Saturday, 17 May 2014

Tutorial custom Kiwami Faiz Blaster Accel form yay!

Here's a very short and simple custom (provided you have the necessary tools ;p) to make a nice Kiwami Tamashii Faiz Blaster Accel form!

This is of course a non-canon character since the Blaster form never achieve accel form before but that doesnt mean it can't? So with that concept in mind, lets proceed with the custom :D

First off, use a hairdryer and blow on the figure shoulder and waist joints for 20 seconds. Pull the waist, shoulders and neck joints out. The only area you need to make changes to is actually the chest part but pulling out the arms makes it easier later when you change the chest.

Here comes the fun part. Carefully cut out the front part of faiz blaster's chest portion. Make sure the sides of the chest piece are cut deep enough to later affix the new accel chest piece on it without it being protruding out.

Next, use Oyumaru Resin to replicate Faiz Accel's chest and make an epoxy putty replica of the accel chest (see photo below). Try to make as thin an accel chest replica as possible. This is to allow the putty replica to fit on faiz blaster chest without it being protruding out.

Now once the replica putty accel chest piece dried completely, cut off any portion that is in excess and measure the putty chest piece on the faiz blaster chest to see if it fits nicely. If it doesn't, cut parts either from the putty replica or faiz blaster chest to make them fit properly. Next use epoxy putty to seal up the space underneath the replica putty piece and on top of the faiz blaster chest piece. See photo below. Use the end of a toothpick to stuff the putty into the area and make sure no excess putty restricts the waist joint when it connects back to the abdomen piece.

If you didn't measure the replica piece properly (like me ;p) you may have gaps at the sides between the faiz blaster chest piece and the replica piece. Use putty and sculpt some details on these gaps to close them up.

Also make sure the replica putty chest piece does not hinder the abdomen piece when it connects back to the faiz blaster chest piece so that it allow some abcrunches.

While waiting for the putty piece to dry and stick permanently to the body, start working on the cut off faiz blaster front chest armor.

First cut them into half (see photo below). Next try to cut their underside off as much as possible. This is to allow the front chest pieces to be able to reattach back on top of the putty replica without it bulging out too much as the details on the putty replica push on them.

Ok the next part of the custom is not represented by photos as i forgot to take them ;p. The entire custom was done in 2 days time so it was quite fast. What I did was to make a way to reattach the front chest pieces to the putty replica to allow open and close movement of the front chest pieces to represent normal faiz blaster mode and faiz blaster accel mode.

This is easily achieved by using metal wires as connectors. You need to drill holes on the front chest pieces to poke in the wires and drill holes on the replica putty piece to allow the wire to be inserted on it thus connecting the front chest pieces to the putty replica.

The tricky part is to make sure you drill the holes in the correct spot to allow the connected front chest piece to look right. For example, my first attempt at placing them was done incorrectly (see photo below) the front chest pieces was too 'front' making them look wierd from the side plus it juts out too much in front.
I have to make several attempts at drilling at the right places (see photo below) including drilling a couple of times on the front chest pieces. I wanted to achieve two objectives: (1) that the front chest pieces can be positioned right in front to represent a normal faiz blaster mode and (2) it can also be opened up and lifted up on its shoulders to represent accel mode but high enough at a position that the front chest piece doesnt look too jutted out to the front. Although 2 of the 4 holes you see in the photo below ultimately was not used, they were concealed quite well by the fact that those parts were suppose to be matt black anyway so the holes are hardly visible.
After a number of drilling attempts, I finally realised i can never achieve the above 2 objectives without some kind of complicated connection involving moveable hinges. So I did the next best thing. Instead of 1 hole on the putty replica, I drilled 2: One near the top front part of the putty chest and another one at the top of putty replicae (the 2 holes per sides on the photo below are mistakes i made. The hole at the top of the putty replica can't be seen in the photos unfortunately as I didnt take photo of them ;p) When you want the front chest pieces in normal blaster mode just plug them onto the holes at the front of his shoulder. When you want the front chest pieces on the top of his shoulder, plug them onto the holes at the top of his shoulders.

Now the next and final step is to simply paint the front accel piece. I use Mr Color paint.

The paint sequence is:
1) Super Metallic silver on the lines around the accel chest
2) Clear red on the globe at the centre of his chest
4) Matt black on the exposed mechanical part and the undersides of the front chest pieces
5) Repaint the lines with metallic silver in case the matt black or clear red overlap them
4) Dark iron mixed with silver on certain mechanical parts to differentiate them apart
5) Metallic gold and metallic green on wirings
6) Use a pen liner to line the edges
And we are done. NOTE: the right thing to do is to prime the chest piece before applying the first paint coat which I didnt do ;p

Spray a matt topcoat over the chest and there you go. Enjoy the gallery below and have a good weekend ;)

Very tempted to do a Delta Accel form too but ill probably get bored halfway doing it ;p

I realised later on while taking photo of this guy that those extra holes i drilled that wasnt workable still have their uses. For example, you can now use those holes as connectors to show faiz blaster accel form in various stages of transformation :)

And here is a comparison of the original faiz blaster with the custom faiz blaster accel form.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

SIC Custom Hyper Zabee / Hornet photo gallery and further commentaries :)

Photo gallery! plus as added bonus: my worthless commentary!! joy!
I believe i can flyy... no? what do you mean not these kind of commentary?!
Anyway after many weeks here we are at journey's end. I tried to describe as much as i could on the custom steps plus taking as many photos as i could of each step of the custom and I think I am improving... sorta ;p
So without further ado, here is the photo gallery of the completed SIC Hyper Zabee / Hornet plus my further comments. Enjoy ;)
Time taken to complete this custom (counting the no of days irregardless of the time spent each day, which is usually 2 hours max per day late in the night) would be about 18 days give or take. Most of the time was spent not really doing anything physiclaly but figuring how stuff mix together, plan the steps to take and so on, basically conception and rethinking the designs, plan color schemes etc. All these thinking and planning is important as you will find sometimes you may regret certain sculpts or cuts you made which are irreverseable.

Total costs (estimate based on proportion of actual cost of materials) excluding the cost of punchhopper figure (which cost could varies depending on where you get it) would be:
S$8 for the armored core figure
S$2 for clear putty
S$2 for epoxy putty
S$8 for paint and topcoat
S$2 glue and nails
S$8 stand
S$2 for various minor parts
Total = S$32 before taking into account of punchhopper figure cost.

So lets say I got the punchhopper at S$30. Total custom cost would be S$62 :)

Not that bad considering this is a complicated custom. One thing to note is that there are other costs involved that I didnt include in because I already own certain items necessary for the custom e.g. handdrill, line engraver etc and of course the biggest cost not counted in the custom is my own time cost which is way more expensive esthetically than anything I took into account here but thats besides the point since this is a hobby (unless I wanted to sell this guy that is then it become a major point) :)

So when you see customisers selling their customs (good ones) for S$200, don't scoff at their price and appreciate the massive amount of personal time taken to create just one custom (if he is not mass manufacturing them to sell that is).

Basic Hyper Form:
As mentioned before, I did a grave mistake of making his shoulder pads way too big making it hard to create relevant designs on it relating to Zabee :(

Notice also I left some metallic red on his color scheme. I left just enough of them to act as hints to his Hyper Mode when he reveals his wings.

This photo below shows the discoloration on the eye, a mistake I made when I was coloring the outer layer of the clear eye with clear yellow, the clear yellow dripped into the compound eye putty layer and created those discoloration :(

Also something to note about those giant shoulder pads: when layering putty over them try to make them as thin as possible to avoid enlarging the shoulder pads too much plus having a sore eye of a thick shoulder pad.

Here is how the back looks like without his wings I used punchhopper's shoulder pad horns (added a couple of ball sockets on their underside) as a cover for those sockets at the back of his body.
I usually try to add as much detail as possible to my sculpt eventhough most of the time certain parts are hidden from view such as those vents underneath the giant shoulder pads. The only part I can't really do anything about are the underside of the giant shoulder pads. Due to its location, I find it very hard to add details there without messing up.
If you see the photo below again, you will notice I hsould have sand the giant shoulder pad's inner edges more to avoid those ugly uneven surface :(
Here's how the ugly sockets at the back look like without those covers/wings. I rushed through this part as I assumed it will be forever covered by either the wings or those horns. I didnt want to color the inside of the socket black as it will hinder the joint and eventually those black color will be scrapped off by the ball joint anyway so they'll look ugly forever. Wish will issue black color double ball joints next time instead of grey ones.

Here is Hyper Zabee with Wings

And here's the chest opening mechanism. When sculpting those moveable chest components, I used transparent food wrappers to separate the putty from the inner chest allowing for the moveable chest components to be moveable:

And here is his Giant Stinger weapon before charge up I originally wanted to find a Perfect Zecter modify it so that it splits in the middle with a stinger coming out of it but I couldnt find a spare :(

A lot of time were spent doing all the linings on this guy especially the stinger

The shield can be further improved perhaps if I used clear orange on those hive designs but it was too much work plus clear orange are very hard to handle especially on small lines

Here is all his accesories worthy of the S.I.C name ;D

His main accesories

Again another part I rushed through and didn't make a nice enough sculpt out of it. Anyone can tell me what the hell this is suppose to be?! ;p

A comparison of the original punchhopper figure and the final custom product

Comparison between earlier design and the final custom

As a closing commentary, I would like to admit that more than half the sculpt may not resemble the original Zabee design :( I admit that although I tried to follow a bee-looking sculpt, I got carried away with certain designs to fit my own fit and fancy. So here I'll like to apologise to all Zabee fans out there and I'll try my best in my next customs to stay true to the original designs ... no promises but I'll try haha

And that wraps up Hyper Zabee/ Hornet tutorial :D see you next time!

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Tutorial Custom SIC Hyper Zabee / Hornet Part 4

All right! Im back! This is the final instalment for this tutorial but the length was so long, I didnt wanted to put the photo gallery in this post but rather another post with more commentaries on doing proper customs. So lets get to it!

By now we have finished all the harder and more complicated workstreams leaving some minor touchups etc to finish the custom, which is great! Also, you should realise by now how much work needs to be put into a complicated custom to make it to a level where it is passable!

One important aspect of doing customs that most people don't realise (myself included when I first started this hobby) is that its not about skills or materials, the most important aspect in making customs is PATIENCE!  You must always be patient enough to go through each motion and workstreams in detail and never try to push a custom due to time etc. Always in between workstreams, sit back and reflect "are you doing the right thing adding this detail? Have you gone through all the necessary steps before reaching where you are now? Are you satisfied with the work done so far?". Questioning yourself is very important and you might just find better ways and techniques to make your custom work :D

All right enought with the rantings, time to walk the talk!

In this instalment, we will finalise all the small stuff for Hyper Zabee custom and move on to the painting process.

The small stuff are:

1) That small snail thingie on his belt ;p
2) The Hyper wings on his lower arms
3) His feet mod
4) Knife mod

Small snail thingie mod (would be great if somebody tells me what this is suppose to be ;p)

All right, most likely most of you are wondering what I meant so I'll show you a photo of the original snail thingie on kabuto:

I didnt have an extra snail thingie and I didnt have my kabuto set around to replicate this snail thingie so I have to sculpt it out myself. I must admit I did a pissed-poor job out of it ;p

First thing i did was to get hold of a spare small belt zecter (is that whats its called?? ;p) from the kabuto set to use as a base. I chosed the one with the plug on its underside so that it can be connected to the side buckle of Hyper Zabee's belt. I then painstakingly sculpt each level of details of the snail thingie on the small zecter. For the protruding lever, I first drilled a tiny hole on the small zecter and glued a tiny metal wire on it as a base before covering it with putty. After a few days (there were many level of details on this small thing ;p), you will get the following results:

For the rod on the lever, I separately rolled up a tiny putty rod and let it dry first. Once its dried i glued the putty rod onto the end of the putty lever on the snail thingie like so:

I then colored the whole snail thingie in metallic silver and let it dry. Then I add the clear red and metallic yellow like so:
 Voila we're done. It looks crappy but I didnt really want to spend so much time on such a tiny detail ;p I did try my best to make it nice but I think I failed on this one meh ;p

Shoulder wing mod

Now those armor pads on punchhopper's lower arm are not removeable. Of course if i pull it hard enough Im sure I can remove them but thats not the point, those armor pads are necessary to arm his hive shield and giant perfect stinger. So they got to stay on. This means I need another mean to mount his Hyper Arm wings on his arms. I used a pair of Hyper Kabuto arm wings for this purpose. I cut off the armlet parts from the wings like so:

Then I drilled holes on the undersides of the wings (see action 1 below). I cut off some sprue from leftover gundam sprues to use as connectors. I glue these into the drilled hols (see actino 2 below).

I then drill holes onto punchhopper's lower arm about 45 degree below his arm pads and in between those yellow rings on his lower arms (since those parts are black in color so those holes will hardly be noticeable if at all which means no harm to overall esthetic of the figure, score!), see photo below. These holes act as connector for the sprues glued on the wings to connect on:

Feet mod

Next since I don't have any Hyper Kabuto feet to use, I have to custom them by adding putty details on them like so:
Afternote: I totally forgotten to add details on the front of the boots and only realised it when I was half painting the figure :( For complicated or lengthy customs I strongly suggest you keep a list of things to do and complete that you can tick off to so you won't miss the minor details which undermines the whole custom :(

Knife Mod

A very simple step of getting the kabuto knife to attach to Hyper Zabee's belt.

First drill a hole on the knife and glue a sprue on it to act as connector. Yea thats it ;p

The knife will be connected to that square side buckle on Hyper Zabee's belt like so:

And thats it for the sculptings and details! Here is a comparison of the finished mod Hyper Zabee (pre repaint) and Kickhopper:


Before I go into the repainting steps since a lot of people has asked if I used airbrush to do my paintings, I would like to say I don't use airbrush. I have a cheap mini airbrush from china but I still havent got around figuring out how to use it and clean it, so it has been gathering dust in a corner for the last half a year already ;p Also, airbrush are quite smelly and I have 2 small girls running amok at home. Can't have them breathe in those nasty paint fumes. So no, I don't use airbrush. Its still ok since most of the time when you are doing a S.I.C custom, there aren't really a lot of large smooth surface that require very smooth even paint layer anyway. The only time I see me using an airbrush would be when I custom SIC bikes which I have yet to complete one ;p

Repainting Hyper Zabee doesnt really involve a lot of repaints luckily. But there are a lot of parts that require linings and some depth of details.

First thing to do is to sand the areas that required painting later on especially those metal pieces on his legs.

Then repaint all those parts that require repaints with super metallic silver paint. In case I didnt mention it before, I use Mr Color paint for my customs. I use a primer layer only on the giant stinger and then a coat of super metallic silver over it. The proper thing to do is to prime all areas that require repaints but since all those areas I have already sanded them before plus they are not very smooth and large areas I figure it should be fine without a primer layer since I do do a layer of overcoat over the whole thing at the end. If anyone think this is incredibly wrong, please comment. I'll like to know myself ;p

I usually do 2 layers of super metallic silver to make sure the color sets in and the silver sheen shines through the next couple of paint layers.

Then I color the relevant parts with Super Metallic Yellow. I am still wondering if the previous metallic silver is necessary since this super metallic yellow also gives off an incredible amount of shine but I guess it should be all right as the silver wipes off all trace of the original colors.

And then a layer of clear yellow over the super metallic yellow giving it the gold color look I believe you can actually mix the super metallic yellow and the clear yellow together to skip 1 layer of paint, Ill try that next time:
Always remember to allow each layer of paint to be properly and fully dried before adding the next layer. Drying could take from 5 hours to the whole day depending on your place's humidity and sun light. If you can, try to do paintings on a bright sunny day and always try to avoid rainy days.

It looks real golden now ;p

Next, I was again at a loss as to what kind of color scheme he should have on top the gold. I tried a red edged scheme which seriously didnt work :( I was trying to match Kabuto's color scheme when he is in Hyper form until someone told me that color scheme is unique to Kabuto and not other riders ;p wasted 6 hours of waiting paint to dry pfft the perils of making customs of riders I hardly know and I didnt watch the series either ;p

I finally settled on a matt black edged scheme over the gold which works I guess :/ For the 3 red dots on his forehead, paint matt black on the background which will probably smudge over on the 3 dots. Repaint the red dots with super metallic silver followed by clear red.

For the underside of the giant shoulder pads, I used a darker grey color instead of silver.

Make sure to do touchups on overlapped paint etc.

After that its some serious lining works with a pen liner and a panel line accent color almost every lines on the figure. For certain areas such as his mouth grill, a thicker lining is necessary to accentuate the details. Certain areas where pen liners can't reach, use the panel liner.

After all the paint has dried, I sprayed a gloss top coat over it and thats it! Its finally finished, the next post will be the photo gallery for this guy :) thanks for reading my tutorials! Again any comments and questions are most welcomed! :)