Saturday, July 24, 2010

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.

Removing Micro Scratches: A Duh Moment.  Micro scratches, fissures (that white discoloration when the plastic is stressed) and overshots are unavoidable in this case, but I'm not really worried.  Previously I simply sand or scrape these scratches away with a knife, and they do go away, but some scratches are deeper than others and are thus not so easy to get rid off with simple sanding.  Since I basically avoid having to use putty as much as I can, I discovered this technique quite by accident while fixing something else:  I can remove deep micros cratches and fissures by applying Extra thin Cement over the scratches, let cure for about an hour, and sand progressively or with a finer grit (especially with smaller parts).

The cement's resin component seeps into the scratches and fills them in as the solvent component evaporates.  Extra Thin cement is more ideal in this case because it evaporates and dries faster than regular cement.  This technique can also be used to check for small errors without priming.  I have actually used this technique to even out the engraving of the skull cap.

The Extra Thin Cement at work.  Will provide more "action" and before an after pics of this technique.

A Simple Ankle Fix.  One of the minor design flaws I found with the Sinanju is its rather minimal ankle articulation when posing the feet downwards, making it look as if the kit has leg cramps. Simply enough, you won't be able to give the Sinanju a dramatic swooping "flight" pose similar to other MS, like the Wing, maybe owing to the fact that the Wings feet were designed that way for its bird mode.  What's more, the mid sole of the Sinanju's feet dips downward, which seems pretty useless because the main ankle is articulated for a kneeling pose.  Regardless, I decided to give the Angelus' ankles a greater dip angle for that flight pose.

I actually thought of cutting part of the piston cylinder that limits the ankle's dip angle, but realized all I had to do was simply reverse the cylinder's position relative to its mount.

The result, an improved dip angle.  It's not that dramatic, but enough to lessen the ankle's "stiff" look.

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