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Prepping Your Figure
Customizing 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)   Update Tutorial

John Harmon's Guide on How to Prepare Your Figures for Painting and Sculpting

Prepping your figures is a vital aspect of customizing. It helps your paints and sculpting compounds adhere better to the figures, and gives an all over more professional look. So many people don’t have the patience for proper preparation and just skip right to painting. Usually what happens is the paint doesn’t adhere properly and flakes off, especially at the joints. Here I’m going to teach you how to eliminate joint rub, and how to prep the figure’s surface area for painting and sculpting.

What you’ll need is your figure, sand paper (100 grit, 300 grit, and 400 grit) which you can find at Walmart (the 100 grit is in hardware, the finer grits are in automotive), a dremel (with some diamond grinding bits), an X-Acto Knife, some dish soap, a tooth brush, warm water, a paper towel, and a hair dryer.

Alright, ready to prep your figure? Let’s begin!

That’s the end of the guide. I hope it helps!

Make sure you have read the disclaimer before attempting anything mentioned in the tutorial.

GreyngarrTheMighty - Tuesday, July 15, 2014
I am thinking about customizing a Mattel WWE Elite Collection Figure so I'm wondering... I don't have enough money for a Dremel, can I sand and paint each part individually? And how well does sandpaper work since its more readily available? Also, if I deconstruct the figure, paint it, and then soften the joints with hot water to reconstruct them, will the paint come off of the figure?
-=G H O S T=- - Monday, July 21, 2014
You don't need worry about the Dremel tool. If your using the whole figure base and limbs you don't have to disassembe everything; you can use the sand paper and prep the surface with different grits (lower grits to higher grits) with the figure together. If you want to disassemble and sand each part, that's great; however, once you finish, put the pieces back together and then paint. You don't want to disassemble, sand, paint, reassemble after boiling because it will ruin your paint work. A standard hair drier for a few minutes will also do the job to disassemble and reassemble parts while reducing the risks of the plastic melting. Always save the painting and final touches for last so that you can make sure everything else is to your liking. Hope that helps man!
panchopantera - Tuesday, October 8, 2013
This was very educational. Man I've going about it all wrong. But now I know....and knowing is half the battle!
Mint Condition Customs - Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Thank you, I hope it helps.
CrimsonFlush - Sunday, July 1, 2012
This is a super tutorial, all customizers should begin here, great stuff.

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