MG Turn X Gundam ver MatX WIP Part IX
June's going to be a very hectic month for me, as I have a couple of classes, a whole day seminar, my former boss urging me to work for her again, a couple of "real" projects and not to mention our album launch, so, I'm trying to get as much Gunpla time as I can. (My build off with Falldog will have to wait a while, but, I already have a few ideas on what to do with my The O).
Anyways, more challenges unfold as I go further into this build. Simple as it may look (like a Star Trek saucer with a shark's fin stuck on it), the Turn X's shoulder armor proved nevertheless a difficult build. I thought I would have been able to do this with simple plaplate bending magic (if it were JUST a customization), but, I realized that won't do because this is after all going to be cast for reproduction considering the overall shape of the part and how I'll connect it to the arm. Also, instead of constructing this as a solid, one-piece part, I opted for a 3-piece construction.
As such, I used a different technique to build this part. Instead of sandwiching plaplates right away and sculpting them afterward, I cut out the basic shape of the base of the shoulder armor from 1.5mm HIPS. Checking for symmetry, I scored "lightly" on the middle, and attached 2mm beams appropriately to make it solid. This serves as the frame for what I dub as "progressive plaplate sculpting," which is something I've used before in earlier "simpler" builds.
The beam that runs across the middle is off center and will serve as the frame for that side. Once cut, I simply cemented another piece of beam to the other side, and braced it with 1.5mm HIPS. I'm using thicker HIPS for this to ensure a solid construction, and the beam increases the workable area and enables me to work faster (a smaller area would mean I would have to wait longer for the cement to cure before I can proceed). The mid brace serves as the first "layer," and is shaped right away and becomes the "guide" for the next layer, so on and so forth.
The 2mm rear beam also becomes the spacer for the back brace.
With that done, it's all a matter of adding the layers up one at a time and sculpting them to shape.
The middle part, or "Shark's Fin," is made by sandwiching a 1.5mm HIPS between two 1.0mm plaplates then later shaped as such (later on, I'll simply call the lot of them HIPS, as I mentioned in the tutorials, H.I.P.S., for all intents and purposes are basically plaplates). The fin also follows the undershape of the main shoulder, which was my main concern to begin with.
I've yet to do the "tail" section of the part (which will either be connected to the fin or the main sections), but that would be rather easy compared to this. I'm still deciding whether to keep the parts separate and simply add connective parts, or cement them as one solid piece. I'll finish this by cementing bent plaplates over the top section. This method actually enables me to get a more accurate and better curved surface.