Lower Arm Swapping
There are two methods for changing out the lower arm on a Joe figure - One for 'old sculpt' / ARAH figures (molds from '94 and earlier) and another for 'new sculpt' figures.
Boil and Pop (New Sculpt)
This is the simpler of the two process wise, and can oly be used with new sculpt figures due to the softer plastics used. The basic method is to boil the arm briefly so it is softened, yank the lower arm out, then put it in another shoulder. As this method involves boiling or near boiling water, take care when handling the arm as it will get very hot.
- Something to hold the water
Start by boiling some water in a microwave-safe mug. 3-4 minutes in a microwave should be sufficient. CAREFULLY take the mug of hot water out, and throw the arms in. Wait 30-60 seconds for them to heat up and soften. Holding hot pieces with a towel, CAREFULLY pull the lower arms out of the socket. This can be quite tricky as both parts will be soft, and the lower arms of the new sculpt figures have give naturaly. Gripping at the elbow and pulling back garners the best results and lowers teh chance of breaking the elbow.
At this point it is a good idea to check the lower arm's pegs are the same or similar sizes. If the peg is too large it won't go into the shoulder socket, and too small and the arm will either fall out or be incredibly loose.
To actually do the swap first make sure the lower arms are cool then reboil the water. Once the water is boiled, brop the upper arms only in the water like before. Once done they'll be soft and will allow the harder lower arm peg to go in easily. Put the new lower arms into their respective sockets. It may require quite alot of force to get them to pop in.
Arm Swapping for ARAH figures
Though more labor intensive, this method doesn't require any treatment of the parts before the swap can begin.
- A knife (standard point or chisel tip)
- Some sort of weight, such as a small anvil, hammer or the end of a screwdriver.
Begin by putting the two pairs of arms into torsos, with the "armpit" upwards (see figure 12). Using the knife and anvil, put the knife in the seam of the "armpit" and give it a sharp hit with the anvil. Be careful however as if you hit too hard you may snap the blade and injure yourself. Once the blade enters the seam it will act as a wedge, splitting the bicep apart (see figure 15). The lower arm can now be removed. Pull the lower arm straight and start applying more pressure until it starts to come loose (see figure 16). Repeat on the other arms unitl you have eight seperate pieces.
To put the arms back together reverse the process - hook the peg on the lower arm into the bicep's socket and pop it in. Due to construction it will only fit in one way (see figures 17 & 18). The joint contrauction will also hold the upper arm together. The arm may be somewhat looser than normal, but not unusably so. The arms swap is now complete!