Customs: Question about pins in Classic seekers

Discussion in 'Creative General Discussion' started by Ruination04, Nov 27, 2007.

  1. Ruination04

    Ruination04 8 Years Old Since 1984!

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    I am trying to take apart my Classics Starscream to repaint it. How do you get the pins out without damaging the toy and be able to replace them later? I have gotten all the screws out and have it broken down into legs, arms, torso, wings, & nosecone area. I am mainly wanting to get the back fins off to paint them.
     
  2. ShadowStitch

    ShadowStitch vectoring the hate plague

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    Personally, I use a needlenose tip for my soldering iron, and very carefully, gently heat up the pin... then push it out with a small screwdriver or other small metal rod.

    The problem is that one end of the pin is always ribbed to hold it in place, the other end is not, so if you try to push the pin ribbed-side-first all the way through the hole you'll totally wreck the joint. (no pun intended)

    Sometimes it can be tricky to determine which end is the ribbed one and which is not -- if anyone has any hints for figuring out which is which with greater accuracy, I'd love to hear it.
     
  3. deliciouspeter

    deliciouspeter Back in Black TFW2005 Supporter

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    I would just leave them in.
     
  4. truk999

    truk999 Well-Known Member

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    I've taken apart a few and for most of the joints I've been able to push the pin out with a metal awl (pointy screwdriver looking thing).

    Once I've got the figure down to the stage you're at, I set the pieces on a mouse-pad and line up the awl with the center of the pin and press really hard. The rough end of the pin should come out far enough that you can use a small needle nose to pull it out the rest of the way.

    Generally - there have been a few exceptions - the rough end isn't quite flush with the plastic. To re-interate, you want to push from the smooth side, so the rough end doesn't travel all the way through the joint.

    I have had to use a soldering iron a few times, but generally I don't trust myself with them, so only as a last ditch effort. Unless you're totally afraid of breaking it(hey, they're not getting any cheaper) it does make them a lot easier to paint and/or mod. Once you've got the hang of it, they're actually one of the easier figures to completely disassemble...almost as if Hasbro wanted everyone to have a full set of seekers :wink: 

    Oh yeah, and when you pull the pins out: keep track of where they came from. Each joint uses a different length, so it can be a headache trying to match them up.
     
  5. guarddog8471

    guarddog8471 Well-Known Member

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    I have found that if you use one of the small precision screwdrivers, and a small hammer like a balpin hammer, you can usually tap it right out enough to grab it with needlenose pliers. An awl does work just as well, but be careful. You could split the plastic if you hit it in too far. That is why I recommend the precision screwdriver.

    As for the pin with the rough side, look for the side of the pin that has no marks on it. It looks as smooth as new. That is the side you want to push the pin from. Hit that side, and the rough side will come out first. It takes some looking at the small pin, but it will make the process so much easier. Good luck!
     
  6. SonRay

    SonRay Banned

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    You dont need to remove them. I just repainted one with car paint, i have managed to get in every nook and cranny without removing any pins and theres no chipping. Just take the toy apart as much as possible where it is screwed together.

    Taking the pins out is hard, and risky and totally unnecessary.
     
  7. Ruination04

    Ruination04 8 Years Old Since 1984!

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    My main concern are those rear fins.
    I unscrewed the legs but they don't come apart? What is holding them together? I think it's the pin holding the feet on...
     
  8. Butuman

    Butuman Well-Known Member

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  9. WhiteMocha

    WhiteMocha TFW2005 Supporter

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    I would agree that using a tiny screwdriver and tapping it with a small hammer is the way to go. I've removed a couple pins that way, successfully.

    The problem with heating them with a soldering iron is that if they get too hot, they will melt the plastic around them, widening the hole so that the same pin won't fit back in and you'll need a bigger one.

    One thing I found that really helped was soaking the piece in hot water for a bit. Not boiling water, 'cause that could warp the plastic. Just hot water.... enough to cause the plastic to expand slightly and loosen around the pin. After that, it's a bit easier to tap it out with the screwdriver method.

    Good luck!
     
  10. clay

    clay Well-Known Member

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    First off, buy an awl.

    They have some glue inside them. After you take the screws out, take a hobby knife and tap it into the seam and the glue will break.
     
  11. ShadowStitch

    ShadowStitch vectoring the hate plague

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    If I may be allowed to counterpoint:

    Tapping a pin with a hammer is not always guaranteed to get the pin out easily, especially if it's in there really tightly or you're pushing it out the wrong way. You risk damaging the plastic/paint on these figures when you apply any significant blunt force to it, and since the pins are usually located at joints too delicate or obscured to use a screw, you risk cracking/breaking the hinge completely.

    I also do not recommend boiling any part of a figure unless you absolutely have to, as this can warp plastic and cause plastic to become brittle.

    If you do it correctly, with a little patience, you can remove a pin using a soldering iron, without any adverse reaction. The trick to using a soldering iron is to get one with a very fine needlenose tip, (sharper than the one in the Transtopia tutorial,) like the pencil-thin ones at Fry's, and never go higher than 30w. 15w irons work just fine.

    Only hold the tip of the iron to the pin for a few seconds, no longer than a 15 count, and then gently push on the pin with whatever pointy object you have designated for the purpose. If it doesn't move easily, warm it up a little more and try again. The idea is to apply very localized heat, warm up the pin and by proxy the surrounding plastic holding the pin in place, and ease it out just enough so that you can grab it with pliers. Once the tip is out, let it cool off for a bit, and pull the pin the rest of the way out to avoid damaging the plastic shaft. If you're melting the plastic, you're doing it wrong.

    To put the pin back in when you're done, just reverse the process. push the pin as far in as it will go, then gently warm it and push it back into place. Don't apply too much pressure, as you don't want the iron to slip and gouge a nice molten crater in your figure -- the iron is only there to apply heat, not push the pin.

    If you're careful, you won't ever notice a difference after you're done. I've removed pins both ways, and I must say the soldering iron version is quicker, easier, and less frustrating...not to mention safer for the figure's well-being than wailing on it with a hammer.
     

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