CUSTOM ACTION FIGURES: 101 – CREATING MUZZLE FLASH
Welcome to Tutorial Tuesday! I’ll be bringing you a new customizing tutorial every tuesday here on Custom Action Figures: 101!
In this edition of Custom Action figures: 101, we learn how to make muzzle flash for action figure weapons.
Adding muzzle flash is one of the easiest things you can do to add some really cool realistic detail to your custom figure. Unlike some of my other tutorials, creating muzzle flash doesn’t directly involve making any changes to your actual figure. It does involve drilling a small hole in the muzzle end of the barrel of the weapon you want to use, but that’s something that’s really easy to do as long as you take your time.
Whether you’ll be making muzzle flash or flames for a flamethrower will determine which end of the effect you will make the “fat end”. Muzzle flash will be thicker towards the muzzle end and taper out thinner and flames will be thinner and the muzzle end and taper out larger.
Either way, the process for making them is the same. In this tutorial we’ll be making a muzzle flash for a rifle. Muzzle flash for a pistol will be made the same way, just smaller.
To begin with, here’s a list of the tools and materials you will need:
LOW TEMP HOT GLUE GUN http://goo.gl/eJ6D52
HIGH TEMP MINI GLUE STICKS http://goo.gl/vL6EXf
WIRE CUTTERS http://goo.gl/gn5Mj5
HOBBY DRILL BITS http://goo.gl/Ozq49Z
TRANSPARENT PAINT OR INKS http://goo.gl/iBBdR3
A CUP OF ICE WATER
And of course, your action figure weapon.
Begin by straightening out your paper clip, leaving a bend on one end to hold onto.
Lay a bead of glue in about an inch and a half long strip down the side of your paperclip, working your way out to the end.
As soon as you get to the end, dip the paperclip in your cup of ice water. This will quickly cool the glue, before it has a chance to drip or deform.
Continue laying down glue beads, remembering to make the muzzle end fatter and taper out to the end of the paperclip, until you have it completely covered. Be sure to dip your paperclip in your ice water after every pass with the glue gun.
Once you have the main “body” of the flash built up, take your glue gun and add texture by touching the tip to the muzzle flash and pulling it away. You can also make “zig zag’ patterns along the muzzle flash with the glue gun. Keep dipping it in ice water as you add texture, so that it quickly cools and your texture doesn’t melt away.
Once you are satisfied with your muzzle flash, it’s time to paint. Paint a base coat of transparent yellow on your flash.
Next, add a couple of drops of transparent red paint or red ink to your yellow paint and swirl it around, but don’t completely mix it. This will help create a sort of ‘marbled’ effect.
Paint your flash with this mixture from approximately half way along it’s length back to the muzzle end. With flame effects, you will want to do the exact opposite.
Then, using straight red transparent paint or ink, drybrush the last quarter of your flash towards the muzzle end.
While your paint is drying, using a drill bit the same diameter or slightly smaller than your paperclip, drill a hole approximately 1/8” into the muzzle end of the barrel of whatever weapon you’re using.
Then clip off the paperclip leaving appx. 1/8” of the wire exposed from the end of the muzzle flash.
Insert it into the hole you drilled in the end of your weapon and you’re done. Too easy!
As with all of my tutorials, the more you practice, the better you’ll get at making these. Practice makes perfect! I’d love to see what you all make, so be sure to jump over to the forum and post pictures of your muzzle flashes that you create.
Until next time!
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