Swappable Heads

From JCWiki
Revision as of 02:42, 28 November 2005 by Moto-viper (Talk | contribs)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to: navigation, search

This guide will outline a method by which a figure can have several quick change heads by making a ball and socket neck. This is so that a masked or helmeted figure (Snake Eyes being the example) can have an unmasked head for the same body without the need for unscrewing the figure. The heads needto be of softer plastic such as that found in the newer sculpt figures, and as such ARAH heads will not work.

Tools and Parts Needed

  • Heads - You will need the heads you will be working on obviously.
  • Neck - One of the necks will be used as the body's base neck. It will match the host torso as it will not change.
  • Neck joint - The ball joint to be mounted in the neck that the heads will attach to. There are severall options available that will be detailed below.
  • Super Glue - Needed for fixing the heck pieces together.
  • Knife - For cutting and the like.
  • Drill - Used in mounting the neck joint and hollowing the heads.
  • Dremel or other rotary tool - Used for making the head hollowing easier, not essential, but very useful.

The Process

The process is quite straight forward, but it is important to understand each step fully before continuing. The work is all quite intricate, and mistakes will be hard to fix. Don't be daunted, as drilling or cutting less than you think at first, then test fitting and trimming again will ensure a snooth result.

Preparing the Parts

The first step is to get all the parts ready for the main process to come. Firstly, you will need a peg for the heads to clip onto. This piece will be the ball in the ball and socket joint. One of the easiest availble options are the joints on Takara Microman figures. The hip piece on these figures is made of three such pieces (see figure 13). The neck piece is simply a ball on a stick, but the ball is only slightly larger than the peg, so the join will not be as secure. Microman figures are quite costly however, and other solutions include pieces of sprue from model kits and many articulated models themselves (Gundam and the like). A joint could be fashioned out of modeling putty also, but may be uneven or too rough.

Once you have the peg, the heads need to be cut from their neckballs. Cut as close to the jawline as possible, saving both halves (figure 14). One of the severed neckballs will become the primary neck of the body. Cutting the top at a slight angle will allow the head to sit more naturally and have better movement.

A custom neck may be better than either of the two donors. Obviously it would match the body best, but it may be impossible to get a perfectly desirable result for all figures. For example; with a uniform matching neck Snake Eyes unmasked will appear to have a turtleneck on - with a flesh coloured neck the unmasked head will look good, but the masked head would have a strip of skin below it.

Personal tools