Operation Virtue: Phase 4

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Let there be color!

So we finally got around to getting the proper paints, or more specifically, my colleague did. As I discussed before in Phase 2, we’ve decided to roll with generic house paints on this project, since they go on much easier and are somewhat less cancer-inducing than spray paints. (Not really, but there’s less fumes)

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The entire torso segment is all but finished, save for an additional yellow collar piece that we’ll be adding later.

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It’s really starting to feel like the RX-78-2 now, and while it isn’t as classy or high-profile looking as some cosplays out there, with what limited resources and experience we had, I think it’s going to be a great turn-out.

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This is our color palette so far. The RX-78-2 and all the subsequent designs based upon it have mostly sported the same LEGO bricks color scheme.

We have a quart of blue and red, half a quart of white, and a sample (8 oz) of yellow. It was decided to save money that we could be frugal with the yellow, though after finishing the torso today I feel like we could’ve also gone with a sample of blue too, though its no big deal.

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All our paints were procured from Home Depot, and while we were originally going to go for a brighter blue (the blue is actually a dark, almost navy blue in person. Looks brighter in the pictures) but my colleague happened to find a quart of the darker blue in the clearance section, which had paints for only $2.00 a quart.

It was a pretty good deal, and a sample of lighter blue would’ve cost more than that, so we just went with what we were given.

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Funny story about the red – when my colleague bought it and showed it to me, it looked like red.

But lo and behold, when I started painting the torso sections red, it seemed to come out as pink. My comrade and I both assumed we were each tripping some hard acid, since the little sample dot on the can showed pure McDonald’s red, and yet the first coats on the cardboard appeared hot pinkish.

Needless to say we kind of freaked out a little; didn’t want this turning into Lacus Clyne’s Live Concert Zaku now.

Thankfully though, after it had dried and we applied a few more coats, it turned out to be a nice vivid red. Somehow managed to avoid a pink Gundam disaster.

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In retrospect, we didn’t really need that much yellow, so I feel like a bottle of mustard would’ve done the job just as well as a sample of yellow paint.

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Not too bad, considering this will be hidden inside the chest bloc with only part of it in view.

P1030130Painting so much blue and red wasn’t particularly fun, not gonna lie.

I dislike how mass painting can be so…messy. (I know, who knew?) Usually when I’m working with Gunpla or whatever, I’m very neat and clean. I try to keep paint spillage and leaks to a bare minimum, if there are any at all. But with this giant thing, it’s ridiculous.

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Paint dripped and got on like everything, the floor, my clothes, my comrade’s face, other pieces…half of that was my fault because I insist on always glomping paint on really thick, so it tends to run and get everywhere. Never had this problem with ‘pla, but I suppose a life-size Gundam torso is slightly clunkier.

I used that red paper in the background of the above picture as a sort of apron for my lap when I sat on a chair. You can see how messy it became.

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Decided it would be a good idea to wear my winter gloves while painting. I love these gloves and have had them for a long time, but they had to be sacrificed and reduced to manual labor operations.

With any luck a run through the washer will take some of the paint off. If not, they’re becoming my permanent dirty-work gear.

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A glimpse of part of my work area…

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…while on the other side my colleague stomps and wades through this.

Our roles in this project are usually me as the taper and he as the designer and parts creator. My comrade does the math and creates the schematics, then transcribes them onto cardboard and cuts them out for me to tape together into the desired piece. Today though, I was in charge of painting as well.

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The schematics for this time’s work. Nothing too extreme, just the legs worked out.

Change of pace – graph paper this time. Each box is supposed to be an inch. As per usual, I think his diagrams and blueprints are pretty amazing. I expected us just to have rectangular prisms as the legs, clap some boxes on and done deal. But he went ahead and made it look fabulous.

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Knee armor cut out and ready to be taped.

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Managed to finish the thigh armors today; they’re very basic in design, mostly just a box with somewhat slanted edges at the bottom. The rear section is a little shorter to accommodate a full knee bend.

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The armor will be held on via a basic friction hold; we made it tight enough to clamp onto my colleague’s thigh without being too loose.

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To make it easily removable, I devised several plans using the Velcro we procured last time. After several failed attempts at making it work, we finally decided to just make them straps on the exterior of the armor, so it basically latches together.

The entire component opens up and then folds back together around the thigh. It’s not the most secure hold, given that it’s just friction, but hey it gets the job relatively done. I’m a genius.

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Calf/lower leg pieces. Had some trouble figuring out these thing’s dimensions, and they’re still incomplete. We’ll finish up in the next session with the legs, including a way to attach and easily remove the lower legs.

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Overall, fabulous progress this time around. The addition of actual paint and the near-completion of the chest bloc is a huge leap forward. Now we just have the legs to finish up, everything else to drown in white paint, and figure out the backpack and head.

In retrospect, there is still a good amount of work left for us…

I hope to be done in 2 – 3 more sessions, with Anime Expo coming up on the 4th of July we’ll be cutting it somewhat close, though it was all predicted as per our timetable.

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Lastly, we got one knee armor done. Upon some time screwing around, we discovered that it fit the face perfectly, actually a lot like the Iron Man faceplate.

While my colleague was messing around with it I stole the Sharpie and…decorated it. Guess our heads are the same widths as our knees.

Read on the rest of the build:

START

Phase 2

Phase 3

Phase 5

Phase 6

Phase 7

Phase 8

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