Sep 182014

The past couple of weeks have been pretty damn shitty. But I’m recovering and getting life back to the normal; so work on this project that has stalled resumes. Getting to the Z’Gok, I sprayed a few layers of colors to get the shaded effect I wanted. I started off with a dark tone, over this I painted white keeping a fairly heavy shade. Then over the white, the main Z’Gok color is painted. This last layer worked to blend the shading together.

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Aug 272014

Quick simple diorama. Feeling a little burnt out from my other diorama project, ADD kicks in and I start up work for a smaller vignette style diorama that is about 6 inches by 6 inches. Principal players will be an HGUC GMII and a Real Grade Z’Gok. Since the real grade kit just came; I’ve yet to build one of these little buggers, so why not pop that cherry with a Char’s special. Since SCGMC (yes, shameless plug) is slowly creeping up as well as IPMs Orange County Orangecon 2014 (“real” plastic model competition), I figured I can build a quick little display piece in about a month or so.

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Aug 122014

I’ve been using the Hasegawa Tritool hobby saws for years. They’re very thin, sharp teethed, and slice through plastic very fast and cleanly. However, they are quite delicate in that they’re very thin and I’ve bent my fair share of these blades. They are simple to use, just hold the small blade in your fingers and slice away at the plastic.

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Nothing against these blades as I’m still using them, but yesterday, I finally cracked open one of the three sets of Tamiya hobby saws I had picked up two years ago. I picked up the sets for about 7 bucks a set on a trip to Hong Kong; but I’ve seen them locally and on various online sources. The project I’m working on now needed a little cutting for some of the parts. Opening the package, I cut one of the saws out and immediately started using them like I did the Hasegawa tritool set; holding them in my fingers and cutting away. I found no difference than using the Hasegawa saws. After getting my parts cut, I looked at the instruction sheet that came with the Tamiya saws. Apparently, there are two folds in the blade that once folded, the blade can then be slipped into your standard hobby knife holder. Duh. So I snapped some pictures, took a quick little video, and put it all together here:

For scratch building and cutting plastic, these saws beat the piss out of the x-acto hobby saws 413S586EGEL when it comes to precision cutting and focus on small parts. But like all the other tools, it’s how you employ them in your builds and what works best for you.

Aug 112014

Over the weekend, I started a new project and so I took the opportunity to make a quick 20 minute video covering the most basic build techniques. Cutting the parts from the trees, sanding nubs, and fixing seam lines with styrene glue.

Hopefully folks will find this useful. I’ve done sanding and seam line videos before, but it’s about time I make some updates to some of those dated tutorials with new videos. More videos will be on the way! And I’m taking suggestions for videos of other techniques such as weathering, diorama building, putties, etc. Chime in if you have a video tutorial request and if I know how to do it, I’ll try to make a video for it.

Aug 072014
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This is a first attempt at something to this scale. Not so much the SD Glaug, but more so the progress delivery. FOr this project, I created a headband mount of sorts from a file at Thingiverse that allows my GoPro camera to mount to my head. Using the GoPro mounted headband, I set out to record most of the build progression. I start off with a pseudo unboxing of the kit as I had already worked on it, and just put it into a bag and into the box for the theatrics, and progress through cleaning, putty, priming, painting, decals, panel line wash and clear flat finish. I originally wanted to put the thing together into one video and realized as I was editing the clips that it would be too damn long. It’s now cut into 5 parts that are roughly 30-35 minutes each.

Part 1 starts with the unboxing, pinning, washing, priming, pin hole filling with light curing putty, more priming, and the first black base coat.

Part 2 begins with work on a simple display base using some glued together plastic pieces and an Ikea photo frame. The video progresses to the base painting, masking and alclad painting.

Part 3 continues painting and masking and goes into the pre-shading technique.

Part 4 finishes up the painting, mask removal, and gets into the decal application.

Part 5 starts off with the panel line wash, the clean up, the clear flat, and finally a short presentation of the finished product.

I’ve learned a few things from the videos. I need to better reposition the camera angle so that the project is always in frame. I am also thinking about doing voice over to better describe the processes as opposed to trying to voice the process while I’m focused on the building. I think I may also need to take photos and add them to the videos for some of the areas that are better captured in a still picture over the head mounted video camera. Hopefully I’ll get some feed back and based from that, may do more video progress for my builds.

Speaking of photos, here are some completed pictures of this quick project.

The whole playlist:

Aug 042014
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Over the past couple of weeks, I spent some time fixing the damaged Sazabi. I checked out the wiring, and I found that one of the two small backpack lights is not turning on. So that’s one casualty that will not get fixed. The wiring for this bastard is a bit too complex to bother trying to fix that one light. I may end up just breaking other connections, so that is going to be left alone.

Starting with the base, the excess broken parts were cut. The base was then masked off so I could sand down the excess. I grabbed a new piece of acrylic rod and drilled out a section in the middle. The same was done to the corresponding joint piece on the base.

Angel and I also drove up to San Jose this past Saturday to invade Tatsu Hobby’s Mono Eye competition. Before jumping to images of an interracial gunpla themed movie by Ang Lee; we brought our respective wives with us on this quick little weekend getaway. Angel and I put up our kits as display only and helped judge the event. I guess showing our kits gives the guys some credence to our judging abilities. The Sazabi was just recently repaired and there are still some small issues with it, so I didn’t feel comfortable with entering it. Plus, we’re there to support Tatsu’s contest. There were a good number of people that recognized if not us, our kits and were pleasantly surprised that we made the drive for their one day event. There were a good number of excellent entries and a great deal of potential with some of the other builders. They are quite creative and just need some work on the basic building techniques to really get to that next level in building. It’s quite inspiring to see.

More pictures of the Sazabi repair after the jump.

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Jul 282014

I’ve taken a different approach to progress pictures and posts. More so, I think I’m just adding another element to the whole build process documentation. I’m not sure how this will work out in the end, but hopefully it makes things more clear. I’m still working out the bugs for the process such as camera position and how much time it will take to edit and such. But I think in addition to the mindless ramblings of inane text along with the pictures, the videos will be of some use. We are moving more and more to that type of presentation, even when showing off a completed model, running a video and showing the thing seems to be the wave of the future. I don’t think videos will replace nicely crafted photos; but it will make for a good addition.

With that said; as part of my current SD Glaug project, I’ve been taking videos that I will stitch and edit together to show the entire build process. Here’s an excerpt that I made while hitting the parts with the second priming session.

Some additional information that may have been glossed over in the video:

  • The bottles are just plastic bottles that seem to be made for paint. I purchased them in Hong Kong from the RX-88 shop
  • The ball bearings were also purchased with the bottles and work quite nicely to help mixed pre-thinned paints
  • I don’t use a strict formula for thinning, I use a consistency test that is visual with swirling the bottle as well as visual and audio when the paint is in the airbrush
  • My answer to the correct thinning ratio is always “The consistency of regular vitamin D milk”
  • Air pressure plays an important role in how thin or thick your thinned paint mixture will run through your airbrush

In my honest opinion, paint thinning cannot possibly be a strict formula. Different environmental variables; the amount of thinner to paint ratio in new, partially opened, long used bottles of paint; and just our individual painting preferences are just too different. It will take practice; but once you get enough experience, this becomes second nature.