Over my time as being a Transformer’s fan I’ve developed and learned some pretty useful ways to fix and modify Transformers. Some of these are well known, some I have been fighting to become public knowledge for quite some time.
First I must describe my trick for using super glue to prevent unfortunate spills. You must put down a small puddle of glue on a surface that can be messed up. You must also have a small, preferably flat tool that you can use to scoop up small amounts of glue from the puddle so you can “paint” the glue where you need it and nowhere else. I recommend using an old jeweler’s screwdriver. Using this technique you will almost never ruin what you’re working on through a glue spill.
Second, I must describe proper hobby knife usage. While sometimes you will have to go against these rules of thumb, they typically will apply to most situations:
1. Coat the bottom of your thumbs with super glue. The glue will act as a “shield” because almost no matter what your thumb will always be at risk since it is typically used to gently press the plastic into the blade.
2. Never use large amounts of pressure. Do things gradually. If you can. Slow and steady prevents you from horribly disfiguring your figure. Some things will seem to take forever, but as you progress you’ll notice that by gradually weakening the part of the plastic you’re cutting it actually goes by pretty fast.
3. Keep a sharp blade. It will keep your from using more pressure than ought to be needed. Sharpness offers precision AND power, dull just provides power.
Now, these are the tricks everyone ought to know:
1. Tightening a hinge: To do this, you will need to apply SOME amount of glue to the hinge. Not too much, not too little. The secret to doing this successfully is to constantly move the hinge so the glue never bricks the joint.
2. Tightening a ball joint: To do this, you will need to separate the joint and apply an EVEN COATING to the ball. The secret to doing this successfully is to not reassemble the joint until after the glue has set and cured.
3. Fixing a balljoint that won’t stay together: Sometimes just tightening the ball joint works, but not always. The real fix is to take a small plastic shaving and carefully glue it to the mouth of the cup. This small plastic will increase the grip and keep the ball in. The secret to successfully doing this is to let the plastic shaving cure in the cup and then to lightly shave away at it until the ball joint somewhat easily pops back into the cup. This trick also works for pop-in rotator joints.
4. How to glue two things together: To successfully do this, you probably ought to use my gluing method and you have to understand two things about super glue: It doesn’t work well on all plastics and It only holds really well when there’s enough surface area to compensate for any leverage you can get against it. this means that you might need to reinforce something with other pieces before it will be sturdy enough for use. One thing you will definitely need to do is find a way to hold your part together before the glue sets and cures. You might be able to use a clip, you might need to hold it by hand. As a warning, though, you must always take care that everything stays aligned as it should be.
5. Re-gluing something to a surface that’s already been glued: The problem here is that you’re essentially gluing your piece to super glue, which tends to fail. You must scrape away the old glue.
These are the very basics, from here you must master these and eventually you will be able to reliably maintain and improve your transformers, although a couple will irreparably break in the process. These skills also have applications in other similar hobbies, like model building.