This all started when I felt a real lack of Ninjago Elemental Master minifigures in our family’s collection. Some of them were available as minifigures, but some simply didn’t exist. So, armed with Bricklink and the awesome Minifigure Customization by Jared K. Burks, I set out to create my own.
In the interest of making the best Elemental Masters possible I decided to get my feet wet with some smaller projects. Ninjago is one of our family’s favorite LEGO themes and it is full of ideas for customizing. There are many minifigure variations/outfits that are seen in the Ninjago cartoon series that have never been made into official figures.
First up: Lord Garmadon with hair. When Garmadon is seen without his helmet on he has a large, tall, spikey, black hairpiece. I ran into several versions of this customization on the internet and a few places even had them for sale. It seemed like an attainable goal for my first try.
I found the hairpiece on Bricklink and it came in several colors. I chose the solid gray version in case the striped versions caused some inconsistency in the final color. This hair piece is one of the rubbery molds, not hard plastic. It painted up quite easily with some enamel model paint. Getting the paint to stay on and look nice was a lot harder. It chipped easily at first so I coated it with several layers of clear acrylic and that seemed to help. A few months later I found a few chips and touched them up with a permanent marker. In retrospect I wish I had started with that. I think the paint does not adhere well to the rubber, so pieces made from this material would probably work better with dye than paint. Someday I’ll redo it with dye when I feel adventurous. It looks good for now and was a satisfying first try at minifigure customization.