Sunday, 30 June 2013

How to fix Ryuki's broken abdomen / chest joint

All right, here's another tutorial to repair a broken Ryuki based figure. To view the tutorial on how to fix his knees and elbows, check this out:

In this case its Ryuki himself.. or rather maybe ouja since his base body is black. I bought this figure as is without box but it was only much later i realised his abdomen is actually broken. The plastic bit serving as the hinge joint between his chest piece and the abdomen has broken and I didnt realise it until i move his abdomen around and felt the break. The good news is, it is actually quite simple to fix this and even make it more poseable as a bonus. The bad news is, you need one of those joints you see on the photo above to reconnect the broken joint between chest and abdomen. You can use a Revoltech joint but that means you will need the glue the 2 points of the revoltech joint to the chest and abdomen piece restricting the chest piece to swivel horizontally separately from the abdomen. True that the original swivel joint doesnt cater to that either but hey its an improvement every one would like to have.

The first thing to do is to clear out all the broken joint pieces in the abdomen and the chest piece. Use pliers or blade to cut or pull them all out. You will be left with a flat surface on your abdomen piece and a hole on your chest piece. You will need to cut off some of the plastics at the upper abdomen piece. This is to allow the joint to fit in nicely and allow it to swivel well.

For the repair, you just need a ball joint piece and a socket joint piece (see photo above again, the joint parts icut off from the main pieces).

Now drill a hole on the abdomen piece at the spot where the hinge joint was. See photo below. This is to allow the ball joint part end to be inserted in.

Now glue the ball part on the abdomen like so:

For the chest piece you dont need to drill anything as there is a hole (where the hinge joint used to be) there already. However, the hole will be too big for the new joint. You will need to use putty to seal the hole and the socket joint part on it. See photo below. Thats how you insert the socket part on the chest piece. Putty was used to make to keep the socket stuck on the chest piece. I strengthen this with super glue as well.
Once everything dried, you will have a better joint between abdomen and chest as they can now move independently of each other as well as swivel horizontally and vertically (a bit limited) as well!! See photo below but ignore the wierd hairdo ;p

Alternative repair solution: This is only applicable if the damage on the hinge joint isnt severe and there is only 1 breakage on the hinge joint. The breakage likely to occur in this case would be the plastic hinge piece coming out of the chest piece surrounding the metal rod on the abdomen piece. Pull out the abdomen piece entirely but carefully.

You will find the broken plastic hinge piece on the chest piece is actually removeable. It connects to the chest piece with a teethed rotating pillar. Heat the broken plastic piece with a hairdryer for 15 - 20 seconds. Now carefully use a plier to remove the broken plastic hinge piece from the chest piece without further damaging the plastic hinge piece. Once you have removed this piece, sand the surface where it is broken to allow better glue adhesion. Dab super glue on one side of the broken surface, place the hinge joint over the metal rod again and try to glue the hinge joint back. Do not put too much glue or the whole joint will permanently stick together. You can put a generous amount of glue on the broken surface but you will need to continuously move the hinge while the glue sets in to avoid the glue from sticking on the metal rod as well.

Let the glue dry for half an hour or more. Now, once the joint has been repaired, use hairdryer again on the teethed rotating pillar on the plastic hinge piece and the hole on the chest piece to soften them up. Reconnect the plastic hinge piece with the chest piece and let it cool down.

This will repair the broken abdomen joint. Mind you, this is not a preferred solution as the hinge joint between your chest piece and abdomen piece may not last.

Hope this helps!

Friday, 21 June 2013

Custom Kamen Rider Taiga Survive Part 2!!

So! If you have followed Part 1, I'll just continue right off where we stopped the last time. the BODY.

We are almost done with all the glueing and positioining of all the loose bits except for 2 parts: (1) his axe and (2) his tiger toes.

For the Axe, I wanted it to be a Double Axe. Its a lot better than beautifying Taiga's axe with more designs. Double Axe will improve his weight and size, making it a more formidable weapon. But problem with this is, you will have to sacrifice 2 Taiga's axe to make one. I was ok with that as you can see from the photo above, I have 3 zolda taiga sets and I planned to use one of the extra Taiga to make another Ryuki custom anyway, so off with the head... of the axe ;p

First I cut off that horn from the axe and glue it on the top of the axe instead. This will give giveme the surface to connect the other axe onto the pole. See pic below. I also add some putty on the top around the horn to make the connection to be more smooth.

It took a lot of prying, cutting, and wrenching to get the Axe itself off the pole, tough and scary work. I used an Olfa blade. It looks like a normal blade but the blade edge itself are very very sharp compared to normal  blades. I was scared to death i might cut off my finger or something (half a year later I nearly cut off a large piece of my thumb while cutting stuff D: luckily it was ok, left a long scar on my thumb though). So be very careful when cutting stuff!! I also added a pair of teeth on the top of the side where i glue in the extra axe piece in it to form another gaping tiger head. You can see them in the photos I inserted further below. I then glue the extra axe onto the main pole and after the glue dries i added putty among the gaps to strengthen the glued double axe.

Now here's a funny thing i did that you dont need to follow provided you have an extra Garo grabbing hands. I didnt have one, I only have a fist. So I drilled a hole in Garo's fist to hold the Double Axe. Turns out this may not be a bad idea (although my driling was quite bad as i drilled off one of his fingers ;p) as the Double Axe is extremely heavy and this drilled fist grabs it very well.


I wanted him more feral so I saved those ppuny claws i cut off Taiga's shoulder to act as his paws. I glue these claws on Taiga's feet and then use putty to shore up the gaps.

By now I have made all the necessary connections, glueing and stuff , its time to looking into puttying in the design for Taiga Survive :)

So First thing I did was to add putty slabs on the gaps between the Giant Claws and the shoulders and started addind slaps of putty on the lion's head to form parts of the shapes of the head. See pic below. The putty i laid below was the first layer of putty i did before i let it dry the first round. For the lion's mane, I sculpted the lowest mane first and let it dry (see pic below). It needs to dry first before i add the second length of mane so that it wont mess up the first length of mane i put on the chest piece.

Again I use my fingers and toothpicks to form the shapes needed. The lion's eyebrows was made by rolling a long row of putty and sticking it on. The lion's mane was done by forming a tall pyramid like shape putty and then laying it on the chest piece. The sharp angle of the mane was done by repeated smoothing of the putty using my fingers.

I repeated my process of forming pyramid like putty shapes and adding it on to the chest piece to form the lion's mane. Each time i added a new length of mane on him i let it dry before i add on the next and finally you will get something like the photo below:
I also start working on the shoulder piece. Hmm this is hard to explain as I don;t know how to describe the shape i made across his shoulders. Basically I made a thin "wall" of putty that stretch from the front of his shoulder to his back, see pic below. Once they dried, I added "buttresses" along the "wall" to form a design that looks like the "buttresses" stretches to he giant claws. Anyway see the photo below ;p I added a tiny edge on the top back of his chest armor piece. I am really bad at describing this ;p

Once the lion mane dries, I add slabs of putty on all he surface of the rubber lion to form a putty lion head on top of it. I didnt cover the eyes though. See pic below:

I almost forgot: I dont have survive leg pieces, so I used a normal Taiga lower legs and added tiny pyutty lines along the upper halve of the lower legs to form an almost similar pair of survive legs.

Now we are alldone with the sculpt and ready to paint it :D

Sand everything!

Paint a layer of white over everything. Let it dry and followed by 2 more layer of whites to make sure its pure white throughout. Then ad in the gold colors in the relevant places and then do linings. I wont go into the details as you can see the color schemes in the completed Taiga Survie (Leo) below ;) Enjoy the pics:

Im actually surprised he can hold the Double Axe up. I believed this is thanks to the clawed feet, and the drilled fist.

For a very short time i actually thought it may be a good idea to put the lion face on his head! ;p

Friday, 14 June 2013

Custom Kamen Rider Taiga Survive Part 1!!! It looks like a lion too ;p

Character briefing: Kamen Rider Taiga

Satoru Tojo is Taiga, one of the 13 riders in Ryuki series. He is a bloodthirsty psycho (who oddly respects his teacher very much) who will do anything to gets his way and his belief in a twisted version of heroism. In the end, he sacrificed his life to save a father and son being run over by a truck. When Shiro restored time to its right course after Yui's death, Satoru on his bike bumped into Shinji (Ryuki) without any recollection of who he is and apologised to Shinji.

Custom works

The Ryuki line has held many fascination for me for 2 reasons (1) my first ever SIC was Taiga Zolda set and (2) I love the idea they have survive modes. The 2nd reason got blown to hell when every other rider series that came after that has some kind of powered up for every rider in the series -_-

Anyway, I really love my SIC Ryuki and its Survive form and the Knight survive form. I wanted to really do something that matches the granduer of the survive forms. And I wanted to do it on either Zolda or Taiga, my first SIC set ever. At that time back a year ago, making a Zolda Survive sounds daunting so i settled for Taiga.

Taiga Survive was another step in my learning process in doing customs as I taught myself:
1) better designs
2) better manipulation of putty
3) new techniques
4) use of unwanted materials

Straight off i wanted to have tiger head on his chest piece for survive form. To do that I searched high and low for a children rubber tiger toy. Couldnt find one until i happened upon a rubber lion instead! I wasnt sure if it was lack of sleep or what, but I was very taken in by the cute rubber lion and bought it for S$5 (together with a few other rubber animals which I sacrificed to my two little monsters who immediately ravaged them and then lost them -_-).

I was so excited with the rubber lion i totally forgot Taiga is a TIGER motive rider T_T

All right for this custom, again, there is a few workstreams:

1) The Head
2) The Body, Arms and Legs
3) The Weapon

As usual before i start the custom, I made a design of how it would look like first. I wanted the Survive form to be exagerated in everyway. So I plan to expand his shoulder pads (which really looks measly), his axe becomes double axe, and his face mask more feline (wanted to make more tiger lined patterns on him but at that time, again, I wasnt very good in manipulating putties so i dropped that idea).


Ok the head is quite simple. I wanted it more feline so I made his face mask more cat like by adding more "fur" to it. I also have some spare Garo hands which is perfect to replace Taiga's hands as it has sharp feline claws and better design. I dont need the tiny skull design on Garo's hand so i cut that up and stick it on top of Taiga's head. For the putty, I again used my fingers to first mold the shape of those sharp fin like designs and then use toothpicks to position them on Taiga's head. I first attach the fins on the top of the head mask and let them dry. I then attach the side fins to the head and let them dry. The Garo ring is being propped up by a small dap of putty behind it.


There are a few things to do here. The Shoulders, the chest and the shield weapon.

For the shield weapon, I was thinking those giant claw weapons are usually useless and if you attached them on Taiga they'll just make Taiga topple or make him look like slouching as the weight of the claws weight down on his arms. So I thought it would be a great idea to use those claws to replace the puny clawlike design on Taiga's shoulders. (little did i know someone already made this design in his customs T_T At taht time i hardly do research on other people's customs). That left the giant arm parts. I threw one in my box and use the other one as a Shield for Taiga Survive.

This was how i wanted it to look like:

The shield would look incomplete if I dont alter it abit so that it doesnt look like an inverted Taiga's giant arms with cut off claws. So I added linings on the giant arms design. You can see from the pic below my putty skills still quite bad hence the uneven linings :/ Once the putties dries, I try to sand the uneven-ess away but it kinda stayed ;p You can also see Garo's hand in the pic which fits quite well on Taiga's arms.

Now, on to the shoulders and chest piece. I have to describe these 2 process together as my photos are interlinked ;p

For the chest piece, I cut off the rubber lion's head and place it on Taiga's chest as a reference point on how the lion head will look like and also where to sculpt. The other reason for putting the rubber llion head there is that it replaces the need to slap multiple layers of putty on his chest before actually making the actual shape of a lion head on Taiga's chest. This not only saves on putty but make the figure less heavy (putty heavier than rubber). I also heaped unwanted rubber pieces behind the lion head before i glue it on Taiga's chest to prevent it from getting misshapen.

While the above was happening, I also start working on the shoulders. I first cut off the puny claws on his shoulders and then trim off some more of his shoulders from the top. This is to allow the giant claws to be attached to the shoulders without making it too bulky (that was the theory anyway ;p). I then drilled 3 holes on each of the shoulders (see pic below).
At the same time, I drilled 3 holes on each of cut off surface of the giant claws. This is to allow me to insert wires on those holes as a tougher connection between shoulder and giant claws. See pic below. Once you connected those wires properly to the giant claws, glue them in. For the connection of wires and shoulders, I twist the wires to make a hook underneath the shoulder armor so that the wires wont disconnect from the shoulders. I also glue these hooks on the shoulder itself.

So once you did all the cutting, glueing and wirings, you will have something like this:

I'll continue in Part 2 ;p

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Custom Kamen Rider Kyoki (I said Kyoki not Kiyomi Graar!!)

All right, here's a very simple custom of Kamen Rider Kyoki.Before we start, you might want to ask: Who? Well, He's not the most well known of the onis and he only henshin in the final parts of the series. Kyoki is Kyosuke Kiriya, a student under an unwilling Hibiki. He wanted to be an oni to better his estranged father and wasn't really very good at it too. So, now that you know how duuh he is and still wanted to custom him, then carry on reading ;)

First thing is of course to determine base body. Naturally it must be a hibiki type body but which of the onis to use? There are only 2 parts you need to change and that is (1) his front chest metal armor and (2) his face. The rest are exactly identical like all SIC onis.


There are a few ways to go about this:
  a) Use a hibiki body and do not change any of his metal armor pieces
  b) Use a different oni whose metal armor pieces resembles more of Kyoki's. One example is Danki
  c) Use a hibiki body but alter his metal pieces

I chose option (c) coz i dont have a spare Danki and I just so happen to have a red hibiki (with 2 broken elbows) available.

For the chest part, what I did was I switched hibiki's right side metal chest armor to his left chest and vice versa. Simple. But thats not the end of it as when you do the switch you will find (1) the holes to attache the metal pieces doesnt work anymore and (2) the metal links that hung beneath his armpits are too long to fit the inverted metal chest pieces.

You will need to:
1) Cut off some parts of his chest piece to allow the inverted metal chest pieces to fit in. Drill holes at the positions where you need to fit in the inverted metal chest pieces. You will also need to probably cover some of the connection holes that is no longer useable with putty.

2) You will need to cut the metal links underneath his armpits shorter using a large pliers. I basically grab the metal links with my pliers and then push it against solid tarmac ground until it breaks ;p thats one way to go haha.

3)  You may also wish to resculpt the central jewel piece to make it more prominent. You will need to poke a stub of putty on the centre of his chest. Then wait for it to dry. After it dries cut it into diamond shape with a blade (see pic below).

4) Once you did the above 2 steps, glue the inverted metal chest pieces and the links on the body. Let them dry.
You are now done with the body. As a added step, I actually add some putty between the inverted metal pieces and the links to make them more linked. I also add putties to the connection between the inverted metal pieces and the back metal pieces as they now doesnt fit properly together.

The problem here is I didnt take enough photos of his head to let you see clearly what I did :( Basically I added 3 putty crooked lines along his face to resembles Kyoki's face. Back then I didnt know any other technique to sculpt putty except to use my fingers. I have to shape each lines after the prior one dried otherwise very hard to control the tiny putty pieces. I use my thumb and pointer and squish the putty to form jagged edgy lines. For the v shape on the line, I use toothpick to manipulate the putty. After they dried, I sand them a bit to make the edge more profound. See the photo above and below.

After that its a matter of repainting the whole thing. The broken elbows I used revoltech joints to repair them. I first sand everything to make the paint sticks. Then I paint a layer of silver and white over the whole body. I then paint a later of super metallic silver over it. Then the blue parts are gloss light blue and his underwear is a brown. Themetal pieces are gold metallic. Well thats it.

This is how he looks like before you do linings on him: You can actually stop at this stage if you want to.
Post lining see below (it took me 1 hour to do the linings!)

So here is the end product :) Enjoy the pics.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Custom Super Shinkenger Red Part 1
NOT a kamen rider custom ;p he's red white and golden and carries a puny sword; Super Shinkenger Red!!

I've for the longest time wanted to create a custom that involves some coat or jacket but i couldnt find a rider that matches that description. That is until i realised i dont need to restrict my customs to riders alone! And I realised Super Shinkenger red fit the bill nicely. I saved a Garo Kouga coat sometime ago just for this purpose and now i can use it :D

As usual the devision on which body base to use was simple, just use a Hibiki type body base :D Its muscular with removable armor to make him even  thinner to allow sculpting or fitting in jackets and ihs arms and legs are very modular.

Now there are several work streams in finishing this guy:
A) Custom his head
B) Custom his coat
C) Custom his main body and belt
D) Custom his legs
E) Custom sword

I'll go through each of these work streams one by one :)


We'll do the head first. First off, you cant use any of the hibiki's upper head. You will need to mold the whole upper head and face yourself. First take a hibiki lower head and lump putty on it. Shape the putty into a rounded bald head. Wait for it to dry first or else it will be hard to manipulate additional putty to form shapes. Once its dried, add more putty to form a v-shaped mask like on the photo below. Add a small layer of putty to form his chin.

Next you will need to draw some lines to mark where you want to add putties for the kanji sculpt. See pic below. I then add a small layer of putty over those marked out area, again see pic below. This layer will be a foundation to hold your next putty layer better for your to form better shapes without the putty slipping off or get pushed out of position.

Now you can use putty to form a more prominent and angular chin as well as a visor. See pic below. Once its dried, use sandpaper to sand the visor and chin to make them smoother and the visor sharper.

 Next comes the interesting part :) Sculpt out the main kanji like the pic below. I chosed to make it very prominent and protruding since this is a SIC after all. This decision however would later make his head kinda awkward :p do read on to find out why haha. I would like to add that once I shaped the kanji, i let it dry for an hour or so before i cut faint linings on it with my blade. This will later make it easier for me to etch out the line shapes after its dried. I also added ear muffs on him to add to the details. Cant see in the pics coz i forgot to take photo of it, but you will be able to see them in later photos :)

The head is almost done. Once its dried, use a hobby knife to cut edges on the linings. I also cut designs on the visor. Once this is done, sand it and then spray it with a primer coat.

Now its a matter of coloring it. Here's what i did.
1) I first use a white marker to color the linings on the kanji and the neck.
2) I then color the rest of the head with a metallic red.
3) I used a small brush to color the linings on the kanji with super metallic silver.
4) After all that dries, i paint black on the kanji and avoided painting on the linings.
5) After the metallic red dries, i paint a coat of clear red over it. This really brings out the shine on the red colors.
6) I then repaint pure white over the linings on the kanji to bring it out.
7) Lastly I do black pen linings on the chin part and the ear muffs.


Now his coat has 2 problems, one is that his collar needs to be facing up and not folded down. Second, he needs a giant shinkenger emblem on his back. I am using a Garo Kouga coat to custom this.

Its not really hard actually. First you have to cut Kouga's coat into half from the waist. Next cut his lower portion into the shape like the pic below to resemble Shinkenger's robe.

For his collar, I cut the front parts but not entirely so that i can reshape it. I then fold the cut up collar upwards and then glue them in, see pic below. I also cut out those Garo designs on his upper chest part and then hide the remaining details with putty. I also put putty on the cracks that results from me cutting, pushing and glueing the collar upwards to make it into a smoother collar. Once this is done, I sand the coat and then spray a layer of primer on the entire coat and let it dry.

For the emblem on his back, I used plastic sheets to form the design first. See pic below.

I then cut a bigger plastic sheet in the form of the emblem as its foundation. I stick the larger piece on the back of Kouga's coat first.
I then cut up the smaller plastic emblem by cutting out their individual shapes and then glue each of these shapes with a tiny gap between them on the larger plastic sheet that I have already glued to the coat. This gives the emblem a 3D effect once you are done. See pic below. Remember the pieces I mentioned that I cut from the bottom half of the coat to make it resembles Shinkenger's coat? These pieces I shape them into a flying shoulder pads and glue them on the Kouga's coat's shoulders, see pic below.

I then color the larger plastic sheet in black and the smaller pieces i glued onto the larger pieces in super metallic yellow. See pic below. You will also noticed for the collar, I have add on a thin putty lining on the edge of the collar to gives it more details. I then color all the lines on the coat in super metallic yellow. The rest of the coat I cover it with a thin layer of white.

Now that the changes on the coat are done, I glue the lower half of the coat to hibiki's belt. Before i do this, I put a layer of putty on hibiki's belt to expand it so that Kouga's coat will look more flared out when I glue it in. The top half I slide it on to hibiki's body and thats it. See pic below for where the coat should go before i glue them in.

TO BE CONTINUED! this tutorial's getting too long ;p