OK, here we are, ready to start a new pony. I’ve got an idea in mind, and poor Rainbow Dash here is exactly the colour that I want, so she’s about to be decapitated. I don’t claim that the methods I use are the best or most efficient, but they work for me!
First, she gets a relaxing few minutes in front of the space heater. This is to make the plastic nice and soft so I can pop her head off without splitting the plastic or snapping the hard plastic plug.
I cut the hair off right after removing the head. See the plug sticking out of her neck? Worst thing about prepping these guys. You can’t just pull it out- that sucker is glued in there and is NOT moving. So while the plastic is still soft, we stick our scalpel or x-acto knife in there, right next to the hard plastic plug, cutting through the softer body plastic. Shove it straight down, maybe angled in just a bit. I do an “in and out” method, making multiple cuts at different angles, rather than trying to follow the curve in one smooth slice.
After we go all the way around (and try not to poke right through to the outside, though it does happen- just swear and move on if it’s not too noticeable), we pull the plug out (gently!) and set it aside. Sometimes I mark the front on both pieces to make it easier to put back together later… sometimes I don’t bother.
Now might be a good time to look at the tools I’m using. Not the best, but they’re what I’ve got, and they work well enough. If anyone wants to throw some hemostats my way (not literally!), I hear they’re better than pliers for removing hair.
I also use acetone to remove the symbols, and cotton swabs to apply it and wipe (you don’t want to touch this stuff). I find that on G4 ponies I also have to use it to soften the glue that’s holding the hair in.
Now we have to remove the rest of the hair from her head to make room for the new stuff. I always try boiling first, since that often helps with older ponies. No such luck- here’s her little head soaking in acetone (outside!):
Then I dunked the head back in boiling water (after wiping off the eyes) to re-soften the plastic- it’s a lot easier to get the pliers in that tiny neck hole if the plastic is warm and soft… is this starting to sound dirty to anyone else? Just me? OK, then.
Anyway, after much struggle, here she is, prepped and ready to go! I’ll hang on to that neck plug- I’ll need it later if her head is going to turn.
I hope you found this informative, interesting, or at least mildly diverting. Other people have their own ways of doing all of this, but I think these methods are the most common. Don’t feel too bad for Rainbow Dash… I’ve got a swell plan for her. *insert evil laugh here*