The Gum Lines

As a lot of other builders have discovered while building the Hachette 1:8 scale Terminator T-800 partwork model, 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 Needle File Set. 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!

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