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View Full Version : Adding articulation to TMNT movie figures.


El_Zo1212o
10-18-2014, 11:36 AM
My first post around here.

So here's the deal: I'm looking to add articulation to Leonardo from the TMNT movie line of figures. If you've never seen them up close, they're about half way between GI Joes and Marvel Legends in scale. Maybe 4 1/2" tall.

I'm looking to add Marvel Legends-style elbow and knee joints, ball joints for the upper legs(the current joint there only kicks back and forth and rotates- I need it to be able to kick sideways as well), and finally I want to add ball joints to the wrists and ankles.

Can anyone here recommend a place where I can find joints to fit all of these requirements?

If I can find the joints, I'd be glad to keep you guys updated with photos as I begin working on it.

Discogod
10-19-2014, 02:34 AM
When you say Legends-style elbows & knees, you're talking about a double hinge joint, right? 'Cause if you're putting those in, you're also going to need to put some kind of bicep & thigh swivel in there to compensate for the loss of the swivel portion of the existing elbow/knee joints. I think you'd be better off just sanding around the existing joints to increase the range of movement. If you're intent on putting them in though, you could use one of the 4" Marvel Universe figures as a joint donor (one of the many Hulks would probably be best).

As for the hips, wrists & ankles, I'd use ball-and-socket joints for the hips and Revoltech-style joints for the wrists and ankles. You can get those on ebay, or from BBTS (as well as places like Hobby Link).

Be warned, though - if you've never done anything like this before, it's going to be a hell of a lot more complicated that it seems. Adding extra articulation (and doing it well) is not the easiest of tasks....

El_Zo1212o
10-21-2014, 03:06 PM
Thanks for the tips. I hadn't realized that the double joints were pins on both ends. I was reading a tutorial on how to add basic rotation joints. It sounds like precise work, but not complex, but now I'm looking closer and revising my plan.

The biggest problem I'm having getting this project off he ground is the Revoltech joints. I just don't know what size to get them in.

snake
10-21-2014, 03:08 PM
Please post the pics when you finish up on them. Those figures need more articulation.

psychoandy
10-22-2014, 05:08 PM
Kaiyodo Revoltech Megatron vs. Playmates 2012 Raphael:

http://i.imgur.com/9il4qR6.png
(Yeah, they've both been sitting on shelves for a while.)

You're pretty safe with any of the Revoltech joints. The 6mm double-joints should be perfect if you're looking for Marvel Legends-style articulation.

El_Zo1212o
10-24-2014, 06:15 PM
Okay, guys, I've just ordered the parts. Once those get here, all I'll need is a hair dryer and I'll be ready to begin work. Thanks for the tips, and I'll update with pictures as the project proceeds.

masterninja
10-24-2014, 06:28 PM
Okay, guys, I've just ordered the parts. Once those get here, all I'll need is a hair dryer and I'll be ready to begin work. Thanks for the tips, and I'll update with pictures as the project proceeds.

This would be interesting to see done :) Welcome to the forums! :D

El_Zo1212o
10-30-2014, 12:17 AM
Okay, so a couple of questions:
1. When I heat the upper arms, the ring joint should pull right out, yes?
2. The belts were glued real tough in a couple of places, so I had to cut them instead of trying to pull them up, lest I stretch them so they wouldn't fit properly anymore. Any recommendations on what I should use to glue them back into place?
3. Can anyone offer any tips on how to crack the torso without damaging the figure too badly?

Thanks again for your help, your interest, and your support.

El_Zo1212o
10-30-2014, 11:58 PM
It's definitely amateur hour, but I'm actually rather pleased with it.

Comments? Suggestions?

El_Zo1212o
10-31-2014, 12:35 AM
Both arms finished.

psychoandy
10-31-2014, 12:40 AM
As you have them now, I think the arms are going to end up being rather long and misproportionate. Maybe try and bury a bit more of the revoltech joints?

Or just ignore me; I've never added articulation to a figure.

El_Zo1212o
10-31-2014, 02:01 AM
As you have them now, I think the arms are going to end up being rather long and misproportionate. Maybe try and bury a bit more of the revoltech joints?

Or just ignore me; I've never added articulation to a figure.

They do seem to be coming out a bit gangly, but I'm sinking them as far as they'll go. In some places I get a little nervous about the drilling, though, because in some places there's not a lot of space, and I'm afraid of punching through the "skin". Also I worry about the lower arms because they're pretty small, but there needs to be pins going both down from the elbows and up from the wrists.

I'm still wondering if I should leave well enough alone with the lower legs or if I ought to cut off the feet and add a joint to them(I'm afraid the joint I have may not be suitable).

connor_obain
10-31-2014, 05:25 AM
It's definitely amateur hour, but I'm actually rather pleased with it.

Comments? Suggestions?

Everybody has to start somewhere :)

experimenting with revoltech joints myself in another figure so its interesting to see other peoples work with them.

Discogod
10-31-2014, 11:17 AM
What joint are you planning to use for the ankles? A plain old revolver joint would do, one peg going straight up into the shin and the other going horizontally into the foot so you get some rocker motion there. Or you could go with a ball-and-socket, gives you similar range, more limited in certain respects but more versatile in others.

El_Zo1212o
10-31-2014, 11:47 AM
I'm going to think some more on whether to cut the feet. I'm probably going to go for it.

The biggest complaint I've got is I think I went a little chop happy on the forearms.

El_Zo1212o
10-31-2014, 11:54 AM
What joint are you planning to use for the ankles? A plain old revolver joint would do, one peg going straight up into the shin and the other going horizontally into the foot so you get some rocker motion there. Or you could go with a ball-and-socket, gives you similar range, more limited in certain respects but more versatile in others.

I don't know what to call it, but it's the most common joint in the pack. 10 clicks and about 270 degrees of rotation. I just don't know how I could install it to get to the inward/outward tilt to the foot.

Discogod
11-01-2014, 03:45 AM
Yeah, that's a standard revolver. Like I said, you can cut the foot off, hollow out a "cup" shape and drill a horizontal hole into the foot you can insert the peg of the joint into (that'll give you side-to-side "rocker" motion". Then you can just smooth off the shin, drill a vertical hole and insert the other peg of the joint, to give you a swivel there.

El_Zo1212o
11-01-2014, 09:43 AM
What kind of tool would I use to carve a bowl shape into the foot?

ArticulationJunkie
11-02-2014, 01:57 AM
Wow, great job so far bro, especially for your first attempt! :tgrin:

Discogod
11-02-2014, 03:04 AM
What kind of tool would I use to carve a bowl shape into the foot?

You'd need a Dremel for that. If you've not got one already, it's probably THE most useful tool you can get for customizing. I'd be lost without mine....

El_Zo1212o
11-02-2014, 09:36 AM
I bought a cheap rotary tool months ago. I bought it cheap because it came with 300 bits and pieces. Have you got a photo of what bit you'd use for the task? I don't know what half of the bits I've got are even for.

Also, where do you think I should cut the foot?

Discogod
11-02-2014, 10:13 AM
I'd cut around where I've marked on your pic:

http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e43/NeonDiscogod/Image1.jpg

And I'd use a round burr to make the socket:

http://thumbs2.ebaystatic.com/d/l225/m/mxBntWSIuVvsYInCAItSZfg.jpg

El_Zo1212o
11-02-2014, 02:39 PM
Progress...

El_Zo1212o
11-02-2014, 02:40 PM
More progress.

El_Zo1212o
11-08-2014, 04:19 PM
Near final update. I realized after cracking the torso that I was going to end up using the body joints that were already there, making cracking the torso and cutting all the belts and such to do it was entirely unnecessary and generally just made a big mess where there didn't really need to be one.

Too bad, but oh well.

El_Zo1212o
11-10-2014, 12:51 PM
It's done.

The glue I used to reassemble him was not up to the task of fixing the belt to his waist. So I used good ol' fashioned Krazy glue. If you've never seen these tiny individual Krazy glue tubes, you open them by screwing the tip into the tube to pierce the seal. When I pierced the seal, I found 3 of my fingers doused in glue. I spent the next 20 minutes peeling glue crust off my fingertips.

How fun.

Discogod
11-10-2014, 11:18 PM
Are you going to be sculpting around the joints to blend them in with the sculpt? 'Cause right now, it looks kinda half-finished...

El_Zo1212o
11-11-2014, 07:09 PM
That's as done as I'm going with it. I've never done anything like this before, and I'm content with the outcome. If anything, I might try to find someone who's got a mold for knee and elbow pads.

I've got no talent for sculpture, nor painting, so this is it.

kwalsh007
11-11-2014, 08:52 PM
If you don't have any sculpting skills you could probably cut and slip balloon rubber over the joints and glue padding on it. Like the skinny balloons they use for balloon animals) And stuff a little cotton up in the cavities so it was filled out. Youd still have all that articulation and flex but less big noticeable bioncle looking joints. Ive never done anything like that but in my mind I picture it looking not too bad. maybe worth a shot esp if youre trying to avoid sculpting.

El_Zo1212o
11-11-2014, 09:40 PM
Now that's a suggestion I can get behind. I went with the shrink tubing to cover up the joints. I never even considered balloons. Balloons would likely do less to constrict the articulation of the joints, too.

Thanks! Maybe I won't have to settle for 'content' after all.

kwalsh007
11-11-2014, 10:30 PM
Now that's a suggestion I can get behind. I went with the shrink tubing to cover up the joints. I never even considered balloons. Balloons would likely do less to constrict the articulation of the joints, too.

Thanks! Maybe I won't have to settle for 'content' after all.

Yea, just test the glue on the ballon rubber and foam pads before you put it on the model. Like I think certain glues will dissolve the rubber and foam but they make a glue that's used for sneakers that's safe and flexible. I think its called shoo goo or something like that. Just a few drops should do. Or maybe a very thin layer of rubber cement will do the trick too.

psychoandy
11-13-2014, 06:20 PM
It's done.

The glue I used to reassemble him was not up to the task of fixing the belt to his waist. So I used good ol' fashioned Krazy glue. If you've never seen these tiny individual Krazy glue tubes, you open them by screwing the tip into the tube to pierce the seal. When I pierced the seal, I found 3 of my fingers doused in glue. I spent the next 20 minutes peeling glue crust off my fingertips.

How fun.

For future reference, Krazy Glue is disolved really easily with turpentine-based products, such as paint thinner, or nail polish remover. So before you glue yourself together again, make sure to have a bottle of one of those in the house. :tsmile: