Petit Crossbone Beargguy

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I'll be completely honest with you; I'm not happy with how this turned out.

I think that's very important to admit, that's why I put it in big bold letters. I cut corners and didn't show complete attention to detail, but I'm ok with that. I feel that's also important to admit. Not every project is going to be a masterpiece, and we all have to come to terms with that.

That being said, the Petit Crossbone Beargguy is made from kitbashing a Petit'gguy and an SD Crossbone Gundam.

The mohawk, V-fin, shoulders, backpack, gun, and saber have all been custom fit to the Petit'gguy. Additional panel lines have been scribed into the chest and mouthpiece to better replicate the look of the Crossbone Gundam.

The piece is entirely painted with Tamiya paints thinned with Mr. Leveling Thinner, and has been clear coated in Mr.Super Clear Gloss and Mr.Super Clear Matt. The decal is from the Crossbone X2 waterslide sheet.

Even though the Petit Crossbone Beargguy isn't my best work, he's still really cute and that's what I was going for. I hope you like it regardless!

You can see the Petit Crossbone Beargguy WIP gallery HERE.

#gundam #gunpla #childofmecha #ibuildgiantrobots #mobilesuitgundam #sideproject #beargguy #petitgguy #crossbonegundam


Do you like Beargguys? I like Beargguys! You can shop for Beargguy merch in my store!

Child of Mecha Workflow

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I receive a bunch of messages about my building workflow, so I thought I'd just put it out there for everyone. Please keep in mind this is just MY workflow. I'm not telling anyone to do it this way or that this is the only way to do things. It's not. It's just the way I do things and it works for me.

If you'd like a poster sized print of my workflow to hang on your wall, you can buy them in various sizes in my online store!

AMX-052 Ozymandias

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GBWC 2017
2nd Place United States

This model started out as a MG Sinanju Stein ver. Ka and has been heavily modified and kitbashed with parts from the 1/100 and 1/144 Grimgerde, PG Wing Zero, 1/144 GN Arms, MG ZZ, and MG Gouf Custom.

The head started as the head of a MG Gouf Custom and was reshaped with Tamiya Quick Type Epoxy Putty. Styrene sheet and strip were added for details and the winglets are from the 1/144 Grimgerde.

The chest was reshaped with Tamiya Epoxy Putty, and plastic sheet. The cockpit hatch has been laminated with plastic sheet to give it more accentuated angles and detailed with plastic strip to form the borders. The eagle is a Kotobukiya MSG detail part.

The shoulders came from the 1/100 Grimgerde and were modified with the internal structure from the Stein's shoulders. The attachment arms are taken from the MG ZZ and were modified to fit in the new shoulder. They are holding additional shoulder armor that came from the PG Wing Zero. The inside of the additional shoulder armor has been detailed with styrene sheet.

The front skirts have been semi scratch built with some of the Stein's front skirts and built up with styrene sheet and strip. Side vents were sculpted into the styrene sheet using chisels.

The side skirts are originally the arm shields from the 1/100 Grimgerde and modified with the back of the Stein's side skirts. Additional detail was added.

The back skirts were almost all scratch build with the exception of the front piece which is from a MG Ground GM's front skirts.

The knee armor was heavily reshaped with Tamiya Epoxy Putty and plastic strip. The original was molded and then recast in resin to get two identical copies.

The back of the legs have added thrusters using parts from a MG Z+ and 1/100 HG Buster Gundam. Vented inserts were scratch built to fit into the new thrusters.

The bottom of the legs have been tapered down and modified with plastic sheet and strip.

The toe armor has been scratch built from plastic sheet and made to fit over the Stein's toe bottom. Many parts of the foot have been smooth for a more curvy look.

The backpack is made from the existing Stein back pack and parts from the 1/144 GN Arms and HGUC Gaplant. Double pivoting attachment arms were scratch built using plastic strip and tube.

The gun was completely scratch built using plastic sheet, strip, tube and metal detail parts.

The sword is a modified 1/100 Grimgerde's using plastic rod and tube to customize the look.

Many parts had their angles sanded smooth to give it a more curvy Zeon look. Most parts have custom panel lines scribed in as well.

Everything has been primed with Mr. Surfacer 1000 and painted with Mr. Color Paints. It was then glossed with Mr. Super Clear gloss and Tamiya Panel Line Accent Color was applied. Decals from Hi-Q and DL were used as well as custom printed decals.

The decals were glossed over for protection and the model was chipped using Tamiya acrylics and small pieces of sponge. Tamiya Weathering Master Oil Stain was applied to all surfaces to give it subtle color variance and to slightly accentuate the edges. The model was finally sprayed with Mr. Super Clear Matte.

Overall, I'm really happy with how the Ozymandias came out. I was originally not going to weather it, but after not getting it done in time for NYCC, I decided to go ahead and do it. The chipping may be a bit heavy, but I wanted it to look very battle tested and considering this is my first attempt at it, I can't really complain.

I truly hope you like the Ozymandias and if you feel others should see this please feel free to share it to your friends or groups!

Link to the full WIP gallery HERE.

#gundam #gunpla #childofmecha #ibuildgiantrobots #mobilesuitgundam
#gbwc2017 #ozymandias #kingofkings


If you'd like purchase Ozymandias apparel, accessories or poster sized prints to hang on your wall, you can buy them in various sizes in my online store!

Creative Tip - Using Nail Polish as Paint

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In this Creative Tutorial I'll show you my findings as I experimented with using Nail Polish as paint.

Over the years I've seen many people experiment with using Nail Polish as paint and I've always wanted to try it. While I was out shopping with my wife and daughter I happened to see this funky color and thought I'd give it a try. Here are my findings.

I wanted to see what this color would look like on a variety of colors and I happened to have these test spoons lying around so I figured I'd put them to use. From left to right: Bare Mr. Surfacer 1000, Alclad II Steel, Mr. Color Super Silver, Mr. Color GX Red Gold.

I started by mixing the nail polish with Mr. Leveling Thinner until I achieved that milky consistancy. This particular nail polish is pretty thick, so I had to thin it quite a bit, but after that it sprayed really nicely and went on very smooth.

 

As you can see the effect is hit and miss with this color, but the effect on the left two spoons is much greater. Unfortunately the pearlescent effect does not tranlate very well in photos, but it is much more prominent in real life.

The effect on the Mr. Leveling Thinner spoon and the Alclad II Steel spoon are pretty nice. it has tones of green and purple at different angles and has a nice overall spectral sheen.

I'm not sure how useful this particular color would be on Gundams, but it was good to experiment with.

As you can see in the photos there are scratches on two spoons. I wanted to test the durability of the nail polish compared to Mr. Color and other lacquer based paints. The scratches were done after about 30 minutes cure time. Mr. Color would have been rock solid at this point, but the nail polish, while dry to the touch, scratched off pretty easily at this point, so I decided to give it overnight to cure some more.

 

Here you can see the Before and After shots. The left two spoons had a nice change while the right two spoons had little to no effect. 

After letting the spoons cure for 8 hours, I can safely say they cured to the same hardness and durability as Mr. Color paints. Very happy about that, but in the future I probbaly would NOT use Mr. Leveling Thinner, but instead use standard Mr. Thinner. I never thought about nail polish already having a leveling agent already mixed into the formula, so I'm guessing that adding more leveling agent slowed down the cure time significantly. Since standard Mr. Thinner doesn't have a leveling agent, I would hypothosize that it would decrease the cure time by a decent amount and still retain the same durability.

CAUTION: Since all nail polish is formulated differently, both across colors and brand, it's absolutley crucial to test before spraying it on a model. Different brands may not mix well with certain thinners or may even harm the plastic. Even formulations of the same color and brand may be different in different countries, so PLEASE make sure to test out your colors!

Overall I was very pleased with this test. Like I said before, I'm not sure how useful this color or even using nail polish would be in the future, as it's no substitute for dedicated model paint, but it's good to know that the option is there in a pinch.

Creative Tip - Creating "Sleeves" Badges

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In this tutorial, I'll show you how I created this "Sleeves" badge for my project.

STEP 1 - the base

For the base of the badge I start with .3 mm plastic sheet. The shape and size of the badge will be different depending on your project, but mine was 7mm x 4mm.

STEP 2 - Borders 01

I used .5 x .25 mm strip by Evergreen for the border around the badges. I started with the shortest edges first, since they would be the hardest to glue down simply because of their size and lack of glue area. I intentionally left some strip overhang so that I could trim it flush with the base of the badge.

 

STEP 3 - borders 02

I'll omit this step for the next few border pieces, but it's best to cut the piece long and trim it down to size.

STEP 4 - Borders 03

I added the long edges next. Finding the correct angles for the border pieces to meet up can be tricky. I like to use the piece itself as a guide and eyeball, or estimate, the cut and trim it down to get the final angle for the piece. The top piece was the most difficult since it had two tricky angles, but patience and delicate work will eventually get you to success.

 

STEP 5 - borders 04

The last piece was the back border. Only one angle to cut and an easy right angle.

STEP 6 - Emblem plug

To make the emblem I started with a "plug" that fit perfectly inside the borders. Stay patient and cut, check repeat until you get a perfectly sized plug.

 

STEP 7 - Emblem cut down

After I had the plug, I trimed it down on all sides just a bit. I also cut off the left tip of the emblem as well as a small cutout at the bottom to better replicate a stylized wing. For the "feathers" of the wing, I used a .2 mm chisel to get nice uniform lines.

After that I glued the piece in place and evened out the plug with the .2 mm chisel, carefully following the edge of the borders to get a constant space.

Lastly give the entire surface a light sanding to make sure it's nice and flat.

STEP 8 - Projected Final Look

At this point you're probably wondering how you're going to paint this detail. It's pretty simple really. 

*Note: I use Mr. Color paint, primer, and clear coats, which are all laquer based.

The first step I'd do is to paint the entire badge in white and leave it until all of your other paint work is done. Clear coat your model parts in preparation for panel lining with a nice gloss lacquer. Once that's done simply fill in the badge recesses with enamel black panel line wash until it's filled. For clean up you can use lighter fluid or your choice of chemicals. Just be careful not to damage the piece.

 

STEP 9 - Actual Size

Here you can see just how small these things are.

Final Example - before paint

Here you can see the effect of this detail. Once painted the badges will look amazing on any "Sleeves" mobile suit.

 

final example - finished piece

Here is what the Sleeves Badge looks like on the Ozymandias. I think they came out great and they're exactly what I wanted to achieve!

Creative Tip: Working with Epoxy Putty

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In this Creative Tip I'll show you how working with Epoxy Putty can greatly increase what you can achieve with your next project.

Safety

All that dust on the front of my table was from grinding, cutting, and sanding just two pieces. You do not want that dust in your lungs or eyes, so make sure you wear a dust mask or preferably a respirator and safety glasses or goggles. And when you're done, make sure to vacuum up what you can. Have fun and be safe out there folks!


We'll start with some of the things you'll need. I really like using Tamiya Epoxy Putties, especially the Quick Type. I find it to be more sticky when first working with it which is a huge plus since adheasion to the piece is critical. It also sands beautifully and has a density that is very close to Bandai plastic. 

If, for some reason, you can't find it, or you don't have access to it, there are many other artists' Epoxy Putties available. Milliput, Magic Sculpt, and Aves Apoxie Scuplt are just a few.

You'll also need some files. The larger file in this image is a general purpose flat file or bastard file. This is used for initial filing and getting the rough shape into the refining process.

The smaller file is a needle file. It's used for finer filing work when precision is needed.

A good hobby knife is essential in almost all modelling applications and this is no different. My knife of choice is the Olfa Art knife with their normal hobby blade and their chisel blade

The chisel blade is especially useful when evening up surfaces, which I'll show a little later in this tutorial.

 

To get a really refined surface you'll need a few sanding blocks of different grits. I usually use two for the refining process; one with 400 grit sand paper and one with 800 grit sand paper.

These particular sanding blocks are by Hobby Mate, but you could easily make your own with some thin plywood or MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard), or if you have access to a laser cutter you can cut your own from thin acrylic sheet.

If you're trying to match an angle, you'll need a metal protractor like this. It's used to check to make sure you have the correct angle along the way during the refining process. It's also really useful if you have to cut some plastic sheet or strip at an odd angle.

The last thing you'll need is a small container of water.

 

STEP 1

Epoxy Putty comes in two parts that you mix together in equal amounts, so to begin we'll cut equal amounts of the White and Gold parts.

STEP 1A

Once you have them cut, they should be of equal size.

STEP 2

Use some water and wet your fingers before you start mixing the two parts. This will prevent the Epoxy Putty from sticking to your fingers. It also makes it much easier to mix. Knead and mix the putty for several minutes until you get a smooth even color throughout. As you mix it the water on your hands will start to dry and you'll feel the sticky feel start to return. This is important in the coming steps so that the Epoxy Putty properly adheres to the piece. 

Different brands will be different colors. Tamiya happens to be a pale yellow color when fully mixed.

 

This will be the piece that we'll be working with. We'll be packing Epoxy Putty into the corner around the perimeter of the upper part of the piece.

STEP 3

Now that the putty has that sitcky feel back, we'll apply it to the inside corners of the piece. Make sure to apply a litte more than you need and that it covers or overhangs any surface you want to match. We'll be removing the excess later and refining the shape. 

It's best to scuplt your rough shape at this point to make later steps a bit easier. You can use the water again to smooth the surface of the putty. If you have any sculpting tools or an old hobby knife, you can use them to better rough out the shape.

STEP 4

Wait.

Epoxy Putties differ in cure times, but I usually find that a good 12 hours is long enough for Tamiya to fully cure to its full hardness. I like to attach the pieces to paint holders so they are out of the way and to minimize anything coming into contact with them during the curing stage.

 

STEP 5

This is where the fun begins. Our first step into the refining process is to even out the Determination Points. They are the points that will ultimately determine your angle or shape.

Here you can see a cross section of the piece. The upper Determination Point is the corner of the top surface of the piece, while the bottom Determination Point is the corner of the base layer of plastic. For this piece the angle is 52 degrees.

STEP 5A

Since we now know the Determination Points are the top corner and bottom corner. I use a chisel blade to even out the surfaces and make them flat. Here is what it looks like after I've evened out the surfaces.

 

STEP 6

At this point we'll probably have to remove a good amount of material to get down to a workable shape with our files and sanding blocks, so to do this I'll use my Dremel with a common cylindrical grinding bit. You have to be very careful at this stage as you can easily take off too much and have to add some Epoxy Putty to fix your mistake.

STEP 7

After you've used the Dremel you can start to carve more material off with your hobby knife and clean up and over hanging Epoxy Putty.

Step 8

We'll start to file the shape down to the angles we need to achieve. The bastard file works really well for this and will remove a good amount of material.

 

STEP 8A

Make sure to stop often and check your angles. This is really easy to mess up.

STEP 9

When you have your shape pretty close to what you want, you can start to use the sanding blocks. This will really flatten out the surface and get you really close to your final shape.

STEP 9A

You can also use your needle file during this stage as well if you need to refine a small problem area.

 

Step 10

You've got your final shape and it's nicely refined, but you can still see some faint filing and sanding marks. Go over it with some fine grit sand paper to really clean up the surfaces. Be careful not to dull and sharp edges though.

STEP 11

Repeat the process for the opposite piece. This is always the harder process since you're trying to duplicate your work. It's best to stop often and check your work.

Here you can see the Before and After of the refining process.

 

And here are the final pieces. All the angles matche and the edges are sharp.

With Epoxy Putty you can achieve bevels like this very easily.

But making bevels isn't the only thing you can do with Epoxy Putty. You can completely reshape parts and fill in voids (especially on SD's and HG's). 

As you can see in this montage, I've used Epoxy Putty to reshape parts of the chest and completely alter the head of the Ozymandias. 

Epoxy Putty is a wonderful resource for modelers that has nearly limitless applications. You can make just about anything from it, so go experiment with some on your next project!

I hope you've found this tutorial helpful. If so, give it a like and feel free to share it!


Finished Piece

Here is the finished piece. Details and plating have been added and finished.

Gundam ver. Logic

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And the Gundam ver. Logic is DONE!

This was the very first Gundam ver. Logic based off of Josh Darrah's flawless design. I started this just after the episode of Gunpla Talk where we debuted the Logic.

This has been fully scratch built out of sheet styrene, tubes, thrusters from a MG Ex-S, and plastic and metal detail parts. The base was also fully scratch built out of sheet styrene. It measures approximately 50mm on all sides (minus the cannon and thrusters).

The Logic is held on to the base with embedded magnets in both the bottom of the Logic and the top of the base support. It can be easily taken off the base and maintains the perfectly clean design.

This has been fully painted with Tamiya acrylics thinned with Mr. Leveling Thinner. The decals are a mix of Hi-Q decals, Bandai decals, and custom printed decals. I hope you all like it. :)

You can see the entire Gundam ver. Logic WIP gallery HERE.

#gundam #gunpla #childofmecha #ibuildgiantrobots #mobilesuitgundam #sideproject #gundamverlogic #cuboidpope


If you'd like purchase Gundam ver. Logic poster sized prints to hang on your wall, you can buy them in various sizes in my online store!

Creative Tip: Mixing Mr. Color Leveling Thinner with Tamiya Acrylics

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Many people are unaware that you can mix Mr. Color Leveling Thinner (MLT) with other brands of paint besides Mr. Color. Most notably, Tamiya acrylics! When mixing MLT with Tamiya it gives you a really smooth finish with improved durability and curing times similar to Mr. Color paints. This Creative Tip will greatly expand your available color choices! For best results, make sure to prime your model with either Mr. Surfacer or Tamiya Surface Primer L. Mixing MLT with other paint brands is possible, but make sure to test before spraying your model. 


Examples

The base blue on the Blue Destiny is Tamiya Flat Blue mixed with MLT. All other colors were Mr. Color that were sprayed over top of the Tamiya Flat Blue.

Most of the colors on the Gundam ver. Logic are Tamiya mixed with MLT. If I remember correctly only some of the darker grays were Mr. Color.

The Petit Nu Beargguy was painted completely with Tamiya mixed with MLT.


Failures

Even though MLT is magical in its own right, it's still not enough to strengthen weaker paint. 

So after the overwhelming success of Tamiya mixed with MLT, I decided to try other brands. In this case I picked up some Model Color paints by Vallejo and Model Master acrylic.

Mixing the paints with MLT went as expected and had no issues. Spraying also went really well. The paint went on super smooth and leveled out beautifully over a primer coat of Mr. Surfacer 1000.

I gave the spoons several hours of cure time to harden up.

And as you can see they scratched, so I gave them a full 24 hours to cure and needless to say I was very disappointed to see no change in durability. They scratched very easily with very little pressure so putting these paints up against moving plastic parts would have been a disaster.

*NOTE: As of writing this I have not tried any other paints mixed with MLT, but will probably be trying some in the future. I'll update this with future findings.

Blue Destiny (Refurbished)

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I originally built the Blue Destiny back in 2004, but over the past few years pieces started to fall off and the paint started to flake off, so I decided to dismantle it and strip it, so I could refurbish and upgrade the model.

When I started the refurbish, I wanted to keep some of the details that made the original project successful to me, but I also wanted to bring it up to par with my latest works.

I started the upgrade mods with the shoulders. I notched out 1mm of resin off the top so I could add detail. I also added circular molds to the support bars. On the head I grafted front vents onto the cheek armor, as well as strip detail. Strip detail and extra panel lines were added to the front visor. An antenna, made from a watch spring bar, was added to the side of the head.

I removed 3mm of resin from the middle seam in the chest parts under the arms and added side and top detail made from styrene strip and sheet. I also added small details to the neck area. Metal details were added to both the top and bottom chest cannons. The torso was completely re-sculpted from the original resin piece and clad completely in styrene sheet. The piece was completely detailed with raised styrene and panel lines. The back of the piece also features a mechanical spine detail as well. Strapping detail and new panel lines were added to the arms as well as completely new wrist mounts for the hands. The original hands have been replaced with static pose Kotobukiya hands and the hand armor has been detailed with reinforced knuckles.

The skirts have added styrene sheet cladding and added panel lines. The back skirt features small metal details as well. The upper legs have been widened by 1mm each and brand new panel lines and latch details were added to each, as well as a new strapping on the front and back of the legs. The armor on the lower legs has been re-shaped in places for better fit and look. Styrene detail has been added to the knee and shin areas as well as the calf and outer side areas. The side thruster vents were semi-scratch built out of Kotobukiya vents and styrene sheet. The original feet were scrapped and replaced with stock plastic feet, then clad in plastic sheet. The backpack has added metal details on the sides and back and also features styrene detail and Kotobukiya details as well.

The muzzle of the gun was cut off and replaced with a new scratch built muzzle out of styrene tube and Kotobukiya round molds. Small strip details were also added each of the three magazines. The shield body was completely scratch built our of styrene sheet and strip. Kotobukiya parts and some salvaged parts from another shield were also added.

The entire piece has been primed with Mr. Surfacer 1000. The blue was the original blue that I used when I originally built the first version. All other colors are Mr. Color. The decals are a combination of custom made and Hi-Q decals. The last picture in this gallery shows a side-by-side comparison of both version of the Blue Destiny, so you can see all of the upgrades. I hope you enjoy it!

Link to the full WIP gallery HERE.

Link to the Original Blue Destiny gallery HERE.

#gundam #gunpla #childofmecha #ibuildgiantrobots #mobilsuitgundam #bluedestiny


If you'd like purchase Blue Destiny apparel, accessories or poster sized prints to hang on your wall, you can buy them in various sizes in my online store!

1:1 RX-78-2

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There were few experiences in my life that have rivaled going and competing in Japan. One of the biggest (pun very much intended) highlights was seeing the 1:1 Gundam in person. 

Diver City, where the statue is located, was a short walk from our hotel on an amazing walkway and over a beautiful bridge. You pass community gardens and the whole experience is just special. Coming up to Diver City you can see Tokyo in the background and rolling mountains behind that. Everything is maintained to the highest level and all's right with the world. The walk almost prepares you for the spectacle of the Gundam. You walk around the mall and you can't see it immediately due to the trees, but as you get closer you start to see it emerge. Then as you round the last bend there it is in all its glory! What a glorious sight when you see it for the first time. There's really no words because you want to just take in the visage.

I was so lucky to have seen the Gundam and take pictures of it. Looking back at these pictures is reminds me of that day. The sights, the smells, the feeling of being there. I hope I'm lucky enough to go back one day.


Petit Nu Beargguy

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The Petit Nu Beargguy is made from kitbashing a Petit'gguy and an SD Nu Gundam.

The mohawk, V-fin, shoulders, backpack, shield, and saber have all been custom fit to the Petit'gguy. Additional panel lines have been scribed into the chest and mouthpiece to better replicate the look of the Nu Gundam.

The piece is painted with a combination of Tamiya and Mr.Color paints and have been clear coated in Mr.Super Clear Gloss and Mr.Super Clear Matt. The decals from Bandai decal sheets and some were custom made.

Even though the Petit Nu Beargguy isn't competition worthy, he's still really cute and that's what I was going for. I hope you like it!

You can see the Petit Nu Beargguy WIP gallery HERE.

#gundam #gunpla #childofmecha #ibuildgiantrobots #mobilesuitgundam #sideproject #beargguy #petitgguy #nugundam


If you'd like purchase Petit Nu Beargguy poster sized prints to hang on your wall, you can buy them in various sizes in my online store!

Creative Tip: Sewing Pins for Metal Detail

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In this Creative Tip I’ll show you how to use common sewing pins as small metal details for your models.

Many modelers use small beads for these types of metal details, but in comparison to common sewing pins, they’re much more expensive. You can buy a box of 750 small sewing pins for around $5 USD (which is about 2/3 of 1 Penny (US). Cheap, and, in my opinion, a better choice because the pins are flatter than the spherical beads. They can be found in most craft and sewing stores and some large department stores like Wal-Mart.

To accomplish this task you'll need a few things:

 

STEP 1

Select the piece that you want to add detail to. Remember that this type of detail should be used sparingly and only in subtle locations on the model. It’s easy to go overboard with this type of detail.

STEP 2

Lightly sand the area with fine grit sandpaper and mark the points that you want to add the detail with a pencil.

 

STEP 3

When you buy a pack of sewing pins, not all of them will be perfectly round and symmetrical. Choose one that has good symmetry.

STEP 4

Use a Digital Caliper to measure the diameter of the pins shaft.

 

STEP 5

Drill a hole for the pin shaft using the correct drill bit. Make sure to either drill completely through or deep enough to secure the pin in place.

STEP 6

Use the Digital Caliper again to measure the diameter of the pins head.

 

STEP 7

Drill a hole for the pins head with the correct drill bit. Keep this hole shallow. You only want the pin head to look like it’s embedded in the piece.

STEP 8

Use the Spherical Grinding Bit to chamfer the edges of the hole. This will give the detail a nicely finished look.

 

STEP 9

Lightly sand any surface imperfections.

STEP 10

Using wire cutters or pliers, trim the sewing pin to final size. You'll probably want it pretty short; 2mm or so.

 

Step 11

Insert the pins. When it comes to final assembly you will want to permanently fix the sewing pins in place with CA glue (super glue). Use a toothpick to apply a small amount of CA glue to the hole and insert the pin.

Examples

 I used sewing pins in many places on the Hummingbird. This image shows the variety of looks you can achieve with different sizes of sewing pins. Used appropriately, sewing pins can really enhance the overall aesthetic of your next project.

Creative Tip: Laminated Base Blanks

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In this tutorial I'll show you how to make plastic laminated base blanks. Since these are laminated in plastic, you can easily glue detail parts and build up plastic structures to make a really amazing base for your next model!

Keep in mind that this isn't the ONLY way to make a base, but this is the method that I like to use best.

SAFETY: Before we begin, be sure to read, understand, and follow all the safety rules that come with any tools you may be using. Knowing how to use your tools properly will greatly reduce the risk of personal injury. And please make sure to wear safety glasses!

So you want to make a base and you're not exactly sure how to go about it. The best way to start is to figure out the overall shape and dimensions of the base you need. In this tutorial I'll be using 3/4in MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard). This material is inexpensive, stable and easily available at most hardware stores. Here in the US you can buy a 4x8 ft. sheet for around $35USD. It's available in smaller sized sheets as well. You can also use good quality plywood, or real wood. I would stay away from from other materials as they may not be stable enough for what we'll be doing.

Now that you have a piece of MDF cut out we'll need to start cutting plastic. I'm using 1.5mm styrene sheet. I would not use anything thinner than 1mm as it might become bumpy and may not hold up to the sanding that you will have to do later. 

I bought this plastic from a US based website called McMaster-Carr, an online hardware retailer. These sheets are available in many different sized thicknesses and sizes at a very good price. 

Here I've measured out the top of the base. I've added a few millimeters to each side so it will completely cover the top of the base. Don't worry, we'll trim the excess later.

 

After that I taped up the sheet around my tracing marks. You could cut these out as well.

We'll be using spray on contact adhesive, so we want to make sure we save as much plastic as possible for the sides and bevels.

Next tape up all the sides of the base. We'll be spraying these later, but we need these sides to stay clean until then. Simple masking tape does the trick here.

For contact adhesive, I'll be using 3M High strength 90. This is used to laminate countertops for kitchens, so it will hold permanently. You can use brush on contact adhesive as well, but make sure it's high strength. The last thing you want is your plastic coming off the base.

 

So now you're ready to spray the base and the plastic top. You'll need to cover your base and plastic completely with spray adhesive, especially along the edges. The spray adhesive I used doesn't have a bad smell or harmful vapors, so I was able to spray it inside, but you may want to spray outside. Just make sure to read the directions of the adhesive you buy to make sure the conditions you're spraying in are appropriate for the adhesive.

With this spray adhesive you want to spray it on both the base and the plastic and let them cure for around 2-3 minutes. A good way to test to see if the adhesive is ready is to press your knuckle onto the adhesive, if it doesn't stick to your knuckle, it's ready for application.

Next, carefully line up your pieces and press them into place. Once they're down, they will not come apart.

 

After the bases are pressed onto the plastic I cut them free from the larger sheet. You can see each side as a little extra. We'll trim that off later.

Now that the bases are free I apply weight to completely press the plastic down so that the bond is strong. I'll let these sit for a few hours, just to be sure.

So the next thing we need to do is to trim the excess off the top. For this I'll be using a stationary router with a flush trim bit. If you don't have access to a stationary router, you can use a hobby knife, utility knife, chisels, or even a small trim saw.

This is what I had and it makes quick work of trimming the excess.

 

Using the flush trim bit makes really quick work of the excess and it trims the plastic perfectly to the base. 

The bit has a roller bearing at the top that the piece rides against as the cutting surfaces trim the excess to the exact match.

So now we have the top laminated and trimmed to the base. Now we're ready to make the sides.

With the remaining plastic from the original sheet carefully cut out the four sides with a little excess on all four sides for each piece.

 

We'll start by only laminating two sides so we can trim the excess easier. We'll need to protect the other two sides and the top with masking tape.

Once the base is all taped up we'll spray the two exposed sides and the plastic strips that will be laminated.

So now that the two side strips are laminated in place we'll let these cure for a few hours and trim them up.

 

For trimming these pieces I just use nippers, a hobby knife and chisel to square them up. They will be under the other two side strips, so they don't have to be super clean, but get them as flush and neat as possible. 

You can leave the excess on the top as we'll trim that later on the router.

After that we'll re-tape the piece and protect the top and two newly laminated pieces. We'll repeat the spray process with the remaining sides.

With all four side glued up, we'll need to trim the excess off the top and last two sides. For this we'll need to tip the base vertically. To keep it at a perfect 90 degree angle I'll be using a vertical routing jig that I made. You can buy them, but they're easy to build.

 

Using the vertical router jig, I clamp the base to it and remove the router fence. I'll trim all for sides flush. They don't need to be perfect since we'll be cutting a bevel around the top in the next step.

I changed out the flush trim bit with a 45 degree chamfer/beveling bit. 

This bit also has a roller bearing, but I like to use the router fence to keep it as straight and true as possible.

With all four sides beveled, this is what it looks like. A nice clean surface to laminate the bevel strips to.

 

Using the remaining plastic from the original sheet, I cut strips to laminate the bevels. Just like the side strips, I'll start with two sides first.

Since the bevels need to have both great strength and clean lines I use super glue to laminate the pieces to the base.The super glue will also help fill any gaps that you may have after glue up.

Once the first two bevels are glued I'll let them cure for about an hour and trim the excess off in the same fashion as the first two side pieces. Use nippers to take off the bulk of the excess.

 

After you take off the bulk of the excess I use a chisel blade from OLFA to finely trim what's left.

To finish the trimming I'll use a flat file to square it up and make it completely flush with the corresponding bevel.

Repeat the glue up process for the last two bevels and trim accordingly. Trim the excess from the top and sides on the router with the flush trim bit and we're almost done. You can fill any gaps with super glue. I would rather use super glue in this case as opposed to putty, since it will cure harder and it sands and files easily and cleanly.

 

Once all the plastic is trimmed we can perform the final sanding. With a scrap of MDF, I used that as a sanding block. I start with with something course, around 280 grit, to clean up any rough areas and stray super glue. 

Make sure to keep the sanding block flush with the surface you're sanding. It's easy for the sanding block get away from you and start to round the corners and edges. Go slow and steady.

After you've got the entire base rough sanded, start to increase the grit. I'll move to 400, then to 600. This will leave the plastic pretty smooth and ready for detailing.

So there you have it. You have a square base blank ready for detailing and painting. As you can see, you can have a very subtle bevel or a large bevel. It's all what you want to do with it.

 

Square bases are pretty easy to make, but it may not always be the shape you want. You may want something round or even a custom shape. The next steps will show you how I created an elongated octagonal base.

So with continuing from the square base, I use a speed square to make 45 degree cut marks on the base.

To cut the corners off I used a miter saw, but you can use a hand saw, a circular saw, or jigsaw.

Note: I prematurely beveled one side. You wouldn't want to do that just yet.square to make 45 degree cut marks on the base.

 

Now that the corners are cut off, I cut smaller strips for the new sides and glue them up using super glue. I also trimmed and sanded the edges flat.

Using the 45 degree bit, I removed the router fence and just used the roller bearing as a guide to bevel the top on all sides.

Again using the original sheet, I cut the bevel pieces and glued them in place with super glue. Trim, file and sand the excess and we're ready for the corner pieces.

 

Smaller pieces were cut and again glued to the corners using super glue. The same process for cleaning up the excess was used.

I went a little too deep with the 45 degree bit and it left a small lip at the top, so I used super glue to fill in the gaps.

Trim, file, and sand in the same way as the square bases and you're just about finished with this base!

 

And there we go. Three base blanks ready for detailing and models. 

I hope this tutorial is helpful to you, and I hope you use this to make some amazing bases for your next project!

This is the same process that I used to make the Hummingbird's base. After you have the blank, you can detail it any way you want!

Zeta+ C1 [BST] Hummingbird

Hummingbird - 002.jpg

GBWC 2016 North American Champion

The Hummingbird has been a labor of love for the past four years. It’s been my focus and my passion. It has changed and evolved many times over and gone through several different re-models. A wide array of skill sets has gone into making the Hummingbird as well as a wide variety of materials. There’s not a single piece on the model that hasn’t been modified in some way. Some pieces have added panel lines or modifications for better fitment, while other pieces have been extensively modified, or completely scratch built. An eclectic mix of kits has gone into making the Hummingbird as well.

Kit List:

Base Kit:

Additional Kits:

Some of the more advanced skill sets (beyond basic modelling) involved in creating this model includes:

  • Scratch building
  • Resin Casting
  • Vacu-forming
  • Heavy customization (Limb alteration, added detail with plastic sheet, metal details, etc.)

The model has been crafted in my own vision of what I think a more refined version of the proposed prototype Hummingbird might have been like, so it’s not 100% faithful to the Katoki line art.

Starting with the head, I elongated it by 2mm to give it a more “Sentinel” look. I cut the “Mohawk” off of the original head and scratch built a more fitting replacement that has added detail and is sleeker in profile. The head also features custom panel lines and plating. Metal details have been added to the back as well as metal barrels for the head mounted guns.

The shoulders have new, scratch built, mounting assemblies added to the top for the booster support arms and have added metal and scratch-built details. The booster support arms were completely scratch built and resin cast to get two copies.

The shoulder boosters, originally from the Master Grade Ex-S Gundam, have been heavily modified and remodeled. The inside has been plated with plastic sheet to achieve a heavily armored look. Option parts and scratch-built details were added as well. The sides feature added details down the side that were completely scratch-built. The front of each of the shoulder boosters has been detailed with option parts, metal details and more scratch-built detail. The original cannon barrels were scrapped and replaced with scratch-built barrels that are much longer. Aluminum thruster bells were also added.

The back-stabilizing binder has been significantly modified from its original version. I cut a rectangular hole in the top of the binder and scratch built the detail to fill the void. I also plated and detailed the side of the binder as well. The back boosters were scrapped and replaced with two resin cast copies from a scratch-built original. The thruster bells on the two back boosters are modified inflation needles (for inflating footballs). Each has custom panel lines and scratch-built details. The wings also have new panel lines, option parts, and metal details. The lower parts of the wings are from High Grade 1/00 Freedom Gundam and are fully detailed. The wing mounted fuel tanks were replaced with aftermarket fuel tanks that are longer and have been customized and detailed. The connectors for the fuel tanks were scratch built and resin cast for 4 duplicates for each side (8 in all) and the middle of the connectors are the threaded parts from inflation needles.

The upper chest has been heavily modified to add custom panel lines, plating, metal details and more scratch-built details. I’ve extended profile of the chest by using epoxy putty and plastic sheet. The cockpit hatch has been modified by adding panel lines and plastic accent strips. The chest vents have an added fin to the middle that was made out of plastic strip.

The upper torso (just below the chest) that used to be in two halves has been fused into one piece and features custom panel lines, plating, metal details, and scratch-built details.

The lower torso has been semi-scratch built and modified from the original Zeta+ lower torso to accommodate the fuel tanks and replicate the elongated look of the Hummingbird line art. The leg posts were cut from the Master Grade RGM-79G and installed on to the lower torso to match up to the new upper legs. Machine threaded inserts were embedded into the bottom posts of the lower torso to screw the fuel tanks into. The fuel tanks are completely scratch built using PVC pipe. I fixed a machine screw into the top of each fuel tank to screw into the threaded inserts located at the bottom of the lower torso. Plastic sheet, option parts and metal parts were added to complete the aesthetic. The lower torso armor located on the front of the piece is originally from the Master Grade Zeta 2.0 shield, and has been heavily modified on the outside and features new panel lines and scratch-built details. It was also extensively modified on the inside to mount to the existing connection points on the Master Grade Zeta+ torso.

The arms have been customized with new panel lines and plating that changes the overall silhouette. Mechanical details have been added to the top and bottom of each forearm. The stock hands have been swapped out for fixed posed hands and the hand armor has been customized to fit and detailed.

The upper legs are originally from the Master Grade RGM-79G and have been heavily plated for a unique look. The leg boosters have been significantly bulked up using plastic sheet to get the overall form and further refined to achieve the heavily armored look. Many details were added to the leg boosters on all sides. On the inside I’ve added option parts, metal details, parts from other models (including the large central vent that is from the Master Grade Full Armor ZZ Gundam), and other scratch-built details. Aluminum thruster bells were added to the boosters to complete the look. The connection for the thruster bells had to be scratch built and resin cast to make 8 copies. The large front “knee spike” was also fully scratch built and resin cast to get two identical pieces. The connection point where the knee and leg booster come together was scratch built and fully detailed.

The Hummingbird’s cannon/shield has added plating and custom panel lines as well as a completely remodeled Radome and support assembly that was taken from the Master Grade Ex-S Gundam. The support mechanism that connects the cannon/shield to the Beam Smart Gun below it was scratch built. The Beam Smart Gun has added plastic plating along with custom panel lines, option parts, and metal detail parts.

The base is completely scratch built. Its core is 3/4-inch Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) laminated with 1.5mm plastic sheet. I then heavily customized and detailed it to fit the styling of the Hummingbird. I hand cut all the lettering out of 1mm plastic sheet and the decorative plates and shield were laser engraved. The upper base is a sheet of clear acrylic that is supported by display sign stand-offs. The upper based details have all be completely scratch built out of styrene sheet. Option parts, metal detail parts, and other details were built up to complete the display. The support arm is square aluminum rod. I had to use that to support the weight of the model and to accommodate the length and angle of the fuel tanks.

The entire project was cleaned and then primed with Mr. Surfacer and painstakingly masked off and painted with Mr. Color and Alclad paints. Tamiya Panel Line Accent Color was used for the panel lines and the piece was sealed with Mr. Super Clear. Some of the decals were custom made on my ALPS MD-1300 printer. Most of the maintenance marks are aftermarket decals from Hi-Q.

Overall, I believe the model is an excellent example of how a wide range of skill sets, materials, and passion can go into creating something that has never actually been made into a production model. Hopefully my dedication and hard work are fully expressed when viewing the final project.

You can see the entire Hummingbird WIP gallery HERE.

#gundam #gunpla #ChildOfMecha #ibuildgiantrobots #hummingbird #gbwc #4yearsinthemaking


If you'd like purchase Grim Reapers apparel, accessories or poster sized prints to hang on your wall, you can buy them in various sizes in my online store!