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 Henchmen4Hire)
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 Henchmen4Hire)
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 Henchmen4Hire)
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 Henchmen4Hire)
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 Henchmen4Hire)
Joint TypesA guide covering the various types of joints found in action figures.  (by Henchmen4Hire)
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 Henchmen4Hire)
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)
Sculpting StarsShows an easy way to transfer difficult shapes to clay.  (by Henchmen4Hire)
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 Brushing Skin4 steps to airbrushing and shading skin.  (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 Henchmen4Hire)
Easy Face Painting (6-inch Scale)How to paint a figure's face.  (by kojikoji)
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 and Aging ArmourHow to properly paint armour or metal.  (by Deaditor)
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.

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)
Attaching Cast Heads to Neck Balls with Tissue and GlueAn awkwardly-named tutorial to help you attach those stiff cast heads.  (by Henchmen4Hire)
Attaching Heads With Hot GlueHow to attach a head with hot glue, no cutting or drilling required.  (by pock63)
Charged Punches EffectsShows how to make punching energy effects for figures  (by AtomowyFigiel)
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 Heads to Fit Swivel-Hinge NecksConvert those swivel heads Marvel Legends style!  (by Kyle Robinson)
Converting Swivel Wrists to Swivel-HingesHow to transplant swivel-hinges to articulate simple swivel wrists  (by Henchmen4Hire)
Creating a Knife for Figures with Closed FistsHow to create a knife for figures with closed fists.  (by Deaditor)
Creating Flexible ArmorUse latex and Apoxie Sculpt to create flexible armor pieces  (by Henchmen4Hire)
Creating Texture StampsHow to use liquid latex to create texture stamps  (by Henchmen4Hire)
Custom Decals / InsigniasThis tutorial shows you how to make and apply custom decals and insignias for your action figures.  (by Mint Condition Customs)
Detachable Floating Ab JointHow to use a LEGO Technic pin to create a detachable ab joint for almost any Marvel Legends female figure.  (by Henchmen4Hire)
Detachable Leg JointHow to use a LEGO Technic pin to create a detachable leg  (by Henchmen4Hire)
Detachable Shoulders and ArmsHow to use LEGO bits to create detachable shoulders  (by Henchmen4Hire)
Detachable Waist JointHow to use LEGO to connect any figure torso to any crotch  (by Henchmen4Hire)
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)
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)
Making A Latex Head MoldAn easy, inexpensive way to make latex head molds  (by Henchmen4Hire)
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)
Using Magnets and Screws to Create Swivel JointsLearn how to add simple swivels and magnetic joints to your figures.  (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.

Bent Limb FixHow to straighten bent parts on your figures.  (by Henchmen4Hire)
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 Henchmen4Hire)
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 Henchmen4Hire)
Targeted Tips
Here you'll find tutorials and ideas involving specific figures, parts, or gear.

Cape StorageHow to store figure capes and clothes  (by Henchmen4Hire)
Fabric Vest for a 12-inch FigureQuick overview of how to make 1/6th scale fabric clothes  (by Vlad Basarab)
Hulkbuster ArmorHow to turn Movie Iron Monger into hollow Hulkbuster armor.  (by jadomiddlecustoms)
Improving Marvel Legends "Slender Female" Figure ArticulationHow to improve articulation in Hasbro's older female figures.  (by Holy_Ghostbuster)
Landmine (Movie) Finger ModHow to individually articulate Landmine's fingers  (by Henchmen4Hire)
Make a BaseWhat to use to make a base to display your action figures.  (by Jin Saotome)
Modding NECA's Street Fighter 4 Ryu FigureArticulating, modifying and fixing NECA's SF4 Ryu Figure.  (by MrGore)
NECA Balrog RepairsExplains how to repair parts of the NECA Balrog figure  (by Deaditor)
On Plastic WingsDisappointed with the standard Marvel Legends Archangel? Here's how you can make your own, complete with poseable wings!  (by Jin Saotome)
Preventing MAFEX Arm LossFor those pesky MAFEX ball-jointed arms that keep falling out.  (by SuperFigures123)
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 Henchmen4Hire)
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)
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 Henchmen4Hire)
Using LEGO for CustomsIdeas for using LEGO elements to customize  (by Eternomorph)

Latest Custom Tutorial Comments
Steel Claws created by Kyle Robinson
How to make steel claws for Wolverine....[See More]
wolverineboy97 -
Thursday, December 13, 2012
awesome I've gotta try this soon meowers fds
Devil of Hells Kitchen -
Wednesday, August 1, 2018
What I did for my Wolverine claws was a little different, I took safety pins and cut the long bits off. Then cut them down to my preferred size and hammered them so they'd look flat from the side. Then I just hot glue the end that goes into the hole on his hands and done. I like my version better cause they're already metal rather than painting them. And when you hammer them they come out curvy.
Tightening Joints created by Henchmen4Hire
How to use super glue to tighten joints....[See More]
Chester001 -
Friday, June 22, 2012
very helpfull and very funny
DARTHGRIMM -
Monday, June 15, 2015
I got super glue into an elbow joint, and I can't get it to break loose, I tried using my exacto knife, and I've tried using boiling water, neither one worked, does anyone have any ideas/suggestions, on how to get the joint to break free without breaking the joint?
Henchmen4Hire -
Monday, June 15, 2015
You're probably out of luck, super glue bonds parts chemically so they can't just be pulled apart without doing damage.

If you still can't get the joint to move after slicing with the knife, then the glue probably bonded together the rod with the figure. All you can do is try to break the rod free by heating the joint so it's flexible and then prying it out.

Good luck!
Creating Flexible Armor created by Henchmen4Hire
Use latex and Apoxie Sculpt to create flexible armor pieces...[See More]
Spider-Man -
Saturday, March 10, 2018
Thanks for another awesome tutorial!
Ivory Towers -
Monday, March 12, 2018
You are THE man I have gotten all the best tips on what material to use and hot to utilize it to suit our needs. Thanks Doc!
Edgy 3 -
Thursday, March 15, 2018
very helpful !!!! Many thanks my good doctor!!!!!
Easy Face Painting (6-inch Scale) created by kojikoji
How to paint a figure's face....[See More]
MantisAbbey -
Thursday, July 21, 2016
This was a very helpful tutorial!
Henchmen4Hire -
Friday, August 19, 2016
I loosely translated what Koji is saying, just to make it easier to read. Hope it helps
kojikoji -
Friday, August 19, 2016
Thank you!
NECA Balrog Repairs created by Deaditor
Explains how to repair parts of the NECA Balrog figure...[See More]
Edgy 3 -
Monday, April 2, 2018
Great tutorial ..... very creative work !!!!
Deaditor -
Tuesday, April 3, 2018
Thanks, literally took me an hour or two back in December but never considered just uploading shots from the videos taken. The Balrog is one of those things that anyone who has one or has a big not necessarily well jointed designed figure understands how easily broken it can be. I saw a lot of people online baffled on how to repair this particular statuesque Figure and if there’s any chipping I suppose some black miliput reinforced then painted would work well also. A simple Lego bionical joints insertion might work or one of those larger Lego swivel platforms or turntables that are about a standard Lego brick in height and have a width of 4 studs by 4 studs (usually red in colour) there are some useful Lego Technic/ bionicle turntables also that with a bit of inginuity you could lengthe ...
Battle Hardened -
Tuesday, April 3, 2018
Hey man how ya been..Nice work repairing your Balrog.
The main issues I have with my Balrog is repairing the 2 legs. I would upload photos if I could.
Imagine my Balrog with 2 snapped leg joints at the top of each leg. Please note the actual legs are perfectly fine it's just the joint that needs repairing.
Therefore I need a new joint for each leg so that I can reattach each Leg to the Thigh/Upper body of the Balrog.
I probably also need to somehow remove damaged plastic joint bits stuck inside the Upper legs and Torso/Thigh. ...