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Topics - tetsujin

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Model In-Progress / GM Command CAD WIP
« on: September 19, 2017, 07:59:52 PM »
I kind of dove into this project when the MG GM Sniper Ⅱ was announced, because I was upset about how Bandai was handling my favorite Gundam designs in the kit line. In the time since then I've continued the work on the CAD model, with the aim of ultimately 3D printing or scratch building it.

GM Command Project (2017-09-15 update)
The big surprise for me here was that when I compared my new CAD model to the MG GM Sniper Ⅱ, the two were actually much more similar than I would have guessed. There's a big aesthetic difference but it comes from fairly small differences in the shape and size of the parts. A lot of my initial analysis about what I felt ought to be changed with the GM Sniper Ⅱ was apparently just wrong, so I devote a bit of time to why I think that was the case, and what it means.

Model Gallery / "Fixed" HGUC Zaku
« on: August 06, 2011, 10:15:06 PM »
I'll probably still do some more work on this thing before I consider it "truly" finished, but here's how it looked at Otakon:

"Finished" (more or less)

I built this thing with animation in mind, and so even though I don't have a proper stop motion setup at this point I did a couple quick tests using just the camera:

Capitalism Corner* / WTB: 1:72 scale VF-25 kits ("any condition")
« on: May 05, 2011, 09:52:47 AM »
I'm interested in building some VF-25's, and hoping for some kind of good deal on 'em.

I am considering some fixed-mode (non-transforming) builds, and some custom marking schemes, so I'd be open to kits in almost any state if that gets me a better price.  (For instance, ideally I'd want unpainted, unassembled kits with the decal sheet intact - but I could deal with missing or already-applied decals, assembled kits, broken parts, etc...)

If you have a '25 and might be interested in making a deal, send me a PM or an email (  Thanks...

Model In-Progress / Fixing the HGUC Zaku
« on: November 08, 2010, 02:28:00 PM »

Fixing the HGUC Zaku (part 2)

I don't like the look of the HGUC Zaku...  Which is a bit frustrating sometimes because I really do like the idea of building a good model of a "low-detail" Zaku.  But I feel like the HGUC is just a bit ugly, so for a long time I wanted nothing to do with it.  One of the things that changed my mind was my fondness of 1980s kit build-ups.  Skilled builders could take those old kits and turn them into something really nice.  Why should I not be able to do the same with today's equivalent?  Pondering the problem, I realized that the HGUC actually wasn't too far off from certain 1980s and early 1990s renditions of the Zaku (renditions which I rather like), so I experimented in GIMP to see if I could come up with a simple alteration that would make the kit look better, using those 1980s Zaku versions as a guide.

What I came up with is this: cut 3mm of height from the lower leg and insert the corresponding length into the upper leg, then smooth out the contour with putty.  This gives the lower leg more of a squat look and emphasizes the curvature.  I make the cut to the lower leg fairly low down, and with a downward slope toward the back: this gives me the space I need to establish a smooth curve in the areas I need to fill with putty.

Apart from that I'm also bulking up the upper leg a little bit, replacing the spike armor with a part from the MSV Minelayer kit, shortening the skirt armor a bit, and replacing the shield with the one from the 1996 HG Zaku. To me, the difference is night and day: the leg mod alone turns an intolerably bad-looking kit into something I feel good about building.

Unfortunately the HGUC Zaku I have for comparison was also modified (ankle armor shortened) - this means that, at present, I can't do good before & after comparison shots because the other Zaku isn't really representative of the kit's look any more...  I'm going to be getting another HGUC so I can take proper comparison shots.

Model In-Progress / 1:20 Scopedog w/ Parachute Pack
« on: February 22, 2010, 08:25:10 AM »
There's a model contest coming up at Tekkoshocon, and I mean to be ready for it...  Hence, projects

Mostly I've been working on a Hasegawa VF-0 Battroid and a Bandai Scopedog. Since the Bandai Scopedog seemed a little bare to me, I've decided to build a parachute pack for it.

The thing I like about the parachute pack is that it seems the sort of thing a Scopedog would be sent out with if its pilot might not be able to expect resupply or support for a while. It's got the parachute to get 'em somewhere, extra ammo and fuel, and some stowage. It strikes me very much as a "grunt" kind of attachment, the kind of thing used when you need to send scopedogs somewhere in a hurry and maybe not retrieve them for a while.

The Parachute pack includes an ammo rack that's supposed to hold three magazines, taking up the full width of the pack...  This is a slight problem as the parachute pack as I designed it is 46mm wide - but the ammo magazine is only 8mm wide, so three of them would occupy just 24mm. If I left 6mm space between the three magazines, the ammo would still only take up 36mm. To deal with the problem I bulked up the magazine a bit, to 10mm thick. This issue stems from an inconsistency in the original lineart: the magazines shown on the rifle are thin, like Bandai's, while those on mission packs are shown about 50% thicker. (I assume they're both the same type of ammo magazine, just rendered differently...) The thin magazines on Bandai's scopedog kind of skewed their "Pailsen Files" mission pack, I think...  10mm seems like a good compromise, though. The three magazines take up 30mm by themselves...  With 3mm spacing between them, it's up to 36mm, and with another 3mm on either side it's up to 42mm - very close to the pack's 44mm width without looking too vacant.

The parachute pack is in somewhat rough shape at this point - I've really just built the basic form. So far so good, though. My site includes scale drawings of my plans if anybody wants to use them.

Model In-Progress / 1:72 Armored Core CR-C75 ("Hakuheisen" type)
« on: July 31, 2009, 08:56:48 AM »

Hakuheisen 2009-07-29 Update

I actually started this one back in 2007 but various other projects and things kept getting in the way.  I made a big push trying to finish this for Otakon this year - that didn't work out but as a result of all the recent attention I'm now very close to the painting stage on this thing.  This update covers a lot of different stuff I've been doing - the leg thruster lights and the wiring to support them figures prominently, however.

You might also find this...  <Dr. Evil>Illuminating?</Dr. Evil>

Apart from the wiring I've also put a fair amount of effort into making sure flat surfaces really are flat (the surfaces tend to be a little warped on injection kits) and fixing little detail errors caused by the molding process.

Model In-Progress / 1:100 Zaku (1980)
« on: February 28, 2009, 07:37:58 AM »
I've been working on a Zaku for the MMC Old Kits Contest. It's coming along pretty well at this point - it's almost ready for decals.

Old Zaku Progress Update

I think the paint chipping didn't work out the way I would have liked. First, I'd intended to go with hairspray but I was worried I'd buy the wrong stuff, so I tried salt weathering instead. The salt I used is too coarse, I think, plus this was my first time trying the technique and I don't think I got the placement very good...  Second, I didn't want the paint chipping to be over "metal", "rust" or "primer", so it's over a different green instead. On some parts I think the effect is decent, on others I think it might just look sloppy.

That's about where I'm at right now. Since I've got another two weeks to finish this now I don't think I'm gonna go crazy trying to get it done tomorrow. I do want to wrap it up pretty quick, though, and move on to other things. I want this build to be good but I don't need it to be perfect.  :)

The worst thing about working on this kit is that the mating surfaces tend to be very small. In some cases they're also misaligned, but IMO the fact that there's not enough contact area to get a good bond (with the results that parts tend to crack apart) is far more frustrating. The back side of the skirt armor is reinforced with Aves to deal with this - while the "cables" were filled inside with SGT so the parts wouldn't have the flexibility to crack apart.

Model Gallery / 1:144 Queadluun Rau
« on: October 21, 2008, 05:59:28 PM »
1:144 Queadluun Rau

I initially tried to finish this for the MMC Female Contest back in February, but by late night on the last day of the month the farthest I'd gotten was the basic paint job, so I decided I didn't want to enter the model in the contest given that it was basically unfinished. More recently, I finished it up - adding decals and a simple wooden base for a flight pose. I'm really happy with how it turned out: it really shows that Imai had their heads screwed on properly when they were designing their original Macross kit line...

Model In-Progress / AC Cherry Bomb (w/ CR-LH99XS scratchbuild)
« on: September 29, 2008, 12:05:29 PM »
AC Cherry Bomb - LH99XS build WIP

When it comes to AC kits, I have always wanted to make my models fairly unique - I usually want to create new, unique machines, as I would in the game, so I always dreaded the possibility that someone familiar with the kit line would see one of my models and say "Oh, that's the GAEA kit with parts from the URANUS kit plus Weapon Set 4"...  The game provides players with enough parts that two different ACs will usually be distinct - but this is not yet true of the kit line.  So one of my goals with most of my AC builds is to change them enough to really set them apart without turning every project into a huge production.  My rule of thumb is to try for one or two scratch-built components per project, and take the rest from a mix of different kits.

For Cherry Bomb, I specifically wanted a high-mobility lightweight Crest machine.  For Crest leg parts, Kotobukiya hasn't kitted very many choices so far (LH95's, from the C84 kit, are the only lightweight ones...  I don't like 'em much) so I decided the legs would be a good part to scratch build.  I found a part in the game (the CR-LH99XS) that look cool, and should be easy to scratch build - so for this project, I'm building the '99s, using the Kotobukiya one-coin "AC Aiming Hawk" figure as reference.  The rest of the AC will be parts from other kits: head and rifle from GAEA, C84 core, arms from AC Dual Face, etc.

So at this point I'm fleshing out the blocky structures of the foot and lower leg.  It's going pretty well so far, though it feels like a very slow process. 

Capitalism Corner* / Kits for sale
« on: May 24, 2008, 10:33:40 AM »
Unless otherwise noted:
kits are complete, including box and manual and, if assembled, assembled in such a way that they can be easily disassembled again if need be.  Buyer pays cost of postage.  20% discount on combined cost of kits if you buy three or more at once.

1:144 HGUC Gundam GP03S - (assembled)  $7
1:144 M1 Astray - (assembled - I don't have the kit box so I've put the kit into a box from another kit instead) $3
1:100 HG TV-version Wing Gundam Zero - (some parts assembled, most parts still on sprue, all parts primed.  You'll probably want to strip the primer off and re-do it.)  $5
1:144 Tallgeese II - (assembled with Tallgeese I head.  Missing Tallgeese II head.) $4
1:144 Dodai Ys - (old kit from the 1980s - flying platform for the Gouf.  Parts are still bagged) $4
1:144 Strike Dagger (assembled - missing antenna for head) $3
1:144 Strike Gundam (a few parts de-sprued, one arm assembled) $2
1:144 HGUC MS-06S Zaku (Char's) (head, rifle, and left lower leg assembled.  Leg part is glue-assembled.  A few other parts de-sprued.  Extra hand sets available if you want 'em)  $5
1:144 HG Wing Gundam Zero Custom (head assembled, a few other parts de-sprued) $7
1:100 transforming VF-1J Super/Strike Valkyrie - equivalent to this kit but with J-type head, molded in blue, with Max/Milia decals.  A few parts de-sprued, most still on the tree.  All parts had been primed and painted but I stripped most of it off.  $7

PM me if interested.  I am also willing to consider trades.

Model Gallery / HGUC Zaku - 13th MS Team
« on: April 01, 2008, 08:08:19 AM »
I love Zakus and for the Fed vs. Zeon contest I wanted to build one - but Zaku pilots do seem to be rather unlucky fellows so I wanted this model and the entry as a whole to convey someone whose number was up.  :D

Check it

The build's mostly OOB.  It was a Char's Zaku so I got rid of the antenna...  I shortened the ankle fringes for looks, replaced the hands with old Kotobukiya metal parts, modded the monoeye so I could move it without opening the head and sealed up the head, etc.  Some of the decals were from Peter Savin's sheets, other stuff I printed myself (in a bit of a rush, so it looks kind of shabby up close...)  I had some trouble with the decal solvent - it messed some stuff up - so I guess I gotta work on my technique there.

The color scheme is based on the color guide from the old HG Zaku - it's lighter and paler than my Zakus tend to be but I thought I'd give it a spin.

Model Gallery / MG GM Unit Ten
« on: February 16, 2007, 02:21:22 AM »
So this is the project I've been working on for the last few weeks.  It's a MG GM 1.0 (dig those 1.0's, especially the old ones!) - standard colors, OOB, didn't build the weapons or paint the mecha details inside the lower leg.  It's a demonstration piece for the model panel we're gonna do at Tekkoshocon.

GM Unit Ten

Incidentally, this is my last project in my old apartment.  I've lived here for five years, and my outlook on the hobby was a lot different back then - so most of what I've done in this hobby has happened here.  But the new place is great - got a house, cute place, and we've got rooms to do our projects in.  I wanted to finish the GM up before shutting down my computer and packing up the work room - which may have been a bad idea, but at least this way I get to show off my GM.  :)

Model Gallery / 1:144 Geara Doga
« on: November 09, 2006, 09:31:34 PM »

Geara Doga Project Page
I just finished my Geara Doga - I've been working on it on and off since June - most of the time since July has been spent on the paintjob and finishing work.  Not that it's four months worth of greatness or anything, I just work slow and sometimes not as often as I'd like.

Now that this project is done I'm eager to get back to work on the Enterprise I'm making, as well as the Zaku Kai that's just about reached the end of its design stage.

Model In-Progress / 1:144 Z'Gok Diorama in-progress
« on: January 24, 2006, 11:12:06 PM »
I have a plan for a diorama with three GMs and a Z'Gok. I originally intended to finish it for Otakon 2004 but that didn't work out.  The upshot, however, is that as a result of all my hard work back then I have three GM Commands almost ready for paint and with most of the changes I wanted done already done - and so now I have the luxury of refining them further.

Currently I'm working on the heads of the GM Command.  The old 0080 kit had an oversized head which I'm not even trying to use.  The HGUC head is the right size, and it actually has some merit, but some major flaws crept in and the result is a big doughy spud-head.  I've re-sculpted most of the top of the head, and now am working on the rest of the face.

Z'Gok Diorama Progress Page

Model Gallery / Wing Zero diorama finished!
« on: December 21, 2005, 07:14:28 PM »
Those of you who saw my Wing Zero at Otakon this year know that it was originally intended to be part of a diorama.  I had wanted to finish it last December but the project just got way out of control.  I barely finished the model itself by Otakon and only had time for a crude mock-up of the rest of the diorama.  Well, now I've finally finished it.

It's a multi-genre diorama, I guess you could call it a crossover of sorts.  Well, you can make your own interpretations.  Scroll to the bottom for the image links.

<Dr="Larry Earhardt">Enjoy!</Dr.>

Model In-Progress / 1:100 Zaku Kai scratchbuild project
« on: November 22, 2005, 09:34:57 PM »
After I finished my HG Wing Zero I started to feel strongly that too much of my hobby time was being spent building subjects I had limited interest in, things which were meant to be "quick projects" but got blown out of proportion.  (Fun, that, but so time consuming!)  I mourned the loss of 200 hours that could have been spent finishing my Z'Gok diorama or building the perfect Zaku.  So I've been trying to redirect my focus back toward some of these projects which fell through the cracks along the way.

One of the projects I chose to start working on is the Zaku Kai.  I've wanted to build a Zaku Kai for ages, but because I knew I wouldn't want to settle for mediocrity in the final result I was intimidated to try it.  I think now my confidence level is at a point where I'm prepared to give it a try for real.

Over the last couple months I've been working on a set of orthographic plans to build a Zaku Kai in 1:100 scale.  (I was highly tempted by 1:144, my usual favorite scale, and 1:60, which offers possibilities like posable fingers - but I settled on 1:100 because it's cheaper to cast than 1:60 and still makes for an impressive display.)  I started by printing the lineart out at the proper size onto metric graph paper, taking measurements, and adapting them to create my first orthographic renderings.  You can say what you like about being a slave to lineart - I just know that the things I like about this design are there, so if I want to replicate the elements I like in the design the lineart's a good place to start.

This project, and really any moderately ambitious modeling project I've attempted in the last 5 years has been inspired by the Suku Suku scratch articles in which Mitsuaki Misaki scratchbuilt the Zaku Kai in 1:100.  In addition to being something I want to do for myself, I consider this project to by my homage to those articles which had such a strong influence on my early work.

Anyway, here's the project page:
1:100 Zaku Kai (progress page)

So far I have a couple of my plans up.  The plans have to go through a few more iterations before I'll be ready to build anything, but I feel like I've already reached an important point simply by having the first-draft dimensions worked out.  More to come as it develops.

GB1: SAFS vs PKA / GB1: Pilot's accomodation within SAFS
« on: September 12, 2005, 06:59:02 AM »

So clearly the pilot's legs wind up inside the SAFS legs...  how about the pilot's arms?  It doesn't seem like the pilot's arms could actually fit into the SAFS arms given their positioning on the body (wrong location for shoulder, I figure) but I haven't been able to work it out one way or the other.

Model Gallery / Wing Zero Completed
« on: August 23, 2005, 10:57:25 PM »
So here's the first batch of pictures of my newly completed Wing Zero.  As is my custom I spent an indecent amount of time working on this when I should have been working on something more important like my GM Command or Zaku Kai.  The project was fun, though, and I'm proud of the work I did on it, particularly the feathers and the V-fin.  I feel that the sharp detail of those parts really improves the effect of the kit, even if the actual precision in my execution leaves something to be desired.

Wing Zero Page

(The pictures weren't as well lit as they should have been, I'm going to take some better ones later to try and show more detail.)

I felt like playing with Max Technique on this project - I don't think I got quite the effect I was going for but such is life.  The decals complicated things, as they were black laser-printed decals (apart from the Wave decals) and so I had to over-spray them with white to fade them.

At Otakon I displayed the model atop a construction-paper Christmas tree, because my original intention for this project was to build it as the December model-in-a-month as a Christmas ornament.  When Christmas comes again, it will take up residence atop my Christmas tree.  (This is actually something I've wanted to do with some version of Wing Gundam since 2000 or so.)

Model In-Progress / 1:144 Sumo in-progress
« on: August 15, 2005, 04:31:10 AM »
Here's my new in-progress work, a 1:144 Sumo.  I'm going to be building it mostly out-of-box, the major exception being the arms, which I'm rejointing and redetailing for looks.

Sumo Project (2005-08-15)

Model In-Progress / MG Zaku (08th MS Team Style)
« on: July 18, 2005, 08:04:05 AM »
So this is what I've been working on lately (I'm taking a short break from the Wing Zero):

MG Zaku (08th MS Team style)

So far, I've done most of the work required to widen the shield from 22mm to 28mm.  (Over 25% wider - it really does make quite a nice visual difference.)  My ultimate goal is to complete the model as a 08th MS Team-style groundtype - complete with the wrist cuffs, the plates over the leg thruster area, and possibly the shield spikes and the 08th MS Team-style cockpit.

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