TTT WIP 2
1/144 Scale HGUC Titans Test Team
In Progress Page Two – Hazel Gigantic Arm Unit, Hazel OWSLA, and Primriose Fighter
Work has begun on the GAU. I decided that with gigantic arms should come a gigantic anti-shipping beam saber since I think it’s sweet when some mobile suit or mobile armor comes up to a ship and jams some huge beam weapon into the bridge. I had this leftover saber/cannon thing from the FAZZ I built. It turns out to fit the pink beams from my PG Gundam perfectly. Mwahahaha…
After a simple sketch, I decided what I really needed to do was some sticky-tack trial fitting. Here’s the core of the backpack unit:
I photoshopped the arms in since I couldn’t hold them and take a picture at the same time (can [b]you[/b] tell which arm is potoshopped ;)):
Satisfied that it all fits, I then went to work. I first decided that I needed the mounting plate from the inside of one of the three other backpacks I had. Making the GAU backpack is going to require a lot of trial-fitting and weight addition, so I didn’t want to have the backpack sticky-tacked while I was working on it. So I took the plate from the backpack unit attached to the Primrose. I made a plate to replace it and glued the backpack back onto the Primrose. The red arrow point to the part I was after:
I then started working on fixing up the Zeong arms. I wanted to lengthen the arms and increase their mobility. I added some plates to the upper arms to lengthen them:
I trimmed down the rim on the wrists so the hands could have a wider range of motion:
I then sanded down the part of the elbow joint that reduced its ability to flex and put in a spacer below the elbow joint so that the back of the forearm wouldn’t hit the elbow and keep if from flexing. This also made the arm longer:
Here’s the comparison to the length and flexibility of the original Zeong arm:
I’ve also begun to make Psycho Gundam style shoulders. Once they’re done I’ll mount the arms to the backpack.
While waiting for some putty to dry, I opened Pandora’s Box and started designing some decals:
Okay, here’s some real-world work. I had made the basic shoulder boxes before getting invloved in decals. As you can see, I built them around the Zeong’s shoulder mount, so that they’ll be functional:
Today, I worked on detailing them up. They’re similar to Ezechiel’s, but simpler.
Now I can actually work on mounting these bad boys to the back of the Hazel. Then I’ll be getting somewhere!
With the arms done, I kind of hit a wall on the backpack. In my sticky-tack test fit, I had been assuming that all the parts would be held together by more of a framework than an actual backpack. However, I just couldn’t see it in my head and it got worse when I really started to hold the arms up to the Hazel and figure out how I would mount them.
After procrastinating, I made a new sketch with what will look like the typical Hazel backpack, but more to the scale of the gigantic arms. I then got my ruler out and started measuring. It turns out that (as usual) I had imagined things to be much bigger when visualizing it. In truth, I only have about 3 inches to try to fit a backpack with thrusters, a giant beam saber, two sub-arms and mounts for the gigantic arms.
So, after reworking it all, here’s what I’ve accomplished…
I started by replacing the pegs on the shoulders with a Koto ball:
I then built up a mounting block to hold the socket polycap and got from the shoulder to the backpack. This black had to raise the polycap about one half inch above where the block would attach to the backpack. As with the HRUDUDU gun, it doesn’t look like much, but it’s built up from 12 pieces of plastic:
I then worked on a way to mount the blocks to the backpack. I sandwiched two polycaps between strips of plastic that were drilled with holes to hold in the polycaps:
The polycaps hold pieces of sprue, which will be glued into round plastic dowl which fits inside the mounting block. Here it is all put together:
So, each shoulder will attach to the mounting block via a polycap and each block will be able to swing forward and backward and rotate on a polycap from the backpack, which should give the gigantic arms pretty good mobility. Now I have to work on mounting this all inside the backpack and finishing it. I want to add a Zeta-style binder to the top of the backpack, which will also cradle the giant beam saber. Then I have to add the boosters to the bottom, and then I’ll see if I can fit the sub-arms in anywhere.
Okay, now I’ve got something! 😀
Finished up the basic backpack box:
And mounted the arms:
It’s been a loooong week… lots of family stuff made for a very slow patch of progress. But at this point, all of the pieces on the backpack are built. They all need a round of putty and then they need bevelling and detailing, but they exist, and that’s a big plus, especially for this part, the binder/gigantic beam saber mount:
I just kind of meandered through building it, with only a vague idea of how it should look when done. That, plus the fact that it had to fit the beam saber pretty snugly, and the fact that interruptions meant that I often had to work on it 20 minutes at a time made for a slow, frustrating process. I got one piece of help when I saw a apicture of the Gouf Ignited backpack’s binder from SEED Destiny, which finally gave me a “real” binder that was close to what I was imagining and gave me some direction. Then I just kept adding on bits of plastic like they were rooms in the Winchester Mansion until I was more or less happy.
Also, it was the first time I tried heating and bending plastic to make the round part at the base of the binder. It’s not perfectly straight, but it’s close enough (I hope).
Next up were the much easier boosters and their mounts on the bottom of the backpack:
Koto balls mean that the boosters will be poseable. Once I sticky-tack it all together, this is what I’ve got. I’m happy with it, and I think it makes a good transition from the small mobile suit to a large but not HUGE backpack and then to gigantic arms.
Detailing of the backpack is done! To begin, I had to go through a round of putty, Mr, Surfacer 500 and beveling. Then I had to make a sketch to keep all my detailing ideas straight and make sure they were cohesive:
The first thing I did was to revisit the back of the Psycho Gundam shoulders, because the original design has absolutely no surface detail and I just couldn’t take looking at those flat white slabs of plastic anymore. I added some grips from some other model kit and the little calf thrusters from my old GP-01:
Next I worked on the booster mounts. I decided to add a rounded fairing since the diameter of the front of the thrusters is larger than the back of the mounts.
For shaping purposes, I had to glue them to a piece of plastic, because they were too small to hold and sand at the same time:
I sawed the interior parts of the sub-arm crotch mount in half and created new mounts for them to stand up separately:
I added details to the arm mounts:
I then detailed up the binder. I made a booster from Evergreen plastic, which comes with lines pre-molded to resemble a corrugated surface. I then framed this by strips of plastic. This took a long time, but there weren’t any Koto parts that were the right shape (especially since it had to go around a bend) and I thought it was worth the effort.
I added some beam saber mounts to the top of the backpack. I got lucky because they fit perfectly inside these pieces of evergreen plastic tubing.
I added a panel with an X-shaped cut out and some vents from my FAZZ Sentinel kit (lots of good extra parts in that kit) to the back of the backpack:
Here it is, all glued together, no sticky-tack:
I now have to make a proper mount for the beam cannon on the crotch and lengthen the legs and this one is done…
I started to work on the mount for the FAZZ head beam cannon for the GAU. While I was waiting for some putty to dry, I decided to tackle lengthening the legs and torso of both the GAU and my third model, the OWSLA. The GAU really needs it, because the gigantic arms make the model really wide, so that it looks very gorilla-like.
If you look at this artwork, you can see that the artist “cheated” on the proportions by making the OWSLA that the Gigantic Arms are mounted to very long (just mentally erase the gigantic arms and just look at the OWSLA, it’s pretty silly, IMO):
Here’s what I did. If Adeon000 looks at this, he’ll get deja vu, since I did these mods exactly like his (with his permission). The thigh and torso lengthening are no-brainers, but he came up with a great way to lengthen the calves, especially with the chunky boosters on them.
So, here’s the new-and-improved GAU:
I also did these mods on my OWSLA, since now I’ve decided that I’m on a pretty good schedule and I’ll be able to field all four models (Hummingbird, GAU, OWSLA and Primrose Fighter):
The OWSLA has undergone a bit of a configuration change from my original plan. I decided to double up on the missile launchers, and go with the Mk. II gun and shield. I then changed tha backpack in the same way I did the Hummingbird, which is to start with the Hazel Custom backpack, then stick a Hazel ankle joint (that I didn’t use because of the Humminbird units) with the ball cut off. The pegs on the booster shields fit just right into the holes that the ankle armor would attach to. This raises and separates the booster shields, which I think looks better.
With the OWSLA, I’m going for this look:
Both crab guns will go on the Primrose, as well as the Tri-Booster, and it will look like this:
Every time I get a round of mods done, I realize there are smaller ones that need to get done… Here’s what’s left. I have to finish the crotch-mounted beam cannon for the GAU, which should be very simple since I’ve already done the hard work of filling in the back of the FAZZ cannon to match the shape of the crotch. Then I need to fix the left hands on the GAU and the Hummingbird to hold a rifle, since they’re just sticky-tacked into the open hand at this point. I also want to stick some Koto booster bells into the big, empty Zeong booster bells to make them more interesting. Finally, I have to go over the Primrose Fighter and fix some hollow plastic spaces with filler and/or detail.
Then I get to do the really fun step of taking all four models apart, gluing them where possible and filling seams. The legs on these models will be easy to paint because they break down quite well, but the arms will require typical HGUC multi-stage glue/putty/paint construction. Yay.
Loose ends are pretty much tied up at this point. I could go on forever making tiny cosmetic mods, but my timeline was to have mods done by the end of April (close enough) so that May can be about assembly, priming/seamlines and painting and June can be about decals, panel lines, weathering, finish, etc… (I’m trying to have these done by Anime Expo in early July) I’ll still do a bit of work on a piece by piece basis as I prep and assemble these models for painting.
So, here’s the “last” (haha) of it:
I “plumbed” my crotch cannon with some MechaSkunk spring, 1.6mm, I think. I used brass wire inside so I could adjust its shape:
Then I spent some quality time removing Integrated Circuit pins from their plastic frame so I could use them to spruce up the six Zeong thrusters I’ll be using on the Hummingbird and GAU and on the GAU’s gun barrels. I’ll most likely use them as mini-boosters on the skirt armor thrusters as well on the kits:
I then modified/rebuilt the kit-supplied left hands for the Hummingbird and GAU to grip their respective left-hand rifles:
Then I did a bit of work on the OSWLA and Primrose. The OWSLA needed a beam saber, since I gave two to the GAU, so I scratchbuilt one. It’s the best I could do with the plastic tubing I had. It looks a bit funny on its own, but stuck in its hole in the backpack, I think it works pretty well:
Finally, I made the changes to the Primrose as suggested in Dengeki Hobby, which is to fill in some of the hollow areas on the cockpit, arms and particle cannons:
Now I just have to remember how my airbrush works… 😀
It’s been a couple of weeks of slow progress. My daughter was sick, my car needed some attention, there was Mother’s Day. Life keeps getting in the way… At least in these rough weeks I usually find time to prep/snap future projects. While making these models and the Freedom before that, I’ve snapped an MG GM Custom and Mk. II as well as an HGUC Rick Dias and snipped and de-nubbed a Tamiya P-51D. An airplane is sounding really good right now, they’re so much less complicated, imagine a kit with a parts count of like 50 and only one moving part… I’m definitely gonna do a couple easy models after these Hazels are done.
Speaking of the Hazels, here’s what I’ve done. All four models are now broken down into these containers:
I’ve been working on sub-assembling what I can and re-engineering things so that they will slide together after painting, thus saving a lot of masking. The worst area on these kits is the arms. OOB I would have had to paint and build the internals of the elbow joint, then build the forearm and shoulder over it, mask off the internals, paint the arm, then build the shoulder armor, then paint the shoulders and unmask everything…
I’m still stuck with the shoulders, there was just no way to rework them, but I did manage to make the elbows slip into the forearms without too much work, and I replaced the upper arm swivel joint with rare-earth magnets, which should be strong enough to hold normal guns and shields. I’m a bit worried about the huge sniper rifle, but if worse comes to worse I can fixed-pose it.
Once I figured out the mods on one arm, I then had to go and repeat them five more times to make three complete sets of arms. Yay…
Hopefully a session or two will get me done with gluing sub-assemblies and then I can move onto seam lines and primer. Now I’m thinking I [i]won’t [/i] get these done by AX… I can still make AoZ Unlimited, though
Is it August yet???? Can I just give up, then? 😆
I’m almost done with the slow, painful process of putty/sand/wash/skewer. About half the project is skewered at this point, although I’m gonna have to go out and buy more skewers. I didn’t realize how partsy this project has become.
One of the reasons this took so long (other than moderate motivation) is that I bought two of the Hazels from somebody already snapped and they were both pretty badly gouged all over with an X-Acto knife during de-nubbing. I had to give every nub and the area around it a glob of putty and sand it back to original shape. It was like re-nubbing and re-de-nubbing the model… 🙁
On a happier note, seeing the light at the end of the tunnel made me realize I had better get my decals finalized. Here’s the proof from Samuel 😀 :
The big Ms and a couple other things are for other projects. I went with Slavin’s design (thanks again) for the Hummingbird, but I ended up going with my own for the GAU. I think my cruder, meaner design works better for my vision of the “slugger” GAU. I think if I had gone Fulcy’s route and put the arms on the OWSLA, Slavin’s decal would have worked better, because it would have been a slicker MS. I also changed all the fonts on the decals to something more simple.
Not a lot to show visually, but all priming and (massive amounts of) surface perfecting are done. This project is finally ready for paint.
I was out of town on vacation last week, but took my laptop with me and worked out this basic TTT color scheme. It may seem pretty basic, but I dug through a lot of color variations to decide on it (seriously, the models and sketches in Dengeki cover the entire blue to gray spectrum, with nearly unlimited mixing and matching of color schemes on the various accesories). Basically, anything that gets added on will be white. Shields will generally be white with solid dark blue inner trim. Quel shields will be light blue with dark blue inner trim. Yellow striping/two-tone will only appear on shoulders, calves and beam sabers. Guns will be a mix of the lighter blue and my interior color (Alclad Jet Exhaust). I’ll probabaly do no weathering, or only very light weathering.
I thought I should post an update since I have continued to work on this project for the last month and a half. What I’ve been doing is painting. What’s taking so long?
Well, first off, as I mentioned this project is really partsy. Below is a picture of just one Hazel’s worth of parts:
And here are ALL of the parts skewered and ready to paint:
That’s my MG Zaku I in the middle of it all for scale. I haven’t built the MG Ex-S Gundam, that legendarily partsy kit, but I’d imagine I’m in the ballpark with all these pieces.
I’ve managed so far to paint lenses, the thrusters/vents (Alclad Pale Burnt Metal), the internals (Alclad Jet Exhaust), as well as the yellow parts and white parts. The real killer is that after every color I paint there’s a ton of masking to do before I move on to the next color.
Here’s a picture of some fun masking:
Finally, here are a few pieces where the painting is actually complete:
I’m really happy with the white paint. I’ve had trouble in the past with white paint. The problem was that I would have to use so many coats to get a good white color, but that with all those coats, the paint job would end up kind of powdery. What I learned from Gamerabaenre at his panel at Anime Expo was that in this case, you need less thinner in the paint. For me, this was counter-intuitive. If my paint was drying too fast, it seemed like it would need more thinner. Before, I would add even more thinner and make the problem worse. In this case, I used less thinner and turned up the pressure to almost 25 psi. The result was a thicker, wetter (but not runny) paint that went on a lot better.
So now with the worst of the masking behind me and only two more colors to paint (followed by a lot of going back for touch ups and things that were easier to mask in reverse order), I am starting to feel enthusiastic about this project again. The good thing is that every color requires less and less masking. Hopefully painting will be done in a couple weeks.
I’ve finished the light blue, but I’m still only halfway done with the dark blue. I had a really hard time mixing the blues, especially the lighter one. First I mixed it and it was too green. Then I mixed it again, and it seemed ok on paper, but once I had airbrushed a few pieces, I stopped because they were too dark and too green. What you see in the pictures is the third version of the light blue. I didn’t want a really dull gray blue, but I’m afraid that it’s a little too vibrant, but I think I ran out of patience mixing colors.
There seem to be two ways to go with the colors, either the gray-blue:
Or the blue-gray, which is what I prefer:
The light blue I ended up with is made from the following Tamiya paints: Blue, Royal Blue, Sky Blue, Medium Blue, Red, Black, and White. I have no idea what the proportions are since I mixed and remixed and mixed colors that were themselves mixed.
The dark blue is kind of light. However, I didn’t want it so dark that it will blot out the details on the model. Here’s a shot of a group of parts that represent all of the colors together. Like I said it’s kind of bright. This is the first model I’ve ever painted without any shading. It was easier, but when I shade I have more of a chance to adjust the color, making it darker or lighter as I see fit. I may feel the need to weather these models in the end just to tone them down some. We’ll see once I put bigger pieces together and also how much time/patience I have.
After finishing sub-assembling I did a massive two-night clearcoat session. I’ve learned the hard way that extra time spent applying extra coats of Future/Tamiya thinner pays off in time saved poking declas and using MicroSol to remove silvering.
With a good glossy clearcoat achieved, I’ve waded into decals. I’ve applied about 2/3 of all the decals. I’m a dirty decal whore and if anything, I wish I had made even more decals as I’m using decals I didn’t even plan on using from extra decals from Samuel’s Hazel decal sheets. For this project, I had two sets of his Hazel Advanced, one set of Hazel Custom, A sheet of my own custom designed stuff, a few “addendum” decals I got printed after making a color change decision, and a few random warning decals.
Here’s a few sample pieces:
Now they feel super “Titansy” to me, which I like a lot. All those little TTT symbols really add to the model, IMO.
My wife is pretty thrilled about all of the time I’v ebeen putting into it. She made the comment the other day, “When you’re done with this, you’re gonna take a model hiatus, right?”
Click the picture link below to see the completed model.
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