Loading

Prize figure touch-up and repairPrize figure touch-up and repairTutorial

Takeya_IizukaTakeya_Iizuka16 days ago
I'm back again with another figure customization article. This time the topic is about making small touch-ups and repairs to a prize figure. Let's get started!

Our subject is Jougasaki Mika from Bandai's Espresto est line of prize figures, ITEM #999327. Mika has been hyped from the release of her prototype test shots for the shiny and glitter effects of her outfit, as well as for her dynamic and cute pose. Unfortunately, the final product is missing most of its advertised effect and glitter, so I hope to change that.

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2021/01/11/2604818.jpeg
She came in a very nice looking box. Note the glitter effect of her jacket, hair ribbon, and hat on the box art.

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2021/01/11/2604819.jpeg
Opening the box reveals she is stuffed into a compartment less than half the available space.

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2021/01/11/2604820.jpeg
Being forced into a tight space, the tails of her jacket has become deformed. The two black pieces on the right is supposed to be a huge one piece ribbon on her back.

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2021/01/11/2604821.jpeg
Out of the bag.

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2021/01/11/2604822.jpeg
https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2021/01/11/2604823.jpeg
The degree of deformation is apparent when she is placed upright.

Changing the shape

Since the jacket tail is such a thin piece of PVC, it is easy to change its shape. My preferred method is to heat up the affected area with a hair dryer and bending it. Take care not to point the hair dryer too close to the figure and risk melting the plastic. Once the PVC is heated, it becomes malleable. Change the shape to your desire setting then change your hair dryer to set mode to blast cold air at the figure. Doing so hardens the PVC to lock in the shape.

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2021/01/11/2604824.jpeg
Here, I've bent the tail up way past where it's supposed to be because such a long thin piece of PVC lacks any strength to hold itself up from gravity. Overtime, it will droop downward.

Repairing broken parts

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2021/01/11/2604825.jpeg
The ribbon is snapped in half at the thinnest part where the two sides connects.

Parts can usually be glued back together, provided it is small and non-structural; it is neither this time. A more drastic approach is to be taken here, pinning. Pinning is the method of using a metal rod to connect two pieces together. Common among resin garage kit builders, it also works with PVC figures.

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2021/01/11/2604826.jpeg
Pin vise is needed to drill holes into the plastic for the metal rod.

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2021/01/11/2604827.jpeg
I placed a drop of silver paint in the spot where I want the rod to be inserted, and pressed the two parts together so they will match up.

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2021/01/11/2604828.jpeg
Take the pin vise and slowly drill a hole in each piece to be connected. Take care not to drill all the way through or you'll create more work for yourself.

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2021/01/11/2604829.jpeg
The metal rod here is a piece of paper clip, it has sufficient strength to hold the pieces together in this case. Depending on the job, larger rods may be required.

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2021/01/11/2604830.jpeg
Dab some glue on both sides and join everything together. I used CA glue here. Again, on bigger jobs, more heavy duty bonding agent such as epoxy glue might be needed.

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2021/01/11/2604831.jpeg
Ribbon can now be attached to the figure. (Sorry, out of focus photo)

Color touch-up

Common on prize figures are paint defects such as runs, fades, and generally wrong or missing colors. Fortunately, it is not overly difficult to fix it yourself.

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2021/01/11/2604832.jpeg
One method is to simply brush paint over the affected area. Here I am using an extra fine paint brush to apply hot pink over top of a dull painted surface. The paint I'm using is water based acrylic paint, easily found in most arts and crafts stores for cheap. Thin the paint in a little bit of water and apply light coats to the figure until desired effect is achieved.

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2021/01/11/2604833.jpeg
A more advanced touch-up method is to apply color with an airbrush. In this case, I am adding a glossy clear coat to the jacket to make it shiny. (Sorry, out of focus again) Other parts of the figure is covered up with painter's tape and plastic bag to avoid getting paint on where it's not wanted.

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2021/01/11/2604834.jpeg
Here's an example of what airbrushing can achieve. I sprayed the ribbon piece with a color shifting metallic purple and sprinkled some glitter flakes on top for good measure.

Skin shading

Due to the lower price point nature of prize figures, color shading is rarely seen, especially for parts of exposed skin, such as arms, legs and face. Most of the time, skin tone pieces are molded in light beige color PVC.

There are numerous ways to add shading to a figure, some easier than others. My method is similar to the pastel chalk trick that many GK builders use.

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2021/01/11/2604835.jpeg
Tamiya weathering master is a line of product that has various weathering and shading colors suitable for model making. It comes in a make-up style box of three colors each. A brush & sponge combo applicator is included. This particular one is the H set designed specifically for figures. Ivory matches the base skin tone, pale orange works as a shadow, and peach is a highlight or cheek blush.

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2021/01/11/2604836.jpeg
Here is Mika's torso without shading.

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2021/01/11/2604837.jpeg
Shading added.

It's easy to overdo this process. Often I see GK figures painted with way too much enthusiasm on skin tone shading that it makes cute anime girls look like big muscles body builders. Yikes!

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2021/01/11/2604838.jpeg
Another example. Notice how there's no depth to her cleavage.

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2021/01/11/2604839.jpeg
Looks a bit more 3D with shading added.

Putting it all together

Once all the paint and glue is dry, assemble the figure and admire its beauty.

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2021/01/11/2604840.jpeg
Not too bad for a prize figure. (Click to enlarge)

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2021/01/11/2604841.jpeg
I really love how the purple color shift paint turned out. (Click to enlarge)

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2021/01/11/2604842.jpeg
Can you spot all the little details? (Click to enlarge)

Hope this helps anyone trying to improve the look of their figures.
Until next time!
1,205 hits • 66 likes16 comments

Comments16

Transformation is really impressive.

I'm always amazed whenever I see someone bring out the hidden potential that prize figures have.
2 days ago
Helsing15 days ago#89922905Giving her the galaxy lookThat's a nice way to describe it!CSpaz15 days ago#89924122This is a super interesting article, thanks for sharing! She looks so much better after the customization process, and I love the added subtle skin shading.Thank you!Tjilp15 days ago#89969343Those sparkles add a lot! I love sparkles.
Thanks for detailing your workflow like that it was a nice read :D
Glad you enjoyed reading it.NekoNicoRobin15 days ago#89969781cool post! mika is the best!She's awesome!Rikoei15 days ago#89970159Cool thanks I will do this to statues when I make emGood luck on your project!
15 days ago
Cool thanks I will do this to statues when I make em
15 days ago
cool post! mika is the best!
15 days ago
Those sparkles add a lot! I love sparkles.
Thanks for detailing your workflow like that it was a nice read :D
15 days ago
This is a super interesting article, thanks for sharing! She looks so much better after the customization process, and I love the added subtle skin shading.
15 days ago
Giving her the galaxy look
15 days ago
Julia12516 days ago#89920375The ribbon looks so much nicer! Amazing job!
Thank you!

kyoshinhei15 days ago#89921491Great result and very instructive tutorial!
I'm curious about the glitter, how did you get it to stick? Was the metallic purple still fresh or did you seal it after sprinkling?
Nice job on sprinkling it uniformly too, with all the creases and fold it mustn't be easy to achieve a balanced result.

Yes, basically I just spray the purple, then salt bae glitter all over it while it's still wet. A coat of clear was applied over top afterward.

famouslastwords15 days ago#89921554the skin shading is great! i've got a taito miku figure who could use some of that; she looked normal at first but the more i look at her the more she seems really pallid for a swimsuit figure.
Yeah, that's a big issue with prize figures, one color for all the skin.
15 days ago
the skin shading is great! i've got a taito miku figure who could use some of that; she looked normal at first but the more i look at her the more she seems really pallid for a swimsuit figure.
15 days ago
Great result and very instructive tutorial!
I'm curious about the glitter, how did you get it to stick? Was the metallic purple still fresh or did you seal it after sprinkling?
Nice job on sprinkling it uniformly too, with all the creases and fold it mustn't be easy to achieve a balanced result.
15 days ago