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How to - Frankensteining and Pinning

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Author Topic: How to - Frankensteining and Pinning  (Read 4002 times)
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« on: October 15, 2010, 12:24:37 am »

PINNING (repairing) A BROKEN LIMB ON AN ACTION FIGURE.

So really, action figures are just little lumps of cheap plastic and many of them actually aren't that durable. Let's take my little friend from the "Seventh Kingdom" series who managed to suffer an arm injury.

You can see from the following pics that the small plastic armature holding the joint in the shoulder to the main body has snapped off.


And you can see where it was connected to the arm itself


So how can you fix it? By pinning the joint back together using metal wire.
How? Okay, read on.

First you will need a 'pinvise' This is a small hobby drill that is turned by hand. You can get them from hobby shops. You'll need a small drillbit appropriate for the pieces you're pinning. Small drill bits can be purchased at most hardware stores.


You need to drill a small hole in each of the two broken pieces. The depth of the hole will vary according to whatever you're pinning. You don't want to drill all the way through a joint, so drill a bit at a time and test the depth. About 5-10mm (0.2-0.4 inch) is fine.
It's probably easiest to use a sharp pointy scalpel blade to just mark the centre of the joint so the drill starts a bit easier. Drill away!


Once you've got a hole in both pieces, you need something to bridge the break. You can run down to the hobby store and buy some expensive wire, but I just use a large metal paperclip. Use some pliers to open it up and flatten it out into one long piece.


Because you're going to be gluing the wire, use some sandpaper or a hobby file to roughen up the shiney metal of the paperclip. This is so the glue will adhere better.


GLUE - You need something strong. Generic superglue won't really hold up. I use Araldite. This is the type that comes in two separate containers and can be mixed together. Don't get it on anything else as this stuff is tough!

Check that the joint still fits together okay, then select the heaviest piece of the figure (in this case the torso piece) and gently push some glue into the hole you drilled. You don't want to get any glue outside the hole in case it gets into the joint and stops some of the other articulation. Once there's some glue in the hole, gently force the wire into the hole and leave it to set. It's important to get the wire straight so I've used my pliers to hold it in place.


Once dry, use some pliers to cut the wire short. There should only be enough poking out so that it will fit into the hole of the other joint.


Now again, place some glue into the hole of the other broken piece. Here you can see me using a toothpick to push the glue into the hole.


Press and hold the joint together and then use something like rubber bands to hold the two pieces in place. You'll need to leave it for a good 24hrs undisturbed to ensure full drying of the glue.


Come back the next day and remove the rubber bands and hey presto! Just like new!
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