Category Archives: MODS

The Gum Lines

As a lot of other builders have discovered while building the Hachette 1:8 scale Terminator T-800, the gum lines of the jaws of this build are not quite right. On almost every Terminator we have seen, there are indentations at the root of each tooth. Just a short time ago, I was at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles and they had a full-size Terminator endoskeleton on display in the tour lounge. I didn’t have a lot of time, and I only had my phone with me, but I was able to snap a quick picture of the mouth:

Hachette did not include these indentations in their design, but luckily, I think we can fix that. Since I had an extra Issue 1 laying around, I decided I would use the extra Chrome Eye and Nasal Sockets (faceplate) in it to test a couple of different methods for achieving this look.

The Test

Starting with the Upper Jaw, I put clear tape just above the teeth and marked a line between each tooth:

I then removed the Faceplate and turned it over. My first method was to use a conical grinding tip on my Dremel and center the wheel between the marks of one of the front teeth. It was not that simple to keep the bit where I wanted it:

For the second method, I used a couple of needle files I bought from Amazon. Using the next tooth over, I started with the half-round chisel, then deepened the center of the groove a little with a round chisel:

Every so often I would put the Faceplate back on to see how it looked and continued making minor adjustments until I was satisfied with the results.  The image below is the completed test. The filed groove is on the left, the Dremel groove is on the right:

The filed groove was a little irregular, but I liked it better as it added a little imperfection to the bone structure. With the faceplate re-installed, this is what my test faceplate looked like (Dremel on the left, needle files on the right):

The Real Thing

With my test complete, I made some adjustments to the process for the real faceplate. First, I marked the center of each tooth instead of between each tooth so I could align the tools better:

Once again, I removed the faceplate and turned it over. I only used the Dremel to get the grooves started so the needle files would not skip around:

Then, using a combination of round and half-round chisel files, I slowly ground the metal down. I angled the files towards the center of the head as if I was trying to poke each tooth. After a few minutes of work and checking fitment, this is what I ended up with:

The grooves do not need to be that deep, so it didn’t take much effort to produce the final gum line shown below:

I used the same process on the Lower Jaw from Issue 6. Again, I started with tiny pilot marks using the Dremel:

Then, I carefully filed the grooves a little deeper and shaped them with the needle files. These lower grooves should be shallower than the grooves in the upper jaw:

After a little smoothing, I was done. And, once I finished Issue 6, I was able to piece the skull together to see if my work paid off. I think it did!