Sunday, 25 May 2014

How to modify a Sideshow figure's legs. (Ankle extension)

Okay, back to the action figure. (I keep having to remember it's a Phoenix Kaelen action figure - not a Ewan McGregor doll.  But then I'm such a girl)   I recently finished his outfit, which was sewn before I got him and tailored to fit a Ken doll. You can see in this early shot, that while the clothes fit nicely, his legs look a tad short.  In fact the cargo pants are inordinately long on him and are tucked into the boots to hide all the excess fabric.  So, feeling brave, I decided to rectify this problem.

Sideshow figures  don't have feet. They're a bit like Bratz dolls in that the shoes/boots pop off.  HOWEVER, I was lucky enough to find a pair of Sideshow action figure bare feet attachments. In Canada.  So I bought them. (Thank you Canada)

As you can see, the lower legs are a bit stumpy.

The feets themselves are really well jointed, and can be posed at more angles than say biker Ken's feet.   I planned to use Fimo for the modelling work, so I had to be careful and model the clay around something before baking so it didn't collapse or distort. The feet will melt in the oven, so I needed something the exact size of the pegs that I could model the clay around (for removal later) and wouldn't melt or burn.   I found some bamboo knitting needles, 5.5mm, which look a bit too big, but take it from me, they're exactly the right thickness.

I cut two of them down, and marked half an inch, so I knew where the modelling clay had to end.

I took some Fimo, and wrapped it around my cut dowel; shaping the other end of the clay into a rough peg shape.  Wire pushed into the thinner peg part is to strengthen the piece. Fimo is notorious for breaking just when you don't need it to. Milliput would have been better and probably more professional, but I wanted to give this a shot first.

After baking, The wooden dowels came out of the clay nicely, although I had to twist gently and carefully to stop it all breaking.    Then I used a scalpel and some 150 grit sandpaper to shape the pieces. One needs to check for fit as one goes along, but it worked well.  You can't see the wire, which is baked into the clay. I used wire snips to cut it off flush with the end of the peg.

Yay. Lots of mess!  :)

I carefully pushed the foot pegs into the ankle extensions, and the fit was perfect.  Go me.

And it works really well!   Okay, so it's not pretty, but with my male dolls, the legs are always hidden under trews or jeans, I don't make shorts for my more manly guys. He even stands up with the new attachments. Just.  ;)   The added height with these was just about half an inch.

(Ignore Ty in the background. He's just having a snooze)

After that success - I promptly snapped off one of my Fimo pegs whilst fiddling with them...D'oh.   Praise the lord for giving us superglue.   All fixed, with no problem.

 Now he's just about the same height as a Ken doll, although in this picture below, he looks a bit taller, which is odd because they're almost the exact same height. Must be the camera angle.  Anyway.  This could be done more professionally with some Milliput.  The pieces would be far stronger, but would have to be painted flesh-tone.  I opted for beige Fimo soft, because I couldn't be doing with getting out all my paints -although Fimo can be painted with acrylics too.  Not that I plan to go there, cuz I'm a lazy cuss with some things. 

I'll need to take more shots with the tripod, due to wobbly hands and not being able to get the angles right.   But it worked, and I'm happy. For the time being. I'm really not so fond of the Sideshow body. It's very much not a fashion doll body.

For that reason I still plan to get a spare Ken body and experiment with the arms though. I want to be able to use the action figure's many pairs of hands, so I'll have to take the Ken arms apart, and work out how I can put the Sidehow hands into them.  Might involve some careful drilling.  It'll be a blast. 

Like Frankenstein's lab.



  1. Crikey, is there no end to your talents? Job well done :)

    1. I used to make jewellery, so there's a fair bit of miniature work that can be adapted to dollies. :)

  2. Fantastic - who knew knitting needles could be so are so talented!!:)

    1. Heh. To me, knitting needles come under the heading of not just 'tools' but also 'materials'. I used to use them in my jewellery once upon a time too! And I currently have my doll shelves using them as shelf dowels. So many uses if you have a small piercing saw and some sandpaper! I have a good number of chopped up knitting needles in my bits and bobs drawer....

  3. cool... so you will soon be good enough to make Ell and stud.. hehe


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