If you are building the Hachette 1:2 scale Terminator T-800 endoskeleton, you have likely experienced the ‘floppy finger’ problem. Unfortunately, the pin-based pivots of the finger joints are not designed well on this model and they have a tendency to be loose and flimsy. This can make it difficult to pose the hands of your T-800 and near impossible for it to hold the Plasma Rifle.
Some builders received updated finger joints from Hachette (I never did), but the issue still persisted. I even tried to tighten my loose joints by squeezing each one in a craft vise as hard as I dared, but that was only marginally effective.
Well, the folks over at Model Modz have created yet another superb mod for us: The Finger Mod! This mod not only replaces all of the finger joints with adjustable screws, it includes washers to straighten the fingers. Let’s see how it goes…
The Finger Mod includes:
- 84 x Hex Screw Bolts (8 spares)
- 66 x Washers (10 spares)
- 42 x Brass Inserts (4 spares)
- Allen Key Tool
The Finger Mod can be installed at any time during your build, but I completed it after Issue 50 so I only had one hand to mod. The process is the same for both hands so you can just follow these steps twice.
Start by removing one finger from the hand by pulling the pins out of the joint at the base of the finger.
I started with my thumb. Disconnecting the finger at the base makes modding the rest of the finger easier as you can handle it on your work surface. Removing these pins may be easy or difficult depending on how you installed them. Having some fingernails helped here as some of these pins were a pain in the butt to get out. Take your time and try not to use any metal tools as they may scratch the model:
Remove the remaining fingers, but take note of which finger is which and how the individual parts of each finger are arranged.
Be careful when removing the four fingers. The hand ‘frame’ is plastic and you don’t want to snap off the mounting point that supports each finger:
These are my fingers, from the thumb on the left to the pinkie on the right:
Remove the original pins/bushing from one of the joints and separate the finger parts:
We will need two Screw Bolts, one Brass Insert, and two Washers for each finger joint:
First, twist a Screw Bolt a few turns into the end of the Brass Insert.
I recommend using a tiny drop of removable threadlocker on both Screw Bolts going into this Brass Insert. I use Loctite Threadlocker Blue 242. This will help keep the screws from loosening as you move the finger around:
Fit this Screw/Insert assembly through one side of the joint, then add two Washers between the finger parts:
Fit the other side of the joint back into place, over the Brass Insert and Washers:
Tighten a second Screw Bolt into the other end of the Brass Insert to secure the parts together.
An Allen Key Tool is supplied with the kit to use here. Keep this tool with the model as you will need it to re-pose the hand going forward.
Repeat Steps 1-5 to change out the remaining finger joints:
Using the same process, reattach your finger to the hand, but DO NOT use any Washers on these hand-to-finger joints:
Move on to the next fingers, repeating this process until the entire hand is complete:
The Washers used between each joint not only help the joint twist easier (like a slip disc), but they also straighten up the fingers. In the image below, the top finger shows the angle of a stock middle finger before this mod. The bottom finger has been updated with this mod and you can see for yourself how much straighter it is now. Once again, these Washers are not used on the joint at the base of each finger:
Once complete, you can discard all of the removed pins and bushings:
The Finger Mod is a solution to a problem Hachette should have figured out a long time ago. I actually tried to source some ‘sex bolts’ to fix this problem myself, but this mod does it better. It is simple, elegant, and gets the job done.
The one thing I do want to reiterate is that this mod is designed to lock the fingers into a pose. If you want to change the shape of the fingers, you will likely need to use the supplied Allen Key Tool each time to ‘re-lock’ the fingers into the new positions. Still, the grip strength of the modded fingers is superb and these hex bolt heads look vastly better than the previous circular buttons. As always, a big thanks goes out to Model Modz and their continued support of our partworks community!