Toybiz Thing Action Figure Conversion Pt. II
Next I moved on to the Thing’s head. I decided to change the face to have the Thing yelling in rage. The head was cast in a solid rubbery plastic...trying to cut it using an x-acto would be thumb suicide, so it was time to break out the razor saw. In figure 1, I marked where to make the cut, right below the nose. After a good bit of sawing, it was off.
To reconstruct it I bent a piece of wire in the rough shape of the new jaw and glued it into holes that were drilled into the base of the head (fig. 2). After the super glue cured it was time to attach the head to the neck. I went with a pretty neutral facing forward position with a little tilt to the left to give him a bit of attitude.
After that I started blocking in the jaw/mouth, again starting with the basic form before starting to break them down into the rock shapes. Try to make the rock shapes and sizes similar to the surrounding areas so that they don’t look out of place. Next I went ahead and primed the figure to see how the seam work and rocks were looking. I made the mistake of trying out Krylon Fusion for the first time. It didn’t seem to like this particular type of plastic too well and stayed tacky several days after spraying. Anyway, I found that the jaw was a little asymmetrical and the chin was a little weak(fig. 3).
After I got the jaw relatively symmetrical and the chin & lower lip fixed, it was time to tackle the brow and nose. For this particular figure, I was aiming for a more 'classic' Thing look, versus the movie look the original figure had. To do this I needed to add the Thing's signature brow and tone down the giant schnozz the action figure had. The brow was pretty simple to add, I just rolled out a fairly large snake of aves and pushed it securely to the brow area. After this I began forming blocks to blend in with the rest of his rocky appearance. For the nose, I heated it up to soften the material and then sliced the nose clean off with a sharp x-acto. (fig. 4)
The next obvious step was to give him a new nose. I rolled out a small snake of Aves for the bridge and positioned it on the face. To form the nostrils I rolled out 2 small balls of Aves and blended them in to the main part of the nose. I added a little more Aves to the tip of his nose to finish it up. At this point the face was essentially done, the only thing left was to give him some choppers and a tongue. I didn't do a great job of keeping the inside of the mouth smooth when I sculpted the jaw, so I used a dremel tool to grind out the jagged edges inside. After that I mixed up some more putty and formed an upper and lower row. After the Aves firmed up some, I formed individual teeth from the rows (fig. 5). I let the Aves set up over night so I wouldn't mess up the teeth when adding the tongue later.
Back to the Torso...
The hands were pretty straight forward. I carved out some of the excess material that composed the joint in the hand to give me room to sculpt the texture of the palm (fig. 6).
After this I filled the depression and the seam around the hand with putty and blended to match the surrounding texture. (fig. 7). Once that had cured, I glued the hands on to the arms and filled the resulting seam. Now all that was left on the torso was taking care of the upper to lower torso joint.
This one's drawing to a close and I'm going to gloss over the legs a bit. Picking up from where I left off, the legs were totally assembled. I had to do a good amount of carving to take care of several gross offsets at joints. After that I had an exercise in frustration trying to putty the legs and get a smooth finish. 6 months later...voila, he's done.