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How to Make Your Own Action Figures

By Chad Hunter ; Updated April 18, 2017

From knights in armor to laser-blasting mutants to superheroes and super-villains, every child at some point has wanted his own action figure. Even more, children and some adults have wanted their very own toy modeled after their unique design. What's better than playing with one's own futuristic robot or magician? While it may seem impossible because a majority of toys are made by assembly lines and machines, fear not. With a generic action figure, some imagination and paint, you can make your own action figure.

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Design the action figure on paper. Using a sketchpad and coloring pencils, design your character. Knowing what the action figure will look like will prevent mistakes, disappointments and lost time as the toy is created. Mold the design around the types of action figures available for purchase, for instance, avoid designing a dragon if no dragon figure can be found in a store for modification.

Buy a generic action figure. Go to any thrift or department store and purchase a simple action figure. There are many toys that are basic models of soldiers, superheroes, knights and other suitable base models for an action figure. Buy a generic action figure that also is close in shape, design and color to your desired creation.

Use the blade to modify the action figure. Generic action figures may have features and accessories molded onto the toy that won't fit the design of your own action figure. Use the knife to scrape off any items that are not desired (perhaps it's a beard, horns, goggles or a hat).

Paint according to your design. Using the hobby paint, recolor that action figure to match the action figure you sketched. Allow base coats to dry before applying additional colors. Be careful around the joints and points of articulation as paint can hinder movement by clogging the ball-in-socket areas of action figures.

Dry and test. Allow the action figure time to dry. Consider placing outside in direct sunlight for faster drying. Once the action figure is ready, test out the movements to make sure there are no clogs or flakes of paint.

Things You Will Need

  • Generic action figure
  • Hobby paint
  • Disposable brushes
  • Sketchpad with colored pencils
  • X-Acto knife


Be careful when cutting the generic figure. X-Acto blades are extremely sharp.

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About the Author

Chad Hunter is a freelance writer and author. Hunter began writing professionally in 1993 and has written for AskMen.com, Baton Rouge Parenting and additional newsletters, magazines and online publications. He holds a Bachelor of Science in computer networking from Purdue. Hunter is also a guest lecturer.

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