Over the past few years I have had to make a lot of Minimate shoulder straps, pieces of armor, knee pads, and skirts. Usually a piece of thin plastic works much better for these than sculpting clay, because you don’t have to worry about sanding in tight places, and it is easy to get crisp straight edges. The problem comes when you have to paint it. If you have a clear skirt that needs to be painted red, get ready to use at least 3 coats, if not 4 or 5. It is the same problem with yellow, and even white sometimes.
Color Plastic Sheets
A solution to the painting problem is to have a sheet of plastic that is the same color as the accessory you want to make. I have looked in various places for a solution like this – craft stores, hobby shops, hardware stores, office supply stores, etc. – but I could never find one that was cheap or usable. When I started working with a local factory on our Striking Dioramas, I brought up this problem with them. They had a solution – a local plastic company that has large quantities of different color plastic sheets in stock.
Their most economical way of distributing it is in credit card size pieces. They had approximately 15 colors in stock, including a few translucent shades. Their minimum order was larger than I could commit to immediately, but they did give me a few samples to try.
These cards are 10mm plastic, which is also very similar to credit cards or hotel key cards. They seemed to like being cut in one direction better than another, which probably had something to do with my scissors. Bending them made the color fade, as seen below:
However I wouldn’t mind only having to paint the corners of a piece, as opposed to the whole thing. And these faded parts could also be covered up with stickers. Here is a quick Minimate custom I made using the color cards:
The plastic bonds instantly to the Minimate with a little bit of superglue. The edges were firm and sharp. I liked working with it, and I would definitely use it again.
My Question For You:
Because of the factory’s minimum order requirements, I would like to know if anyone is interested in these before placing an order. Each card would retail in our store for $1 each. I would be ordering a variety of colors. The Minimate above used 1/3 of a sheet of each color, so each card will last through a few customs at least. Please let me know in the comments below, over at MMV, or via email. Thanks!