Heavy/Scratch: MPM 04 Optimus Prime modifications

Discussion in 'Radicons Customs' started by Lukelbs, Jul 28, 2017.

  1. Big Hache

    Big Hache Well-Known Member

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    Well, I found him and picked him up. Love him. He has a few quirks but the engineering is really amazing. I REALLY want them to do Blackout and DOTM Megatron. Hoping this line keeps it up.
     
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  2. axiom

    axiom What the what?!?! Moderator

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    I was asked to drop these in here. Some or all may have already been done.

    Here are the other fixes I implemented-
    Shaved down the little tab in the window to allow it to tab in much easier and give a little up and down slide room.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Removed this piece and shaved a little off each side to allow it to rotate up all the way.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2017
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  3. deathzero23

    deathzero23 Well-Known Member

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    Any new updates on some of the modifications you have guys?
     
  4. Arkmana

    Arkmana Active Member

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    Personally, I've given up.
    The mods I've done work some of the time, so they are more likely just easing the symptoms, and not correcting the inherent defect.

    My suspicion is that the legs and feet are slightly shorter than the truck on top, which causes the truck to compress and arch upwards when transformed and tabbed....

    So short of serious modding, I just avoid tabbing the trailer hitch and tool boxes.
     
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  5. Lukelbs

    Lukelbs Brand New: Science Fiction = Masterpiece

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    A lot of different solutions to get this guy to tab in alt mode! Impressive to see all the ingenuity of everybody. Unfortunately the issues that plague this figure are so varied in the severity that it is hard to pin down a cure all.
    Still brainstorming small mods for his robot mode.
     
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  6. Lukelbs

    Lukelbs Brand New: Science Fiction = Masterpiece

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    Molded and added a small autobot symbol, because it is so small the details are all muted. Looks good enough for me. More paint to follow.
    20170823_215653.jpg
     
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  7. OMEGAPRIME1983

    OMEGAPRIME1983 Well-Known Member

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    It's really annoying that they didn't add that detail. They did it for the leader figure, but they missed it on this? Frikkin A.... I'll wait for the alien attack figure... -_-....
     
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  8. Seth Sunthay

    Seth Sunthay ElusoryMonk

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    >Implying they can put an autobot symbol in a 3P figure
     
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  9. OMEGAPRIME1983

    OMEGAPRIME1983 Well-Known Member

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    haha, hadn't thought of that, but it isn't just the insignia that pushes me away from this figure. As I stated elsewhere, the masterpiece line is supposed to be the definitive figure of a character. It shouldn't take artistic liberties with it. To me, that's what the main line is for. Takara just missed the mark on this, I think.
     
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  10. Seth Sunthay

    Seth Sunthay ElusoryMonk

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    I have to agree in that.
     
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  11. maxxzander

    maxxzander Well-Known Member

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    Wow This figure really does brings out some serious case of OCD among collectors....
    Takara version doesn't quite fix the problem either :( 
     
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  12. deathzero23

    deathzero23 Well-Known Member

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    ...and it's UNIVERSAL QC PROBLEM.
     
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  13. AndreyOfDoom

    AndreyOfDoom maximize

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    How do you know Takara has all the issues too? Has somebody reported with one in hand?
     
  14. Jarrod

    Jarrod Semi-retired Builder

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    I was asked to post these here from the Discussion thread, so you go:


    Alright, so I think I figured out the problem, and I'll try and explain without pics, which I should be able to get to tonight:

    I think all the misalignment is due to those new tab placements on the chest panels. Tabbing those in shoves both the chest panels and the shoulder roof panels into an unnatural position. This causes some flex and warping on the soft gray plastic used on the hood/ chest panels. This causes a chain reaction, because now th roof panels are sitting higher, which means the frame that allows the shoulder to peg into the chest also flexes a bit, stretched slightly outward.

    To see an example of what I mean, open up his ab grill in robot mode and close up the chest panels. You'll see that the shoulder roof panels tab securely into the collarbone, and the chest/ hood panels fold up much closer and more secure. If you look into his arm pits, you can see that the chest/ hood panels actually also tab in under th arms. These tabs are useless and don't line up if you attach the chest panels with new chest tabs. So, to fix this issue either cut the bottom half of those chest tabs off, or remove them completely. (The armpit tabs are more than enough to secure the panels). You'll have a much better looking robot mode. I believe someone did something like this much earlier. @Lukelbs maybe?

    Now how does this all effect vehicle mode? Well, Prime is packaged in robot mode, and who know how long those parts have been forced into a unnatural positive, warping that softer plastic? And yes, part of that warping does appear to be th angle of the hood panels attached to the windshield. Now this could also explain why there's "good" and "bad" copies, depending on how exactly your Prime was packaging and where the chest panels were pegged or sitting, causing more or less warping. When I get y TT version in hand, seeing it's packed in truck mode, I'll be able to compare and see if there is any warping.


    Now, I also think that rivet holding the panel directly under the windshield is a problem. I feel it's either seated too deep, or crooked. Because it looks like those panels SHOULD be less angled than they are.


    Of course, this is all just my theory. But I've corrected mine with some fixes. Out of the box, my Hasbro copy represented some of the worse pics I've seen. Nothing lined up.

    I heated up and loosened the rivets under the windshield a bit, giving them some flex. I then used a hair dryer and heating up the hood panels and straightened them out as much as possible. Then used the hair dryer, heated up the frame the arms are connected to and squeezed it inwards some. All in all, I now have a Prime where I can get everything line up except the damn stacks. Now, getting the doors and windshield line up IS tricky, but once I get it there, it stays.

    I'll try to get pics later to hopefully better explain what I'm talking about.

    Ok, pics added, refer to my post above for more detail, but hopefully these will help. Also sorry for any typos or shortness. Still no internet here thanks to Irma, and have to do this all on my phone.

    Ok, so the little red tabs on the red firewall chest pieces. We know they got moved to a lower place that makes the chest sit higher and wider. But that forces the other hood panels, and the big blue shoulder block into the wrong spot.

    Here's how the panels look from the factory:
    [​IMG]

    And here's how they look when you mod the little tab to allow the chest panel to sit n it's proper place. Note how much less the angles they are, while giving s space for thr shoulder block to plug into
    [​IMG]

    Next, factory with red tab. Gray tab doesn't line up, and you can see the panels are pushed out a bit
    [​IMG]
    Red tab cut, gray tab lines up, red panels sit more flush.
    [​IMG]

    Cutting off the tab also allows the blue collarbone block to sit lower, fully seating this tab and hole
    [​IMG]
    As for the side effects forcing all that stuff into the wrong spot. Look how warped these panels are (please note, at this point I'd already begun to straighten parts)
    [​IMG]

    Likewise, forcing the blue block to sit even that 1-2mm higher means the shoulders don't lock in properly and flex outward

    [​IMG]
    And that right there affects truck mode big time. Because from underneath, the shoulders end up all kinds of wonky. (This pic is after I've corrected it. However the green lines represent the angle the shoulders originally sat at). This pushes much out of place.
    [​IMG]

    So, to correct it, I totally removed the red tabs. The I used the soldering iron trick to heat up, slightly loosen, and straighten out these rivets
    [​IMG]

    Using a hair dryer, I heated up and straightened out the red hood panels as much as possible. I got a few stress marks on accident, so be careful. You can see here how already the hood panels looks like they'll line up much better with the arms. The panels no longer have a hard slant downwards.
    [​IMG]

    And everything lined up so far. I find squeezing as shown below works wonders, and much better than waiting until later.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Alright, so next I heated up here and flexed those shoulder blocks inwards so they were nice and straight.[​IMG]

    And that's about it. Everything lines up great, expect I STILL can't get the smoke stacks connected. Here's some pics from multiple angles, plus a shot of the robot with the red tabs completely removed allowing all the chest parts to sit correct.
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
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  15. Jarrod

    Jarrod Semi-retired Builder

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    Swapping the roof hinges:
    Alright here you go. First, my tools. A block of wood, and a pin punch I got from Amazon for around $6. And a hammer and pliers, not pictured.

    [​IMG]

    Open up Prime so he looks like this. The punch is on the pin you'll need to tap out. Straighten out the punch so its totally vertical, and give it a few taps of the hammer...
    [​IMG]

    ...until you can see the pin on the other side. Pull out with pliers, and set aside the pin.
    [​IMG]

    Now you've got this piece separated. Using the same method, tap the pin out in the direction shown.
    [​IMG]

    Now, swap that little blue hinge piece. Right side goes to left and vice versa, so that both the slopes now fact the same direction:
    [​IMG]

    Then put you pin back in, carefully pushing in with pliers or blunt object. You may also need to gently tap back in with your hammer and punch for the last little bit. Make sure the knurled end goes in LAST.
    [​IMG]

    And youre done! And guess what...it fits together even slightly better now. I even have one smokestack fully lining up!
    [​IMG]
     
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  16. Jarrod

    Jarrod Semi-retired Builder

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    Alright, one last mod to the Hasbro one before my TT arrives later today. I'd already decided I'll be keeping the TT one, so it's been nice to have one to...experiment on and perfect any mods before implementing them later. So anyway, let's sink that face higher into the helmet.


    First pop off the right ear/antenna. Mine came off absurdly easy...your mileage may vary. Find the two screws and remove them.
    [​IMG]

    Wow...you can immediately see that the face is not sitting as high as it should. Look at that gap. It also appears that hinge may be the culprit.
    [​IMG]
    Remove the rivet by heating up with soldering iron, and pull the face out. First thing I did was cut down the hinge. Be careful, you don't want to cut all the way through.
    [​IMG]
    ....but that still didn't allow the fact to sit higher. So I beveled the top of the face parts, first by cutting down some, then sanding smooth.
    [​IMG]

    ....and still wasn't sitting higher. So it much be on the helmet piece still. I shaved down the inside of the brow, since it looked pretty thick there.
    [​IMG]

    And success! Face sits much higher now. But damn, is that clearance between the nose and hinge tight! I suspect the mold was purposefully changed here to avoid this, but that's just my guess.
    [​IMG]

    Reassemble everything and there you go. The eyes are now much closer to the helmet as they should be, and they now sit above the cheek guards instead of even with them.

    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
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  17. AndreyOfDoom

    AndreyOfDoom maximize

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    Thank you for all the posts! This could be the definitive guide to fix him!

    Didn't even notice the warping on the shoulder hinges. I had assumed it's the blue door panels that were warped as their peg also doesn't plug in fully to the slot by the elbow. This figure is crazy warped out of the box and every single copy has a different grade of that warping. Hopefully takara coming in truck mode eliminates possibility of this. I think those plastic ties are just too tight and they pull and warp all the recent figures in packaging.

    Two copies I've had had that right had antenna crooked. One had it angled in and the other was pointed more forward and too low. And to make matters worse they were glued in. I tried to remove the one on the worse copy and the peg broke off inside the hole...
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2017
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  18. Jarrod

    Jarrod Semi-retired Builder

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    Continuing with what I learned from Hasbro's and implementing on TT's:

    Alright, so TT version received. Straight out of the box, better than Hasbro, but still not perfect. Hood lines up really good, but doors are still off. The hood will pop up fairly easily though. But those smokestacks immediately lined up. Like near perfectly. They look to be every so slightly longer than Hasbro's, or they've just been made to fold out a bit more.

    [​IMG]

    Interestingly enough, one of the shoulders was still warped a bit. Hard to see in this photo...just couldn't get the right angle...but it's the one on the left. Same process, heat up with a hair dryer, bend straight. Other side was fine.

    [​IMG]

    But...look how perfectly straight those hood panels are! No warping since they weren't folded away awkwardly. There is still a slight gap between the hood and the windshield however. So I heated up that rivet, pressed in some, while also bending the panels upwards just a bit.
    [​IMG]

    There's also some little nubs on the gray hinges that I think are supposed to be little locking nubs....but I've seen them mangled more often than not, and just slice them off. It's that gap I've been getting rid of, and just makes everything line up better. After heating rivet with soldering iron, carefully, and slowly, bend the hinge upward/forward while its still hot/warm, until you eliminate the gap in front.
    [​IMG]

    Cut down both window tabs....did this on my Hasbro one too, forgot to mention. Took about a millimeter or two off top and bottom. I also cut the tab in the center of the windows, it was too tall my mm or two as well.
    20170919_094845a.jpg

    Test fit in vehicle mode at this point...great so far!

    [​IMG]

    And lastly, swap those roof hinges, and done. Every tab lined up and tabbed in, doors lined up, hood down. And secure too.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
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  19. tholmes6

    tholmes6 (Head) Master Stylist

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    Thanks for the info and comparisons Jarrod! This was very helpful in my choice of whether or not to sell my hasbro one and get the TT.
     
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  20. AndreyOfDoom

    AndreyOfDoom maximize

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    Disappointed Takara has the reversed roof hinges still! That plastic color looks hideous on Takara! Worse than in the stock photos in your pics as it doesn't look to match the silver well at all. Typically it was Hasbro with the cheap looking off white in the past.
     
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