While the LEGO building system is extremely versatile and ideal for making all kinds of vehicles and buildings, their figurines, called minifigs, aren't as flexible. Making custom minifigs is something a number of LEGO fans across the Internet do. There's a lot of ways you can take the existing miniature figurines and make them look exactly how you need them to. The level of detail is up to you, you can make all kinds of custom fabric elements or just get the colours right.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Spare LEGO minifig pieces
- LEGO minifig accessories, such as shovels, guns and binoculars
- Modelling clay
- Coloured paints
- Small modelling paintbrush
- Paper and craft glue
- Sticker paper (optional)
Research or design the character you want to make in a LEGO minifig. Use reference photos found during Internet searches, from video stills or from a sketch you've drawn of your character.
Sketch a LEGO minifig on a piece of paper. Design the front, rear and side views of the character. List any accessories you think you may need on this character--signature items such as Indiana Jones' whip or Hellboy's gun. Make the sketch look as cartoonish and blocklike as you can, to echo LEGO's traditional style.
Assemble a Lego minifig who looks as close to your sketch as you can. Choose a face that looks close to the characters' typical expression, a torso, legs and arms that match his colours. Set aside any accessories (binoculars, rifles or pets, for example) that you intend to use.
Model any extra shapes that your characters need. For example, Batman's mask has pointed ears on his head. Lump some clay onto the head, arm, torso or wherever it is needed. Shape the clay to match the character. Let the clay harden.
Paint or cut out the character's body based on your sketch and reference photos. Use a small paintbrush or print out templates to decorate, according to your sketch. If you choose to use templates, cut them out and glue them to the body. If you have modelled clay onto your minifig, let the clay dry before painting it.
Design and cut out fabric elements, such as capes and robes for your character, if you need some.
Place any accessories in your minifigs' hands that will be used. The character should look like the sketch on the page, holding accessories and dressed like your character.
Tips and warnings
- Follow the same customisation steps to make custom accessories or pets, if you have any for your character. You can also buy custom parts or minifigs online. These parts will give your character a more professional-looking edge.
- Choose the modelling clay carefully, as the wrong type of clay may not come out correctly. You need a type that will air-dry, doesn't need to be baked, and dries smooth. The first model, or even first few that you make, may not come out looking exactly as you want them. These models take a lot of practice.
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