Twisty-joints 101: How to make them, and make them look decent!
Dammit, Cable's wrist doesn't turn!! How can I
make him hold the bottom of his rifle?!?! ARRGH...
Never fear, Jin is here. Ok, let's jump right into this procedure. What you will need:
A Dremel tool (I suggest buying a $15.00 Dremel Mini-mite at Wal-Mart for action figure work. It's light, portable, recharges in under 3 hours, and has 2 settings for prescision work)
--Exacto knife, or hommy knife with a straight blade.
--Different sizes of small screws and a jewlers screwdriver kit. I get 99% of my small screws out of the backs of old radios, toys, clocks, and random junk. The smaller the better, because you have to fit them inside arms, wrists, and bicepts.
--Different sized, small drill bits, and a Dentist-burr-bit, the bit that looks like a round swirl ontop.
Ok, step one, find out where you want the part to twist. Set up is very important here! You want a part of the arm/leg thick enough on both sides when you cut it to house the base of the screw and the head of the screw. Heat the part with a hairdryer, and slice dead down the middle. Don't get the cut crooked or you'll have a gap when you try to turn the piece. We'll be working on an imaginary Cable figure, so now Cable is missing his hand. Grab your Dremel, measure up the drill bit shaft to the shaft of the screw, and drill a hole in each pice in the dead center. Be careful you don't go through the other end of either peice of plastic, but far enough so that enough of it screws in when you're done.
Now, test-fit the screw in one side. I usually put the screw into the hand first, and leave the head to reside inside the arm.
After you've test-fitted the screw into the plastic, screw it back out, put a dab of SuperGlue on the threads, and work it in 3/4's pf the way. I say 3/4's, but you'll have to judge how far you want the screw head to stick out, because you have to hollow the opposite plastic part that far up to accomodate it.
And now you do just that. Take your Dentist's bur and hollow out a small space 3/4's down into the opposite part. Wait till the superglue dries before you do this, because you want to snap the screw head in while the plastic is still war and flexible from drilling. (use the hairdryer if you need to soften the plastic) When you're hollowing, make sure you get all the excess shavings out of the "mushroom hole", and that you don't drill right through the walls of the plastic. I'd suggest to practice a few times on some arm or leg you don't want. Now pop the screw head into the mushroom-hole you've just made, and give it a turn.
Cable's wrist turns now! Now if Cable's wrist do not turn, you may have to force the screw back out, resize the hole, or do it over again. Keep in mind this art takes practice, and finding a good screw with not-too-big a head is crucial. With practice, you can make spinning wrists/bicepts/legs/feet, even heads to any action figures ranging from Star-Wars size to 12"ers.