Customs: Good cheap joints for big figures.

Discussion in 'Creative General Discussion' started by Berser Car, Dec 19, 2018.

  1. Berser Car

    Berser Car Well-Known Member

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    I am an aspiring customizer from a country where brand toys are really expensive (I could buy 180kg of bananas with the cost of a Studio Series leader at any local toy store). So a goal of mine is to create all my scratch builds using only junk parts and cheap chinese toys.
    I get my joints and hinges from lego clones and bionicle clones (bioniclones?) and those are good enough for small figures. But among my future projects I have leader or even bigger sized figures, and I feel those joints may not be strong enough to hold the weight of parts that big.
    As I don't plan to cut any big Transformers or Zoids toy for parts, I am looking for suggestions for cheap alternatives, be them stuff from the craft store, hardware store, or cheap toys that are known for very firm joints.
    Or maybe I should just try to make the fake lego joints stronger with floor polish?
     
  2. Vagrent

    Vagrent Member

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    I am looking for something as well. Bionicle can support minor joints like elbows or wrists but shoulders and hips need ratchets. Right now I'm scavenging joints from old cybertron figures like Quickmix. I'm considering two alternatives: 1) order some cheap CW Voyager KO's from china that would have some (about 4 each) or 2) get some 2 part silicon and make molds of the types of ratchets I want. Then cast them in resin.

    The first can be expensive even with KOs. The second isn't cheap either given the price of Silicon and Resin casting kits, and there will be trial and error to boot. In the long run it might be cheaper and end up with a larger variety. I wish there were something like gunpla polycap kits but for ratchet joints - springs are cheap to buy.

    I was also looking at hobby gear sets, but the teeth on those are not meant to slip like TF ratchets. If I find something, I'll let you know.
     
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  3. EpsilonEta

    EpsilonEta Well-Known Member

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    I don't know exactly how strong joints you need but Lego have some relativly strong ratcheted ones. As Lego sets are very expensive, espesially if you only want a few parts, the solution is bricklink. Its a website where people sell individuall Lego elements and many stores ship worldwide.
    The joints I would recomend are the ones using a 47455, it also need two pieces like 48169 and 48171 but there are a few of them and as you don't care about stud-orientation or lengths you can get the cheepest pieces.
    Still they don't cost that much (if you get the normal colors) and you might be better of finding a store that ship cheaply to where you are.
    If this sounds like a good idea I can help you navigate the site and find a good store.

    There's also individual Gundam joints but I don't know much about them.
     
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  4. Vagrent

    Vagrent Member

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    So I went out hunting for more bionacle at my local thrift store and came across a pack with a bunch of those exact ratchets. They are definitely strong enough for voyager shoulders and hips - probably leaders as well.
    20181229_232901.jpg

    In one of the packs were these ball and socket from the newer Star Wars sets. Aside from a few different pieces I figured it was just some updated bionacle, but I noticed the hips seemed more sturdy. I tested them out with some shoddy science and sure enough they held a lot more weight than the regular bionacle sockets. I took a closer look...
    20181229_232916.jpg
    Notice that black dot on the grey one? That's a little nub of black rubber! It's enough to add enough friction to support 4* times the weight of the regular ones. For my build I think I'll use those for the shoulders, and the ratchets for the hips.

    *(number pulled out of my ass, based on a congo line of pieces added to the end of the socket before it started to slip)
     
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  5. EpsilonEta

    EpsilonEta Well-Known Member

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    Cool. I havent got the star wars figures or new Bionicals so I didnt know about that. I might have to try it tho. Here it is 98613c01 if you planed to order.
    I am familiar with rubber pads to increase friction in balljoints but the pieces I use are very rare, thats why I didnt recomend them. Nice that you found an alternative and ratchets in the hips with friction balljoints in the sholders sound like a good idea.
    Good luck with your projects
     
  6. Berser Car

    Berser Car Well-Known Member

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    You are helpihng me a lot, guys. Thank you.
    Star Wars lego items are on sale in a store chain in my city. I will probably still skip. But if each character set had several of these rubber friction balljoins, I would consider them. I wonder how hard it would be to add some rubber to common balljoints.

    Those ratchets look good. I will look for sets with them. Does anybody know if Cogo uses those pieces in some sets? While it's not the cheapest Lego clone around here, it can be found in lots of stores, so if I know what to look for it would be worth it (as long as I find an use for the rest of the parts of the set, of course)
     

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