Firming up Ladies Mission Ankles


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LM ankle disassembled The flange-type ankles of Ladies Mission (LM) style bodies often become floppy.
Fortunately there are several ways of firming up these ankles.

The design of LM style ankles is friction based. A flange molded on top of the foot is sandwiched between a, vertically split, two-part ankle with a hinge pin.
Friction between the foot and the ankle occurs where the hole in the flange on the foot envelops the hinge pin, where the sides of the flange touch the insides of the ankle parts, but should also occur where the top of the flange touches the inside of the ankle parts. However manufacturing tolerances are often too wide for the top of the flange to actually touch the insides of the ankle parts.

Adding something between the sides of the flange and the ankle parts is a bad idea because it will force the ankle parts apart, causing these to snap loose or break.
So increasing friction should be done either by adding something between the hole in the flange and the pin, or between the top of the flange and the ankle.

The methods described here work for LM v1, v2 and Slim bodies.

This page describes two different methods, the first one is easiest as it requires no disassembling:


Inserting a cardboard strip

LM ankle where to add cardboard Tools and materials needed:

The way LM ankles are fabricated allows for a wide variety in the clearance between the top of the flange and the ankle, even between left and right ankles on the same figure.
In theory the top of the flange should rub against the inside of the ankle, in practice the flange rarely touches it.
To add friction the space between the flange and the ankle (yellow in the picture) can be filled with cardboard or with a piece of snugly rolled coarse paper (such as brown wrapping paper).
To select the right thickness of cardboard to be used, cut some 2mm wide strips of various thicknesses.

LM ankle with cardboard strips Move the foot away from the side where the strip will be inserted (i.e. down if inserted from the front or up if inserted from the rear).
Carefully try inserting a strip into the gap between the ankle and the foot, if it can not get in then try a thinner strip, if the strip fits loose then try a thicker strip.
With a strip of the right thickness, the strip will shift when the foot is moved up or down.


LM ankle with cardboard strips When the right thickness is found, remove it from the ankle and move the foot away again.
Apply some all-purpose glue to the top of the strip. Hold the strip with the glue facing the ankle (i.e. away from the foot) and insert the strip into the gap until it comes out at the other side of the ankle.
Moving the foot might help to guide the strip all the way in.


LM ankle with cardboard strips Let the glue cure and trim the strip to match the contours of the ankle.
The lower leg in the picture has a cardboard strip fitted and trimmed.
The ends of the strip can be touched up with some skin colored hobby paint, if desired.




Inserting a length of thread

Tools and materials needed:

For this method the ankles have to be taken apart.
The ankle consists of two halves that fit around a pivot pin at the end of the leg.
The pictures show the ankle parts already removed from the leg.

LM ankle disassembled To disassemble the ankle, carefully insert the tip of a sharp hobby knife into the top of the seam at the rear of the ankle parts. This should make the halves of the ankle snap apart.
Lift the part without the hinge pin off, remove the ankle from the pivot pin on the leg and take the foot off of the hinge pin.
Lay one or more thin threads across the hinge pin and push the foot back on the pin.
Move the foot to see if friction has increased sufficiently, if not take the foot off, add another thread, put the foot back and try moving the foot again.
Trim any ends of the threads protruding from the outsides of the ankles.


where to glue LM ankle To assemble the ankle again, apply a small amount of glue to the areas marked in blue on the picture.
Do make sure the glue can not reach the pivot pin !
Fit the ankle-with-foot to the pivot pin on the leg, put the other half of the ankle on top and push the halves together.



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