I've been holding on to this particular action figure for at least 2 years and it's finally time for its spectacular debut. It's been in my toy chest mingling with all the fancy Terminator and Worf action figures I have lined up in the makeover reserve. Most of the figures in queue were obtained some time ago via donation from Chris at the Sci Fi Guys, but Gambit was personally hand selected. I bought him from a deaf couple with a toy stand at a local flea market and I can't imagine I paid more than $3 for him.
Part of the reason for the standoff may be partially due to the fact that Gambit is my favorite X-Men ever. By "favorite" I really mean "most lusted after" because I'm all about this ragin' Cajun. There wasn't a single second of Gambit action on the X-Men cartoon series that didn't give me goosebumps on every part of my body. I'd like to say it was the Southern Charm and washboard abs, but I think it was moreso the unkempt hairstyle and the trench coat. I had, and I suppose still do, a big thing for guys in trench coats. In my late teens/early 20's I'd browse the coat section of Hot Topic online as personal foreplay.
Since this was a loose figure I had to give him a good washing because he was a dirty, dirty boy. Truth be told, I set him out to air dry and left him on my bathroom counter for a good 2 months. Then when I had company over I'd gage how nerdy they are by how they'd respond to the Gambit figure laying next to the big sea breeze scented candle.
I thought it might be a good idea to try and strip some of the paint off him to allow for a better paint job. I bought a bottle of acetone and swished him around in it, but all that managed to do was smudge a minimal amount of paint off and relocate it to big messy splotches all over the coat.
You can see the red chest faded more than anything and the pants lightened a little, but the coat transformed into a truck stop bathroom floor. I hoped that a couple of coats of paint would hide it. I broke out the standard pinks and reds along with a fresh bottle of gold glitter from the dollar store. Dollar stores and discount outlets are a cornucopia of cheap nail polish.
With so much tranch coat hitting the action figure, I wasn't sure how I was going to manage painting it without smudging the paint every which way. I knew with a little patience I'd find a way, but with Gambit being all spread eagle before me, I had to hurry up and dive in before I became entangled in my own lustful thoughts.
My inspiration for this makeover was Little Red Riding Hood. I wanted to give Gambit the appearance that he was wearing a black corset with a pink peasant shirt underneath. I was able to give the illusion by making the top part of his torso pink with a pink vertical line downward which is where the black corset ends meet. Later I painted a corset lacing with a gold glitter polish when a fine tipped brush. It was the first time going outside of the standard fat nail polish brushes in any of my makeovers.
Another first was my use of white-out in place of white nail polish. Most while nail polishes have more a translucent coloring to them because white is primarily used for things like french tips. A coating of white nail polish on an action figure will only give it a bit of pearl essence. Because I wanted to turn the boots into knee high socks, I had to turn them pure white. The only way to do that was to use liquid correction fluid. The bottle and brush is almost exactly the same as nail polish, but it dries much faster. After it dried I put on a coating of the regular white nail polish to take away the matte and give it a matching sheen.
I painted the coat last. I was afraid because of its rubbery texture that I might not be able to bend it in any fashion without the paint immediately chipping off. I was completely wrong. The polish stayed on beautifully and I was able to move the coat all around to get to the tiny crevices that needed to be brushed over. After that it was just time to add a little glitter and a few finishing touches.
I call him Little Red Riding Gambit. On top of the knee high socks I decorated him with an adorable pair of black Mary Jane shoes. His collar has a splash of multicolor glitter while his gloves remained black with a touch of silver glitter. His hair was lightened to give more of a sun kissed touch. Because Gambit is not only a hunk, but a ladies' man, he comes bearing a bouquet of flowers.
Unlike the original Little Red, this rendition won't be fooled by any wolves in granny gowns. All he'd need is one petal of those flowers to charge and he could toss it right between the wolf's eyes, splitting his brain in half.
I'm exceptionally pleased with the way this figure turned out. I may have to start a line of fairy tale inspired makeovers. Look out Disney Princesses!