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Simple Custom Projects – Build Your Lantern Corps With Headswaps

Ever think about customizing action figures, but aren’t sure where to get started?  Well, a headswap is a great entry level project to get a taste for the hobby.  Are you a fan of DCUC figures and the current Blackest Night miniseries?  Well, headswaps are a quick, easy and fun way to add members to your different lantern Corps.

All credit for this particular headswap idea goes to Psylocke from the fwoosh DC forums – I saw his Katma/Silissk headswap and loved it.  I’m a fan of the current Green Lantern books, the Four Horsemen and their original property – The 7th Kingdom, so this appealed to me big time.  Not to mention how easy and effective the swap is.

So let’s get started.  First off, this is meant for beginning customizer, this isn’t going to be anything new for most customizers, but we all have to start someplace, right?

What you need:

Crappy old coffee mug, DCUC Karu-Sil figure, Fantastic Exclusive Isadorra figure
  • A dirty old Coffee Mug you don’t use for anything else – I’d feel weird drinking from a mug I boiled plastic in.
  • A pair of needle nose pliers
  • DCUC Karu-Sil figure
  • 7th Kingdom Isadorra of the Ironspyne Clan figure

You can headswap any two figures, it just depends on how much work is needed on the back end.  Often times the neck pegs and holes in the heads aren’t going to match up and you need to either fill in some of the holes with some sort of clay or drill the holes in the head a little deeper or what have you.  A general rule is that similar sized figures from the same line will swap parts easier.  This is especially true of the DCUC line where body re-use is prevalent.

That’s not this project, though.  This is super simple – the heads match up for the most part no fuss, no muss.

Glug glug glug...

Step one:  Fill the cup with water, microwave cup for 2 minutes 30 seconds (enough time to bring water to a boil).  Don’t put your figures in the microwave.

Step two:  Dunk figures in boiling water for a count of thirty seconds.

Step three:  Remove figures from cup.  The plastic should feel really soft at this point.  Pop the heads off.  I usually do this by sticking my thumb under the figure’s chin and pulling the head up and back until it pops off the ball joint.  Karu-Sil’s head pops off and leaves the ball peg in the neck fine.

With the fantastic exclusive figures I find that the neck peg usually pops out of the neck easier than the head (see below).

So this is where the pliers come in handy.

You can just yank the peg out with the pliers so you can pop the Isadorra head on the Karu-Sil neck peg.

Step four:  Pop the new head on the desired body.  If the plastic is still warm and pliable enough, this should be an easy operation.  If  you are meeting too much resistance, just dunk the head in the hot water for another 20 or so seconds to soften it up.

There you have it!  A new soldier for Sinestro’s army in under 5 minutes.  There is a caveat to this project I want to mention.  The headswap is super simple and looks perfect from the front, but there is a small gap visible at the back of the neck.

You could fix it any number of ways, but that sort of ruins the point of a simple custom and it works okay for me.  Your mileage may vary.  The tradeoff of increased neck poseability and the simplicity of the project are more appealing than the neck gap is odd looking.

Super simple project anybody can do.  Isadorra is available at Storehorsemen.com and Karu-Sil can be found on ebay.  I really enjoyed this figure so I did a couple more.  They are slightly more involved than the Karu-Sil/Isadorra.

The Green Lantern is Katma Tui from wave 11 and the head is another 7th Kingdom Exclusive variant from Storehorsemen.com – Silissk.  The only modification you need is to paint the exposed part of her skin on her neck orange.

The Blue Lantern is a body from Target exclusive Public Enemies Silver Banshee with a head from the Fwoosh 7th Kingdom exclusive Kromius.  You can order Kromius from fwoosh here. She has some additional costume details glued on and some repainting.

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