When I Have an Itch...

...I Modify.  In this case, that wretched Unicorn vKa knee that had so limited an articulation they might as well have kept the darned thing in a fixed position.  This thing has been bugging me ever since I got that second half-built Unicorn.  After the ZeroGunz Unicorn/Astray Group Build officially started, I asked Rayloke if he planned to do any articulation modifications to the Uni's knees.  He can, and it is indeed possible, even from my perspective, but, he hadn't any plans to pose his build in a kneeling position, so, he didn't do any.

Even the OVA/HD version, which sported a darker ABS frame, was a disappointment, as if the "150%" increased articulation angle (from 60-75 to a full 90 degrees) was a big deal.

Armored Hindrance.  Assessing the knees (I have been doing this on an off for quite some time now), I've identified the obvious problem spots with the armor attached.  Those "calf fins" would definitely have to me modified.  But, instead of cutting it short, I decided to cut the upper section and make the fins "flay" out, like the twin rudders of the F22 raptor.  The protruding central knee will also have to be modified for it to move inside the flayed fins and so I won't have to flay the fins so much.



But the Real Problem wasn't There. Examining the inner frame of the knee revealed that even without the armor, the articulation angle is still limited to about 90 degrees.  Something must have screwed up during the prototyping, and Bandai didn't bother correcting it, not that full articulated knees was really a concern back then.  This is where the Unicorn pales in comparison with the Sinanju (got a pun there) in terms of a solid design, yet very articulated, especially the knees.



I spotted the areas restricting the articulation and decided on a simple solution: PLASTIC SURGERY.  So finally, I have a use for my fresh Knife blade.  Though I find myself using the side cutter to trim off most sections, a sharp knife is ideal in leveling  those rough edges.  The knife is also a perfect straightedge guide for short distances. 




That simple modification gave the knee a considerable increase in articulation angle.  I wonder why Bandai didn't think of this when with the OVA/HD version?



Although the modification significantly improved the articulation range, I realized a while later that there is still the matter of the armor and other parts, specifically the swiveling calf mechanism that hides the calf thruster.  I just trimmed off what I can to the point where where the Fire Red psycho frame connects to the inner leg's swivel mechanism that drives the knee cap out in transform mode.



While I was writing this, I veered off and went to 1999 and Dalong to check for references, and this was one of the changes Bandai made with the OVA/HD version.



Though, in my case, I also increased the inner frame's thigh/knee articulation, so I also modified the that part of the armor that hinders the articulation angle.



The top edge of the calf fits into the modified thigh with enough allowance.  With the armor on, I was only able to get 120 degrees from 160.  It's not enough, but still significantly better than 90 degrees.  I can probably do further modifications later on (like, extend the inner frame that connects to the knee case, but it won;t be simple)to get this up at least to 140 degrees.  I want the Unicorn to have a natural-looking kneel when posed.



Comparing the unmodified and modified knees.




To be Continued...

Comments

  1. I think since this is a Ver.Ka kit, we can safely blame Hajime Katoki for the flaws, since he did design the mech, kit & parts.

    Honestly, there shouldn't be any reason why the kit's elbow and knee articulation shouldn't be more than 90 degrees and this must have been an oversight on Katoki's part. And those @^%$!& ankles are just plain retarded.

    I respect Katoki as a mech designer, but as an engineer, I think he still needs improvement. Most of his MGs are great, but the Unicorn and Victory...eh.

    I'm thinking maybe it's a good thing he didn't completely engineer the new MG Wing EW kits :P

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    Replies
    1. I wouldn't say it's Katoki's fault. These things undergo prototyping, and they do have time to solve these issues, bought probably opted not to. As we can see in some of Bandai's releases, they highlight articulation and gimmicks, so I guess it's a matter of priority after the design has come out of prototype.

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