How to lengthen partsAugust 26, 2014 at 16:56 | Posted in How-to | 1 Comment
Tags: customize, How-to, plaplate
Ever noticed that some parts of your
body gunpla feel a bit short? Well worry no more. With a few tools & materials, you can extend any part of your gunpla to your heart’s desire. Most of what I describe below applies to 1/144 HG kits. While it’s theoretically applicable to MG or RG kits, the presence of the inner frame will most likely complicate matters.
First, you need the following tools & materials:
- Styrene sheet/plaplate: The raw material for lengthening parts. Use >1mm thick ones for more effectiveness
- Modelling saw: Get one with a good grip
- Cement/glue: Standard modelling cement
- Putty: Polyester and/or basic putty to fill gaps
- Marker: Fine tip marker for labeling
- Hobby cutter//hobby blade//file//sandpaper: For trimming excess plastic
The premise is pretty simple: attach the plaplate sheet to the part you want to lengthen. I tend do it for the limbs (arms & legs) and the lower abdomen, but there’s no limit to what you can do. There’s two ways to approach this, depending on the part to be elongated.
1) Terminal extension
This method applies if the part to be lengthened has a flat, even surface at either end. For example the waist or bicep parts. In this case one can simply glue the plaplate at one end. The plaplate doesn’t have to be the exact same size with the original part.
Once the glue has dried, trim the excess plastic using a hobby cutter or blade. If the plaplate covers a hole that is needed for a ball joint or peg, simply make a new hole on the plaplate using a drill or blade. Keep in mind that you might also need to extend the peg where the part will be attached to.
2) Cut and paste
For situations where it is not possible to attach the plaplate to the end of the part, it may be necessary to cut the said part in half and glue the plaplate in the middle.
This method requires a little planning beforehand. First, identify the position to cut; it’s going to be where the plaplate will be attached. Then draw some lines that go across the cutting line using a marker. This alignment line will be used to align the two parts after the plaplate is attached. Refer to the figure below:
Use the modelling saw to cut the part in half, following the cutting line. Then glue the plaplate at one end of the cut part, like so:
Next, glue the other half to it, making sure to align the parts along the alignment line. If everything went well, it should look like this:
The next course of action would be to trim the excess plaplate using the tool of your choice. If there are visible gaps between the parts, just fill them up with polyester or basic putty.
It may sound like a daunting task, but if done right, it can make a significant difference on how your pla model will look. Practice makes perfect, so try it on some experimental unit to get the hang of it. Good luck…