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FAQ: Customizing Tips and Questions

Do you sell your custom figures?

How do I take apart a figure?

    If youíre asking me this question, then you havenít seen my Captain Antilles Recipe Tutorial in the Tutorials section. SHAME ON YOU! Click here to visit the page on boiling and taking apart figures. While youíre there, you might want to check out the whole tutorial.

Iím new to customizing. Where should I begin?

    Start with simple customs, like repaints or just swapping heads and other body parts. I think a good way to learn some of the basic skills of customizing is with my Captain Antilles Recipe Tutorial. Once youíre comfortable with the simple stuff, move up to Sculpey. Once you get a foot in the door, youíll be addicted. Kiss your free time goodbye.

What figures should I make?

    If you need to ask this question, then I donít know if you should customize. Feel, donít think. Let your creativity guide you.

How do you make "Non-Buff" figures?

    Simple. I put them into the Non-Buff machine, and they come out looking like normally proportioned figures. Hmm...

    There is no cut and dry process for making Non-Buff figures. A Non-Buff figure is simply what I call it when I remake one of those obscenely muscular POTF2 figures that Kenner between 1995 and 1997. For examples of Non-Buff figures, see my Non-Buff Boba Fett, stormtrooper, Rebel Fleet Trooper, Greedo, Lando, and Carbonite Han.

    And by the way, the use of the phrase "Non-Buff" is copyrighted by me, Erik Schroeder. All other use of this phrase is restricted. If you use this phrase without prior written consent, I will reach out with the Force and - oh, never mind. Just think of me fondly when you say "Non-Buff."

Do you make customized cards for your figures?

    No. The reason is that I don't collect carded figures. As soon as I get a figure, I free it from its packaging. Customizing cards seems fun and creative, but it's just not my thing. If you're interested in making cards for your figures, check out the Packaging Section at the Forgotten Force Ultimate Resource Guide.

Do you know where I can get vintage-style blister bubbles for carding figures?

    Yep. You can order them from TJ's Toys. Go to their online store, then click on "Supplies/Blisters". Good luck!

Do you customize Episode I or Episode II figures?

    Yes, although I havenít done many. I have a "wait and see" attitude about Prequel customs. Since Hasbro seems to be cranking out a lot of figures, Iím just waiting to see what they wonít make, and then Iíll get more into it. Also, I guess I just havenít been very interested. The original Star Wars trilogy has bounced around in my head for many years; the Prequels havenít really had time to sink into my imagination.

I have some old vintage figures (stormtroopers, Luke, Leia, etc) and their white plastic has turned yellow. How can I make them white again?

    As far as I can tell, figure yellowing is something that happens when the plastic is exposed to sunlight. I've heard a multitude of remedies (letting the sun bleach them [DUH], using bleach, washing them in the dishwasher, soaking them in denture cleaner), but these are all bunk. The plastic has undergone a chemical reaction, and there's no turning back.

    A simple solution is painting them. However, that generally looks pretty bad. And then it'll look even worse if the paint wears off in a certain spot.

    The only good way, as far as I know, to get them looking normal is sanding them with a very fine grit sandpaper (like 400 or 600). The idea is to strip away the yellowed plastic and get to the still-white stuff underneath. The more severe the yellowing, the deeper you'll have to go.

    I've done this with some vintage stormtroopers. They came out OK (definitely better than before), but the finish looks a little off. The sanding will work better on the arms and legs, because of the softer plastic. The hard plastic of the body can be sanded too, but it will be difficult to retain the smooth plastic finish.


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This page last modified on 8/25/2006
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