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February 26, 2012
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Princess Celestia - Custom G4 My Little Pony by shearx Princess Celestia - Custom G4 My Little Pony by shearx
Finally I got around to getting some high quality images of this custom together.

Here we have Princess Celestia! By far, this has been the most time consuming and difficult custom I've done. I got the original toy when I decided to do Luna. They came in a package, and I only got it because, as opposed to the cloth wings I've seen on other Celestia toys, this one had plastic wings.

So, she originally came pink.. and with molded hair. Needless to say, the hair was poorly painted and looked like garbage.. not to mention her body was pink.. Always this has been a tragedy. Thus began the project..

I started by removing the crappy molded hair.. This was a project in itself. Very strong glue and multiple plastic tabs (both projecting from the hair itself, and from Celestia's body.. and INTO her body =.=). This process inevitably left some visible scarring on her legs.. I did my best to cover them up, but I can only do so much >.<

Next came the daunting task of sculpting her hair.. I had to use at least 5 times as much Sculpey for the mane and tail as I have for normal size ponies. Her mane and tail are flowing and wavy, and I tried to capture this feeling in the mold.

Hours of sanding and touch ups later, I moved on to the necklace and her crown. I probably could have done both of these better, but I still believe they turned out rather well. I haven't really worked with sculpts this thin, and I'm amazed I didn't tear them apart with how much handling they went though.

Now that her main, tail, and jewelry were complete, I began the long process of painting. I started with a primer coat on everything, including her entire body. Then the real painting.. her body uses approximately 5 full coats of white acrylic paint to ensure I covered every last bit of pink. Her mane and tail used a similar amount of their respective colors.

The crown, necklace, and the gilded shoes(?) on her feet used gold metallic paint.. This paint color was relatively thin, and used quite a few coats to cover the white primer coats underneath. The inlay on the jewelry pin striped with gold mixed with brown, so that it still has the shiny feel, but is darker to stand out from the undercoat. The gems on each are a metallic amethyst.

The eyes are cutie mark were the last to be painted. Even though you can't see one of her eyes, they are both there. Each eye (and everything else for that matter) was meticulously painted by hand to match as closely as possible to her design in the show.

Final assembly was fairly painless.

Anyway, there you have it! Celestia is complete!

Please feel free to leave comments (these are very welcome as a matter of fact)
Add a Comment:
 
:iconajepic:
ajepic Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
plz put it for sale if it still looks fine and perfect I need a perfect celestia figure for my collection lol
Reply
:iconmsteetertotter:
msteetertotter Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Beautiful :3
Reply
:iconcrazypurplebat:
Crazypurplebat Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2012
How do you cure the clay used on your sculptures? I'm interested in trying a custom but don't know where to start sculpting wise.
Reply
:iconshearx:
shearx Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I use Sculpey oven-bake clay, which is cured simply by baking it in the oven for about 15 minutes and then being allowed to cool. Sculpey is widely available at many craft stores and the like.
Reply
:iconcrazypurplebat:
Crazypurplebat Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2012
Ah whoops saw your other reply first! That is great to know! Now I feel more comfortable about baking my ponies!
Reply
:iconclaytacular:
Claytacular Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
*Sorry, I just read the comment below.. hehe. Um, what temperature did you heat the oven to before you removed the hair? And do you think I could do the same with Princess Cadance's wings? [link]
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:iconshearx:
shearx Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm a bit confused.. are you referring to the original hair that came on the pony? if so, I didn't heat the pony at all before removing the hair.. that was mostly because I didn't think of it though, and I was in a hurry at the time...

and why would you want to remove cadance's wings? o.O
Reply
:iconclaytacular:
Claytacular Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Oh because I wanted her base for my OC, but my character is a unicorn.. heh :I
Reply
:iconclaytacular:
Claytacular Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
How did you cut off the molded hair? :o

It looks magnificent, by the way. :)
Reply
:iconshearx:
shearx Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
he original molded hair? lets just say it was difficult. Had to pry the hair away from the body and use my razor blade to cut under it.
Reply
:iconclaytacular:
Claytacular Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I wish you could do a tutorial before I start digging a knife into a plastic pony. ;-;
Reply
:iconshearx:
shearx Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I was actually thinking of doing just that lol

it won't involve using the base with the molded hair like this one originally had though; just the brushable ponies (I will NEVER use the molded hair celestia again. removing the molded hair is just too much of a hassle, compared to the brushable celestia).

You don't really have to "dig" into the pony; there's just a lot of glue holding it on, so you basically pry the hair away from the body, cut the glue away a bit, then pry some more, cut, etc. It takes quite a bit of dexterity if you're doing it alone.
Reply
:iconaleximusprime:
AleximusPrime Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
When you baked the hair, did you bake it while it was on her and have to prop it up or how did you do it?
Reply
:iconshearx:
shearx Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I always bake the hair while its still on this pony :)

and this one surprisingly I didn't have to prop it up.. With the time I spent getting the tail ready, the mane firmed up (the clay gets very soft while working with it, but will firm up again if you leave it alone).

I have never really had to prop up the mane.. I do occasionally with the tails, though since sometimes the hang above the ground and don't rest on it.
Reply
:iconaleximusprime:
AleximusPrime Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Ah.... so no propping? Cuz that's what I've been most concerned with is having to prop the hair up on something which I like never do at all.

I've had a similar problem with tails also so I either get it to stick to one or both of the back legs or I bake it separately with a little thin part coming out of the connection point so it will go in the hole and I can superglue it in.
Reply
:iconshearx:
shearx Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
nope no propping :) now that I think about it a little more, I think I relied on the leg that's lifted up to be a kind of prop and just cut the bit off since it was out of place anyway.. actually I'm sure that's what I did roffle
Reply
:iconaleximusprime:
AleximusPrime Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Interesting..... I'm wondering if it's a good idea to use those colors for it before baking or to paint it those colors after it's done...
Reply
:iconshearx:
shearx Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
my experience with acrylics is they don't last through the oven.. they become flaky and can be brushed off. Not to mention, I don't think painting non-hardened clay would be advisable :P
Reply
:iconaleximusprime:
AleximusPrime Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh well I meant after it's baked, not before, I've already learned my lesson with that. I get the feeling it would be too hard to have to paint her hair when it's attached to her cuz I might paint her plastic by accident but it's also kinda tough to have to mix the colors until you get it just right for the nice pastely shades she has in her hair...
Reply
:iconshearx:
shearx Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
my mistake :P

your reasoning is mine exactly for not painting while the hair is attached. that and I use an airbrush for probably 60-80% of the painting, which isn't accurate enough to not spray everything in sight xD
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(1 Reply)
:iconokami-cross:
Okami-Cross Featured By Owner May 24, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
also one more question if thats ok... How did you get the mane and tail off? just pull or did you use a tool or chemical?
thank u
Reply
:iconshearx:
shearx Featured By Owner May 24, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
after the parts are baked and partly cooled, i use a small medal bar (in my case i think its a dental tool) to get the mane off. the tail easily comes off without a tool.
Reply
:iconokami-cross:
Okami-Cross Featured By Owner May 25, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
ok thanks :) also one more if thats ok... I am making one for my friend from the brushable ponies. What is your advice on getting the hair off of those ones?
Reply
:iconshearx:
shearx Featured By Owner May 25, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
sorry for the weird link up there. just click the [link] next to hemostat and you'll get to where i wanted >.<
Reply
:iconokami-cross:
Okami-Cross Featured By Owner May 26, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
lol k
Reply
:iconshearx:
shearx Featured By Owner May 25, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I actually far prefer the brushable ponies over the ones like the base celestia I used for this custom.

here are the steps I use to get the hair off the brushables:

1) simply cut off the hair as close to the base as you can without cutting the body. this is easiest if you use an x-acto knife, but scissors will work fine. keep in mind that the close the hair is to the base, the easier step 3 will be. As for the tail, just cut it off at the base and leave it at that. Getting the metal ring and the rest of the tail out from inside the body involves some surgery that I wouldn't recommend.

2) let the pony take a hot bath. In other words, dunk the body in VERY hot (talkin boiling) water. This softens the pony body. After around 10 seconds in the water, remove it with some pliers or tongs. Then, just pull the head off. Not straight up though.. tilt it to the side, and keep doing so until it pops off.

3) dunk the head in the hot water again, and squeeze it to get the air out. The hot water helps to soften up the glue on the inside of the head. You then use some sort of pliers (in my case I use a <a href=[link]">hemostat) to reach up inside the head and pull it out. You will need to put the head in water several times. Be really careful as well, as the water can easily cause a burn.

4) After you have removed all of the hair, or at least gotten to the point where no hair is sticking out of the holes in the pony's head, its time for one more dunk in the water, then to push the head back on. Keep in mind that since the plastic is very soft, it may have deformed in such a way that it will no longer sit aligned with the body. Simply apply some force as necessary to get it aligned again while its still soft, and you should be golden.



Hope this helps :P
Reply
:iconokami-cross:
Okami-Cross Featured By Owner May 26, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
wow thanks that should b very useful in the future :)
Reply
:iconokami-cross:
Okami-Cross Featured By Owner May 24, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I bought one of these and am considering editing (why hasbro must make a white pony pink i shall never know)
I would like to know what type of paint was used for this if possible :)
Reply
:iconshearx:
shearx Featured By Owner May 24, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
i use acrylic paint, but i am considering switching to enamel.
Reply
:iconokami-cross:
Okami-Cross Featured By Owner May 25, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
i see thank you :)
Reply
:iconlunawind429:
lunawind429 Featured By Owner May 24, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
wow amazing hey can we talk my email is (lunawind429@hotmail.com) i would love to get one from u
Reply
:iconvitani-rose12:
vitani-rose12 Featured By Owner May 13, 2012
Words cannot describe how amazing this is. :D
Reply
:iconrainell:
rainELL Featured By Owner May 7, 2012  Hobbyist Filmographer
WOW, the detail is amazing! she's gorgeous!
Reply
:iconhinoraito:
hinoraito Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
woooow!
Reply
:iconbearded-brony:
Bearded-Brony Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Very nice work. I somehow have 3 "Pink-lestias" that are all waiting for their date with my paintbrush.

I'd personally be worried about using Sculpey for the mane/tail due to how fragile it can be at times. I usually use Apoxie Sculpt but that is just a personal taste.

If you are willing to do a bit of sanding you can usually patch any places you had to cut the hair off the figure and then sand it smooth so nobody will notice. I usually do this just to remove the mold lines of my customs.
Reply
:iconshearx:
shearx Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I did sand the body where I cut the hair off.. but it didn't turn out anywhere near what I was expecting. The rubber they use for the bodies does not sand well at all.

Her mane and tail are actually very sturdy; while working with them I didn't have any issues with breakage. The primary issue here was getting the curves just right, and sculpting within the waves of the hair... well, it was more of a nuisance than anything I suppose.
Reply
:iconbearded-brony:
Bearded-Brony Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You can find hyper fine sandpaper meant for plastic finishing. Talking like 1000 grit and finer. They are usually found next to the hobby car models in craft stores.

I do wet sanding. It you sand too fast and too long it just starts melting the plastic. A little water helps keep things cool a bit and helps keep the dust low. I can get it smooth like porcelain if I'm patient.
Reply
:iconfrozenpyro71:
frozenpyro71 Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
The mane and tail are fantastic, such a smooth curved shape.
Reply
:iconshearx:
shearx Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
thanks :D
Reply
:iconbaito:
BaIto Featured By Owner Feb 29, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
That is amazing i hated the fact the origional was pink any tips on making customes i would like to try ^^
Reply
:iconspinalcordsaturday:
SpinalCordSaturday Featured By Owner Feb 29, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I really do love the way you made the hair is it flexible?
Reply
:iconshearx:
shearx Featured By Owner Feb 29, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
a little bit, but its not really intended to be.
Reply
:iconspinalcordsaturday:
SpinalCordSaturday Featured By Owner Feb 29, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I see ^-^.
Reply
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