Minor/Repaint: Fanstoys FT-28 Hydra Joint Fixes and Modifications

Discussion in 'Radicons Customs' started by BronzeLeagueHero, Apr 23, 2024.

  1. BronzeLeagueHero

    BronzeLeagueHero Well-Known Member

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    I recently picked up a copy of FT-28 Hydra and like many owners was disappointed in the QC. Good thing Fanstoys hates glue so I was able to address most of the issues I had by disassembling the joints.

    1. Elbows and Bicep Swivel

    Two screws later and the entire forearm assembly comes off at the bicep swivel, which gives access to the elbow joint as well.
    IMG_20240423_114231985.jpg
    I applied a single layer of PTFE tape around the bicep swivel, then hit it with dielectric grease/ptfe grease to reduce the wear and tear. This significantly increases the bicep swivel tightness and prevents it from flopping around, but I noticed some slight bulging from the extra thickness of the peg.

    I applied some PTFE grease to the elbow joint to prevent the secondary elbow joint from activating before this one. Makes the wheel on the forearm less likely to untab and come out.

    2. Thigh Swivel

    Disassembling the thighs with 3 screws on the side lets you access the thigh swivel and the knee joint.
    IMG_20240423_114409035.jpg
    I applied some PTFE grease here as I noticed the thigh swivel would "catch" on the plastic edges of the hip joint and lock up the thigh rotation. The grease stops this from happening and the thigh swivel is still tight.

    3. Knee Ratchet Fix

    A lot of people have complained about his knees, and truth to be told it's a legitimate issue. There's too much weight in the calves/lower legs for the small ratchet joint Fanstoys used.


    Two screws allow you to disassemble the knee ratchet after you have removed them from the disassembled thigh.
    IMG_20240423_114447521.jpg
    I had some silicone spacers lying around, but metal washers or anything that can fit in this confined space will work. I cut them to size, placed them around the screw post on the bottom, then reassembled the knee ratchet. The spacers compress the spring further and increase the tightness of the ratchet. Afterwards the knees felt very good to articulate.

    I decided to not eliminate the side-to-side looseness of the knee joint, but I suspect some superglue thickening and/or floor polish thickening can help solve that.

    4. Knee Panel

    For lack of a better term, the "knee panel" refers to the fold out panel on the side of the legs.
    IMG_20240423_115034570.jpg
    One screw holds the entire panel into place and controls how tight/loose it is. I applied a single layer of PTFE tape to the screw before re-installing it and it tightened the joint extremely well.

    EDIT: 6/2/2024 - It didn't hold as well as I thought, and the panel became loose overtime. But not "floppy", just loose. You can try to reapply the PTFE tape but it just looks like moving this panel slowly unscrews the screw. Superglue obviously works as that prevents the screw outright from moving.

    5. (optional) Full Range Waist Swivel

    This is a permanent modification to the figure and cannot be undone. However, in my opinion it was worth it and it is nearly perfectly hidden without a keen eye.

    First, take off the crotch piece by removing these two screws here, the ones sticking out from their screw holes. They are hidden underneath the back flap that normally locks in the legs in wolf mode.
    IMG_20240423_114732070.jpg
    The crotch piece should now detach alongside the front skirts.

    The crotch piece interferes with the waist rotation, so to remedy that issue I used a high speed rotary tool (a Dremel) to shave down the plastic. Luckily, the plastic molding underneath the top of the crotch piece has a plastic wall that's aligned with the waist swivel.
    IMG_20240423_114830717.jpg
    Shaving down the crotch with the rotary tool, then using a file and some sand paper to clean up and make the plastic sit flush, not only allows the waist to freely rotate, but doesn't leave behind a hole that needs to be covered. Without someone comparing two Hydras directly to each other it's nearly impossible to see the difference.

    As a result, Hydra now has full waist rotation and can make use of that ratcheted waist swivel.
    IMG_20240423_115128333.jpg
    As a side effect, he also has a better ab crunch. But it doesn't work better than before, rather once you go past the normal limit of the crunch it snaps fully down with no positions in between. Modifying the crunch requires removing pins that hold in the side skirts however.

    After these 5 fixes I'm much happier with Hydra. He can hold poses much better than before and doesn't have as much of a problem with looseness and floppiness than previously. 4/5 of these fixes can be done with basic supplies and a Phillips head screwdriver so I encourage you to try these fixes for yourself.

    EDIT: 6/2/2024

    I have another 3 changes for FT-28 Hydra. All of these changes concerns the back wings of Hydra. These can all be done with a screwdriver like before, except for one. It causes permanent damage to the figure but cosmetically preserves his look.

    6. Ratchet Removal
    IMG_20240602_003909947.jpg
    IMG_20240602_003704952.jpg

    By unscrewing the 3 screws on each wing we can disassemble them. We can now access the two halves of each "wing base" as well as the "wing". Removing the wing from its peg reveals the ratchet nubs. If you want to reverse the wings, I would recommend removing these. They are tight but not glued in.

    7. Reverse the bases and wings
    IMG_20240602_003823485.jpg

    The wing bases are actually symmetrical top to bottom. This means we can swap the left wing base with the right wing base. Note in the picture the change from the previous peg located on the top, to a peg hole on the bottom. You can also flip the wings around so that they fold outward as the ratchet being removed means that it is no longer necessary to worry about the ratchet teeth interlocking with the ratchet nubs.
    IMG_20240602_004135048.jpg
    As a direct result of this, Hydra's swords can be stored in this configuration (split down the middle, one to either side) which allow the wings to prop themselves on the sword and not fall completely flat. Not a complete fix to their floppiness but without a 3d printed part this will work. And without the swords they will still fold, no superglue here.

    9. (optional) Extra Storage Holes
    IMG_20240602_003608160.jpg

    Drilling into the corners as shown with the appropriate drill bit (5/32") allows storage of the guns on the outside of the wing bases rather than the inside as it comes normally. You want the edges of the holes to be touching the plastic walls on the other side. There is JUST enough clearance that you can store the swords and the guns on the same side now.
    IMG_20240602_004031887.jpg
    And personally, I think it looks great.
    IMG_20240602_004836710.jpg

    If I have any more fixes and mods done to this figure I'll edit the thread accordingly.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2024
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  2. Unicron9

    Unicron9 Fan and customizer of the TAWYS

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    Hydra is one of my top 5 favorite figures so I will save this to refer to if I find myself having any of the problems you mentioned. I get mine out to transform it every few months or so. I don't recall any really loose joints but I don't always have him in bot mode where I guess most of these issues are issues.
     
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  3. shiftypenguin

    shiftypenguin Fancy-Pantsless Dancer

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    Nice job on these mods!
     
  4. ldl0021

    ldl0021 Well-Known Member

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  5. altezen

    altezen Well-Known Member

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  6. Superquad7

    Superquad7 OCP Police Crime Prevention Unit 001 Super Content Contributor

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  7. BronzeLeagueHero

    BronzeLeagueHero Well-Known Member

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    Added a few extra mods and fixes to Hydra to improve his back wings. He can store all of his weapons and they no longer flop in robot mode and jet mode nearly as badly. Though gun storage in jet mode is compromised as a result, to me that's not a big loss.
     
  8. BronzeLeagueHero

    BronzeLeagueHero Well-Known Member

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