Operation Virtue: Phase 8

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After 8 sessions together with my partner, after 8 days of working together non-stop, we’ve finally tasted the fruit of all our efforts. All our hard work has paid off. How can I say this with such certainty?

My comrade actually looks like a Gundam with the armor on, and not a giant FedEx shipping box.

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Today was another short session, with my partner arriving at around 1PM, just like in Phase 6.

Mostly painting done this time around as well; just about all the parts construction was finished on the actual suit. We had some accessories that were planned and made today too though.

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My colleague went ahead and cut himself a beam rifle. First coat of gray laid on above.

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We actually had some trouble with some mechanisms of the rifle, even though it seems pretty simple. The second rotating handle was handled by yours truly, as I had to devise a system for it to actually rotate…

The scope is stationary, though we had some trouble (or at least my comrade did) figuring out backwards from forwards and left from right when putting the thing on.

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Finished up the backpack, confirmed that the flap opening system works. Ready to store sandwiches.

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I’m pleased with how the thrusters turned out paint-wise, but as I mentioned in Phase 7, I’m not as overjoyed with the general shape.

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Just more painting; I dreaded painting the giant clown feet at first, but upon giving it a whack, it was actually rather easy. Surprisingly, it wasn’t that difficult to have both red parts match.

Unfortunately though, we realized today that the feet are fundamentally the wrong shape. They have an extra flat panel in the front whereas the actual RX-78-2’s feet are sharp at the front. It was already too late to change it so we just rolled with it.

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Forehead gem painted a nice vibrant semi-gloss red. It’s finally starting to look like a legitimate Gundam head…

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The camera sensor areas were painted a nice clear red, though our original light-piping idea won’t quite work. The curve of the head inside is a little too high, which doesn’t allow for much light to pass through, even though both camera sensor areas are connected.

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The chin piece to the facemask. Looks like a little ball of blood, but on the actual face it turned out nicely.

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Inside pieces of some of the armors had to be painted black, including the shoulders, ankles, and knees. Gives it a nice classy feel. (Not really, but we can hope)

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The innards of the knee armor weren’t fun to paint, given the deceptively large amount of surface area to cover inside, so I went ahead and poured some paint directly from the can onto the piece. The result was a new level of glomping paint on; it got messier than usual, though all was fixed and well.

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Crotch piece finished; I love the look of the yellow crest on the red. It actually looks legitimate.

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Rear skirt armors fitted together to form my comrade’s @$$.

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Another key component that we had to complete today was actual fitting of the armor onto my comrade’s body, to make sure everything went on and stayed on.

The above shot is actually me wearing the front waist armor, and I took that picture myself. Imagine the awkward selfie pose. Now you can’t unsee it.

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All the skirt armors are going to be fitted with Velcro and suspended form my colleague’s belt. A problem we ran into, however, is that the side skirts are a little wider than we anticipated, and bump and grind against the front and back sections.

The entire contraption, when attached, is honestly very precarious and delicate…I can only hope the Velcro will do its job.

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But hey, by the end of the day, when all is said and done, we suited my comrade up and it worked. He became Gundam. Setsuna, be jealous.

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The first fitting of the full armor was absolutely hilarious. The size of the torso and giant shoulders, coupled with my partner’s average-sized human head resulted in the fact that he could basically only look forwards and upwards.

His neck was barely able to tilt downwards, and even if it could, he’d just see a giant blue torso. Turned to the side, he was greeted by giant white shoulder pads. As such, when I was fitting the rest of his body with the armor, he couldn’t see what I was doing, and as a result had a minor panic attack. Hilarity ensued.

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The most amusing part was when I had my comrade stumble around blind while fully armored up. Notice in most of the above pictures, you can’t actually see his eyes in the helm. That’s because it’s actually his forehead showing in the eye slot. Our first attempt at fitting the helmet on resulted in…a tight fit, to say the least.

The ten minutes of screaming and hysteria that ensued went something like this…

 

“Just stop, don’t move! Trust me, you’re in good hands!”

“OH GAHD I CAN’T SEE, I’M GOING TO DIE. WHERE IS MY FOOT, I CAN’T FEEL MY FACE”

*trips over duct tape roll*

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In the end though, the armor was still incomplete by the time we put it all on him. The lower legs specifically still showed major problems with fitting, since we hadn’t installed straps to have it secure to my colleague’s leg yet.

The ankle armor was also a complete failure, as the system my partner devised to hold them to the legs weren’t very fabulous.

I’ve since fixed all the fitment issues on the legs and ankles on my own time, and they should fit my colleague well, though they are still untested.

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Is he cute yet.

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At the end of the day, getting out of the armor was evidently absolute freedom. I can only imagine what it feels like being holed up in a giant expense of cardboard, let alone for 3 days at an all-day convention.

Overall, the armor is done. We still have a few minor touch-ups to make, but today was the last day we’d work together. I’ll be taking care of the rest of the details on my own, while my partner will build the beam sabers independently.

In two days’ time, on Thursday, July 4th, 2013, the Gundam will be ready.

Read on the rest of the build:

START

Phase 2

Phase 3

Phase 4

Phase 5

Phase 6

Phase 7

2 thoughts on “Operation Virtue: Phase 8

  1. That looks so awesome! Did it come together better than you thought? There were some moments where you seemed very nervous. Congrats on the achievement! I’m sure it’s going to go over so well when people see it in action!

    • Haha actually ironically, most of the pieces worked better on their own when we were test-fitting! We ran into some obstacles with the full armor on, but they can be fixed relatively easily. Thanks for checking us out, we certainly were pretty unsure at some parts! Glad you like it 🙂

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