General Customizing Notes:

General Disassembly:

There are many different ways to split a Klicky...here is the best that we know of, expertly explained at Sven Central (follow the "take-apart" link).

Also see the Hand Removal section below for the rope-yank method, which is useful for disassembling gordos (which can be hard to take apart with the above linked method).

Hand Removal Plus (The Rope Yank Method):

We don't have a really good solution for hand removal. I have never done this without getting a vertical crack on the arm. But when you need to switch hands, what else are you going to do?

Tie a piece of nylon rope (diameter of a spaghetti noodle, more or less*) around the wrist as tight as you can. Then yank. It helps to tie the other end to a door knob and then just hold on to your klicky and pull. A piece of cloth draped properly will prevent the hand from flying off once it finally comes free. Now you've got a nice hand and a cracked arm. I have tried heating arms in boiling water and then yanking, but I still get cracks. To repair crack, a tiny bit of super glue and then weld the crack with a wood burning tool.

Note: You can use this rope-yank method to remove heads as well. It can result in damage, though (bent necks and other maladies).

* You may need to experiment with rope thickness. Too thin and it can cause breakage. Too thick and you will have difficulty tying it around an arm or head...

Glue:

Plastic Surgery came to our attention as a glue-of-the-month at www.thistothat.com. It is a cyanoacrylate glue (super glue). Plastic surgery is available at our local Walgreens and we have had good results from both gel and regular.

Heat:

Playmobil is made from ABS plastic (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene). ABS plastic is a thermoplastic, meaning it will soften when heated and harden again when cooled. This can be used by customizers to great advantage.

Heat Guns: Heat guns are dangerous. They are also great for heating ABS plastic. For example, you could heat up a sword, bend it into a different shape, hold it until it cools down, and then you've got a new curved sword. Wrap areas you don't want to deform with some nonflammable material.

Wood Burning Tool (or soldering iron without solder and soldering tip): These can be used to weld and carve. Just a light application can make a stressed mark on abs plastic disappear (although I don't think it will help structurally.

Boiling: Limited usefulness with the possibility of discoloring your Klickies.

Dremel Tool:

Very useful in many ways. Try using the cutting disks to quickly cut and carve. Always wear safety goggles.

Exacto Knife:

Useful in much the same way as the dremel tool.

Epoxy Sculpting Compounds:

Sculp-Epox is a two-part epoxy modeling compound that cures in about 4 hours (an hour of working time). It is very strong, adheres well to ABS plastic, and can be painted with acrylics. Use it to make one-of-a-kind pieces or to make pieces for casting. It is not as easy to sculpt with as a high quality polymer clay, but it is much stronger and doesn't need to be baked. I have been working with this stuff for years and love it. It is available from Van Dykes. Magic Sculp is a similar product is available from Tap Plastics and Douglas and Sturgess, and it works just as well. Faster curing products are available in hardware stores in the glue section.

Polymer Clay:

High quality polymer clays, such as Super Sculpy and Fimo, are easier to sculpt with than epoxy sculpting compounds. Unfortunately, they have several drawbacks. Because these clays must be baked in the oven for them to cure, you shouldn't use them when sculpting directly onto ABS plastic or anything else that will melt or deform in the oven. And because cured polymer clays are not as strong as cured epoxy sculpting compounds, we don't recommend them for pieces that will see a lot of use. Thus polymer clays are most useful when sculpting items that will eventually be cast. If you do use polymer clays for final-use items, note that Fimo comes in many colors, so you can create items that will not need to be painted. We do not recommend using low quality polymer clays such as regular Sculpy.