Tony DiTerlizzi
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12" Figure Upgrades
Or, What A Little Paint And More Flexible Bodies Can Do

Introduction

This is a big collection of 12" figure upgrades that Tony has been working on for some time. When I first got the photos, I was surprised to see how his painting allowed the sculpting accuracy on some of the dolls to show up. Of course, even though Tony doesn't have to paint a few hundred toys a day, he is a professional artist. In addition to figure specific comments with each set of photos, Tony prepared a general description of the process used to upgrade the figures, which is available below.

1/6th Scale Android Hunter Review

Obi-Wan Kenobi

Obi-Wan

Obi-Wan Obi-Wan Obi-Wan Obi-Wan Obi-Wan

This is a repaint of the original doll. The head was put on a GI Joe body. The costume was stained with diluted acrylic paint, and altered by hand stitching. He has an "Episode I Obi-Wan Kenobi" robe on. I glued tiny squares of black velcro to the hood, so it would lay correctly when put over his head. I added a 1" wide band of felt around the doll's waist before dressing him, so he would appear more paunchy.

Han Endor

Han Endor Han Endor Han Endor Han Endor

This was made using several dolls. The repainted head and shirt is from "Han Solo with Carbonite", and was put on a GI Joe body. The hands are from 21st Century Toys. The costume was stained with diluted acrylic paint, and altered by hand-stitching.

Wanna see how I made him? Check out the Step-by-Step.

Luke Hoth Snowspeeder

Luke Snowspeeder Luke Snowspeeder Luke Snowspeeder Luke Snowspeeder Luke Snowspeeder

This was made using several dolls. The repainted head is from "Luke in Jedi Attire", and was put on a GI Joe body. The gloves, boots, belt and collar are from "Luke Skywalker in Hoth Attire". The flightsuit is from "Luke Skywalker in X-Wing Attire". The jacket is from "Ponda Baba". The costume was stained with diluted acrylic paint, and altered by hand-stitching. The hood was hand made from woman's tights.

Dr. Evazan

Dr. Evazan Dr. Evazan Dr. Evazan Dr. Evazan

This was made using several dolls. The head is a GI Joe (with Sculpey added) and was put on a Blue Box Toys body. The costume was stained with diluted acrylic paint, and altered by hand-stitching. The shirt is from "Han Solo" and the boots, pants and vest are from "Luke Skywalker in Jedi Attire". His holster is from "Luke Skywalker in Ceremonial Attire". I know the blaster isn't accurate, but it works for now.

Tusken Raider

Tusken Raider

Tusken Raider Tusken Raider Tusken Raider Tusken Raider

This is a repaint of the original doll. The head, gloves and boots were put on a GI Joe body. The costume was stained with diluted acrylic paint, and altered by hand-stitching. I had to wrap some stained fabric around the wrists to conceal the seam. Wire (from the packaging) replaced the plastic strap that held the respirator in place. Wire was also added to the inner lining of his sleeves so that I could mold them. I plan on making a buddy for him in the near future `cause Sandpeople always travel in numbers.

Leia As Jabba's Prisoner

Leia Slave Leia Slave Leia Slave

This is a repaint of the original FAO Schwarz exclusive doll. The head was put on a GI Jane body. I used wire and an old chain to replace the elastic straps on the costume top. The skirt is from the mass-market version of the doll. I know the joints are clunky, but that is the trade-off for pose-ability (and I really wanted her to be able to recline!)

Leia Boushh

Leia Boushh Leia Boushh Leia Boushh Leia Boushh

This is a repaint of the original doll. The head and hands were put on a GI Jane body. The costume was stained with diluted acrylic paint, and altered by hand stitching.

Princess Leia

Princess Leia Princess Leia Princess Leia Princess Leia

This is a repaint of the original doll. The head was put on a GI Jane body. The costume was stained with diluted acrylic paint, and altered by hand stitching. I removed the inner lining of the dress so it would be less bulky and drape better. She is borrowing a Marmit Stormtrooper's blaster.

Leia Hoth

Leia Hoth Leia Hoth Leia Hoth Leia Hoth Leia Hoth

This is a repaint of the original doll. The head and hands were put on a GI Jane body. The costume was stained with diluted acrylic paint, and altered by hand stitching. This, and all the Leias I have done, are successful because of great photo reference.

Han Hoth

Han Hoth Han Hoth Han Hoth Han Hoth

This was made using several dolls. The repainted head is from "Han Solo with Carbonite", and was put on a GI Joe body. The gloves are from the original doll. The costume was stained with diluted acrylic paint, and altered by hand stitching. I also trimmed the fur on his hood and scrubbed clear acrylic medium into it, so it would appear wet. I also did this on the knees of his pants. White acrylic gesso was diluted and dry-brushed onto his costume and boots to simulate snow. For accuracy, I swapped scarves with Luke.

Han Bespin

Han Han Han Han

This is a repaint of the original doll. The head was put on a GI Joe body. The costume was stained with diluted acrylic paint, and altered by hand stitching.

Luke Stormtrooper

Luke Trooper Luke Trooper Luke Trooper Luke Trooper Luke Trooper Luke Trooper

This was made using several dolls. The repainted head is from "Luke in Ceremonial Attire", and was put on a GI Joe body. The costume is from Marmit's "Stormtrooper". I had to make the opening in the helmet a bit larger to fit over his head, but it works.

Boba Fett

Boba Fett Boba Fett Boba Fett Boba Fett Boba Fett Boba Fett

This is a repaint of the original Kay-Bee Toys exclusive doll. The head and hands were put on a GI Joe body. The costume was stained with diluted acrylic paint, and altered by hand stitching. I used a piece of the wire, that attaches the doll to the box, for the hose on his right arm. A silver paint pen was used to hi-lite the chipped away paint on the metal.

Han Tatooine

Han Solo Han Solo Han Solo Han Solo Han Solo

This was made using several dolls. The repainted head is from "Han Solo with Carbonite", and was put on a GI Joe body. The outfit and holster are from the European "Han Solo". I hand stitched his shirt from women's tights. The costume was stained with diluted acrylic paint, and altered by hand stitching.

Luke Tatooine

Luke Tatooine Luke Tatooine Luke Tatooine Luke Tatooine Luke Tatooine

This is my favorite! He is like the "Ultimate Luke Skywalker Doll". The head and costume is from the original Kay-Bee Toys exclusive doll. The head was put on a GI Joe body and repainted. The costume was stained with diluted acrylic paint, and altered by hand stitching. The floppy hat and back belt-pouch are from an "Ultimate Soldier" accessory pack. The goggles were ordered from Cotswold Collectibles. I know the rifle isn't accurate, but I like it (it is borrowed from the "Sandtrooper").

Luke Jedi

Luke Jedi Luke Jedi Luke Jedi Luke Jedi Luke Jedi Luke Jedi

This is a repaint of the original doll. The head and glove was put on a GI Joe body. The costume was stained with diluted acrylic paint, and altered by hand stitching. I had to paint his forearm black as the sleeve was a bit short. The shirt flap was glued down and painted with white acrylic gesso. The belt is a modified "Ben Kenobi" belt. His cloak is an altered "Episode I Obi-Wan Kenobi" robe. Notice how much more snug the costume fits once you remove the velcro and stitch it shut.

Luke Bespin

Luke Bespin Luke Bespin Luke Bespin Luke Bespin Luke Bespin Luke Bespin

This was made using several dolls. The repainted head is from "Luke in Jedi Attire", and was put on a GI Joe body. The costume is from the original doll and was stained with diluted acrylic paint, and altered by hand stitching. I didn't bother with the undershirt, and opted to glue his jacket closed instead for a snug fit. Some felt was added as shoulder pads underneath. By removing the cap on the wrist-post, I was able to make his hand removable.

Greedo

Greedo Greedo Greedo Greedo

This is a repaint of the original doll. The head and hands were put on a GI Joe body. The costume was stained with diluted acrylic paint, and altered by hand stitching. The jumpsuit is actually on backwards to hide the seam. The holster is from "Luke Skywalker in Ceremonial Attire".

Darth Vader

Darth Vader Darth Vader Darth Vader Darth Vader

This is a repaint of the original doll. The helmet, mask, chestplate and boots were all sprayed with a hi-gloss clear medium. I used a small utility chain to hold his cape.

General Veers

Veers Veers Veers

This was made using several dolls. The body and head are a "Ultimate Soldier" from 21st Century Toys. The uniform and boots are from a "Grand Moff Tarkin" painted with acrylic paints, and altered by hand stitching. The helmet, chest plate, and belt are repainted from a "Hoth Snowtrooper". The gloves are repainted from a "Luke in Hoth Attire". The goggles were ordered from Cotswold Collectibles. The sleeves were too short, so I had to paint the forearms black.

Little Anakin

Anakin Anakin Anakin Anakin Anakin

Anakin Anakin Anakin Anakin Anakin

Anakin Skywalker This is a repainted version of the original doll. I did sand the boots down a bit before I wrapped the fabric around them. The costume was stained with diluted acrylic paint.

Update: I finally made a podrace helmet for him. The helmet was from a shampoo bottle top. The hood was made from a sleeve removed from "Episode I Obi-Wan's" cloak (the one I modified for "Luke in Jedi Attire")

Jawas

Jawa Jawa Jawa Jawa Jawa

These are two different repaints of the original doll. The costume was stained with diluted acrylic paint, and dry-brushed so that they would appear dusty. Wire was glued along the edge of the hood so that it could be molded. I also lined the inside of the hood with black felt. I painted around the eyes with black acrylic paint, so that only a little pin-prick of light would come through. The holster is from a GI Joe.

Yoda

Yoda Yoda Yoda Yoda

This is a repaint of the original doll. The costume was stained with diluted acrylic paint, and altered by hand-stitching. The hair is from the "Wampa" and was glued to the head with modeling glue.

C-3PO
New

R2-D2

R2-D2 R2-D2

This is a repaint of the original doll. I simply stained and rubbed a muddy mix of paint until I got him as dirty as I wanted. To dull the shine of his chrome skin, I gently rubbed him with steel wool. The restraining bolt was made from a "Luke Skywalker Jedi Knight" lightsaber hilt.

R2-D2

R2-D2

R2-D2

R2-D2 R2-D2 R2-D2 R2-D2

This is a repaint of the original doll. I simply stained and rubbed a muddy mix of paint until I got him as dirty as I wanted. I painted over his dome lights so they would appear to glow more.

Update: I added a restraining bolt to R2 to match 3PO's. It is made from a "Luke Skywalker Jedi Knight" lightsaber hilt.

Luke Hoth

Luke Hoth Luke Hoth Luke Hoth Luke Hoth

Update: This was made using several dolls. The repainted head is from "Luke in Jedi Attire", and was put on a GI Joe body. The gloves are from the original doll. The costume is from the original doll and was stained with diluted acrylic paint, and altered by hand-stitching. White acrylic gesso was diluted and dry-brushed onto his costume and boots to simulate snow. For accuracy, I swapped scarves with Han.

Update: I found an accessory set by 21st Century Toys, for their Ultimate Soldier line, which consisted mostly of various posed hands and these googles. I had to paint them white and added white elastic for the straps.

Wampa

Wampa Wampa Wampa

This was made using the original doll. First, I opened up his back seam and removed all of the stuffing from his arms and legs, so they would appear thinner. I thoroughly stained him with acrylic pant washes so that he became an ivory color. I also scrubbed in clear acrylic medium into his fur so it would appear wet. I dry-brushed thick globs of white acrylic gesso to simulate snow caked on his fur and face. The face was repainted, and I added ears made of white vinyl (from the "Hoth Snowtrooper's" face veil). He is based on the Wampa that appeared in the original, 1980, "Empire Strikes Back", and not the "Special Edition" version.

Introduction and How To Tips

Okay, first off, a few things concerning the Star Wars Collector Series/Action Collection (hereafter mentioned as the SW CS/AC) before we get into it.

One: To me, these are still dolls. If I was shooting for dead-on accuracy, I would be showing you vinyl model kits. That in mind, there are proportional and mechanical problems that I will try to address- but I am more interested in a one-of-a-kind doll that makes others go "WOW! Where did you get that?"

Two: I take EVERYTHING out of the box to see how it is assembled. It really helps the logic in trying to figure out ways to improve these things. Sure they are all "dust collectors" but hey, at least mine (and hopefully yours) will look a heckuva lot cooler.

Last, I think that Hasbro is doing a pretty good job at giving us a great, mass-produced, toy line. There are some things that they could do to make it neater, but that may drive up production costs, making them even more pricey. Think of these as a 3-D canvas, and I'll be your Bob Ross, "It's all your own little world."

Supplies: I use mostly Liquitex Acrylic paint for my customs. It dries quick and flat, it's water-based, and is literally "liquid-plastic" when it dries. There are several colors that I use continuously: Mars Black, Iridescent Pewter, Iridescent Silver, Raw Sienna, Taupe, Soft White, Naples Yellow and Light Magenta. I also use Liquitex Gesso and Gloss Medium & Varnish. Lastly, I use Rust-Oleum Clear Finish spray and Krylon Matte Finish spray as well.

A hot-glue gun comes in real handy to speed things along when altering the costume. I prefer the hi-temp guns over the low-temp. I do use cheap brushes, and you would be amazed what an airbrush can add. I have several airbrushes, but use my Badger 150IL for these projects. All of these items should be available at any Art & Crafts shop except for the sprays, which may be found at your local hardware shop. Any other special items used will be mentioned in the notes concerning each doll.

For book reference, of course "The Star Wars Chronicles" is invaluable for this, but pricey at $150. I use "Star Wars A Visual Dictionary" and "From Star Wars to Indiana Jones: The Best of the Lucasfilm Archives" quite a bit as well.

Armatures (Bodies): Just a quick note on the bodies used for the SW CS/AC. In a word, they stink. I mean they barely move, and they seem poorly sculpted. This confuses me considering the company that makes them are also the fine producers of GI Joe.

My Theory: They know most folks won't take the toys out and play with them, so why put in extra play and pose-ability? Think of the original name of the line, "Collector Series", it was obvious which market these were aimed for. Or the SW license is so costly that they would rather cut corners on what is underneath the costume as opposed to the costume itself...

So, some suggestions. The current GI Joe (available at most toy stores for $14-$15 on the blister card) are totally interchangeable with the SW CS/AS! The heads can be (fairly) easily switched, and the hands/gloves are a breeze to swap out!

Ultimate Soldier makes some great armatures too and a simple fig will run you less ($12-15) than a GI Joe, but the skin tones are a little gray...

There are also other companies that make 12" generic bodies as well. You may want to check out Cotswold Collectibles for more info on this. Also, Jim Stelling's site has some great articles on his comparison of the various armatures and how to get the best out of them.

One final note: All of these projects are in a constant state of improvement. I cannot tell you how many times I said to myself "Wow, that's done" and then a week later went "Well, what if I changed this or that?" Or I've found some accessory that I didn't even know existed. So tune in often, and I will try to share any upgrades that I do.

San Diego Comic-Con 2014
NEW IN THE PHOTO ARCHIVE:
Probe
Droid
Poll
Next September marks the twentieth anniversary of Hasbro's Kenner The Power Of The Force action figure collection. The line introduced a new generation of children to the wonderful world of Star Wars toys and ushered in the modern collectibles we all enjoy today. Our ever-inquisitive Probe Droid is actively searching all corners of the galaxy to find out if there is interest in products that commemorate this very significant 1995 release.
I'd be into a Hasbro The Lost Line style assortment
I'd love to see Gentle Giant make a Jumbo Kenner 1995 Luke Skywalker
I'm behind both of these ideas!
I got started in 1995, but I have no interest in such a concept.
It isn't for me.
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