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WraithVerge

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Everything posted by WraithVerge

  1. Imagine this... It's November, 1984. About 4:40 PM or so, you were finishing up your day at the receiving department for a local research laboratory. The location is "classified", so you don't discuss it much with anyone, nor even think about it really; it pays the bills, and that's what counts for now. Your job is to unload the shipments to the lab, log them in, and make sure they get to the correct departments. Today, you got a shipment in of a specific "metal" needed for a current government project; you're not exactly sure what the purpose is or the full nature of the project, but that's not your concern. You have a job, and they expect you to stick to it, so that's what you do. Maybe one day, you can get into college and become a researcher, but that dream is looking-- An alarm goes off. The security klaxon begins blaring, as a voice on the loudspeaker sparks to life: "ATTENTION ALL PERSONNEL- LOCK DOWN YOUR WORKSTATIONS AND EVACUATE THE PREMISES TO THE EMERGENCY BUNKERS IMMEDIATELY. THIS IS NOT A DRILL!! REPEAT-" The announcement is cut short. You and the others in receiving begin to lock down everything, getting pallets and containers to the "safe storage" vault, trying to get the most sensitive materials secured before leaving. As you wrestle with a particularly stubborn container, you yell for someone to help you with it. One of your friends comes running over to grab the other end, as some are making their way out of receiving and others are grabbing more containers. Together, you manage to get it onto the flatbed cart and begin to push it over to the vault. You're knocked to the ground by an ear-splitting sound and a flash of white-hot light. As you reel on the ground, holding your head in pain, you feel like throwing up. Your ears ring loudly for what seems an eternity, as you try your best to get your bearings. You can't see a thing, as your eyes register only the white flash from a moment ago. Your ears feel wet; touching them, you're not sure if it's blood or not. Your chest burns in agony, with each breath coming in ragged gasps and each one sends a new crescendo of pain coursing through your body. Your left leg is hurting, and as you try to stand, it hurts too much to put weight on your foot. The ground shakes as you hear a "thudding" getting louder and louder. As best you can, you hobble your way to the safe storage vault to try to close the hydraulic-powered door. You fall to the floor a couple of times, as your leg buckles under your weight. Each step is like fire shooting up your leg, and your breath comes at a premium of effort and discomfort. Your eyes clear enough to register what comes next... Collapsing near the storage bay opening, you see the wall on the far side of the receiving area crumble. Already cracked and damaged from the blast, steel support beams give way as what looks to be a pair of ebony metal hands push through the hole in it, and shove apart the wall. Through the gaping maw widened by them, you can make out a pair of glowing red lights. They come closer, emerging from the shadows behind the wall out into the open bay. They are eyes, belonging to the cruelest of faces that you have ever witnessed in your life. To your utter disbelief and horror, the face and hands are attached to a gigantic figure that strides purposefully through the opening that was just torn through the wall. For the brief moment between it's entrance and the department lights beginning to flicker and dim, you make out a roughly 30-foot tall robot. You begin to wonder if maybe you're hallucinating due to a concussion from the explosion, but as it begins to move into the bay, its' footsteps reverberate through the thick concrete floor and shake you to the core of your soul. In desperation, you drag yourself behind a nearby pair of 55 gallon steel drums, as what little illumination coming from the now-sparking overhead lights only serves to heighten the terrifying visage of this metal monster. It's red eyes set deep into their metal face, they dart about, scanning intently the layout of the receiving area. To your horror, they lock onto the stirring form of your friend, who had been unconscious until now. The metal behemoth moves toward him, and with a burst of unexpected speed, grabs him in one of his fists. "WHERE IS THE ALLOY, FLESH CREATURE?" You watch in disbelief as the giant tightens his grip on your friend; he lets out a scream as you hear him struggle to breathe. "I-- don't know which alloy you want-- we have SEVERAL--" The metal monster brings him closer to his face, standing to full height as he does. "THE EVIDIUM ALLOY YOU JUST RECEIVED TODAY, HUMAN!" he bellows, the sound reverberating off the walls of the receiving dock. "We--didn't get a chance to log it in yet..." your friend gasps, "if we have it--it's somewhere--on the floor...". His face begins to turn a deep red, then purple as every breath is a fight for survival. "THEN I SHALL LET YOU GO..." the giant says, releasing his grip on your friend. From 30 feet in the air. Your friend plummets to the cold concrete floor, the sickening snap of bone and sinew amongst the wet "thud" of impact as he collides with the pavement. The image of his twisted body lying there, his chest rising and lowering shallowly, burns itself into your mind. But the worst is yet to come. The towering robot begins to stride towards the secure vault; as he does, your friend's body lies in his path. You think for a moment to try to go over to him to pull him to safety, but your own injuries now remind you with renewed flaring of pain and agony that such a thing is highly unlikely. And you look up just in time to see the giant as he is almost over your friend. With one step, its' foot lands atop your friend's body. A final scream of agony ... You cry out in sheer horror and revulsion, turning away from the scene. Unable to take any more, you lurch towards the vault door, driven by the unbearable sight you just witnessed. You shove the pallet of metal with the strength you have left, a lightning bolt of pain shooting throughout your left leg. You hit the button to close the vault door, and then seeing the giant striding right towards you, you dive into the vault before the door clangs shut and the vanadium-steel locking bars snap into place. You hear the hum of electromagnets come online as the magnetic seal system activates. It may be days before anyone finds you in here, but you think...you pray.. that the giant cannot breach that door. You drag yourself to the far end of the vault, hiding behind one of the larger containers. You feel safer there than right near the door. Then you hear it...the creaking of metal. You look at the vault door, only to see it begin to warp and bend. You struggle to comprehend the sheer amount of strength needed to do such a thing, even with all the reinforcement. The door groans violently, as you see the same metal hands begin to come past the safety seal and bend the locking flange. Your mind races... if you hid in one of the containers, it may not care as long as it got the metal. Remembering that there is a specific tool used to open them, you being look around the vault and happen to see it just a few feet from you. As you move to get it, the vault door violently lurches, then vanishes as the robot successfully tears it from its' hinge and casually tosses it aside. As it makes its' way inside, it looks around the vault, taking several long moments to discern between differing containers. You take the opportunity to try to reach the tool. But as you drag yourself to where it was, you cannot find it. You search frantically, praying that you can grab it before the giant turns its' gaze back towards you. Then, as you are about to give up and try to dart back behind your former hiding spot, it falls right in front of you. You pick it up, just in time to look up and see the giant standing above you, with a strange oblong "gun" mounted on its' arm, pointed directly at you. It's glowing crimson eyes piercing your very soul, it says in an almost condescending tone: "IS THIS WHAT YOU SEEK?" As the end of the cannon glows brighter and brighter, you close your eyes and bow your head. You know what's coming next...
  2. Those labels look about as decent a set as the ones for the original '84 G1 toy.
  3. I wonder if they're planning on doing Optimal Optimus?
  4. I had this one back in the 80's; unfortunately, it met a sad end: After some thought and quite a bit of work, I built an all-new custom version: In progress pics:
  5. Moved a couple more times (including most recently back to my home state!), trained in IT, and did a few more projects. Doesn't seem like all that long ago it was 2004; the talk of all the sites was MP-01 at that time! Now we're on what, MP-3,298,292 and 3/4? :lol:
  6. Prices and scalpers. I can't afford 99 percent of what's coming out, and for what I can, scalpers ensure I don't get it.
  7. Recently, I got the bright idea to make a tech spec for my custom TF Character, JackKnife. While doing some refinements in Photoshop, I got to thinking about also doing a custom box. Well, managed to get both done. Box: Tech Specs: See what you think.
  8. If possible, a pic would be helpful so we can see exactly what the situation is.
  9. Okay, I'm not going to keep trying to update here and look like a "one man show" with no replies. If you want the latest news on this project, please visit this topic on TFW2005. Thanks, -WV.
  10. UPDATE: I modified Prime's waist to include the clear yellow sections as seen on MP-10. The process: 1) Drilling/ cutting openings for clear pieces: 2) Create detail panels to back the clear pieces: 3) Installation of panels: 4) Cutting/ shaping of clear waist pieces (for this I used Plexiglas): 6) After painting the waist black (it takes the silver paint better than bare plastic), begin painting silver around the clear pieces: 7) The waist after refinishing: And where the project stand as of right now: At this point, most of the modifications I wanted to make have been done, but there's still several items and issues to pursue. However, I think this is beginning to approximate MP-10 in several ways. I just need to work on the alt mode to smooth it out, and some touch-up/ finishing work in addition to the stuff that remains to be done. Stay tuned...
  11. UPDATE: modified the robot-mode grill. Step by step: As you can see, when in truck mode, there's some space between the grill and the wheel blocks: So, I used this to my advantage, to put in the grill additions. Step 1 was to grind slots in the grill back to accept the extensions: Then, glue the extensions in so they would keep the grill level with Prime's chest. This also meant scraping all the chrome off so I could get an even finish on the whole thing: Next, I had to paint the whole thing black, as silver/chrome paint doesn't cover bare plastic too well: Then, applying the silver paint: After the pics I've posted so far, I then used pearlescent paint and clear iridescent glaze to finish it, I'll have pics of that a bit later on (the preview pic I posted earlier doesn't have the last 2 paints on it). Stay tuned...
  12. Okay folks, time for annother installment: The Idiot's Guide to Kitbashing: Staying the Course Now, in the world of kitbashing, sometimes we can get pretty discouraged. We can get folks who say things like" I wouldn't do that, you'll break it", or the typical "that looks dumb", or even "That will never work!!!" Alternately, we can get discouragement from within, from the "bats in our heads" that may say some of the same things. Or, we look at a project, and we get daunted because we know what it will take to accomplish our goals with it. Discouragement is never hard to find; it's always waiting to find us, and it's never very far away. The question is: how do you fight it? While we all have our own ways to do so, one thing is in common: we all need to learn to stop listening to the voices of discouragement. Recently, my own wife wanted me to stop work on a project, because she was "afraid I would break it". Well, after completing it, she was impressed and apologetic for trying to stop me. Many times, folks just mean well when they do so, and don't really want to make you miserable. They just don't want to see you get hurt, or end up upset because a project went sour. Then there are others who just want to dump cold water on you for whatever reason (jealousy, "sour grapes", underwear a couple of sizes too small, etc.) The thoughts we often get in our heads are usually the result of the echoes of those who, for whatever reason, try to dissuade us from our project goals. So, all that said, I developed a few ways to keep discouragement out: 1) Work in private: I have found that one of the best ways to combat discouragement is to not let anyone see me working on a project. This way, i don't get the issue of "dissenting voices" that so often attempts to derail my work. It can be tough, but it's better to simply let your project sit until you have time where no one will bother you, rather than have someone try to interrupt you with opinions. 2) Don't show it online until its' finished: Often, I'll keep pics offline until the project is already 3/4 of the way done, then I'll start posting pics of it. 3) Take charge of your own mind: You don't have to be a slave to your thoughts; just because they race around in your head doesn't mean that they are correct. Start telling those voices to "SHUT UP"; for me, prayer works for that. 4) Ignore the dissenters: Despite your best efforts, sometimes there will just be those who will say stuff about your work just to be a royal pain. Frankly, they can go find a nice, cold lake and do a few laps in it! If someone is extremely vocal about your work, isn't being nice about it, and simply won't leave you alone, then be kind enough to tell them that YOU have had enough, that if they can do better, they are welcome to try, and to leave you alone. If they refuse, then kindly show them the lake, and "help them get in". NO ONE has the right to discourage you on a project. Yes, they may care about you, but if they do care, you need to ask them to TRUST you and your skills. If they are your friends, they need to respect your efforts. If they are neither of the first two, then they need to leave you be. Keep in mind the motto of the British SAS: "Who dares, wins." Well, that's if for this installment of "The Idiot's Guide to Kitbashing." As always, if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to ask them here and I'll do my best to answer them. -WV
  13. I would post all the pics I have for modifying my MP-01 to MP-10 status, but with the limit on how many pics you can post here at a time, it would take me forever! So, I'll post the results I have so far: where it stands now:
  14. WraithVerge

    G1 Ark

    Okay, wanted to post this here... What I started with: The end result: An image I threw together quickly: Currently building Mt St. Hillary for this; I'm drilling a hole into it so the ship can be placed in there:
  15. Where I am with this project right now:
  16. working on my scratchbuild of the Ark and Mt. St. Hillary, I was inspired to an idea that I'm sure many have considered but I haven't seen anything done. Cybertron. Yeah, there's the Primus/ Cybertron version from "Transformers Cybertron", but what I wanted was the image that I first saw in my youth... ...this: (image courtesy of OptimusTimelord, TFW2005)) Now, I know the differing debates and problems intrinsic with this version, so I'm going to address them as well as to lay out my methodology for handling them. 1) Scale: In the Marvel comics, Cybertron is described as "Saturn-sized", while the cartoons show it with buildings that are either HUGE, or would make Cybertron smaller than the moon. Other continuities show it in differing scales and whatnot, as well as the movie version, when coming through the space bridge in DoTM, was massive compared to Earth. How to handle it: First off, with the size of the Transformers themselves, as well as the scale of their war, I'm tending towards a planet larger than Earth. probably not Saturn-sized, but a fair bit bigger. As for the features seen from space in the pic, I will have those, but I'm considering the buildings to have been exaggerated for effect. I'm probably either going to scale them down a bit, and/or render them as city-states of their own on a massive scale. 2) Detailing: as mentioned, the buildings on the surface seem out of scale for such a large planet (if one goes with the Marvel comic's size claim). Later versions in the G1 cartoon are somewhat different, and do not seem to hold a consistent basis for landmarks. Additionally, the other side of the planet is not shown (to my recollection), further inhibiting the detailing. How to handle it: As I mentioned earlier, I plan on down-scaling the buildings a bit, as well as showing them more as city-states of themselves. Handled subltely, no perceivable difference that would throw off the model will be noticeable. As for the opposite side of the planet, extrapolating from what we see, one more large metal "plate" would probably be present. Designing that to match the other "plains" and surrounding it with "city sections" as per the rest of the model would suffice to fill in the rest of the piece. 3) Surface: In G1, Cybertron has a silver, metallic surface. This silver seems almost grey at times, like an aluminum that has partially oxidized. In other versions, the surface looks medium to dark grey, and even within G1, the surface looks different colors at different times. How to handle it: Once I finish the construction, the inner chasms will be painted almost black, working up to medium silver near the surface, in order to do "forced shading' and give the planet some scale. The city sections will be done in silver, the given a "wash" of black to pick out detail. Then, a drybrushing of light silver for highlights with some colors for lights. The "metal plains" will be aluminum foil attached via contact cement (dull side up), then burnished down for a smooth look. Panel lines will be put in with an xacto knife, then a wash of black to accentuate them. Okay, enough talk. Now to show what I've done so far. Note: this is a progression of my progress from raw materials to where I am now: Part II:
  17. Well... Ended up moving, got married, parents died, almost died myself, lost our house, moved again, almost lost my wife to pneumonia and a bad hospital, moved yet again, got laid off, and we're looking to move ONE MORE TIME! At least I don't live in the Northeast anymore.
  18. I know this is quite late to a topic almost a year old, but my advice is to leave the cap off and let the paint air for a bit. Being acrylic, the water in it should evaporate a bit and thicken it. ZJust keep stirring it and don't let a skin form.
  19. Another thought: If Rodimus' energey is what creates this new generation of Cybertronians, and Rodiumus just got through fighting a dark entity, does this mean then that he has essentially become primus and this whole series is essentially reset back to the beginning? Which means... this plays out over and over for all eternity? And if this is true, does that mean that Rodimus is now the conduit for Primus in this continuity? Wash, lather, rinse, repeat. Still don't like it. Sounds like an endless loop.
  20. Also, working on a plate for Optimus that would fold into the open space in his back in robot mode. Trying to make this part of his transform so it isn't an "add-on".
  21. I've read ReGen One sporadically, but I paid serious atttention to the last issue. I also feel that there was more that could have been done with that universe.
  22. I would say to try Metalizer Aluminum first, with the buff-coat-buff technique. You really have to buff it after the clearcoat a second time to really get the effect, and it can go wrong in a hurry. But if you're careful, it works great.
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