Having experienced my adolescence during the late 80's/early 90's, I of course loved the Ninja Turtles. They were, however, quickly forgotten about once Power Rangers hit the scene. Nice to see now that the Turtles are by far the more enduring of the two, seeing as how Power Rangers seem to be such a shadow of their former selves that they're now just replaying MMPR instead of making up a new season. At any rate, we all know now that the original Ninja Turtles toys kinda sucked, and were in desperate need of an update. Sadly, Playmates has always put out largely mediocre TMNT stuff, so I took it upon myself to do the update.
Head, Torso, Hands, Feet, Belt, Swords, and Scabbards: 2k3 Leo
Arms and Legs: ML AoA Weapon X
Elbow Pads, Knee Pads, Wristbands: Leather straps
At first I thought he'd just be a really simple parts swap, but it didn't turn out that easy, because of course nothing fit. To get the arms to fit, I tore out Weapon X's shoulder sleeves, dremeled space into Leo's arm sockets, and epoxied the shoulder sleeves in. That gave him all the arm articulation of the Weapon X figure. To get the legs to work was more tricky. There weren't any gears or anything inside of Leos torso keeping his legs tight, all there was was rubber circle on each hip peg. This presented a problem for putting new legs in, because they'd just be loose. So I cut off the circles, and attached them to Weapon Xs hip pegs, and put them in place. Still loose. He require a lot of very carefully applied layers of superglue and baking soda before a tight fit was achieved. I added Weapon X's neck to the figure as well to give him better head movement. Unfortunately, all these changes left some pretty uneven and rough surfaces. On top of that, his neck looked way too long, and his legs way too skinny. He looked more like he had frog legs. So out came the fixit sculpt. His entire neck/clavicle/shoulder area was resculptd and heightened to make his neck less long and give him bigger traps. To bulk up his legs, they were also entirely sculpted over as well. I still wasn't satisfied with his look though, and I pinpointed the reason: That ridiculous half toothy smile on his face. So I went in there with some sculpt and gave him a more appropriately stoic expression. I also sculpted his eyes to be a bit more narrow.
Painted him with citadel paints, and it took a while to decide on the right shade of green, but I think it turned out well. He has a very cartoony look about him that I love. He's got 28 points of articulation, compared to the original toys 7. I feel like he's a big "mission accomplished" for me, as well as one of the more challenging figures I've made, certainly my best example of musculature sculpting. He'll be available soon too.