How I Straighten Spidey Out

Hey, true believers!

My behavior may seem obsessive to some of you out there. But, attention to detail is important for a customizer. Today, I’m writing about how I deal with Spidey figures that have crooked legs. If you’re new to customizing, you may not know this: when you put a Marvel Legends figure in boiling water, the arms and legs become very flexible. Spidey will just flop around!

I’m very conscious of a figure’s posture. And, I don’t like legs that bend in at the knee-joint. This happens often in packaging.

Spidey Boil Before & After

Here’s how I fixed it:

Step 1

Drop Spidey BoilFigure in Boiled Water

I usually leave my figures in the water for about five minutes. That’s plenty of time to soften them up. Of course, you won’t be able to just reach in and grab the figure. So, you’ll need to use something to get a hold of it. I always pop the head and hands off, at this point. They will most likely be replaced. Also, I usually work all of the joints through their complete range of motion a couple of times. They can be pretty stiff right out of the package.

Step 2

Spidey BoundStraighten Legs and Wrap with Rubber Bands

While the figure is still soft, I straighten the legs and feet. With both feet together and the hips square, I wrap the ankles with a rubber band to hold in place. Then, I place another rubber band around the thighs to prevent a bow-legged look (The same process works for bowed legs as well).

If you put the figure in boiling water and just shake it around a little bit before it cools,  that will usually straighten out any major deformities. The plastic tends to return to its original mold shape. But, I want to make sure it’s perfect. So, I give it a little help.

 

Step 3

Allow the Figure to Cool

Once I have everything just the way I want it, I will usually put my figures in the freezer. They get stiff pretty quick that way. But, it’s probably not necessary. When the figure cools, the limbs will stay that shape.

That’s all there is to it. If your figures don’t look quite right to you, it’s easy to fix. Even if you’re not customizing, don’t worry about the paint. The stuff they put on at the factory is on there to stay!

Same Fix for Butterfly Joints

The same solution also works for butterfly joints. These can be problematic, and one side often sits further in than the other. This makes the torso look uneven and affect functioning of the joint. Here’s an example that was obviously defective from the factory, because it didn’t even get the proper paint application. I just wrapped the arms in a way that spread the shoulder joints apart. It was shoved in pretty far, before. Now, it looks just like the other side.

Spidey Shoulder Side by Side

Excelsior!

 

5 Reasons I Like Superior Spidey

Hey, true believers!

Most action figure customizers use figures from Hasbro’s Marvel Legends line almost exclusively for their base bodies. My favorite is the Superior Spider-Man, released in 2014 as part of the Ultimate Green Goblin Build-A-Figure (BAF) wave. I believe, the torso mold is unique to that figure. Here’s a comparison with Ben Reilly from the most recent Legends wave:

 

Spidey Comparison Torso2

Ben Reilly’s torso is elongated from underneath the rib cage to the top of the pelvis, as compared with Superior Spidey. This minor difference makes his legs seem shorter and slightly out of proportion.

 

Spidey Comparison Hole

The hole in the back for attaching accessories is unnecessary for most variations of Spider-Man. Of course you can just fill it with some Aves sculpt, but not having to is that much less prep work. The strange this is, they could’ve used it on the Superior figure to attach Doc Ock’s mechanical arms! Alas, Hasbro did not feel the need to provide those….

 

Spidey Comparison Waist Articulation

This is a big one! Superior Spidey has a much greater range of motion in the waist area, without detracting at all from the aesthetics of the figure. This makes it easier to get Spidey into some more dynamic looking poses.

 

Spidey Comparison The Splits

There’s not much difference, here, but Superior does have a slight edge. More importantly, his lower center of gravity makes him easier to pose without a stand. Ben Reilly seems more inclined to topple over at the slightest bump.

 

 

 

Spidey Comparison Overall Scale

Finally, Superior Spidey’s diminutive size is a better fit for posing alongside other Marvel Legends figures. It doesn’t seem right to me for Peter Parker to be taller than J. Jonah Jameson. And, he should be only slightly taller than his female counterparts.

 

Both of these figures are very good. Ben Reilly’s body mold is shared with “Pizza” Spidey, Spider-Man 2099, Superior Venom, and Speed Demon. So, it is more readily available, comes with a Carnage head, more hands and is probably a better value. I will be using both for customs. But, I just find the Superior Spider-Man figure to be, well…superior. Until next time,

Excelsior!