Last Update: 9/13/99

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______ Disconnecting a figure. (Boil & Pop Method)
Any customizer will tell you that the best method to begin taking apart your figure is the "boil-and-pop" method (Described below).   This method will allow you to remove the head and limbs from any Star Trek figure with the stems intact and no damage to any parts of the figure.  This is very useful whether you want to do a "head swap" or if you want to "pop" apart the body. It's also a much easier way to apply your coats of paint.
Gather your figure(s), oven mitts, and pot of water. Boil the water and get  a tray or bowl.

Place your figure in a simmering pan / bowl of  hot water for several minutes.  This makes arms, legs and heads very flexible.

Being careful not to burn yourself, remove the figure from the hot water using a pair of tongs, then quickly tug the limb from the socket. (I suggest using oven mitts to hold it.)  The limb may stretch as if it's going to tear, but this is unlikely as the plastics are very resilient at this temperature.   Keep pulling firmly and the limb should eventually pop out. The stretched stem will return to its original shape after awhile.
WARNING: There will most likely be hot water inside the figure... BE CAREFUL!

Now, if you need to take the figure apart further you can split the torso section. Insert a thin scalpel blade into the neck hole and cut the posts that holds the front and the back together inside the torso. Another option here is to pry back with the handle and wait for the pressure to "pop" apart the 2 halves.

STEP 5 (Only good if body still intact)
Use a scalpel to cut the glue along the seams of the torso. Carefully pull the torso open. If it doesn't open the first time, then re-cut the seams.

Another method is to use thin needle nosed pliers instead of a scalpel. While the figure is still hot, insert the needle nosed pliers into the neck hole until the tip reaches the post that connects the front and rear halves of the torso and pry the halves apart. For some figures (Most Crew Members) this is extremely easy. For other figures (Dixon Hill, Dress Uniforms) this can be quite a difficult task.

*Boil & Pop Method tip provided by Michael Heddle