Custom Siege Pinpointer (or: babby's first dye job) [and other random Targetmasters]

Figures, collectables, customs and collecting.
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Warcry
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Custom Siege Pinpointer (or: babby's first dye job) [and other random Targetmasters]

Post by Warcry » Sun Jan 12, 2020 3:35 am

I got Siege Firebolt as a stocking stuffer last Christmas, and IMO he's probably the nicest of the three (two and a half?) traditional Targetmaster molds that the line brought us. There was just one problem: I don't have a single decent modern Hot Rod to put him with! I had him on a shelf with TR Hot Rod for a while, but then I remembered that TR Hot Rod's robot mode is a wierd-looking monkey, and he went back in a box in the basement. Firebolt went with him, and I sort of forgot I owned one for most of the last year.

Crosshairs' rocket-shotgun-hammer weapon is pretty cool, but since the original was such a fixture in my childhood playtime, he just didn't look right carrying around anything but a double-barrelled gun that was clearly a dude bent in half. I've seen a lot of people pair him up with Trenchfoot, but the colour layout just didn't work for me as Pinpointer. In gun mode, it's pretty much exactly the opposite of what it should be.

I'd been looking for a chance to try dying plastic for a while, and this felt like a nice little project I could tackle and not feel too bad if I ruined it. There were so many things that could go wrong -- screwing up the colour, melting or deforming the plastic, turning my entire countertop red...but it actually turned out perfectly, with minimal fuss and zero mess in under twenty minutes.

Image

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The colour layout in robot mode is still wrong (it should be red arms and torso with dark grey legs) but it's close enough, and I like the look a lot more than Trenchfoot's red torso with black limbs. In alt-mode the colours match the original pretty well, though. Crosshairs now has his gun-buddy, and Red Alert has inherited the ridiculauncher. And the gun is generic enough that I'm sort of tempted to pick up another Firebolt when the line hits clearance, do this again and use it for Spoilsport if and when they make a new Sureshot.

But most importantly, now that I know I can do this I'll hopefully be able to talk myself into taking on one of the bigger projects that I've been thinking of for a while now!

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Denyer
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Re: Custom Siege Pinpointer (or: babby's first dye job)

Post by Denyer » Sun Jan 12, 2020 8:26 pm

Neat. Are you going to do bigger wheels as well?

https://www.tfw2005.com/boards/threads/ ... s.1185806/
https://www.tfw2005.com/boards/threads/ ... 0.1186320/
https://www.tfw2005.com/boards/threads/ ... s.1185965/

Kind of tempted to pick him up myself with all of the customising people are doing plus not having either the Ironhide or Ratchet. Slightly more inclined to find an Ironhide and try to do a Tote though.

And it'll be a very minor hack, but am planning to paint the TR Nightbeat head into a replacement Lug for an original Hosehead, then get the Fans Hobby Athena (Minerva) to round out the Headmaster Juniors. Already got Siren (and an upgraded Nightbeat) sorted out, so it'll be a team of four rather than three...

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Warcry
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Re: Custom Siege Pinpointer (or: babby's first dye job)

Post by Warcry » Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:21 pm

I don't think so. I get where those customizers are coming from, but to me that alt-mode is pretty much unsalvageable. Or at the very least, it would take a lot more than wheels to fix it...I know there's some 3P kits out there for Ratchet and Ironhide that hide the feet and arms a lot better in truck mode, and that'd be a good start. I have been tempted to paint the hubcaps on the existing wheels red to give an extra splash of colour to the robot mode, though.

I've always wondered if the TR heads could be made to fit the original bodies. It's great that they can, with so many orphaned 80s Headmaster bodies out there.

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Re: Custom Siege Pinpointer (or: babby's first dye job)

Post by Denyer » Tue Jan 14, 2020 5:56 pm

The Juniors are close to deluxe size, anyway, so the proportions are okay. It works surprisingly well on the originals too, judging by Skullcruncher -- the original HM head was so oversized that the TR is more proportionate. In all cases the sockets are going to need a bit of padding though.

The oversized Wei Jiang TR KOs would be an option too.

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Re: Custom Siege Pinpointer (or: babby's first dye job)

Post by Clay » Thu Jan 23, 2020 1:22 am

Nicely done!

The one time I tried dying plastic, it technically worked but deformed the piece badly. Good to see someone else have some luck with it.

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Re: Custom Siege Pinpointer (or: babby's first dye job)

Post by Warcry » Thu Jan 23, 2020 4:33 am

It turned out better than I had any right to expect! But this week I've been trying and failing to turn a spare RTS Tracks (Actually, I think I may have gotten it from you years ago? I have a whole bin of spare 2010-era toys to experiment with) black. The whole "dyeing" thing feels really hit or miss...depends on the type of plastic, I guess? Pinpointer slurped up the pigment like nobody's business from tepid water in an old coffee cup, but an hour's worth of boiling water didn't change Tracks' blue one bit. I hear adding acetone to the mix helps the harder plastics pick up colour, but that sounds like something that could go wrong pretty easily.

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Re: Custom Siege Pinpointer (or: babby's first dye job)

Post by Clay » Thu Jan 23, 2020 10:59 am

Yeah, I was using some acetone to soften the pieces first. The plastic took the dye, but poofed up, for lack of a better term for physical distortion.

I haven't read about the process in years. I might should try again... having a small hotplate to use outside counts towards that.

And yeah, the type of plastic makes a big difference, too. To speak of alternators (because that's when I was reading about this), the plastic used for the inconspicuous joints and hands (the pieces that never have factory paint) seems to take the dye, whereas the car body panels are more resistant. The tricky part is that you can't identify the different types of plastic by sight, but just by function in the figure. And experimenting, of course.

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Re: Custom Siege Pinpointer (or: babby's first dye job)

Post by Warcry » Fri Jan 24, 2020 1:17 am

Yeah, that's common from what I read. Some people say you shouldn't leave the plastic in acetone for more than 30 seconds to a minute at a time, rinsing and cooling in between if you're going to do multiple sessions. And you need to be really careful with the heat. I've even seen some folks who skip the heat entirely and just dip in diluted acetone and dye until it takes. Seems like everyone who does it has their own method. I guess I'll have to find one out my own, because obviously I'll wind up trying it.

I think you can tell some plastic types by the feel and texture, but from what I've read even that's not a totally reliable indicator. Only trial and error will let your figure out what's what. SCIENCE!

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Re: Custom Siege Pinpointer (or: babby's first dye job)

Post by Warcry » Thu Jan 30, 2020 5:51 am

Update: probably ruined an RTS Tracks trying different techniques to dye it with little success! Learned a lot, though.

These guys were a lot more successful!

Image Image Image Image

My Quake has looked naked since I stole his main cannon and gave it to Legends G2 Megatron to use as a shoulder railgun. And Toys'R'Us has Battlemasters on clearance for about 1/3 of retail price, so I grabbed half a dozen (and I would have bought more if they'd had more than the first wave to choose from) to experiment with!

Heater is made from another Firebolt, and was pretty quick and easy even though I used two different dyes for different parts. His legs and gun barrels wouldn't quite go all the way to black, and they've got the tiniest bit of purple hue to them in person, but not so much that you'd notice if you weren't looking for it.

Tiptop was a bit more of a challenge. His limbs soaked up the purple in about three minutes in tepid water in a coffee cup. The harder plastic of his torso took a lot more convincing -- a couple hours in a pot on the stovetop, to be specific. A lot of that was me figuring out the exact right temperature to set it to, though. Once I got the heat just right, he soaked up the colour decently fast too. Whether due to the sustained heat or the small amount of acetone I used, I got a bit of the "poofing" that Clay mentioned. Not enough that anything is wrecked, but his ball joints are super tight now and his gun handle is just a tiny bit more than 5mm. Quake's hands are super thin at the front and actually started to crack when I tried to get him to hold the gun.

The blast effects probably surprised me the most...because I didn't melt them! But they took the colour well and it's nice to have some variety.

Overall, I'll call it a successful experiment! Now to figure out what to make with a couple Lionizers...

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Re: Custom Siege Pinpointer (or: babby's first dye job) [and other random Targetmasters]

Post by Denyer » Thu Jan 30, 2020 7:50 pm

Neat. Re: Lionizers, ActionMaster partners presumably?

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Re: Custom Siege Pinpointer (or: babby's first dye job) [and other random Targetmasters]

Post by Warcry » Fri Jan 31, 2020 3:54 am

Maybe Catgut? Maybe take one apart and spraypaint a Steeljaw? It's mostly black, which makes it hard to do much with dyes...can only change the head and tail that way, really. Though that'd be more than they bothered to do with Dazzlestrike...

It's really too bad there's been so little diversity and creativity with the Battlemasters. There's a ton of cool Actionmaster partners to choose from but what we actually got was just so boring. I was hoping for Razor-Sharp or Needler or Top-Heavy ot Fistfight, not five reuses of the two humanoid molds from the first wave and a clunky minotaur. I don't have the pterodactyl axe but that one at least looks creative.

Rong is cool but I always forget he exists.

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