Sunday, August 28, 2011

Me, Myself & Irene

Over the past 2 weeks, I've taken time off from my Leo IV project to reconsider what more I wanna do and what I could do differently (though most of that time was squandered on my anime/movie/AMV addiction).  This weekend was spent in preparation for Hurricane Irene; buying supplies, stuffing my windows with shopping bags and gathering plastic containers when the windows leaked the ugliest looking water I've ever seen.  After a heavy rainstorm, the damage was little more than light water stains.  Now that I suddenly have even more time on my hands, I'll continue working on Type IV and I hope to finish the torso sometime this year.

Looking at this pic, I have a pretty good idea of how I want to complete Leo's upper body.  Once the waist area and the headcrest are taken care of, I'll glue both halves of the torso together but keep the seam line running down the sides (Center).  Next I'll drill 4 tiny holes in each corner of the back to accommodate metal pins (Left).  And finally I'll scribe panel lines like those shown here.  But for now . . .

I have to clean up the waist area after just sawing off the excess plastic.  That pink area on the left part is a dry piece of Tamiya putty that will be used to help sculpt the waist and fill in areas that are cut too deep.  I had this putty since '06, so I was gonna throw it away when I bought a new tube.  But then I discovered that I can still use the old putty as a sort of modeling clay.

Here's Leo's chest squeezed onto Tallgeese's torso.  As you can see, the chest doesn't go all the way in, stressing the need for further modification.  I thought about drilling into the chest to fit the peg on the torso, but now I'm thinking of just trimming down the peg itself, though I'd still have to work on that waist.

I have more ideas, but I don't wanna drag this out anymore.  Stay tuned for my next official WIP post and other news.  Until next time, break's over.  Back to work!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

WIP: 1/144 NG Leo Type IV Custom (Part 2)

Welcome back!  This weekend, I intended to finish sawing Leo's skirt armor off its torso.  Until I was up to it, however, I decided to work on the other parts I'd be using for Type IV; in this case, the arms from the Tallgeese kit.

These are the parts that make up each arm (excluding the polycap hands).  The parts for the shoulder armor (Top) would overlap the shoulder (Center) which would attach to the forearm (Bottom) with a polycap joint.  But if I fully assembled the shoulder first, removing its seam lines and painting it would be a problem.  So . . .

Starting with the shoulder and forearm, I trimmed the pegs and attached the polycaps (Circled) to each before applying liberal amounts of plastic cement (Top) to the rims of each part.  Here I learned that for old kits like Tallgeese, it's a good idea to trim the pegs of all the parts and make sure they fit together; otherwise you're stuck with large gaps in between.  It's also important to stick in those polycaps BEFORE  using the cement, because once that cement sets, you can't go back and fix mistakes.

Once the cement was added, I squeezed the glued parts together so that excess cement would seep out.  So that I wouldn't be squeezing parts between my fingers for the next few hours, I used plastic clamps I got from the dollar store.  They're cheap, but they do the job right.

Because my camera didn't get it, the red line indicates where both parts for the shoulders are permanently welded together, erasing the seam line.  I'll eventually smooth it out with sandpaper (BTW, I'm holding up this part with a stick).

Next I modifed the shoulder armor by taking my knife and creating a channel in the holes connecting to the other pegs of the shoulder.  Once they're painted . . .

I can slide the shoulder into the armor . . .

And it doesn't fall off.  This could be a problem once the weapons and rear verniers are attached, but that's a worry for another day.

Before gluing the armor together, I've decided to shave some of it off to better resemble Leo's.  After breaking out my hobby saw and cutting along the lines I drew . . .

I sanded the rough areas and voila!

I know this photo's dark and fuzzy, but you get the idea.  Leave a comment or two and let me know what you think so far.  Until next time, it's off to the movies, again!

Monday, August 8, 2011

WIP: 1/144 NG Leo Type IV Custom (Part 1)

I'm a bad blogger.  There, I said it.

I've finally started my Leo/Tallgeese mashup project last week, but this update's been postponed by unforeseen circumstances as well as my own stagnation.  It's not just that I've grown used to planning my project instead of actually getting it off the ground, but that the tasks involved are easier said than done.  Here's what I mean.

Starting with Leo, I took the back half of the torso and trimmed the pegs with my knife.  That way, when I test-build parts it's easier to separate them.

Next, going by the pic of Leo Type IV, I cut a hole in the back of Leo's head (Left) and drilled another hole behind the front of the head (Right) in order to insert Tallgeese's headcrest (Above).  However, the drill I used was too small AND the hole's close enough to open up on the other end.

My next idea was to combine Leo and Tallgeese's torsos to provide waist movement for the finished product.  I would start by cutting Leo's skirt armor off its torso, keeping my tools steady with either pegs (Left) or Dymo label tape (Right), the latter of which doesn't work too well in this case . . .

. . . As you can see with the part on the left.  I remind the reader that Limited Model kits like Leo are much thicker than regular Gunpla; even my new dual-bladed hobby saw (Below) can barely cut it (pardon the pun).  Fortunately, I've also got a new tube of putty (Top) for [much needed] repairs.

That's it for Part 1.  Join me for "Part 1 1/2," when I continue to saw Leo's skirts off.  Will I finish the job by this weekend?  Will I be able to post new blogs on a weekly basis?  Will I ever find the perfect push drill?  Find out in the next exciting entry in the Gunpla Kit n' Kaboodle!  Until next time, are you building Gunpla yet?