Finally getting back to work on this project. Taking a two week vacation really breaks the momentum I had going for this kit. I actually thought about bringing pieces of the thing with me to work on while I was in Tokyo and Hong Kong. Then, knowing my damn luck, I would have lost said pieces. So I just quit cold turkey and left everything here. Plus, I really didn’t have time to do any sort of model building while I was gone. Hell, I even got to catch up through the first half of Iron Blooded Orphans by marathoning it on my flight back as my attempt to reset my biological clock and fix the potential week long jet lag. It worked, I only ended up taking an hour long nap before landing back in LAX. Ok, enough digression. My trip to Tokyo and HK was quite fruitful. I ended up picking up a bunch of new tools that I immediately put into use. While in Hong Kong, I visited the Man 66 Hobby shop on the 7th floor of the Richmond Commercial Building in Mong Kok. I saw a damn cool cutting tool, “the Chopper II” which is an improvement on “the Chopper” that I had picked up a couple of months ago. So my first order of business when I got back was to order this via Amazon. It is pretty damn difficult to get back into building mode. So it took a few days. I didn’t quite know where to start; or actually, I wasn’t motivated enough to actually start. But over the last week, I started slow on a few pieces here and there. The majority of the work for this post is focused on the legs. We’ll start off with where I last left off.
So the last update on the project, I had cut up the outer calf parts. The problem is that the cut isn’t precise. So after sanding an opening, I needed to glue some plastic back into place to rebuild some of the screwed up areas. So this past week, I’ve been slowly adding more plastic, sanding it down, test fitting, then adding more plastic back, and resanding, etc. I also glued the two halves back together so that I have a solid connection on the ends. It seems counter intuitive to cut the part in half only to glue it back together, but it makes for a much easier process for this kind of a mod. The last picture in this series shows what it currently looks like. There is still some cleanup work; but I’m progressing. I also added some strips of styrene to the back of the thruster housing. I still need to sand and prep that bit of detail.
Continued after the jump!
The real work actually started this weekend. On Friday, I had an interview with Zack aka Zaku Aurelius on youtube. We had scheduled a live broadcast of a new series he’s doing with Interviews with the Modelers. So I got lucky and this month was my turn in the barrel. Here’s the interview – all 88 minutes of it. Have fun!
And I must thank Zack, because I believe this interview worked to kickstart the motivation on this project, and after the interview, I started back up on the sniper full steam. So here we go, I started on the calves but I really was still debating on how I wanted to detail the legs and I was just stuck. I wanted some details, but didn’t know how to go about it. My first try was to get a piece of plastic, cut it to the shape of the knee, then start drawing out where I wanted the cuts and actually cutting the plastic part. This didn’t look good at all.
One thing I learned from talking to Man from Man 66 Hobby was to cut the plastic into atomic shapes and then just glue them together. We were discussing the vent I had made for the backpack. I described my method, and he responded with his. I think I briefly talked about this in the interview above. But the jist of it was a different perspective and approach to solving the same problem. So I took his approach and reworked the idea of the knee details. I cut a basic strip of styrene and glued this down the middle of the knee. I then started cutting thinner strips to attach to the middle piece I had already glued into place. Using the cutter, I cut angles into the thinner strips, then just glued them in to position. It was quite easy, and the precision was much better than what I had started out trying.
The cutting tool helps with the correctly measured and correctly angled cuts. The plastic is just glued together and the excess is just trimmed away when the glue sets up.
Once the glue cures, the top and the sides are sanded down and then I can add more plastic. The tape and the strip of styrene are there for a guide for adding a parallel styrene detail.
Returning to the foot, I used the same technique and cut strips to create the indent detail. Once the glue sets I can go back and sand to clean up everything. I still have the bottom of the foot to detail however.
I had toyed with the idea of leaving the thigh pieces alone since the skirts cover most of the thighs. But after considering it, I started working by adding a strip of corrugated styrene on the outer sides of the thighs. While playing Gundam Battle Operation, I checked out some of the details in the GM designs, and got some inspiration for the back of the thighs. Some dynmo tape and the scribers went to work to cut in some details panel lines. For the front, there is already some minor details, so I only added a single scribe line and then did cut a 1mm scribe and glued a small strip of .5mm styrene to detail up the front side of the thighs.
The majority of this work was done this past weekend. I still need to go in and do some initial cleanup before I can even consider priming. But I think the details look fairly decent so far. Here’s what the legs look like now sans the feet as I’m still working on the toe piece.
The motivation is back and I’m glad it is back. These times are dangerous and in the past, kits have found their way back into the box. Thanks again to Zach for reigniting that build spark!