Making an o-ring style figure from non o-ring parts
Making an o-ring style figure from non o-ring parts by Lance Sputnik
This is something I have played around with a bit a few times with varying degrees of satisfaction. I feel like it's opened up a whole new batch of possibilities as far as fodder and really given me a lot more room to achieve the look I am after. I thought that this would be a great opportunity to share some of what I've learned. And what better figure to document the process on than one of my favorite characters - Multiple Man.
What to do with Mutt Williams?
It occurred to me while looking through some of my left over Star Wars and Indiana Jones fodder that I had a TON of Mutt Williams t-shirts and a left over Wolverine Origins gambit coat and hey! I can make me a pretty nifty modern era Madrox figure.
Pulling together parts
The first thing I did was gather up a range of parts that achieved the look I want. None of the legs had quite what I wanted, so I pulled out a pair of Chap Mei Rescue guy legs that fit my goal.
First order of business is the torso, as the legs will take quite a bit more work. Just a little bit of work to get the coat arms to fit in the torso.
Now for the O-ring
First, I drill a small hole into the back, about the same diameter as a Joe back screw. If you place it right, it should go through just at the top of the cavity where the lower body post came up into the torso. Then, I drill a second hole right on top of the first one, just not as deep. This is the recess for the screw head.
Cramming and screwing
There's no real science for this next part, the part I like to refer to as cramming the oring up inside the torso and threading the screw through it, holding it in place from the inside. Basically, I just cram the oring up inside the torso and thread the screw through it, holding it in place from the inside.
Now for the legs. First things first: Cutting off the ARAH knees to use on the Chap Mei legs. No real science to this either, just make sure you leave enough room to drill a small hole up into it from the bottom. I picked the Outback thighs because he's got that little seam down the side that sort of resembles the same on the Chap Mei legs. Plus, the cargo pants work perfectly well for what is basically a civilian figure.
I drilled a small hole up inside the bottom of the knees, and also into the top of the lower legs. Now there's not an exact way that I have yet discovered for lining the holes up perfectly, but with the differing diameter of the leg pieces, I know I will be sanding to get a smooth fit, so I am not too concerned at this point.
Next I add a small plastic peg in the knee pieces. This is not for creating a swivel lower leg in this case, though this is the same technique I would use for that. This time around it's just for creating a stronger joint. The pegs I generally use are actually Chap Mei arrows. They are the perfect size to fit in the hole created by my drill bit, and I have a great number of these bad boys on hand.
Now at this point I put the two pieces together to see how well they fit. I had sort of eyeballed where the knee was when I cut the lower legs off of the Chap Mei legs, but they are looking a bit too long at this point.
Expect a little trial and error. Here you can see the legs are way too long and one of the holes I drilled was off center too much.
I don't like the idea of re-doing the hole and stuff, so I sort of piece the figure together to confirm my fears.
The legs are too long. So I have to trim them, and redo the hole in the one, which means filling the first hole in with green stuff, which I am also going to use to smooth out the joint to make it look more seamless once I paint it.
Now for an idea how it's going to look with the rest of the body...
Adding Green Stuff
Once the green stuff cures, I've got some sanding, cutting and smoothing to do. This time I've got a much better feeling out of the legs...
Don't waste the Green Stuff
As an aside, I like to always have an extra piece laying around when I work with green stuff that needs some work, so that I don't have any waste, cuz that stuff is not cheap.
Painting and reconstruction
Sometimes it's hard to tell how something is going to look until you get the paint on there. So far, I am still encouraged.
Now for the tricky part... fishing the oring down through the waist piece and hooking the t-hook onto it. This is a tricky process, and by the time I got the legs on right, there were several places that needed the paint retouched.
Once I get the paint fixed, it's time to add the jacket and the Wild Bill hands. I forgot to take pics of that part, but it was a simple matter if drilling a could of holes into the end of the arms for the hands to connect to.
The finished product
And at last, I give you...Jamie Madrox, the Multiple Man!
All in all, it seems like a lot of work, but this only took me two days. Even then, that was so the green stuff could cure properly. The figure fits perfectly with what I had wanted it to when standard o-ring parts were not going to give me the look I wanted.