear a crack and the two parts of the torso will separate.
Once that’s all done, I sand or dremel down the areas I marked in red. I normally use a 200 grit sandpaper followed by a 400 then maybe 800 depending on the area.
To pop off the legs and arms I use a hairdryer to heat up the areas to soften the plastic enough to pop them off. It normally takes a minute or so and should easily come off. I don’t use any tools to do this and if it doesn’t come off easily you probably just need to heat them up more.
The next thing I did was completely cut off the neck on the upper body. I’m not going to need a neck for my Mysterio and need to make room for the base of the head dome.
Then the torso is put back together.
One of the biggest issues people have doing Mysterio customs is the dome. People tend to use domes that are way way to big that don’t scale properly, are not transparent and have a seam. It took me months to find something to use and I ended up with what I think is a perfect dome.
This is a 30mm clear glass globe bottle used to make necklaces with stuff inside them. I ordered these off of Aliexpress and got like 20 of them for about $15. These globes check off everything I was looking for in a dome.
I was worried about them being glass but they ended up being very, very strong. I did a bunch of stress tests to see if they would survive a fall and I found that it literally took me throwing them at a concrete floor over and over to break them. I could throw them at the floor and they would bounce high enough for me to catch them.
They did eventually break but I don’t think they would ever break with normal wear. I planned it so I could swap out the dome if I ever did break one.
Let’s start getting this bad boy on the body.
1: The goal is to put a LED light in the dome and have the battery as part of the actual figure. I didn’t want it to have to be attached to a certain base. The figure isn’t huge but I knew I could hide a coin battery clip on the back, which will be hidden by the cloak.
I dremeled out a ton of material from the back to get it as flat as possible.
2: I then use a bit of Aves Apoxie Sculpt to fill in the gap and get the rough shape of the coin battery clip. 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 but I’m actually going to be mostly using other clays for this project.
I made the rough shape by pushing the battery clip covered in saran wrap into the wet clay, letting it dry, then pulling it off.
3: Next I started working on the neck area that will hold the dome. Like I said, I want to be able to remove the dome so it took me a bit to figure out how to attach the dome to the head without just gluing it.
What I ended up doing was making a little socket the lip of the dome would pop into using a slightly flexible clay called Procreate. The socket is slightly smaller than the bottom of the glass so it holds it in place.
This is the centre of the socket.
4: Here is the outer edge of the socket sculpted with Procreate. To sculpt it I covered the glass globe in saran wrap and pushed clay around the edge to get the shape. I then carefully pulled out the globe while the clay was still wet then I pinched the outside slightly so it would be a bit smaller than the actual glass globe.
You can also see a little notch I dremeled in for the cables of the LED to run.
Here’s the dome in place. I positioned the middle of the globe to be in the same place a head would sit proportionally to the rest of the body. The actual head is going to be held in place with a smoke effect so it wont actually be attached to the body.
Here’s the back with the battery clipped in. I ended up using a larger LED and adding a little switch to this which you can see in the next picture. Originally I didn’t think I needed a switch and thought I would just pop the battery on and off. When I finished the figure and actually tried to pop the battery on and off it was immediately obvious I needed a switch.
Same idea and it clips in the exact same way. The button is a huge improvement and makes the whole light part of the figure much nicer to show off.
The next thing I did was drill some holes that will hold the magnets that attach the cloak to the body. I made sure that they were deep enough that the magnets on the cloak would sit flush with the body. I don’t want the cloak to sit to far off the body or it will look weird.
Just under the holes you can see me testing out how I would sculpt the squares so let’s get into that now!
I knew the squares on his outfit were going to be one of the most challenging parts of this custom. I wanted them to have depth so I knew painting them was out of the question. I tried a whole bunch of different methods trying to avoid having to actually sculpt them all but nothing really worked.
So I bit the bullet and decided I would just straight up sculpt them.
Here are the main tools I used. On the left is a regular metal sculpting tool. Anything with an edge will work. Next I made a little square stamp out of a thin plastic sheet I had. This is going to help me make sure all of my squares are the same size. The last tool on the right is a linoleum carver that I will use to carve the dried clay to help me get sharp consistent edges.
I actually did a little demo live on my Twitch Channel but I forgot to actually record the stream. It really sucks because it would have been nice to have a video of me doing some of the squares.
1: I’m actually using Miliput clay for the squares. I found that when it dried it carved much better than Aves.
First thing I do is apply a thin layer of the clay all over the part I’m sculpting. I like to cover one muscle group at a time to try and keep some of the muscle definition.
2: Next I use my square stamp to “sketch” where my squares will be going. Like I said I did this to make sure my squares are pretty close in size. Some squares are a bit off but generally it worked pretty well.
3: I then wet my metal edge tool and actually sculpt the edges. I just do one line at a time keeping it as neat as possible. The edges are going to be cleaned up a bit but its good not to get sloppy or it creates more work.
4: Once everything is dry I hit everything with sandpaper to even it out a bit.
Finally I use the linoleum carver in all the grooves to help crisp the edges and to help make it look more uniform.
Then I did all the other surfaces the same way. This actually wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be but it was time consuming. I was really worried about the balls of the arms, but they co-operated and weren’t an issue.
I’m leaving the leg squares on the body till last because I want to attach the legs and make sure the two parts line up. Going to do the legs now!
Again, I used a hairdryer to heat up the legs to soften the plastic enough to pop them apart. Then sand or dremel down the areas I marked in red to prevent paint rub.
1: Here’s the prepped leg ready for sculpting.
2: I sculpted the squares the same way as before.
I also dremeled down the pegs that go into the boots. I’ve started doing this for all of my peg joints. It lets me pop limbs on and off without having to heat them up with the hairdryer first. This is great for checking how sculpts are working out and doesn’t affect the final pose-ability of the figure.
You just need to make sure you don’t take to much off.
Here’s the final sculpted body all ready to go. I was really happy with how this turned out and it wasn’t nearly as big of a pain as I thought it would be.
Let’s tackle the boots next.
1: Break out the hairdryer to pop them apart again. Then sand or dremel down the areas I marked in red to prevent paint rub.
2: Here’s the post sanded parts ready for sculpting.
The final boots. To create the lines I used the metal edge sculpting tool on the wet clay then defined the edges with sandpaper once the clay dried.
1: These are the superior spider-man base hands. I like these hands because they are a bit bigger than the normal spider-man hands and I like using slightly bigger hands. They are much more expressive.
I’m going to use these to make the “casting illusions” hands.
2: First thing I do is cut out the two middle figures with my exacto knife. Next I use my dremel and roughly shape the palm a bit.
3: Next I reshape the hands a bit. I push the index finger up slightly and lower the pinkie finger quite a bit. This is really easy to do, you basically just heat the hands up using a hair blower to soften the plastic then you move the fingers into the shape you want then run them under cold water which re-hardens the plastic. Normally I leave them in the fridge overnight and they are like that permanently.
I then drill in some paper clip supports for the other fingers I’m going to be sculpting.
I also cut out the wrist peg so I can easily sand the joint. To do this I slide my exacto knife between the joint and slice one side of the centre peg then pop the joint.
4: Here are the final sculpted hands. I also added some sculpt to round out the palms a bit.
Here’s the other side of the hands. I then sand the areas marked in red to prevent paint rub.
Last I pop the wrist peg back in. You don’t really even need to glue the one side we cut as this joint isn’t under much pressure.
Fist hands next.
1: These fists are casts I made of the Iron Fist hands I love using. I just do this so I don’t need to buy another iron fist every time I want to use these.
2: I dremel out the center portion of the fists then do a general clean up with sandpaper. 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.
3: Here’s the inserted toothpick. I’ve done this a bunch of times now and can do it very fast. Just a few minutes and you end up with a really great joint that can hold a pose without burning a whole figure.
4: Lastly I cut the toothpick off and use my Aves clay to fill in the hole plus fix a few other casting errors on the hands. These were a crappy cast and I’m not sure why I kept them.
Hands are all done and ready to go!
Use the hairdryer to heat up the arms and pop them apart like before. Then sand or dremel down the areas marked in red to prevent paint rub. Because we are sculpting on top of the base figure you need to remove more material than normal from the top of the arms that will plug into the shoulder joints.
I ended up just cutting the wrist portions of the arms off for the gauntlets so you don’t need to prep the wrists.
1: Here are the reassembled arms. Next I’m going to work on the bracers.
This ended up being way more complicated than I thought it was going to be. Its probably much easier just to use the Toybiz bracers and shorten them. I guess I’m never one for easy ha.
2: First thing I did was make a little cardboard prototype to work on the size.
3: I cut a piece of plasticard matching the prototype.
4: Next, using Aves, I sculpted my pattern right on top of the plasticard piece from the last step. I ended up gluing it onto a larger plasticard piece just so I had something easier to hold onto.
1: Next I sculpted a border around the pattern.
2: I make a mould of the sculpt using Smooth-On Mold Max 14NV and make the final cast with Smooth-Cast 300. Eventually I’m going to do a stand alone tutorial on casting but I’m still getting the hang of it.
3: I glue four of the cast bracers together then filled it with Aves sculpt to strengthen it.
4: Originally I wasn’t going to cast the whole bracer again but I had a really really hard time sculpting the little spikes on the end of the gauntlet evenly so it was just easier for me to make a second cast. You can see the original bracer in the middle and the casts on either side.
1: I wasn’t sure how I was going to attach the bracers to the arms but I ended up just hollowing out the end of the bracer, shortening the arm, then gluing the two parts together. I actually figured this out doing a live stream on my Instagram one night which was fun!
2: Here’s how much I cut off the arm. I basically cut them as short as I could before cutting into the elbow joint.
3: Next I glue the two parts together. Then I use my Dremel and hollow out a little area that the base of the hands will fit into. I also drill a hole in the hollowed out area that the pegs of the hands will pop into.
4: Last I sculpt on the squares using the same method as before.
Cloak’s up next!
Here’s the fabric I’m using for my cloak. I went into one of my local fabric stores with my Mezco Batman and asked for a fabric the same as that cloak. I ended up with a spandex material that I was really happy with.
The colour is pretty close, the weave is very tight and it piles very well which helps with fabric at this scale.
We are going to do the neck cowl first.
1: First thing I do is cut a three inch long rectangle.
2: Next I sew up one edge of the cowl. This is actually the only time I sewed something in this whole project. I ended up using fabric glue for everything else.
3: Here you can see the sewed edge. I then folded the other edge in and glued it into place.
4: Here’s the cowl in place! I was super happy with how this turned out.
This is the first time I’ve ever made a fabric cloak and it ended up making this cloak three times before I was happy with the final cloak. If you follow me on Instagram you actually saw the first two cloaks but not the final one I ended up using.
Shout out to Craig Warrack and Supertom Customs on this one. I learned a bunch from them about making these types of cloaks. This ended up being the hardest part of the whole project but I think a lot of my struggle was just growing pains and lack of experience working with cloth.
First I printed off a cloak pattern from google but it was a shorter than I wanted so I just added an extra inch and a bit around the pattern. From the centre to the edge of the fabric it is just over 6 1/2 inches.
1: For my wire I’m using a 26 gauge bead wire. I then use my fabric glue and glue it around the edge leaving a bit of fabric that I can fold over the wire later. I did a bunch of tests with the fabric glue and it seems to work really well and dries like rubber to stay flexible. I’m not sure if I just had a good glue fabric combo, but I had zero need to sew the edge which I was very happy about.
The glue I used is called Unique Creativ Fabric Hi-tak permanent adhesive. You really need to be careful with the glue because if you get it on the cloak its really hard to pull off. Also you don’t want to put huge globs of it on the fabric or it will seep through to the other side and look bad.
I just dipped a tooth pick in the glue and dabbed it on.
2: I bent the ends of the wire into a little loop as I was having a problem with the ends sticking through the fabric.
3: I let the the glued wire dry over night then I started slowly folding over the edge. I just put a bit of glue down folded the edge, then put a bit of glue and folded, over and over until….
4: Its all covered and we have a nice looking seam.
Then I did the same thing for the front edge.
The final wired cape. I learned from one of the other cloaks not to cut the neck hole until the very end, but I marked basically how its going to be cut in red.
Next, I would like to prove to everyone reading this that I’m totally insane. I’m going to stencil a pattern to the inside of my cloak. I tried a bunch of different ways to do this but I found the stencil was the most consistent and ended up looking best.
I made a little half circle pattern that tiles then I printed it out as a pattern. This didn’t totally work out. I didn’t take into consideration that the pattern would be going around the edge of a round cloak, so it’s going to cause some issues later on but I still like how it looks. If I did it again I would make a pattern that works in a circle.
I cut out the size I liked then set it aside to cut into a piece of overhead paper.
This is the stencil I made using clear overhead paper. The edges don’t have to be 100% perfect as i’m going to be using my airbrush to apply the paint and it will feather a bit.
Here’s the final cloak and check out this little video from my Instagram to see a time lapse.
This took me a few days after work to do. I would position the stencil, spray the paint then wipe off the stencil so I could see through it again to position. I just put on some tunes and went into zen mode.
Like I said, the pattern doesn’t 100% work and changes a bit from the edge to the centre. I’m fine with how it looks and once it’s actually on Mysterio it’s pretty forgiving.
Next, using the same dark purple paint, I shade the edges and the centre of the cloak.
I do the same to the front of the cloak and that’s it for painting.
Next I’m going to start working on the collar and clasp area.
At this point I cut out the neck hole. Go very very slow and cut less than you think you need. Cutting more is easy but cutting to much can ruin the cloak.
Then I gather up the corners and use my fabric glue to keep them together. The metal wire is on the bottom and I tried to fold the two corners the same way. I wanted two creases on each side but you can do more or less for whatever you need. I’m going to be mounting the eye cloak clasp on the ends of these so if you get some glue on the ends it’s okay.
Again go slow. It’s easy to ruin the cloak at this stage.
Underneath I mount the magnets that will attach the cloak to the body. I use my normal super glue but again go slow because super glue stains fabric and you cant get it out.
This also hardens the fabric a bit which helped out with the mounting.
Next we need to make the cloak clasps.
1: For the clasp I wanted to do a more defined eye in the diamond shape. I saw all sorts of different version of the clasps so I just sort of did whatever I wanted.
Just like the bracer I cut a piece of plasticard for the general shape.
2: Then I sculpted the centre of the eye.
3: Once that dried I sculpted the eye lids.
4: Last I sculpted a border around the whole thing.
Then I did a cast of the eye the same way as the bracer.
Next I did some light sanding to clean up the clasp. I also removed some of the thickness from the bottom and the border. I didn’t like how they sat flat over the cloak so I ended up heating them up and reshaping them around the cloak the same way as the hands.
Now these are ready to paint! The second failed cloak I did I attached the clasps before painting them and that was a mistake. So we are going to paint the clasps now then attach them to the cloak.
1: Next, I prime the clasp 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.
2: Base coat with a light pink/purple using the airbrush
3: Next I apply a Dark Purple Wash with a brush.
4: Finally I highlight with a very light purple using a brush.
Then using superglue, I glue the clasps onto the cloak and its done!
Here’s the finished cloak!
Here is the final sculpt! I reassemble the final figure before painting to make sure everything looks good and to make any sculpting changes.
One thing to note is this cloak obviously isn’t the finished cloak we just made. This was the 2nd cloak I made and I wasn’t happy with how the painting turned out so I made another one. Painting it before doing all the creases, magnets, and clasps was a huge help.
It’s on to painting!
Not a ton of painting with this guy but everything is taken apart and washed with some slightly soapy water. Once everything is dry I mask off a few of the areas I don’t want to get paint on. Mainly the chest magnets, the socket for the dome, and the leg and arm pegs. I use Tamiya tape or silly putty for all of my masking.
Next I prime using my airbrush and the zenithal method that I mentioned before. You can see shading already starting to show up.
Again priming is super important and shouldn’t be skipped. You want your paint to have the best chance possible staying on your figure and this is a big part of that.
1: I masked off the bracers and did the base coat with a dark green paint on the body and arms using my airbrush.
2: Next I hit some of the raised areas with a regular green as a highlight and that’s it for the base coat.
Base coat of the yellow/green parts. This is a florescent yellow paint that I mixed with a bit of bright green.
Then I added a some shading with a bright green paint. It’s sort of hard to see the colours in this photo but you will see the shading a better later.
1: Here’s a better shot of the airbrushed base body. I did a bit of cleanup by hand with my brush on some of the areas missed but nothing major. Mostly just in the calf and waist swivel.
2: The joys of sculpting the squares. I can just use my brush to drop some dark green wash into the sculpt and let it flow along the lines.
Last, I hit the top of every square with a small light green highlight to give a bit of depth.
That’s it for the body. I’m going to be using this method for all the other parts as well. Base, Wash, Highlight and done.
1: Base colour after general cleanup. You always have to clean up the edges where you masked parts off.
2: Dark green wash.
3: Highlight on the squares and bracers. I had a really hard time getting the bracer highlight to show up in the photos for some reason but I basically just hit the top of all the circles and the edges of the outer bracer.
Arms all done!
1: Base colour.
2: Dark green wash.
3: Highlight on the top of the boots and tops of the boot panels. Something about my phone’s camera makes it really hard to see the highlights of this colour.
1: The casting hands base colour.
2: Dark green wash.
1: The fist base colour.
2: Dark green wash.
Here’s the finished body! I’m really happy with how this turned out. Sculpting the squares was a bit of a slog but I think it really pays off in the end.
Time to finish off the dome and the base!
1: Like I said before, the head I’m using for inside the globe is a random skull I got from the Casting Cave. My goal with this isn’t to have someone look at the dome and say “oh there’s a skull in there” I want it to just be the suggestion of a head shape. If you look at Mysterio in the comics its mostly just a head outline.
So nothing really to do to this guy. Its going to be mostly covered and held in place by the poly stuffing around it. I had to dremel a bit off the back of the head to get it to fit into the dome.
2: I use the green Tamiya clear paint thinned with Turpenoid and give my head a green filter. Then I add some extra green into the recessed areas. Again not too much as I don’t want it to stick out too much.
3: Here’s the final result. Spoooookkyyy
This is the final super mysterious fishbowl all done!
This was a huge pain to do actually haha. You would think you could just put it in with the poly stuffing around the head and it would work but it took me forever to get everything even and looking right. The other problem is you need the head to sit at the right height or it doesn’t look proportional.
I ended up gluing a bit of the poly fibre to the top of the skull so I knew the height was correct. Then I filled in the sides with little chunks of the poly fill stuffing.
And that’s it for the actual figure! All that’s left is the base.
1: One of my favourite parts of Mysterio is the atmosphere fog he seems to ride around in every comic so I knew I needed to work it into a base.
For this I’m using my Poly fiber fill and a Figma stand I had kicking around.
2: I saw some statues that did this cool fog tendril thing for bases so I wanted to do something similar but make it pose-able. So I got some of my heavier bead wire, dipped it into white glue and stuck the poly fill around it. Then I pinched rough “billows” and let it dry
3: Here are my three finished tendrils after a bunch of pushing and pulling of the fill. The general idea with the shape is to create puffs and depth. If it looks like one long tube of fog it wont look good.
I left the ends with no poly fill on them as I will be attaching them to the figma base.
4: I did the same general thing to the arm of the figma stand. I wanted this to still be pose-able and to be removable so I just made sure I didn’t put any glue on the top of middle joints.
Here’s the big base fog puff that will sit on the base. Again it looks best if you create puffs and depth rather than one solid shape. I’m also going to be painting this to give it even more depth.
Next, I drill three little holes into the base of the Figma stand and insert the end of my tendrils, give them a twist then superglue them in place.
I also put some white glue onto the top of the Figma base and massaged the big base puff into the glue a bit.
Here’s the final base! Its a very fun little base that was super easy to make. The middle arm of the Figma stand pops off if I just want to stand Mysterio in the fog.
Now the final touch. I’m going to add a bit of colour and accentuate the puffs we made.
I tried a few different colours but ended up using the blue. I think any of the colours would have been cool but I sort of felt like making it purple or green made it seem like the figure had to much purple or green.
As you can see I’m just using my airbrush to put paint into the crevasses and leaving the tops white. I’m also not going to do it as heavy as I did here. Just a subtle blue colour.
Here’s the finished base! You can check out the tendrils in action in this video from my Instagram!
And that’s it, the final member of my Sinister Six, Mysterio!
This was a very challenging custom to make but I really think its worth it in the end and I couldn’t be more happy with him.
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!