Custom Action Figures

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

In addition to web and print design, I’ve taken up customizing action figures in recent years, either creating new characters by combining existing figures or giving a new paint job to an otherwise decent standalone figure. Here are some of what I consider to be the best along with the respective recipes for each.

Steve Rogers

The former Captain America was made from a Marvel Legends S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, boots from Marvel Legends Series 7 Ultimate Captain America, a head form WWII Ultimate Captain America, various strap bits from assorted figures, scrapbooking stickers and, of course, a custom paint job.

Modern Captain America

Marvel Legends Bullseye was outfitted with Face-Off Captain America's head and boots and Legendary Comic Book Heroes Madman's lower arms before getting a new paint job, including a special blend of metallic blue.


Ultron was made from a Marvel Legends Heroes Reborn Iron Man figure and a head from a Marvel Legends series 7 Iron Man display base. Modifications were made to both and the new figure was painted head-to-toe.

Iron Man

The 6" Mark VI Iron Man got a new paint job to better represent the modern comic form of the armor over the movie's silver-heavy approach.


Hasbro's Marvel Legends Thor is a great sculpt, but the original paint ob was flat and lackluster. I fixed that with several layers of different colors to make Thor truly godly.

Doctor Doom

Like Thor, there wasn't much sculpt-wise they could have done to improve on Doom, but his paint job was abysmal, mostly because there was hardly any paint on the figure at all. With a little work, the intricate details of the sculpt really jump out.

Optimus Prime

The Autobot leader from the Classics series got a new paint job to scrap the extraneous yellow and blue paint apps and to add some sheen to the flat gray "metal" pieces on his body, truly brining the classic design into the new millennium.


The Transformers Classic Megatron was modified to remove the giant "wings" while retaining the ability to transform the figure and completely repainted to reflect the more traditional color scheme of the character.


Easily my most ambitious custom, the Titanium Soundwave's entire crotch and upper legs were replaced those from a Classic Ramjet. The transformation is different, but an alt mode can still be achieved. Most impressive of all, though, the figure can now hold dynamic poses, something the original could never lay claim to.