Thumb repair

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This came up on the forum, so by request: How to fix a vintage ARAH figure's thumb.


Thumb repair video tutorial

Contents

Supplies

  • Kneadtite (greenstuff) and/or Apoxie Sculpt/Fixit
  • Water
  • Sculpting tools (I use a dentist pick)
  • Latex glove
  • Super glue


Step 1a Replacements

The best way to fix a vintage thumb and have it retain the same amount of accessory holding strength is to simply replace the arm with one with a functional thumb. That obviously won't be possible for everyone.


Step 1b Sculpting

If repairing the thumb is your only option, you'll need an air drying apoxie. Over on the Fwoosh, SamuRon figured out if you mix the yellow portion of kneadtite with the "B" compound of the Apoxie sculpt you end up with a pretty flexible material perfect for hair or capes. To give the thumb a little more give similar to later post 2001 figures, I went with that mixture for this tutorial. Although I have seen really well done greenstuff thumb fixes too.

After putting on the latex gloves to avoid fingerprints, take a tiny bb size bead of the yellow kneadtite and an equal size bead of the "B" Compound and knead them together.

Step 2 Roll it

Once the two parts are thoroughly mixed together you want to roll it until you get a cylinder, or worm as my daughter likes to call it, the thickness you want the thumb to be. Then cut it just a little longer than you want the thumb to be.


Step 3 Shape

You will want to use the water to keep the sculpting tool moist during this step. As the apoxie mixture dries, it likes to cling to whatever it touches. The water prevents it from sticking. Use the sculpting tool to place the apoxie mixture on the thumb. Now use the tool to blend the compound down around the base of the thumb. The idea here is to create a more natural look and to give more contact surface area for the parts to adhere to each other. You also want to shape the thumb so it forms a "C" shape with the rest of the hand. You want to make sure the hand will be able to hold an accessory.


Step 4 Wait

Wait for it to cure. Depending on temperature and humidity it can take anywhere from 12-36 hours to fully cure. You can test the firmness with your sculpting tool. Poke it on the inside of the new thumb. If it dents, it needs more time.


Step 5 Super Glue

Greenstuff and Apoxie sculpt adhere to surfaces fairly well on their own, hence the need for water. However, a dab of super glue will help it stick even better. Because this is a pressure point, I'm going to take the extra precaution. After the thumb has dried apply the smallest drop of super glue that you can. Since it should be form fitting you really won't need to over do it here.


Step 6 Test

Start with a basic weapon like a sword or a rifle with a narrower straight handle. For this tutorial I used a Viper rifle.

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