TakaraTomy Masterpiece MP-44 Convoy V.3 - Proactive Leg Fix

Discussion in 'Tutorials and How Tos' started by BrutiKing, Sep 3, 2019.

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  1. BrutiKing

    BrutiKing Fixing MP-44s

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    FOR PEOPLE WHO BROKE THEIR MP-44 HERE'S HOW I FIXED MINE. THIS IS ALSO MORE DURABLE THAN THE UNBROKEN ORIGINAL.

    Thanks to @kentan99 for the original idea.
    @God Orion I never expected to be the one making a fix, but here ya go.

    Step 1: Disassembly
    IMG_7937.jpg

    This is the back of the thigh piece you wanna take off.
    IMG_7938.jpg
    Should Look like this when you're done.

    Step 2: Ratchet
    IMG_7939.jpg
    Here is the ratchet piece that all the breakage surrounds
    IMG_7940.jpg
    You wanna apply the glue on the bottom of the ratchet on the "outside" of the ring connecting it into the inner calf. Also, I recommend using gorilla gel super glue to do this. Real durable stuff.
    IMG_7941.jpg
    Put the piece into it's slot and clean up the excess glue with a toothpick. Leave it to dry for around 5 mins.

    Step 3: Reassembly
    IMG_7942.jpg
    Screw in the lower ratchet pieces like so and position the ratchets as though the leg is straight. This will allow you to reattach the other white piece easier.
    IMG_7943.jpg
    Put the knee back into the thigh and put the ratchet in like so. Screw the back of the thigh in.

    Step 4: You're done. It probably won't break anymore. Life's Good.
    IMG_7944.jpg
    Now you can play with your MP-44! I will do a paint fixing tutorial in the future. I have a lot of scuffs.


    @Jarrod adds: Great fix! I was going to suggest similar, but you've already done the work. Also, adding tiny pins like the Japanese Twitter user from earlier would definitely work too.

    Having this in hand, and seeing how everything works, its clear, that stupid little blue ratchet piece is absolutely the offender. Regardless of how tight that ratchet is, or how snug the white channel is, because it's a separate part from the lower leg is the problem. I can't see any reason why it's separate as well, and seems to be a pretty poor decision and bonehead move on TT's part. The ratchet compresses inside the knee, so that small part should have no reason to move, and therefor no reason to be separate.

    So, for those of who you have intact knees, here's some preventative maintenance I have done. Now, this could be completely avoided if you're just careful, and understand one specific point:

    The most important thing to understand is, the tab, indicated by the green arrow, MUST slide into the channel, indicated by the red arrow, to allow the lower knee to bend!
    View attachment 28380235

    It should look like this.
    View attachment 28380236

    BUT, the tabs on both my legs were a very snug fit...like they barely slid it, and I could feel resistance.

    Likewise, the tab can be slightly misaligned. This is due to the tiny bit of play in the ratchets, but also the play in little tabs on the small blue piece. (Another reason this part should not be separate, because then there'd be no play there!
    View attachment 28380237
    If you tried to bend the lower joint, with the upper joint fully bent, but the tab not properly aligned, as shown above, you will damage the ratchet housing!

    So, I took apart the lower leg, and trimmed down that sliding tab some. I first trimmed the "front" edge (red arrow), the edge that goes inside the channel first, into a point. This way, if it was a little higher or lower, it could guide into the channel. I also sanded down the upper and inside edges some, the edges indicated the green arrows.
    View attachment 28380240


    Lastly, I noticed during disassembly, that the ratchet part, visible below, was kinda tight on the shaft indicated by green arrow, and didn't slide up and down as easily as it probably should.

    View attachment 28380241

    So, just to be safe, I pulled out that small ratchet piece and spring, put some hobby lube on the shaft, put the spring and ratchet back on, and put a little lube on the ratchet too. Don't know how necessary this was, but better safe than sorry.

    View attachment 28380239

    Finally, put everything back together, and I can now freely swing both joints back and forth with a smooth, buttery motion. I no longer get the stop with a little resistance before the second joint kicks in, and the tab slides right in and out of the channel flawlessly!




    I think adding some oil/lube to the rail would probably be a decent option as well, if you don't want to, or don't feel the need to trim/sand the rail on the blue piece. And you're right, it would definitely be the quickest option. I think adding it the ratchet is probably a good idea as well, it certainly can't hurt!

    Thanks to @Jarrod for the insight.
     
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  2. BrutiKing

    BrutiKing Fixing MP-44s

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    Basically, I drill 3 holes (kinda like a triangle shape) on the back of the ratchet. Not all the way through. Same to the side in the inner thigh. take metal rods and glue them through. This kinda acts like a peg on a gundam.

    I’d also recommend the fix as a preventative for the breakage.

    I have yet to paint it, but it seems to match very closely to Mr. Hobby’s character yellow. I’ll see if I can snap a pic for that.

    Mr. Hobby is a Lacquer paint, so you have to be careful, since lacquers mess around with takara’s paint jobs. Basically, get it right the first time or airbrush.

    Edit: here’s a sample of character yellow:
    B4E898A4-C53E-4C92-8BAC-33CB52207C63.jpeg

    Nah. Lacquer paints are pretty durable. You also have the tone you would like already below the paint. Priming is usually a neural coating that makes sure the colour of the paint is balanced/even. Also helps paint to stick, but in the case of lacquer, that isn’t much of a problem. I don’t recommend handbrushing lacquers though unless it is a really small scuff. Handbrushing is quite difficult to pull off. Acrylics are better for handbrushing, but are less durable. Mr. Hobby has their acrysion line, where they have the same colour selection as their lacquer line, but acrylic. I believe their number codes are the same too. I hope this helps!

    There’s a specific slot that the second ratchet is supposed to go through, and if you don’t get it through, the ratchet rotates in its housing and grinds away plastic.
     
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  3. Jarrod

    Jarrod Semi-retired Builder

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    Great fix! I was going to suggest similar, but you've already done the work. Also, adding tiny pins like the Japanese Twitter user from earlier would definitely work too.

    Having this in hand, and seeing how everything works, its clear, that stupid little blue ratchet piece is absolutely the offender. Regardless of how tight that ratchet is, or how snug the white channel is, because it's a separate part from the lower leg is the problem. I can't see any reason why it's separate as well, and seems to be a pretty poor decision and bonehead move on TT's part. The ratchet compresses inside the knee, so that small part should have no reason to move, and therefor no reason to be separate.

    So, for those of who you have intact knees, here's some preventative maintenance I have done. Now, this could be completely avoided if you're just careful, and understand one specific point:

    The most important thing to understand is, the tab, indicated by the green arrow, MUST slide into the channel, indicated by the red arrow, to allow the lower knee to bend!
    20190903_173717.jpg

    It should look like this.
    20190903_174003.jpg

    BUT, the tabs on both my legs were a very snug fit...like they barely slid it, and I could feel resistance.

    Likewise, the tab can be slightly misaligned. This is due to the tiny bit of play in the ratchets, but also the play in little tabs on the small blue piece. (Another reason this part should not be separate, because then there'd be no play there!
    20190903_174019.jpg
    If you tried to bend the lower joint, with the upper joint fully bent, but the tab not properly aligned, as shown above, you will damage the ratchet housing!

    So, I took apart the lower leg, and trimmed down that sliding tab some. I first trimmed the "front" edge (red arrow), the edge that goes inside the channel first, into a point. This way, if it was a little higher or lower, it could guide into the channel. I also sanded down the upper and inside edges some, the edges indicated the green arrows.
    20190903_175258.jpg


    Lastly, I noticed during disassembly, that the ratchet part, visible below, was kinda tight on the shaft indicated by green arrow, and didn't slide up and down as easily as it probably should.

    20190903_175919.jpg

    So, just to be safe, I pulled out that small ratchet piece and spring, put some hobby lube on the shaft, put the spring and ratchet back on, and put a little lube on the ratchet too. Don't know how necessary this was, but better safe than sorry.

    20190903_174636.jpg

    Finally, put everything back together, and I can now freely swing both joints back and forth with a smooth, buttery motion. I no longer get the stop with a little resistance before the second joint kicks in, and the tab slides right in and out of the channel flawlessly!


    I think adding some oil/lube to the rail would probably be a decent option as well, if you don't want to, or don't feel the need to trim/sand the rail on the blue piece. And you're right, it would definitely be the quickest option. I think adding it the ratchet is probably a good idea as well, it certainly can't hurt!
     
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  4. kentan99

    kentan99 Well-Known Member

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    They can't move independently without damage. The upper joint has to bend fully to allow the lower joint to move in as there's a circular track inside. The damage has nothing to do with this, and it's rather the housing of the lower joint that warps in place. This image below shows how the knee would work normally.
    [​IMG]
     
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