Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Sinanju - Repair Log 1

I haven't posted much about my Sinanju recently because I quit modeling for a couple of weeks, intentionally. I needed to focus on other things, chief amongst them studying Japanese, which I didn't really do that well. Anyways now my proficiency exam is over and done with finally! I took Level 3 for the record. I'm actually just under Level 2 skill wise, I took some practice tests to make sure, but I wanted to fill in some of the blanks in my grammar so to speak. I realized now after studying Japanese grammar that you really just have to use it and practice in order to remember it. At least that's how it works in my case. It's not like remembering kanji. Oh well. Anyone else out there studying Japanese? It's a pain sometimes eh?

Now that my free time is my own again I'm looking at my Sinanju once more. I left it in a state of disrepair as I'd gotten frustrated and just washed my hands of the whole ordeal. I've finished almost all of the upgrades but was left with a severe problem with the left elbow. Massive breakage in many areas. The equivalent of a cut hamstring basically, but in the arm.

I've edited some of Dalong's manual scans to show exactly where all the breakage has taken place. Props to that fine gentleman for going through the effort of scanning the manual.

First, the hands.

Problem: I can't remember how I did it but whatever I did I did it wrong. I think I must have used my nippers to separate the fingers instead of my exacto-knife. I cut along the red lines shown below but because I used my nippers I ended up pushing too much of the plastic away and the fingers ended up sitting very loose in the joints.

Solution: I added a bit of liquid cement to the loose area and moved the finger around to prevent it from setting in place. It's semi stable now. Better than before.

Preventative measure: Use the thinnest, hardest and sharpest blade I can find to separate the fingers.


Problem: Peg breakage due to corrosive material in the Gundam marker. Slots also cracked. The plastic seems to have weakened over all.

Solution: Liquid cement the peg back to it's original place, reinforced with cemented strips of clear pla plate over the fissures. Sanded. This solution wasn't very effective because the peg would often be too large to fit into the slot because of the cement and pla plate. Worked occasionally but sometimes I'd just scrap the idea and cement the parts together. I'm trying to avoid doing that but I need stability in this thing!

Preventative measures: Use a different paint type? Prime the part before painting or just don't paint that area at all. Often I didn't intentionally try to paint the area but paint leaked in and seemed to have weakened the plastic. There is also the possibility that I may have tried to separate the parts with too much force but I think that's unlikely. Paint could have also stuck two parts together which would cause extra stress during separation. Consideration of these points must be given in the future.

Moving on...

Problem: Ring and slot breakage and cracking due to corrosive material in the Gundam marker. The plastic seems to have weakened over all.
By far the most serious problem and the one that I've spent to most time on trying to fix. I was just going to order new parts because of the extent of the damage but I decided that I'd try and fix it myself first. If my solution doesn't stick then I'm just going to throw the parts out and order new ones.

Solution: The amount of breaking and cracking was so severe here (red). I patched up part M14 in so many different areas. First I sanded and cemented the broken parts back together. Then I cemented tiny strips of clear pla plate over the cracks and fissures. Then I cemented over all of it to try and 'melt' the plastic together. It seems stable but the ring holes are now too small to fit over the pegs (green part) on part M19. I think the more plastic I keep on M14/13 the better (for stability) so I decided to shave down the pegs on M19 to allow for easier range of movement. Once I got the parts to fit on the peg I realized that they could not move in tandem because of the extra plastic I put on. They were rubbing up against each other so I had no choice but to sand them down a bit too. Katoki didn't leave much from for clearance. He made it pretty exact. Because of that I also had to shave down the protruding piece (blue) between the pegs on parts M18/19 to allow my new (and hopefully improved) ring joints to move freely.

In short it's been a real pain in the ass to fix all of this crap. I finally got it all semi-stable again but I had to cement M18/19 shut in order to keep everything inside AND I'm going to have apply another strip of clear pla plate over the front part of that joint (blue section) just to seal it all in for good and make it look uniform. There's quite a gap left there now. After that I'm probably going to hand paint on white surfacer and then do the gold over again. Hopefully that will prevent more breakage problems in this area in the future.
Preventative measures: Same as part 2.

Seem like the exact same problem I had with the wing joint but just... more of them and much smaller. Damn this model. It's getting close to a year since I first got it and I'm STILL working on it! Labour of love? I wonder.

I'll post the pics I took of this issue and the whole process a bit later.