by Davy Stone (with Chip Kraus)
Sometimes Chip buys Robin figures, even the multistrapped versions, just because he likes the character Robin that much.  This figure was one such purchase.  But after I studied it for a while I noticed that he had many details similar to Cyborg -- details such as gloves, boots, and even some of the straps.  There were actually a LOT of similarities.  It was almost too perfect not to use for a Cyborg because turning him into anyone else would have required a lot more work than I like to do.

This figure probably required much less work than you would think.  I sanded down the chest and upper arms with a dremel.  Using an exacto I trimmed the angled tops of the boot cuffs to form a straight line.  He's not exactly on-model, but then again, almost every different artist I've seen drawing Cyborg has done him slightly differently.

I switched the head (using boil-n-pop) with one from a Shaq Steel figure I'd bought for the removable helmet.  Shaq's head was slightly larger than Robin's, which made the switch challenging, but the final result was a good tight fit.  Because it was a touch too large, I added a rubber band at the bottom of the neck so that Cyborg's neck looked proportional.  It was a nice detail that both Cyborg and the original base figure already had anyway.  One pleasant yet unintential side effect:  Shaq's large head on the smaller Robin body give Cyborg a more youthful appearance than Shaq has on his own figure, fitting in nicely with the other Teen Titans.

The base figure already came with a very nice belt for Cyborg, needing just a few small modifications to complete the look.  I simply cut pieces of paper clip and glued them to the sides of Robin's already existing belt buckle.  Then I glued small pouches made from rubber bands around the belt.  

Next I added joints to his elbows and knees using the small plastic perferations that come out of the 3-ring binder ziplock pouches that I give away to my students on the first day of class.  I also used one of these small plastic circles to make Cyborg's earpiece.  These things are great because they're not just flat disks, but instead have a small lip on one side of them.  They are also quite plentiful around my office when I get new students, but you could achieve a similar effect by using a hole punch on blister-pack plastic.

I experimented with several varieties of spray paint, and I found a wonderful chrome paint that looked like vac-metal, but it just wouldn't dry right on the plastic.  I played with various combinations of sealer and paint, but finally gave up and returned to the silver acrylic brush-on paint that I normally use.  I also had my first experience with mixing African-American skin tones, but I didn't have that much trouble coming up with a color that satisfied me -- strange because mixing colors isn't my thing.  I used a combination of brown, (caucasian) flesh tone and orange.  ORANGE?  Yeah, without it I found that his color looked too wooden.  

Speaking of African-American skin tones, Cyborg is the first unmasked African-American I've made.  Both my previous African-American figures, Steel and Black Manta, were customized with their masks on.  

His robotic eye was painted using a clear red paint over top of the silver for a nice glowing effect.  Finally, Chip did some last minute touch up work on his human eye.  I was happy with the eye I'd given him, but Chip managed to improve it.

This is one of my most favorite customs in a long time.

Parts Used:
Base figure: Ski Blast Robin
Head: Steel movie Shaq head
Joint Hinges: Plastic 3-ring ziplock punch-outs
Belt: Paperclips and Rubber Bands
Links in this table will connect you to customs made from other parts of same figure.

See Also:  New Teen Titans

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