Friday, November 27, 2015

now what...

Well, the Jumpship has been deployed; Project H and V-1 are on their way to the recipients.  Which leaves me with the question, now what?

Project A-DDC is on the way, but the materials likely won't be arriving for a bit, so now what? 

I have these:
..and any one of them would be a good one to get stuck in on.  The Timberwolf has been waiting for the longest, but I am thinking that I might want to let the DDC be the next 'Mech to roll off the assembly line. 
Or, there is thought to work up a Daishi.  Mechwarrior Callsign "AngryHippy" is a huge fan of that one.  Mr. Fusco did a kit of that one at one time, but it's been a while and I haven't been able to find one available.  If I'm going to do that, it'll be another custom build.  With that said, if I were to make the Daishi, then we might actually be able to get a few games of 1:60 Battletech going with 4+ people.   It's something to think about. 
One other thing that has been percolating in the back of my brain as a want to do is the light freighter from SWTOR.   A kit was made some time ago and it didn't last as available for long.  I would have preferred to get my paws on that one, but since that seems unlikely, I'm giving thought to doing that one scratch built as well.  If I were to do it, it'd be another one I'd do up in 1:60.  Yeah, I seem stuck on that scale but truthfully, I like it.  I like having models that can work for scenery or objectives in games, and honestly, c'mon..being able to make the model is cool, but being able to show it off over and over at the FLGS is even cooler. :)
Decisions, decisions..

Monday, November 23, 2015

Victor and Hatchetman together

Just a couple shots of Proj. H and V together:

Project V -1 Done

And, the Black Athane is done.

This was the custom commission from Tim F. for a Victor.  It took a bit to get the cockpit tub made and the whole hollowing out bit was scary, but now that it's done, I'm happy. 

I hate black armor, it's so hard to make look good.  But.. all in all, it should make HWSNBN happy. 

The switch is in the # srm tube.  Push a paperclip in and it switches the power on and off:

Project H. Done

Finally finished Project H. 

As I said in previous posts, I learned a lot.  I don't know if I'm going to be up to custom building something again.. but I think, for a first try, it's not too terrible.  It should, at any rate, be good enough to make JrJrJr happy.

I put it on a base on purpose.  I'd prefer not to, but it helps with the support on the legs. 

Enough babble.  The  finished pix

Friday, November 20, 2015

Winding down and gearing up.

Projects V and H are in the final stages. 

The battery cases for the LR44's finally came in and I can now get them installed into the machines.  That was the last bit I was waiting for. 

Last evening I finished off the cockpit of the Hatchetman, then attached the head to the torso and sealed it.  With the wiring and switch all installed, and the primary assembly done, now it's all about the final painting and detailing.  I'll be mounting this to a base, just to keep it stable and safe.  JrJrJr may end up using it if we can ever play a game or two of full-scale Battletech.  Even if not, the base is good for the pose and dynamics of the model itself. 

As I think on it, I believe that I'm rather pleased with how well the general design came out, especially the torso.  The legs are "meh" and I can see things I'd rather do differently.  The torso could use a slightly wider waist for the pivot.  The arms could stand more detail.  You get the idea.   I'm going to let the putty cure on it before I finish the painting, so the final reveal shots will probably be around Thanksgiving, and yawl can tell me what you think. 

All in all, I learned a ton while working this model up.  The biggest lessons were about sculpting and casting.  Sculpting is a pretty interesting technique, but I think I would rather do a build-up of parts rather than actually sculpt them.   The arms for the H were sculpts, everything else was build-up from frames, greeblies and putty.  Those tend to look better, probably because I have a ton more experience with that and can do it better. 

As for casting, I'd really like to give vacuum and pressure a try.  I'll need the equipment to do it, and that'd be a fairly sizable investment.  Thing is, I really learn best hands-on, and without a mentor to guide me, I'm hesitant to just start spending money.  I have about 4 grand in rc helicopter stuff sitting around because I didn't know what I was doing, and I'd rather not waste $ on buying a pressure container that I can't actually use.  Then again, even if I DID get good equipment, will I use it enough to justify it?  I can see options; not just 'Mech designs, but props and things for the Professor as well as the Mandalorian projects.  But, again, will it be worth it?  I'm no JPG Productions and doubt I'd ever get to that skill level.  So.. is it worth it?  Need to think on it.

Project V is also pretty close to done.  I finalized the cockpit and got it all wired up and inset into the head.  I just need to finish the wiring for it, and then just put it all together.  Unlike the H, the Victor was able to be mostly completed without the cockpit.  That is just a drop-in to the head and then set that in to the tub of the torso.  All the wiring and everything around the cockpit is internal and so I was able to mostly complete the painting and everything for it before now.

This one was a pure assemble job, very little custom work needed except for all the dremelling of the torso and head to fit in the cockpit.  Love this kit and it was worth every penny of the commission to get it.  HWSNBN will hopefully like it as well.  As with the Hatchetman, I should have it finally completed sometime next week, and reveal shots will come out then. 

Now it's time to gear up for the Atlas and Warhammer.  Right about the time I get these done, I'll put a bit of time in on the warehouse background and then the Atlas should be arriving.  Now that I have some other techniques learned and under the belt, I think I'm ready to tackle that and the Warhammer. 

Keep on keepin' on...

Saturday, November 14, 2015

slightly better photos

I didn't like the color balance and exposure of taking shots on my desk, so I threw together a little warehouse background to take some other photos against.  I need a good display for the Mechs as I finish *mine* (I only have the one), and a warehouse interior is what I always visualize.  So, I figured I may as well knock off the basics and I can do a build-up of it and all as time goes forward, but for now it gives a better spot to take in-progress pics.

I still need to do a lot of weathering to both, and especially to the Victor.  That's why the AC is still off.  I want that part to be blatantly new-ish relative to the rest of the 'mech.  Once I have this thing all pigmented up, etc, I'll attach it.

The last shot above you can see the start of the glow effect I'm doing on the Medium Laser emitters. Some folk may go for the lens look but I like this better.  :)

I'm waiting on the battery containers for these two and a couple bits and bobs to finish up the cockpit build.  However, the basic components are nearly ready.  The H will have the cockpit actually assembled into the head and dropped into the torso.  I find it funny.. I'm doing it that way because it's the most convenient given the shape of the head and the cockpit.   And this is the one mech where the whole head/cockpit is an escape pod.  Yeah.. geek humor.   Until I get the decals for instrumentation that I'm waiting for, I can't do much more on it.   I was surprised at just how much of the surface of the interior would be visible. 

As for the V, the cockpit is actually in a tub that will be attached to the canopy.  I have a magnet in the bottom, and there's a magnet mounted in the hollowed out part of the torso, the whole of which will let the cockpit turn based on HWSNBN's desire.   I have the lights mounted on the tub and all I need left to do here is get the instrumentation panels installed and then attach it to the hollowed out head.  

So, there we go.  Off to weather and beat these things up. 

More to come later..

Friday, November 13, 2015

Productive week

So, this week has been a good one.  The doc told me I needed to take some time away from work, so I've spent it mostly focused on working up Proj H and V. 

I got most of the base colors and build done for H.  I just need a couple details to show up in the mail so I can finish the cockpit build, and do the final assembly.  As it is now, it's time to start all the fiddlybits of doing the shading, rusting and dusting. 

The chipping has been completed, and I've done a lot of the panel shading completed.  Now I'm working on slowly building up all the score marks, oil streaks, leaks, and and impact damage. 

Oh, and every good mechwarrior names their ride,  yeah?   Considering that Jrjrjr is a 40K demons player....  it fits his style.   The closeup looks like crap because I haven't finished all the blending, but ..yeah.  

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

slow but steady

Work on Project H and Project V continues. 

I have been working concurrently with both Project V and H, for the most part working from the ground up. 

 Project V is mostly an "assemble" job with the exception of the custom work being done to the torso to add a cockpit and lighting.  I've gotten the torso hollowed out and the battery compartment drilled out as well.  When I made the compartment for Malekith, I went through all the trouble to put a custom hinge on it and everything. When Tarl painted it.. he just ripped that off and used magnets.  DUH!?!?  why didn't I think of that?   So, what I will do for both V and H will be to mount cover plates using magnets.  The switch for V will be hidden in the SRM launcher tube.  

For project H, the switch will be in the greeblies on the back. 

Since all the custom work for both of these is in the torso, I've been working on the assemblies from the hip down.  Granted, Proj. H is *all* custom, but you get the idea. 

For V.. I splayed the hips a little, which has the effect of also slightly tilting the torso plane.  When I put the torso on, that twist should add to the dynamic pose and give it a good action feel.  The paint scheme for V is a mostly-black with red highlights scheme for HWSNBN's merc unit.  I hate black.  Black is such a challenging color to weather nicely.  I'm building it with a battered-and-used look that feels appropriate for a Merc unit that lives off salvage and luck.  The black paint is put over a previous-owner's gray colorscheme, and that is showing through the chips and scratches and scrapes with some going all the way down to the core armor.  The fun part of black is that the usual weathering techniques of oil leaks, carbon scoring, smudging and shading doesn't show against the dark color.  So I'll have to use dirt and off-shading to try to give it a heavily beaten look. 

Below is the way I have it looking so far. Before I hit it with the next wave of shading, I'll give it a pass with matte varnish, to dull down the shiney, and hopefully that'll help with the aging techniques.

The torso work for the V is coming along.  I've managed to hollow it out and get the battery compartment ready.  The batteries will go under the right arm with the switch hidden as mentioned above.  I still need to get the head ready, but the cockpit will be built into a tub fastened to the head canopy.

As for Project H, his chosen scheme is a base of Red, with Gold and Black accents.    I'm also going with the Mercenary Mech beaten and weather-worn look for the Mech, and will work in some heavier damage to the hatchet and lower legs.  The red can take the shading better and I can use different tones for various panels, etc., while the damage on the legs makes sense; the Hatchet man’s notoriously lightly armored legs are well known as primary targets during combat, and any mech that is built for closing to melee range is going to bear the scars of kicks being delivered in desperate retribution.

This is the base color tone.. there is still a huge amount of detailing for the panels and joints to do.  This is also my first attempt at using pigments and I'm very not happy with it.  I'll be practicing a bit more on some other equipment and then touching up on it.  I have a feeling that I'll be needing pigments for the Victor build as well.

For the most part, the parts for H go together well.  I pinned the ankles and got a decently dynamic pose going, incorporated with the upper body holding the hatchet raised high and the left hand pointing for a shot from the ML.  The one thing I don't like about this mech is the lack of pose ability to the cockpit.  Then again, most Mech’s don't have a variable cockpit and that's one of the nice things about the Victor.  It really is amazing what just that little turn of the head can do to communicate intent and action.  That, however, is all  part of the mech design.. not unlike the Hunchback or the Warhammer.  The cockpit is locked and there really isn't a way to design a "pose" into it otherwise. 

However, it is hollowed and ready, with the overhead light fixed in place. 

The more I do this one, I'm finding little things that would help for future designs.  It seems that when doing the Victor, Mr. Fusco used some very thin panel overlays rather than scribing in panel lines.  Well that's gorram intelligent. Simple, more blocky parts make for easier building and designs, but sadly, that is exactly why Mr. F passed on this one.. : )  "all those damned curves!"  hehe.