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  • Customizing and Repair Tips and Tricks

    This thread is for customizing and repair tips for vintage and MOTUC figures. If you have questions on how to repair figures, or if you have tips and tricks you want to share on how to make alterations to MOTU figures, post them here!
    "We must always value life. Even the life of one who opposes us." ― He-Man

  • #2
    Fixing bent weapons... one of the things that drives me nuts is getting bent weapons with the figures, because the plastic in the package can warp them. What I find works best to fix them is the old hot water trick. Heat up a cup of water for 2.5 minutes in the microwave. Then drop the bent weapons into the water for a few minutes. The hot water will cause the weapons to bend back to their original shape. Take the weapons out of the water after a few minutes and let them dry. Good as new!

    Hot water is also great for figures who have hands that are a bit stiff, and have difficulty holding weapons. Just put the figure's arm in hot water for a few seconds to make the hand soft, then put the weapon in the hand. The hot water will make the hand a bit rubbery for a few seconds, making it easy to bend the figures and slip the weapon in. I find this helps to prevent paint on the weapons from scraping off on the hands, and makes putting weapons into the figures hands a hassle-free experience

    Hot water is also great for pulling boots and hands off of figures, and switching them with other figures. Just dunk them into hot water for a few minutes, and then then pull them off.
    Last edited by RoboSteveo; 04-05-2014, 05:16 PM.
    “The internet treats censorship as a malfunction and routes around it." ― John Perry Barlow

    Comment


    • Dark Angel
      Dark Angel commented
      Editing a comment
      Excellent! As a rule, plastic wants to be in the shape it was originally molded in. The hot water trick is certainly the best method for beginners, and my preferred method personally. It works like a charm for softer plastics, but can also help straighten even harder or brittle plastics, at least in some cases. Always worth trying.

      There are people online who claim that the hot water trick has damaged paint or plastics. All I can say is that I have been collecting. repairing and customizing for about 16 years, and it has never happened to me. I will say this: Avoid using absolutely boiling hot water at least until you get a good feel for different kinds of plastics, different thicknesses/weights, and how they react to heat, and never leave a figure or accessory "cooking" in boiling water for an extended period of time.

      You can also use a blowdryer to warm up softer plastics. It only takes a few seconds, and you need to have a steady hand. However, NEVER use a blowdryer on hard or brittle plastics, as it can cause permanent warping!

    • Dark Angel
      Dark Angel commented
      Editing a comment
      Oh, and read this article before you microwave another cup of water for any reason! Safety First!

    • Robarr The Morbid
      Robarr The Morbid commented
      Editing a comment
      Does this apply to vintage weapons as well? I'm wondering if being 30+ years old and being bent for years makes any difference.

  • #3
    Let's cover some basics! How is the average MOTUC figure assembled?
    Skeletor would like it noted that this is a serious affront to his dignity.




    1. The head is attached via a ball and socket system, with the ball attached inside the neck and via a short stem, and the head having the receiving socket. This, of course, is the easiest joint for the beginner to see, since most MOTUC heads are removable.
    I love the satisfying "pop" sound some of these make...




    2. The hard plastic torso/abdominal/pelvis. I have never been very good at "cracking" torsos, though it certainly can be done - just don't ask me to explain it! Hopefully, someone else can chime in with solid instructions.

    2a. Since I am not much help with the torso/abdominal/pelvis, I can't help with removing shoulder or hip joints (often mistakenly called ball joints, they are really peg and two-part cast hinge joints). However, if you can learn to "crack" torsos and pelvises (pelvii?) they are easy to remove.

    3. Shoulders, as mentioned, are two-part cast hinges where they meet the torso. This means the central portion of the shoulder (a hard plastic with high heat tolerance that will not "bond" with softer plastics such as the outer shoulder is made from) is cast in one part, then the outer, sculpted part of the shoulder is cast around it, resulting in a moveable piece without an unsightly pin holding it together. Unfortunately, this type of assembly does not lend itself to disassembly - though it can be done.
    ...and that's how babby is formed.




    4. Biceps are joined to the shoulders with a simple peg. If you can picture the shape of a mushroom, with its wide "cap" and narrow "stem", the peg extending from the shoulder into the bicep is very much like it, with the wide "cap" holding the bicep on. The shape is also very similar to a screw or bolt - and this is important to note, because eventually I am going to teach everyone how to replace/repair a broken peg with a small screw!

    5. Elbows are hinged. The potions of the bicep and forearm that fit together are each called "knuckles". The bicep has the center knuckle, and the forearm has the two outer knuckles. They are fitted together and pinned.

    6. Wrists are, as a rule, simple pegs, just like the upper bicep.

    6a. Some wrists, such as NA He-Man's and Bow's, are two-part cast hinge and pegs, just like shoulders.
    Pull yourself together!!!




    7. Loincloths, skirts, etc. can generally be warmed and stretched to remove them from the channel they seat in between the abdomin and pelvis, but this can actually damage the paint or tear the plastic. Proceed at your own risk.
    I cut Grizzlor's fur and removed his loincloth so his outer loincloth would lay better. To keep his waist tight, I put a heavyweight hair band in the gap between abs and pelvis.
    Loincloth, removed. Note that it wasn't entirely painted to begin with, but there is some additional paint damage from removal.




    7. Hips are generally two-part cast. Most are separate from the thigh, and peg to it, though some figures, like Battleground Teela, have one piece hips and thighs.

    8. Knees are hinge joints, just like elbows. Only bigger.

    9. Calves are generally pegged at the tops of the boots or greaves, though some figures (primarily females) do not have this joint at all.

    9a. Some pegs are molded with extensions. This is the aid in assembly - in this case, the peg on the right calf should only fit the right greave or boot, thanks to the extension.

    10. Ankles are generally hinged to the calf, and then have a sort-of upside down "T" inside the foot to allow the rocker motion. See photo for this one! Some ankles, such as Bow's and Strong-Arms's. are two-part cast at the upper joint (the method that was used to cure the loose ankle issue), again complicating disassembly.
    You know, a pedicure would do wonders for you...




    And that's that!

    Now, a few words:

    1. Disassembly of any action figure is not for the faint of heart. It takes some nerve and a bit of elbow grease. If you are unsure of yourself, practice on a "junk" figure (get something at a flea market or Goodwill). Most joints you will come across are going to be the same or very similar to the ones I described above, but if you find something unusual that you don't know how to deal with, post a picture and we will talk it out!

    2. Get a "feel" for the different kinds of plastic used in figures. Once you begin practicing, you should get my meaning. You should be able to feel the difference between when a peg is sliding out of its receiver and when it is just tearing.

    3. MISTAKES WILL HAPPEN, even with lots of practice. Accept that now. If you can't accept that, then accept your figures as-is.

    3a. If you want to mod your most favorite figure in your entire collection, get yourself a second, backup copy of it before you start!

    4. Beware of clear plastics! I've never seen a clear cast plastic that was not eager to warp, tear or break under even the most minor stress conditions. This is part of the problem with figures like Roboto, and can also be seen in other lines, like Funko's Game of Thrones series one. NECA used to use clear plastic for inner joints, and DC still does. Google for more in-depth info on this no good, very bad practice.

    5. I'll keep adding here as I think of more...
    Last edited by Dark Angel; 02-22-2015, 09:25 PM. Reason: Corrected photo URLs; marked photos to prevent unauthorized use.
    Not every beast is tender, especially if there is genius in his making.

    Comment


    • Mechanizor
      Mechanizor commented
      Editing a comment
      Excellent post Dark-Angel, it will come in handy when I have the time to dabble with some of the figures.

    • Johnny Calzone
      Johnny Calzone commented
      Editing a comment
      This is the best how-to I've ever seen. Thanks for sharing!

  • #4
    Very useful info and thank you posting detailed images Dark Angel.

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    • #5
      Does someone know how to disassemble the Battle Lion?

      Comment


      • Draego-Man
        Draego-Man commented
        Editing a comment
        With a hammer! Hate that figure!

      • Johnny Calzone
        Johnny Calzone commented
        Editing a comment
        Hehe, me too, but I spent too much on him to waste him like that. Unfortunately.

      • Dark Angel
        Dark Angel commented
        Editing a comment
        I haven't fully taken one apart, but of what I can see:

        1. The rear leg joints are just pin hinges like I showed above. The ankle is a two-part cast, but kinda the reverse of the shoulders and hips above - the paw is cast around the hinge, and pin goes up into the leg. Boil and pop that bad boy out.

        2. Front leg joints and ankles same as rear ankles.

        3. Tail same as ankles.

        The parts I am unsure of are the hips, shoulders, mid section (which will most likely require "cracking" to take apart) and the entire neck assembly/system. When I get a little spare time I will take one apart and get back to you.

    • #6
      I was wondering if someone can make female MotU Classics figure assembled picture as well? I still have broken MotU Classics Teela. What I really want is to get her fixed someday. Is anyone here offering fixing services?

      Comment


      • Dark Angel
        Dark Angel commented
        Editing a comment
        Most of the female joints are much the same, only smaller. The early figures, like your Teela, have a joint in approximately the mid-torso as opposed to the waist, and it can be difficult to disassemble.

        What, exactly, is broken on your Teela? PM me, if you like.

    • #7
      Tip For Loose Joints

      I found a trick for fixing loose joints while searching a Transformers site for a way to fix the loose shoulders on my third party Fans Toys Scoria. Apparently using Pledge Multi-surface Floor Finish on the joints will make the joints sticky without the risk of them being glued in place like what can accidentally happen when trying the Crazy Glue trick.

      I've tried it out on my Scorpia, applying the finish by injecting it into the shoulder joint via a syringe then slowly moving the joint to work it in. I've let it dry, then repeated. My Scorpia's shoulders are nice & tight now. Good enough that I'm not going to bother asking for the replacement shoulder parts.

      Since the shoulder joints are so much bigger than MOTUC joints, I'm trying this fix on something closer in size to a MOTUC figure, so I'm trying it out on my old ML Dr. Strange figure to see if this is viable for MOTUC's. It seems to be working, but I do need to more coats than I did with Scorpia.

      I'm going to give it a try on my next MOTUC figure with loose ankles.

      Anyone here ever heard of this fix? I haven't before, so I thought I'd pass this on to my fellow MOTU friends here.

      Comment


      • Draego-Man
        Draego-Man commented
        Editing a comment
        Saw it on the ORG years ago. I'd be too worried about the longterm effects on the plastic.

      • Croc-O-Bite!
        Croc-O-Bite! commented
        Editing a comment
        Lol. That was a waste then. I never saw this trick before & probably typed it out for nothing.
        hopefully there's at least one other who also hadn't heard of it.

        Based on the TF fans I've read who've used it for years, I'm hoping it'll be ok on the plastic

      • Dark Angel
        Dark Angel commented
        Editing a comment
        You can also use Mop-n-Glo, it is effectively the same product.

        There should be no long-term negative effects. This stuff is made for linoleum and vinyl flooring - it should not discolor or damage anything. What it will do, however, is eventually wear off with use, just as all floor treatments and polishes do when utilized for their intended purpose. So any figure that you do this to but still futz around with will get loose again over time, and require re-treatment.

    • #8
      help ! I almost had an heart attack .... My prince adam (motuc) have the same problem ...:cringer:

      Comment


      • Andy
        Andy commented
        Editing a comment
        Hunter knight has a video tutorial...but you'll need a donor figure or find someone who can cast the right piece.http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=uBe2XnBGL_M
        There's also a part2 video

      • Dark Angel
        Dark Angel commented
        Editing a comment
        Andy is correct - you are going to need new hip joints, whether purchased or from a donor figure, and you will need to crack that pelvis, which is a pain. Watch the video, and good luck.

      • Dark Angel
        Dark Angel commented
        Editing a comment
        Another option - based on the picture, you could very likely glue that hip back together, but you would lose the articulation point, which may not be acceptable to you. Just wanted to point out the option is there.

    • #9
      Can we have a thread for vintage? No offense to anyone but there is so much over love for Classics that vintage gets left behind constantly.

      By the way, the water trick Robo mentioned works great for vintage, here's the difference. Heat for that same time 2.5 minutes, let them soak for only about 45 seconds, take them out, and use your fingers to mold them straight. It's a frigging miracle, did it with 3 staffs so far thanks to that post from Robo.
      Last edited by PedgeJameson; 03-25-2016, 06:34 PM.

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