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Cacadores

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Dec 30 09 12:43 PM

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Converting plastic figures.

The idea is to get figues bent to fit a new use, like these Iraqi crew, whose arms and heads have been altered to get them to hold a machine gun or the turret cap rim, and to look natural doing it. After moving arms, it's also necessary to see if the head is looking in a natural direction too.

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I wanted some pilots for a helicopter so at the moment I'm using Revell infantry figures and changing the position of their arms and legs. I've used the same principle for tank commanders and so on amd found that while some things are easy to do, other stuff needs a bit more thought..

This one was fairly straightforward - the arm was cut off and glued back with superglue in the new position.


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Cacadores

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#1 [url]

Dec 30 09 12:51 PM

Here I also wanted to have the arm at a different angle. I cut the arm off with a 'V'-shaped cut so that when it was put back on it was at a sharper angle to the body. Because the cut ends weren't flush with each other (you try cutting a 1/72nd arm to shape!) the bond was weak amd the arm wobbled.

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So the join was re-enforced with tissue paper. Actually soft toilet paper is best. If you put the superglue directly onto the tissue, it won't lie flat because the glue dries too fast. So the best is to place some dry tissue over the join and damp it down with a drop of spit. Saliva is better than water because of its slight adhesive properties when wet. While it's still wet, then put a drop of superglue on top of it. After a few seconds the glue is still damp and you can pat it down with the back of your nail or the side of a knife.

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Cacadores

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Dec 30 09 1:05 PM

Here, I needed to make the figire sit so I had to re-position the legs at the knees and at the hips. The cut ends were not flush with each other and couldn't be cut flat without loosing too much leg.

So I needed a filler. I mouded some tissue with spit and put it on the end of the limb until it made a flat surface, then put a drop glue on top (being careful not to let the glue tube touch the tissue). Then waited a few seconds for it to get a little harder but not fully set. Superglue won't get fully hard quickly until you press two surfaces together to exclue the air. By using spit, you slow down the drying rate of the glue.

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While it's still damp, I can position the other part of the leg where I want it. Let it dry. Test it, and you might find one surface of the tissue hasn't adheared fully. So you just prise the join apart a little, put some more glue in between and then hold it in position. When it's firm, then leave it to dry on it's own somewhere. Any glue next to saliva won't dry until the salive dries first.

Here, more tissue has been put over the join to re-enforce it and to shape it better.

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Cacadores

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Dec 30 09 1:11 PM

The original standing figure next to the re-shaped version. It was designed to sit and for the arms and legs to fit a pilot's seat.

The tissue paper has unsightly edges but the undercoat will just smooth everything down no problem.

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Cacadores

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Dec 30 09 1:14 PM

The original figure next to the re-shaped version designed to sit or for the arms and legs to fit a pilot's seat.
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Next job: apply pilots' visors. Out of paper perhaps?

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#8 [url]

Aug 17 10 9:43 PM

Conversions

Another trick for less drastic changes. If you hold the figure in boiling water for a few seconds it softens the plastic enough to move whichever appendage you wish to move. Hold it in the new position for a short time then put it in cold water to seal the plastic. Remember to use tweezers, flat pliers or both to hold the figure during the boiling water part -scalds are no fun, trust me.

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#10 [url]

Sep 26 10 10:13 PM

Moving body parts

Not if you are careful or use a pair of soft nosed pliers. Actually an idea just occurred to me; use long nosed pliers with one of those little plastic pipes that protect paint brushes over each end. That would work just as well.

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#12 [url]

Sep 27 10 7:08 PM

Bending figures

No, the heat generated is not really direct but only softens the plastic so the whole arm, leg or head can be re-positioned with impunity. I suppose if you held the appendage too tightly it would flatten it or scrunch it up but as only gentle pressure is required this should not be a problem. I used the technique for many an Airfix ACW cavalryman as part of Ancient British conversions. (Bl***y Hell, I've just remembered I've still got them somewhere after almost three decades!!!) The only thing I would say is that this method only works for small re-positions not major conversion work. I think I got the idea from Bob O'Brian -him of the original WRG triumvirate- back in the distant mists of wargaming time, but I couldn't swear to it. I do know it works though. As the old adage goes...Suck it and See.

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