Creating a custom figma Rin Tohsaka 2.0 with red coat!Creating a custom figma Rin Tohsaka 2.0 with red coat!Tutorial

OkenoOkeno6 years ago
I thought I'd share my first experience customizing a figma, and provide a bit of a step-to-step for anyone interested in making this particular custom of Rin Tohsaka in school uniform with her iconic (to me :) red coat.

Introduction to Insanity

Anyone whose seen my pictures can tell I like the Rin Tohsaka figmas from Fate/Stay Night. While looking at pictures on MFC of Figma Rin Tohsaka 2.0, I saw this pic PICTURE #1529079 which included a link to a guide on how to create that custom figma. I'm in the progress of making that custom as well, but on that same website I saw instructions on how to make a custom Rin Tohsaka with her school uniform and red coat (g-soldier.com/f...). I had seen customs before (using 1.0 as a base - PICTURE #1651895) but this looked much better and had very clear instructions with Google Translate and my own extremely basic Japanese understanding. There are complete directions on where to get parts and what paint colors to use.

I deviated from the g-soldier recipe by using the figma Rin 1.0 arms and shoulder joints. The g-Soldier site recommended using the arms from any K-on! figma, but frankly, Rin 1.0 arms have two buttons just like the K-on arms and deep-set wrists as well, so I decided to save some money and use 1.0 since I needed the red joints anyway [Update - I ended up getting some K-On figures for their instruments, and changed to the K-On arms - they look much better than Rin 1.0's arms, so if you can do it, I'd recommend it]. As for the shoulder joints, I tried painting the 2.0 shoulders, but the paint would come off too easily from friction when moving them. I'm actually skeptical G-soldier painted them because they aren't visible in any pictures on the G-soldier site. In any event, surprisingly the 1.0 shoulders work fairly well.

So, on to the show!


Parts & Pieces
There are three basic things you need as minimum and one optional:
  • Figma Rin Tohsaka 2.0 (obviously!) - ITEM #287746
  • Alter's FA4 Type-Moon Collection Rin Tohsaka School Uniform Trading Figure (for the coat) - ITEM #2110
  • Figma Rin Tohsaka 1.0 (for elbow and shoulder joints, and frankly for cost effectiveness, arms as well) - ITEM #1293
  • Any K-On figma (for arms) - somewhat optional, as you can use Figma Rin Tohsaka 1.0's arms instead, but, as you'll see from my pictures, the K-on ones look better.

The FA4 Trading Figure can be ridiculously expensive on e-bay ($50+), so I'd recommend watching yahoo! Auctions Japan, suruga-ya or mandarake. I ended up winning one for only 800 yen on YAJ (plus all the various shipping and other fees from the proxy site, but still cheaper).

Paints Needed
For paint, you really only need two paints:
  • Mr. Color GX3 Hermann Red - for the coat and sleeves
  • A dark-ish gun metal - for the buttons - I used Tamiya Color X-10 Gun Metal because I could save on shipping from the same e-bay seller. The G-Soldier website had recommended Finisher's brand Light Gunmetal, but it's not a standard brand so expensive for me.
  • A top coat to make it matte. The website recommended Mr. Color Flat Clear, but I ended up using Testor's because I could find it locally without ordering on the internet - A matte or dull top coat is necessary to remove the shine and give it a matte look. Initially I didn't need it because of my thinner, but I've made adjustments later which made it necessary. Also protects from paint transfer.

Step one - remove the coat from the FA4 figure

There's no particular magic to this. The coat and arms come attached to the torso when you open it (see stock picture).

You can use a hair dryer to loosen it up, but I didn't bother. I just slowly wiggled (back and forth) and eventually pulled each arm out. Then I slowly peeled the coat off the torso. You then have the torso with tons of red paint marks from the coat (oh well!):

And a coat with some marks on the inside:

Step two - cut down Rin's shoulders

The coat is actually pretty useable as is. I took a couple of pictures with it (PICTURE #1606143 and PICTURE #1621428) but there are two problems: (1) you might not be able to tell from the pictures, but the sleeves and coat color do not match in person; and (2) the coat does not sit on the shoulders properly.

This picture shows what I mean about the shoulders - it floats!

So I examined G-Soldier's pictures and read the directions carefully and it talked about trimming the shoulders. I was pretty nervous to actually cut the figma, because if I screwed up, there was no turning back, and G-Soldier had no pictures of the shoulders after cutting.

I used an exacto knife and carefully trimmed in layers the rubbery plastic. It was much easier than I thought!


After trimming (Front view) - I basically trimmed the brown vest soft piece as close to the white collar as possible:

I even trimmed the back near the shoulder joints as well to bring it flush to the hard plastic:


This side-view shows the cuts better:

The coat now fits much better (I put the Rin 1.0 arms as a test with 2.0 shoulders):


Step three - removing paint - I WISH

The ideal next step according to G-soldier is to remove the factory paint from everything. I have never done that before. I read and read and read online how to do it, but everyone has a variety of methods from "Superclean" (the purple stuff) to 90% rubbing alcohol but half the time I heard things about each method making the plastic brittle (particularly clear plastic or soft plastic). And I didn't want that to happen. So I tried the gentlest method - Superclean. I soaked it for 2-3 days and it did nothing. Perhaps if I had access to Mr. Paint Remover (which I heard works quite well and is safe), but I live in a small city.

So I gave up! I did not remove the paint. I did not prime the figures either because I couldn't find a good primer locally for airbrushing. I just painted on top of the factory paint.

Step three and 1/2 - cut the hole in the back

Okay, this is when a normal person should have cut the hole in the coat for the figma stand to feed through. I foolishly did not. I wasn't sure how to do it properly so I avoided it. But he who hesitates is surely lost. So let me tell you the WRONG way to do it: Look at g-soldier's picture, gestimate and make a full size hole, hope for the best, and adjust later. As you can figure out from this story, I guessed wrong, but I made a full size hole! So I have a bit of an oval on the back, but it's not really visible once the stand is attached and with Rin's hair being as long as it is.

Word to the wise if you attempt this - the hole needs to be higher up than the picture you see in step four, below!

In retrospect, the right way would have been to use a small hand-drill bit, make a small hole higher up (closer to the bottom of the bumpy square on the inside of the coat), then put it on the figure and see how close you got and use a larger bit on the hand drill to make the hole correct. Which is sort of what I ended up doing because, although my first hole was wrong, I could see the hole in the figma and I was able to adjust relatively easily.

[Update May 2018 - I played around with putty and filled in the gap on the hole, used a knife to mimic the line down the middle, sanded it and repainted it to fill the gap. It looks better. I won't bore you with the picture, but basically the hole for the stand is the correct size and location with no unsightly gap, so it looks sharper.]

Step four - paint the town red!

Okay this was crazy for me. I only ever used a paint brush for model painting, but I always left brush strokes so I knew it wouldn't be the best method. I heard how well airbrushing works. I've had a desire to do customs for awhile and I have five other projects lined up after this one, so I thought: Screw it, I'll buy an airbrush. I ended up buying one from Canadian Tire (yes I'm Canadian!) www.canadiantir...

I think I'll get a lot of use out of this, and this was the easiest customizing project I had in mind. My other projects involve more colors (Rin Archer) or painting every part (four different Transformers Animated figures I want to do).

It took a little while to get used to it. I splattered a bit on the coat the first time I painted it, so I had to use rubbing alcohol to remove the paint and do it again.

But I think I got the hang of it. I just used the Hermann Red straight with some airbrush flow-aid. The colour is a gorgeous red as you can see in the picture below. You'll also see the waist-coat for figma Rin Archer, my next project. I love the look of an airbrushed item compared to plain old brush! So smooth!

FYI, I highly recommend Mr. Color's Levelling Thinner. You pretty much need to mix 1:1, but it removes the risk of splatter. Air brushing is really nice once you get the hang of it. I'm still learning!


Step four 1/2 - paint the effing buttons

The next step was adding detailing. Fortunately it's only one thing: the buttons. But having had to repaint the coat once, I wanted to make sure I did it right. So I painted the sleeve buttons first. They are effing tiny! I tried a toothpick but it wasn't working, and I tried a small brush but it was cheap quality brush. I redid the sleeves so many times before I figured out how big looked right. The answer: not big! Testing on the sleeves would be a common practice for the whole project.

I then did the coat and got it right the first time. It looked so freaking sharp I was excited!

But it would be a week before I did anything again (work and family/kids stuff).

Step five - clear coat

No pictures for this step. I found this very difficult. The airbrush was a bottom feeding glass jar which was a pain to clean. I tried a few times on the sleeves and it would keep clogging the airbrush or make the parts "frosted" such that I had to remove the paint and repaint the red on the sleeves! PAINFUL! I have a 10-pack of glass jars on order so I can swap faster for future projects.

I finally figured out how to clean the jar properly (the plastic hose actually came off! D'oh!) and I added a fair amount of flow aid and was able to do a bit of a quick top coat but it's probably not a good job. Any future pointers would be helpful from anyone, because if you frost a top coat, you are so effed and have to repaint!

[Update 2018 - A simple Testor's Dull Coat was fine too. It's already pre-mixed but I add a little thinner and it's pretty easy to put on without clogging. As mentioned above, using Mr. Color Levelling Thinner for the GX-3 Red is critical to prevent clogging]

After that, I let things dry, but I was anxious to assemble

Step six - Avengers assemble!

Digression - You'll notice in an earlier picture that there are two figma joints painted. Those are Rin 2.0's shoulder joints. I tried painting them and it seemed to stick, but when it came time to assemble, the paint peeled off so quickly when turning it, I was at a loss. So I used a hairdryer to soften Rin 1.0 (about 40 seconds in my hand) and popped its shoulders out. Believe it or not, they actually fit in 2.0. Close enough anyway!

So, everything painted and seemingly top-coated, it was time to assemble!

I put the coat on 2.0's body. I assembled the arms - 1.0 shoulder, 1.0 elbow (both unpainted), 1.0 sleeves (painted), 2.0 wrist joint (a little hair dryer action let me pop them out of 2.0's sleeves with ease) and 2.0 hands. The paint seemed to tighten the holes for the wrist joints such that they popped in like a genuine 2.0 figma. I then pushed the shoulders in, added the head, and voila!


I was using my iphone camera for all these pictures and the close-up makes the perspective a little wonky and the arms may seem long, but in person, it looks good. I can't wait to share a picture with Shirou and his scarf part and take some outdoors pictures of the two together as it gets colder!

For those that read all this, thanks! I hope it gives you hope that almost any idiot can do a custom if I could! And if you like Rin like I do, and liked her red coat look (sorely missing from the 2.0 release and I always secretly hoped they'd do at least a convention exclusive) this is a step by step guide in English as to how to do it.

Post-script - Adjusting the sleeves

I happened to buy a couple of K-On figmas for their musical instruments and I decided to try using their arms as was suggested in the original Japanese site. It took awhile to find time to paint, but I think they do work better. They are bulkier like a coat (since it is the K-On girl wearing a blue blazer on a white shirt), a little shorter too, removing the lanky issue. Plus it has the bonus of having the white shirt cuffs visible inside, which matches Rin's outfit. So I tried it, and I think it works nicely!

Here's a picture close-up of the sleeve cuff and inside the sleeve so you can see the white part:

Because it's a jacket, it has a more visible fold where the buttons are and raised buttons. I also painted a third circle (the K-on jacket only has two) to match Rin's coat design on the show.

I'm even happier with the end result than when I used Rin's sleeves. I still used Rin 1.0's shoulder and elbow joints. But the whole thing looks better. So I took a few comparison pics.

Rin and Shirou in their later winter/early spring outfits (Shirou 2.0 with GSC exclusive scarf):

Rin ordering Archer to attack (lost of scenes like this in the first season of UBW):

Figma Rin fashion show - Rin 1.0 (with 2.0 head, legs and hands), Rin 2.0, Rin 2.0 with red coat custom:

Fashion show of figma Rin and figma Shirou with various alternate outfits (bride/groom, swimsuits, yukata, bunny-girl). As of 2022 I now own seven of each, including the GSC face for all Rins, I'm too much of a fan of these two. Waiting for a good interesting seventh male alternate body or outfit so this is a placeholder:

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Okeno4 years ago#64268814Excellent! Glad to hear it helped someone! You have a very nice Fate figma collection too. I saw Rin w/ coat hiding in your display. It looks like you have about as many Saber 2.0s as I have Rin and Shirou 2.0. I can guess your fave! :)

Haha, yea I have a lot of sabers in my collection. I actually have 2 more saber 2.0s on pre order lol. I have a problem I know. I have toupdate my collection since I've gotten a few more figures. Still missing quite a bit from the fate line tho. Thanks again!
4 years ago
MCMSKM4 years ago#64268344I ended up doing this about a year ago once I saw this. Thanks for posting this. The only thing I didn't do was paint the coat since I don't have an airbrush. Anyway your post was very helpful and It looks fantastic Thanks so much!
Excellent! Glad to hear it helped someone! You have a very nice Fate figma collection too. I saw Rin w/ coat hiding in your display. It looks like you have about as many Saber 2.0s as I have Rin and Shirou 2.0. I can guess your fave! :)
4 years ago
I ended up doing this about a year ago once I saw this. Thanks for posting this. The only thing I didn't do was paint the coat since I don't have an airbrush. Anyway your post was very helpful and It looks fantastic Thanks so much!
4 years ago
PepeFraccini5 years ago#30865717this is amazing! thanks for the tutorial and im definetly going to do the same thing! i already did the PO for the Alter prize :D whenever i start, ill make a video and ill post some pics of the finished job :D let me ask you, where did u get that school gates and walls?
contrats once again :D

Thanks! Good luck with your customizing efforts!

The school gate and walls, I originally got from HobbyLinkJapan a few years ago when they were on sale. I linked them to the blog so you can find it more easily: ITEM #168546

They are out of print and a little harder to find. I can't see them on e-bay, but they occasionally show up close to MSRP on amazon.co.jp and sometimes on Yahoo Japan auctions. I recently purchased the concrete version to be more accurate to FSN's school gate. I'm waiting for the second of the pair to arrive and then they'll start showing up in pictures. I'm not sure yet if I'm going to sell the brick ones or not, since they're hard to find and I still like the design.
5 years ago
this is amazing! thanks for the tutorial and im definetly going to do the same thing! i already did the PO for the Alter prize :D whenever i start, ill make a video and ill post some pics of the finished job :D let me ask you, where did u get that school gates and walls?

congrats once again :D
5 years ago
Stacycmc5 years ago#30805855SWEET!!!!!! Great job!!!
Thank you!
5 years ago
SWEET!!!!!! Great job!!!
5 years ago
Bah-Roo5 years ago#29912248This is amazing!! I'm so awed by folks who are brave enough to try this sort of thing, ahah. Well done, she looks fantastic!!!
Thanks! I was nervous to do it but it's helped me move on to other projects. I wish I had more time to finish my other two projects though!
5 years ago
This is amazing!! I'm so awed by folks who are brave enough to try this sort of thing, ahah. Well done, she looks fantastic!!!
5 years ago
Zaros5 years ago#29083824Thanks yo so much I'll use your guide to make my own rin with red coat :)
Glad to help! Good luck!
5 years ago