Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Project R - Final assembly and Painting commencing

The challenge with doing a kit like this is that I have to piecemeal the assembly.  I'm building it up and I'm not making this solely with the intention to kit it for future builds, which means I don't need to make replicable parts.  On the other hand, I do want to be able to have either spares or enough parts if I change my mind.   What that means is that I'm only duplicating the big parts and not the detail pieces.  Besides, I'm no Jimi, and I can't really do those detail parts well at all.

With that said, I've moved on to the final assembly.  I've pulled detail parts from several model kits I've got lying around.  Those little parts add levels of interest and a bit of less "big blocky anime" look.  It's something like the Knight Titans from GW, lots of little machine-like details.   I put the forward loading hooks on the torso at first because I wanted to break up that line, but it also makes sense, like tanks having tow eyes on their torso.  I mean, why not?  If you have a big 70 ton BattleMech, tell me you wouldn't use chains and hooks to haul out damaged Mechs or drag salvage away as well as carry them in the hands.  

Warning and rescue decals are spread around the machine in various places.  Again for the same reason.  I would like to put a radiation warning on the two back stacks but since I can't find a good decal for it, I'll just have to paint it.

I keep finding more little details I need to do on her.   I think that the last things I need to actually fabricate are the missile launch tubes for the torsos.  All I need are inserts out of 1 or 2 mm sintra to drop in, and if I do them like boxy drop-ins, then they'll stay true to the aesthetic and be duplicable.    With the doors closed, it's not that big a deal, but since I made them able to be opened, I need to have that bit of detail done. I thought about making large laser housings for the arms as well, but I might do that for a different Archer.  As a side note, having laser housings for torso mounted lasers would be interesting to do, but I have to consider the angle of the projectors.   Add that to the Archer wishlist too.

Once that is finished, then all I have left is to paint the final weathering, chipping and battle damage, as well as finishing off the cockpit details.  I got started but I want to have the legs be a bit more beat up than they are.  Possibly, there should be some more on the forearms as well.  Like most models of this sort, I figure there will be quite a bit of weathering off and on, here and there, until I'm finally happy with it all.

I will be honest, this has been quite the project, and I'm thinking I'm a little bit happy with it.  The engineering came out better than I thought, and while I'm finding that I learned a great deal about how these things all work, I like how I solved some of the problems I came up against, while also staying true to the main design drawing.  It's one thing to kitbash a model up from nothing to something that can be whatever, but this is the first time that I've pretty much taken a drawing and built up from that drawing to a finished product.

Yep, I see a lot that I would do differently, but it's all about learning, and being happy with the result of the learning.  Sometime I'd love to get a kit to the point where FCY would ask to take it, polish it and kit it.  That's a long way off, but it's a good goal to have.  As it is, I'm somewhat happy with what I've been able to do.  Next up will be Prometheus, and then another complete custom build while I paint and build one of my Steiner Scout 'Mechs.

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