Thursday, July 7, 2016

1/6 Scale Dolls: Hands With Moving Fingers

Dolls generally include fixed pose hands. The fingers and thumbs can't be moved individually, or more like they can't be moved at all. If you want to have the dolls making different gestures, you have to buy hands in specific shapes.

While the following isn't a complete solution to the above issue, if you can think of the result as the character wearing gloves or the character is a robot girl, then there are a lot of poses you can have your 1/6 scale doll perform.

Recommended tools and supplies:
  • plastic model nippers / flush cutters
  • hobby knife
  • sandpaper
  • (optional) metal file
  • (optional) rotary tool
  • super glue

To the left is the product I used for this project. It's basically a plastic model kit of robot hands. If you live in Japan, you can buy this from many places. Since you're reading this, odds are you don't; you can buy this online from Hobbylink Japan or Amiami (1) (2).

This kit includes "F hands" and "G hands". The G hands are for making fixed pose clenched fists. If you want hand articulation, you will build the F hands.

The doll I use as the model in the photos below has an Obitsu 27 body. The pegs don't quite fit into the wrist holes in the arms so they need to be cut or sanded down. While you don't need fancy electrical tools, having something is definitely much easier than being a cheapskate like me. Using a hobby knife, sandpaper, and a metal file like me can get the job done but using a rotary tool will be much easier and faster. My recommendation is to buy some kind of rotary tool. The tool doesn't have to be expensive or industrial grade; just hobby grade.

You can buy a hobby grade cordless router from Volks USA, Amiami, Hobbylink Japan, or Hobby Search.

Left: unmodified wrist peg
Right: modified wrist peg

The hands have small parts but aren't difficult to build. sanding down the pegs is recommended before assembly. Test the size of the pegs with the wrist holes. If the pegs feel too tight, then sand them down some more. If the pegs are too loose, that's when the super glue comes in. Add drops of super glue to the pegs and don't let the glue touch anything else. Wait several minutes for the glue to dry. When the glue is no longer sticky, test fit the pegs in the wrist holes. If the pegs still feel loose, then remove the pegs and add more drops of super glue. Repeat until the pegs' tightness in the arms feel just right. Once you get there, continue to assemble the hands.

If you think this is a great idea and would like to implement it with your 60cm-class ball jointed dolls, your only options are to scratch build similar hands (which I might do in future and then make a post about it on this blog) or to use hands from a 1/60 scale Gundam. The latter option is cost prohibitive just to get the hands and if you're not into building robots, that's a huge waste of money. :/

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