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Topics - zerobxu

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Model In-Progress / 1/24 Dorvack "Berlon"
« on: November 23, 2011, 06:29:28 AM »
Been a LONG time since I've posted any models on here, but this one is finally getting close enough to the finish line where I am making the leap of faith that I actually will finish it. As the title of the post suggests, this is a Dorvack "Berlon" kit I picked up from someone online.

I've taken certain liberties with the kit. First off, I hated the hands. Those had to go. I replaced them with some oversized B-Club hands that seem to match the fit and feel of the suit pretty well. I've also dumped the extra arm segments of the Berlon, as well as the cheesy weapons. I've given him (her?) a panzerfaust for the right hand, and on the right forearm I've equipped some sort of MaK-inspired dual-tube rocket launcher I built. Originally, I had a SAFS carrying it, but hated how that looked. On the left forearm, I've been slowly scratch-building a shield, basing it completely on a shield I saw on a Zaku in a very old issue of Hobby Japan). It's just built from layered styrene sheet, with some "dents" in it provided by a 1/16" drill bit turning to various depths.

The fit of the pieces on this kit reminded me of the very first MaK kit I tried--a Fliege--in that the fit is pretty terrible and required more than the usual amount of puttying and sanding. Overall, though, I'm happy with the way the kit is turning out. The camo(?) pattern is just something I came up with at random. Of course, I tested it on a ping pong ball first--as is my custom. You can see the ping pong ball in the background in at least one of the photos.

Thanks for taking the time to look. I appreciate any comments or constructive criticisms that you may have.

Model Gallery / 1/20 Mk41 Holy Crap! I Finished A Kit!
« on: April 07, 2010, 11:22:10 AM »
It's been a good, long while since I've posted a finished kit here on FFF, but here we go...

About a month ago, I acquired a 1/20 resin kit of a Blechmann ("Blech Mann"?) Mk41--or "Maschinen Krieger Type 41". While it's not in the same universe as those Maschinen Krieger kits that a lot of people know and love, it does share some commonality in its design/designer. At least, that's what I could gather based on the very limited amount of information I could find. Feel free to jump in and correct me.

I'm not sure of the legitimacy of the kit, but it's old and it's not bad. It came with no documentation. I'm the third owner that I know of. And I acquired it through a private sale. There were just a couple air bubbles and a fair amount of flash on some parts.

Construction was pretty straightforward. The torso had already been glued together, but it needed a lot of putty and sanding to sort out. The feet took some staring at to figure out how they actually went together, but they weren't too bad either.

Other construction notes:
  • Replaced the resin ammo belt with a much better mechaskunk ammo belt.
  • Used brass rod (of various diameters) for the antenna, the hatch handle, the two attach points on the back, and the barrel guard on the left arm.
  • Used Tamiya 1/12 motorcycle "hose" for the cables on the arms.
  • Repaired hinge detail on the rear with styrene rod.
  • Used 1/16"(?) aluminum pipe for barrel tips on the right side of the head and at the end of the left arm.
  • Used the gun tip from some generic action figure gun for the barrel on the left arm.
  • Pinned everything (down to the knee covers) with 1/16" rod.

For the painting, I wanted that "old school" World War II look, and I tried to duplicate the paint effect I made on the Snowball S.A.F.S., but with a different color. Also, with the exception of the "engine" on the back, everything was done with Tamiya acrylic paints. For the engine, I used Mr. Color "Dark Iron". I started out by painting the entire body in Dark Gray. Over that, I painted it all in Cockpit Green. From there, I just kinda played it by ear and blended it with dirty thinner. And then it was decal time.

The decals came mostly from the Ma.K. spares bin. The unit marking, however, came from a Macchi C.202 Folgore--which I felt was consistent with the retro/Ma.K. aesthetic I was trying to achieve. Also, on the decals, I cheated by not using a gloss coat prior to applying them. A skilled modeler from a local club once said that he, instead, just hand-brushes a little bit of "Future Floor Acrylic" (whatever it's called nowadays) directly where the decal is to be applied instead. I've tried this before, and I used it here. Works like a charm.

For the "panel line" washes, I used the following colors, from bottom to top: Black Green, Sea Blue, Hull Red, Olive Drab. I also used Nato Brown and Dark Gray a bit. And I dabbed some more NATO Brown around the body in various places--blotching it around with liberal amounts of alcohol (in the paint--I think the only alcohol I had was exactly one beer at some point during the build).

I think that's about it, really. I'm going to try to work up some sort of display base for the thing, and add a 1/20 figure to it, for scale reference, but that's about how things have worked out up to this point.

Questions, comments, and constructive criticisms are always welcome. Thanks for taking the time to look.

Model Gallery / 1/20 Ma.K. S.A.F.S. "Snowball S.G."
« on: August 03, 2009, 01:00:43 PM »
A year or two ago, an extremely gracious soul sold me a box full of Ma.K. scraps. Amongst the odds and ends was a resin Fireball S.G. torso. I finally got around to doing something with it:

Hell, I even made a backstory for the li'l fella... All about how he was an ad-hoc modification of the Fireball S.G., designated as perimeter security for a Mercenary research facility located within the ruins of the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. I'll probably post that eventually--once I can decently Photoshop the suit into some Antarctica pictures.

Construction notes: I have more torsos than other parts, so the torso and hatch were part of that pile of purchased parts. The legs/feet were recasts I did of the SAFS legs--to help with the backlog of torso. Much cleanup needed, but they did the trick. New knee-pads made from styrene pipe. Raptor/Fireball S.G. gun, the rest of the arms were scratch-built from styrene. The hand was just a modified 1/100 Zaku hand. The leg hoses were extension springs from the hardware store. The skirts and shoulder pads were hacked up from a ping pong ball (and textured with Mr. Surfacer 500). The front camera was pulled from a 1/48 Hughes MD500--with bits added inside the lense. The orange tubes were just styrene pipe again, with some option parts on the end. On the left side of the torso, there's some parts from a 1/72 Bradley. Smoke dispensers from the Bradely on the rear, as well as something from a 1/12 motorcycle engine. The hoses/wires on the feet were just bailing wire. I think that's probably about it.

Hand-painted in Tamiya acrylics, and weathered with dirty thinner (brush cleaner that was long-overdue to be changed out). The decals were from the spares box. I tried something a little different--I hit it with flat lacquer, brushed Future Floor Acrylic just on those spots were decals were being applied, and flat lacquer over the top. Solvaset to set the decals. The only one I had trouble with was the "G" on top of his head. I ended up cutting that one a few times and repeatedly hitting it with Solvaset in order to make it settle down.

Here's some more pictures:

And that's about all I have to say. Questions, comments, and constructive criticisms are always welcomed. Oh, and a big "thank you" to the guy who sold me the pile o' parts--I've gotten a lot of mileage out of them, and will continue to do so for years.

Model News Feed / 1/20 Ma.K. A.F.S. Night Stalker by Wave
« on: June 03, 2009, 05:16:12 AM »
a.k.a. "Look Ma, Two Hands!

Starship Modeler broke the news, which Linc confirmed with a link. The new A.F.S. will have something long sought-after in this endless stream of variants: A left hand! Not only that, but I think the pilot may be a distant relative of Sam Fisher.

Model News Feed / 1/35 Ma.K. "LunaDiver Stingray"
« on: February 05, 2009, 01:15:13 PM »
This just in from the 60th Interational Toy Fair in Nuremberg, Germany... It looks like the next Hasegawa "Maschinen Krieger" kit is going to be the 1/35 Lunadiver Stingray.

Along with the upcoming Falke release, this is the only one in their display stand to have a caption card carrying the Hasegawa logo.

Relevant Image #1

Relevant Image #2

Also note the 1/35 Fireball positioned to the right of the kit.

There's also some other great shots of the Hasegawa kits here.

Thank you to Thomas Voigt for taking these shots, and D. Busack for posting them on

Model In-Progress / This Is Not The Gans You're Looking For...
« on: January 16, 2009, 08:27:57 AM »
... At least, not the kit recently re-released by Wave. No... This is THAT's 1/20 "Wannabe Gans" from WonderFest last year. It's also my first full-blown resin kit, so it'll be a fun little learning experience.

The Kit Itself (a.k.a. "A Review"): You get what you pay for here--and I think this thing sold for roughly $50 at WF. Casting issues are present--there's a plethora of bubbles, a fair amount of seam lines, and some gigantic pour stubs. The shape of the parts, however is good--no deformities or warping here. And the fit appears to be pretty good on everything but the two pieces for the head--which I may need to do some work to correct. Of course, it clocks in at a whopping twelve parts, so there's not a whole lot of pieces to "fit". There's also no instructions--just a picture of a single view of the finished product. Considering the low parts, this isn't a big deal. Some folks could probably pull it off just as easy without the picture. Not me, necessarily, but some folks

This isn't a typical Gans, however--in case you didn't notice from the more typical THAT-style head. The mechanical details are extremely simplified. No shocks on the legs, the engine detail is light, and there's no extra/external armor pads (as you see on the back and the "knees" of the Gans). In short, a lot of the "fiddly bits" found on the IP version of the Gans are absent. As gigantic as this kit is, I think that--even with the flaws--it's a bargain at this price.

(apologies all around for World's Finest Cell Phone Camera)

The Build: Like I said, this is my first full-blown resin kit, so it's a learning experience from start to finish. Until last night, it had been soaking in "Purple Power" for about 48 hours. Last night, I washed the parts off, scrubbed 'em with a toothbrush, and tried pinning everything together.

This was my first time for pinning things as well (go figure). For most areas, I used a pair of 1/16" copper rods to pin the parts together. For where the legs and head connect to the rest of the body, I used 1/8" aluminum rod. Everything appears to be aligned and holding, so we'll just see how it goes.

Up next, I need to fix all those bubbles and clean up the seams and pour stubs. After that, I'm going to attempt to re-create some of the more noticeable features of the IP Gans, as well as add a few details of my own. No idea how I'm going to paint this thing yet, but I'm looking forward to experimenting with pigments.

There's a lot of "firsts" for me in this model, so we'll see how the whole thing plays out.

Questions, comments, and constructive criticisms are always welcome.

Model Gallery / 1/20 P.K.A.F.S. - A Captured S.A.F.S.
« on: October 14, 2008, 06:16:20 AM »
Last Friday night (October 3rd), I started something very dumb. I decided to see if I could do another Maschinen Krieger scratch-build in just one week. The only Ma.K. kit pieces I used were the torso halves, the hatch interior, and the hatch. Everything else was either salvaged from other kits or scratch-built. The right hand (the fingers, anyways) came from a MG Zaku II, and there were parts in there from a 1/12 Tamiya motorcycle, a 1/48 helicopter, 1/72 airplane, etc. And some parts--like the feet--were just sculpted entirely from Milliput.

And I did it... I met the self-imposed deadline on this one. After a twelve-hour marathon sprint to the finish line, I called it "done" at 10:00 a.m. Saturday morning. For a look at the in-progress thead, click here.

Walk-Around: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6
Other views: 1 / 2

She has more than a few problems and shortcomings--she's a far cry from perfect--but I can live with most of it. For the first female head I've ever painted, I think she could have come out a lot worse. Basically, I just painted the hair in NATO Brown, washed it with Flat Earth and then a flat black. Gave the lips a little bit of a pink hue, left too much black out of the eyes, and her face was done.

The paint scheme is very, very similar to the Heinrich scratch-build, but there's some minor differences. The pattern isn't as "thick" as it was on the Heinrich, and I brought up the line where it goes from light gray to medium gray onto the torso, as I think it looks better that way. Aside from that, she's got the same unit marking and same ID bands. They're a match!

This definitely wasn't problem-free. I had a horrible time trying to get the hatch to stay in that position. I used a piece of 1/72 landing gear for the hatch mechanism. My shaky hands just had trouble holding it in place long enough for the CA to grab on. I think that's about it, really, for what isn't covered in the build thread.

Once she was done, I put her and the Heinrich on their base...

(larger view)

... And I'm going to be re-doing that base. There were a few problems with it--which I'll blame on sleep depriviation--but it needs to be done again from scratch. I'll probably stick with that same general idea, though.

So... I did it, I'm glad I did it, and <famous last words>I'm never going to do anything like that sort of deadline ever again</famous last words>. I'm very, very happy with the model, but there were just too many sacrifices made along the way--most importantly, sleep.

Comments, criticisms, and questions are welcomed and appreciated.

Model Gallery / Ma.K. Heinrich II scratch-build
« on: September 29, 2008, 05:30:58 AM »
Stick a fork in it...

To read the whole nine-month nightmare from the beginning, click here... or here. To sum it up... I started building a variation of a Maschinen Krieger "Heinrich" from scratch in January. After several pitfalls and innovations, I managed to get the thing done. The torso consists of a 1/48 Hughes helicopter, while other parts are mostly build from styrene tube, strips, angles, and everything else. There's also two fake fingernails and a ping pong ball that made donations to the overall build--just like in the original.

And I'm very pleased to say that I'm done with it... For now.

I called it quits last night (this morning?) around 1:30 a.m. or so. It's a far cry from perfect, but I think he comes fairly close to his "real-kit" counterpart:

--Larger comparison picture

And here's some larger pictures:

Walkaround: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

Other shots: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

As you can (hopefully?) tell from the pictures, I've completed the painting and weathering process on this Heinrich scratch-build. The only thing I'm not thrilled with was his little built-in scope on the canopy. My plan was to paint it Chrome Silver and paint over that with Clear Red. And that effect works great for signal lights on airplanes and other small pieces, but it looked like crap here. I even tried painting Smoke over the Clear Red. Still awful. So, I carefully stripped that out and painted it again in gloss black. It could still use improvement, but the results are much more tolerable. What I'd like to do is use a piece of shiny party confetti, but I haven't stumbled across it yet. So, for now, the Heinrich itself is done.

The base isn't done, the other guy isn't done, but the suit is--and that was the ultimate goal of this Group Build. So... Mission accomplished?

Conclusions... I can't believe I started this back in January. Granted, it's been a busy year, but I hope I'm never staring steadily at an ongoing project for such a long period of time again. I burned out on the whole thing several different times, but somehow always managed to get back into it. I think part of what killed me here (mentally) was wanting to stick as close as possible to certain elements of the Heinrich and having to make several "creative evolutions" in order to reach what I was striving for. Ultimately, nothing about this was terribly easy. I'm still glad I did it, as I learned a helluva lot, but I'm looking forward to building a nice, long line of OOB or nearly OOB kits for a good, long while now.

Capitalism Corner* / Selling Off Some Of My Precious Kits...
« on: September 10, 2008, 06:28:38 AM »
Hey folks... Circumstances have dictated that I try to raise some money fast. Mostly because the shop told me that my car needs a new catalytic converter and it's going to cost me around $660. The kits that I'm offering up won't put me all the way there, but they'll help ease the burden. And--let's be honest here--I'm never going to get around to building all of these, so I might as well pass them on to someone who will. Alright... Here's what I'm offering up for sale:

Maschinen Krieger

*Shipping is not included
*If you see the same kit more than once, that means more than one kit is for sale.
*These are the North American Bandai releases. The only difference is that there's additional English-language instructions in some of the MG's and some box art have a big, yellow "BANDAI" banner on them. Other than that, they are identical to the Bandai-Japan releases.
*Unless otherwise noted (Kampfer), all original contents (parts, decals, instructions, etc.) are all present.
  • PG MS-06S Zaku II ($80): The box is a little rough, but fully intact. Contents are unopened. - PENDING
  • MG RX-78-2 ($15): Opened, not built or out of bags
  • MG MS-06S Zaku II ($15): Original outer shrink wrap still intact.
  • MG MS-06S Zaku II ($15): Original outer shrink wrap still intact.
  • MG GP01 ($13): Parts are not in bags, but are still on trees (in other words, unbuilt)
  • MG GP01 FB ($20): Original outer shrink wrap still intact.
  • MG GP02 ($30): Outer shrink wrap still intact.
  • MG RGM-79 GM ($15): Outer shrink wrap still intact.
  • MG RGM-79 GM ($15): Outer shrink wrap still intact.
  • MG Kampfer ($28): Chain mines removed. Everything else still on trees & in original bags. - PENDING

Obviously, if you buy more than one kit, you'll be able to combine shipping cost. I plan on shipping via USPS Priority Service, but I'll do UPS, if you prefer. As time is a definite factor (car needs fixin' now), I'd prefer PayPal or money order.

If you have any questions about anything, post them here. If you want to buy, please PM me--and don't post one of those "PM sent" messages in this thread. Thanks!

Build-Offs & Duels / PONG! Spider Pong
« on: August 18, 2008, 08:15:42 AM »
What the heck... No one ever finished a build in this build-off, so I'll step up to the plate. As I mentioned in the PONG sticky, I started a ping pong ball build on Friday evening. By Sunday night, it looked like this:

And here's a little more detail...

Between a bare ping pong ball on Friday and whatever this is on Sunday, I added parts of another ping pong ball as raised panels (merely drew the shape on the second ping pong ball, cut it out with scissors, and used CA ("super") glue to attach it. I also framed out and added an "engine" box on the backside (visible in this overhead picture). Inside of that box, I added an engine part from a Tamiya 1/12 motorcycle kit. That same kit is also where I got the little radar dome for the front. I also added about a dozen mechaskunk beads in varying sizes to the ball, just to make it look more interesting. Oh, and there's a seat(?) from a 1/48 helicopter and a stretched-sprue antenna on the engine deck, as well.
The legs were really simple. The part closest to the torso is 1/16" copper rod. The "joint" attached there were some cheap scale railroad wheels that I hacked apart and put back together. The other portions of the legs leading up to the feet were .032 brass rod and the road wheels from a 1/72 T-34 tank. Finally, the feet were just the rotor blades from a 1/48 Hughes 500MD helicopter.
I don't have a clue what scale this is, what color it's going to be, or anything else. This just started out as a ping pong ball on Friday night, and I was curious to see what I could do with it.

I have an idea for a couple things that I'm definitely going to add, and an idea for something I might add. After talking to FichtenFoo, I think I'm going to add a 1/72 tank coupola to the top. Probably from the Dragon 1/72 Sherman or the Tiger I (probably whatever is cheaper). Maybe some smoke grenade launchers, too. Right now, the top of the thing is completely bare--just because I didn't know what to do with it. As I sit here and stare at the pictures, I am getting some ideas... We'll see how they pan out.

Model Talk / MOVED: Can I get a commission on some models?
« on: July 23, 2008, 09:32:56 AM »
This topic has been moved to Capitalism Corner*.
Seems like a more "capitalistic" thing to me...

Following Filmy's trend of ridiculous thread titles, I'm posting this little catch-up of pretty-well all the stuff I've finished over the last year and a half. Unlike his thread, however, everything in the title is actually a model I've finished. I just finally got around to taking semi-decent photographs of things I've completed, and I'm feeling gutsy enough to post them.

Everything here was hand-painted in Tamiya acrylics.

1/144 HGUC Gaza-C:

For more images, just check the BAKUC Gallery page.
OOB build... The base was the one I originally intended for the DUEL of the DIAS, but it didn't work with the of the Rick Dias, so I hung on to it until I had a chance to start the Gaza-C

1/72 M3 Stuart:

More... Picture 1, Picture 2, Picture 3, Picture 4, Picture 5, Picture 6
This was more of a practice for washes than anything else. Horribly inaccurate kit, but not too bad to build. It took 3rd in 1/72 AFV's at the IPMS Regional Contest this year.

1/20 Ma.K. Fireball:

More... Picture 1, Picture 2, Picture 3, Picture 4, Picture 5, Picture 6
The Fireball is almost OOB. I used styrene for the periscope tubes, replaced the hatch hinge (which I busted--ugh), and added wires to the engine. The mechanic is a 1/20 Tamiya pit crew figure. I did my first ever sculpt modification to change his arm position. I also gave him some pants (because, apparently Tamiya pit crews think it's nifty to wear hot pants), and added some other details to his outfit--like pockets, patches, and belt "boxes". Not great, but I'm pleased with it for being my first attempt. The base was made using "double-diamond plate"(?) styrene--in 1/24th scale, if I rememeber right. I painted it Flat Aluminum, masked off the areas, hand-painted the stripes (within the mask) and then weathered the whole mess.

1/20 Ma.K. Heinrich:

More... Picture 1, Picture 2, Picture 3, Picture 4
I affectionately call him "Geech", because that just seems like the kind of name this pilot would have. Built OOB, while I was in Cedar Rapids, Iowa last year helping my father recovery from a pair of knee replacement surgeries. He managed to take 3rd in Sci-Fi/Fantasy Figures at the IPMS Regional Contest this year.

1/76 Ma.K. Nutrocker:

More... Picture 1, Picture 2, Picture 3, Picture 4, Picture 5, Picture 6, Picture 7
The Nutrocker was OOB, other than the three vertical aerials I added (stretched sprue). Painting the camo involved masking, hand-painting, and a lot of fixing. So... Hand-painting camo like that by hand is do-able, but a pain in the arse. The soldiers are 1/72 Russian infantry (winter uniform) and the Heinrich was scrapped together from styrene, Milliput, spare parts, and a 1/72 ground crew figure.

Another 1/20 Ma.K. Heinrich:

More... Picture 1, Picture 2, Picture 3, Picture 4, Picture 5, Picture 6, Picture 7
This one goes back over a year, I think. Added a wire for his headphones (which doesn't look that good, if you ask me), added some short pieces of styrene tube for a panzerfaust holder on his back, and constructed a second panzerfaust launcher from styrene. Also replaced one ankle cover which was eaten by the Carpet Monster.

1/144 Tiger I (Initial Production):

More... Picture 1, Picture 2, Picture 3, Picture 4, Picture 5, Picture 6, Picture 7
I love these little 1/144 Dragon armor kits. This kit is actually over 20 pieces, and was a whole lot of fun to build, paint, decal, and weather. It's also a great eye-catcher at contests.

1/72 Polikarpov I-16:

More... Picture 1, Picture 2, Picture 3, Picture 4, Picture 5
I'm not thrilled with the way this one came out. Although, it looks crappy and hand-painted, that's a pretty good reflection of its real-world counterpart. The real-world inspiration for this one was hand-painted in winter camo, and then re-painted in Spring. Not my best work, but not my worst.

1/144 Morser Odin:

More... Picture 1, Picture 2, Picture 3, Picture 4, Picture 5, Picture 6
Another 1/144 Dragon kit--it even comes with a German artillery crew. I liked this one enough to shell out $10 for the little brass plate you see on the display.

Larger images are available in the various photo galleries on my little blog, if you're so inclined.

Thanks for looking! Comments, questions, and constructive criticisms are welcomed!  :pirate:

Model Talk / MOVED: Wonderfest 2008
« on: June 14, 2008, 08:28:23 PM »
I'm thrilled to see Wonderfest being promoted. And hopefully I'll get to it someday (probably not this year, though). Even though it's much more than just a "modeling event", it is probably a better fit there than it is anywhere else. Thus, this topic has been moved to Modeling Events.

Tools / An Easy D.I.Y. Tool Organizer
« on: May 27, 2008, 05:46:35 AM »
I normally don't pick up the magazine FineScale Modeler (too expensive on a regular basis), but last month was an execption. In it, they featured a neat little two-page article on building your own tool organizer. In need of something better than what Hobby Lobby was capable of supplying (at a reasonable price), I decided to follow along and "build" my own. In this post, I'll detail out what I did and hopefully a few of you will find it useful.

First off, you need to go to your local building supply chain. In the U.S., this would be Menards, Home Depot, Lowe's, etc. Now, go down the PVC aisle and look for 3/4", 1", and 1 1/4" couplers, caps, or whatever other widgets you think might be useful (local system of measurement may vary) I think I ended up with something like ten 3/4" couplers, ten 1" couplers and two caps, five 1 1/4" couplers and two caps, and an odd-angle doohickey. Seriously, just go down the PVC aisle and figure out what might work well for you. You'll probably end up with a pile something like this:

In addition to whatever PVC bits and pieces you end up with, you're going to need a small acrylic sheet (somewhere around 12" x 18" will work out about right), and PVC cement. For cost, the whole thing ended up costing me a lot less than $20--and I bought an acrylic sheet twice as big as I needed.

Once you've got everything home, it's time to start figuring out how you're going to actually set up your tool organizer. This is basically just trial and error. Put your acrylic sheet down on your workspace, and just start putting the PVC pieces where you think they ought to go. If you're me, you end up with something like this:

You may not be able to tell from the picture, but I've taped the acrylic sheet down to my cutting mat, just so I could use the grid to align the PVC pieces to. Keeps everything in a relatively straight line. That little tip wasn't in the FSM article, but was a real help.

Once you've figured out where everything is going to go, it's time to secure things down. Safety First! PVC cement is nasty, nasty stuff and precautions are necessary. You're going to want, at the very least, a dust mask to protect you from the fumes the cement puts off. I would also strongly recommend that you use gloves and safety glasses. This isn't stuff that you want to come in contact with any of your skin. Also, at this time, make sure you remove any protective backing from the acrylic sheet so that you'll be cementing the PVC pieces directly to the acrylic.

Now that you're all set, simply apply PVC cement to the bottom of the PVC pieces and set them firmly on the acrylic sheet. Drying time is relatively quick--I left everything alone for 30 minutes and it seemed well-attached to the sheet. The easiest (and least messy) way I found to apply the cement was to pull the brush out of the "can" of cement, let the excess drain back in, and leave the brush directly over the open can while moving the bottom of the PVC around the brush.

And after everything has dried, it's time to start throwing tools into the new tool organizer. Mine ended up looking like this:

... Although now it has a few more tools in it.

So that's it, really... Cheap, easy, and not requiring much time at all. I hope you find this useful. If you have any questions, I'll do my best to answer them. If you have any comments, they're always welcome.

EDIT: Forgot to mention that, because everything is attached to the acrylic sheet, this makes for an extremely portable setup. If you need to move it around your desk--or even around the house, things are a lot easier with this.  :pirate:

Model Talk / MOVED: 1/144 wildwurger questions
« on: April 09, 2008, 05:54:08 AM »
This topic would seem to be a better fit in Kit Specifics.

Capitalism Corner* / Ultra Cheap Airbrush & Compressor @ Wal Mart
« on: February 15, 2008, 07:15:44 AM »
If anyone (in the U.S.) is looking for an ultra-cheap way to get into airbrushing, check the clearance aisle of your local Wal Mart. You might just find the Testors "Mighty Mini" set clearanced down to $25. A Wal Mart near me still had four of them. Well... Three, after I was through.

For the record, this set comes with an air compressor, single-action airbrush, and paints. It's not exactly a "fine, precision instrument", but you're going to have a tough time arguing with the price.

Model In-Progress / Ma.K.: Heinrich II--from scratch!
« on: January 14, 2008, 08:56:35 AM »
Holy crap! I'm posting an in-progress build (sort-of). BK's Ma.K. Board,, recently started a new Group Build: "Design and Build an Original Suit for the Ma.K. Universe." Sounds straightforward, and it matched up with something I was about to begin, anyways, so I might as well pull double-duty and post this in both places.

Personal Note: The reason I haven't been posting in-progress threads is that I've still not bothered to set up a decent way of taking more polished pictures once I've got something finished (and yes, I'll be building one of those $10 light boxes someday). Hopefully, I'll pull my head out once I get this thing wrapped up. At any rate, here's my first in-progress post for the Heinrich II:

It occurred to me that 1:48 Hughes helicopters are a lot more readily available (and cheaper!) than Heinrichs these days, and that scratch-building one shouldn't be too terribly bad--in comparison to some other things I've attempted. With that in mind, I've opted to scratch-build a Heinrich variant for this Group Build. Here's some of the parts I've gathered so far:

Not much to look at yet. Contrary to the picture, I won't be using that cast I made of a Raptor gun. For one thing, it's a Mercenary weapon. For another, I picked up a Hughes 500D-Tow, and realized that I had the parts to make the Gustav weapon at hand. I also won't be using 1:144 Zaku upper legs I think they're too big (EDIT: I appreciate Major Blah getting them to me, and I do have another idea for them!). I'll end up using some 1:144 Gundam legs... I'm just not sure what yet. Not pictured are ping-pong balls and plastic fingernails--which will both probably end up in the finished product.

My ultimate goal with this project is to not use any actual Ma.K. kit parts. If I can't achieve that, I'm going to try to use an absolute minimum of parts possible. So far, I may have to cheat and use the exhaust/intake off a Ma.K. model as I'm not sure of the source part on that. I could always screw with styrene pipe, but we'll see. I'm also not sure about what to do for engine detail on the back. It'll be somewhere between a Gustav and a Heinrich... I'm just not sure what shape it's going to take yet. I suspect it'll use a road wheel from a tank, at the least.

I haven't decided on a pilot yet, but it's probably going to be female. Either that, or Tamiya pit crew. If it's a female, I'll call her "Ludmilla", after the character from Harry Turtledove's Worldwar series of books.

The design idea is a Heinrich that has been repaired in the field, using available parts from the Gustav or whatever else happens to be handy. Due to restrictions on some supply lines, modifications during repairs of Heinrichs in the field happens surprisingly often--especially as the base model becomes obselete or phased out in favor of newer armored suits. Collectively, these bastardized Heinrichs have been called the "Heinrich II" design, to differentiate them from stock H1's. Because of the nature of the group build, I'll attempt to make some fairly distinctive changes to the design so it's not readily mistaken for a H0, H1, or Gustav.

... So that's what I've got so far. Comments, criticisms, and questions are always welcome!

GB4: Sci-Fi GPX / Wipeout anti-gravity Racer
« on: September 26, 2007, 05:12:27 AM »
Well, after much farting around, I've started my GB4 entry. I want to get it finished before going forward with the "Propeller Pirate" build, so I've got my work cut out for me.

For this entry, I'm going to try my first near-total scratch-build (or is this a "kit-bash"?), and I'm going to try to build an anti-gravity racer, inspired by the Wipeout series of video games. In terms of models, there's nothing that really comes close to the appearance of what I'm going after, so I'm just taking various parts and trying to figure out how to make them fit into the apperance of a Wipeout machine. I've made sketches, poured over whatever reference material I could find, etc. For my machine, I've chosen to try to replicate the appearance of the "Team Icaras" racer from the PSP game "Wipeout Pure". Oh, and it'll be in 1:72 scale as I find that really easy to work with.

It won't, however, be flying Icaras colors. Instead, I'm going to attempt to use various parts from Bandai Gundam kits for the "mechanical" aspects of the build. As such, this racer will be fielded by the Zeonic Company. Colors will be green, with yellow and/or gray highlights. All I have built so far--and nowhere close to finished--is the nose section: Here's the top:

The front of the nose is two wings from a Revell snap-together 1:72 F-14 Tomcat kit (bought especially for this project). The back part is actually the rudders from the same kit. Both pieces have been trimmed to some degree to make them work with the build. The top panel was just a piece of sheet styrene, cut to fit. The little dot there is a brass piece from a 1:72 tank. I've also added a piece of .010 styrene to it, just to give it a slight bit of raised detail.

And here we have the bottom:

The "base" of the underside is another piece of styrene. Attached to that (for starters) are leftover parts from a MG RGM-79, a tank wheel, and a tank grill... And a little more of that .010 styrene. This is just the start. It needs more work before I'll call it "good". I'll add some hoses and other bits and pieces, just to make it look complicated. I'm not going to go crazy on the underside, but I want it to look decent at a glance.

For the rear of the ship, I'll be using parts from a 1:72 Hasegawa Harrier. That will provide me with the cockpit and rear wings. I'll also be using some parts from a 1:72 F-16 and a MG Zaku II as well.

At any rate, that's the progress for now. I'm off to a slow start, but I have finally started. That's something, I suppose.

Questions, comments, and criticisms are certainly welcome.

Build-Offs & Duels / Propeller Pirates Sign-Up
« on: August 14, 2007, 12:24:01 PM »
Just formalizing this into its own thread--and even giving it a sticky (for now, a la "HHHH").

The rules are simple: Build a propeller aircraft (fixed or rotary wing, I suppose) that is only based loosely in reality. Think "Crimson Skies". Think "Laputa". Any scale is acceptable. Some kit-bashing and scratch-building skills are probably going to be necessary to complete this build.

We're looking at a start date of October 1. Sign-ups will continue through November 1, at which point we'll (loosely) close them down just so this comes to an end at some point.

Here's who we have so far--correct me if I'm wrong:
  • :pirate: CaptainPlastic
  • :pirate: Irk
  • :pirate: Malich
  • :pirate: Major Blah
  • :pirate: Spiffitz
  • :pirate: zerobxu

Feel free to post your questions, comments and references below. And feel free to join in on this. It should be challenging, but still definitely fun.

As for me, I'm off to the used video game store at lunch to see if they have a copy of the "Crimson Skies" game guide--it should be good for some artwork.

And here's what we've split off from the Build-Off Ideas thread...

It would appear that there may be some interest in a "Crimson Skies" Build-Off.

First off, let's guage the interest. Who's intersted in taking some existing models and throwing together a confuzzled, whimsical flying contraption?

I think the rules would be fairly simple...

1. Must be inspired by--and share a striking similarity to--a pre-existing aircraft of the "Crimson Skies" universe. Example, my li'l Doppelganger is not a perfect reproduction of the C.S. Grumman E-3C Doppelganger, but it's close enough where people familiar with C.S. know what it is.

2. Scale is irrelevant. If you want to build in 1:32, 1:48, 1:72... Even 1:100 or 1:144, it doesn't matter.

3. This probably goes without saying, but--unless it's a total scratch-build--you're going to need to utilize at least two separate aircraft kits in order to make one plane. This is why I like doing 1:72--cheap, and readily available.

4. Start date: Later than now. October 1? November 1? Any later than  that, and I may not be able to start one till around April. Completion date: Probably six months, in case we side-line it while waiting for parts, etc.

Interested? Post a reply here.

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