Tag Archives: dollmaking

New Mutants custom Magma: using UV resin on action figure customs!

Magma New Mutants action figure custom by Suzanne Forbes July 2020Magma, Amara Acquilla, is one of the more problematic New Mutants.

Every character is someone’s favorite, but I personally never felt any emotional connection to her whatsoever. Which is funny, given how much I loved the other original New Mutants.

Magma New Mutants action figure custom in Danger Room by Suzanne Forbes July 2020So while I felt she should be represented in my X-Men dollhouse, along with Rahne and Dani and Shan and Doug and Warlock and Illyana and Bobby and Same and Kitty, I figured I’d put her in the Danger Room.

In the Danger Room, her wild powers would be a great visual.

Magma New Mutants action figure custom WIP by Suzanne Forbes July 2020Since there is not yet a commercially available Magma in 1/12 scale, I had to make one.

I used the old Toy Biz Scarlet Witch as a base, since she has the same chunky glove and boot cuffs as the old school New Mutants. Amara’s costume details don’t show when her powers are active actually – the costume “disappears” because of “unstable molecules” like Rahne’s does – but I thought it would be funny to have them and also help signal who she is.

Magma New Mutants action figure custom close up by Suzanne Forbes July 2020I’m not a stickler for anything, really.

Including action figure customizer materials protocols! Many customizers use hot glue to form flame and power effects, if they’re not set up for casting resin. But I used UV resin to form Amara’s head spikes. I sculpted them in my beloved Apoxie Sculpt first, then painted the whole figure with artist’s tube acrylics thinned to the consistency of heavy cream. Three isolation coats of Mod Podge helped seal her paint nicely.

Then I added the resin, mixing three colors and sitting in the sun outside and letting it cure on the fly. This was before I had a powerful UV LED resin curing lamp, so to get fast curing the sun was my best plan. It was messy, because UV resin is goopy and hard to control, and I wound up getting thick drops at the ends. I had to sand them down and re-resin!

Next time I’ll use the technique miniaturists use for getting drips and streams of epoxy resin – a bit of clear nylon fishing line for the resin to cling to and follow along.

Magma New Mutants action figure custom outside by Suzanne Forbes July 2020But this one is close enough for government work, as my editor Margaret used to say when I worked on Star Trek!

Lots of real customizers have done Magmas, do check out how the professionals have visualized her 🙂  I like this one a lot, and this mod using the Carol Danvers head works well. I would have liked her to be clear like the Minimate, but I didn’t care enough to hunt down a clear Sue Storm who would work.

I did buy this amazing Figma base for her.

The crackly lava base is seen here with X-23 standing on it as a placeholder, I’ll have more actual Danger Room shots coming soon! Yes, X-23 isn’t part of “my” era of X-Men/New Mutants, but I love the character, so – don’t care! Not a stickler.

More New Mutants stuff on here:

My Rahne and Dani lovebird custom Marvel Legends action figures

Douglock action figures

Rahne and Dani slash art from the 80’s

The love story of me, P, the New Mutants, and Chris (trigger warning for really a lot of bad stuff)

Christopher Street Day ice cream party with gay X-Men!

How the New Mutants film re-connected me with my queerness

X-Men Dollhouse- Danger Room buildout!!

Danger Room X Men Dollhouse build Bishop by Suzanne Forbes July 2020Damn, dioramas are hard!

I have been obsessed with dioramas since I was a child in the Museum of Natural History, and the obsession has only deepened. Of course I had to build a Danger Room underneath my School for Gifted Youngsters, and of course I’ve been planning it for almost twenty years. Nearly as soon as I was thinking about a dollhouse for action figures, I was thinking of underground spaces underneath it.

Danger Room X Men Dollhouse build test by Suzanne Forbes July 2020I didn’t figure out how to do it until after I finished my first dollhouse, and by the time I started putting underground laboratories and medical rooms and gymnasiums under the first dollhouse, it was obvious that I was gonna need a second dollhouse.

Danger Room X Men Dollhouse build with Lila Cheney posters by Suzanne Forbes July 2020The X-Men got their own entire dollhouse, last year.

(It’s finished except for the front yard and the stairs to Ororo’s attic, both of which are in process!). I had a system at this point, and built the base for the X-Men dollhouse with the intent of putting the Danger Room, stables and Morlock tunnels underneath it.

Danger Room X Men Dollhouse build with thumpy by Suzanne Forbes July 2020During the third month of self-isolation, I found several of the critical pieces for the Danger Room in Europe.

It was never feasible to ship these large, heavy things – the Art Asylum Broken Bow Enterprise Bridge Playset and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Secret Sewer Lair Playset – from the States. And it is even less feasible, or ethical, to ship anything from North America now.

Danger Room X Men Dollhouse build with Sentinel by Suzanne Forbes July 2020But I found them, for great prices, in Germany!

In the five years we have been here, Germans have gotten better at eBay. And incredibly, I have gotten even more amazing at buying used weird stuff!

Danger Room X Men Dollhouse build with figures by Suzanne Forbes July 2020I’ve been on eBay since fucking 1998, I am a power user.

I have had the Iceman figure and Sentinel Marvel Legends Build-A-Figure (BAF) since 2005, and the Pyro since 2006. I bought them during the horrible, agonizing, dragged-out end of my second marriage, and they were in storage for years. But I knew they had a purpose.

I never gave up on the idea that somehow, I was gonna do something fun with them, something that would make me happy.

Danger Room Suzanne Forbes July 2020I don’t like building interiors, or dollhouses for that matter, at all.

I don’t even like decorating them with wallpaper and trim. I just like having them, and collecting the stuff that goes in them! However, since my funds are limited, I have to build dollhouses in order to have them!

So I ordered foam core board and acid-free adhesive-covered board from an excellent German company, and set to building around the bridge set and the Sentinel. I used my usual intuitive casual building technique, and I did it as fast as I could, because cutting things with an Xacto knife terrifies me.

Plus, the long arm movements for handling the large panels now exhaust my limited upper body strength. Physical construction has become even more of an ordeal as my Hashimoto’s and fatigue have gotten worse. I am really glad I splurged on the adhesive-lined board, as it made sticking the embossed brick dollhouse paper to it a breeze!!!

Danger Room X Men Dollhouse build booth test by Suzanne Forbes July 2020I built the windows of the booth out of plexiglas, which I am never working with again.

Cutting it oneself is a nightmare. Unlike styrene, which scores and then breaks crisply! I used panels of balsa wood covered in dark grey selbstklebefolie to cover the ragged edges of the plexi, which totally worked.

I like to cover panels of balsa, illustration board or board with German selbstklebefolie (contact paper) to make flat surfaces in the labs and underground spaces. It gives a clean, tech-y finish and is so much faster and easier than paint. No, it’s not archival, but it’s looking like I’m not either! The booth is held together with scraps of wood trim, some twenty years old, spraypainted silver.

I would like to talk more about this whole project, but I am completely exhausted!

X-Men and Action figure dollhouse projects and action figure customs:

My first action figure dollhouse.

Laboratories underneath it.

My action figure subway station.

Projects for the X-Men Dollhouse – a blackboard for the library

The X-Men Dollhouse – nearly finished, and the goddam lighting

The X-Men Dollhouse – stairs and lighting

The X-Men Dollhouse – wallpaper and assembly

The X-Men Dollhouse – getting started!

Lila Cheney and Lilandra customs.

My Rahne and Dani lovebird action figure customs

Douglock custom