Today’s post is going to be image-intensive, but they’re going to be mostly old, bad-quality photos.
This was a commission project that I took on during my last semester in college. Someone online had seen my custom toys, and offered to pay me quite a bit of money to repaint the black-and-white Mirage-style TMNT figures by NECA Toys that he had just picked up into colors resembling the original 1988 Playmates toys.
Now, today, around a decade later, these NECA B&W Turtles go for pretty big money. But at the time they were relatively easy to find, and people were doing all kinds of repaints.
I mention that I did these during my final semester in college, because it took me a bit longer to finish these than my client had expected. But as a result, I have quite a few update photos, so that he could see that I actually WAS working on them. Just, unfortunately, doing a good job on FOUR figures at once takes a long time. Plus, y’know, school was my #1 priority, because I needed to just be done.
So in this first set, you can see that Leo was mostly done, but all of those joints left a lot of extra work to be completed. And he’s next to the original Playmates Leo for comparison; The green wasn’t an EXACT match, but it was close, especially when seen next to the other Turtles.
The next update had Mike & Raph almost finished, but the brown I tried using for Donatello’s skin was too brown and not at all green enough, something I would have to remedy. Also, Mike’s orange was brighter than the original toy, because the client and I agreed that we liked it closer to the cartoon’s VERY vibrant color, especially against his darker green skin. This actually continued into other Mikey customs I’d work on later.
The next update gave all the Turtles some of the black detailing, and I ended up mixing some colors to create an approximation of that old Playmates brown/green for Donnie. Still some places to get touched up, but definitely much closer to a final product.
And these were the last work-in-progress photos taken. Everything was basically complete at this point, except for some spots that needed to be touched up before sending them off. The client got the figures, and was happy with them. He completed his payment, and I never took commissions for action figures ever again. It turns out that making toys for myself is a hobby that I very much enjoy. But, making them for somebody else is way too stressful. Especially while finishing college.
Fortunately, this guy eventually ended up contacting me a while later and said that after commissioning this set, it inspired him to start making his own toy repaints. So that’s cool.
I still don’t take commissions for figures. I don’t want it to be a job, I want it to be something I do for fun for myself. Besides, now there’s a ton of other customizers who will do a much better job than I can, who love making stuff for others.
Anyways, since I have them, here’s some more old, low-res photos: