How to Mod a LEGO Minifig

Written by larry simmons
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LEGO minifigs are small miniature people compatible with LEGO sets that you can attach by the feet to your LEGO blocks to add to the scenes that you create. Modular in nature, the minifigs come in three distinct pieces: head, torso and legs. With thousands of minifigs available, there are a large variety of looks available, but if you mod your minifigs, you can stretch that number out greatly. With paint, decals and the wide availability of current figures, anything is possible.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • LEGO minifigs
  • Blank LEGO minifig head
  • Blank LEGO minifig body
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Clear coat spray
  • Computer
  • Inkjet printer
  • Water transfer decal paper
  • Bowl
  • Squeegee

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Disassemble the minifig into its component parts in preparation for modification. Remove any helmets or peripheral parts, such as swords or guns, from the figure. If it's difficult to remove the helmet, give it a slight twist. Remove the head from the torso, then the torso from the legs.

  2. 2

    Choose the separate body elements you want your minifig to have. All minifigs are interchangeable; for example, all legs fit on all torsos. The easiest modification to a minifig is to simply change out an existing body part from a different minifig.

  3. 3

    Use a blank head and paint on a face with acrylic paint and a small detailed brush. Keep the face simple. Eyes, eyebrows, a nose and a mouth are usually sufficient to convey a face with the features arranged to show emotion. Details only clutter up the face. Allow the paint to dry for about two hours then use a matt clear coat to protect the paint, allowing the clear coat to dry overnight before reassembly.

  4. 4

    Use one of the clear torsos or legs released by LEGO to provide custom body and leg parts for the figure as well. Use the same methods used with the face to paint the body parts before reassembly.

  5. 5

    Create small water transfer decals for the minifigs rather than painting if painting the figure with the details desired proved difficult. Use a paint program on a computer to create the decal design. Measure the figure part that the decal covers, then set your program for a decal of that size. Zoom in on your work area to add details to the decal, then print on an inkjet printer to decal paper.

  6. 6

    Spray the printed decal with two layers of clear coat spray to avoid washing away the ink when transferring. Allow the spray to dry for two hours, then cut the decal from the sheet and place it in a small bowl of water. Soak for 30 seconds. Remove the decal from the water and slide it onto the LEGO part, transferring the image to the part. Run a squeegee over the decal to remove excess water. Allow the decal to dry before reassembly.

Tips and warnings

  • Purchase minifig parts and complete minifigs directly from LEGO online from the LEGO website.

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