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Topics - UrbanSniper

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Works in Progress / Tristan-MK II Kitbash WIP
« on: November 16, 2017, 12:24:17 AM »
Kinda going through build ADD right now, lol. Got to finish painting that SD Phenex eventually, and now I suddenly had an idea for a kit bash, inspired by ZakuAurelius's video series on how to make the Tristan suck less.


Got some decent work done on this project over the weekend.

I began at the feet, deciding that instead of using the Tristan feet with MKII polycaps, I would use the Tristan “shoes” with the MKII feet.  This modification wasn’t too difficult, basically cutting off some pegs and the front part of the “feet” from the MKII.  They fit pretty well as you can see, and the gray part on the top aligns pretty well witht he flat part on the “shoe”.  Now I just have to decdie if I want to use pla-plate or putty to fill in the gaps.


Next, I modified the shields.  The Tristan shield looks likea a reject from AGE, so most of it wound up in the trash.  I only kept the middle part, which aligned pretty well with the two halves of the MKII shield.  Stuck these together and added some putty to the front, and a couple bits of pla-plate on the middle section edges; just have to work with that now that it’s hardened to create a smooth, angled surface ont he front face (probably gonna have to add some more putty to the edges where the lower MKII and Tirstan shields meet in the middle to help smooth it out), then modifty the mounting piece once I decide exactly how I’m going to work the forearms.

Finally this weekend I managed to mount a magnet in the MKII backpack, which involved just cutting out a few internal bits and stuffing some putty inside. Just have to mount that other magnet into the Tristan’s rear chest piece.


Works in Progress / SD Phenex Custom Paint WIP
« on: September 26, 2017, 03:35:42 AM »
And the next build project has started!  However humble it looks...

Just a quick snap up tonight, my first SD build in a long time. Gonna do a little customization on this one, I think, but primarily it's going to be an exercise in painting.

Showcase / MG 1/100 GM Quel - "Blue Angel-esque"
« on: September 07, 2017, 03:15:54 AM »
Mission...complete.  Here we have the MG GM Quel, "Blue Angel-esque".


Complete Album can be found here:

Now this build has been an experience; overall good, but with it's share of annoyances. The biggest learning experience with this kit was definitely the airbrushing; this is my first airbrushed kit, aside from the primer and top coat layers.  I can see why it's an many screw ups, but so much learned!  And so much more yet to learn. The biggest issue, I think, is that the blue came out a bit too dark, so you can't really see all the details I had added, but that's just how things worked out.

It ain't perfect, but there's no way I could get it there with my current level of experience. Overall, though, I'm happy with what finally came out.  I didn't have a set idea in mind when I started the project, so the color scheme was more or less randomly decided after hearing mention of the US Navy's Blue Angels somewhere one evening, hence the name.

The rifle was meant to be the centerpiece for the build, but it came out rather underwhelming as far as it's colors compared to the MS itself. I like the design, I just couldn't come up with a proper idea for the paint job on it. I had originally intended on something closer to the Aliens Pulse Rifle, but decided that'd be better suited for another kit somewhere down the road. Instead, this is more a variable beam rifle, with the barrel extending for longer ranged shots, shortening for closer, rapid fire.

As to the kit itself, this was my second master grade (the first being the Zeta 2.0), so this one is really showing it's age.  It's barely more than a high grade, though with the coming of the IBO line, this thing felt really, really old, much more so than it should have, I think. Still, I enjoyed it for the most part. My least favorite things about it were the hands, and an annoying tendency for the whole backpack to fall off, or just the outer armor of the backpack to come loose, as it was more or less just sitting there without any real grab to it.

Had some doubts as to whether I was even going to finish this build, honestly.  I'd go a few weeks without doing much to it because I wasn't sure where I was going, then when it came down to the last month, I just kept having set backs: had to strip paint and redo several parts after early airbrushing attempts, had one of the ankle armors break before priming, had the head antenna break before the first top coating, had at least two or three really bad messes with the panel line wash that left some areas looking bad, dropped parts going missing in the carpet for half-hour or more at a time, and had one part vanish completely (the collar piece that fits inside the yellow collar part, though I think it looks better without it, personally), and thought I'd lost the gray 'jaw" part of the head this evening after I'd did the final clear coat, but luckily I had just left it attached to one of my painting clips. These last two weeks had me uttering some very delightful curses, to say the least, lol.

In conclusion, the top three takeaways from this project:
1 - Have a plan!  - I went in without a solid idea of what I was going to do, and I never could decide exactly what it was I was going for, so I spent a few weeks cutting pla-plate into itty-bitty strips and sticking them all over the place, only for the colors to wind up hidding most of the details. I had no idea what the paint scheme was going to be, I had no idea what I wanted the custom details to be like, and I even stuck some parts on there just because I had them sitting in my parts bin.  Probably hurt the build pretty bad, but in the end, it came out rather not bad overall.

2 - Practice, practice, practice!  - Especially in regards to the airbrush. I had picked up a couple rattle cans about halfway through the build because I had thought to just spray the kit with those instead of using the airbrush because I was rather intimidated by it, but in the end I went through with it. I was getting better towards the end, and I've got more kits waiting for paint that I'm going to be practicing on in the coming weeks. I had tried a few practice sessions with paper and scrap pieces, but when it came right down to it, I learn better by practicing the real thing, so that's what I did, for better or worse.

3 - Lighting is Key - Another thing I've learned, rather early, in my airbrushing experience is that proper lighting is key. My workspace is limited; I have to use my build area for my spray booth, so I can't keep the thing out all the time, and with the lights I have available, I just don't have proper lighting in the booth. The two lights I use while building and the overhead just don't light evenly, so I kept running into problems seeing the part lit well from all angles, so this led to colors not quite meshing up properly on parts that were meant to be together, and overall the dark blue color being a lot darker than I had wanted, mainly so that I could be sure that all parts wereproperly coated.  Definitely going to be modifying the spray booth in the near future.

Works in Progress / Let's Make Petit'gguys Dangerous!
« on: June 04, 2017, 04:55:34 AM »
Or at least that's the idea here, lol. Got two of these from the last monthly membership box from USA Gundam Store (definitely a lackluster month...) due to a packing mistake, which they graciously fixed. Anyway, when you have lemons, gotta make some lemonade, I suppose.

Anyway, finally found a use for some of the 2016 Summer Customize Campaign parts, combined with some Milliput in the case of the backpack with the big cannons. Not entirely sure what the color scheme is gonna be for these guys yet, but I do plan on painting them soonish.

Entries & WIPs / MG GM Quel
« on: April 20, 2017, 02:29:14 AM »
Did a Zaku for the last contest I entered, and I'm really wanting to work on another MG after recently building the Zeta 2.0, and I found this today at my semi-local hobby shop, so here we go, MG GM Quel!

Showcase / Zaku Firebat
« on: April 12, 2017, 05:31:21 PM »
Greetings, all!  Figured I'd share this around now that the contest is all said and done.  This is my entry for ZakuAurelius's custom Zaku contest.  This is only my third fully painted build since I started back into the hobby last year, and was was almost entirely hand-painted, minus the gloss and matte coats I finished up with, which were rattle cans.  Learned quite a bit from this build, especially about the paints. Tamiya acrylics are definitely not my favorite type to hand paint, to say the least.  All things considered, the Firebat (inspired by the unit from Starcraft) turned out well; I'm especially proud of its big weapon.

The unit's backstory places it in the Build Fighters universe.

The Laredo Massacre and the Dodgers Amendment

As seen on the plaques at preserved battle display at the Laredo Convention Center:

“During the First Annual Laredo Open Tournament, which used Version 1 of the Battle System operating system, a serious flaw in the system was discovered in a most dramatic way. Mr. Dodgers, a native of Texas who had promised his young daughter that he would win the tournament no matter what, either stumbled into the system flaw by accident or had acquired some inside knowledge of the system’s workings. Regardless of how this knowledge was gained, it was used to devastating effect during the Grand Melee qualifier.

The Zaku Firebat, as it was named, came equipped with a standard MMP-80/90mm machine gun and several integrated missile pods, those on the shoulder shield and shoulders armed with HEAT warheads, and those on the hips armed with armor-piercing burst rounds designed to explode once they penetrate an enemy’s outer armor to cause massive internal damage. The gunpla itself featured several metal parts, including enhanced armor plating and reinforced internal frame parts, making it rather heavy, even without its unique weapons. The addition of a GN particle storage tank mounted to the back skirt between the legs meant it could also create a limited use GN Shield, though this feature was never used.

The most interesting features of the Zaku Firebat’s armaments were its two flamethrower weapons. The smaller, arm-mounted flame unit, protected by a reinforced shield, was fed by two aluminum tanks mounted onto the unit’s backpack, and produced a highly compacted ball of fire that could project out to medium-long range. The much heavier handheld giant flamethrower was fed by a trio of aluminum fuel tanks mounted directly to the weapon, and could cover a very wide area with high-intensity flames, melting plastic in moments. There is still uncertainty as to exactly what was used to fuel these units, but it is thought to have been a binary agent that ignited upon contact with air.

As Mr. Dodgers reportedly said, using such weapons was simply “the best way to win the battle...and it wasn’t in the rules that I couldn’t do it. Gunpla is freedom, right?”

As seen on the recording playing on the screen to your right, the battle was short and terrifying. Though slow and not very maneuverable, the heavy armor of the Zaku Firebat protected it from most attacks, very few even marring the paint (which had been mixed with a flame and heat retardant agent), and once it's flamethrowers began spewing their chemicals, gunpla across the small battlefield began melting and burning. The first version of the Battle System OS could not detect the use of real flammable chemicals, only reading the simulated fire that it created for the battle. Thankfully it only took a couple of minutes for the system to be shut down and safety personnel to extinguish the flames.

What remained lies before you, the event now known as the “Laredo Massacre.” Nearly thirty gunpla lie in scorched and melted piles upon the scorched (but otherwise unharmed) Battle System pods, the last victim a lone GM Command Space type that was frozen in place as it tried to crawl away, its legs melted and trailing behind as the Zaku Firebat looms over it.

It was this event that led to the “Dodgers Amendment” to the official Gunpla Battle rules and regulations, which prohibits the use of flammable chemicals used as weapons and ammunition, as well as the use of actual functioning weapons, however small they may be. The Battle System OS has since been updated to prevent such an event from occurring again, and can also detect weapons and systems like those used on the Zaku Firebat.”

And of course, some closeups of the flamethrower:

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