In 2010 Hot Toys started the Movie Masterpiece Series of highly accurate movie action figures with photo-realistic hand painted head sculpts.
Sofar I had managed to resist the temptation to buy Hot Toys beautiful Silk Spectre, Silken Floss, Black Widow, Sarah Connor and Jill Valentine figures, but I simply could not resist getting Abigail Whistler, played in the movie Blade Trinity by Jessica Biel.
I did buy the figure in separate parts (pants, coat, shoes, shirt, body, hands, head sculpt, I don't care for the display stand or the weapons, afterall there are no vampires for her to kill overhere ).
The body of this figure is based on the TrueType body, but the shape of the rubber sleeve around the body differs and the arms are now covered in skin-like rubber sleeves as well.
The loop on the rear of the belt buckle snapped when I tightened the belt so I made a new loop and a new buckle out of stainless steel magazine staples. The new metal buckle now takes the strain of the tightened belt leaving the original one there just for show.
To me this figure has a similar 'Wow-factor' as the real-life Jessica Biel has, I was completely blown away when I looked at the pics I took: there's just so much detail in her face that is hardly visible to the naked eye.
Tools and materials needed:
The tiny belt buckle for Abigail was made out of stainless steel magazine staples, larger buckles can be made from a paperclip.
The original belt buckle can be seen upside down in the picture, with parts of the broken loop still visible, the new buckle and a new loop are already added to the belt.
After the picture was taken I cut off the mushroom pin and the remains of the loop from the back of the original buckle, carved a small groove in the back of the old buckle to fit the new loop into and used a drop of superglue (cyanoacrylate) to fit the old buckle to the new metal loop. The new metal buckle is hidden from view behind the original one.
Make a small V-shaped cut in the center of the folded edge of the belt. This cut will hold the locking pin of the buckle.
When fitting a new buckle to an existing belt, check if the cutout for the locking pin is the right size.
Select two pieces of wire, one will become the locking pin, the other will become the buckle.
Wrap the piece of wire for the pin around the wire for the buckle to form a loop.
Cut one end of the loop of the locking pin wire and remove any sharp edges with a file.
Fold the loop for the buckle. Make sure the end that goes inside the belt ends about halfway between the cut in the belt and the lower edge.
Complete the loop of the buckle. Before cutting the excess wire off, decide if the edges should touch or overlap. If the material of the belt is flexible then it is better to let the edges of the buckle overlap, otherwise the edges can be cut to just touch.
Fold the lower end of the loop open and use the file to remove any sharp edges on both ends.
Fit the locking pin and cut it to size. Use the file to remove any sharp edges on the pin and to make a rounded tip.
The fiddly bit: fitting the buckle to the belt.
Insert the loop of the locking pin into the cut in the belt and slide the end of the buckle into the belt and through the loop of the pin.
Close the buckle by bending the lower part into shape.
Add a loop to hold the end of the belt. This can be made out of a loop of steel wire in a way similar to making the buckle.
|Animation of assembling the buckle.|