Impalement and the Truly Headless
Note: This article was slightly modified by Nathan “Lord_Of_The_LEGO” Wells on January 7, 2008 to improve spelling and grammar.
So you have eighteen million billion LEGO pieces. Got your camera. Got your editing software. Got your sets built. Got your lighting set up. You’re ready to go! But the one thing you haven’t figured out is how to do that cool scene where the knight takes a spear right through the chest. Dismemberment is easy, the heads, arms, and legs come right off. But impalement is a bit tougher. Sure, you could do it with special effects, but to get the full effect of the doomed knight staggering around before he collapses, you need something more.
You need a hand-held drill. Oh -yeah.
What’s that you say? You would never do anything to permanently disfigure one of your prized minifigs? Get real! LEGO’s motto should be “Destroy all you want! We’ll make more!” Collectors should realize that every time a LEGO is permanently altered, the value of their collections go up a little tiny bit. And the person doing the altering has something no body else has. Something unique. So spare me. Anyways, you don’t have to do it – but if you do decide you want to impale a minifig, here’s how:
First you compare the spear with your drill bits to find one slightly larger than the spear. I used the 1/8 (inch) size. Then you decide exactly where the hole should be and go to it. I know from experience that plastic is real easy to drill through – goes right through like butter. The torso on a minifig is not solid, so be sure to hold the drill steady as it punches through the front side and keep holding it tight until it comes out the back. Make sure you use the proper safety equipment- goggles, clamp, gloves- and kids, get a grownup to help you. In fact some of you grownups might want to get an adult to help you. The spear should slide right through, butt end first. Now, how do you do the scene where another knight takes a spear through the head? Same way of course, with some differences. You don’t want to drill through just the head- the neck/post on the torso will get in the way of the spear
You’ll want to drill through the head while its attached to the torso so your hole will go right through the neck/post as well as the head. You should decide before hand if the spear will be going through the face or the side of the head. And since its a knight who is probably going to be wearing a helmet, you will probably want to drill a hole through the helmet too. Or you could have another spear knock the helmet off before the second spear comes in and ruins the poor knights day. Be prepared to be stuck with the head fused to the torso- the friction from the drill bit will probably melt the plastic so you can never get them apart again. In fact, both the torso and the head will be pretty much useless except for impalement scenes so try to choose the crappiest from your collection.
In my experiment, I found drilling through the head was much tougher than drilling through the torso, mainly because the head is small, round, and keeps moving. How the heck do you clamp something that small? I just went real slow until I had a hole started and then gradually sped up the drill until I punched through. Rather than drilling a hole through the neck/post, it ended up ‘cutting’ the top of the post off. The plastic did not fuse, probably because of where I had to go so slow. I drilled the helmet separately, and had to use a nail to get the hole started. That’s it! Ten minutes and a power drill later, and you’re ready to film major mayhem!
Now, what about the scene where the catapult shot takes yet another knights head clean off. Making a minifig headless is easy- you just pull the head off… unfortunately, the neckpost doesn’t make it look truly headless- more like the head got squashed to the size of a soup can. No, if you want a minifig that’s truly headless, you need to get rid of that neck/post.
TRULY HEADLESS – DECAPITATING A MINIFG
This is fairly easy- you need a sharp, serrated (saw-toothed) knife and a pair of pillars. You may want to leave part of the post to represent the neck, or you may want to cut as close to the shoulders as possible to get rid of it entirely.
Once again, get a responsible grownup to help, one with good health insurance. Using the knife, you start a cut in the neck/post- keep going until you are about halfway through, then use the pillars to snap it off. Use a file to get rid of any excess plastic. Now your ready for that headless knight scene!