Pin Removal by: Lobo Here are the basic practices I use for removing pins when making custom Transformers. Before you start your project the first thing to do is realize that not all pins NEED to be removed. Sometimes it is better to tape off parts than trying to break them down into a bunch of pieces and risk damaging them. Remember, whatever pins you take out, you'll have to put back in when your projects done. Sometimes this can more of a pain than its worth. For this article I’ll show you 2 techniques for removing the pins from the arms of Alternators Smokescreen. The first is the basic tapping the pin out method on the elbow pin (Pin 1). The second, developed by Dark Lord Prime, is a more advanced method of heating the pin up for removal. I’ll show using this method on the wheel pin (Pin 2). Basic Method: Tapping the Pin Out To begin you’ll need a few things: a finishing nail, a hammer, a block of wood, and patience. In the picture, there are several things you can use for tapping out the pin. An old small nail, and old pin from another project, or a 1/16” drill bit that broke with the end ground down. Use what you have available to you. The first thing to look for is what side of the pin you want to remove it from. One side of the pin has a checkered end that locks it into the plastic (Sometime it's in the middle, but it's usually the ends). The plastic around the checkered end usually looks a lot rougher than the smooth side. Once you find the clean side, you want to push the pin out from this direction. Place the rough side as tightly as you can against the block. This is sometimes tricky, especially with the certain molds, so you might have to use a good corner of the block. And if anyone you know than can help, it's handy to have someone hold the part against the block. Then place the finishing nail against the pin on the clean side, and gently tap, DON'T HIT, the pin. You might want to hammer down the point of the nail just a bit to give it a flatter surface. The pin will usually start moving on the first tap. If it doesn’t, or you have to hit the pin pretty hard, it usually means your pushing from the wrong direction. Flip the part over and try from the other side. Just keep tapping the pin out until you see the checkered area and have enough of the pin exposed to grab onto with a pair of pliers. Finally, use the pliers to pull the pin all the way out. I've done it many times and it works like a charm. And you're done! Advanced Method: Hot Pin Technique This method works very well for pins that have a head on them such as wheel pins or pins that can not be pushed out from one side. !!!!!There are some precautions to take before using this method: wear gloves, don’t have anything flammable on your desk, and be careful wear you sit the iron down. This method heats the pin up to the point where the plastic around it melts and the pin will be extremely hot when you’re finished.!!!! If you don’t feel comfortable using this method, DON’T! If you’re doing a simple repaint, it’s easier and safer just to mask off the wheels. Remember, Not all pins need to be removed. With that said, the first step is to place the hot soldering iron tip on the head of the pin. Be careful not to touch the tip against the plastic. It’ll melt it very quickly! Leave the iron tip on the pin for about 30-40 seconds. Then grab the wheel and try to pull it off. If it doesn’t move, try for another 30-40 seconds. Eventually you’ll heat the pin up until it comes off. Most likely the wheel will pop and the pin will remain. Don’t worry! The wheel plastic around the pin heated up until it became pliable enough to go over the head of the pin. When it cools back down, it usually retains it original shape. It can even be used again! Then you’ll want to heat the pin up with the iron again following the same procedure as above This time use pliers to remove the pin. Be careful because the pin will be extremely hot! Using the pliers, place the pin in the water for about 30 seconds before you set it down. And you’re done! To reinstall the pins, place the pins back in the part and tap in with a hammer. Use the same tool you used for tapping the pin out to set the pin.