I contacted Bill Mahoney of BillMaru Toychanics about writing this guest article after seeing some great results on Facebook using this customizing tool:
Minimates are incredible. I think we can all agree on this. What makes them so amazing, though? Is the amount of accessories? Is it their comic / film accuracy? Is it the fact that they take up minimal space and their affordable price? I’d say “yes” to all of the above. But one thing sticks out for me: the ease of customization you can achieve by the interchangeable parts. You can literally create anyone from a Minimate given you have the right parts.
Sometimes though, you don’t have exactly what you need and you have to go the extra mile. I’m talking full on customization (sculpting, painting, dremeling, 3D Printing, etc.). Recently I found that my wife’s addiction (nail polish / art) could really give me an edge on customization. She utilizes a product called “striping tape.” This inexpensive and easily acquirable tool will change the way you customize forever.
It allows you to mask off any lines while painting in order to achieve that perfect straight line without damaging your figure. For example, you can wrap it around a figure’s arm to paint that perfect short sleeved line, create a perfect “X” for any mutant, even make custom flip flops! Your imagination is the limit.
In order to use to the fullest, it is always a good idea to wash your Minimate and towel dry off the excess water. This will take away the oils that have been produced from the factory, and the oil from your own hands. You will then lay down the tape where DON’T want paint and then paint like you normally would. You have to be careful on Minimate feet/shoes as they have a sharper edge near the top that can make laying the tape down smoothly difficult. I suggest you press the tape down with a toothpick so it doesn’t rip your tape. After you’re done, you simply remove the tape and voila! A perfectly clean line without needing diazepam to stay still.
Another awesome use for striping tape is literally leaving it on your figure and sealing over it. Since striping tape comes in almost any color you could really pull off some incredible designs without ever picking up a paint brush!
After I finish painting I always seal my mates with Mod Podge Matte sealant (sprayed evenly from at least a foot a way from your figure.)
I hope this helps anyone looking to take their customizing of Minimates a step further. You can find nail striping tape at any beauty store (Sally’s, Ulta, Sephora). Or if you are not with your significant other and don’t feel right walking into said stores, hop online. Amazon.com is my preferred choice. You can find striping tape starting from $0.93 -$5.00 for packs of 10-30. You can find Mod Podge Sealant at any Wal-Mart store in the crafts section…generally closer to the ground level.
– by Bill Mahoney of BillMaru Toychanics