Customs: Some Small Questions

Discussion in 'Creative General Discussion' started by Deepsea, Jan 16, 2021.

  1. Deepsea

    Deepsea Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2017
    Posts:
    320
    Trophy Points:
    122
    Likes:
    +187
    Hey everyone, I'm very new to customizing and trying to remember things I've heard in the past and learn any new techniques that might be helpful to me. Here's a small list of questions I need help with.

    1. How long do I need to bath my parts for? I know I need to wash them to get the mold release off but how long do they need to sit in the warm soupy water?

    2. Is there a technique for removing pins with large heads that doesn't involve a soldering iron? Can I dip the part in boiling water and then wiggle the pin out or would that mess up the plastic?

    3. Do you base coat your customs before painting them? How does this affect the the way the colors look on the figure?

    4. What size alligator clips do I need to buy to hold my parts when spray painting or base coating? What are good length kebab sticks for putting the alligator clips on?

    5. How do I hold on the part to the wood block when trying to knock out the pin? Do I use a clamp or something?

    Edit: More questions

    6. How dissembled should my TFs be before I paint them?

    7. How do I put a pin back into place after removing it?

    8. How do I disassemble a ratchet joint, and can I paint those?

    Thanks everyone, I'm sorry if this thread is redundant, these are small questions I couldn't find answers for.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2021
  2. kneero

    kneero Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2011
    Posts:
    140
    Trophy Points:
    112
    Likes:
    +48
    I'll try to help

    1. I soak for maybe a few minutes, then scrub with a toothbrush. Then rinse and let dry.
    3. I base coat if I'm doing a full repaint. I use white if I'm going to be painting bright colors, gray for most other stuff.
    6. I strip my bots down only as far as I feel I need. That usually just involves pegs and ball joint connectors. I'm not great at removing pins, so I try to avoid it.
    7. Start with the non gnarled end and push the pin back into place.

    Hope this is helpful.
     
    • Like Like x 4
  3. Dachande

    Dachande Janitor. Moderator TFW2005 Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2008
    Posts:
    40,021
    News Credits:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    417
    Location:
    South Central PA
    Likes:
    +101,331
    1. How long do I need to bath my parts for? I know I need to wash them to get the mold release off but how long do they need to sit in the warm soupy water?

    To strip paint, a 90% alcohol bath for an hour or so works, then use a toothbrush to clean the part. Don't do this with clear parts, though. It makes them weak.

    Just to make sure the parts are clean, I like dishsoap in hot water, rinse and let air dry.

    2. Is there a technique for removing pins with large heads that doesn't involve a soldering iron? Can I dip the part in boiling water and then wiggle the pin out or would that mess up the plastic?

    I hate flat head pins and generally avoid removing them.
    When I have had to do it, I heat them with a pencil-tip wood burner and then use a very strong rare earth magnet to pull it.

    3. Do you base coat your customs before painting them? How does this affect the the way the colors look on the figure?

    For detailing and spray painting, generally no. For full hand repaints, yes, depending on the paint.
    I fully advocate a primer coat, as it keeps a figure from looking "gloppy". For details or small.areas, as long as the paint is decent and you have good brushes, no base coat is needed unless you're painting light on dark. Can't tell you how many customs I have seen.posted that look really bad due to lack of preparation.

    4. What size alligator clips do I need to buy to hold my parts when spray painting or base coating? What are good length kebab sticks for putting the alligator clips on?

    Amazon has some deals on airbrush clips. I think I bought 100 for about $6 or so ages ago and still use them.
    The clips are about an inch long, and I prefer 10 to 12-inch sticks.

    5. How do I hold on the part to the wood block when trying to knock out the pin? Do I use a clamp or something?

    I use a wooden block with several holes drilled into it to allow for the pin to come out.
    I also use my hands. Never had a need for a clamp there.

    6. How dissembled should my TFs be before I paint them?

    Like said above, as far as you feel you need to.
    Tip: I usually ball up some tape and put it into the cup for ball joints, and mask off the ball of the joint. This is to prevent paint from rubbing and making the joint look sloppy.

    7. How do I put a pin back into place after removing it?

    I use either needle nose pliers or tap the pin back in with a jeweler hammer.

    8. How do I disassemble a ratchet joint, and can I paint those?

    Many ratchet joints just require the removal of a screw or three.
    I wouldn't paint the cog faces if at all possible. The outer parts, yeah, but not the actual teeth.

    A few more tips-
    Practice on junkers or even non-Transformers just to get a feel for working with plastic.

    Don't skimp on supplies. Quality begets quality.

    Hobby Lobby often has 50% off sales on brushes. Great way to stock up and save money.

    Acrylic is easier than enamel/lacquer, but not always as durable. Experiment to see what you prefer.

    Avoid markers. They look awful.

    Read this:
    Tutorials and How Tos
    You will learn much.
     
    • Like Like x 6
  4. Deepsea

    Deepsea Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2017
    Posts:
    320
    Trophy Points:
    122
    Likes:
    +187
    Thank you both so much, this info is really super helpful. One last question, how thick should the wooden block be?

    Edit: also are legends class figures a good place to start?
     
    • Like Like x 3
  5. Dachande

    Dachande Janitor. Moderator TFW2005 Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2008
    Posts:
    40,021
    News Credits:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    417
    Location:
    South Central PA
    Likes:
    +101,331
    There's no real requirement for the wooden block. It isn't even totally necessary, but just handy to have.

    Legends are good, but could be finicky due to the size. If you're comfortable working at a smaller scale then go for it.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  6. Deepsea

    Deepsea Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2017
    Posts:
    320
    Trophy Points:
    122
    Likes:
    +187
    Quick question, do you think using the boiling water technique (put the part in boiling water for a bit (typically used to take apart really really tight joints)) then a strong magnet would work to remove rivets?
     
  7. Dachande

    Dachande Janitor. Moderator TFW2005 Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2008
    Posts:
    40,021
    News Credits:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    417
    Location:
    South Central PA
    Likes:
    +101,331
    Personally, I wouldn't do it. Heating the entire piece up could cause warping.
     
  8. Deepsea

    Deepsea Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2017
    Posts:
    320
    Trophy Points:
    122
    Likes:
    +187
    That makes sense, thank you.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Deepsea

    Deepsea Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2017
    Posts:
    320
    Trophy Points:
    122
    Likes:
    +187
    Update for everyone: I have gotten the wolfwire as disassembled as I can, unfortunately there's quite a few rivets left. I'm gonna mask over them when I base coat/paint, and hopefully things will work out from there. Though first I have to scrub and sand.
     
    • Like Like x 4
  10. ThunderDestron

    ThunderDestron Vast predatory bird

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2020
    Posts:
    3,983
    Trophy Points:
    202
    Location:
    MURICA! USA! USA! USA!
    Likes:
    +6,530
    Good luck!
     
  11. Deepsea

    Deepsea Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2017
    Posts:
    320
    Trophy Points:
    122
    Likes:
    +187
    Hey everyone just wanted to update you all. After months of procrastination I finally primed my disassembled wolfwire for painting! and even started painting some parts. They came our pretty well if I'm being honest. I'mma keep trucking with this for a proto-carnivac, thank you all![​IMG]
     
    • Like Like x 5
  12. Deepsea

    Deepsea Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2017
    Posts:
    320
    Trophy Points:
    122
    Likes:
    +187
    Hey are there any paints you folks use that don't need primer? would you recommend them over citadel?

    Edit: What paints do you all use for minor touch ups?
     
  13. Dachande

    Dachande Janitor. Moderator TFW2005 Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2008
    Posts:
    40,021
    News Credits:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    417
    Location:
    South Central PA
    Likes:
    +101,331
    Unless you're painting light on dark, a primer for minor things isn't necessary. Just give the painted parts a quick coat of matte/satin/gloss varnish as desired.
     
  14. Deepsea

    Deepsea Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2017
    Posts:
    320
    Trophy Points:
    122
    Likes:
    +187
    Really? Cause the Citadel paints I'm using really don't adhere well to unprimed parts, am I doing something wrong?
     
  15. Dachande

    Dachande Janitor. Moderator TFW2005 Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2008
    Posts:
    40,021
    News Credits:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    417
    Location:
    South Central PA
    Likes:
    +101,331
    Depends on a few factors, like the plastic itself, the size of the area and the paint consistency. I use Citadel and Vallejo all the time to add details to unprimered pieces, so maybe experiment a bit.
     
  16. Deepsea

    Deepsea Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2017
    Posts:
    320
    Trophy Points:
    122
    Likes:
    +187
    Hey everyone bumping this thread cause I have another question.

    Do you even have to disassemble transformers with flat head pin joints to customize them? There's a few customs I want to make based of tfs with those (Turmoil from Impactor comes to mind first of all) so I want to make sure I do it right.

    Also for those curious I've been procrastinating on painting wolfwire into carnivac like a butt.
     
  17. Dachande

    Dachande Janitor. Moderator TFW2005 Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2008
    Posts:
    40,021
    News Credits:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    417
    Location:
    South Central PA
    Likes:
    +101,331
    It isn't mandatory to completely disassemble a figure to paint, but it is best to go as far down as possible.
    I rarely ever pop flat pins and just use careful masking techniques to avoid overspray or crooked lines.
     
  18. Deepsea

    Deepsea Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2017
    Posts:
    320
    Trophy Points:
    122
    Likes:
    +187
    Makes sense, do you use a handbrush or air brush when customizing btw? Does masking still help when using a brush?
     
  19. Dachande

    Dachande Janitor. Moderator TFW2005 Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2008
    Posts:
    40,021
    News Credits:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    417
    Location:
    South Central PA
    Likes:
    +101,331
    I use both airbrush and hand brush, depending on the custom. I also use spray paints as base colors a lot, especially the Krylon Fusion for plastics, and VHT Spray Dye meant for auto for upholstery. It slightly dyes plastic and helps to keep fron scratching.

    I use Tamiya tape a lot for masking off detail areas, and regular painters tape for larger areas. I may lay down the specialty tape first, then use the regular tape as filler.
     
  20. Deepsea

    Deepsea Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2017
    Posts:
    320
    Trophy Points:
    122
    Likes:
    +187
    Got it, I'll keep pushing and see what I can get done with these tips.
     
    • Like Like x 1