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Hot Water to reshape figures


I need your advice.

Linear-A elevated our collections of Carthaginian armies to a new level, by giving us Hannibal himself, sitting on an elephant.

PSR writes: 'If you make him sit on the seat however his legs are too close together to properly sit, so some trimming or hot water will be required to make that work properly.'

To do this with Linear-A/Strelets figurines, how hot should the water be, and for how long do I need to hold the figure in place? Do I cool it immediately in ice water, or does the plastic get brittle that way?

What has worked for you?

Thank you for your help!

Re: Hot Water to reshape figures

It's a case of some trial and error Jan. When I employ the hot then cold water technique I tend to have water which is only just bearable to put your finger in ie: steaming slightly, but certainly not boiling. I hold the figure or part-of-figure in tweezers in the water, and may use a second set of tweezers to manipulate the limb while it is still submerged: I count to 10 slowly, then take the figure from the water and place it in cold water immediately, or as quickly as possible if further 'bending' of the limb is required. It sounds a bit fiddly, but it works.

Re: Hot Water to reshape figures

Depending on how easy it is to manipulate the plastic, I use a pair of long nose pliers and hold the figure over the steam coming off a boiling kettle rather than the water itself. Then I will carefully alter figures arms/legs as necessary, bearing in mind the figure will still be hot from steam, but not so bad as being immersed in boiling water.
Once done then i hold figure under the cold water tap to harden figure again.
As i say its success depends on the plastic.
Not found any brittleness yet doing it that way, plus its an excuse for a cup of tea!!!!

Re: Hot Water to reshape figures

Agree with the above advice. Definately better results using ice cold water to cool rather than ambient temperature water. Though I did not have much success with correcting the plastic used for Caesar figures for some reason - they just seemed to go right back into their bent shape after cooling! Zvezda and some Imex figures are made from inherently brittle plastic to begin so I would be cautious with them. I have a few other sets of Linear-A figures and their plastic is different to those other manufacturers. So please let us know how it worked for you Jan.

Re: Hot Water to reshape figures

I concur with the already given answers. I use boiling water for the best results and use tongs to dip the figures in water - for 1/72 scale figures I do this work while still on sprue - easier on the fingers. I do the adjusting with either my fingers (guitar playing gives me some callouses on my finger tips) - though tweezers isn't a bad idea. I also suggest ice water for a better hold.

Also, as has been said, plastics differ so it's a trial and error thing. I've found the stiffer the plastic the less success I've had with this method and some of the really soft rubbery plastic it takes a couple tries, but even if there's no need for modification or correction a couple dips in the hot/cold water tends to stiffen the plastic somewhat. Again plastics and results differ.

Re: Hot Water to reshape figures

Hi Jan.

Ive used hot and cold water on several Strelets figures with no problem (there's one on my avatar), I haven't tried it with Linear A yet but it should be OK.

I Boil a kettle, pour the boiled water into a cup and dip the figure in the just boiled water. I usually leave a section of sprue attached to the figure to use as a handle. For small amounts of movement I only leave the figure in the water just long enough to heat the plastic, less than half a minute I suppose. After bending I just run the figure under the cold tap to set the plastic but if the other guys say ice water works better so be it. If you're ever really worried about using heat and cold, or anything else on plastic, test on a piece of sprue first.

For your purpose I would suggest that you have the elephant handy. Heat the figure in the hot water, bend as necessary, then fit the figure while still warm onto the elephant in the position you want it, cool the figure with the cold water while it's sitting on the elephant and you should have a good fit.

Re: Hot Water to reshape figures

Thank you kindly for all your excellent suggestions. Such a wealth of combined bee hive knowledge is impressive and saves me from spoiling my newly acquired treasures. :relaxed:

Re: Hot Water to reshape figures

Those Linear-A previews of the phalangite sets look amazing so far as well.

Re: Hot Water to reshape figures

Be carefull! .
My Hat's Russian Napoleonic Militia became dwarfs after maneuvers in hot water