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El Skutto
01-23-2009, 06:28 PM
So I've decided to modify the Toybiz 1:6 scale Witchking Ringwraith figure in order to fill the biggest gap in the entire SSC LOTR 1:6 line - to finally have a villain. I am by no means skilled in modifying or customizing figures, so this thread will be primarily to track my progress (or lack thereof), and give a forum for more experienced customizers to chime in with helpful advice or criticisms.

To begin with, here's the Witchking figure out of package. You'll notice that as far as his outfit goes, it's not too shabby. They went a little overboard on the slime/weathering effect on the bottom and inside edges of his cloak, but it's still serviceable. The most glaring problems with the figure are the solid plastic hood, which clashes pretty strongly with the cloth outfit, and that annoying little plug you see inside the hood, where his neck would be.

http://i382.photobucket.com/albums/oo266/El_Skutto/DSC00009.jpg

First step, remove his cloak and separate the hood from the body. Getting rid of that plug was pretty easy, I just slid a flat X-Acto blade under the edge of the plug and gave the handle a couple of whacks with a hammer. That's the remnant of the plug next to the cloak.

http://i382.photobucket.com/albums/oo266/El_Skutto/DSC00010.jpg

Here's the figure, sans cloak and hood. I can't really remove his undergarment due to his forearm armour, and I don't want to risk removing the hands without knowing for sure that I'll be able to put them back in again. Same goes for his velvet pants (no joke). The front and back pieces of armour are glued to the material, so the only way to remove the pants would be to remove the feet.

http://i382.photobucket.com/albums/oo266/El_Skutto/DSC00008.jpg

http://i382.photobucket.com/albums/oo266/El_Skutto/DSC00005.jpg

So now I have this heavy plastic hood with an thick bottom ledge on the inside, and an indentation on the bottom. The indentation fits over the neck stump, but seems to sit just a little too high on his shoulders, so I'm thinking of cutting out the bottom of the hood so that the whole thing just rests on his shoulders, instead of on his neck. I'd lose the neck articulation, but since that was limited to right/left movement only, and severly restricted by the hood's front strips of "material", it's no great loss. I'm welcome to other suggestions.

http://i382.photobucket.com/albums/oo266/El_Skutto/DSC00007.jpg

http://i382.photobucket.com/albums/oo266/El_Skutto/DSC00006.jpg

Right now, I'm entertaining a couple of ideas for the hood. The first is to cover the entire thing, inside and out, in rubber cement, and then applying a layer of thin black material to better match up with the outfit. Second, I'm thinking of cutting off those plastic strips at the front of his hood and just letting the material hang there instead. But then maybe it'd be a good idea to keep the neck articulation after all. Thoughts?

Entropy
01-23-2009, 07:26 PM
I'd ditch that clunky plastic and go all fabric empty hood with a bendable wire to hold it's shape.

Wor-Gar
01-23-2009, 07:28 PM
I'm thinking of cutting off those plastic strips at the front of his hood and just letting the material hang there instead. But then maybe it'd be a good idea to keep the neck articulation after all. Thoughts?

As you know, I'm planning the same project. I definitely suggest, if possible, to let the real material hang naturally and cut/remove those two long plastic "draping fabric" parts.

If you can keep just the hood as a 'shape' for the real material and also keep the swivel articulation, that would be best...thus the head could turn to face someone and the now real material will pull naturally.

Or unnaturally, if you're a Ringwraith.


Ideally, EC's note would be the best idea... but making a wire hood that holds it's shape seems very difficult at this scale to get the material to hold let alone get some good shape to it with nothing but air in and around it. The Ringwraith's distinctive headshape would be hard to shape out of just material with no support. Be like trying to shape the hood portion on a Jedi robe (which is wired) but without the head inside to guide the shaping.

El Skutto
01-23-2009, 08:03 PM
What about using a normal head and cutting off the front half, so that it's just a hollow space where the face would be? Paint the inside and outside black and then glue down the material on the outside surface. It'd probably still require a metal wire along the front edge to give it that distinctive Ringwraith look, but it shouldn't be too hard to do.

Blu Falcon
01-23-2009, 09:06 PM
I was actually contemplating doing the same custom. Had a chance to score this figure really cheap on ebay a while back. Something to consider.

Wor-Gar
01-23-2009, 10:05 PM
What about using a normal head and cutting off the front half, so that it's just a hollow space where the face would be? Paint the inside and outside black and then glue down the material on the outside surface. It'd probably still require a metal wire along the front edge to give it that distinctive Ringwraith look, but it shouldn't be too hard to do.

That's an interesting thought. Might work. Although, isn't that essentially what's left of the Ringwraith's head once you remove the hanging cloth parts?

Also, a regular Dragon head (which is the easiest to cut hollow) might be too small for the larger size of the Ringwraith head.

thenammagazine
01-24-2009, 02:06 AM
Since the hood sculpt isn't bad to begin with, I just coated my Ring Wraith's hood in black cloth, both inside and out (inside first), and stuck it back on. My main concern is figuring out what to do about getting him a sword. The ones the TB came with blow donkey dong.

El Skutto
01-24-2009, 06:55 AM
Since the hood sculpt isn't bad to begin with, I just coated my Ring Wraith's hood in black cloth, both inside and out (inside first), and stuck it back on. My main concern is figuring out what to do about getting him a sword. The ones the TB came with blow donkey dong.

Did you do any modifying to the hood before gluing on the material? Trim off those hanging cloth tresses, maybe? The more I think about it, the more I think that I just need to trim down the extra hanging bits, plus remove that "ledge" where his neck would be and then go the cloth-gluing route. I can live without the neck articulation.

As for the sword, I think the hilt might still be serviceable. I was planning on cutting off the blade and replacing it with another, more realistically-scaled blade from another figure. The claymore that came with the Origins Duncan figure might work in a pinch. The only problem is that I'm loathe to damage the accessories of any of my SSC 12-inchers.

Wor-Gar
01-24-2009, 10:56 AM
Since the hood sculpt isn't bad to begin with, I just coated my Ring Wraith's hood in black cloth, both inside and out (inside first), and stuck it back on. My main concern is figuring out what to do about getting him a sword. The ones the TB came with blow donkey dong.

Please post pics of that Nam.

And I agree, the sword is way over scale. I looked at those "real" metal swords but they also are too large (10 1/2 inches I think).

Anyone have the roto Ringwraith? That sword is the same as the "soft" but it looks to be a smaller scale so it might work.

thenammagazine
01-24-2009, 02:00 PM
Did you do any modifying to the hood before gluing on the material? Trim off those hanging cloth tresses, maybe? The more I think about it, the more I think that I just need to trim down the extra hanging bits, plus remove that "ledge" where his neck would be and then go the cloth-gluing route. I can live without the neck articulation.

As for the sword, I think the hilt might still be serviceable. I was planning on cutting off the blade and replacing it with another, more realistically-scaled blade from another figure. The claymore that came with the Origins Duncan figure might work in a pinch. The only problem is that I'm loathe to damage the accessories of any of my SSC 12-inchers.

Nope. I just adhered cloth to the hood in it's entirety. The hanging pieces were left alone because after toying with the idea of cutting them off, I realized that doing so would make it look a lot like Hasbro's 3 3/4" Jawas. The hanging tresses add a bit of depth and overlapping layers to the robes.

As far as the swords go, HE ISN'T WORTH CUTTING APART ANY OF THE HIGHLANDER FIGS! :lol They're long sold out, removed from Sideshow's website even, and really fluctuate in price and availability so I'd tuck them away. Personally, I'd leave him unarmed before even considering that! :google I'm toying with a few ideas at the moment though. Giles came with a decent claymore. I might take that and maybe seeing if it might fit into a Hasbro Mutt Williams sheath which I'll paint black w/silver caps. Still searching though.

El Skutto
02-02-2009, 03:03 PM
Small update.

I went ahead and trimmed off that annoying ledge at the bottom of the cowl.

http://i382.photobucket.com/albums/oo266/El_Skutto/DSC00002-1.jpg

http://i382.photobucket.com/albums/oo266/El_Skutto/DSC00001-1.jpg

It looks a bit better, but that torso neck stump kinda ruins the effect. I'm considering removing that bit next. Neck articulation will obviously not be possible, but I'd rather trade in the limited side-to-side movement he had before for the more cavernous, empty space where his head should be.

jason2885
02-14-2009, 11:55 AM
For a sword for this guy has anyone thought of using the GG sword and recasting it

El Skutto
03-15-2009, 07:14 AM
Time for another update. I had put the Witchking aside for a bit as I wanted to get one of the Toybiz rotocast Witchking figures to see if there were any parts worth using on this custom. It turns out that there are a couple of useful parts in there.

Sword comparison between the rotocast and the soft, with the rotocast version on the bottom. There's a definite size difference not only in length, but in girth as well (that's what she said). While the rotocast version is probably just a tad short scale-wise, it appears less bulky and toy-like than the soft. On top of that, the soft scabbard is way oversized and twice as thick as the rotocast scabbard. Apperance-wise, I think I'm going to go with the rotocast sword and scabbard.

http://i382.photobucket.com/albums/oo266/El_Skutto/DSC000022.jpg

Comparison shot of the daggers, again with the rotocast version on the bottom. Pretty much the same comparisons as with the swords, although the sculpts are much closer in appearance to one another. You could probably go either way with these, but again I find the slightly smaller rotocast version to be less toy-like in appearance, so I'll probably go with that one.

http://i382.photobucket.com/albums/oo266/El_Skutto/DSC000032.jpg

Now, I need some advice from my fellow Freaks. The rotocast Witchking comes with a soft vinyl cowl that attaches to the figure via glue spots on the shoulders and neck. This is significantly different from the soft version, which attaches to a neck post. My question is which version looks better? The hard plastic cowl that comes with the soft version:

http://i382.photobucket.com/albums/oo266/El_Skutto/DSC00004.jpg

Or the soft vinyl cowl that comes with the rotocast:

http://i382.photobucket.com/albums/oo266/El_Skutto/DSC00005-1.jpg

Whichever version I end up using, I'll be gluing black cloth to the inside and outside of the cowl with rubber cement, in order to better match the figure's outfit. Neither one would have neck articulation, which isn't too big a deal, but I'll have to come up with a clever way to permanently attach the vinyl cowl to the figure as it doesn't have any parts that can be attached to the figure's neck post like the hard plastic one. Finally, I'll probably end up trimming the long strips of "cloth" that hang from the front of the cowl and just use loose black cloth for the effect.

The Ween
03-15-2009, 08:48 PM
I like the top one better. If you're going to glue fabric to it anyway, the shorter one would let the fabric "flow" more.

Entropy
03-15-2009, 09:57 PM
Top one looks a bit more like it has a ghost head in it. Bottom is a tad squat.

lerath666
03-16-2009, 11:18 PM
another option might be to find a good skinny 1/6th head, and cut the face out of it so it's hollow, and then paint it black, and glue black fabri to it, then make a hood with a wire in it to go over it. i think this would look much much better.

El Skutto
03-17-2009, 05:04 AM
another option might be to find a good skinny 1/6th head, and cut the face out of it so it's hollow, and then paint it black, and glue black fabri to it, then make a hood with a wire in it to go over it. i think this would look much much better.

I considered that, but I don't think you could get the same rippled cloth effect that you would by gluing material to the pre-sculpted hoods. In order to maintain that sense of scale, I feel that the hood needs those deep folds and creases.

That being said, I'm not dismissing anything at this point. If someone would be willing to give the hollow head and wire armature technique a shot, I'd be interested in seeing the results. The one obvious bonus is that you could easily include some neck articulation.

lerath666
03-19-2009, 05:59 AM
that's the route I'm planning to go personally. But it's gonna be a WHILE before i get to that.

shovelchop81
05-06-2009, 05:32 AM
my first custom ever (since i was 10 anyway!) was my Ringwraith, this pichttp://thumb8.webshots.net/t/63/763/0/80/94/2336080940104491348fyCQyb_th.jpg (http://news.webshots.com/photo/2336080940104491348fyCQyb) might give you some ideas, i used an official letter opener as his sword, i have a witchking version too.