Adding Range Of Motion For Better Articulation

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The site received a question through Facebook about how to get better range of motion on a figure for better articulation and more accurate weapon firing poses. While the pictures show only the elbow, the same process could be used for knee joints as well.

Tools: An xacto knife. That's it. Maybe some fine grit sand paper if you need a smoother surface.

Flip it around

This arctic Cobra Commander actually has decent range of motion, so you are seeing the flipped around underside of the arm to intentionally create a less than 90 degree angle for the elbow bend. However, that should be the first thing you try before altering the figure. Can simply twisting them around are swapping the left and right give you the range of motion you want?

Elbow angle 1.jpg

Slicely slicey, cutty cutty

Let me preface this by saying it is way easier to get at the elbow and knee by boiling and popping the elbows or disassembling the legs. I didn't do that here beacuse I was just showing the process and didn't need a lot of cutting.

I started by cutting into the upper arm slicing in towards the elbow joint. Then I started trimming down the large fabric folds on the lower bicep and upper elbow. I tried to blend the cuts with "V" cuts into the plastic to mimic the folds wherever possible.

Elbow angle 2.jpg


Here you can see the improved range of motion with about a 15 degree increase to 90 degrees. At this point I'd be fine with it but on a bare arm or painted over arm, you may want to sand the cut area and/or paint over it.

Elbow angle 3.jpg
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