Monday, November 25, 2013

TUTORIAL: Recapitating Babs to Non-Mattel Figures

Head swap picture tutorial (long)

As promised, I am laying it all out for you to explain my method of adapting various heads for swapping. About the only thing I am not covering is Jane figures and Power Team female figures.

Basically, I am covering any type of Barbie head on Svetlana, Joanna Dark, and Cy bodies, and any of their heads on each other's bodies.

So without further ado, lets start by looking at what we're dealing with here...

First picture shows representatives of each style of head we are covering, and their neck hole sizes from smallest to largest. (Note: the Svetlana head has Aki Ross' hair on it)

Now here is a picture of the neck posts we are dealing with. Note that most Barbie types are the same in how the head connects to the body and so this covers just about any fashion doll head swaps too. In short, if its head connects like a Barbie, this method will work.

Please also note how similar the neck posts on the Svetlana, Joanna Dark, and Cy girls are. This allows for a variety of direct swap combinations between these three.

Here are some of those combinations. No modifications are necessary for these swaps. Simply heat the head with either hot water from your microwave, or hot air from a blow dryer. You do this to soften the head so it will come off easier and not put as much of a strain on the thin part of the neck post. Once you have the head off, simply push it down over the neck post and you're done.

Now to put a Barbie style head on any of these bodies, you will have to give it something to hold onto. The holes in the Barbie style heads are too big to grip the flanged phallic part of the neck posts of the Cy's, Joanna, and Svetlana. So basically what we are going to do is make a retaining ring or washer to hold the head on. This procedure does not affect either the head or the neck post in any permanent way, so it is completely reversible.

We start by showing what materials you will need to do this. It is simply a plastic wall anchor, and something sharp to cut with. I am using my little pocket knife. I find that the blue wall anchor size works well, but feel free to experiment.

Step 1 is to cut off the flanged end of the wall anchor. (One thing I have learned while doing this tutorial is that it is better to cut off a little of the shaft of the anchor along with the flanged part to act as a spacer when adapting a Cy or Joanna Dark neck.)

Step 2 shows what it will look like when you have done this. Lay it flat and cut out a little notch from the side of it, so that it looks like a "C" except with a smaller opening.

Step 3 shows how this cut is made, and

Step 4 shows what it will look like.

*Caution: don't cut the notch too big, or it will slip off too easily. Try for a notch opening just a bit smaller than the thinnest part of the neck post. In this picture, I actually cut the notch too big and had to cut another one for the next step.

The next step is to put it on the neck post of the body you wish to put the head on. Step 5 shows the positioning for each of the types of bodies. Note that on the Svetlana neck, you place the retaining flange right between the two flanges of the neck post.

The final step is to put the Barbie style head on the body you are using. Make sure it goes on all the way over the flange so that it will stay on. A tip is to pinch the Barbie head from side to side as you push it down onto the neck. This causes the base of the head to flare out a little and fit over the flange ring better. Step 6 shows what the head looks like when put onto these bodies. For purposes of this demonstration, I used a Palm Beach Lea head for the Barbie style.

This method really is simplicity itself. I hope this tutorial has helped you create the figure of your dreams. Everyone appreciates a gal with a good head on her shoulders!
"It is easier to tread on thin ice than to walk on water!" Adventure Team 2000

Edited by: Cwren at: 3/16/02 10:03:28 pm
Reprinted with permission

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