Work on Project A continues apace. I am just about to the point where I'm going to call done on the legs. I need to scribe in panel lines and other small details and then pin things together.
The hip assembly is framed up and I'm in the process of applying the armor plating and those details. Still have some details to look at there, and then drill the pin holes so I can pin the upper legs to the hip transmission pieces. Speaking of those, I ended up pulling a mold for left/right hip transmissions. The same modeling for hips are used in MWO for the Atlas, Timberwolf, Highlander and several others, so I figure that if I find that I want to try another one of these, I'll just pull 2 more castings of each and I'll have those. The detail came out better on these than the foot, basically because they're much simpler.
Once that's all set, I'll turn my focus to the torso. The main weapons mounts are things I plan to make modular, but the primary model will likely be as a bog-standard DDC. The torso ballistic weapon is something I can easily make a magnetic-swappable module, with PPC, Gauss or AC20. The same with the torso missile housings, I can build it with a 'bay' that will take a modular LRM/SRM etc.. mount. The arm-mounted weapons are all external to the forearm housing, so that's also a simple swap.
This brings me to the other question that I should answer at some point: Kit it or just build it for me? I was talking with He-who-musn't-be-named, and he thought I should kit it out. The thing is, I have no idea where to go or what to do about that. There's no way I want to try doing it myself, I just don't have the resources, equipment or space to try creating all the castings. Starshipmodeler.com lists one resource that might, and I could reach out to find out what I'd be looking at to kit it out. (Timeslip Creations... they list 2 others but both links are dead) Of course, there are tons of considerations here.
First, this is my very first attempt at making something like this and once I paint it up, detail it and so on, it might look just fine. For me. I'm really not convinced it'll meet the scrutiny and standards of the kinds of folks who would want a kit like this. I've seen the work of the modelers out there who've done this kind of thing and I'm definitely in the "raw apprentice" category in comparison. All the techniques and tricks are new to me and I'm just getting to the point where I think I grok what can be done. Second, and a corrollary to the first, is cost. The kits out there are in the average of $120+. FCY's Timberwolf II, which has been restocked ( If you want one, go *here* and act fast!) at $175. His Dervish, (same link) currently in pre-order, is an even century with a req'd 15 for the model to go to production. That tells me that the cost of having a kit mold made and cast up has to be in ballpark of a grand at minimum. Yeah, I can ask, and I should just to know.. but..yeah. Cost. Thirdly, demand. Let's face it, I know I'm something of a rarity, being that big of a battletech fan *and* a 28mm gaming fan at the same time.
If I want to kit it out, I have to *not* do the painting and detailing to finish it off. The caster will have to work with the base/primed pieces. The other thing I can't do is put it all together, so I really can't see it all together at once either.
/shrug. Dunno. I don't have to decide right now, but as it is, I'm leaning toward just building it for me and that's that. I'll be happy to have it and will have the experience and reward of having done it.