Remember E3 of last year when Nintendo first showed off their Amiibo prototypes? How fine the detail was, how elegant and unobtrusive the clear support stands were? Now remember all the compromises they had to make for the actual production run? Yeah. We weren’t exactly thrilled either.
So here at Level-Clear, we decided to take our Link Amiibo, and rather than just restore him to his pre-mass-production glory, we thought we’d change a few things too. What’s more, we’ve turned the whole process into a handy step-by-step guide!
Lets start with getting all our supplies together. Firstly, you’ll need paints.
We’ve used ‘Citadel’ miniature paints and brushes. You can pick these up at any branch of Games Workshop, or online at games-workshop.com. Since we’re going for a red/Goron tunic recolor, we’re using:
Auric Armour gold
And Blood Red
You’ll also need a can of black spray paint (we’ve used Citadel Chaos Black).
Brushes (Fine detail and a small drybrush)
Basing equipment/flock (Rocks and grass)
And a Link Amiibo… obviously.
Firstly, you’re going to want to remove Link from his base. Grip that ugly piece of yellow plastic with your pliers and he should wiggle free pretty easily.
Pull the plastic support away from his leg too. This’ll leave a pretty big hole in his upper thigh, but don’t worry; we’ll take care of that later.
Using masking tape, cover all the areas of the figure you don’t want to repaint. So in our case, we’ve covered up absolutely everything except his tunic, hat, and the base. It’s worth using a scalpel or something similarly sharp to ensure all the nooks and hard to reach places are properly covered.
Once you’re happy, grab the Chaos Black spray paint and cover the whole figure in it. If you were going for a ‘Dark Link’ conversion, you can basically stop here.
Otherwise, leave him for around 20 minutes to dry.
You can then peel away the tape and start applying your first layer of paint. We’ve used Mephiston red on his tunic and hat.
Next, a wash. This is made up of one part Abaddon Black to about three parts water. The resulting mix should be of a thin, watery consistency, which you apply over the red. It’ll make everything pretty dark, but should also naturally flow into all the folds in his outfit creating shadows and depth.
Then, we drybrush the clothing to brighten things up again. To do this, just dip your small drybrush in whichever paint you’re using (in this case, we’re using the Mephiston red again) and then wipe off most of it onto some paper/kitchen roll until there’s almost nothing left.
This allows you to brush over the tunic, and the little paint left on the brush will catch on all the raised parts of the cloth. Combined with the wash we did before, this should make for some realistic shadows and highlights on the outfit. Do this on his hat too.
Now the tricky part. Detail.
On Link’s front, we’ve added some gold detail on his belt buckles using an undercoat of Balthasar Gold, followed by a layer of Auric Armour Gold.
The stitching on the tunic has been picked out with Bleached/Ushabti Bone. And we’ve added a little battle damage on his left cheek in Blood Red.
The hilt of the sword has been given a wash of Abaddon Black to bring out the detail, and we’ve added a blood to the point and edge. (Not something you tend to see much of in Zelda games, but this is your Link, so add whatever detail you want.) To keep the blood looking fresh we’ve painted over it with a layer of ‘Aardcoat.
We’ve also gone over the raised parts of Link’s gauntlets with a little Mournfang/Bestial brown’ just to help those edges stand out.
On the back, stitching has been picked out in Ushabti Bone, and the leather pouches have been washed in Abbaddon, and then drybrushed with Mournfang.
Home stretch now, folks. You remember that gaping hole we left in his leg when we ripped out the support plastic? Well now it’s time to fill it.
A little modelling putty will do the trick, but depending on what kind you use, you may have to leave it overnight to set. Once it is, paint over in Bleached/Ushabti Bone, which should blend nicely with his tights.
You might also notice that we’ve given the boots a wash in Abaddon black to pick out the detail a little better.
Finally, the base. For our conversion we’ve gone with a rock/grass ‘Hyrule Field’ kind of look. To do this, the centre of the base has been painted in Mournfang Brown, rocks have been added and stuck down with PVA glue, and flock/grass added with some more PVA in the gaps.
Conveniently, there’s a piece of plastic embedded in Link’s right boot that fits in that hole on the base, offering enough support to keep him vertical.
Drop some superglue down there; slot him in, and voila. One customised Link Amiibo.
Now your personalised Hero of Time is ready to do battle with the forces of darkness and trash your mates’ Amiibos in style. Just remember how long it took you to paint before you rage-throw him across the room next time.
TL;DR: Remove from base/support, spray paint clothes, layer of colour, wash, drybrush, detail. Fill the leg with putty and paint over, add base detail, stick ‘em together and admire.
What do you guys think? Any paint jobs you’d like us to try? Just leave a comment below!