Monday, August 8, 2011

Custom Project Part 2

So when we last left off, I had my toy disassembled and on an old bed sheet used as a cover in painting projects around the house.  Things were going pretty well.  I followed [http://www.youtube.com/user/articulatedcomics|Articulated Comic]'s advice and used a short, flowing motion with my spray paint with the intention to do a few thin layers instead of lots of paint in long, heavy bursts.  I did have some dripping out of the can; this may have been because I didn't shake it up enough. (Man, shaking a spray can for two or three minutes when you haven't done it for a while is enough to make you nuts.  Those little ball bearings inside the can are *loud*.) It may have been the angle I was holding the can, since the objects I was spraying were on the ground and the can was above them, or it could have been the heat. It was about 90 degrees outside the day I did this, and the can warning said the paint should be used in temps between 50 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

Looks great until you try to pick up the pieces.
But it didn't look bad.  After a two passes over the course of half an hour, the red color in even the deepest red parts had gone away.  I decided it was time to flip things over.

And therein laid the problem.  Because I had used a bed sheet, the paint had seeped into it, and the fibers from the bed sheet had adhered themselves to the paint. Disaster.  My parts looked fuzzy.  Which is not the look I was going for on the coyote, an urban assault SUV/APC crossover designed to strike fear in the hearts of cobra aligned action figures near and far .  Thank goodness, a small amount of rubbing my fingers over the dry paint was all it took to remove the cotton from the paint.  Better yet, it didn't leave marks or imprints on the paint itself.

So now what?  I didn't want to put the pieces down on the dirty garage floor, and I didn't want to put them back down on the sheet.  Thank goodness we had some plastic sheeting in our yard shed from a retaining wall project from a few years ago.  I washed the dried dirt off with the hose, let it dry for a bit, and made that the new sheet for the project.  I did another four or five coats on both sides, which was also a bit of a mistake.  Problem number 1: the toy would smell like paint for at least a week.  Problem number 2: paint was think in some of the hinge spots and places where the toy comes together, such as the elevator folds in to the back of the vehicle when the toy is in vehicle mode, making for a tight fit.  But it looked pretty good.

I had been thinking about straying everything with a clear paint to keep things from rubbing off, but for whatever reason (laziness?  Not knowing if it would actually work?) I decided not to do this.  

My wheels!  My beautiful wheels!  They look horrible!
After letting everything dry, I brought all the parts back into the house for reassembly. When I pulled the tape off, I saw that there were several places the paint had gotten in- the wheels did not look nearly as good as I would have hoped they would.  I didn't know what to do, but I improvised.  I got a small cup of mineral spirits and some q-tips.  Harkening back to days of yore when I had to clean the connectors on my original 8 bit Nintendo, I dabbed the q-tips into the spirits and then rubbed them over the paint on the wheels.  Back in those days I used rubbing alcohol instead of paint thinner, but this worked just as well here as it did back then: the paint came right off.  After a few minutes on each wheel, it looked like there had never been any paint on them at all.  I used a paper towel to dry off the paint/thinner fluid mix from the wheels.  It looked much better.

The right lane is for passing.  Or else.
It didn't take long to screw all the parts I had taken off back in and to reassemble everything back together, and I gotta say, it looked nice when I was done.  I threw on some of the stickers (I put on the Start Industries sticker, and decided Stark Industries was a contractor for GI Joe equipment and vehicles in my little toy world) and it looked even better.  I also threw on some additional stickers that I had left over from some of my other joe vehicles, and they made it look even MORE better.  It really is amazing how much stickers add to the visual effect of an action figure scale toy.

Over all, I was really happy with the experience of working on this first custom project.  It wasn't nearly as hard as I initially thought it would be, and all the problems that came up could be solved with very little extra work and no additional cost, which was a big plus.  And it looked good when I was done.   This is a cool looking toy, and a great addition to my collection.  I know that Hasbro is going to release Renegades themed Joe action figures.  I was disappointed when I saw that they are not planning on releasing a Roadblock action figure, because I would love to put him in the driver's seat. At the moment, I have Beachhead driving the thing and have made my Coyote the primary APC of my urban commando GI Joe unit.  More about them in a future post. 

1 comment:

  1. I love all the new 3 3/4 inch vehicles has been producing for their various Marvel lines. I knew it wouldn't take long for Joe collectors out there to grab them and start making cool customs. Keep up the good work!

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