Action Figure Design Made Simple: Four Steps You Need to Know

Action Figure Design Made Simple: What You Need to Know


Wanna put your own action figure design into production? You have come to the right place. In this article, the staff from 86fashion will guide you through some of the initial stages after we received your request, from concept arts to life-like figures prototype.




Step 1:  After the character is chosen, the actual creation process starts with drawings of the prototype figure. The following move is to build a prototype of clay. This model is constructed of bending aluminum cables, known as a frame, to form the backbone of the shape. The wire shape comprises a contour of the arms and legs in the general location assumed by the figure. The sculptor applies clay to the frame to provide the desired simple weight and structure. During the prototype process, the clay may be partially baked to harden it. The sculptor then uses different instruments to cut out the clay and the outline of the figure, for example a wire loop.


Step 2:  After creating the basic form, the sculptor from 86fashion may choose to remove the arms and work on them separately for later attachment. This gives the sculptor more control and allows him to produce finer details on the prototype. Working with blunt tools, the sculptor shapes the body with as much detail as is desired. During this process, photo and sketch references are used to ensure the figure is as realistic as possible. 


Step 3:  After the general body shape is complete, our sculptor  will add the finer details, paying close attention to the eyes, nose, and mouth that give the figure its life-like expression. The artist will attach a raw clay lump as a provisional head to the main figure while the actual head is carved on a different frame. This helps the sculptor to complete the facial features of the figure regardless of the body. The assembled head should be added to the main bracket at this stage and attached with extra clay to the body. The neck and hair is sculpted to match the figure when the head is attached. The outfit will then be specifically sculpted into the body based on the style of the figure. However, if a cloth costume or uniform will be added later, the prototype is sculpted without any costume details. During this process, parts of the clay may be covered with aluminum foil to keep it from prematurely drying out. Once everything is completed, the entire figure is baked to harden the clay.


Step 4:  The sculpted prototype is then sent for approval to the client. Once all design details have been finalized, the prototype is used to make the molds that will form the plastic pieces for the mass-produced figure. The entire sculpting process may take about two weeks at 86fashion, depending on the complexity of the figure design. 

In the next blog, we will continue to discuss the following phase - molding.

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