Customs, Evil Warriors

Barbarossa Laser-Light Skeletor Kit

Image source: Barbarossa Customs

More than a year ago I purchased the Barbarossa Custom Creations Laser-Light Skeletor Kit. Life got in the way and I didn’t actually start working on it until a few months back. Now that I’ve finished it, I thought I’d post my thoughts.

First thing’s first, Toy Polloi has created a fantastic step-by-step video detailing how to paint, glue and wire this figure together. I found his video invaluable for each step of the process:

Barbarossa has made some tweaks to the kit since I purchased mine, changing the leg joints to the rubber band type and making the staff two-piece. Still, the basic principles haven’t really changed. Here is my set all laid out. Following the advice of Toy Polloi, I also bought a button cell battery holder to make life easier, which I think is included in the current kit. Your kit will probably have some mold “flash” that will need to be trimmed with an exacto knife.

The first step is to get it painted up, starting with painting the trunks black. The belt is left unpainted. I use the inexpensive acrylic paints found at craft and hobby stores, which seem to work just fine. In this case, because the black paint I used was flat, I went over it with a glossy acrylic clear coat later to simulate black molded plastic. Note: avoid enamel paints, they tend to be tacky and don’t dry well.

Next up I worked on the metallic costume parts integrated into the character’s flesh. I found that starting with a flat black base coat on these elements made life easier. Not only did it help metallic copper acrylic paint adhere better to the figure, it also made it look nicer. This requires time and patience – the lines are fairly delicate here, and you want to try to be precise. It required many passes to get it all filled out nicely, with time in between each coat for drying.

For the face, I started with a greenish base, then added yellow elements, and finally black for the eye sockets, nose, mouth and teeth. I also added a glossy clear coat over top after everything was dry. If you like you can also paint the inside of the head pieces, which will prevent light from the LED from glowing through the otherwise unpainted plastic. I didn’t do that on mine, but it’s an option.

The first section to glue together is the crotch piece and legs. It’s fairly simple – the legs go into the back of the crotch piece (the “butt”), and then the front piece is glued in place to keep everything together. I used Gorilla super glue for this task. The head can also be glued together at this time. Be sure to include the transparent red “eyes” piece, which will transmit the light from the LED out to the eye sockets. The last thing that can be glued before wiring the light feature is the the left hand to the left arm. You may need to file/trim the flat edges of the left arm pieces to ensure a nice even fit before gluing. Ensure even coverage for a strong connection.

Before any more gluing, you will need to first wire up the light-up feature. I recommend following the Toy Polloi video, but I’ll note that you’ll need a soldering iron, some solder, and some small craft wire cutters at minimum. I’ve done soldering before, but if you haven’t, you might practice adhering two pieces of scrap wire together with solder until you feel confident. Based on Toy Polloi’s video, I put together the following wiring diagram:

Red lines = positive wire. Blue lines = ground wire.

After wiring it up, I did a quick test to make sure everything was lighting up correctly:

My particular kit had some fairly long wire. Initially, I had left the wire too long, and it couldn’t be crammed in to the body. I had to go back and unsolder some of the wires running to the switch and battery holder, clip them shorter, and resolder them. You’ll want to protect bare soldered ends with heat shrink tubing or electrical tape to keep the circuit from shorting out.

Once the wiring is in good shape, it’s time to assemble the figure. The two halves of the chest come together like a clamshell, as do the two halves of the right arm. You have to make sure that the pelvis, right arm and head are in place before gluing together. The left arm can be put on after everything is set and dried. Again I recommend following Toi Polloi’s video closely. If you do what he does, you’ll probably get it right! The black battery pack is really just there to hold the switch in this version of the figure, and it fits into the back with no gluing necessary (and you’ll need to be able to take it out from time to time to change batteries). The button cell battery holder will end up in the figure’s belly, sitting there loosely.

Here it is, assembled, without cape:

Here it is with a cape I made using Toy Polloi’s cape pattern, and the light-up feature activated:

And here it is in the dark! The lights are very red in person, but they look almost white on video for some reason.

I hope you enjoyed this brief look at the Barbarossa Custom Creations Laser-Light Skeletor kit. It does require some time and patience to assemble, but it’s also the most economical way to get yourself a very nice looking Laser-Light Skeletor repro!

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