DIY Deconstruction is the newest feature here at Tomopop where I'll be discussing some of the various simple do's and don'ts of working with DIY toys. You'll learn the good and bad points of particular toys, as well as the most easy and difficult parts to work with.
Over the weekend, I reviewed Symbiote Studios' Symbiote toys, and before I even had them in my hands, I had the idea of what I wanted to make. As you can see by the header, the black Symbiote ended up as a Venom custom, so hit the jump to check out how it all went down!
First off, when starting your DIY toy process, I always suggest washing off your toy. Since the figure I was working with was going to be kept mostly its original color, I put a small amount of soap into a wet wash cloth and made sure to softly wash the entire figure, and then dry it off with a towel.
Make sure you get your figure completely dry in all of the removable parts' places as well so that you don't have any random leaking of water later on down the road. Once it's completely dry and you have your idea in your head, you'll be ready to get started.
Although they're a bit hard to see, which is actually the point, I generally draw out my design with pencil lightly before I ever start painting. I'm one who likes to see where they've planned out their design so that if you can't finish it all in one go you know where you were when you last stopped. If you just like free-styling your work, that's always fine too, of course!
Even though the face is surprisingly large, I found it insanely easy to transfer a design to. It differs from Mighty Muggs in the way that you have not only a larger place to customize, but also it's a complete sphere, so it seems to be much easier to judge how your design will turn out.
Now, once I've drawn out my design, I like to then go ahead and make any of the Sculpey accessories that will be needed. In this case, I didn't bake the entire figure; I only needed a tongue that I could attach to the piece later. I sculpted it separately, baked it at 275 degrees for around 25 minutes, and then it was good to go. Always wait until your pieces you've baked are completely cool before sanding it for a smooth surface and adding paint or anything to them.
I would also suggest finishing any painted details that will be covered even slightly with your accessories before you ever put your pieces on the figure. You can also do this afterward of course, but I tend to find it much easier to do detail work before hand so you're not trying to cram your paint brush into tiny nooks and crannies when it's not needed.
Now for attaching the tongue, which for this particular one I tried using some super glue I had on hand. Make sure you have plenty of random objects for the balancing act that will take place once you get the glue, or adhesive of your choice, onto the accessory and figure.
Once the glue is there, I usually place some small objects underneath to help keep it in place until the glue dries, but be sure not to overglue, or use items that are unimportant to you in case the glue gets out of control.
This is the first time I've had this occur with gluing my objects on, so I thought I'd share. Apparently the glue interacted with the vinyl in such a way that the fumes took off some of the color, as the places that were missing color weren't ever touched by the glue itself.
Be sure to be careful when choosing glues, especially if you're putting pieces in very visible areas. Luckily, all the damage was done underneath the tongue, so I just painted it black again and it's no longer an issue.
After doing touch ups, I went ahead and finished painting in little details such as the teeth. In most of my customs, I use a satin varnish to cover my paint, but since I kept most of the figure its original color, I didn't seal any of it, as the paint seems to be staying quite nicely on its own. Especially since I don't plan on playing football with it or anything, it should look nice enough just sitting on the shelf with the others.
These are one of the easiest toys I've ever had the privilege of customizing. I've tried several different ones, but thus far the Symbiotes are definitely my favorite. The large head gives you plenty of room for customizing 'til your little heart's content.
They're also relatively large in general since they stand around 6 inches tall, and only cost $15 a piece. Head on over to Symbiote Studios website and pick some up for yourself, as you definitely won't regret it. I know I didn't!
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