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Thread: Recommendations for "starter" figures to help learn the assembly process?

  1. #1
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    Recommendations for "starter" figures to help learn the assembly process?

    I have a backlog of figures right now, consisting of some DAM and older HT military figures (modern warfare focus). Probably some of the coolest collectibles I've ever owned, and I'd really love to open them up and fully enjoy them; however, I haven't the slightest clue as to how to go about affixing the various accessories to the MOLLE vest. I'd really prefer not to "experiment" on the figures I have in my backlog now (as some of them, especially the HT models, are getting harder to come across), so does anybody have any recommendations for some lower-risk sets that could help me get acquainted with assembly? Also, would it help to watch a few videos of people attaching pouches to actual MOLLE vests?

  2. #2
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    Re: Recommendations for "starter" figures to help learn the assembly process?

    Get yourself some tweezers, nail-scissors or a small nail to help thread the fabric through the MOLLE loops. Watch some videos of real-life MOLLE threading as the process is exactly the same, just smaller. Its fiddly but not actually as hard as you may think. The tools listed earlier will make it much easier for you. I personally use the nail-scissors though the sharp point can lead to fraying fabric as you push it through the loops.

    Personally, I'd get a cheap MOLLE vest and some pouches off eBay and get stuck in. I'm sure you could find something for a low price if you're too worried about trying it out on a proper figure first.

  3. #3
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    Re: Recommendations for "starter" figures to help learn the assembly process?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oppl View Post
    Get yourself some tweezers, nail-scissors or a small nail to help thread the fabric through the MOLLE loops. Watch some videos of real-life MOLLE threading as the process is exactly the same, just smaller. Its fiddly but not actually as hard as you may think. The tools listed earlier will make it much easier for you. I personally use the nail-scissors though the sharp point can lead to fraying fabric as you push it through the loops.

    Personally, I'd get a cheap MOLLE vest and some pouches off eBay and get stuck in. I'm sure you could find something for a low price if you're too worried about trying it out on a proper figure first.

    Wow, I actually never thought of just purchasing a loose MOLLE vest and pouches. Appreciate the advice!

  4. #4
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    Re: Recommendations for "starter" figures to help learn the assembly process?

    I learned how to assemble such many years ago through trial and error.

    Back around 2003, my then employer downsized/laid off many employees due to losing a client. I was laid off and received a generous severance. A then friend of mine who worked for the same employer was also laid off. We met together for lunch a few days later and stopped by a Toys Liquidator (KB Toys) store in a strip mall to look around.

    Around that time they were selling a large assortment of BBI 1:6 Enduring Freedom figures. My friend had no interest in them, but I did. I ended up leaving the store with about six cases of all the Enduring Freedom figures they had consisting of pilots, Marines, Army, etc.

    The Delta Force figures came with MOLLE/MOLLE type vests and I didn't know how to properly fit/set them. I examined the pictures on the boxes and online and learned the hard way. I used some precision pliers, tweezers, and Fiskars precision shears and managed to learn and perform how all the pouches, etc. were attached to the vests, etc. I repeated the process for almost a dozen figures I opened and set up.

    Nothing like just learning the hard way and do it yourself to have a sense of accomplishment.
    "Good judgment comes from experience and a lot of that comes from bad judgment." - Arthur Bishop | The Mechanic (2011)

  5. #5
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    Re: Recommendations for "starter" figures to help learn the assembly process?

    Quote Originally Posted by Elvis2500 View Post
    Wow, I actually never thought of just purchasing a loose MOLLE vest and pouches. Appreciate the advice!
    Get a desk magnifier/lamp and a set of tweezers with the longer/narrower ends. Magnification makes the process much easier. If you have a more stubborn section due to the molle panel width being inconsistent you just fold the ends of the webbing strap in half and pull through. It takes a bit of patience but the process is not difficult once you get the hang of the over/under pattern. Some of the smaller pouches can just take a bit longer as trying to do the alternating over/under pattern gets a bit fidgety in tight quarters.
    Something Wicked This Way Comes Soon.

  6. #6
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    Re: Recommendations for "starter" figures to help learn the assembly process?

    Agreed with Adam on the desk magnifier and tweezers..a pair of needle nose pliers are also a god sent at times..along with the other bits and bobs of equipment we tend to use. As we (or at least myself) sometimes spend hours at a time either modding or building a figure either boxed or from loose parts, any equipment that can make our lives easier is more then welcomed.

    In the case of 'how-to', a lot of online research goes a long way - I've sometimes looked up 1:1 methods and applied it to our scale.
    As with what DFC said about trail and error, I've done my fair bit of damaging accessories doing it the wrong way but when you get it right after hours of futzing - man it does feel good.

  7. #7
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    Re: Recommendations for "starter" figures to help learn the assembly process?

    I've never done business with green-tiger on eBay but his feedback score is fairly good and his prices are great. I've been thinking about straying from my usual niche and bashing some simple, fun and inexpensive figures for awhile now and the ACE gear that he currently has listed looks like it will fit the bill nicely. Check out his listings on eBay for some good deals on vests and uniform sets and see what you think. green-tiger | eBay

    This two vest set (or one of his single vest sets for half the price) could be ideal for the price if you just want to mess with vests: A207 1:6 Scale ace Military action figure parts - AWS CQB and Trauma vest 2 set | eBay

    Or, if you would like to take a stab at bashing a simple PMC style figure, you could pick up the set pictured below for less than $12 shipped. You could add a body, boots, weapon and a few other accessories for a reasonably complete figure at a fairly low price: A317 1:6 Scale ace Military action figure parts - CP BDU w/ LBT 6094A Vest | eBay
    This is also the set that I'm thinking about picking up.

    Last edited by Scimitar; 01-12-2018 at 08:13.
    Sgt. Markoff: "Keep shooting, you scum! You'll get a chance yet to die with your boots on!"

  8. #8
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    Re: Recommendations for "starter" figures to help learn the assembly process?

    Thanks for the advice everyone! I've got a magnifer desk lamp and pair of needle-nose tweezers en route from Amazon, in preparation for the MOLLE vest w/pouches I ordered from eBay. Really can't wait to get started, as the only thing holding me back from getting into this particular "black hole" is the assembly.

  9. #9
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    Re: Recommendations for "starter" figures to help learn the assembly process?

    There's no doubt the widespread adoption of MOLLE by almost every modern military unit, as well as the accuracy of modern 1/6 figures to perfectly replicate it, has made the assembly process on current 1/6 figures much fiddlier than before. I have lot's of figures still boxed up cause I can't face doing all the MOLLE work on them! But honestly, its worth it. You'll have proper, secure fitting on the pouches and you can reposition them at will just like the real deal. You'll get a good sense of satisfaction I'm sure once you're done!

  10. #10
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    Re: Recommendations for "starter" figures to help learn the assembly process?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scimitar View Post
    I've never done business with green-tiger on eBay but his feedback score is fairly good and his prices are great.
    Green-tiger = TMT Hobby, a long serving and respected retailer. They have been liquidating a lot of the old Ace overstock via that account.
    Something Wicked This Way Comes Soon.

  11. #11
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    Re: Recommendations for "starter" figures to help learn the assembly process?

    Quote Originally Posted by AdamC View Post
    Green-tiger = TMT Hobby, a long serving and respected retailer. They have been liquidating a lot of the old Ace overstock via that account.
    --

    TMT Hobby . . . that brings back memories. Back around 2007/2008, I purchased a couple of the early a.c.e. SEAL TEAM outfit sets that came fully loaded from them.
    "Good judgment comes from experience and a lot of that comes from bad judgment." - Arthur Bishop | The Mechanic (2011)

  12. #12
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    Re: Recommendations for "starter" figures to help learn the assembly process?

    Quote Originally Posted by AdamC View Post
    Green-tiger = TMT Hobby, a long serving and respected retailer. They have been liquidating a lot of the old Ace overstock via that account.
    Thanks for that bit of information. I've done business with TMT Hobby before, so that's good to know. I also noticed that all of the military gear that he has listed is older ACE stuff but to me it still looks like good quality gear for a great price, so I went ahead and bought the BDU and gear set that I mentioned.
    Sgt. Markoff: "Keep shooting, you scum! You'll get a chance yet to die with your boots on!"

  13. #13
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    Re: Recommendations for "starter" figures to help learn the assembly process?

    There are numerous sites which detail how to attach MOLLE pouches on 1:1 gear, which is most labor-intensive, but definitely worthwhile. I use various small tools, including tweezers, small straight tip screwdrivers, and even sculpting and pick tools (find those at art and craft stores).
    You can also make a pull-thru tool from small diameter, stiff, steel wire. Use small needle-nose pliers to bend a small hook or closed/near-closed eyelet in the end. Thread it thru the MOLLE webbing row(s), pass the strap thru the eye, and carefully pull the wire back.

    Getting the straps tight, and feeding the loose ends back in, makes for a durable fit, 1:6 or 1:1. It's been said before, straps can be simply passed straight thru and cut off, or the pouches just glued on or velcroed, but those "fixes" tend to look just like what they are, and they teach no real skills.
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