Buu saga SS Gohan Difficulty: 5/10 How to make: The original figure is really cool, but his legs are extremely long and his arms (particularly the left one if I remember correctly--I don't think much had to be removed from the right arm at all) are slightly too long. Cut chunks out, epoxy back together (super glue won't hold this type of plastic permanently), fill in gaps with apoxie sculpt, sand, and paint. Took awhile, but was worth it. He's now one of my favorite figures! I only repainted his pants and portions of his wrist bands, skin, and belt. I normally do full repaints, but this figure is from when Irwin was REALLY painting things well, and their paint job particularly on the face is not something I want to compete with! The paint colors are very unusual and hard to match, but I did my best with what color I have to mix together.
It's great to finally have a Gohan that is the same height as the others.
I had to photoshop the before and after picture together because I don't own another one of these Gohans, but I did have a very similar picture I took of him when he came in the mail.
Burter Difficulty: 9/10 How to make: I've always liked Burter as a character, because in some artwork (not much to be honest!) the guy is REALLY well drawn and has really unusual proportions. This guy took a lot of hours, but as far as difficulty goes, he wasn't as hard to make as some of the others I have created! Sculpting-wise he wasn't too bad, but the engineering to make him actually work was quite difficult. I mean, lengthening the legs... filling the hole for the tail... extending the wrists... there was a lot of work to make this guy as good as he is. I really like how he turned out. First, you'll need a Jakks King Cold. If you have him, you can probably make Burter, but I decided to use some other parts to make him better and save myself a bit of sculpting. I used Irwin Burter legs (extended them with cork and apoxie), Irwin Burter head (HEAVILY cut down and resculpted), Jakks Captain Ginyu hands, and the rest was all King Cold. The minor stuff takes hours on this guy, from removing King Cold's wrist details, to sculpting the new hands in, to... well... everything! Fortunately none of it was hard compared to... for example... sculpting Goz and Mez. I currently have Burter's elbow, shoulder, and wrist articulation disabled. Once the clear has had a few days to dry, I could risk cutting the joints and giving him some mobility but I currently don't see the point. He looks badass, and if I do that, he'll end up having to look a bit more like his friend Ginyu with damaged paint on his joints. Speaking of Ginyu, I finally made him a scouter the same time I made Burter one. It's clear packaging for the lens with lime green permanent marker, foam sheet for the lens holder, and apoxie sculpt for the rest of the scouter. To get the scouter to clip onto Burter's ear, I used the hot glue trick I learned about on figurerealm.com. Use Vaseline on the figure, put hot glue in what you sculpted (the scouter) and stick it on and rotate it. It'll perfectly mold to the head and thus not need a peg in this case. I don't have it attached perfectly in most of these pics, but oh well. For Ginyu's scouter, I did the same trick, but since he already has a hole in his head, I used a toothpick for the peg, drilled the hole toothpick-size, and used a similar trick of using vaseline to keep the apoxie sculpt from sticking to the head while I sculpted the scouter. For the head, I made a peg for it out of apoxie and then used the hot glue trick to attach it to the head. Works like a factory figure basically. All in all, everything turned out real nice. I'm disappointed I got my finger stuck to the symbol I designed and put on crooked and that black shows so many flaws and is a bit glumpy by nature, but otherwise I'm very happy with everything. Maybe someday when I run out of projects I'll replace Jeice's Ginyu Force symbol and repaint Ginyu's joints and do a bit of other work on him. I would like to work on redoing Recoome and making a Guldo sometime later this year.
Enjoy what I consider to be my new favorite custom. If anyone is interested in my old Irwin Burter repaint, I will sell him for $250 plus shipping. I don't want to take less and am only willing to part with him because he's now redundant, but I don't need to get rid of him so... no haggling accepted.
Goten and Kid Trunks Difficulty: 1/10 without painting, 3/10 with painting How to make: Get chara puchi Goten and Trunks (they are super deformed big head figures sitting on dragon balls) and remove the heads. Put them on Irwin or Jakks bodies. Paint if you desire. No sculpting necessary other than carving the inside of the heads a bit. I didn't notice Irwin got some black on Goten's right hand. Oh well, I don't care haha.
SS Goten and SS Kid Trunks Difficulty: 3/10 How to make: You'll just need the Jakks figures of them. I added bangs to Trunks, and modified Goten's hair style as well. I made Goten's ears larger and lower. I didn't want to do a complete repaint of them, so I left their clothes alone. They look a lot better now and a little more accurate. I'm not completely satisfied with my sculpting on Trunks' bangs, and kind of prefer what I had roughed out previously, but it wasn't epoxy putty, so needed to be replaced. His hair is technically still inaccurate as I didn't want to resculpt it from scratch. I'm very happy with Goten. I used some pearl in the yellow of their hair, but I didn't paint them my typical bleach blonde color I like to do. I figured they would look a bit better like this.
I hope we can all agree that they are overall much better than they were before even though I didn't fix every single little thing.
End of DBZ Pan Difficulty: 5/10 How to make: This is an older custom I had to restore. I didn't fully restore it, I just touched it up. It's made from parts of Irwin SS Goten and SS Trunks. Goten's head with the hair removed (a difficult process), Trunks arms and maybe torso (don't remember), and Goten's legs. The hair is sculpted from scratch out of marblex clay if I remember right, which really isn't very suitable for figures because if she falls, her hair breaks and I have to glue it back on. Anyway, I didn't want to completely redo this custom, just fix the paint, so I did that and cleared her and she looks cute again. FYI, Goku has never been cleared, so if you need to see a reference of how model master's flat clear acryl changes a figure, you can tell in the last two shots... it doesn't change very much and gets rid of the terracotta pottery texture and makes the figures look more factory finish.
Short-haired Videl Difficulty: 3/10 How to make: This was a very easy custom to make, but she was just a little time consuming. You get a chara puchi Videl, remove the head, hollow it out a bit, and sculpt more material to the back of her head/hair. Then you sculpt a bit of the tank top and such. I had to fix damage, so I had to go through some other processes most people would not. Her shirt was cracked and neck was broken. Once done sculpting, you just repaint everything, and other than the purple/pink shirt and burgundy socks being a bit unusual colors and requiring mixing, I didn't really have any issues. I guess painting the under arms was a bit tricky, but not bad. I managed to match the skintone, so I was able to skip repainting the arms and legs, which saved me time. Something kind of nice that you can notice in the pic with Broly is that she can tilt her head up and down really well, so despite her body not allowing very interesting new poses, her head can do things most of my figures cannot. Goten can do it a little bit, but Trunks can't since I had to make him a neck peg.
Tien from Saiyan/Frieza/Any Saga Difficulty: 3/10 How to make: Take Trilogy Tien and the BD SS Goku and swap their torsos. The torsos are hard to pop but not impossible. They use different sized pegs so for Tien you'll need to cut the waist peg hole on Goku's torso larger. You'll have to reuse Goku's upper arms so pop the forearms and switch. I repainted the red, redid the eyebrows, and painted the scar accurate to most scenes in Saiyan Saga. I don't like the lifeless plastic skin, but it matches, or the green or the Goku boots, but it works...
Nail (sold) Difficulty: 5/10 How to make: I received a shirtless Piccolo in a lot I purchased and I decided to finish the previous owner's custom. They glued Garlic Jr's cape to Nail's neck. I masked and spray painted the pants with white plastic paint about 5 coats in all. Then I hand painted two layers. I went back and sprayed the inside of the knees and painted another coat by hand all over. This spray painting experiment turned out pretty incredible. Except for the few places where the paint stuck (the only big portion is in the right knee) it is fantastically durable. I went ahead and removed the neck wrap and sprayed it. I messed up the paint a bit on the front of the neck wrap putting the head back on, but I painted over it by hand. I made replacement antennas and epoxied them on and tried to match the paint to the green on his head. I repainted the entire belt and painted his shoulder things red since they were inaccurately green. All in all, a very successful experiment and I'm happy to say that I will be selling it on ebay this week. It's one of the only customs I've ever made that you can successfully pose without the paint just destroying itself, which is very nice. Big thanks to the spray paint...
Krillin (sold) Difficulty: 2/10 How to make: I've had this figure partially finished for years now. I repainted all of the skin and redid the details on the face. Why? Because the original figure was cross-eyed, had bad skin color, and just didn't look right. I made one or two others like this one years previously.
BEFORE (not my pic... sorry... don't have a "before" pic)
SS Trunks in armor Difficulty: 3/10 How to make: I didn't like the original head and I received a broken energy blasting SS Trunks in armor in a lot I purchased so I decided to switch the heads. The switch isn't very straight forward, but it was still easy. I filled in the gaps, made a peg, glued SBC SS Trunks' pony tail on, then filled in more gaps and painted. It turned out really nice and is a great addition to my collection.
Since people were critical of my SS Trunks and SS Goten not having much highlight to their hair, I did a little more to this guy's hair. I didn't do shadows as I dislike shadows on SS hair. SS hair = midtones and highlights to me. I don't like the orange/goldenrod shadowing in some DBZ scenes. Yuck.
Tenkaichi Budokai Announcer Difficulty: 6/10 How to make: The body is a very shortened Dr. Who figure of the character named The Master. The head is a modified chara puchi head I sculpted a lot onto the backside of. The microphone is made of two plastic pieces. I chose to go outside DBZ because this figure was wearing the perfect outfit and I REALLY didn't want to use a Yamcha for the announcer since Yamcha is way too buff for him.
Android 18 Difficulty: 1/10 How to make: In much of the anime, 17 and 18 appear to have eyeliner on just like Majin Vegeta and Frieza do. Therefore, since I replaced my 18 with a better one awhile back, I decided to finally paint her eyeliner and mascara. I decided to redo the hair, paint the earring a little different yellow, and make her lips pink to make her a little more feminine. Just my personal taste. The hair needed paint because some of it was oddly white unpainted plastic. Not damage, just simply plastic that was never painted. Kind of weird.
Frieza Saga Goku Difficulty: 2/10 How to make: Take an Irwin series 4 Goku, put a Jakks Spirit Bomb Goku head on it, sculpt the neck to fit, repaint. Instead of repainting the skin on the arms and chest, I mixed as close of a matching color as I could. I must be gifted at mixing matching colors because this looks exact...
Most of these figures are from 2001 to 2003. I moved to Dallas when I was a senior in high school and had trouble making friends because I was literally the only kid who was new to the school as a senior that year. So I had lots of customizing time.
Here's some pics I took for you of old and new.
Words of interest... 1) The battle damaged Vegeta was resculpted entirely with Wildberry Starburst candy. I hated that flavor and noticed that after a few months it became rock hard, so I used it as an experiment. It has lasted better than most of my sculpey customs, however it does have a sticky residue that has come out of the paint... 2) I used to use a spray on clear gloss sometimes to protect the paint; this crap sucks, it has left customs like Frieza sticky to this day. 3) I didn't used to use any clear at all. Customs I haven't cleared have not survived falls as well as those I have cleared. Model Masters Flat Clear Acryl is awesome. 4) You'll notice my sculpting has improved a lot, mostly due to better materials and tools. My painting has gotten a little better just due to patience and a willingness to do better work thanks to better sculpting. 5) Janemba was my old best custom, now Burter is my new best custom. Janemba is pretty freakin' amazing considering he was modified with sculpey from an X-men Quicksilver figure.
I've uploaded big versions you can see here. I'm on my laptop so I don't have my normal watermark font.
Last Edit: Aug 29, 2013 17:06:25 GMT -6 by Branjita
Saiyan Saga Krillin Difficulty: 5/10 How to make: The body is a bootleg HSCF Krillin. I cut the feet off and reglued them in a better position. I taped the tips of the belt to his legs and coated the belt in super glue so it wouldn't have such a dramatic windblown effect. I cut the head and arms off. The head, because it was too small, and the arms, because I wanted to try articulating them. I drilled holes with a drill and used the remnants left over from a plastic model kit for the pegs. I didn't do a great job of getting the holes drilled exactly where I planned, but I won't make that mistake in the future, because I'll use a nail to start the hole in the right place next time. I did some sculpting work on the neck and shoulders and hollowed out the chara puchi Krillin head to fit the neck. Then I sprayed white plastic paint on him in several coats and repainted him by hand. It was a very long process for something most people would just head swap and call done.
I ended up using a different Chara Puchi head than the one shown.
FINALLY, a Krillin that is in scale that is wearing his most common outfit.
I forgot to take a group pic of all my Krillins so here it is. Hopefully somebody will finally buy the far left one. The BK one is second and he's the nicest easy to make Krillin anybody can get. I'm glad I don't like Buu saga very much, because I have zero interest in making a Buu Saga Krillin that's to scale. The Deagostini DBGT one is nice. The BK/chara puchi mixed one will be good when I work on him more. The FAK custom one is almost done, and hopefully someone will buy him. He was too cool of a custom to not redo and try to sell. I'm not sure what the deal is with Krillins, but even the really nice ones won't get any interest. There's so many awful ones that you'd think there'd be SOME demand for nicely painted ones.
Last Edit: Sept 6, 2013 11:10:57 GMT -6 by Branjita
AB Yamcha repaint (sold) Difficulty: 2/10 How to make: The AB Yamcha I received from France was in really good condition except the paint on one of his feet was literally peeling off for some reason. I was actually able to pick the paint off with my fingernail. So I decided that it would be better if I would repaint the shoes, and actually make them accurately colored. The hair had some paint missing, so I decided to repaint it as well. Halfway through the process, I decided to repaint the scars and I ended up doing some very, very light detail work to the eyes, lips, muscles, between the fingers, etc. Something else that really improved the overall appearance of this figure was painting the underside of the eyebrows. My paintwork is protected by Model Masters Flat Clear Acryl, so the paint should not chip too easily. All articulation remains (wrists, head, waist, and ball jointed shoulders) and he looks a lot better now. I will be selling this custom on ebay as I don't need this version of Yamcha. I think I will also finally put some of the other Yamcha items I have been meaning to sell on ebay as well...
Someday I'll be where I want to be with this group shot. Only Krillin and Piccolo are going to work for my Saiyan Saga group. I have to make my own Yamcha still, a different Gohan, a different Tien, and a different Chaozu to make myself happy.
But, as you can see, Yamcha will help complete the average (less picky) collector's collection. I'm going to be asking $45 for him on ebay as a starting bid. If I don't get at least that much, I'll just keep him until I finish my own saiyan saga Yamcha and then try selling him again.
Last Edit: Sept 6, 2013 11:12:13 GMT -6 by Branjita
Early Namek Saga Vegeta Difficulty: 4/10 How to make: This was a project Capsulexnike paid me to complete. I switched Jakks Namek Saga Vegeta arms, crotch, head, and legs over to a Saiyan Saga Vegeta torso. I then put the Saiyan Saga feet on the body. All of the articulation remains. The waist won't fit perfect, so you have to sculpt that a bit on the inside of the torso. I gave Vegeta a nosejob and sculpted over the ridges on his toes. Other than that, the rest is all paintwork for the most part. I spent a very long time scraping excess paint off underneath a lit magnifying glass around the yellow parts of the armor so I wouldn't have to repaint the torso since I wouldn't be able to match the pearl-like white sheen of the plastic.
Because of that lot I bought last week, I was able to take some comparison pics. Because my collection is basically complete now except for some missing parts/accessories I need, I probably won't be buying anymore lots unless something rare I've always wanted is in one... so not many (if any) more comparison pics will be easily taken.
Last Edit: Sept 6, 2013 11:13:44 GMT -6 by Branjita
Nappa Difficulty: 10/10 How to make: This took me months to make. SZF Ginyu legs, Irwin Burter torso and arms, Irwin Nappa hands, Jakks Master Roshi head, Jakks Raditz tail and months (I started him back in January and have been working on and off on him) of sculpting and painting. The scouter is sculpted and removable. The shoulder flapping articulation still functions without paint removal thanks to hours spent modifying them (worth the time...? Not sure). I probably spent over 80 hours on him. The engineering portion to make the arms and everything still work is what added at least 10 or 20 hours. Until you try it yourself, you'll never know just how much you have to sand and cut away to make the shoulders not lose any paint when you move them. It's not perfect, but it's as close as I am capable with my limited tools and materials. I had a harder time sculpting his white waistband smoothly than any other part of this project. I just don't have the tools to do something like that smoothly.
He was more work than Burter, so I'd say he's better, but I still like Burter or Nail best just because of their colors. I'm so thankful to finally be done with him. Now I can get paid for Vegeta, send him to Cap, and start finishing some of my more minor customs. I'm tired of making the really elaborate hard customs for the moment. Unless I change my mind, Nappa will be my last really impressive one for awhile.
Last Edit: Sept 6, 2013 11:16:37 GMT -6 by Branjita
Dende Difficulty: 2/10 How to make: This is a very easy custom. I used the body from a Dragon World Collectible Dende and the head from a Chara Puchi Dende to make this. All you have to do is remove the DWC head, trim the neck peg to be small enough to go into the CP head, and then put on the head. No sculpting is involved other than what is done with a knife and a tiny amount of sanding. I repainted the entire figure to be accurately colored. Very easy. It's a little bit small to be to scale, but it's so cute and perfect that I love it. My other one is a better size, but I made him too serious looking.
Wilderness Survival Gohan Difficulty: 3/10 How to make: This wasn't too difficult. The body is a modified DWC SS Goku (Frieza saga) figure with the arms from a DWC Frieza form 4 (I resculpted them), and head from a Chara Puchi Gohan I modified quite a lot. The figure is slightly larger than it should be, but not by much (looks a year older in height than he should be). I gave him skinnier arms to make him look more like the wimpy 5 year old he was at the time. His tail is made from a very difficult (fairly thick) piece of aluminum wire I bent using two pairs of needle nose pliers. I then covered it in apoxie, made a hole at the base of his spine, and glued it in. This Gohan is from the time period just after Raditz had been beaten when Piccolo kidnapped Gohan and left him to die/survive by himself. This was a very short time period on DBZ Kai, but a pretty long period on regular DBZ. The only scenes from Kai I remember are him eating sour apples, getting chased by the Paozusaurus (T-rex lookalike), and ultimately this outfit was destroyed when he turned into an Oozaru. I really like the way this turned out considering how easy it was and how little effort I put into it.