Sunday, January 8, 2012

Tutorial MH03: Putting kit parts on a basic doll

I'm not interested in the parts in the big Monster High Create-A-Monster kits and really not feeling the price tag for a torso that doesn't even match. So I got my paws on a stained Frankie 2.0 and a Spectra for the Bee kit and Skeleton kit.

The goals here are to use the lower legs from the kits, as well as the arms, but the Bee had damaged hands I wasn't that fond of, so I'm also modding Frankie's hand to fit the kit arms.

Tools you need are an Xacto knife or some similarly thin bladed box cutter. Optionally, you can use Epoxy to build up the leg and hand posts, which I will demonstrate.

First things first, you're going to cut along the seam on the back of the thighs to pull the lower leg out.

By far the hardest part is pulling out the lower legs. If possible get someone to help. I used cheap thin tweezers to wedge into the opening to push them apart while my sister pulled on the leg. The cheap tweezers bent all up, but did far less damage in the end then some of the other tools I tried to wedge in there. The front seam will split but its unnoticeable and easy to repair.

As you can see the post on the kit leg is longer. Inside the basic girls' thigh is a stop you could cut. The indent in the kit post I'm pretty sure would hit there. I, however, choose to not take the leg completely apart so there's less to repair on the outside. So take your blade and cut the top section off where the indent is on the kit post.

The problem now is that the kit post is the same width as the middle of the regular post. You can cut into the post at the same placement as the basic leg, but the leg will be loose. One option is to glue the leg in, but then you can't turn the leg.

I wanted a bit more stability, so I decided to use Epoxy to build up the post a bit. Epoxy can be found in the adhesive section of your local hardware store or online. I used Kwik-Plastk since I didn't have any Milliput around. Just mix up a small amount and put it on the entire post. I made a few cuts in the kit post to give the epoxy something to hold onto.

The post on the basic leg I cut down so I could see how I the epoxy needed to be cut to make the leg removable. I also rubbed epoxy into the cuts on the back of the legs. This body will be painted so I wasn't as concerned about colour match. If you aren't painting it over you can use nail acrylic to patch it.

Let the epoxy dry for a while until its really hard. You just carefully cut down the epoxy and keep testing it in the thigh to see when it fits well enough to move, but not fall out.

You don't need much at all since the post is already close in size, you just need to build up the top mostly to hold the leg in. I used similar technique on the hand posts to build them up to fit. That hands do need more epoxy to fit since the posts on the basic hands are a lot smaller than the ones in the kit. The peg length however is the same.

Now the arms themselves are easy to do. The post on the kit arms is only slightly longer the the post on the basic arm.

Step one is to trim down the kit arm post to match in length. You only need to trim about half that top section. Trim down the post a little at a time. If you cut too much you can build it back up with epoxy, but who wants to do that?

Then all you have to do is put all the parts on the basic body.

Ta da! This body still needs to be painted before I put the head on and I need to cut holes in the back for the Bee wings. I did finish my Spectra/skeleton kit girl though.

I only used half the parts for this one because I wanted to make Ingrid Visible, daughter of the Invisible Man. She just has trouble staying visible. All parts are still removable in case I ever feel the need to put them back together, though I wouldn't recommend swapping pieces a lot or the epoxy may come off.

Enjoy all the new dolls you make!

1 comment:

  1. Howdy! Just wanted to let you know this tutorial was super helpful to me. I used it to repair the leg of one of my favorite dolls. I included a link to it in this post on my blog: