Saturday, February 20, 2016

Fixing HGUC Sinanju

Simple, but most important to complete

A bit of Gunpla work after the review on Play Arts Kai Meryl Silverburgh, but it's something I didn't plan for in the beginning. ^^;

It's always not a good thing to be talking about fixing up model kits, since that automatically means that something has broken in the first place. ^^;

Getting the kit fixed in the end is the payoff, and even though the experience gained from the work can be considered a side benefit, the same cannot be said about the shock and regret that I felt the moment when the kit was broken. ^^; Even for kits that I did fix in the past, like HGUC Gundam RX-78-2, Zaku III and Master Grade Zaku II, I always hoped I had never broken them to begin with. ^^;

Then again, with more tools and materials obtained over the years, I'm glad that I have more options in fixing up my model kits now so I don't feel too depressed everytime I broke something. ^^;

The HGUC Sinanju I assembled in mid November 2010 has been without its backpack for a few days now ...

... after I broke the binder connector of its left wing. ^^;

I suppose the peg has become quite stiff after it was put in a fixed pose on my office desk for a long time. When I was adjusting another pose for it recently, the binder connector just snapped when I tried to move it with a little extra force. ^^;

Even now, I can still remember the "No~~~" in my head when the peg snapped. XD

As the problem isn't exactly too serious - the broken peg is not as bad as that on HGUC Gundam RX-78-2 or Master Grade Zaku II anyway, but the fact that it's Sinanju means it has to be remedied right away. ^^

The first step in the recovery process is to get the remaining half of the peg out from the backpack, which may seem like a challenge due to the broken piece being embedded inside the peg slot with no obvious support that can be used to pull it out. ^^;

However, since the two wing binder connectors share the same peg slot - they are attached using the same polycap piece, the broken peg can be pushed out from its opposite side easily.
The instruction manual image is from Dalong.

The broken piece is removed from the backpack.

(Left) A look at the broken wing connector.
(Right) Comparison with the normal right binder connector.

The cracked bits on the surface of the broken area are trimmed using a knife.

The plan to fix the part is rather simple: connect the broken pieces using a metal rod, then reinforce the connection using cement and epoxy putty. Once the putty has hardened, gray paint would be used to cover up the surface.

For the key component of this work: the steel rod, a new material debuts on my blog - 1.1mm x 200mm stainless steel tube pack from Hobby Design. ^^
I got this stainless steel tube pack years ago with other Gunpla ideas in mind, but it will serve well for Sinanju's repair today. ^^

Product specs as the simple label of the pack.

Images of the steel tubes inside the simple package.

Pin vise with 1.0mm drill bit is used to create the slot needed for the steel rod to fit through the peg.

Since the rod is 0.1mm wider than the drill bit's diameter, it'll need to be squeezed through the slot. ^^;

Comparing the steel rod to the wing binder connector to get a rough measurement of how long the rod should be.

Pin vise with 1.0mm drill bit is used to create the corresponding slot for the steel rod on the wing binder connector.

To preserve the structural integrity of the whole part, the slot is made right in the middle of the flat surface.
Using the cross section between the broken piece as an indicator, the new connection is going to be off its original position for sure. ^^;

The steel rod is cut using a wire cutter.

The steel rod is bent slightly to realize the peg's original curve on the wing binder connector.
The rod's stiffness made the work quite difficult, and I wished I'd bent the rod before cutting it just now. ^^;

With the peg attached to the wing binder connector.

The hollow spot beneath the connector is filled using Tamiya Epoxy Putty Quick Type.

Once the part has hardened, excess putty is shaved away using a knife and then sanded using paper file.
The smooth surface is painted gray using Gundam Marker.

Done for the repair work on the left wing binder connector. ^^

After the gray paint has dried, all the parts are reassembled onto the backpack.

Testing the wing binders' movement, with focus on the left one for obvious reason. ^^
The wings are working well and normal now. ^^

Standing tall and complete now, HGUC Sinanju. ^^

Two action poses with the repaired HGUC Sinanju: ^^

Supported by Action Base 2.

The work wasn't very difficult I think - it's essentially the simplified version of the repair on HGUC Gundam RX-78-2 or Master Grade Zaku II. ^^ There's only one part broken and more importantly, the wing binder connector conveniently has a hollow spot beneath it to accommodate the stainless steel tube and epoxy putty filling, which eliminated many potential troubles in the fitting of the parts. Also, the lightweight of the wing binder makes it a lot less stressful for the repaired connector to carry, so I didn't have to think of elaborate plans to strengthen the parts to make it functional, and durable at the same time. ^^ I hope every repair work can be as simple as that done on this Sinanju.

No, actually I hope I don't break anything in the future so I don't have to do anymore repairing. ^^

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