Breaking a Leg
phrase "break a leg" actually means "good luck" in stage plays, and is
often said to actors about to go on stage on opening night. I theater,
as far as acting superstitions are concerned, wishing someone good luck
is actually bad luck. In some circles, it could actually mean giving an
exceedingly lively and exhaustive performance, to the point of
"breaking a leg" in the process.
Similarly, or at least, I'd like
to think so, I have still not shed my need to make things complicated,
or think of complicated things first, in lieu of its simple
counterparts, to the point of breaking some things in the process. It
has considerably lessened to the point that, as far as the build time is
concerned, I have actually been able to do a lot more work all around
unlike before. With this update, I'm about a couple away from catching
up and synching my progress.
All "Thigh-ed" Up
of the flaws I've encountered with the PG WZC has to deal with how the
armor latches on to the frame. The frame itself from head to toe, with
exception of the upper arms, is too slender for its armor. Whereas
modern kits, like the PG 00 and Astray (which uses the Strike frame) and
newer MGs all have frames and armor that have little clearance space in
between, the PG WZC have too much clearance for comfort. The frame
looks more like a large, misshapen MG when bare.
not really an issue altogether, as it does give much leeway for
modifications on the frame and inside the armor. But bear with me,
those aren't really flaws until you've handled the armor parts,
especially the thigh armor, as extensively as I have.
armor's main and necessary modification is carving out the lower portion
just above the knee, to give allowance to the minus mold detail. The
front and back parts of the thigh armor also slide when the knee is
bent, as they are connected on articulation mechanism on the frame. The
front slides down, while the back slides up. The flaw? Since there is
a HUGE clearance between the armor and the frame, pressing on the
sliding edges tend to bend the armor pieces inward, stressing the
plastic. The not-so-strange thing is, both back armor pieces developed the same stress lines at the same relative position.
first one broke (a clean break, which is a "good" thing) while I was
testing the sliding mechanism, which I decided to keep fixed, but later
on had to put back because of how it affected the knee articulation with
the minus mold in place. The second one developed that fracture
earlier on, but since I haven't really worked on it yet, hasn't broken.
I fixed the broken part by cementing them together. For the other
fracture part, I opened the fracture slightly to reveal a minute gap and
brushed it with thin cement to seal the fracture. I then secured the
inside of each armor piece with strips of 0.5mm WHIPS.
If you are wondering why both pieces broke (or fractures) at relatively the same position, it has something to do with how the gates are positioned relative to the molded part. In this case, the hot, liquid plastic coming from either side of the part during molding "met" at that region. You can clearly see this region on the surface of the plastic as an obvious "swirl". This swirl or region somewhat affects how paint behaves as well as it cures over plastic. Maybe the mold-release agent seeped into that region, making the part less able to handle stress at that specific location (the other side did not develop any stress fractures). This is usually mitigated by putting seemingly useless "detail" inside armor parts. The bumps and recesses help strengthen sections of the plastic, like how bars reinforce otherwise "flat" ceilings, in most light-handling stresses.
that done, I simply added sliding support to the sliding edges of the
armor by attaching small "tongues" on one, and slide "slots" on the
On Your Knees
is one of the few things the WZC and the DSH do not have in common.
Whereas the WZC's knee armor are slender and "softer," the DSH's are
broad and "square." I decided to work around that by using the stock
knee armor regardless and modified it by separating it into two
sections. At this point, the connective "tongues" on both pieces have
already broken away (they were too stuck for me to even carefully pull),
and like in the case of the thigh armor, there were too much space
between the armor and the knee frame, that wiggling it stressed the thin
tongue until broke from the base. I had no other recourse but rebuild
the connections later on with pegs.
The larger section basically holds the smaller section in place, which in turn holds the knee blade.
the knee blades, I initially planned to use sandwiched WHIPS then
carving them later on, but decided to make a "skeletal frame" and
encapsulate that with WHIPS, giving the part a smoother look on the
onset. This technique actually reduced my build time significantly and
gave me a far sharper edge than I can achieve by carving sandwiched
WHIPS. (This is the same technique I used for the skirt, and as far as
chronology is concerned, this was done first).
When I inserted the knee blade into its respective receptacle, I couldn't help but blurt an evil "BWAHAHAHAHA! IT'S ALIVE!" laugh.
part probably took me as long to do as the Chest and Head
modifications, mainly because it was so darned simple, I couldn't help
but make it complicated. I initially decided to simply slap on a
blade/spike similar to that of the knee blade over the toe and be done
with it, but the MG DSH has a slight toe articulation I couldn't ignore.
So it took me a while just deciding if I'll go on and punish myself
with complicating things.
The masochism wins in the end, but it
was ll worth it. I began by cutting the foot armor into sections,
making sure I retain most of the connective material for adjustment
later on. Again, this could have been simpler by simply treating the
base and the top as one piece (as I have with the skirts), but I saw
relative difficulty with later modifications, especially when the
toe-blades have been mounted. The toe articulation is rather slight and
insignificant, but nonetheless kewl in all things modified.
the articulation, I used a couple of spare "hinge" polycaps from my
stash, encapsulated each with WHIPS, and mounted them on the main feet
sections. This is the part where being OC about working on the base and
the top of the toes separately proved my being OC right, because it
allowed me to "see" the modifications and make further adjustments as
needed, something I couldn't have done if I have fixed the two sections
I've also added a few details to match with the MG DSH's.
was also a relatively simple modification, but it also took me a while
to decide how to do. I wanted to maintain the front detail of the armor
and build around it, so I cut the material I thought were unnecessary. I
later realized I made a mistake in that department, but somewhat was
glad to have made because the part would have been too thick if I
simply slapped on WHIPS on top of the material I have cut. I layered
WHIPS as needed and filed the surface smooth, so the 0.5mm top layer
WHIPS would have a smooth surface to latch on.
Next: Death-Defying Dastardly Details
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