Sunday, April 28, 2013

Put a Twist Around Head on an Articulated Neck

Sergio wants to know how to put an older twist type head on a newer articulated neck. Since I recently got some of the older bodies at the Thrift Store I was able to experiment. Neither of us tried this before, so if you know a better way, please let him know in his post, "Failure."

Sergio, here is my attempt:


You had only cut a hole around the small protruding section of the older neck and as you noted, it's not going to work.  Go ahead and cut out the entire area. There is a nice little ridge around the bottom of the neck - slide your exacto immediately before this ridge and cut all around.  If you cut it too thin, I'll tell you how to fix this later.


Next, place your head on a thick piece of cardboard and using the neck as a guide, pencil around it.  Draw a little circle in the middle and a line going from it to the edge.  Cut this out, but leave a little bit of extra cardboard past your circle, where you cut the slit.  Twist your cardboard disc open enough so that it slides under the articulated neck knob.  Once you get it fitted properly, put some tape around the slit.


Put your old head onto the new knob at a backward angle like so, making sure your slit with the extra portion of cardboard is in the front.  Then, holding the back of his neck, push his head down and forward until you cant see the cardboard any more.  Squiggle it down just a littttttle bit more (too far and you might split the neck).  Now, gently pull it back up so that it's in a "natural" location on his neck.




If you made your disc wide enough, it will get caught inside his chin and jaws and should look and move just like any other articulated head.  If you cut your neck hole too thin and his neck tears open in places, then take it off and put super glue INSIDE the neck where those fissures occurred. 

An alternative to using a Ken body is using a Liv Jake body.  They have a really wide neck knob.  So much so, that after you've cut out the opening in the older head, you should be able to just plop it on without making a cardboard disc. I'd make one anyway, just to be on the safe side

Good luck, Sergio!

40 comments:

  1. Hey Muff,
    I wondered about the same thing for that short HSM Chad...and now I know why it was good I didn't fly solo. Ken heads are complicated. Excellent, informative post as always-love it, just like doll school.:-)
    Thanks again,
    nyw*,*

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    1. You're welcome, Nykole! Be careful with your Chad though, because the bottom of Chad's head is different from what I've shown here in that he has a plastic disc at the bottom of his neck instead of just rubber. His neck is also slightly smaller than the guys above so I would be worried that his head would not fit over a modern articulated Ken body.

      I haven't found any black male articulated bodies though, so my Chad is keeping the short body he has unless I can figure out how to stain a Jake body darker, because his neck width is slightly smaller even though his knob is larger.

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  2. OMG! I have no words to thank you <3 <3 <3
    At this moment I'm behind the screen of my PC with the body, the head and a piece of cardboard. I'll follow what you've done and I'll let you know the result :-)
    *hugs*

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    1. You're welcome, Sergio! You know I like cutting things so it was fun to try it myself.

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  3. Hello from Spain: your explanation is very helpful. I I have problems to put heads on bodies articulable guys. I will follow your instructions with carton. Sounds easy but I'll try. Thank you very much. Keep in touch

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    1. Hi, Marta! The hardest part is getting a clean cut inside the old dolls head. Practice makes perfect - kinda, lol.

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  4. Great job Muff! I've learned some new useful tips! Your awesome!

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    1. Hey, Chynadoll! Alway glad to share.

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  5. thanks for sharing, you're so handy with everything! I'm sure sooner or later I will have to try that with one of my kens...

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    1. Rossetti, you are always rescuing older dolls. I'm sure one of them would appreciate a fancy new neck.

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  6. Es una solución muy práctica!! Me encanta tu blog, así que me quedo aquí, Besos!!

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    1. Hola, Marta, Cocina y Munecas! Gracias por visitar mi blog y voy a seguir de nuevo!

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  7. Another great Muff tut! Thanks. This may come in handy in the future.

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    1. Hey, Vanessa - you surely have plenty of dolls to try it on.

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  8. Wow, that works a LOT better than my attempt... which was cutting off the neck and shaving out the smaller neckhole from an articulated neck compatible head then gluing one inside the other.

    (Noooot very sturdy in the long run on that method!)

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    1. Presto, your attempt sound interesting actually. There are so many head types and it's hard to make them work together.

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  9. Great tutorial Muff! I need to save this one. It is right on point.

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  10. Fascinating tutorial Muff. Like Georgia Girl, I need to save this one, you never know when it will be needed. I assume the cardboard disc is to stop the new head from slipping down on the neck.

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    1. Yes, Carrickters, without something to get caught up inside the head, it will just fall down the entire neck. Cardboard is the easiest way to do that without having to get all fancy about it.

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  11. Thank you so much for this tutorial, I'm going to try it on Jake body!

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    1. Jewel Snake, you are very welcome!

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  12. This turned out really awesome!!

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    1. Hi, Heather. Sometimes my experiments turn out okay, lol.

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  13. You're a true Muffenstein (or Frankenmuff? Hmm)

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    1. LOL, Tali! Either one works for me.

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  14. Do you have a flicr account? I'm asking because I need a lot of help on a project I'm doing. I'm wanting to turn a Hunger Games Rue action figure into a head that can pop on an old Stacie body but I dont know what tools I need to do so.

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    1. Leandra, I'm not using Flickr and I don't have either of the doll bodies you mentioned. To remove a head some people use a blow dryer to heat it first and then pull it off. If the neck holes of the two dolls aren't similar then try the method in this post.

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    2. Okay,though I don't know if the action figure has a neck hole or not. On online pics it looks like its torso, neck, and head are like a statue.
      http://www.amazon.com/Exclusive-The-Hunger-Games-Action/dp/B008UXR1LK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1377204715&sr=8-1&keywords=hunger+games+rue

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    3. Leandra, even though that description says she is ball jointed at the neck, I don't know that I would trust that because she looks really stiff. She's also really small compared to a Stacie body so I cant tell if the scale is the same. If you cant pull Rue's head off easily to see if it will fit and if you don't want to keep her body your alternative is to saw her head off with a dremel and uh, I don't know about that. This looks like a lot of work.

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    4. thanks for the help, I guess I'll have to wait til I get her to figure out if I can or not. I really dont want her body because I really dont like painted or sculpted on clothes.

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  15. Yikes! I'd missed seeing this. Will be a big help to use a cardboard disc INSTEAD of a plastic washer. D'oh!

    Thanks for sharing ;-)

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    1. Hmmm, D7ana. A washer sounds like a good idea if it's easy to cut. It would be more durable than the cardboard I'm guessing.

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  16. hi. i really find this very helpful. but some of the pictures aren't loading up. do you mind checking up on it? thanks.

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    1. Marc, please refresh your browser. I viewed the post on multiple formats and all the photos showed up for me.

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  17. Hello. Can you help me out? Can you change the head of an early fashionista ken with an old articulated head like that of prince stefan of rapunzel? Thanks

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    1. Marc, I just checked through my body types and I don't have a single body with an old articulated head anymore, so I can't answer your question. :-(

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    2. Its okay. And by the way, i LOVE your page! Bery helpful and entertaining!😜
      Keep it up!

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  18. Although I read your blog, I've only seen the most recent items. Phyllis did me a big favor and sent me to this post for a solution to my body switching issue with Ken. Thank you so much for sharing this.

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    1. Hiya, Janainah! Glad it was able to help you.

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