By Generation: Fans Toys FT-05 Soar – Squeaky Shoulders Fix

Discussion in 'Tutorials and How Tos' started by Matt Booker, Jan 10, 2015.

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  1. Matt Booker

    Matt Booker Fantasy Adventure Author

    Sep 3, 2008
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    Fans Toys Soar is a hefty assemblage of plastic and diecast and chrome. In dino mode all that silver and gold is on full display, and it looks so shiny it’s hard not to swoop it around the room.

    While making various skreeonk noises, of course.

    But Fans Toys Dinobots Iron Dibots look just as good in robot mode, and Swoop Soar is no exception. It straddles the line between being cartoon-accurate and detailed-enough-to-not-look-bland. It’s the kind of robot mode that makes you just want to pose it, to lift the arms and–


    Wait, did those arms just skreeonk?

    Okay, so maybe not quite a skreeonk, but rotating the arms on it makes a noise like an angry nest of mice. That are going through puberty. And that hate robot arms being moved.

    But it’s not just the noise, dear reader, which to me is about like nails on a chalkboard, but that one shoulder joint moves like a rickety robot from a 1950s movie… and the other gets so tight it feels like you’re going to break something. Not that it actually would break, but it certainly gets the hamfist senses baconing.

    So, how can FT Swoop’s soar shoulders be fixed? Is there nothing that can stop that horrendous squeak and smooth the halting jerk of its swivel joint?

    Of course there is! Otherwise this wouldn’t be much of a mod guide on how to fix Fans Toys Soar.

    Step 0: Cite Your Sources!

    Okay, so not quite step one, but I want t0 mention where I got some information on the type of product I used. It’s something that I’d heard about before, and it’s commonly used by action figure collectors to fix squeaky ball and swivel joints. A quick google search led me to a guide on how to fix squeaky action figure joints on, which is informative and talks about the best weight of this product to buy.

    It’s worth a look, if you feel like spoiling the mystery of what that product is.

    Otherwise, read on to step one!

    So let’s get going with step one!

    Step 1: Shock Oil!

    Aren’t you glad you didn’t spoil it? Now you can click that link at any time and–

    No! Wait! Click it after you’re done reading here. That’s a good dear reader. Now at this point you might be wondering what shock oil actually is, and why I’d be recommending you put oil in a plastic joint when normally that’s not the best for putting to plastic.

    However, shock oil is just a product name for silicone gel, which is something that’s perfectly safe to put on plastic and makes it about as lubed as the state of Kentucky’s abbreviation implies. There’s various brands available, but there are two main things to watch out for here. One is that it’s 100% pure silicone gel, and the other is that it’s 80 weight.

    The weight of an oil just refers to its viscosity, or how thick it is. The higher the number, the thicker the oil. The owner of the shop where I bought my bottle told me that once you get past 80 weight it’s a different product, and I didn’t stand around to question him further so that could refer to something that’s not 100% silicone gel. While you want the silicone gel to be thick enough that it can actually be applied to the joint, it probably shouldn’t be too thick either. I bought a bottle of 80 weight silicone gel shock oil and it worked great, so that’s what I’m recommending.

    That’s also what recommended, so I can fix any squeaky action figure joints that I come across. Bonus!

    I bought a bottle of Trinity brand shock oil, both because that’s what my local shop carries and because it declared right on the label that it’s 100% silicone. It was about the size of a craft paint bottle you’d find at Walmart, and cost about $5. I used less than a drop, so it looks like I won’t need to buy any more unless this bottle gets lost or I’m trying to fill a pair of artificial boobs on some sort of sex robot that I can lease out to politicians in an elaborate scheme to take over the world.

    Not that I’d do that, of course.

    So where do you buy it? You can find it in a hobby shop that has a lot of RC equipment, as the product is actually used to lubricate the shocks on radio controlled cars. If you don’t have a local shop like that, you can always buy a bottle on the internet. Just search for 100% silicone gel shock oil.

    Over in the FT Soar thread, autotronprime mentioned another product called Diff Lube, saying that it’s 100% silicone gel just like shock oil. It was what a lot of people used to lube up the joints on their TFC Hercules.

    Step 2: Screw Fans Toys Soar!

    That’s right. You’ll need to get your trusty tool and really take it to those holes, working it around until-

    Let's try that again... And maybe I should have named this step UNscrew Fans Toys Soar.

    Because that’s what you’ll be doing. With your screwdriver.

    In a totally non-sexual way.

    But where, you might ask? After all, it’s a big and complex masterpiece level of transfiguring robot parts. Surely such an intricate–

    Two screws. You start off with two screws.


    Yup. You remove those two screws on FT Soar’s back and it will allow the wings and head to detach all in one tidy piece.

    That lets you get access to the robot’s shoulders, where you’ll need to do something even more complex, requiring a whole new level of skill and–

    Three screws. Three on each shoulder piece.


    Yup. The hardest thing to do when disassembling Swoop for this mod is using a screwdriver. I’d recommend working on one shoulder at a time, just so you don’t get confused as to what part is on the back. Of course, you could just look at this picture to tell you, and the parts only fit on there one way, but doing them one at a time will give you a satisfying comparison between a smooth shoulder movement and one that skreeonks.

    As for the screws themselves, don’t worry if you get them mixed up because they’re all the same kind of screw. I kept track of what screw when where, though, because I like to do that. It’s a good habit to get into for when you encounter screws that are different sizes, and it’s easy to do if when arranged in patterns.


    Step 3: Pull Apart Shoulder Parts

    This next step might seem more complicated than using a screwdriver, but it’s just moving the chest part out of the way so you can get to the shoulder bits, then pulling apart those shoulder bits.

    If you find that the shoulder bits are pretty tight together, just rotate the arm a bit and it will wiggle open a gap between the parts, if not popping them off completely.


    Step 4: Apply Shock Oil To Toothpick

    Here’s where we really start to take advice from that guide I linked to earlier. Open up your bottle of shock oil and just barely, BARELY dab the tip of a toothpick in the top of the gel.

    Just enough to moisten the tip.

    And no, that wasn’t sexual innuendo.

    Okay, so it might have been.

    But just barely touch it to the top of the silicone gel. If it looks like there’s a drop on there, wipe it on the inside rim of the bottle. There should basically just be some residue on the toothpick, to the point where you might not even notice it’s there.

    Here’s an example of how to notice it’s there!


    There was a warning on my bottle of Trinity 100% Pure Silicone Shock Oil that said not to get this in your eyes or ingest it. You should probably also not poke yourself with the toothpick.

    Step 5: Apply Shock Oil To Shoulder Parts

    Did I make you nervous during the previous step? Are you worried you might get too much on the joints and then your fancy masterpiece Swoop is going to be a floppy armed mess?

    If so, pretend I slapped you.

    The best way to do that is to slap yourself.

    Not in any malicious way, of course. More like a jolt of senses so you stop worrying about it.

    I guess you could throw water in your face if you prefer, but where’s the fun for me in that?

    But no, dear reader, you aren’t going to mess up Fans Toys Soar’s shoulders and make them floppy. Even if you slathered this stuff on, the pressure of the joint would probably just squeeze out the excess while keeping it tight enough to hold poses. THIS WOULD NOT BE THE CASE WITH A BALL JOINT ON AN ACTION FIGURE.

    Of course, why would you slather it on anyway? Just moisten the tip of a toothpick like I said, then rub that around on the shoulder halves. You won’t see the gel itself so much as how it makes the shoulder halves look slightly wet.

    Here’s a picture with the places to apply it colored red.


    Don’t bother with applying it to the arm peg. Just put it on the shoulder halves, then take them and put them on the arm peg. There’s no need to screw them back in during testing, so just hold them together with some pressure and move the arm around. That will lubricate the peg and will tell you whether or not you need a bit more on there.

    The first Fans Toys Soar shoulder that I fixed needed a second application before it was where I wanted it, so I was a bit more liberal with the gel on the toothpick for the second shoulder.

    Step 6: Reassemble!

    Reassemble the parts back on the robot and you’ve got a Fans Toys Soar with fixed shoulders!

    They’re nice and silky smooth, with no squeaking, and the arms can still hold poses. Not every Fans Toys Soar has squeaky shoulders, but if yours does then I hope this guide helped you. Swoop is so much more fun to mess around with now that his arms can be moved without sounding they hate everything.

    Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some swooping to do.


    ~Matt Booker

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    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 14, 2015
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