Operation Virtue: Phase 7

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The deadline is coming up way too fast, and today’s work was rather rushed since my colleague and I are in full blown lets-get-this-shit-done-now mode.

So in the past few days, we basically both realized that there is still a good amount of stuff to get done, and considering our work ethic when we work together, it would be nigh-impossible to finish on time if we didn’t take some of the work individually.

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As a result, my comrade was left with the task of designing and creating the helm that would become the head of the RX-78-2.

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This entire thing was pretty much all on him; I didn’t help or have any involvement in it at all until he bought it over to be finalized and painted. The general shape and design was all his work alone. In the above pictures, I’ve already added a huge mess of duct tape to the cranial dome section to get rid of most of the ugly seam lines though.

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Design-wise, this entire segment was apparently a bitch to make. The fact that most of it is actually uneven and not quite symmetrical is testament to that, but that’s okay. We’re crunching on time, and there’s really no more time for precise measurements and calculations. (Hence the lack of schematics in recent phases)

The dome of the head itself was apparently the most challenging to create. From what I can gather, my colleague just used a whole mess of sliced strips and put them together to meet a circle at the top and called it a dome. It’s slightly uneven, but it gets the job done. The raw duct tape work before I got to it left a little something to be desired, but that’s okay…

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While my companion designed and built the head, I was left in charge of the backpack component. We actually had huge plans for the backpack section, revolving around making it so that it opens and can actually be used to store things during the convention and such. However, upon some research, the RX-78-2’s backpack is actually really small and compact. I figured we’d have a hard time getting a lot of room in there.

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And yet, it still had to be done.

I went ahead and based the opening mechanism itself off of the RX-79(G) Ground Gundam’s opening backpack, with the top and bottom both opening up. You don’t actually get a huge mess of storage space, but it will suffice for some things…

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…like a water bottle or two in each thruster pocket. I miraculously made them to fit a bottle or a can of pop exactly. The backpack is basically partially a cup holder, and we can use the remaining top section to store sandwiches. My colleague will be our personal food dispenser during the convention.

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Other than those pieces, however, today’s work revolved around a lot of painting. It was horrible and extremely painful. The sheer amount of white used was catastrophic and absolutely disgusting.

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The paint itself is extremely runny and gets just about everywhere. The red butcher paper we used as a painting surface to avoid painting my garage floor white worked against us in that it started sticking to the painted pieces, leaving red paper stuck on them.

Overall painting just wasn’t a fun process. The fact that duct tape sucks as a surface to paint on without prior priming just made it that much worse.

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However, despite those dark times with the ridiculous paints, a light appeared in the darkness right around our lunch break…

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My order of three Master Grade kits from Crunchyroll came in today; very excited.

I’ve coveted these kits for a while now, especially Strike, and have planned to pick them up at AX prior anyways, but they just so happened to be on clearance on Crunchyroll the other day, so I said, “meh, I’ll save money anyways, might as well right now.”

It’s good to save money.

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Anywho, back to work…here’s the head with the forehead crest and v-fin attached. They don’t look that amazing or proportional, we know, but it’s the best we could do.

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I also went ahead and made more of the cool-looking mechanical circle pieces to attach to the arms. We have them for the knees and ankles, might as well put them on the elbows too to keep a uniform look throughout.

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Backpack thrown on and drowned in that dark gray, almost blue paint.

I’m a little bummed that the thrusters turned out to just be circles, I missed the chance to make them look cone-ish and thruster-like. Ah, well. They’ll be painted red for the inner rims and black for the actual inside.

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THIS DAMNED CROTCH PIECE.

I swear, we had way too much trouble putting the red on this piece than we should have. For some reason, the red just always came out runny, disgusting, pooled, mixed with the white next to it, made pink…it was just horrid.

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First coat of that mustard yellow on the skirt areas. Looks pretty good…

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Final coat. May not be able to see much of a difference in the pictures, but the paint is much more solid on the final coat than the second, and leave less brush strokes.

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The head glomped in white. Both my comrade and myself dreaded painting this thing, since it was pretty much all duct tape, and that surface seems to have a passion for deflecting paint…but it worked out pretty well in the end.

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Lots of white getting glomped on. It’s honestly not the best color you want to paint a lot of. Requires so many coats, it’s ridiculous…

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One of the worst parts with the paint is that it sometimes screws with our velcro systems and even some of the armor attachments. We had problems with the knee armor falling off because it wasn’t secured properly and the paint started weighing it down considerably.

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My colleague, hard at work with his thinking cap on.

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As per usual, the workspace is a mess, even more so with the ridiculous amount of paint today.

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One of the final pieces of armor we had to create today, the ankle armor. Figuring out how to attach this thing was a Knightmare though. We worked with several methods, but given our rushed pacing didn’t have much time to think it through with a method that would prove to be sound. Eventually though, we did find one.

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First coat of white on the attached ankle armors. My colleague basically devised a nice little sliding system where part of the ankle armor just sits into a slot on the leg, and stays there. That way it would be able to open up and allow for leg entry.

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Went ahead and used smaller brushes and my classic acrylic paints to add a little detail to some of the pieces. I honestly think those circles are a great touch to the suit, and make it much less vanilla and plain than it otherwise would be.

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And finally, I decided to have light piping for the forehead camera areas, so I went ahead and dug out the clear plastic container that my new earphones came in yesterday, and proceed to cut those to size to fit into the head.

You can barely see the piece on the back in the above picture, but that will be painted clear red and taped in, along with the forehead piece. Theoretically, it should give the same light piping effect used on Gunpla.

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All in all, today was pre-finalizing. We’ve gotten a lot of the bulk work done, the next (and last) session tomorrow will see everything come together for good. Paint will dry, fittings will be made, and the Gundam will truly stand tall, fully armored and equipped for battle at Anime Expo.

Read on the rest of the build:

START

Phase 2

Phase 3

Phase 4

Phase 5

Phase 6

Phase 8

2 thoughts on “Operation Virtue: Phase 7

  1. Ah! Duct tape and cardboard: we’re working on a helmet right now with duct tape and cardboard – I feel your pain! But, despite all the frustrations, it looks really awesome! The details you guys took the time to do are really paying off. Can’t wait to see this on it’s feet!

    • Hey thanks! Haha I took a look at your guise’s work; very eerily similar! Thanks for the support, hope to live up to your expectations~

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