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Converting Jason Momoa HT Aquaman Head

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1Converting Jason Momoa HT Aquaman Head Empty Converting Jason Momoa HT Aquaman Head on Sun Jul 28, 2019 1:17 pm

GubernatorFan

GubernatorFan
Founding Father
Like so many of us, I wasn't completely satisfied with Hot Toys' Aquaman head sculpt in terms of both likeness and molded hair sculpt (which is very nice in and of itself, but hair this long should not be sculpted for various reasons). So I decided to modify it with a re-hairing and partial repaint. Here is a little summary of the progression of the project.

Although Hot Toys made the questionable decision to go with sculpted hair, it tried to improve its appearance by installing it in layers, which helps customization by easing removal and allowing for a more or less complete fully-realized head beneath. I began by carefully tugging on the soft plastic hair of the original head sculpt (1). In this instance it is composed of four different pieces glued to the head proper and to each other. Luckily, they weren't glued very strongly, and with just a little bit of persistence and repetition, I was able to begin pulling off the largest, enveloping exterior hair piece (2).

Converting Jason Momoa HT Aquaman Head Jma0110

This left the pieces hanging over the sides and back of the neck (3a-3b). They were removed the same way.

Converting Jason Momoa HT Aquaman Head Jma0210

Removing the pieces hanging over the side (4) and the back leave us with a bald head (except for a bit of the hairline over the forehead, which I decided to keep) which features some useful goorves carved into it (5a-5b). The reason these are useful is that without them you would end up with an even fuller, puffier hair after you glue it onto the head, and they help diminish this problem a little bit.

Converting Jason Momoa HT Aquaman Head Jma0310

Next I used three different colors of hair to glue onto the bald head in tiers -- starting with a line just above the neckline running around the back of the head and moving upwards. When this step was completed, the look was a dramatic mess (6). After the glue had cured, I weeded off loose strands and rinsed the hair to make it fall a little more naturally, and painted some highlights and color variations (to match the hair) onto the molded beard, mustache, and forelock, as well as over those parts of the hair where the glue was visible; I also tried to lighten some of the painted stubble on the head (where the mustache and beard part going upwards along the jawline) to increase the likeness to Jason Momoa (7).

Converting Jason Momoa HT Aquaman Head Jma0410

Finally, I cut down the hair to the correct length (with locks reaching as far down as about the armpit) and treated it with a mixture of water and shampoo+conditioner that I did not rinse off, to give it a more natural fit (8a-8b). And with that my modifications are complete.

Converting Jason Momoa HT Aquaman Head Jma0510

Here are three views of the resulting appearance.

Converting Jason Momoa HT Aquaman Head Jma0610

And here are some more close-up ones.

Converting Jason Momoa HT Aquaman Head Jma0710

Here is a comparison between the HT set (Aquaman from Justice League) and the same with the modified head. I should point out that I was modifying the head on principle, not specifically for this figure set or look. I am also aware that the screen look has much more emphatically bleached locks towards the lower reaches of the hair, but I wanted a slightly more organic and subdued look.

Converting Jason Momoa HT Aquaman Head Jma0810

I think it turned out ok, and I hope you liked it or found it interesting. What do you think?

#jasonmomoa #hottoys #aquaman #custom #kitbash #mod #hair #head #headsculpt #superhero #scifi #fiction #film #movie #actor #male


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2Converting Jason Momoa HT Aquaman Head Empty Re: Converting Jason Momoa HT Aquaman Head on Sun Jul 28, 2019 1:30 pm

Ovy

Ovy
Wow that is really great Gubr. How long does it take to cover a head with lamb hair?
I might try that some day.

3Converting Jason Momoa HT Aquaman Head Empty Re: Converting Jason Momoa HT Aquaman Head on Sun Jul 28, 2019 1:54 pm

GubernatorFan

GubernatorFan
Founding Father
Ovy wrote:Wow that is really great Gubr. How long does it take to cover a head with lamb hair?
I might try that some day.

Thank you very much! And it doesn't take very long, but then again it's not my first try doing that sort of thing. I didn't keep track of time, but if I had to guess, maybe 1-1.5 hours. It really depends how you define the duration of the process and how organized or meticulous you are. Morezmore (on eBay, from where I get my hair) has a detailed tutorial on hairing dolls or figures with this type of hair (but if you follow it to the T, without shortcuts, that would be lengthier).

Ideally you would have a bunch of tufts or bunches or hair pre-cut and laying around waiting to be deployed -- I try to do that (but have limited space to work on and don't want them flying around every which way) and inevitably end up cutting many many more as I'm working. Here there was the added part of working with three different colors (so I could bring in some highlights). Then there is the glue. Fabri-Tac is apparently the favored glue but I hate working with it and it dries relatively slowly. I have used cut up strips of Allene's fabric adhesive tape (essentially slightly rubbery/stretchy double-sided tape for fabrics) or superglue (in this instance, Gorilla) successfully. Superglue is not ideal (and in the most exposed parts of the hair leaves a little bit of visible residue which you would want to paint -- unless you want a severe dandruff look) but I like that it dries quickly and bonds fast, also helping cut down a little bit on the usual mountain of loose strands. You will go through a couple dozen toothpicks spreading glue and pressing hair bunches onto it, so have a box of those handy throughout the process. At the end you would have the water-treatment, hair-cutting, and styling process (shampoo and conditioner work quite well if you want to give yourself an easy way or undoing and redoing your work).


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4Converting Jason Momoa HT Aquaman Head Empty Re: Converting Jason Momoa HT Aquaman Head on Sun Jul 28, 2019 2:05 pm

Stryker2011

Stryker2011
Founding Father
Brilliant job, Guv. This is what HT should have given folks who bought this. Thanks for all the tips, as well.


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Converting Jason Momoa HT Aquaman Head TCFITBi

5Converting Jason Momoa HT Aquaman Head Empty Re: Converting Jason Momoa HT Aquaman Head on Sun Jul 28, 2019 2:14 pm

GubernatorFan

GubernatorFan
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Stryker2011 wrote:Brilliant job, Guv. This is what HT should have given folks who bought this. Thanks for all the tips, as well.

Thank you very much! I think so too, but looks like they can only be bothered to increase prices, limit articulation, and spring for the occasional electrical gimmick (though not even that with this figure). Welcome for the tips, I aim to help. Smile


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6Converting Jason Momoa HT Aquaman Head Empty Re: Converting Jason Momoa HT Aquaman Head on Sun Jul 28, 2019 2:24 pm

Ephiane

Ephiane
Wow ! That´s amazing. You mastered the Hair Job !

7Converting Jason Momoa HT Aquaman Head Empty Re: Converting Jason Momoa HT Aquaman Head on Sun Jul 28, 2019 2:51 pm

GubernatorFan

GubernatorFan
Founding Father
Ephiane wrote:Wow ! That´s amazing. You mastered the Hair Job !

Thank you very much, Ephiane! Glad you liked it.

Speaking of hair, here are a couple of more photos, including the four moulded/sculpted hair pieces I removed.

Converting Jason Momoa HT Aquaman Head Jma0910

As you can see, I also removed Hot Toys' inside neck connector, so that the head could fit onto other neck pegs and bodies. Hot Toys has taken to using inside neck connectors that are not only glued into place (which can be a problem, as it helps if the height is adjustable), but are also made of harder plastic. Like many of their recent innovations, that was not an improvement. However, I notice that with the foamies I am currently using, the modified head seems to sit a little bit too high on the HT neck. That can be easily fixed, if needed, but I'm not bothering with it yet.

Converting Jason Momoa HT Aquaman Head Jma1010


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8Converting Jason Momoa HT Aquaman Head Empty Re: Converting Jason Momoa HT Aquaman Head on Sun Jul 28, 2019 5:07 pm

skywalkersaga

skywalkersaga
Wow, GF!! That looks AWESOME!!  I'm seriously impressed by your willingness to tackle these sorts of modifications, and also by your gorgeous results. 

Thanks also for de-mystifying the process a bit with those explanations and photos. I've been completely confused trying to figure out how to go about something like this, but this helps! Smile


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9Converting Jason Momoa HT Aquaman Head Empty Re: Converting Jason Momoa HT Aquaman Head on Sun Jul 28, 2019 9:17 pm

actionfiguremovies2

actionfiguremovies2
Dang!! That came out GREAT!! He looks much better now. Great work bro.

AFM

10Converting Jason Momoa HT Aquaman Head Empty Re: Converting Jason Momoa HT Aquaman Head on Sun Jul 28, 2019 11:07 pm

GubernatorFan

GubernatorFan
Founding Father
skywalkersaga wrote:Wow, GF!! That looks AWESOME!!  I'm seriously impressed by your willingness to tackle these sorts of modifications, and also by your gorgeous results. 

Thanks also for de-mystifying the process a bit with those explanations and photos. I've been completely confused trying to figure out how to go about something like this, but this helps! Smile

Well, I have to confess I got myself a spare head to do this -- didn't want to mess up the actual set, in case I ever decide to sell it. For a supposedly unpopular figure, these are hard to find and the loose heads tend to be super expensive. With Anakin it was more of a risk, as it was my only head, and part of a partly reconstituted/kitbashed set. Anyway, thank you for the kind words, I'm glad you liked the result and found the overview interesting. I can't recommend the Morezmore tutorial enough, so here's the link again:
https://morezmore.wordpress.com/2015/04/20/fortuna-goddess-of-abundance-luck-and-fortune-part-3/

Like I mentioned above, I don't like fabri-tac glue, so I've used either fabric tape from Allene's or (as in this instance) superglue (but you will have to paint over any visible residue -- so perhaps not all of Morezmore's directions would apply); also, I apply the glue onto the head with a designated toothpick, then press in the bunch of hairs with a different toothpick. Seems to work ok for me.

actionfiguremovies2 wrote:Dang!! That came out GREAT!! He looks much better now. Great work bro.
AFM

Thank you very much! Glad you liked it and agree he looks better now. It feels great to be able to improve on a set -- which you know full well with all your body swapping feats.


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11Converting Jason Momoa HT Aquaman Head Empty Re: Converting Jason Momoa HT Aquaman Head on Wed Jul 31, 2019 5:49 pm

skywalkersaga

skywalkersaga
Was just reading this through again, and apologies if I missed something, but when you mentioned that you 'pulled' off the HT sculpted hair, did you first cut part of it to loosen it? and if so, did you use an exacto knife or something else? Silly as it sounds, one of my biggest struggles is figuring out what tools to use for these sorts of things. Razz

Secondly, you mentioned that you didn't like the fabri-tac glue. Can you elaborate on why? Or was it just because of the extended drying time and 'shedding' issue as you mentioned above? I personally dislike working with glue in general myself as well as I find it too messy, but at the same time I'd probably prefer to use something a bit more gentle as super glue is my nemesis [I've had too many incidents with it either getting on my skin or making mistakes on projects and then permanently messing them up]. I think my ideal method would be the tape, but I'm a little confused still how to go about that. Do you just apply the doubled sided tape along the 'row's on the head, and then stick the hair to it, or do you stick the hair on first and then stick it to the head? Again, silly questions maybe, but this is where get tripped up and then give up before I even begin... 

And finally, on a tangential note, your pics reminded me of a major issue I have with Hot Toys painting in general.... that metallic sheen they tend to give the hair. For some reason it REALLY bothers me, even more than the fact that it's sculpted! I get why they do it, but....ugh. Yet another reason your re-hair job looks so much better.


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"The happy ending of the fairy tale, the myth, and the divine comedy of the soul, is to be read,
not as a contradiction, but as a transcendence of the universal tragedy of man."

Focusing on the Prequels, Clone Wars, and Original Trilogy eras (NO 'sequels', thanks!)
https://the-far-bright-center.tumblr.com/

12Converting Jason Momoa HT Aquaman Head Empty Re: Converting Jason Momoa HT Aquaman Head on Wed Jul 31, 2019 11:57 pm

GubernatorFan

GubernatorFan
Founding Father
skywalkersaga wrote:Was just reading this through again, and apologies if I missed something, but when you mentioned that you 'pulled' off the HT sculpted hair, did you first cut part of it to loosen it? and if so, did you use an exacto knife or something else? Silly as it sounds, one of my biggest struggles is figuring out what tools to use for these sorts of things. Razz

Secondly, you mentioned that you didn't like the fabri-tac glue. Can you elaborate on why? Or was it just because of the extended drying time and 'shedding' issue as you mentioned above? I personally dislike working with glue in general myself as well as I find it too messy, but at the same time I'd probably prefer to use something a bit more gentle as super glue is my nemesis [I've had too many incidents with it either getting on my skin or making mistakes on projects and then permanently messing them up]. I think my ideal method would be the tape, but I'm a little confused still how to go about that. Do you just apply the doubled sided tape along the 'row's on the head, and then stick the hair to it, or do you stick the hair on first and then stick it to the head? Again, silly questions maybe, but this is where get tripped up and then give up before I even begin... 

And finally, on a tangential note, your pics reminded me of a major issue I have with Hot Toys painting in general.... that metallic sheen they tend to give the hair. For some reason it REALLY bothers me, even more than the fact that it's sculpted! I get why they do it, but....ugh. Yet another reason your re-hair job looks so much better.

Hi. Let's see.

Molded hair removal. I literally pulled off the hair pieces. They were not loose enough to fall off by themselves, but as I was pulling and twisting on the biggest, external hair piece to see whether the head is complete (with ears, etc) underneath, I started noticing the places where they joined. So, being curious and planning to rehair it anyway, I pulled a little more, to the point where it started separating at the sides and it became apparent how everything fit together and how it could be taken apart. So I stopped to take photo number 2, then yanked off the piece, then did the same with the side pieces, and finally with the inner back. No cutting or even heating required at all. At least with the head sculpt I had.

Hair adhesive. I followed the Morezmore tutorial to a T (or close to that) when I did my first hair experiment (one of my Conans -- see Conanesque -- and comment there if you'd like), and really hated it. It wasn't even the usual problem people have with it (getting thick), but it got everywhere and didn't dry fast enough or (seemingly) adhere strong enough (which may have really been a problem with my application). So I switched to superglue and Allene's fabric tape. As you say, that last one might be the best solution for you. It is not super strong, and can be scraped off if need be, and is less messy than glue -- if you handle it carefully anyway. You would apply it in a similar way: basically make a series of relatively narrow bands parallel to the bottom neck line around the back of the neck and then to each other, leaving a gap for the face and forehead. Then put a few to provide sufficient coverage at the top of the head (I have not mastered the cowlick but maybe if you read Morezmore more carefully than me you would figure it out). If you are worried about messing up, I cannot recommend strongly enough using a head sculpt that is not your only one of that particular kind -- if nothing else, you would feel less worried and nervous about doing this to it. And of course if something went seriously wrong... Smile

Metallic sheen. I have noticed that before, and it is very noticeable on their molded Aquaman hair. It is part of their solution to the problem of painting sculpted blond hair -- it is actually light shades of beige or brown and looks somewhat transparent in reality, whereas they go for bronzed shades of beige of brown. Here it comes into play with the highlights (much less so with the top of the headsculpt where the hair is darker); it was also like that with some of the Thor and Captain America head sculpts. It is not the worst approach, but does look a little weird. Actually, since my acrylic markers are not labeled as to color, some of what I thought was brown might have been bronze, so it still shows up a little bit -- but less noticeably -- among the little paint touch ups I did to the surviving sculpted forelocks and facial hair. But overall, I completely agree -- real hair is better.

Thanks again and I hope this helps.


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13Converting Jason Momoa HT Aquaman Head Empty Re: Converting Jason Momoa HT Aquaman Head on Thu Aug 01, 2019 11:43 am

skywalkersaga

skywalkersaga
GubernatorFan wrote:Molded hair removal. I literally pulled off the hair pieces. They were not loose enough to fall off by themselves, but as I was pulling and twisting on the biggest, external hair piece to see whether the head is complete (with ears, etc) underneath, I started noticing the places where they joined. So, being curious and planning to rehair it anyway, I pulled a little more, to the point where it started separating at the sides and it became apparent how everything fit together and how it could be taken apart. So I stopped to take photo number 2, then yanked off the piece, then did the same with the side pieces, and finally with the inner back. No cutting or even heating required at all. At least with the head sculpt I had.

Thank you -- that's really good to know. 

GubernatorFan wrote:Hair adhesive. I followed the Morezmore tutorial to a T (or close to that) when I did my first hair experiment (one of my Conans -- see Conanesque -- and comment there if you'd like), and really hated it. It wasn't even the usual problem people have with it (getting thick), but it got everywhere and didn't dry fast enough or (seemingly) adhere strong enough (which may have really been a problem with my application). So I switched to superglue and Allene's fabric tape. As you say, that last one might be the best solution for you. It is not super strong, and can be scraped off if need be, and is less messy than glue -- if you handle it carefully anyway. You would apply it in a similar way: basically make a series of relatively narrow bands parallel to the bottom neck line around the back of the neck and then to each other, leaving a gap for the face and forehead. Then put a few to provide sufficient coverage at the top of the head (I have not mastered the cowlick but maybe if you read Morezmore more carefully than me you would figure it out). If you are worried about messing up, I cannot recommend strongly enough using a head sculpt that is not your only one of that particular kind -- if nothing else, you would feel less worried and nervous about doing this to it. And of course if something went seriously wrong... Smile

Ah, I see. So you are using a combination of superglue *and* fabric tape at the same time? That sounds like it might indeed work best... wondering if I could apply the hair [in stages] with the tape, but then after each row is in place, carefully dab on superglue with a toothpick to make it stick on a bit more permanently? Idk. I will experiment. And I will indeed use a headsculpt that is not my best one to try it out at first. Smile

I really do dislike using glue directly on figures THAT much that I've even tried using tibetan lamb hair wigs, some of which have worked, some of which have not. But of course, glueing the hair directly onto the head is the more ideal solution, given the scale. And since so many custom artists charge INSANE amounts of money for this particular service [I've seen 'real hair' HT Anakin headsculpts going for $1000 on ebay -- not even repaints, just regular HT heads that have been rehaired O.o ], I am coming to feel this might be one of those skills I need to force myself to learn asap. At least, if I want to achieve any of my customization goals anytime soon... 

GubernatorFan wrote:
Metallic sheen. I have noticed that before, and it is very noticeable on their molded Aquaman hair. It is part of their solution to the problem of painting sculpted blond hair -- it is actually light shades of beige or brown and looks somewhat transparent in reality, whereas they go for bronzed shades of beige of brown. Here it comes into play with the highlights (much less so with the top of the headsculpt where the hair is darker); it was also like that with some of the Thor and Captain America head sculpts. It is not the worst approach, but does look a little weird. Actually, since my acrylic markers are not labeled as to color, some of what I thought was brown might have been bronze, so it still shows up a little bit -- but less noticeably -- among the little paint touch ups I did to the surviving sculpted forelocks and facial hair. But overall, I completely agree -- real hair is better.

Aw, yeah, I do understand why they do it. I just find it a bit frustrating, because while it seems to have the desired effect in certain light, it tends to look overly metallic in other types of lighting. 

And thank you SO much for taking the time to answer all of my questions. You are probably one of the most patient and helpful people I've encountered on the internet. :')


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"The happy ending of the fairy tale, the myth, and the divine comedy of the soul, is to be read,
not as a contradiction, but as a transcendence of the universal tragedy of man."

Focusing on the Prequels, Clone Wars, and Original Trilogy eras (NO 'sequels', thanks!)
https://the-far-bright-center.tumblr.com/

14Converting Jason Momoa HT Aquaman Head Empty Re: Converting Jason Momoa HT Aquaman Head on Thu Aug 01, 2019 12:02 pm

GubernatorFan

GubernatorFan
Founding Father
skywalkersaga wrote:Thank you -- that's really good to know. 


Ah, I see. So you are using a combination of superglue *and* fabric tape at the same time? That sounds like it might indeed work best... wondering if I could apply the hair [in stages] with the tape, but then after each row is in place, carefully dab on superglue with a toothpick to make it stick on a bit more permanently? Idk. I will experiment. And I will indeed use a headsculpt that is not my best one to try it out at first. Smile

I really do dislike using glue directly on figures THAT much that I've even tried using tibetan lamb hair wigs, some of which have worked, some of which have not. But of course, glueing the hair directly onto the head is the more ideal solution, given the scale. And since so many custom artists charge INSANE amounts of money for this particular service [I've seen 'real hair' HT Anakin headsculpts going for $1000 on ebay -- not even repaints, just regular HT heads that have been rehaired O.o ], I am coming to feel this might be one of those skills I need to force myself to learn asap. At least, if I want to achieve any of my customization goals anytime soon... 

Aw, yeah, I do understand why they do it. I just find it a bit frustrating, because while it seems to have the desired effect in certain light, it tends to look overly metallic in other types of lighting. 

And thank you SO much for taking the time to answer all of my questions. You are probably one of the most patient and helpful people I've encountered on the internet. :')

You are very welcome! Me, patient? Keep telling me that, it might catch on. Smile

Removing the sculpted hair on this one was the easy part. Again, keep in mind that HT's attempts to make this type of hair look more realistic by creating it in layers of softer plastic than the underlying head sculpt allows more opportunities for easier customizing. The hard plastic glued inside neck connector, on the other hand, is a son of a she-dog to remove (but somehow perseverance worked out).

No, I don't use both Allene's fabric tape and superglue at the same time, sorry if I gave you that impression. At least not systematically. I have haired head sculpts using Allene's tape, and then I have haired head sculpts using superglue. Unless you are planning on pulling on the hair and the head both at the same time and in different directions with some force, Allene's tape is probably sufficient for your purposes. I guess I find superglue easier, since you don't have to cut it into narrow little strips and then fight to apply it to the scalp and then to apply the hair into it. With the glue, you just get it onto your toothpick, smear it on the scalp, then apply the hair and press with a dry toothpick. Actually the process is very similar, but somehow seems easier to me. But since you are not comfortable with glue, go with the tape. You can undo either application -- you can probably scrape off the tape after yanking off the hair if needed, or you can shave down the hair if you need to apply more glue and new hair (I have done that).


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15Converting Jason Momoa HT Aquaman Head Empty Re: Converting Jason Momoa HT Aquaman Head on Thu Aug 01, 2019 12:03 pm

skywalkersaga

skywalkersaga
Ah, ok, thank you for clarifying! I'll give it a go and see what works. Smile


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"The happy ending of the fairy tale, the myth, and the divine comedy of the soul, is to be read,
not as a contradiction, but as a transcendence of the universal tragedy of man."

Focusing on the Prequels, Clone Wars, and Original Trilogy eras (NO 'sequels', thanks!)
https://the-far-bright-center.tumblr.com/

16Converting Jason Momoa HT Aquaman Head Empty Re: Converting Jason Momoa HT Aquaman Head on Thu Aug 01, 2019 12:43 pm

GubernatorFan

GubernatorFan
Founding Father
skywalkersaga wrote:Ah, ok, thank you for clarifying! I'll give it a go and see what works. Smile

No problem. Buying re-haired head sculpts from eBay can be an expensive prospect indeed. Looking forward to seeing what you do.


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17Converting Jason Momoa HT Aquaman Head Empty Re: Converting Jason Momoa HT Aquaman Head on Thu Aug 01, 2019 12:58 pm

shovelchop81

shovelchop81
great ideas and results!! cheers

18Converting Jason Momoa HT Aquaman Head Empty Re: Converting Jason Momoa HT Aquaman Head on Thu Aug 01, 2019 6:14 pm

GubernatorFan

GubernatorFan
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Thank you very much, Alex! Glad you liked it.


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