Heavy/Scratch: WIP: MP Prowl/ How I build

Discussion in 'Radicons Customs' started by Jarrod, Jun 16, 2011.

  1. Jarrod

    Jarrod Semi-retired Builder

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2004
    Posts:
    1,719
    Trophy Points:
    212
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    Likes:
    +244
    Update, 6/27 page 23


    I've gotten numerous requests on how I go about building stuff, what tools I use, where to get stuff, etc. So, I figure this is the perfect opportunity to showcase that all.

    With that said, expect this to be a VERY picture heavy thread, with, hopefully, plenty of text too. I hope this thread will answer some questions, but at the same time give some tips to beginners and old-timers alike. Let's begin :) 


    This first post will cover what I'll be using for Prowl:

    The kits I'm using:

    AMT's 1/25 Datsun 280ZX Turbo:
    I could choose between a Tamiya 1/24 Tamiya 280ZX, or the above mentioned kit. Tamiya's kits are of exceptional quality, and it was in my preferred 1/24 scale....but it was the wrong model car. There are some minor differenced between the non-Turbo and Turbo, most notably the hood vents. In the end I felt the proper model car was more important than the ever so slight difference in scale and the slightly lower quality of kit.
    [​IMG]

    Bandai's Master Grade G3 Gundam Ver 2:
    I'm using this kit for numerous reasons. Foremost is probably the nearly fully articulated hands! But there's lots of Gundam kits with those, however this kit (and the RX-78-2, by default) has such fantastic, generic, blocky arms and upper legs. They transition easily into Transformer limbs with just the proper outer details added. This kit is also very sturdy, nearly all the joints use ABS on ABS plastic versus polycaps(*See later) for stronger joints that won't sag over time.
    [​IMG]

    My Tools (all listed from left to right):
    [​IMG]
    Tamiya Modeler's Knife:Blades are sharper (and cheaper!) than X-acto brand
    Tamiya Side Cutter: Great for small pieces of styrene, and of course model parts from their sprues.
    Rulers: Metric and US, plus the right angle is VERY useful.

    [​IMG]
    Pin Vise with drill bits.
    X-acto Razor saws in various sizes, included sized to fit a knife handle

    [​IMG]
    Blade style Line scribe: Great for straight lines, or over/around edges
    Bare Metal Brand Line Scribe: Carves a ridge-less channel
    Pick style Line Scribe: Great for curves or coners
    One of my various files

    [​IMG]
    Wire Cutters/Craft Clippers: Great for cutting metal wire, thick plastic, etc
    Fine-tip Gundam Marker: Perfect for marking styrene!
    Scissors: Cuts styrene easier than you'd think.
    And up top, various styles of specialty knife blades.


    Styrene:
    I use (nearly exclusively) Evergreen brand styrene, mostly just because is convenient and cheap! I mostly used various thickness's of sheets, strips and tubes. However there's textured sheets out there too, usually meant to resemble various roofing, building, siding, and even sidewalk patterns. Alot of those work great for mechanical detailing too:) 
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Polycaps (or Poly-unit, or poly-joints, or just plain old "joints")
    Whatever you want to call them, this is what I get asked about the most. These are mostly found in Gundam (and such) kits, and are the softer, rubber-like parts used to create the smooth, resiliant joint rotations. I use Kotobukiya's Poly Unit parts, which you can buy from HLJ, here: Kotobukiya Poly Unit . I feel Koto's poly's are very tough and hold a position much better than the typical Bandai Polycap.
    [​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Jarrod

    Jarrod Semi-retired Builder

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2004
    Posts:
    1,719
    Trophy Points:
    212
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    Likes:
    +244
    The first thing I do when starting a project like this, is draw a rough (and I do mean ROUGH) 1/1 scale sketch of the car and robot modes. Basicly this just lets me measure to make sure the parts I want to fit into the car will fit. I already know how big I want to robot mode, so I just want to make sure it will fold into the car body.


    Next, time to start dismantling the car. To do this, I start with my Bare Metal scriber. It will carve out a thin line, and works on curves easily. It'll take a number of passed, but will eventually cut right through the plastic. I use this method when I can't access a point with my saw...or if the cut is curved.
    [​IMG]

    After most of the door is free, I'll use my knife, or small saw to get the smaller areas
    [​IMG]

    And the door fully cut out. The edges can be rough(especially where the saw is used), so I clean them up with my knife and/or sandpaper.
    [​IMG]

    I've used the Gundam Marker to mark where I'll make the rest of the cuts. Then using the same method above, plus my razor saws, cut the rest of car apart.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I've assembled what I'll be using from the Gundam. The arms will mostly likely be using in their entirety....probably not the shoulders tho. Most of the waist will be used, as well as the upper legs and knee blocks. The lower legs, feet, and abdomen will mostly likely not be used at all, but are just place holders for now.
    [​IMG]

    And lastly for today, a VERY early look at robot mode :D 
    [​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

  3. thyvipera

    thyvipera ThyVipera

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Posts:
    3,350
    Trophy Points:
    151
    Likes:
    +1
    an awesome thread right here
     
  4. Alloy Alchemist

    Alloy Alchemist Decepticon sympathizer

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2010
    Posts:
    2,650
    Trophy Points:
    167
    Likes:
    +2
    thanks for sharing so far,you are one of the best scratch builders there are!
     
  5. FakeEyes22

    FakeEyes22 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2011
    Posts:
    889
    News Credits:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    101
    Likes:
    +1
    I haven't even read it all yet, but I just wanted to say thanks.

    You're a brilliant artist and very generous with your time for sharing this.
     
  6. Zildjian

    Zildjian Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2007
    Posts:
    3,538
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    172
    Likes:
    +4
    Awesome!!!
     
  7. destrongerlupus

    destrongerlupus #MoreSawBoss

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2006
    Posts:
    6,539
    News Credits:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    232
    Likes:
    +5
    Though I've been doing this stuff for years, I always feel like I learn something from your threads! (It helps that my 'bash style is a lot more wild and woolly :lol )

    Your precision builds are always a thing of beauty!

    D/L
     
  8. bellyboy

    bellyboy working working working

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2009
    Posts:
    1,769
    News Credits:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    126
    Likes:
    +1
    tnx for sharing bro
     
  9. Budokhan

    Budokhan Wheeljack's apprentice

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2010
    Posts:
    571
    Trophy Points:
    117
    Likes:
    +1
    We're learnin' from one of the Pros boys an girls! Thanks for Sharing Jarrod! :thumbs2: 
     
  10. Jarrod

    Jarrod Semi-retired Builder

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2004
    Posts:
    1,719
    Trophy Points:
    212
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    Likes:
    +244
    More for today!

    I wanted the upper legs to collapse into the lower legs like the G1 toy. It'll give much needed height in robot mode, but a compact car mode.

    First thing I need to do, saw off the lower leg, leaving just enough to build a sliding block from.
    [​IMG]

    Then I measure how wide I want the lower leg to be, and mark it on some 1mm styrene. I use my ruler as a guide and score (just a shallow cut) the styrene with my knife. Then I grab the styrene on both sides of the cut, bend it, and its snaps at the score line.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I measure how long the lower leg needs to be when fully collasped, and cut the previous strip to this length.
    [​IMG]

    Four pieces are cut in total, but I only glue three together for now...gotta leave it accessible to put the upper leg in :) 
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    In order to keep the legs secure, I want some kind of "clicking" joint that will hold the leg into positions. I've selected some rectangular Polycap leftovers from some Gundam kit. These have perfect little extensions on them, and have enough "give" to slide between positions.
    [​IMG]

    Now I need to built a secure "block" around them, and leave the little nubs out. So I cut a small rectangle of stryene.
    [​IMG]

    Then I measure out where the nub will stick out. I use my drill to start to open up the slot, then finish cutting it out with my knife.
    [​IMG]

    After that, I just continue to add panels to the block until its solid. Often I just glue mostly-measured piece of styene on, then cut it to the final shape.
    [​IMG]

    And the finished block. I've sanded it smooth, getting rid of any bits that could catch inside the leg.
    [​IMG]

    Now, using a special blade that is flat on the top/tip, I cut a groove into the inside wall of the leg. This will be the groove that the polycap clicks into. I repeat the process on the extra panel as well.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    After that, its just a matter of gluing the fourth panel on. The leg now collapses with a solid, locking "click" in both positions. More details, etc will be added later.
    [​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

  11. FireShot

    FireShot Autobot Recon Team

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2007
    Posts:
    122
    Trophy Points:
    56
    Likes:
    +0
    Wow! thanks for sharing this!
     
  12. whiskeytango

    whiskeytango Combaticon

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2008
    Posts:
    987
    Trophy Points:
    111
    Likes:
    +0
    ... holy shit

    man, this is just what i need. Thank you for doing this.
     
  13. strata32000

    strata32000 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    Posts:
    524
    Trophy Points:
    111
    Likes:
    +0
    Ebay:
    Superior skills here man.
    It's realy nice of you to share your knowledge with everyone here.
     
  14. Superquad7

    Superquad7 We're only human. Super Mod

    Joined:
    May 19, 2003
    Posts:
    47,595
    News Credits:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    342
    Likes:
    +22
    :rock 
     
  15. struecker85

    struecker85 Autobot

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2008
    Posts:
    304
    Trophy Points:
    76
    Likes:
    +0
    looks epic can't wait to see this all painted up
     
  16. Jbarb78

    Jbarb78 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2009
    Posts:
    963
    Trophy Points:
    117
    Likes:
    +7
    Ebay:
    Love threads like these, very informative stuff. I especially like the clicking slip joint, you just might have helped me solve a little problem on a build of my own, thanks for sharing man!
     
  17. jason jupiter

    jason jupiter weird/ rare g1 KO hunter

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Posts:
    1,215
    Trophy Points:
    126
    Likes:
    +0
    jarrod is so money, keep it up
     
  18. domshen

    domshen Radicon

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2009
    Posts:
    393
    Trophy Points:
    81
    Likes:
    +0
    I will be following this very closely!
     
  19. The_Black_Sheep

    The_Black_Sheep Willyna...

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Posts:
    2,987
    News Credits:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Likes:
    +5
    I just wish my skills were up to scratch for me to be able to attempt something like this without it ending up in the bin... :lol  Man, I can't wait to see Prowl come to fruition. Thanks for the baby-step walkthrough Mate! :) 
     
  20. Hash Prime

    Hash Prime Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2008
    Posts:
    88
    Trophy Points:
    46
    Likes:
    +0
    nice man..thanks for sharing the tips..i really admired ur work bro jarrod,especially the mp jazz u had done before..i can see this mp prowl is gonna be a super awesome also.. ;-)
     

Share This Page