Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Project: Angelus Rising Part I

A step beyond scribing.  While the JinX percolates, and the Qan[T] in limbo, I've started on a new project that involves more of my trademark functional modifications, and this time, engraving on plastic.  I've chosen an angelic/demonic/gothic theme for this build (hence the title), and has so far tested my patience and dexterity more than any of my previous builds.

This build has been more than a year in the making.  After that initial concept I did a year ago, I basically scrapped the idea and went on doing other stuff.  Until now.

Anyways, here's a sneak peak.  I penciled out the design DIRECTLY on the plastic, lightly sanded so the graphite has something to bite into.  I then used a knife to score the plastic, then deepened the grooves with a needlepoint bit mounted on my pin vise.  I used my rotary tool and the needlepoint engraver bit to remove material to achieve what is illustrated below.

I then went back to my other needlepoint and engraved the streaks, then sanded the surface to make the engraving stand out.

Tools of the Trade.  To execute this "painful" process, you'll need:
A] Sharp knife blade; for smooth gliding scoring on bare plastic.
B] Blunt knife blade; for deepening the scores on the plastic (I have had this blade for over a year).
C] Engraving needle bit mounted on a Rotary tool.  This helps speed up the engraving process.
D] Engraving bit mounted on a pin vise, for engraving the "african tribe scar tattoo" texture.

The Revelation this weekend.

Friday, June 25, 2010

More Plates and Sandwiches (of the Plastic Variety)

For this particular part, I used one of my Tamiya 4WD option parts (this one being an aluminum bumper extension) as a template.  I used double-sided tape to secure it onto 1mm plaplate, then cut it out with scissors and trimmed to shape with my side cutter.  I was making 4 two-piece sandwiches so I cemented the first cut shape onto the plaplate, cut that out, secured that with tape, and repeated the process a few more times.

This method allows me to shape, file and drill holes onto the parts making them as similar as possible, with the tape holding the parts together quite firmly and wouldn't really budge at times unless I pry the sections apart with a blunt knife.

And VOILA!  By now, the build is "taking shape," and one guy at MAC Online actually guessed what this thingamajig is. 

Guess What?

As I finalize the Scarlet JinX's weapons, and contemplate what to do next with the 00 Qan[T], I revisited one of my older builds and rethought the design.  It's a bit of a "secret," so I won't be posting a full progress WIP.  Those familiar with my work a couple of years back might have an idea what this is about.

Round Beams.  Tamiya round plastic beams come in 1mm, 2mm, 3mm and 5mm diameters and are perfect for most peg, coring repair work, extension fixes and custom-built joints and hinges.  For this particular part of the project I am working on, 3mm would be too thin and would break easily, and 5mm would be too thick, and I do avoid drilling too big a hole in most cases as they become loose faster than smaller ones owing to the nature of plastics especially PS.

I was able to procure 5mm and 4mm plastic tubes from Joli's (a local art shop located at Espana near UST) as well as a few other stuff.  I've "modified" the 4mm tube by inserting then cementing a shaft of 3mm round beam to produce a 4mm solid beam.

This will then become the hinge part for this mystery build.

These curved buggers are plaplate sandwiches, and will act as skeletons to what I am planning to make.

More later...

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Hobby Link Japan's "Playing with Plastic" Gundam Competition

HobbyLink Japan is conducting the Playing with Plastic Gundam competition.  Grand Prize is the impressive MG The-O, with the MG V-Dash and RG RX 78-2 as second and third prizes respectively.

I don't know about you guys, but I want that MG The-O.

Just scoot over their website for more details.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Scarlet JinX WIP Part VIII

Just a quick update on the painting progress.  I should have given the crotch armor more detail.  Oh well.

New paint "technique" (which is not really a technique, so to speak).  Instead of making subtle variations in color depth by layering flat black and nickel alloy in different densities, I've painted all the red armor parts with an even coat of nickel alloy, then a light coat of flat clear, then red.  The flat clear seems to aid in making the red adhere faster to the previous coat, prevent overspray and paint lumping in grooves and panel lines.

To create the effect of subtle variations in red, I left some of the parts without flat coat, leaving it more red and provide enough contrast against the muted reds, creating a more subtle two-tone effect (as compared to what I've done with the Hi-Nu where I actually used two different colors to create the two-tone effect).  I've also done this with the shoulder armor (photos of that later on).

Also, I applied masking tape on where parts rub off on each other to prevent premature scratching of the paint as it dries and cures fully.  I have noticed that even non-top-coated finishes of this type of paint are fairly resistant to light scratching during handling when fully cured, but it's best to be sure.

Mech Arts Community at FaceBook

Check out Mech Arts Community at Facebook, the fastest growing International Mecha Community, with members including top international Mecha modelers and BAKUC champions.  I'm lucky to be one of the officers, thanks to my friend BAKUC 2008 Champ DonC23.

For its initial event, MAC Online announces the 1st MAC Gundam ONLINE competition, open to all Gundam modelers 18 and below.

What are you waiting for?  Join us now!

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Scarlet JinX WIP Part VII

A quickie update:

Here's another example of why I love using Flat Black.  Flat black dries semi-smooth and can serve both as primer and base coat (which makes it perfect for frame jobs, pun intended).  This is the rear skirt frame of the Jinx, painted with Flat Black, then later "carbonized" with Kosutte using cotton buds as applicators. 

The Arm Frames, assembled, painted and carbonized.

A smorgasbord of armor parts, painted with Nickel-Alloy.  Some will be painted with Honda Red later on.

The assembled lower body frame.  I painted and carbonized most of the frame except the pegs and connectors for easier assembly.

The Modified GN Tau Drive.  Although there was an option to purchase red LED modules, I opted to make my own (it's fairly easy in my case).  I've made casings using plaplates that fit into the stock drive like a charm, making it possible for me to assemble disassemble the drive easily during wiring and testing.  I used A combination of Wave and Koto Springs for a neat solderless wiring.

Unlike the MG Exia's Drive cone which has a chrome-plated core, the GN Tau Drive's core is an unplated core, and its construction blocks of most of the light when assembled, dimming the light in the process.  I got an OC attack during final assembly and figured out a way to make the light shine brighter without modifying too much of the drive.  The solution was simple:  I used a piece of Tamiya Holographic sticker as a reflector on the Drive core and cone assembly.  This increased the brightness by about a hundred per cent.

That's it for now.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Scarlet JinX WIP Part VI

Progress is relatively slowly Gundam-wise mainly because of work and other stuff, but I managed to add more details to the JinX an have actually started painting it.  I planned to paint it in one go instead of my usual "piecemeal" method, but relented since I wanted to see how the paint job will look.

I started with the JinX's head by painting the frame with Flat Black (flat black is perfect as primer AND base coat), then "carbonized" it with Kosutte Gin San, which I believe is highly refined graphite.  The stuff is used mainly to make plastic look like shiny metal and is a tad expensive for such a small amount.  It can make bare plastic shiny provided that the plastic is smooth, but, since it doesn't have anything to bond on, the stuff rubs off rather easily.  Painting the plastic with gloss black, then applying the stuff with cotton and buffing it like crazy can yield mirror-like effects, but, I digress.

Using Kosutte over Flat Black actually yielded a favorable result.  It's not shiny, but it's similar to die-cast carbon steel in look and feel.

And These Came in the Mail

Rather, I had these sent to my school since I was on an off-site training.  Bosny Philippines has once again graciously sent me free...