CAF: 101 – “HEAD SWAPS: ADAPTING LINES” – TUTORIAL TUESDAY

head swaps

CUSTOM ACTION FIGURES: 101 – “HEAD SWAPS: ADAPTING LINES” – TUTORIAL TUESDAY
By Rob Panick

Welcome back to CAF: 101. This week we’re going to learn how to swap out action figure heads across toy lines and make a head with a larger neck hole fit onto a neck with a smaller ball.

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To begin with, here’s a list of the tools and materials you will need:
LOW TEMP HOT GLUE GUN & GLUE STICK
PETROLEUM JELLY OR CHAP STICK
DRILL BIT THE SAME SIZE AS THE SMALLER NECK BALL (if the head sits too high on the neck)

To begin with, set the head on the neck of the figure you want to swap it on to. If it sits at the right height, you can move on to the next step. If the head sits too tall on the neck (causing “giraffe neck’), take your drill bit and drill out a little bit into the center of the neck hole so that the head sits at the proper height. *This is the part where like I always advise, it’s a good idea to practice this on an old figure first. If the head sits too low on the neck, don’t worry. You will be able to adjust it to the height you want in the next steps.

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Next, dip the neck ball of your figure into petroleum jelly or coat it with chap stick. This will prevent the glue from sticking to the neck ball and neck of your figure. You can clean it off after you’re done with alcohol.

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Now we’re going to take our donor head and fill the neck hole about ½ to ¾ of the way with our hot glue.

applying glue

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Place it on the neck of your figure at the level you want it and hold it in place for about 30 seconds for the glue to start to set. One the glue fully dries, you will be able to pop the head on and off, just like a factory made head. If you mess up and don’t get the head at the right height, it’s as simple as pulling the glue out of the head with a pair of needle nose pliers and doing it again. Too easy! As I always say, practice this technique and before you know it, it will become second nature!

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Here’s my video tutorial on swapping heads.

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