…Well that didn’t go well. I had hoped to have completed Hoihoi by now in time for Christmas but I had a little… mishap. I’m still pretty sure that I will be able to finish her in time for next weeks post and unveiling, in fact, she’s pretty far along but not at a stage where I want to show it off yet. So instead, I started doing something which I had planned to do for a while.
You may remember that I showed of Saber lily back on my november purchase post (well, the part which didn’t include KOSMOS and my Knight of Gold). Well, I thought that it was time for her to shine. However, this is NOT a figure review. There are plenty of those already and I don’t want to add to the pile. Feel free to check out reviews from Tier, Tommy, Meronpan, and Radiant if you want a proper review of the figure but I’m doing something different.
Perhaps it was because I essentially bought her by accident (I preordered her during the initial hype and then promptly forgot about her until I got a shipping notice from HLJ) but I never felt that attached to this particular figure. I’m also with Tommy when he said in his review that the figure is decent but not great. It’s pose makes it only suitable for viewing at certain angles and it’s not as dynamic as you would initially think. But enough about that, what I wanted to do was inspired by a post I saw on the FG boards. After seeing that and with my general apathy towards the figure, I decided to see if I could make her a little cast off!
What follows are the trials and steps I took to remove the armour and skirt from Saber. Be warned that some of these pics may be considered by some Figure collectors as “Guro.”
Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
First up were the tools, or rather, just the 1 tool. My sculpting tool which I use mostly for applying putty and scraping the excess off gaps and pinholes. Reycal was seen posing with it a few weeks ago. The knife isn’t too sharp but it’s enough to get under certain areas and cut with some pressure. it’s also good for when you want to apply leverage to force parts apart. I did use my modelling knife for a few things but I tried to avoid using it as the blade is easily snapped and it’s too sharp so you might end up cutting more than you wanted.
Anyway, I first tried removing the side armours. They actually came off with no problems at all seeing as they weren’t really connected to anything. I removed 1 but kept the other in place as it seemed pointless to put the effort in if it wasn’t going to even be in the way.
The first tricky part was removing the skirt which the armour is on. The See-through white one!
A little bit of effort with the tools allowed me to lift up the skirt somewhat. You can see indents where the parts connect so you can go back to what it was if you really wanted to…
Most of the glue holding the part was in the back. It took a fair bit of elbow grease to finally yank the part off but because the part was so flexible, I was never afraid of it breaking. The Glue used appears to be a standard strong hold glue which dries to a clear finish, so PVA or something similar. The properties of the glue also suggest PVA. It’s kinda stretchy if you just try to pull the parts apart. It doesn’t break cleanly like superglue or epoxy.
Once one side was off, the other was a piece of cake. The parts all have little indents in them so they will fit together nicely, tho glue will probably be needed again if you want to keep them that way.
Next up is the chest armour. By far the easiest part to remove. If you look closely at the connection beween the chestplate and the right side (Saber’s right, not yours) you should be able to see a small gap compared to her left side. That’s where they glued it in place. One knife down the hole and a little leverage later and…
The armour almost falls off by itself! There’s a little glue on the left breast and on the back, but they give pretty easily.
And so, we successfully removed all the armour. Unfortunately, that’s about all there is in terms of the easy bits. Removing the 2 skirt parts was exceptionally difficult and took a considerable amount of effort!
Saber really tried her best to preserve her modesty but she never really stood a chance!!!
This was pretty much the only time I broke out the modelling knife. There was an exceptional amount of glue between the lower and upper body sections so I had to use the knife to cut a lot of it in order to gain the leverage needed to separate the 2.
Eventually, I managed to separate the top half from the lower section. The front area was easy but the sides were a nightmare. Even when I knew that the bond had given in, the back was still glued tightly, which made it awkward to lift the part over the stump.
There was also a heavier price to pay as well…
I got a little overzealous with my attempts at separating the 2 parts and snapped off saber’s left leg. Eduardo has nothing on this (OK, maybe he did)!!!
All was not lost tho, as the break was very clean so I put a brass rod into the leg for support (and found what appeared to be an air bubble in there) and glued the parts together again. (almost) as good as new!
Just need to paint it over a little and nobody will know… The issue is easily avoided if one is just a little more careful than I was, but I was seriously getting pissed off at the lack of progress at the time (I had been at it for around 1/2 hr).
But even with the parts separated, there was no rest for the wicked, because even the skirts were glued to the stump. They were also glued to 3 separate points on the legs as well, but those came undone while I was trying to take off the upper body. I managed to put a crack on the top layer skirt while removing it but it’s no biggie. The lower skirt was pretty flexible so I was really able to give it some oomph when taking it off.
And here are all the parts laid out. The right arm can also come off but I didn’t see any benefits in doing that at this point. There’s still some excess glue in the areas which were stuck together but they can be easily removed with a knife. The Fate/ unlimited code logo can also be taken off with ease.
but now for some fun!
Firstly, to set some minds at ease, you can still put the parts in their original place and get Saber looking somewhat like her old self. She’s be even closer if you used glue!
And with the lowest skirt removed, Saber flashes a glimpse of panties and a lot of thigh!! Would Zettai Ryouiki fans like this?
I don’t think this shot needs a caption…
Eventually, I plan to return to Saber and give her a lick of paint to tidy things up and make the cast off work a little better, but I don’t know when that will be.
For those of you who are brave/foolish enough to want to give it a try, I offer these words of advice:
- Don’t use a sharp knife unless absolutely necessary. A strong tool which gives plenty of leverage is much better
- If the part bends a little, it’ll bend a lot. If it doesn’t bend, then don’t try!
- Don’t be afraid of putting in a little elbow grease into the mix when the situation calls for it.
- It may sound obvious but this is pretty much a one shot deal. You can reverse the process if you wish by gluing the parts back together but if you want to retain the ability to remove the parts, then the figure won’t be quite as strong as it was as the parts won’t hold as well.
- When removing the top half, watch out for the hair! It hurts when it digs into your hand!!!!
Somehow, I doubt that I will be able to sell her to anyone now. Tainted goods and all that.
In any case, it’s back to Hoihoi now!!