Friday, July 23, 2004

Beta head with Blue Mat force Posted by Hello

Painting note

In an effort to get better at painting and customizing in general, I have been checking out a lot recently.  It's a cool site with a lot of information.  For example. I have learned that in order to achieve the grey look of the Imperial Tie Fighter, it's a good idea to first spray one coat of medium grey, then do a black wash, then dry-brush light grey for weathering. 

All I have to do is figure out the best way to do a wash.  My instinct tells me to use flat black paint mixed with thinnner and airbrushed onto the surface, but I'm not sure.  How much thinner would be good?  I should just experiment this weekend.

I've also learned that if you want the look of weathered steel, first paint the object flat black and then dry-brush silver.

Check out this neat site!


Wednesday, July 21, 2004

I wanted to save this until it was finished, but it's taking a long time. It is to be called the Thorium Godfighter. Recipe to be posted. Posted by Hello

Here's a better pic of my AA mini tank. It's still in progress, but I think it's going to be a while before I work on it. I want to improve my painting skills before I have to strip this thing (for the second time) and repaint. Posted by Hello

Here is a pic of part of the Black Gaiking box I have used for parts. It's a great set, if a bit expensive (probably about $150) but it has tons of great stuff for kitbashers. Posted by Hello

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Here's a picture of a work in progress. The tank is being kitbashed, but the missile array was scratchbuilt, being made of bits of junk I found in my apartment. The array is shown here nearly finished. Posted by Hello

Saturday, July 17, 2004

I'm crazy enough to put this stuff on display in public! I actually took a squad to the river, trying to get a more authentic look. I think I am going to have to get into modeling landscapes to get the effect I really want. Posted by Hello

Here's a kitbash featuring a torso and head from the aformentioned Black Gaiking set simply fused with epoxy to the front part of one of the '99 Micromachine kits. The red balls were made with epoxy and painted to resemble weapons used in the Marvel Micronauts comics. I made this while my friend Jay told me about his secret life in the CIA (no kidding) Posted by Hello

This minor custom has a painted Star Wars hoth breathing accessory and blaster rifle. The main figure is a MIS M25 by Takara. You can't really see it here, but he has a snazzy 'Zero Gravity' sticker on his chest. Posted by Hello

Here's a minor custom with a Gundam head placed on backwards, giving him a 'Boba Fett' look Posted by Hello

Gundam makes stuff in this scale, as well, though I don't like to use too much of it as it is everywhere-way too common. Pictured alongside this minor custom (Gundam body, Beta Midget head, Bandai pole arm) is a sweet blue and white vintage Titan! Posted by Hello


On the off chance that someone discovers this blog and wants to more about the genre, I recomment visiting

Toy Speculation

Speaking of Hero Factory...
Way back when I first saw those Ardens, they were only 500 yen.  A couple of years later, when I finally got a computer and started finding out about this hobby, I discovered that they were selling on ebay for up to $40 for one.  I had three, loose.  Of course, I wasn't going to sell them, but I couldn't help but think, if I had only invested a few hundred dollars, I could have made this hobby start paying for itself, right?
After all, collecting Micronauts can be expensive.
So I decided that the next time I could, I would get a bunch of whatever and then I could make money.
Well, one of those occasions was when the limited edition ( only 1000) Hero's Factory Space Glider came out.  I think I have 20 of them, and nobody wants them!  So, soon I will have to make a small Space Glider Force!  The accessories are nice (clear red), but the black and gold color scheme....
I'm just writing this as a warning to myself.  You never know what will be valuable and what won't.  If you collect this stuff trying to anicipate a financial windfall, I wouldn't recommend it.  You are better off investing in the stockmarket.

Having that drill allowed me to put a small hole in this Hero Factory Space Glider blaster and attach it to the peg on the leg thing of this minor custom figure. Posted by Hello

Here's a nice minor custom. He's a Palisades I TT with a head from the first Takara Masterforce-type figures. The shield is from the same Great Firebird set I got the Acro Naga head from, the sword is from a $2 toy I bought at the convenience store. Posted by Hello

Here's my guy with his axe, made from a Soul of Chogokin Black Gaiking set.(which is a real score if you are looking for some WILD parts) Posted by Hello

It took me two years just to find a frickin' drill. I know it sounds crazy, but everytime I went out looking (for a dremel), all I found was crap that would break in two minutes. In fact, the guy in the little hardware shop didn't want to sell this to me because it was too old! I had to become very aggressive with him and I am happy I did. It opened up many new possibilities (as well as few wounds-be careful with this stuff, kids!) Posted by Hello

Here's a custom Acroyear under construction. I don't consider him to be a minor custom because I had to rebuild the neck and upperchest of the Armored Core robot in order for the Palisades Acroyear head to properly fit. Later, I added a pretty cool axe (not shown) Posted by Hello

I was informed by Mysterious Stranger that this buzzard thing was actually a Zoid Roadskipper. In my little Microworld, it is an Acroyear battle mage and mount. Posted by Hello

My first attempt at scratch building anything was the missile racks on this repainted Hornetroid. Not a huge task, but a step nonetheless. Posted by Hello

My first picture with my digital camera. Palisades II had just come out. Micro collectors will note that the city parts are blue, not white. What better way to deal with old, yellowing parts than to give them a coat of paint? Posted by Hello

But is it art?

I guess I'm not qualified to answer that question myself.  I would look at some other customers stuff and definately say yes, but my own stuff?  Maybe almost.  At least I like to think of it as 'art-like'.  To be a true artist, you need real skills, I think.  I'm more a hack (literally, you should see my saw!) tooling around with stuff I don't really understand.
Some of you may think that is overly self-critical, but in many ways it's true, especially considering that I am an illiterate person (not being able to read Japanese) and also not always very social.  The last couple of years have not been kind to me in some respects and I am usually reluctant to approach strangers and ask for help.
For these reasons, I have been unable to learn as quickly as I'd like, but I guess that's how it goes...

Sometimes, less is more. This is a very minor custom Hayate Microman. Posted by Hello

Here's another one. The figure is a Lady Commander with a Vita head and weapons posed in front of a Robotman box. Posted by Hello

I gave this guy a name...Rizz!!! He's just a commander with a Automaster head. I like this picture because of the juxtaposition of vintage (that's a picture of the Rolling Thunder in the background) with the new. Posted by Hello

Making the Acro Naga

This was my second kitbashing attempt, and still my favorite.
1 Gundam tank body
1 Beta Midget 'larvae' torso
4 Beta Midget arms
2 Stifka Samurai weapons kits
1 Yujin Master Action Great Firebird head
1 bic pen spring (you can't see it here, sorry)
He came together quite easily, actually, as the Beta arms were meant to have other attachments stuck on them.  The paintjob was quite fun, as I used the airbrush to pretty good effect and painted the Stifka arrows to look like Machinder (Shogun Warriors) missiles.
He is currently the leader of my Acro Vena squad (not pictured).

The Acro Naga Posted by Hello

Here's a jet I put together last year. Not the best picture of it, as it isn't finished here, but it was available, and so here it is. I forgot the company that makes this jet, but I think it's...'SAS' something? Inside, you can see a Takara Hoodman, which is a little smaller than a Microman making him a good choice for kitbashing in a slightly smaller scale. Posted by Hello

Shin Bat Cyborg-I wouldn't consider this even a minor custom, but rather a configuration, but I really like it, so I'm posting it here. It's just a Takara Batman head, shoulders and wings attached to a Microforce Commander body. Looming in the background, you see the Soul of Chogokin Dancougar. Posted by Hello

Making the Acroclops

This project was a little more ambitious. 
2 Lego Bionicle legs
1 Robotech torso (from a plastic model kit)
2 arms from a cheap, unidentified toy (sorry!)
Beta Midget bits for chin gun and hair piece
1 pen tip for the eye
Epoxy or Milliput for the horns
2 Wave Option ball joints
Basically, I stuck this together with epoxy and ball joints.  I had to scratch build the waist so that it was still poseable-it can swivel, and the legs do have limited movement. One thing about this guy is that he is top heavy, due to the arms and the head piece, which is nearly all epoxy.
I finished him while Beth Bradley was staying at my house in January of 2004.

My first real kitbash, the Acroclops, shown here primed. He was painted later, but I thought this picture showed him best. He's about 16cm tall. Posted by Hello