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More Custom McFarlane


BallWonk

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I've been threatening to do this for years, but Buckeynut's thoroughly awesome images of his own work customizing McFarlanes got me off my bum to take some photographs. I've done a couple of custom McFarlanes myself, just taking players and putting them into the uniform of my old fantasy team. I use water-based acrylics, lots of custom water-transfer decals, and both gloss and dullcote. Takes me between 12 and 20 hours per figure, which is why I've only ever done a couple, and of course my results aren't nearly as good as Buckeynut's. Still, a lot better than the crappy starships with droopy warp engines I used to try to build as a kid!

Here is Nomar, the former starting shortstop of the Old Town Rhubarbs -- complete with my old league's logo on the jersey and cap in place of the MLB logo.

nomar-fullfigure3.jpg

nomar-patch.jpg

nomar-back.jpg

nomar-front.jpg

nomar-headon.jpg

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Looks good to me.

Out of curiosity, how do you and others put the letters/logos on? I realize you probably don't hand paint them(and if you do, I'm pooping myself), but how do you get them to look right over the wrinkles of the uniforms?

Nevermind for part of the question...I read that you use water-transfer decals, but while I'm at it, how do these work/where can you find them?

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Looks good to me.

Out of curiosity, how do you and others put the letters/logos on? I realize you probably don't hand paint them(and if you do, I'm pooping myself), but how do you get them to look right over the wrinkles of the uniforms?

Nevermind for part of the question...I read that you use water-transfer decals, but while I'm at it, how do these work/where can you find them?

Equipment:

- Decal paper, white. I use Testors, just because any hobby shop will be able to find the product in a Testors catalog and order it. It's important to get white, not clear, paper.

- Decal fixative. It's a chemical you paint on to the decal after you've printed it to turn you printer's ink into an actual decal.

- Decal softener. Another noxious chemical in a little bottle that you brush onto the decal once you've moistened it and slid it off the backing paper onto the figure. It allows you to gently "brush" the decal down into the surface to conform to wrinkles, corners, and the like.

Then you measure your graphics carefully to scale and print them, in mirror-image, onto the decal paper. If you are applying onto a non-white background color, you have to match that color and print the graphic with a bleed of the background color. Then you brush a thin coat of the decal fixative over the decal you printed and let it dry.

For the model itself, you put a coat of bright white down where the decal will go to keep the colors true. Apply the decal just like you did back in the day making Snap-Tite Trans-Ams in summer camp. Use the decal softener to make the decal conform to the surface of the model and "melt" the fixative so that there's no decal-shaped bump on the surface. Let it all dry. Then touch-up paint the background up to the decal to cover any of the white backing area. And viola! You've just done in about three days what a toy factory can do in two minutes.

The decals are key -- it's the custom decals that make it look professional rather than "handmade" like all those old crappy summer-camp Trans-Ams.

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