Make your own custom LED light-up system!

Welcome to another one of my custom action figure tutorials! Today we'll be making and installing an LED kit in a custom figure. Before we begin let me state that I don't know a whole lot about the power outputs, voltage, or circuit-making. So if you want to, browse on the web about all that. I'm just going to show you the process that works for me. LED stands for light-emitting-diode and there's many different places to get them. An easy and cheap way is to buy dollar store toys and taplights. You can also get switches and battery cases from them too.

Since this is just a basic guide and specific to the 6" Iron Man figure please note you'll have to adjust as needed to make a kit for a larger/smaller figure, more LEDS, etc. It takes practice to make LED kits and install them. You also will want to get your parent's permission/supervision because this requires soldering. However the tool we'll be using is a the Cold Heat soldering tool* which is very safe and very hard to catch anything on fire with. You can touch the tip mere seconds after you've soldered and it's perfect for delicate electronic applications such as this.

One thing you MUST watch out for is not to touch both metal ends of your LED with the Cold Heat tool! It's electrical based and will instantly burn out your LED. Just go slow and solder from the sides of your LED, not towards the center where you could accidentally touch both posts. You will also need some thin silver solder wire found at Radio Shack or Walmart.

Ready to begin?

To make a lens just cut out a piece of clear blister bubble to fit and sand it with 600 grit sand paper for a frosted look. Remember this is just a guide and results will vary depending on your tools and level of skill. Never give up tho, keep practicing and you'll be able to create some really neat light-up customs!

*I need to address one thing about the Cold Heat tool that some nay-sayers on message boards touch on all the time: The tips are delicate! Go out and get the additional conical (pointed) tip as that's the best one for small electrical applications. But don't apply pressure to the tip. All you need to do is have it make contact with the solder, the electricity will melt it down and it'll heat up your two surfaces. I also use the Energizer Lithium batteries (4 AAs) in mine because they're super light and last a long time.

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