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Progress… At last!!!

March 16th, 2010 No comments

I had puttied the GM and was sanding it but decided that before I started priming I really needed to work on the gun and shield, which I had put off until later. I started with the shield. I needed to adapt it to fit the different shield mount that fits on the NT-1’s arms, but I also wanted to give the shield a range of motion. So, I cut the square peg off the inside of the shield and replaced it with the ball from this large hand (I think it was from my old Gelgoog kit). I pinned it with part of a thick paperclip.

I then cut off the bottom of the mechanical frame of the arm of the Ground Gundam I had already butchered, and voila!

Not liking how the shield stuck out in space on a stick, I drilled a hole in a Koto thruster bell and glued it upside down so it looks like the ball sticks out of something meatier.

Next I turned to the rifle. I’m giving it an upgrade with the same feel as I gave the same kind of rifle that I put in the off hand of my Hazel Hummingbird.

I lengthened the thick part of the barrel and shortened the thin part of the barrel. I added a brass tube below the barrel as well. I’ve smoothed out the basic gun, now I need to add the details, which will include a bayonet. I would have done a beam saber bayonet like I did on the Hazel, but the GM will already have a “hidden” beam saber so I skipped the one on the gun.

This isn’t much progress considering how long it’s been since I posted last, but I’ve had a lot of other things on my plate. I’ve spent time (a lot of it while watching the Olympics) snapping this together:

I also went to Valley Con, the IPMS show in Pasadena. Since I was going to take my Mustang vs. Citroen diorama, I decided to take another look at it since I know that I was more done with it than it was complete. I knew it wasn’t going to win any contests with all the problems I had with the Mustang, but I didn’t want to embarrass myself by bringing it as-is.

The first thing I was really unhappy with (aside from the Mustang) was the way that the wood sheeting around the oval base of the diorama didn’t blend with the ground of the diorama, and in places there were large gaps. In a few you could even see green foam peeking through:

So I mixed up a small batch of Celluclay and went about “fixing the seams” using the same dirt and grass mixtures I had left over from the original build. This made a big difference in the overall look of the dio.

The other thing that I felt was kind of lame was the haystack. It just sits there in the field and it needed some sign of life. If I’d had more than a day to work on it (all of this was done in one day) I would have turned one of my spare German mechanics into a farmer, but instead I thought of making a little pitchfork and some loose hay so the haystack would look freshly stacked. I started with a handle made from a 1mm plastic rod. Next I soldered together the thinnest wire I had to make the tines. You can see how I taped it down before soldering because I would have needed 4 hands to hold each piece of wire, the soldering iron and the solder:

I kept the solder hot and teased off the excess solder with a toothpick and then rolled the tines around a plastic tube and cut the tines to an equal length to get this:

I glued the fork onto the handle with CA glue and used accelerator on the bead of glue to both hold the fork onto the end of the handle and round off the shape. After painting it looked like this:

After the Citroen, this is my favorite part of the diorama. Everyone I went to Valley Con with must have heard me say twice “You gotta check out the pithfork!” Here’s the pitchfork in place. You can also see the smooth edge of the ground in this picture:

I also added some crushed bits of dried leaves all over, but especially in the low spots on the road. Here’s the overall dio now:

I’m much happier with it now. In fact I’m quite proud of the dio and might even consider rebuilding a new Mustang to go with it someday.

The thing that’s been taking up much of my free time for the last month and a half is my front yard. I can’t really call it my lawn since it started out as a bunch of dirt and dead grass. After a few months of watering, it became about 1/3 good grass, 1/3 weeds, and 1/3 tangled dead grass and roots that nothing would grow in.

I’ve spent a lot of weekend and afternoon hours with a pickaxe breaking the bad 2/3 up one square foot at a time, removing the weeds and roots. This is why I say, “I don’t hire a Mexican. I am a Mexican.” lol! I’ve planted grass seeds in the main part of the lawn and I’m about to plant seeds in the part between the sidewalk and curb. The new grass is just starting to grow.

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