Packages, and the twisty ties within, are some of the best tools a customizer can hope to find. Here are some tips on using them in your custom work:
I used a twisty tie in my very first custom, Ultron. I have used them for antennas, strings, wires, hoses, metal framework, and weapons, like the Catwoman whip above. You can cut them with any scissors, or a hobby knife on a cutting mat. They respond very well to super glue. To shape small pieces of twisty, use a needle-nose pliers. To straighten out a bent twisty, run it back and forth along the edge of your desk several times.
When you are painting your customs, you can wrap a twisty around the waist peg of your custom, and hold you custom up by the other end of the twisty. In this way, you can paint the entire minimate all at once. You can tie this free end of the twisty to something else so the minimate can dry as it hangs.
If you decide to make custom packaging, you can rethread twisty ties back into their original holes to secure your figures (if needed). You can also cut new slits for twisties with a sharp hobby knife.
I have even seen people make new web lines for Spider-Man using several translucent twisties wrapped up together. You never know when you might need them!
If you have followed my custom minimates for any length of time, you will know that I am a big fan of plastic packaging, or sheet plastic, as usually I call it. You can actually buy sheets of this stuff at some hobby shops, but unless you need huge sheets of it, the stuff your minimates come packaged in works just as well. I have used sheet plastic for capes, skirts, dresses, shoulder pads, head bands, chest straps, weapons, helmets, sleeves, tassels, arm bands, and wings, like Sauron above.
Once bent, sheet plastic holds its shape very well. Like twisty ties, it works very well with super glue – sometimes too well. Depending on the surface you are attaching it to, it can latch on and dry almost instantly. If part of your finger gets glued to it, and you pull it away, it will leave a thin layer of skin on your plastic. Remove this carefully with a hobby knife, or use Goof-Off. You can use the edge of the desk to help bend sheet plastic, or use certain types of pliers. You have to be careful though, as some pliers will leave a mark.
Some packaging has curved plastic, which can be used to make capes that flare out more, or other curved surfaces. Outside of minimate packaging, you might find thicker plastic in other consumer products that can work for sword blades, and other thicker uses.
You can find templates for many of the items listed above in the Accessory Pack in the Downloads section.
And if all of the reasons listed above for saving your packaging materials wasn’t enough, wouldn’t you rather have the pieces in your parts bin instead of a landfill? In our area, this type of plastic isn’t gathered by our recycling center. I might have enough sheet plastic to last me another 10 years, but I am proud to be reusing it.