Author Topic: POTF2 type head on a ROTS ball-joint-head body? I have a bad feeling about this  (Read 1368 times)

Offline Mitsukara

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Okay, I posted about this on FFURG a couple weeks ago, but I figured I might try asking here too to see if anyone had some advice.

Long story short, I'm wanting to take a ROTS (or better yet, I want to get my hands on a TSC Battle of Coruscant version for the cloak <3) "Pilot Gear"/Red Leader Obi Wan, remove his head, and replace it with an EU Dark Jedi Luke head. I would prefer to avoid the route of chopping off Obi Wan's neck Luke's neck post and then glueing the Luke head on in one position; so, I'm toying with the concept of cutting out part of Obi Wan's head and neck, probably including the "bottom layer" of his robes (just the darkest brown collar really), inserting my Luke head, and molding a new collar piece to hold the head in place. But that sounds pretty darn iffy and like a good way to destroy an awesome figure if I screw up.

So, does anyone have some advice on how to go about this? This might be a good time to point out that my customizing experience is pretty limited so far.

I could skip this route altogether and use a different Jedi body for Luke, but I really want him to look good and have quite a bit of articulation. Super-articulated would be perfect. The idea of using a ROTS Dooku and then molding (or maybe even glueing on some properly measured, appropriately chosen fabric to do some basic soft goods?) new robe parts on crosses my mind. Basically, my goal is to use my Dark Jedi Luke head on a highly articulated body for post-ROTJ (more likely post Thrawn Trilogy really) Jedi Master Luke. If all else fails I could use one of those "Naboo" robed episode 1 Obi Wans as they look fairly good, but the articulation would be kinda lame.

Also, while I could possibly get my hands on one from a family member (buying one isn't likely to happen any time too soon), I do not have a dremel tool at my disposal at this time. I do however have an X-acto knife.

Offline BrentS

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Welcome to JD.  I think you'll find this forum very well stocked with customizers willing to help out.

I would strongly recommend getting a dremel and trying to hollow out the Luke Head.  this is the technique I used on this Jedi WIP:



You can maintain maximum articulation that way.  However, in the absence of a dremel, you might try a different jedi body that you could do a head swap with.  What about Ki Adi Mundi or Agen Kolar?  I think they are both neck pegs.  I'd have to go back and look at see what type of articulation you'd loose in the arms/legs.

Offline Phalanxx

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Check out this thread.  It talks about modding peg style heads to fit ball joint necks.
Visit www.phalanxxdesigns.com - Custom Figures and Cardbacks.

Offline Mitsukara

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Wow! Thanks, I wasn't even sure a head could be modified to fit on a ball, much less that there were already a few people with experience doing just that.

I need to see if any nearby relatives have a dremel and are willing to loan it- I really doubt I'll be able to buy one for the next several months at the least.

Are there perhaps some alternate methods I could use, like some way to make the hole for the neck post using an x-acto knife (perhaps I could hold the head with some tongs or something for safety if I were to do such a thing...), or maybe some alternate way to insert the entire neck post as I mentiond in my first post? I don't know if an x-acto knife can cut styrene, even it's heated... hmm. I've toyed with the idea of maybe molding a high collar to hold in the neck post, like Luke's ROTJ collar or better yet those "turtlenecks" Obi Wan and Anakin wore in the original trilogy; don't know how well that would work.

In any case, I'll need to find some junk figures for testing a method/methods when I decide on one, I suppose. Hmm...

Offline Smartypants1635

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If you  have a Big lots or Odd lots (depeding on which part of the county you are in)
Go to thier tool section they wont have A "dremel" but htey will have a Rotary which is what you need, Dremel has become the word for rotary like Kleenex for tissue. I got mine for about 27 dollars with tax.

Offline BrentS

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If you are going to go playing with an X-acto knife, do yourself a favor and boil the head in some hot water for a minute or two.  This makes the plastic much more pliable and cuts easier.  Just remember - be careful with that knife as it is very sharp.  There are some gruesome pictures in this forum from X-acto injuries.

Good luck and keep us posted!

Offline Mitsukara

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Indeed, I'm not really too keen on the idea of using an X-acto knife for such a thing, and am pretty scared of hurting myself on one. I kinda wish there were some kind of chain gloves I could wear or something when handling one!

I might attempt it, but I'm not going to jump up and do it tonight, to be certain.

As for $27... I might be able to muster that in a couple months, but I don't think I can do it right now. However, if you happen to know some other brand names and/or terms I could use to specify what kind of "rotary" I mean, that might helpful in seeing if I can find one to borrow...

Another tactic I considered, though it has me spending a good bit more for parts, is to combining some kind of peg-compatable torso with some kind of decent arms and I could at least steal a Pilot Obi Wan's legs, given their old standard hip joints. I've looked around at various figures but I'm not really sure what would work best- anyone have some ideas on that subject?

Offline Jedi_Master_Ben

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Hi there,

There is another option you can take. You could make a cast of the Luke head. Make a silicon mold of the head first, then pour some resin into the mold. Before the the resin sets, insert the Obi Wan neck post into the mold and hold it place until the resin sets. Its like making a popcicle or a lollypop. It is a bit safer than messing with xacto blades or rotoray tools. Just my two cents.

Jedi_Master_Ben
"When I first started, I was just a learner. Now I Am The Master Sculptor!" - Jedi_Master_Ben

Offline Mitsukara

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Ooh, interesting! I've never actually used nor seen these molds (except on television), but I find the prospect interesting.

That would also be a good way to get more mileage out of your Luke head if it really kept the details! I can just imagine a bunch of figures sporting a DJ Luke-style head. And the tempting ideas expand from there...

I'm curious, is there any chance this would preserve the neck articulation at all? Like, maybe the mold would set, but maybe not stick to the plastic/be detachable from the plastic?

So many methods, so little experience and means. Hmm...

Offline Errex

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You don't actually NEED a Dremel (or any other name brand rotary tool). What you certainly could use are the BITS they sell for the thing. They can be found loose or as part of sets from stores like Sears, Walmart, Home Depot and such.

For the sort of project you mention (hollowing a head for a ball joint), I normally drill a hole with a regular drill bit that is as close (but not quite) as thick as the ball of the neck. Then I insert one of those ball shaped dremel bits (one that most closely matches the size of the neck ball), all the way in and then turn it manually.

This will give you better control of what you are doing and reduce the risk of ruining/melting/losing the figure's head.

You will be needing a collet to hold the dremel bits, but most hobby shops will have a suitable pin vise if you ask around.

Offline jedipurge

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very good ideas and i think everybody has already dished out about every option you're going to be able to use.  have you thought about using the kit fisto body though.  it would be a lot less work, and the body doesn't have as mush artic. as the pilot obi, but it's a good body none the less.  as far as molding a colar don't forget that dj luke has long hair going on in the back and might effect articulation if you make the colar too high.  i had that problem when i attached a dj luke head to the AOTC anakin secret ceremony body, his hair was in the way w/the back of the shirt and wouldn't fit in the neck hole right.  good luck and can't wait to see the results.
Harmless is the most dangerous of perceptions, you never expect it to strike.-Purge

Offline Mitsukara

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I just now got to check this thread again, so sorry if my response is a bit tardy. I looked into the Kit Fisto figure, though, and I'm really impressed! He seems to have a pretty nicely sculpted body, nothing too crazy about his tunic (at one point, actually, I thought about using an Anakin Secret Ceremony body, but I decided to hold it back as a next-to-last-ditch option because of his hands and the windblown-looking tunic). His articulation is great too; I don't mind the traditional swivel waist, his arms are just as good as Obi Wan's, and he has ball-jointed knees. I imagine he can still do some pretty great poses leg-wise without the ankle joints, just as long as he's carefully balanced or has a stand. For that matter, if I really felt the urge once I had the figure in my hands, I could still buy an Obi Wan and swap legs, too, but these legs look pretty good and I'd probably keep them. Though, it would give me an excuse to buy the TSC version and get the cloth cloak, too...

At the moment, I kinda think I want to aim for using one of these. I found a nice, so-far well priced (a day and five hours can change everything of course) eBay auction for four ROTS figures I don't have, one of which is Kit Fisto and two others are ones I really wanted (C3PO and Tarkin), so if it doesn't get insanely high or anything I'll be bidding. I'll have to replan my other spending a bit, but two great figures and a real start on my Luke kitbash is too tempting to pass up.

My one question, though, is how Kit Fisto's neck articulation works- it seems to be a swivel but he seems to have a weird kind of neck post as well! I don't want to get anyone upset or anything, (I know there's some kind of tension, but not much about the specifics), so I hope it's okay to link to a picture from Rebelscum.com's photo archive of a disassembled Kit Fisto:

http://www.rebelscum.com/ROTS/rots0522kitfistoparts.jpg

Maybe the neck "stick" there could be cut out and Luke's head would stay in as long as you don't hold the figure upside down? Or perhaps I could still fashion some kind of insert to hold it in a little better? Hmm... anyone know the mechanics of this figure firsthand (or secondhand even)?

Anyway, I'm sorry that every post I've made in this thread seems to ask another question, but I very much appreciate all of your input and suggestions, and you've given me a lot of good ideas to potentially try. I feel a lot more confident about trying to make the figure I want now, and I'll be sure to post once I have some results! (eventually...)

Offline Smartypants1635

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if your hole you drill into the neck is small enough (it will still look like a potf and not a ball joint) and then place it on the tab on the Kit it will slide on with a bit of force stil reatain the ability to move back and forth. Chewie did a thread on this.

Chewie remember it was the one where the witch was all my precious and was holdingyour dremel? that would be perfect tutorial for this question.

Offline Mitsukara

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All right! I've got my Kit Fisto figure in hand now, so I'm nearly ready to begin.

Toying around with the figure, I discovered I can somewhat easily remove and reinsert the stick that holds Kit's head on. This makes me think perhaps instead of drilling a hole, I could maybe insert the head as-is (less likely, and it would require me to somehow crack the torso because the hole's way too small for the disc of a POTF2 head to fit into)- but on the other hand I could maybe cut off Luke's neckpost and part of Kit's neck post and glue the Luke head onto the Kit post, since the way it's inserted I'm fairly sure it could turn. I should probably use epoxy rather than superglue if I try to do that, and if it doesn't work I've messed up Luke pretty badly and will probably wind up gluing the head in permanently facing forward....

Furthermore, the way I think these ball-joints work, can arms be popped out the same way a neck post could be popped out? That way I should be able to crack the torso, which would be helpful.

Of course, I could try to get a drill and try to attach Luke's head to Kit's peg via drilling a hole in Luke's neck, as suggested; I don't know if this would be more or less likely to work than the cut-and-glue method.

One side issue- I figured out why Kit Fisto has his last name, it seems. The hands aren't really bad or anything, but they're about 1 1/2 times the size of most Saga Collection and ROTS hands. They're slightly bigger than a POTF2 Lando's hands, and slightly smaller than most Vader hands. I think in one sense it could be passable- especially on the right hand which should be painted glossy black because of his glove- but does anyone think this will look ridiculous? I could try to "hand-swap" with another figure if such a thing is possible...

In any case, I need some testors dullcote and some paints, so I'll be trying to get that next weekend when I shop out-of-town.

Which reminds me of a another quesiton: to paint ball-joints and hands, do you typically pop them out, or just try to paint without getting it where you don't want it, or what exactly? Most of Kit's colors could be left alone if they need to be, but I'd love to repaint his robes to this color scheme I've thought up for Luke (kind of a mix of his ROTJ all-black scheme with some Anakin-esque dark browns, with white on the neck), and I really need to paint those hands. Luke can't very well have big green hands, right?