Here is Zatoichi, the Shintaro Katsu version (though I do enjoy the Takeshi Kitano version, too. I'd just have to add some ruffled white hair to do a Kitano version.)
I used green stuff to add some leg wrappings and to extend his shirt into a long-tailed coat (I was unable to find a good picture of his clothing, so I just made up something, in this case a haori with a split back.)
|Here's another copy of the figure I used|
for the Zatoichi conversion
The other major work was with the head. First, I had to swap heads with a figure without a hat; the original figure was wearing a straw hat, and the hatless heads would make the next step easier. That step was to again use the needle files and file away all the hair, but without marring the surface of the head. I need to file the head until it was bald, but no more. I wanted to do a close-shaven Zatoichi.
After the head was the shape I wanted, it was swapped. But I wanted to reattach it in a specific pose, that of Zatoichi cocking his turned head, listening for his enemies' next move. Once everything was together and the glue set, I painted him up. To do the shaven head, I simply painted his hair in gray and added flesh to the gray for the highlighting.
One blind masseur ready to go give ninjas and yakuza a bad day!