Custom Action Figure Tutorials
Welcome to the wild, wet, and wonderfully weird world of action figure customization! This is where great customizers pool their figure-smashing know-how to help new customizers. Why customize? Because the toy companies will never make that gorgeous Red Sonja figure of your dreams, and customizing is the only way to get it! We have an ever-expanding collection of tutorials you can use freely to sharpen your skills. No matter how hard or how insanely impossible a task may be, keep poking, tearing, popping, and burning your way through your figures until you get the results you're looking for! And as always, feel free to ask questions of this great community we have here if you need help with anything!

Of course, if you have an informative tutorial that you've created and you'd like to share with the customizing world, please Submit it!

Custom Tutorials Disclaimer
Customizing can be a fun, but dangerous hobby. These tutorials are contributed by other customizers. Some of the things recommended in the tutorials may be dangerous, such as the use of boiling water or sharp objects. You shouldn't attempt anything mentioned without adult permission and supervision. Figure Realm and/or the authors of the tutorials are not liable for any injuries or damages occurring from any attempt to follow suggestions in these tutorials.

That being said, good luck with your creations!

Custom Tutorials
Figure Fundamentals
Before learning to swim one must learn to float. Or hire a lifeguard. Or build a boat? Whatever! Stick a sponge in your brain and dive in! Fundamental lessons and recommendations for customizing tools are found here.

Apoxie Sculpt GuideDetails on how to use and order Apoxie Sculpt.  (by Jin Saotome)
Basic CustomizingOverview on customizing techniques.  (by Jin Saotome)
Basic Joint DisassemblyExplains basic joint disassembly for modern multi-jointed figures.  (by Dr Nightmare)
Body SwapsBeginner tutorial for swapping body parts  (by wyLun)
Boiling SculpeyFigures melting in the oven when you cure your Sculpey? Try boiling them instead!  (by Gee_jays_Customs)
Cracking Figures Apart With Minimal DamageAn alternate method for cracking figures apart  (by Dr Nightmare)
Cracking Open a FigureA guide to safely cracking open a figure's torso and keeping the pieces intact.  (by Mint Condition Customs)
Custom BeginningsA crash course for new customizers.  (by VariablePenguin)
Dismemberment & PrepHow to tear apart and prep the figures for customs  (by Buzzy_Fret)
Eliminate Paint RubLearn how to eliminate paint rub from an action figure's joints.  (by Dr Nightmare)
Fixit Sculpt GuideDetails on using and ordering Fixit Sculpt.  (by Jin Saotome)
Heat 'N PopIf you don't have a pot, or water, or a stove, use this tutorial to remove those pesky body-parts.  (by Dr Nightmare)
Joint Protection with SuperglueSuper-Glue isn't just for covering your hands to play with porcupines, you can prevent paint-rub with it too!  (by Dr Nightmare)
Joint TypesExplains different types of joints found in action figures.  (by Dr Nightmare)
Paint and ToolsOverview on tools and paints you'll need to start customizing.  (by Jin Saotome)
Pre-Paint WashFathom demonstrates how to wash figures in preparation for painting  (by Dr Nightmare)
Prepping Your FigureCustomizing is 90% preparation, and 10% artistry. This tutorial teaches you how to properly prepare your figures for painting and sculpting, and teaches you how to eliminate joint paint rub.  (by Mint Condition Customs)
Preserving Your PaintsEver get a new bottle of paint, use up half of it, and then when you get it out again it's all dried up? This quick guide shows you how to better preserve your paints for future use!  (by Mint Condition Customs)
Reducing Paint-rub in JointsHere's how to help stop the paint from chipping-off at the joints.  (by Jin Saotome)
Sealing CustomsHow to seal your customs to preserve their great paint-job.  (by Kyle Robinson)
Shoulder Joint ProtectionHow to protect ball and socket joints from paint rub  (by Darththomas)
Shoulder Joint Protection Part 2An alternative method to using superglue  (by Darththomas)
Ultimate Starting GuideThe ultimate starting guide to customizing.  (by Kyle Robinson)
Painting Blues
Stroke through this section to relieve your paint-related woes. Lessons on how to thin paint and choose the proper shade for plastic nipples can be found here.

Air Brushing4 steps to airbrushing.  (by Gee_jays_Customs)
Color Dye Your Action FiguresHow to color your action figure without paint to avoid paint rub  (by monoloco"el cuztoymizer")
Dry-BrushingA mandatory lesson, this is a comprehensive study of dry-brushing.  (by Dr Nightmare)
Metallic Color 101Shows you how to give your figure that cool metallic color.  (by Kyle Robinson)
Painting a HeadStep-by-step instructions on how to paint a head.  (by Hemble)
Painting a TrenchcoatHow to apply realistic shading and dirt effect  (by Shinigami)
Painting EffectivelyCovers common painting techniques and how to do them.  (by Jin Saotome)
Painting EyesUse this tutorial to give your figures perfect eyes so they can stare at their perfect bodies.  (by rateeg)
Painting TransformersHelpful tips, from the master himself, on how to paint Transformers.  (by Shinobitron)
Reaslistic Skin TonesExplains the method I use to achieve my skintones  (by Darththomas)
Mods and Special FX
Add oomph!, pizzazz, and all sorts of other funny-sounding nouns to your figures. Convert joints, sculpt pouches, generate laser beams, guides for all that stuff can be found here.

Adding Swivel JointsLearn how to add simple swivels and magnetic joints to your figures.  (by Jin Saotome)
Ankle RockersHow to give rocker movement to the ankles of Hasbro's older figures. No cannibalization of other figures required.  (by Rider)
Articulating DigitsFinally, a simple way to add basic finger-articulation to those static hands!  (by VariablePenguin)
Conforming Sheet StyreneIf you need to make a visor for a helmet or a piece of armor, this tutorial shows you how to get that styrene to curve around parts of your figure.  (by Mint Condition Customs)
Converting Swivel HeadsConvert those swivel heads Marvel Legends style!  (by Kyle Robinson)
Custom Decals / InsigniasThis tutorial shows you how to make and apply custom decals and insignias for your action figures.  (by Mint Condition Customs)
Easy PouchesThis is a step by step guide on how to cast pouches quickly and cheaply  (by Valkyriezero1)
Energy BlastsHow to make cool energy blasts!  (by hellz-yeah)
Explosive EffectsGuide to creating powerful surges of energy.  (by superarticulated)
Extending Neck PegsAn easy and simple mod to fix those short, stubby necks.  (by antithetical)
Gun Hands For GirlsHot chicks love to shoot hot lead, use this tutorial to make your babes' hands hold their favorite toy.  (by Kyle Robinson)
Gun HolstersHow to Make Cheap Holsters for Action Figures  (by Skydive)
Hair SculptingTutorial that explains how to sculpt hair.  (by Punstarr)
Hot Glue JointThese are instructions on how to make joints from hot glue with no cutting or drilling!  (by pock63)
How to Solder an LED CircuitYou want to be able to add LED's to your customs, but you don't know how to solder? Look no further, this tutorial teaches you how to solder and where to buy supplies.  (by Mint Condition Customs)
LED EyesHow to add funtional LED eyes to your action figure.  (by VariablePenguin)
LED Light-up EffectsThis tutorial teaches you how to add an extra level of creativity and value to your customs by showing you how to add LED light-up effects!  (by Mint Condition Customs)
Magnetic Ball-bearing Neck-jointsHow to use magnets to create super-poseable neck-joints.  (by VariablePenguin)
Optic BlastsHow to make nifty optic blasts  (by Kyle Robinson)
Optic ImplantsBetter than tying a hunk of leather to your face!  (by superarticulated)
Posable CapesSo this is just an example of how one can go about making a custom cape or cloak that isn't just a hunk of plastic.  (by Deaditor)
Ripped MasksBecause heroes can't always keep their masks in pristine condition, here's a tutorial showing you how to make a "ripped mask" for your action figures.  (by Kyle Robinson)
Sculpting ClothingBecause real manly super-heroes don't wear tights, here's how to sculpt clothes on your figures.  (by Kyle Robinson)
Shoulder-Mounted Rocket LaunchersNow your Tansformers can ditch their puny laser-guns and upgrade to full-blown rocket-launchers!  (by Shinobitron)
Steel ClawsHow to make steel claws for Wolverine.  (by Kyle Robinson)
Steel Claws 2No, it's not a bad sequel about a giant mechanical man-eating shark, here's another way to make those nifty steel claws for Wolverine.  (by Jin Saotome)
Sword CanesBecause airport-security won't accept "but I need the sword to cut-up my fruit!" as an excuse, here's how to make sword-canes for your figures.  (by deadeye)
Symbiote TendrilsHow to make Symbiote tendrils  (by Kyle Robinson)
Symbiote Tendrils 2Another tutorial showing how to make symbiote tendrils.  (by Jin Saotome)
Repairs
Some day those figures are going to decide they need to fly off the shelf, and you're gonna have to glue the pieces back together. Here are some common problems you may encounter and how to fix them.

Bend FixHow to straighten bent parts on your figures.  (by Dr Nightmare)
Broken Shoulders and Hips FixDid Spiderman slip-off a roof and break something? Here's how to fix your figures' hips and shoulders.  (by Jin Saotome)
Fixing Waist JointsHow to use spare screws and other misc parts to repair broken waist joints.  (by TheLastSuperman)
Joint Peg RepairDid your figure arrive in the mail with a broken leg? This tutorial can help!  (by Kyle Robinson)
Neck Peg FixHow to repair a broken neck peg  (by Gee_jays_Customs)
Peg FixHow to replace broken pegs with screws  (by Dr Nightmare)
Repairing Broken Pegs with ScrewsWhen your figure gets injured in battle, instead of amputating, just replace his peg with a screw! This tutorial shows you how to do it.  (by Mint Condition Customs)
Stuck Waist JointsIf you've ever had a figure with a stuck waist joint, this tutorial shows you how to get him turning again!  (by Mint Condition Customs)
Tightening JointsHow to use super glue to tighten joints.  (by Dr Nightmare)
Targeted Tips
Here you'll find tutorials and ideas involving specific figures, parts, or gear.

Cape StorageHow to store figure capes and clothes  (by Dr Nightmare)
Fabric CostumesHow to make 1/6 fabric clothes  (by Vlad Basarab)
Hulk Buster ArmorHow to turn your Iron Monger into a fully hollow hulkbuster armour.  (by jadomiddlecustoms)
Improving ArticulationHow to improve articulation in Habro's female figs  (by Holy_Ghostbuster)
Landmine (Movie) Finger ModHow to individually articulate Landmine's fingers  (by Dr Nightmare)
Make a BaseWhat to use to make a base to display your action figures.  (by Jin Saotome)
NECA Street FightersArticulating, modifying and fixing Neca Street Fighter figures  (by MrGore)
On Plastic WingsDisappointed with the standard Marvel Legends Archangel? Here's how you can make your own, complete with poseable wings!  (by Jin Saotome)
Prototype Biomass WeaponsTwo methods on how to make shapeshifting weapons for Alex Mercer.  (by jadomiddlecustoms)
Removing DCSH/DCUC-syle BeltsHere's the easy way to slip-off those sturdy belts.  (by Dr Nightmare)
Rings and StonesHow to make real-like rings with stones  (by Vlad Basarab)
SMC Venom Jaw ModSick of accidentally ripping-out those flimsy "teeth" in Venom's mouth?  (by Jin Saotome)
Using LEGO for CustomsIdeas for using LEGO elements to customize  (by Eternomorph)
Miscellaneous
If you're looking for a guide on taking pictures, or how to keep your pet birds from using Barbie's hair as nesting material, you may find it here.

Figure PhotosBecause blurry pictures make us cry. Learn how to take clear pictures of your figures here.  (by Dr Nightmare)

Latest Custom Tutorial Comments
Sculpting Clothing created by Kyle Robinson
Because real manly super-heroes don't wear tights, here's how to sculpt clothes on your figures....[See More]
Jeremy_AB -
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Alright, so does anyone know to make a mini skirt on a figure?
Jesus_96 -
Monday, December 8, 2014
I need help,I want to make a scarlet spider but I want to have the hood over his head.
Any tips on how to do this.
RandyJordan -
Thursday, August 2, 2012
How do I make clothing and still make the figure move?
dbzismylife -
Saturday, April 26, 2014
sculpt around the joints.and try to paint around the joints as well but go close to the joints hope this maybe helpped
Articulating Digits created by VariablePenguin
Finally, a simple way to add basic finger-articulation to those static hands!...[See More]
GalacticCollector -
Thursday, April 21, 2016
Do you guys have a way to convert a Y jointed figure to a T jointed figure? I am gonna customize mg Marvel Legends Epic heroes Deadpool.
Red_Alpha_28 -
Wednesday, April 13, 2016
holy $hit that is awesome!!! and ballsy....kudos, can't wait to try this on some figures.
Kyatollah -
Thursday, October 11, 2012
This is great. I think I might adapt this to add ankles to some TMNT figures with static legs.
Ankle Rockers created by Rider
How to give rocker movement to the ankles of Hasbro's older figures. No cannibalization of other figures required....[See More]
GalacticCollector -
Thursday, April 21, 2016
Do you guys have a way to convert a Y jointed figure to a T jointed figure? I am gonna customize mg Marvel Legends Epic heroes Deadpool.
Sjefke -
Monday, April 6, 2015
This is brilliant!
Adding Swivel Joints created by Jin Saotome
Learn how to add simple swivels and magnetic joints to your figures....[See More]
GalacticCollector -
Thursday, April 21, 2016
Do you guys have a way to convert a Y jointed figure to a T jointed figure? I am gonna customize mg Marvel Legends Epic heroes Deadpool.
windblock2007 -
Wednesday, December 30, 2015
usually I cut the figure in half look for some kind of cheap action figure or something you don't care about or maybe a McDonald toy that has a large enough swivel I will cut out that portion using my dremel and then sand down any rough edges.make sure before you glue it in place you check for height distance because you're adding an extra piece of plastic to the figure....
what I do is I keep on sanding down until I get the right height proportions once that's done then I glue into place.
I usually cover up my cuts with some straps or some kind fodder belts.
I hope this works for you Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
detection -
Sunday, December 30, 2012
Does anyone have suggestions for adding a cut waist to a figure that doesn't have one? Would the screw technique work? Or a piece of a coat hanger? Though that doesn't have the mushroom effect...
DrChops -
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
If the figure is solid plastic, you can use a larger screw to make the waist rotate. If you are working with hollow pieces, I would recommend a collar-bead type assembly. Drill a small hole in one piece, sized to a paneling nail. Slide two round beads onto the nail, then super-glue the nail into the small hole, with the two beads projecting out, held in place by the nail head. Be careful not to attach the nail onto the beads with the glue, they need to spin freely. Drill a hole in the opposing piece that is a little bit bigger than the beads. Hot glue the beads in place. The beads will act as a collar, holding the figure tight together, and the nail and opposing piece will spin freely. Vaseline or chapstick can be used as a "resist" on the nail, stopping the glue from grabbing, but ...
Painting a Head created by Hemble
Step-by-step instructions on how to paint a head....[See More]
Altered Ego Customs -
Wednesday, April 20, 2016
Really good tutorial, especially the eyes. Thank you
Hemble -
Thursday, April 21, 2016
Cheers mate