Showing posts from July, 2010

Angelus Rising Part VII: More Extensions

The Towering Mod.  Since I had already extended the neck of the Angelus by modifying the neck connection, and extended the waist by using a custom spacer I made a year or so ago for the Impaler,  I had grand plans of extending the legs to give the Angelus that towering height but modifying the legs themselves, but Vanz Anazasiactually came up with a simpler and better idea by using Mighty Bond rings as spacers.  I couldn't have come up with a simpler idea since this is actually similar to the spacer I made for.

I've adapted the idea 50/50.  I used two pieces of 1mm plaplates to make 2mm "donut" sandwiches (I used a round punchers with just enough diameter to make the holes before sandwiching them).  But, instead of just using them as spacers, I cemented the donut directly on top of that ankle section, extending that part by 2mm.  As compared to later kits with ABS frames (like that of the GN-X), the Sinanju's ABS frame is more receptive to cement/PS bonding.  At …

The New Look of the M.A.C. Forums

I haven't updated for a while since DonC and I were working on the MAC Forums, tweaking it here and there, then we decided to convert it from the InvisionFree to the Zetaboards engine/format.  The new format takes little getting used to, but has more nifty features and is more user friendly.  We had to sacrfice the Topic Subscription option though, since ZBoards saw that people were abusing it and was slowing the system down with all the subscriptions. 

Maybe we'll get that later when we upgrade.

The Forum now has  additional sections, like the MAC Features where we will have weekly features of anything Gunpla, whether it be a kit, a technique, a modeler or whathaveyou, and a section dedicated to Gunpla Bloggers.

The Forum is skills and techniques driven, and focuses more on the Hobby itself.  No technique is too old, too new, or too personal.  If it's applicable to Gunpla or modeling in general, we will have it.

I'm still working on the Angelus.  I feel there's no…

Blogger Stats

Blogger added a new feature called Blogger Stats that provides real-time, accurate and concise statistics for page views and hits.  Perfect for keeping track of your audience and popular pages in your blog (and thus dispels the F5 myth).

It seems I also have to give a lot of thanks to NgeeKhiong, DC23 and ZeroG, amongst a few for sending me all that traffic.

Angelus Rising Part VI: More Engraving Adventures

The "Sharpness" of a Blunt Knife Blade.  I'm engraving almost exclusively with the blunt knife now, mainly because the rotary tool is a tad difficult to control over the Sinanju's curved armor parts, and it does not remove material as much as I want to.  Instead, I score the pattern first, then etch away material in criss-cross strokes to weaken the plastic within the score marks.  I can then scrape away the weakened plastic "easily" with the same blunt knife, smooth out the engraved sections with the needle point, and then further smooth it down with the knife.

Of Scales and Digits...

--- On Fri, 7/23/10, MBR wrote:

From: MBR
Subject: Articulated Hands
Date: Friday, July 23, 2010, 4:53 AM

Hello there! I was browsing the net searching for ways to improve my skill as a customizer, i was into scratchbuilding aswell but mine is transformers. I saw your tutorials on your site about articulated hands, i just like to know if it is for 1/60 gundam? i want to scratchbuild also coz' those people whom i was ordering before the hand suddenly cannot be contacted  so i finally decided to make my own. i've also attach the latest project i've made using gundam hands so you could figure out what i am saying...hehehe Thank you so much and really appreciate your response... Regards from your fellow kabayan from UAE,
MBR Graphic Designer
I built those articulated hands for my 1/144 Customized Palace Athene (The Ice Queen), but the size of the digits is usable for a 1/60.

A New Brighter Sun has Finally Risen...

"Necessity is the Mother of Invention, but in the Heart of Chaos is Creation."
We all look for our place under the sun, whether it be online or off.  I have foreseen a Paradigm shift slowly building up, like pressure and tension between the Earth's tectonic plates.  It has been a year or so of struggle with our own Chaos that the inevitable has finally birthed a new Sun.

And we give you the Mech Arts Community Forums.

Misconceptions about Paints...

I was posting very frequently in several forums a while back and the most common question I get when it comes to painting is "What paint do you use?"  My usual response was "I use Bosny and/or RJ London paints, and they are basically Acrylic Epoxy Lacquer Paints.  In the modeling arena, people only know either Lacquer, Enamel, or Acrylic paints, and seeing a paint type like Acrylic Epoxy Lacquer was a bit of a stretch.  In one such forum, one even told me to make up my mind if I was using either Lacquer or Acrylic because that person couldn't quite accept having both in the same paint (even after showing the label), and another one even said that "Epoxies" are two part glues that can't be added in spray can paints. One thought that it might just be regional naming conventions because I was living in the Philippines.  To quote him verbatim:

"Maybe It has to do with your country's use of english, As the definition of lacquer is a mixture of natur…

"Quick" Fixes...

Of Flaws and Fixes.  No kit is perfect.  Not even the so-called Perfect Grades.  Perfect Grades actually suffer design, stability and structural flaws more than their smaller-scale counterparts mainly because of the amount of parts that come with the kit.  I have two PGs so far, an RF Astray and a 00.  Both are overall good enough PGs design-wise and I am actually impressed by how they are built.

I'm not sure about other PGs, but these two actually share the same basic flaw of the removability of the armor.  Some of the armor parts easily come off even with normal handling.  What's funny is, when the PG 00 came out, it was advised that one should purchase a second kit if one wanted to assemble it with the clear parts.  That's nothing more but a sales ploy because armor parts do come off easily, and this was the reason why I had to do this fix to begin with.

The problem lies within the connective sections of the parts, some of which are either too short or too thin.  Both t…

Angelus Rising Part V: Wing Mechanism Improvements

A swiveling Move.  Even the original Impaler Wings had a progressive spread (one wing "feather" over or under the next one) which is in nature how a bird's wings spread out.  The lighter v2 Wings is an over/under design where the middle section is actually the dominant one, which is just okay, but, being me, I couldn't resist the urge to make the wings progressive regardless.

I have had the idea for more than a week, but, I didn't want to needlessly do the modification and damage an already working v2 prototype since I've already wasted time and material on previous ones ), so I let the idea percolate and "ripen" in my mind.

The solution was fairly simple:  I just needed to cut a section from the middle wing near the base of the gear box, and used that as padding for the inner wing.  I then cut the inner wing just midway the cut section, and cemented that to the padding.  I cut extra pieces of plaplates to "mend" the now shorter inner wing…

The Angelus Binary Blade

The Angelus won't be complete without its own custom built weapon, so I made one for it from scratch (well, not entirely from scratch, since I modified one of the beam saber hilts as THE hilt for the custom scratch built blade).  I was going to build a scythe cum spear for the original Impaler X, but decided on a sword for the Angelus.

I did an online search for reference blades and swords, and here are a few of the interesting ones:

From Wolf Demon Valenor's Photobucket album:

The fifth one looked appropriate enough with the feathery trimmings and all, but this was the one that caught my eye:

which I got from Hans Rodger's Photobucket album.  This image have appeared on several websites, so I'm simply crediting where I got this from.

I decided to reference the Angelus Blade from the dual blade.  Of course, by referencing, I'd still be making one of my own design.

I cut the basic blade shapes from sandwiched 1.0mm plaplates (for sturdiness) and modified the beam…

QnA: Of Spray Cans and Plaplate Scratchbuilding...

--- On Sun, 7/18/10, Peter PUN  wrote:

From: Peter PUN
Subject: questions haha
Date: Sunday, July 18, 2010, 12:16 AM

hello man this is probaly quiet random but like i want to ask you how you paint your models? Do you hand brush them or spray paint it or airbrush :S ?

And one more haha!  i've been inspired by your scratch builds and i want to try it myself, i know nothing about it unfortunately :(

but but but i really want to know like.. i dont understand how you cant the pieces off a pla plate, i dont know how to glue them together and stuff could you give me a brief outlien on this when you have the time, that would be awesomely lovely :D.

well thanks in advance for reading my email :],

from a stranger who enjoys your scratch builds!
I use spray cans exclusively, and from time to time, use the dry brush method to paint frames.

As for scratch building, I'm not sure what you want to know specifically.  I almost exclusively use cement for scratch building, and use cutter knives, art k…

The Shift is on the Horizon...

'Nuff said (for now...)

The Angelus Emblem

Resting my hands for a while from all the engraving and after a 24-hour power outage from that nasty storm.  I actually started creating this line art yesterday before the storm started, and with my mouse malfunctioning, it gave me about the same amount of pain as I would during engraving.

The line art will allow me to experiment with color schemes for the Angelus as well as design the engravings. 

Looks pretty nice as is.  I've also redesigned the emblem, this from a year ago when the Wings were still in the planning stage and this was still called the Impaler X.


The line art is almost done with preliminary color ideas. 

Angelus Rising Part IV: Neck Extension Mods and Skull Cap Tattoo

Neck Extensions.  One thing I have noticed with most kits (or MS designs for that matter) is the apparent shortness of the neck to the point that some basically have no necks that they look as if their heads were smashed into their torsos with a hammer.   Some kits, like the Exia and the Strike are proportioned well enough that they hardly need any extension modifications.  Though this might not bother some people, I believe some designs do need to have an ample length of neck to display a suit's awesomeness.

I've done neck extension mods for the Ronin, the Kshatriya, and quite recently, the JinX.  The thing about neck extensions is that if you are working with MGs or PGs, you'll run into the inherent problem of ABS plastic's semi-resistance to cement, and the problem of CA/superglue becoming brittle over time thus making it worthless for high stress/tension area repair work or modification.

The Kshatriya's Neck Extension was the "easiest" by far to pull …

A Query via Email...

I got this email from JML (his initials), asking me about my painting process.  It's in Tagalog, but he simply asked about the Semco acrylic paints and if I used an Airbrush (AB).

This got me thinking, why not make this a regular segment?  I will post email queries and make it part of my blog in the Tutorials section so everyone can benefit from it.

--- On Mon, 7/12/10, JML<***************> wrote:

From: JML
Subject: re: painting
Date: Monday, July 12, 2010, 10:40 PM

Hi sir xander, pahabol na tanong lang sir, curious lang ako nakita ko na gumamit ka ng semco paints for your Ronin Astray project so gusto ko lang malaman kung ok ba syang gamitin sa mga kits? also sir gumagamit ba kayo ng Airbrush kasi parang napansin ko na wala kayong ginamit na AB sa mga build niyo? at yung mga bosny paint na ginamit niyo is there any way to recreate them using AB kung may idea lang po kayo kasi parang pakiramdam ko if I use an spray can I would just mess it up, I …

Angelus Rising Part III: Of Horns and Wings

The Angelus Horn.  Like in most kits, the V-fins and horns are often the most easiest to modify or customize.  These are identifiers of those MS designs that sport them, and is most variable in protagonist machines.  The Sinanju's stock horn is very basic and is similar to the "stabilizer fin" of most Zakus and seem out of place in a slew of curvy and massive armor plates.

Scratchbuilding master Julius "Juju" Lim built a whole Sinanju using an MG Saz as a base which was also featured later on in an Issue of Dengeki.  I kinda like how he remodeled the Sinanju's horn and made it look organic.

But, rather than copy his redesign, I opted to design mine own that follows the Angelic theme I had in mind, well, sort of.  I usually start with a sketch, and with trial and error prototyping, arrived at this semi-final shape.


Paradigm Shift. A change from one way of thinking to another. It's a revolution, a transformation, a sort of metamorphosis. It just does not happen, but rather it is driven by agents of change.A shift is on the horizon...

Angelus Rising Part II: The Revelation

The Rise of the Angelus.  A Major Update.  By now, a few people already have an idea what kit the Angelus is built on.  The Sinanju, by far, is my most favorite MS design (next is the GN-X, then the Exia), both in form and "functionality."  It has the perfect blend of lines and curves, and has a great overall balance.  My first Sinanju, the Grim Impaler, attests to that; it looks great out of the box, and better with the right color scheme even without modifications.

The Angelus technically is a year in the making, after I've shelved the Impaler X/Devil Wings idea.  I've now resurrected it and gave it a new call sign, as well as a new overall concept.  Like I mentioned before, this is a thematic, non-Gundam universe build, so I guess I'll have a few more raised eyebrows and condemnation from a few UC hardcores I know.

Lighting Up the Angelus' Mono-Eye.  LEDs have always been a dilemma for me mainly because it has been difficult to procure small enough SMT/SMC…