Building custom minifigures isn’t difficult however you need to do a little planning before hand especially if it is a big project and you want to get quality results. True, you can customize a minifig with a felt tip pen, but if you’re like me and a bit of a perfectionist you will probably want to get really high quality professional results, and that will cost you a bit of money and take a bit of time, hence you will need to do some planning to make sure you minimize any mistakes.
The first thing to do when starting a custom minifig project is to decide what you want, whats your custom minifig idea? You want spend a little time to basically try and describe what you want to achieve, there are several different styles of minifig customization, usually determined by the ‘time period’, eg modern, western, town, military, mech, and so forth, each kind of minifig customization has a different style and a method of customization so its worth considering which your custom minifig will fall into.
Design, just because its a custom minifig doesn’t mean it is not worth doing a few sketches over, its often worth just getting the initial concept down on paper get a feel for the colours you are going to use, if you are going to make custom decals to go on the minifig you will want to draw those out as well, if you have some building tools (there are several programs on the web which are free) you may want to get those out so you’ve got a clear plan of action and know exactly how your custom minifigs are going to look before you have spent your well earned cash.
Finding the right LEGO pieces and identifying what you need to get/do, this is probably the most important part of making a custom minifig. This is where you need trawl the web to find the pieces to make your custom minifig, you might find a minifig body that means you don’t need to create a custom minifig decal, or you might find that you’ll need to build a custom part of some sort, it will also give you a chance to refine your custom minifig design.
In terms of where to look for custom minifig pieces, check out our guide for the best retailers of custom minifig pieces. When looking for custom minifig pieces make sure you shop around for a good price and make sure you know what you are looking for before committing to getting anything custom made for your custom minifig, often you might be able to get away with a standard minifig torso, rather than shelling out on a custom minifig decal.
The Build, this is obviously very important to how your custom minifig will look, as such you need to take your time putting together your custom minifig, make sure you get it right and minimize mistakes, work in an area with good ventilation and light and make sure you keep your area tidy, only work on one part at a time, many minifig customizers tend to have a bits box where they keep left over pieces from other custom minifig projects, you can use these to help with your build and naturally if you have any left over custom minifig bits just stick them in your bits box. It’s often worth taking a few photos of your custom minifig as a work in progress as this helps others see how you put the custom minifig together and can offer plenty of feed back, this is particularly useful if the custom minifig you’re working on is a bit of a master piece.
Finishing touches, if you are anything like me you won’t stop working on a minifig even when its done, but essentially this stage is where you finish working on all the details and check your custom minifig. Then make sure you take photos and stick them up all over the web for other custom minifig fans to comment, this feed back from other minifig fans can be very useful for your next project but do take it with a pinch of salt. Flickr has a great LEGO community.