Modding a Head for Easy Face Removal :
Modifying a head to allow for removal of the face after assembly is an important step in building Gunpla. You are probably thinking 'Why would I need to do this?'. Well, you see, this is one of the most important modifications you can make to a Master Grade kit (and to a lesser extent, a High Grade), as it allows for painting of the face and sensor outside the head, which makes life a hell of a lot easier.
What you will need :
- The Gundam head you are wishing to modify (in this case it is the head from the Master Grade Shin Musha Gundam kit).
- Cutting implements - side cutters and a hobby knife is generally enough but it may depend on the kit you are working on.
- Sandpaper, files and other sanding implements - again it depends what you need to use depending on the kit you are building.
The aim is to be able to fill and remove the ugly seams along the sides of the head, and still be able to easily paint the face. More on seam removal can be found in my 'Seam Removal 101' tutorial. These are the seams I need to fill :
When I pull them apart, I end up with three pieces. The center piece is what I will be modifying in this tutorial :
Due to the shape of the top head sensor, the face will not be able to slide into the head easily with it attached, so take your cutters and chop it off.
Now with two pieces, the face will be able to slide in much easier that before. If you wish, you can permanently add the sensor in at this point, by gluing the head together with the sensor in place. Again, this step may vary depending on what kit you are building.
If you wish to paint the sensor outside of the head, don't attach it at this point.
This step is totally optional, but I find it helps later on when installing the painted face.
Take a pin vise and carefully drill a mirroring hole in each piece and insert a small piece of brass rod (or in this case a section of clothes pin) and glue it into the sensor part. When it's time to install the face permanently, the rod will help center the face and give it some extra support.
You will notice that the face will slide in and out now, but if you have a closer look, you will notice that the upper part of the 'cheek' rubs against the outer armour. If you insert the face when it is painted right now, you will end up scratching off all of your hard work. The next two pictures have arrows pointing to the offending section :
You want to be able to push the face up into the head without anything rubbing against the painted parts.
Now take the hobby knife and carefully shave away the inner part of the armour. Be careful at this point, being sure not to cut too far into other sections of the piece. Test fit after a few shaves and shave more off as needed. Repeat until there is a satisfactory amount removed and you feel that it is enough not to damage the paint when you install the finished face. The next picture has an arrow pointing to the shaved off area :
Here is a video of how the face goes in and out of the head now I have modded it :
Remember that this method may be changed depending on what kit you are working on. Some older kits need a bit more modification to allow for the face to slide in and out (like removal of mounting pegs and such), so take what you have learnt here not as 100% but use and change it to match your situation.