1/6 Scale Ladies Mission Vera - Repairs


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Vera topless Vera is another one of my 'spares-box sweethearts'.
Her body is a generic LM body that got wrecked in the mail.
This page describes the repairs and enhancements I performed to turn the broken body into a figure.

Before I decided to repair the damaged LM body it was just a bag of broken parts in my spares box so I used some of the parts for spares and for tests:

New Left Arm

While repairing Claudia I pieced the left arm of the damaged LM body together and swapped it with the DIY arm I had made for Claudia.

Improved Body Contours

reshaped LM body chest

When I assembled Emma I wanted to reshape the contours of her (similar) Triad/LM body so I used the spare damaged LM body for practice to see how much I could trim off of the body parts before the plastic got too thin.
I fixed the cracked seams of the torso and hip sections, scraped and sanded all seams flush, rounded off the rather square edges at the waist joints and reshaped the contours of the breasts.
I was very pleased with how the spare body ended up looking and had managed to avoid creating any thin weak spots so now I had one more reason to try and patch up the spare body.


Repairs and enhancements

After I decided to repair the body, these are some of the things I did:

Vera checking her new wrist

Arms

The arms were in pieces without much damage to the parts. I had already modified the LM left arm to fit Claudia so I decided to keep the DIY arm fitted to the left shoulder and made some improvements to it: inserting vinyl rings in the joints for added friction and adding a shoulder cap to improve the function and looks of the shoulder joint.

Repairing the right arm was mostly a matter of gluing the pieces back together. I would have liked to sand down the upper arm to make the parts match better across the pivot joint but the plastic was simply too thin to sand down.

Body

The damage to the body consisted of some cracked seams, most of which I had already glued back together before cleaning up the seams and reshaping the contours.
I also filled most of the sink marks by building up thin layers of CA glue, a technique I took from making scale models. The transparent CA glue becomes almost invisible after sanding.

Legs

The legs had suffered the most damage: the lower legs had been bent sideways at the knees and partly crushed. LM v2 knees consist of an 8-shaped plate with a kneecap on one edge, the plates of both legs were bent and the attachments in thighs and lower legs were broken.

To piece the lower legs back together I first used a heat gun to reshape bent pieces and to remove any white stress marks, then I applied a lot of glue (in small doses) to attach the pieces.
I managed to complete one lower leg and replaced its broken ankle with a DIY ankle cup. The other lower leg just looked too much of a mess to restore.

When I tried to straighten one of the bent knee joints it broke in half. Joining the broken halves with a piece of threaded rod did not work: the halves of the joint kept working loose and twist out of alignment.
Apart from that the attachment of the knee joint in the lefthand upper leg had suffered too much damage to restore back into a tight joint.
All this meant that I could restore the righthand leg to full length but not the lefthand one.
I looked into making crutches and even an adjustable peg leg but a one-legged figure in a standing pose rarely remains stable, not even with a peg leg or crutches for support.
Since I already knew that short-legged Claudia was fairly easy to put in a stable pose, I decided to fit one half of the broken knee joint to each upper leg to make the legs symmetrical and short.

I had an idea for making better boots for Claudia before: by using flat soles and with a small balljoint fitted between the leg and the sole, the stability of her stance could be improved. However since Claudia has a CG v1 body (no pelvic joint) she would hardly be able to take advantage of the improved posability, so I never changed her boots.
A LM body does have a pelvic joint, so I made some boots with articulated soles.

Some time later when I tried to fit lower legs some old fractures in her righthand leg broke again. Full length lower legs appeared to put too much load on the repaired knees, so that put a stop to my experiments to fit her with lower legs.

Boots

Vera, parts of boots I added Yellow Submarine ball-and-socket joints (type PPC-020, smallest size) to the knees to be able to fit articulated soles.
To fit the ball-and-socket joints to the knees I widened the holes I had already drilled for the threaded rod and just pushed the pegs of the joints into the holes.

For the soles I cut two small solid plastic cylinders, drilled a hole in the center to fit a semi-recessed Yellow Submarine socket, glued a black plastic disc to the lower end of each cylinder and used CA glue to attach a flat rubber sole to that.
Then I made snug fitting boot sleeves out of some black pleather.
A pair of rings cut from soft foam rubber go between the end of each leg and the sole to keep the boot sleeves from caving in around the joint.



'Lightweight' body

There are a lot of 'cloned' bodies available, the most remarkable ones I have come across so far were some 'lightweight' generic Ladies Mission v2 bodies.

I got this LM body off eBay back in 2008. The seller shipped it in just a sealed plastic bag inside a plain paper envelope, which resulted in the body arriving severely damaged (body split open, both arms in pieces, knees bent sideways and parts of the lower legs crushed).
The seller did get me a replacement so I put the damaged body in my spares box.

One thing that surprised me was how thin the plastic walls for the limbs were (about 0.5-1.0 mm). When I fitted DIY ankle cups to Angela (who has a similar generic LM v2 body), I had noticed that the plastic for her lower legs was considerably thicker (about 1.5-2 mm).

Apart from the thinner plastic for the limbs there are 'sink marks' (surface dents formed during the moulding process) all over the 'lightweight' body parts. These sink marks are rarely found on regular LM bodies.

I compared the weight of the nude bodies and found that the 'lightweight' LM body weighs less than 80 grams against about 110 grams for an original LM v2 body.
It must have been a short production run as the generic LM bodies I bought later were all close to 110 grams.



New left arm

new arm made from Plastruct tubing and Yellow Submarine balljoint

Materials used:

Initially I made CG v1 bodied Claudia a new arm out of sections of Plastruct TB-10 tubing with a Yellow Submarine ball-shaped joint for the elbow joint and plugs out of TB-6 to hold the pins of the elbow joint.
I modified the ball-shaped joint to lock at 180 degrees to keep the elbow from overstretching.
The pin on the ball-shaped joint on the side of the upper arm was made to rotate to create an axial hinge.
For the CG body the shoulder joint consists of a hole through the upper arm section into which a pin (thin section of tubing) was inserted, locked to the arm by a small pin that was inserted perpendicular to the upper arm.
I took a 20mm piece of rubber power cord sleeve, cut it open lengthwise and cut a small section out to reduce the diameter to 4.8mm, then inserted it into the lower arm, the rubber will hold the peg of a CG or LM hand firmly in place.

The arm worked well, but is noticably slimmer than a CG v1 arm.
Building up the shape with putty or clay would add so much weight that the joints would no longer hold their pose, so I removed the arm from Claudia again.

Vera topless

I modified the arm to fit an LM body: the shoulder joint of an LM body has a fixed pin of larger diameter, so I increased the size of the hole and deleted the separate pin.
The composite picture shows the arm already fitted to the spare LM body (the same body I later used for Vera, dressed up to hide the damage). The piece of string near the wrist is there to add friction to the LM hands rather loose wrist joint, it is not required to keep the hand attached to the arm.

Later I added a shoulder cap made out of some bits of curved skin-colored plastic from the spare box. The cap consists of two halves made to fit tightly over the front and rear of the arm and fit even tighter against the ring between the body and the shoulder joint. Using CA glue I fixed the halves of the cap to the end of the arm in such a way that the arm could still be popped off the shoulder.
Apart from improving the look of the shoulder, the cap also adds some friction to the shoulder joint.
To make the arm look less skinny I ended up wrapping some thin foam around the upper part of the arm, fixed in place with removable adhesive.

Finally I modified the left LM hand to accept a CG v1.5 wrist.




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