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-   -   The medic needs a medic! Fixing First-Aid's arms (http://tfarchive.com/community/showthread.php?t=55143)

Clay 2017-04-11 11:36 PM

The medic needs a medic! Fixing First-Aid's arms
 
So I got Unite Warriors Defensor a week ago, and it's a pretty nice set. Definitely scratched an itch. Oddly enough, I was looking forward to First Aid and Streetwise more than the quasi-exclusive Groove (as far as I was concerned, they're all exclusive... never saw the Protectobot wave in stores once). All was well and good at first...

http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f3...h_IMG_5578.jpg

But then I noticed that First Aid couldn't hold his foot gun.

http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f3...h_IMG_5580.jpg

Ack! Why his elbow hurt?

http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f3...h_IMG_5582.jpg

Well, I looked closer and noticed that the elbow joint was bowed out a bit. Not only could it not hold weight, but it also popped off at the elbow when rotating the arm laterally.

http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f3...h_IMG_5585.jpghttp://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f3...h_IMG_5586.jpg

So, I clearly had a little project to do. The forearm already had holes drilled, so the best fix was to reinforce the joint with a metal pin. The first thing to do was to get a pin the right size. In this case, that pin was a nail.

http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f3...h_IMG_5588.jpg

The next thing to do was to get a drill bit of the same diameter, and - SUPER IMPORTANT - use the drill bit a size or two smaller.

http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f3...h_IMG_5589.jpg

The reason is that, when removing the flashed plastic from a drilled hole, you can widen the hole slightly. Using a drill bit that's a little smaller than the goal diameter leaves you a margin of error.

http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f3...h_IMG_5591.jpghttp://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f3...h_IMG_5596.jpg

But anyway, the basic idea was still "drill hole, insert pin." And it worked. Then I just had to cut down a nail to the same width as the elbow and use a vise to put it back together.

http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f3...h_IMG_5590.jpghttp://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f3...h_IMG_5593.jpghttp://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f3...h_IMG_5594.jpg

Finally, reassembly! A working, ratcheting elbow!

http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f3...h_IMG_5595.jpg

I repeated the process the next day on the other elbow for no other reason than to satisfy a bit of OCD (that arm worked fine to begin with), and First Aid's all better. And none of it matters because he'll spend an indefinite amount of time combined with the rest of the Proctobots, but whatever. It's really bizarre because Off-Road's elbows work just fine. The plastic tolerances for First Aid's were just the perfect combination of too tight for the inner elbow (the red part) and too loose for the outer elbow (the white part). Not sure if it's widespread or just a bit of bad QC, but it was a relatively easy fix.

Hound 2017-04-11 11:46 PM

I don't have the Unite Warriors version but my First Aid has no problems. In fact I haven't had any QC issues with any of the Combiner Wars/Unite Warriors figures. I feel really lucky...

ganon578 2017-04-12 02:01 PM

Nice fix, and thanks for the details!

I did a similar thing with a KO Black Series Boba Fett. His left knee came with the plastic pin all snarly, so I found a nail to fit. Didn't need to do any drilling though, as the plastic was pliable enough to wedge the nail in no problem. Don't use galvanized nails as I did though, they're a pain to cut through.

Clay 2017-05-13 01:05 AM

Right, so onto Blastoff.

He's got an odd nub on the combiner joint that keeps popping the head off. I think it's supposed to be a landing support or something, but the gun plugged into the nosecone does that, so it's pointless.

http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f3...h_IMG_5597.jpg

After sanding that off, the combiner joint rotates fine without popping the head off... mostly.

http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f3...h_IMG_5604.jpg

It also had another notch on the other side (which I didn't take a picture of), so I sanded that off too. But the head still pops off because the fixture holding it in place isn't a tight fit. This is most likely to prevent permanent damage when rotating the combiner joint instead of, you know, just not putting notches on it that eject the robot head from its placement. So, I filled in the tiny gaps with various things. I tried a gel super glue, normal crafting hot glue, and gluing plastic strips over of the gaps, but none of that worked. What did work was epoxy putty. This turned out to be tricky because the putty loses malleability very quickly, so I had to do each side separately. Wasted a fair bit of putty, that did. But it worked...

http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f3...h_IMG_5612.jpg

I let it alone for a day to cure before congratulating myself, but now Blastoff's head is permanently affixed to his body like it's supposed to be. It only took a small amount of putty to actually fill the gaps; too much and the roof of the shuttle wouldn't fit flush.

http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f3...h_IMG_5614.jpg

The other point of attention were the legs. The arm mode pops apart constantly.

http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f3...h_IMG_5606.jpg

After a bit of troubleshooting, the legs themselves connect together cleanly and securely, but the feet are slightly too big.

http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f3...h_IMG_5602.jpg

After some generous if incremental sanding, the legs click together as intended with the feet attached.
http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f3...h_IMG_5607.jpg

I kind of wonder if they maybe had rushed Blastoff's design a bit. A few more rounds of QC before production and they might have fixed the leg problem.

Anyway, onto to Swindle! The canopy popped off too much, so I put a pin in it. Done.

http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f3...h_IMG_5610.jpg


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