June 22, 2008: This is the Sniper Custom Conversion kit from AkoCreation that uses the MG RX-78-2 Gundam Version One Year War frame. I started working on this project at the last build gathering on the 14th, but only got as far as the main torso. I finished up building the legs tomorrow. There are still a few spots that need sanding work, and I'm still debating on areas I want to add modifications, if I wanted to. The kit came with replacement metal thrusters and decals. I'm thinking about adding meshing and possibly painting the kit in a desert scheme. Still debating if I should go the weathered route or clean/flat look. I may do something in the middle and only apply some slight weathering. Here are some pictures of what the kit looks like so far, and you can see what parts the kit replaces on the MG.
October 20, 2009: Inspired by OrangeCon, I unbox the kit and start fiddling with things. I have a paint scheme floating in my head and it is something I've never done before, so this will be interesting. I'm also fiddling with a few modifications. First off, starting with an resin ore gun kit I picked up from scomber.egloos.com, I'm going to create gasp, a sniper rifle. Yes, I know that I have a certain style that I like, but hell, I'm still new at this scratch building and modification thing so I need to practice on what I kinda know and just get better at it. Plus, build what you like, and I sure as hell like sniper rifles.
A little difference here, I used some wire and socked a fiberglass weave tube over it and attached it to one end of a scope taken from an old Gelgoog rifle. For the head, I drilled out a little hole, popped in a magnet, and covered it with a detail part. I figure the scope optics can be wired into the GM's head. Yes, the reality of it all is kinda lacking, but then again, it's a sniper mech, let alone mech... I'm taking creative license.
Next up, I decided to graft the shouder armor of a Zaku II onto the left shoulder of the sniper. I was debating on using spikes or covering the thing up, and decided to cover it. I think it fits the kit in a red shoulder votoms kind of way.
I don't care, I think it looks cool.
More work on the rifle and mockups. Still deciding on what to do with the fore and aft of the damn thing.
A shot gun, every sniper needs a quick mid to short range weapon. Taking an old Kampfer shotgun from my parts box, and finding a few other greeblies, the right lef's calf area is modified to have a hard point for a holster attachment. I'm not satisficed with the current holster and will be making some changes. But for now, the sniper's got a shotty.
Mockups of the rifle as I decide for a standard inner barrel and a fluted floating ris system. I'm also adding a really long silencer. Yes, I understand the retardness of giving a giant robot a silencer, but it'll look cool. And that's what this is all about. I'm also extending out the back of the rifle to make a stock. The ammo clip has been cut as snipers only have a few rounds; plus it lowers the profile of the rifle and I think that make it look better.
I always end up with very crooked holes that are spaced out oddly. Well, this cannot be helped as all this is hand drilled, but I can try to minimize the effect the best I can. And I'm using tape as guides. Hopefully this will come out half way decent.
October 21, 2009: Continued work on the sniper's weapon systems. Building the rail system so this time since I've learned to cast, I'm building one rail, making a mold of it, then casting the damn thing. Hopefully the silicon hasn't gone bad and that the mold making process is bubble free. The silicon is poured and thrown into the pressure pot.
The holes are drilled out for the outer barrel and I finish up the modifications to the sniper rifle which include adding a stock and finishing up the silencer and barrel mounting. I also added a second ore gun as another short ranged weapon attached to the back skirt via a magnet. I'll add a little connecting clamp as an additional hard point for the weapon mount, and it will keep the weapon from spinning on the axis of the magnets.
Over the past few nights during the weekdays, gtetra is over here working on his Gaplant that he started SEVERAL years ago. He's reaching the finish line, and only a few more things left and this sucker will be done. Pretty damn cool. Tons of mods.
October 27, 2009: I didn't get as much work done on the kit over the weekend as I had planned, but then again, my weekends are pretty busy to the point where I don't get much work done on kits anymore. So most of this work is carry over from the last update and from this week's work so far. I seamed up the lower half of the leg area. The primer shows defects so from the primed picture, the seam fix was fairly successful.
Parts are placed on skewers. I don't have time to soak the kit, so I took some mr color thinner and just rubbed the parts with a paper towel dampened with the stuff. Hopefully this will help keep the paint from chipping as I'm planning on doing a bit of masking.
Parts are primed with Mr Surfacer 1000.
More work on the gun. I removed the front sight thing and added a lower foregrip to the rifle to help level out the skinny barrel and main rifle sections out a bit. I think this balances things out and the gun looks more like a rifle now. I'm working on casting the rail system and so far I have one rail glued into place; two more to go.
November 5, 2009: Update after a few days of being stuck at home sick. A bast coat of cobalt blue is sprayed and flat coated to help with the masking process. Then masked for the first of many masking session.
A mixture of the cobalt blue and white created a very light blue. In hindsight, I should have gone a bit darker with the mixture. But after the paint dried, the next masking phase started. Cutting little squares and making the entire kit
Next a turquoise blue was sprayed over the parts which completed the main body painting.
The masking from the above session were removed then select areas were remasked for painting on the gray highlight areas. And here we have most of the upper torso completed. I'm still on the fence with the paint scheme, it's very different. And I'm going to just have to sit and get used to it. I'll be weathering up this sucker, so after a few coats of clear and then the weathering process, this should start looking closer to completion.
Other detail areas. The feet are done. Details for the leg pistons, done with alclad paints and no masking, just careful airbrushing. The legs are still being worked on as multiple layers of masking are necessary. Thrusters are primed, painted white for internal bell areas, then painted a dark yellow.
Details for the head. Using aurora film, the main head display and detail areas are decaled.
November 7, 2009: Mid weekend update as I couldn't wait as I get close to finishing the main painting sessions and do a quick mock up. First up is the detail painting for the thrusters. The bell internals are painted, then masked using sticky tack.
Work on the main sniper rifle continues as the silencer is detailed and finished. The outer barrel is sealed up and puttied.
The sniper rifle gets an initial primer sessions to check for build quality. Now it actually looks like a complete gun as opposed to a conglomeration of different parts. Some close ups show a few areas that need attention, but for the most part, it's getting closer to completion.
This came in the mail today, actually, I went to pick it up from the postal office, it actually arrived on the 19th of last month, but I didn't receive any notification so up until a day ago, I emailed the seller and they sent me the tracking number. Tracking number in hand, I was able to grab these nifty little beam saber handles. And the pictures below should speak for themselves. Damn cool after market items.
The sniper with a quick mock up full weapons load.
Then the sniper wielding the red light saber, "Luke, I am your father!"
November 10, 2009: Work continues slowly as each layer from the process going foward need to be sandwiched with a clear coat. I felt that the sabers coming out of the forearms were a tad bit on the long side, so the solution is to cut and sand down the sabers to reshape them. Sanding clear pieces gives a very cloudy finish, even when polished with a very high grit sanding pad. So to fix the clarity issue, the finely sanded sabers are clear coated and the clear coat fills in all the small scratches and the part becomes clear once again.
All the parts get a clear coat to prepare the surface for decals. Water slide decals stick best to a glossy surface. This also minimizes on the potential silvering where the edges of the decal lift or the decal itself lifts up. The clear coat also protects the paint from any decal softening or setting solutions used to help melt the decals onto the surface.
Decals sticking to the surface with minimal silvering.
After curing for a full day, the decals were applied the previous day and micro sol decal setting solution was used to help soften and set the decals to the surface. After a full day of curing, the decals are weathered with a hobby knife and a 150 grit sanding pad lightly rubbed against the surface of the decal. The clear gloss that the decal layers sits on also help protect the paint layer from the decal weathering stage.
More comparison pictures of the clean decals and weathered decals on respective pieces.
Once the decal weathering is completed, the decals are sealed in with another layer of clear gloss that effectively sandwiches the decals between two layers of gloss. The decals need to be protected from the next stage which will be the panel lines. The ink on the decals may be damaged by lighter fluid or enamel thinner from the wash process so a protective clear gloss layer will help preserve the decal.
November 17, 2009: This is a combination update for the work done over the last several days. From the last update, the clear coat cured, a panel line wash was applied to the part and left to sit over night. The next night, a paper towel moistened with some light fluid was used to remove the excess panel line paint leaving the parts with fine panel lines.
With the panel lines done, a mixture of silver and gold to create a bronze paint chipping color was applied lightly over the parts with a fine brush using dry brushing techniques. This is left to cure over night.
The panel lines and paint chipping paint is protected with a layer of clear gloss and the gloss is allowed to cure over night. With the clear gloss cured, a fade is applied to the parts using green, brown, and white enamel paint dots. The dots are then removed with a rough brush dipped in enamel thinner creating a weathered look to the part. The color tones of the kit are muted slightly with this weathering technique. Next up will be the first flat coat that will lead to the pastel weathering session.
November 22, 2009: a flat coat is applied over the cured faded parts which lightens up the finish as well as prepares the surface for pastel weathering.
The weapons are still in various processes of painting. I added a small bit of detail for the SMG's attachment point using a magnet as part of the details.
After pastels, the kit was given a final flat clear coat and once dried, put together, so the main kit is completed for now.
December 7, 2009: Slow progress from the Thanksgiving holidays and utter laziness put the project on a complete stand still for the past few weeks, but I've managed to do bits and pieces of work such as finishing the painting for the weapons, clear coating a few days later, then decals another week later. For the following pictures, the weapons were clear coated, decaled, weathered, and slightly dry brushed for final touches, then finally flat coated.
Pictures of the sniper rifle.
Pictures of the auxillary weapons.
One of the things I dislike about metal option parts is that paint has a tough time sticking - even with sanding and priming the parts. I may need to try using mr metal primer or just find a metal primer to use over the standard Mr Surfacer. But with the paint chip, the part was sanded and repainted starting with finisher's pure black.
And with that, the project is complete. Click here for the completed gallery page.
June 22, 2008: Snapped together the AkoCreation's Sniper Conversion for the MG Gundam Ver One Year War.