Replacement Parts and Pieces
Like the rest of the toy world, model kits have a tendency to fall apart or break. But there's an advantage to models. They're easier to take apart again if you put it together in the first place, and sometimes replacing one part will give you extra room to repair other parts. I've had that kind of luck with kits lately and it stretches back to last year with my Master Grade F91 Cluster#@&%. Some things are just more fragile than they look and sometimes the form doesn't follow the function. SO this is where I make my excuses. The most recent builds I've been working on, or had lined up for review, have had some form of error to another. Whether the part is broken on the runner or the part breaks between its removal and installation.
With my choice distributor's rule of "If you open it, You can't get replacement parts for it" I've been left with going through HLJ.com. This method has its benefits that it gets me a fresh parts runner straight out of Shinjuku, and if need be I can order bare runners from other kits as well, but it pays to be honest and get only what I need otherwise these 'bogus' orders would cost more. The bad news is the shipping time, which rounds out to one full month on average.
How often does this happen? Well, here are the kits that stand out in my History of Replacement:
The 1/100 Astray Red Frame. Always remember your first. This was a simple one runner need, to replace a broken shoulder part.
The MG EX-S. Bandai's sleeve injection method isn't always perfect, with the bicep sleeve for the arm coming pre-fractured right out of the box. The split was clearly noticeable and the part literally floated in place.
The MG Freedom. A two runner error, all on the same arm. The sleeve for the forearm that came in the original kit suffered from excessive slag errors, and also the elbow joint was fractured along where the joint connected. By the time the replacement arrived, the original assembly (to be replaced) literally crumbled in my fingertips.
The 1/100 Infinite Justice. If you use old spray paint in poor ventilation conditions, things don't work out. This was entirely my bad and it forced me to replace a whole section of the Justice's fight pack. It just goes into my category of "Why I hate White Paint."
The R-1. The only model from Super Robot Wars to require parts. Kotobukiya's design method is so fragile that parts either crumbled to the touch or shattered when I removed them from the runner. After replacing the needed parts, I went to put it on display when suddenly the whole model collapsed on itself. The bad news is that the parts needed were on four different runners. When I contacted HLJ, they were regretful to tell me that this order was not possible. Due primarily to the fact that it was more expensive than the original kit, but they were at least looking out for my interests and saved me on the costs. So I let the R-1 rest on my shelf in a shattered pile of plastic and shame, a reminder of my errors and of a model that just didn't fit together.
The MG RX-78-2 Version OYW. My favorite version of the original Gundam and a nemesis. There were a few errors in its fabrication, but this one also suffered from my own errors. One miscut from the parts tree resulted in a few parts having large gashes such as my slip of the blade taking a large chunk out of the shield. On the upside it rests in my category of "Just In Case" replacements where I have the parts to repair a good portion of the model should I need to.
The MG F91. My most expensive replacement endeavor. While its one my favorite designs from the UC (behind the GP-01, Powered GM and Jegan), its model kit aggrivated me from the day it arrived on my doorstep. Over the course of its construction I had to replace nearly every runner. Some so much as TWICE. Due in part to personal errors, but also to a wide range of injection errors. Its inner frame is so fragile at its scale many parts fractured at key points and some parts just shattered to the touch. Call it irony that the store I ordered it from went out of business soon after I placed the order.
The MG Strike Freedom. Call me Butterfingers, where the model slipped out of my hand and fell from a short distance and hit my work table and parts scattered. After a fruitless search I thought them lost until I found them under my keyboard. By then I had already placed the parts order, but was able to halt the majority of the order and narrow it down to the basics I needed for some minor repairs to the hands. The good news out of this is that I have spare parts for the wing binders, should the assembly in the current model fail.
The MG Gundam Unicorn Version Ka. Unique design, fragile gimmick. If anybody's seen the Gundam Unicorn, they will know that its design is insanely thought out, and its Master Grade incarnation lives up to the challenge of showing the Unicorn in normal mode and its "Newtype Destroy Mode." While I was building it, I was testing out the transformation, a piece in the shoulder snapped. Although I covered it by gluing the piece, I knew that any attempt to change the model back into its other form would break my fix. Soon enough it did and I replaced it. This is one of those "You know its going to Happen again" orders, so it pays to have a spare.
The MG Hi-Nu Gundam. The Last Straw from Amuro's Last Gundam. This is my most recent, and to the knock on wood, my last order for a while. Probably the only irritating feature of the design, the cockpit hatch is built into the collar which is hinged behind the neck. In my vigor to assemble the structure, I made the mistake of not following the manual's required stages, so when I went to correct it the collar snapped on one side. At the end of November, a replacement parts order was struck by holiday traffic and nearly hit the 45 day limit on HLJ's shipping method. Fortunately the parts arrived yesterday, and the assembly was repaired.
Well thats it for me for now, I know in the back of my mind there are other incidents, but these are the ones that stand out the most. To cap this off, I just want to say Happy New Year and give a big thanks to everyone for reading my banter over the years! One more thing, that I've changed my sign in name to something a little more 'niche' friendly, hope everybody likes it.
|Posted 6 January, 2009 - 11:04 by Gunpla Rob|