15 days and 4 turtles later, and I have a much more show-accurate set of Mystic Turtles from the episode Vision Quest.
Let’s take a look at each of the four, and I will tell you all about how I got them from their original close design up to where I feel happy with them.
Donatello was the first of the turtles to get paint applied to his body. I started with white, since that is what the turtles seemed to be wearing in the episode. It turned out to be WAY too bright, so I had to go over it with a wash to bring the color back a little. With the rest of the turtles, I went with more earthtones.
Donnie’s outfit stayed almost intact. It was a good design, and close to the show’s design. he had a star on his hood that needed to be removed, and a whitewash was applied to bring down the brightness of the purple.
Donnie’s original Axe was a good design. The only thing it was lacking was a handle that was long enough. I decided that it would be better to just go ahead and build a completely new blade and handle since the original was a bit soft anyway.
The handle is a wooden dowel rod that was colored with a marker to make it darker. The head of the axe was thick sheet styrene that was then formed into shape with a Dremel.
Michelangelo came with great detailing on his outfit. He is covered in tree bark armor. It was so well done that all I had to do was paint the different layers of bark and rope holding it on. Nothing but paint apps were applied to Mikey’s outfilt.
Mikey’s two kamas were bright orange. They were the only one of the four turtles to actually be hard plastic. But as I kept moving on the different turtle parts, it seemed the right thing to do to create new weapons for him. The handles of the Kama are wooden dowel rods with tape applied for the wraps. Thin sheet styrene was attached into grooves cut in the dowel and formed into shape.
Raph was the one I was really looking forward to working on the most. He had some great design aspects to his outfit. The more I looked at it, the more wrong it all was. He took a lot of work to get everything just right.
He came with only one Tegaki, and it was a dismal piece of rubber trash. It was bright red, floppy as a dead fish, and there was only one. A new set of two Tegaki were formed from sheet styrene and tube styrene.
His two fuel tank backpacks looked great. He needed two extra harness straps to attach the backpack to his belt in the front. Thin pieces of styrene were cut and added, along with ‘x’ stitches where the straps met his belt. I also added a strap over the top of each fuel tank to make them look more correct. Finally I added hoses to deliver fuel from the packs to the flame throwers mounted at his wrists.
Along with the terrible Tegaki, Rahp also came with a flame thrower (never appeared) and some weird extra neck piece that looked like a brain around his neck. Both were added to the pile of plastic extra stuff.
Leonardo needed the most work with weapons, but not as much with his outfit.
The only modification with Leo’s outfit was with the body length cape. In the episode it was torn mostly off really early on, so I wanted that look. I ended up cutting the cape on a wrinkle line in the rubber that matched the look of the hood in the rest of the episode.
He came with his two Katana blades. In the episode he mounted them to his hip. They did this for the toy, but the sheaths were GIANT!!! It was amazingly out of control. I used the really well made swords and made two smaller sheaths and mounted them to his hip using the available slot. The Katanas were painted with silver, grey, and gold to be more show accurate than just brown.
The next part that needed to be addressed was the bow and arrow. The one he came with was a single piece. Perfectly okay for a kid’s toy. No telling where a single arrow of that size would end up.
I took the dimensions of the bow and reformed it in a thick piece of styrene. I added a handle made of a piece of cut dowel and wrapped it. A piece of wire was added for the bow string.
A bow is no good without arrows, and arrows are no good without a quiver. I made a quiver using an old felt-tipped pen body. It was a thick piece of plastic, so I could use a dremel to rough it up and not have it a perfect cylinder.
The arrows were made from thin styrene rods with small cut pieces of flat styrene added for heads and fletching.
When all was said and done, only Leo kept his two Katana. Every other weapon or accessory was either rebuilt or ditched. This is the pile of extras that was left.
I think this project really gave me a push that I needed to try my hand at some scratch building, painting, and modifications. It was a lot of fun, and I proved to myself that I can do it, and that I should probably do it more. These four turtles were going to be stand-out figures before, since they were so unique from the other turtles that came before. Now they are really going to be stand-outs since they are modifies from head to toe, and everywhere inbetween.