Here is a short ProCustomizers exclusive tutorial that many of you diorama builders may find useful. I am in the process of doing a large dinosaur dio, so thought I would show you some of the techniques I use to achieve the results I wanted. This will give you the basic skills to reposition figures in a static pose, into a new original position that suits your needs! This can be used for actual action figures too, depending on what your project calls for. Here we go!
the tools you will need: Razor saws, heat gun (or blow dryer), steel wire, wire snips, Aves Fixit Sculpt (or other modeling putty,) sculpting tools, super glue or epoxy, and your trusty Dremel.
The original figure: A Papo Allosaurus. I picked up 2 of thes fantastic figures for my dio. One will stay in the original position, but obviously the other one has to be reposed to make the diorama a litlle more dynamic. In the dio, the Allosaurs are going to be "herding" and attacking a prey animal, so the Allosaurus I am working on will be reposed into an attacking position.
After planning out your figures new pose (a good memory, or planned sketch would be helpful to keep handy,) you can start cutting. If your figure is soft rubbery plastic, or vinyl, preheat the area with the "low" setting of your heat gun or blow dryer. This will soften your material, and make it easier to cut. Cut with your razor saw at natural joint areas (elbows, wrists, knees, etc.)
After your initial cuts, you may need to remove any excess material that will get in the way of your new pose. Here I am cutting out excess neck material to allow for the head to be positioned downward, and turned more to the right.
Take your Dremel, and drill an appropriate sized pilot hole for your supporting wire. Drill a corresponding hole on the adjacent piece (head in this case.)
Insert a piece of your wire coated with a bit of super glue or epoxy into the pilot hole.
You can then place the part in the new position you want it in. Open gaps to be addressed soon!
Turn your attention to the limbs. I use a thinner piece of wire for this part, as it will allow me to bend and position the limbs as I go.
Here you see the tentative positioning of the arms. Once everything else is attached, I will go back and bend everything into a pose that looks the most natural, and dynamic.
Mix up some of your modelling putty, and use it to fill the gaps only! Do not bring the filler all the way to the surface of the figure! We will be coming back with more putty later to add the "detail" layer.
This shows the new, repositioned figure next to the original, unaltered figure.
Now it is time to address blending your gaps with a detail layer of modeling putty. I start by making impression molds of the dino's skin detail with a small ball of putty. Use water, or a bit of mold release on your figure to get a good impression, and then roll the putty ball over the area of detail you want to replicate. Let your "molds" cure. I did about 6 different detail impressions for this Allosaurus.
You then come back to your gaps, and fill them to the surface (as well as any additional skin folds you may want to add.) You can then add detail to your new area by lightly rolling your impression molds over the soft putty. This is a quick way to replicate the surrounding detail, but may still require you to come back and add some more detail with a sculpting tool.
Continue filling all gaps on your figure, and detailing it out. I suggest doing one area at a time on larger figures, as your putty may begin to set up if you try to do too many at once.
That's about it! I will be posting my finished project here soon. I hope this helps some of you achieve the results you want!