Tuesday, December 20, 2016


Here is a custom paint job that I did for the Transformers Generations Leader Class Jetfire toy. It was completely white when I started, as you can see in the "Before" image, shown on the right side. I decided to go with the "Captain America / Iron Patriot" color scheme. And I utilized sharpie markers and acrylic paints. But amidst my coloring, I left his back predominantly white, so that he can still transform into the white F22 raptor jet. And I added some small cut-out plastic pieces, which were colored as yellow lights on his chest, and also as emblems glued onto his forearms and his shins. Although his backpack is rather heavy, he can stand with no problem. But I may add some putty later into the base of his feet, in order to make him more stable.

He has some extra Gundam fin-wings [red and white colored], added to his regular wings on his back. He did come with several weapons and the twin shinny-red blaster cannons attached on his back, in the center. But I also added several Gundam weapons [the long black back-cannons], plus compact gatling gun weapons from some of the third party Iron Factory sets. The gun in his left hand is a custom combo of various weapons. I often tag these kitbash / custom toys with the tag of Gundamformers, and this is why....



That last pic shows a comparison between this Jetfire toy and the custom Leader Class Battle Mode Ultra Magnus, from the TF Combiner Wars line. I've done an article on the Battle Magnus toy before. I gave him some custom weapons and repainted him from his powder-blue and white form... and that article is over Here!

Monday, December 12, 2016


Today we'll look at a fun / basic customizing project. Those familiar with the Transformers Robots in Disguise [RID] cartoon series know that it was extremely watered-down and somewhat diminished,  in comparison to the 3D art style and the story telling that was presented in the previous Transformers Prime cartoon series.

Anyway, this simple yellow toy, the Night Ops Bumblebee that costs like $12 on ebay, came from the RID toyline. And it looked a bit too short, for my tastes, so I decided to cut it in half and make it taller with putty and other plastic layers. Of course that modification altered his transformation ability, but I usually don't care about that stuff; I make my customs for display as upright figures in their robot modes, so it was all right in my mind. And it turned out to be better than I thought!

I recolored him with a candy / gloss red from the Tamiya X27 paint bottle, and I also used black sharpies to create a gloss layer upon his dark panels. Plus a silver metallic sharpie was used for his torso / gut, his feet and his thighs. And I used a lot of white-colored cut-out 0.040-inch-thick plastruct styrene pieces to enhance his body armor, before coloring those panels red. And the pointless four holes placed by the toymakers on his crotch area was covered by a small cut-out panel, which I also painted silver.
The yellow "vehicle headlight" emblems found on his left and right upper biceps were also made of white colored plastic, before I painted them yellow. And his blue sword was painted white as an undercoat [with white paint bought from Home Depot, which comes with an in-mixed Primer], before I started coloring the sword with silver, gold and bronze sharpie markers.

Additionally, I made an arm-blade for him [using the same plastruct material that I mentioned above], while copying the concept of the blade from Optimus Prime. And his hefty blaster cannon came from the Combiner Wars Leader Class Skywarp toy [which comes with roughly 6 weapons that can be used in a variety of ways with other TF toys].
Check out the cool pics of Striker Bumblebee below!




Thursday, December 8, 2016


This is the second part of my long article, which discuses how to customize transformers toys. I've gathered the tips from other veterans, and I also added some tips from what I've learned by trial and error. The first article is over HERE. And the base model that I used for this build was the FOC - Fall of Cybertron - Sideswipe toy, released roughly 4 years ago in 2012. It was red and it had a rather bulky chest, which drooped down over the gut / central torso of the toy. I've already talked about the things that I didn't like about the toy. And the new toy was renamed Turbo Blitz and it was painted metallic blue with brushes by hand. So this post will show the finished product.

Honestly, I did not have to fuse two or more toys together for this build [which I often do]. But in that case, always make sure that your toys are roughly the same height, before you try to swap limbs [because that will mean that they're roughly in the same class; like the Legion class, Leader class, Deluxe class, Voyagers etc]. And unfortunately, all the TF toys made over the past 20 years do not all have compatible joints, so you may try to fuse & kitbash a guy with "clicky sounding" ratchet-joint legs with a guy that has fluid balljoint legs, and that can be a hassle unless you know how to unscrew / cut the ratchet-joints open carefully...
Plus, large balljoints can be sanded down, so that they work better with the limbs that you are attaching. And putty can be smoothly added to a balljoint's head, to make it larger, if necessary.

Also, I added two arm-mounted weapons from one of the Iron Factory third-party toys, as well as two more laser handguns from the Combiner Wars Leader Class Skywarp toy [that toy comes with like six weapons]. Thus, in some pics, my custom toy has two weapons; while in others, he has four. And the former Transformer toy had skinnier legs void of the outer wheels, and no doors attached at his back.
Anyway, check out the front view, side view, back view and top views of the new Turbo Blitz:






Honestly, I did not utilize a base paint coat or any primer for this job... 
The thing is, those base coats that lie under the paint can be either good or bad, depending on what you want to do. 

One of the reasons why people apply base coats, is to mask an underlying layer of color that you don't like at all. So if you intend to paint with a bright surface color, then you should use a white / bright base coat. But if you want to eventually paint your toy with a dark surface color, then you should utilize a dark / black base coat. That way, if you miss painting any edges, then the underlying darkness or brightness will easily hide the former color, causing the toy to look more balanced and somewhat "properly battle-worn".

So if you utilize a paint spray as the base coat / primer, you need to let it dry for maybe 36 hours or more; and then you should get a surface paint linked to the brand of the primer that you used, if possible. But even then, if your new paint is too "thick", then due to the base coat you applied first, the eventual color of your toy model will look lumpy and the underlying details of the toy will be fully overshadowed by the dual layers of the surface paint and the base primer's color tone. 
To reduce the thickness of the final surface paint that is used as your top-coat, you should use a thinner... perhaps even rubbing alcohol, which you can buy for less $2 at a grocery store... or if you choose to buy a professional thinner from a prominent Japanese brand like Tamiya, they will sell you something really small for a large price.

You need to mix that thinner into your paint, by adding a few drops of it - since you're basically diluting your paint and making it flow better. These are actually hand-painting tips, which is my preferred style. And those who use the mechanical airbrushes don't have to worry about using thinners as much, unless they specifically want a thin color layer as their top-coat.

Note 4: Always let paint dry for over 24 hours at least, before you start fiddling with the toy. [Notes 1 - 3 were given in the former article].
And as far as paint type goes, if you are a humble beginner, go with sharpie markers or acrylic paints [from a brand like Deco Art or Tamiya] for your toy models. Try out the paints on some cheap / used toys from ebay, to get a feel for what you are doing. When you've been doing it for several years and you've learned advanced blending tricks by trial and error, then you should switch to enamel paints.... I've heard that they are brighter and they last longer, but they require special base coats, or else they will melt / weaken your plastic toy. But I believe that the Enamels are better on metal toys.

And remember, Part 1 of this article with more pics & details on customizing Transformers is over HERE!