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Neck Connector Adjustment Tutorials (updated with Part II - June 2019)

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GubernatorFan

GubernatorFan
Founding Father
This first post will serve as a table of contents for the various solutions posted below.

Part I in post 2 below (replacement for a neck connector that is too loose in the head cavity)
Part II in post 13 below (fixing a head connector that is too loose in the head cavity)


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ThePhotogsBlog

ThePhotogsBlog
Part I

Making a neck connector from a Staedtler art eraser.  It works to solve two problems:  

1. Ball joint on the skeleton is too small for standard neck connector and :  

2.  Neck connector is very loose in the head and you don't want to glue it.  

11 - Neck Connector Adjustment Tutorials (updated with Part II - June 2019) 48135019917_4d77535dfc_b IMG_2993 by Gary  Menten , on Flickr

Here's what you'll need.  

1. Soft plastic art eraser such as the Staedtler line.

2. X-Acto knife with #11 blade.

3. drugstore type sandpaper nail files.  

4. drill bits of appropriate sizes.  

5.  small, round or semi-round file.  

11 - Neck Connector Adjustment Tutorials (updated with Part II - June 2019) 48135019677_850eccdc3a_b IMG_2995 by Gary  Menten , on Flickr

1.  Place a plastic neck connector on the eraser to measure how much you have to cut from the eraser. Cut carefully and slowly; the blade wanders easily.


11 - Neck Connector Adjustment Tutorials (updated with Part II - June 2019) 48134925176_2bd2796f4a_b IMG_2997 by Gary  Menten , on Flickr

2.  Using the neck connector to measure in length now, trim off the excess length with the knife.  



11 - Neck Connector Adjustment Tutorials (updated with Part II - June 2019) 48134956613_624ed6dbdf_b IMG_2999 by Gary  Menten , on Flickr

Using your hobby knife, cut the corners off the block of plastic so as to have an octagonal shape.  Your geometry does not need to be perfect here.  Test the fit into the head as you go along. You want it to be snug.


3. Using your file, sand the corners of your octagon to get them as even as possible then take your hobby knife and start a pilot hole for the drill bits. Using a succession of drill bits bits, dill a progressively larger hole into the center of the adapter. Drill all the way to the end.  Be careful to keep your "tunnel" as straight as possible.  Using a hobby knife, bevel both ends of the tunnel, leaving the middle tighter.  The lower bevel helps to insert the ballhead without breaking the soft plastic and the top bevel gives it a bit of space to breathe, so to speak after you've pushed the ball joint all the way through.  

11 - Neck Connector Adjustment Tutorials (updated with Part II - June 2019) 48134956428_bcc8c298bd_b IMG_3005 by Gary  Menten , on Flickr

4.  Carefully place the connector on the ball head and pull it down with your fingers wrapped around it.  when placed it should look like in the photo. You are now ready to put the head on the figure.  If you've fitted it properly to the head, friction will keep it in place and the walls of the hole in the head should help keep it from breaking, as should the top bevel.  I can pick up this figure by the head and the body will not fall off.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask me .

Stryker2011

Stryker2011
Founding Father
Interesting technique, and sounds like a great option. Thanks for sharing.


_________________
Mark

He who dies with the most toys wins!

11 - Neck Connector Adjustment Tutorials (updated with Part II - June 2019) TCFITBi

ThePhotogsBlog

ThePhotogsBlog
Stryker2011 wrote:Interesting technique, and sounds like a great option. Thanks for sharing.

You are quite welcome. I'm not saying it's the best solution out there; I'm sure there some I don't even know about, but it works for me.

skywalkersaga

skywalkersaga
Thanks for this! Female headsculpts falling off and/or not staying in the position I want them to is a huge problem for me so I might just try this out (after my insane house move is over).


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"The happy ending of the fairy tale, the myth, and the divine comedy of the soul, is to be read,
not as a contradiction, but as a transcendence of the universal tragedy of man."

Focusing on the Prequels, Clone Wars, and Original Trilogy eras (NO 'sequels', thanks!)
https://the-far-bright-center.tumblr.com/

ThePhotogsBlog

ThePhotogsBlog
skywalkersaga wrote:Thanks for this! Female headsculpts falling off and/or not staying in the position I want them to is a huge problem for me so I might just try this out (after my insane house move is over).

You are quite welcome.

GubernatorFan

GubernatorFan
Founding Father
Thank you for the detailed and well-illustrated tutorial and starting off this thread. It looks like a very good solution.


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ThePhotogsBlog

ThePhotogsBlog
GubernatorFan wrote:Thank you for the detailed and well-illustrated tutorial and starting off this thread. It looks like a very good solution.

Quite welcome. I find that this is the best solution I know of for when the ball head is too small for the adapter as it is on the TB League S24-S27, though I am using it here on an S28 where the ball head fit the adapter but the adapter was too loose in the head sculpt. I could have glued the adapter to the head sculpt of course, but preferred to avoid this if possible.

GubernatorFan

GubernatorFan
Founding Father
ThePhotogsBlog wrote:Quite welcome.  I find that this is the best solution I know of for when the ball head is too small for the adapter as it is on the TB League S24-S27, though I am using it here on an S28 where the ball head fit the adapter but the adapter was too loose in the head sculpt. I could have glued the adapter to the head sculpt of course, but preferred to avoid this if possible.  

For various practical reasons I am firm opponent of neck adaptors being glued to the head, so I'm completely with you on that.


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ThePhotogsBlog

ThePhotogsBlog
GubernatorFan wrote:
ThePhotogsBlog wrote:Quite welcome.  I find that this is the best solution I know of for when the ball head is too small for the adapter as it is on the TB League S24-S27, though I am using it here on an S28 where the ball head fit the adapter but the adapter was too loose in the head sculpt. I could have glued the adapter to the head sculpt of course, but preferred to avoid this if possible.  

For various practical reasons I am firm opponent of neck adaptors being glued to the head, so I'm completely with you on that.


I found the Staedtler art erasers to have just the right properties for easy cutting and sanding as well as enough flexibility to pass the ball joint through the "tunnel" without causing it to split, as long as you don't do it too many times. The beveling of the openings is something I only thought of after having made some adapters that did eventually split over time and repeatedly removing the head.  Still, these things are very cheap and easy to make and easy to replace as needed.

In my next tutorial, I'll explain how I removed the soft rubber feet off an S09 and replaced them with prosthetic ones made of wood, glue and epoxy putty. They don't look at all human, so I have keep her in boots all the time, but now at least, she can stand up on her own without support.

Stryker2011

Stryker2011
Founding Father
I’m looking forward to seeing the floppy foot tutorial.


_________________
Mark

He who dies with the most toys wins!

11 - Neck Connector Adjustment Tutorials (updated with Part II - June 2019) TCFITBi

ThePhotogsBlog

ThePhotogsBlog
Stryker2011 wrote:I’m looking forward to seeing the floppy foot tutorial.

It was something I thought through for months before attempting the fix.  Maybe that's why it worked.  The price you pay for this conversion however is that henceforth, your figure will have to wear boots that go past the ankle. Since I wanted to use this figure as part of my post apocalyptic range, this did not pose any problems for me.

GubernatorFan

GubernatorFan
Founding Father
Part II

Here is an alternative to the neck connector being too loose inside the head cavity solution presented in Part I (post 2) above. Again, this works if your head sits fine on the connector height-wise, but the connector is very loose inside the head. I will let my little helpers do the talking...

11 - Neck Connector Adjustment Tutorials (updated with Part II - June 2019) Nca0110

11 - Neck Connector Adjustment Tutorials (updated with Part II - June 2019) Nca0210

11 - Neck Connector Adjustment Tutorials (updated with Part II - June 2019) Nca0310

Hope this was useful. (Yes, I know it looks like her head sits too high up in that last photo, but that's because of the angle, I promise -- and if it were a problem, that would be solved in another post.) Smile


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chrisinbama


I've been using blue tac for this. (I've even used Silly Putty) It seems great at first, but then it's such a mess. I remove the heads from time to time, so it's too soft to stay the right shape for all time. I'm ready to try something else. I didn't anticipate having quite so many issues with these figures. Hands, feet, heads/necks...clothes, shoes. OMG! And don't get me started on the HAIR! I saw your other post about the sugar and water. I will have to try that...I'm at the end of my rope with the hair!

skywalkersaga

skywalkersaga
Oh goodness, I feel your pain, chrisinbama. When I first started out, it was truly overwhelming. So many 'moving parts', as they say. So many things to consider. That's exactly what these forums are here for, so please ask as many questions as you need! 

And your struggles with the 1/6 scale hair are most certainly a mirror of my own! I still have issues with this. But I'm trying to get up the courage to try some tibetan lamb hair rooting/glueing soon. 

Btw, if you are going to use the sugar and water, I would only suggest doing so on the synthetic hair. It's better not to use anything sticky like that on the real/natural fibers like tibetan lamb hair. I've had success using a non-flaking hair gel on the tibetan lamb hair wigs that I've used, that generally can help with smoothing flyaways and keeping a light hold on certain hairstyles. It's not extremely strong though, but it does help a little. The links that Stryker shared with you in the other thread will have more info on the score though. 


P.S. I think I somehow missed these back when you posted them, GF! I've indeed tried the tape and foam method, though only as a temporary thing when I needed to keep the head still while repainting it. I agree with chrisinbama that using blu tac is not ideal, as it doesn't really keep the head steady in one pose and isn't very safe/reliable. I've had heads try to pop off when using blu tac, eek! So the foam inserts are much better idea.


_________________
"The happy ending of the fairy tale, the myth, and the divine comedy of the soul, is to be read,
not as a contradiction, but as a transcendence of the universal tragedy of man."

Focusing on the Prequels, Clone Wars, and Original Trilogy eras (NO 'sequels', thanks!)
https://the-far-bright-center.tumblr.com/

chrisinbama


Thank you SWS! I'd been so discouraged that I'd set all my figures aside for a while. But I finally just received my final one. This project has been a saga, let me tell you! But now I'm excited to pick it back up again and get this hair situation sorted out. If I can resolve the hair to a livable degree, I'll be happy! Then the only issue I'll have is with my one extra tall boy. He is just so much taller than the others that it doesn't look natural. And of course, there are no clothes out there for him. I think I can get something worked out about that...so for now I'm just going to concentrate on this hair disaster!

I thank everyone for their input!

Stryker2011

Stryker2011
Founding Father
It’s easy to get overwhelmed and feel discouraged, but remember to just take your time, take a step back, as you said, and realize that a lot of this hobby (if you are going to customize your own figures) is a LOT of trial and error. We all started in the same place you are, and some have had better success than others. Just realize, it’s not a competition, and have fun.


_________________
Mark

He who dies with the most toys wins!

11 - Neck Connector Adjustment Tutorials (updated with Part II - June 2019) TCFITBi

GubernatorFan

GubernatorFan
Founding Father
skywalkersaga wrote:P.S. I think I somehow missed these back when you posted them, GF! I've indeed tried the tape and foam method, though only as a temporary thing when I needed to keep the head still while repainting it. I agree with chrisinbama that using blu tac is not ideal, as it doesn't really keep the head steady in one pose and isn't very safe/reliable. I've had heads try to pop off when using blu tac, eek! So the foam inserts are much better idea.

Oh yes, the foamies are just so handy and easy to use. Short of yanking the figure while holding it by the head, they are also a reasonably strong connection -- provided you used enough/thick enough material. The tape can be used if you want to employ a plastic inside neck connector and it is just a little too thin -- here the idea is that you need a thin material of which you can add a custom amount; for that, it is perfect.

PS Glad you found this Star Wars content. Smile


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