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WraithVerge

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Everything posted by WraithVerge

  1. 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:
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. If possible, a pic would be helpful so we can see exactly what the situation is.
  5. 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.
  6. 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...
  7. 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...
  8. 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
  9. 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:
  10. 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:
  11. Where I am with this project right now:
  12. 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:
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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".
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. The Idiot's Guide to Kitbashing Special Topic: CHROME It's been a while folks, but "poppa's bag with a BRAND NEW BAG!!!" Okay, let's get this ball rolling, eh?! Now, those of us who love Transformers know that (especially on some MP as well as many G1 Transformers) chrome is a major part of many transformers. We all love that metallic look that chrome gives, but sometimes stuff happens. A piece we've had for years will slowly have it rub off, while on others it may crack, peel or flake. And yet still, we may seek to put chrome as a finishing touch on our 'bashes. In any case, when we decide to do so, we run across the fact that chroming can be a royal pain! So, how do we handle this issue? First off, let me list the various means of "chroming" along with the pro's and 'cons (punintended! ) :) Professional Chroming: This is essentially having the piece sent out to be chromed by a company, who immerses it in a tank of chemicals along with the metal needed to chrome it. From my info, plastic parts canot undergo this, but require "vacuum metalizing", which is putting the piece in a vacuum chamber while heated, vaporized metal (aluminum) is deposited onto the piece. PRO: Professional finish, looks awesome CON: Cost ( it can get expensive, especially when you only have a few small pieces), you have to make sure the parts are FLAWLESS or it will show; shipping the part to and back from there or transporting it yourself if local. Also, you have to wait for the place to get to it on their docket of orders to fill. Paint: A number of companies make "chrome paint" out there, all with differing properties and applications. AlClad, Testors (Metalizer), Tamiya, SNJ Spray Metal and Alsa Corp. (Killer Chrome) all make various ways to apply a "chrome-like surface" to a piece. Pro: (Usually) cheaper than having it professionally done, no shipping involved for the piece. Faster, as you don't have to wait on the chroming place to do it. Con: Not as durable as real chrome; also, many products listed as "chrome-like" don't always deliver on their promises and it looks more like silver paint than chrome. Some, like Metalizer, can come right off without a protectant, which can dull the sheen and ruin the effect. Fumes can also be an issue, and sometimes the paint may not adhere well to the plastic, even after dilligent cleaning and sanding. Finally, as mentioned before, not all paints are cost-effective: the "Killer Chrome" method can easily run a big chunk of cash! Then there's the usual issue with handling the part without getting thumb/finger prints in the fresh paint. Note: some systems like Alsa's "killer Chrome" say they are not paint, but a metal deposit system. For the purposes of this tutorial though, since it is in a spray that the consumer uses, I'm treating it as paint. Foil: Different companies make foils that can be applied (such as Bare Metal Foil) that can replicate almost perfectly the chrome or metallic effect you're loking for. Adhesive-backed, they can be applied to the surface and burnished down. Pro: Easy (usually) to apply to flat surfaces; no drying time required. No worries about fingerprints in freshly-applied chrome. CUstom shapes can be cut flat then applied. Con: Complex shapes (recessed areas, intricate detail and rounded shapes) can be difficult or almost impossible to chrome. Also, any imperfections underneath may show through the foil. The foil also is not as durable as real chrome, as it can scratch, tear and sometimes even come off. Appliaction in tight areas can tear the foil or result in wrinkles that ruin the effect. Also, application of the foil can be time-consuming. Finally, Intricate details can become "lost" undet the foil. Now, there is not going to be one single method to handle thisissue, but I believe the last two are the most practical in given situations. I myself prefer Krylon's Spray Chrome and/ or Metalizer Aluminum Plate. The latter especially can buff to a nice, chrome-like effect. One thing I have found is that after buffing, if you apply Krylon Crystal-kote and them buff it again with a dremel tool's cotton wheen (soft ) at LOW speed (anything more than one click is a disaster waiting to happen) can produce a chrome effect that is considerably more durable. I'll demonstrate this in a later post (possibly VIDEO). My newest trick, which I just used on G1 Prime's smokestacks, is using the very reflective side of aluminum foil, contact cement, and an Xacto Knife. Step 1: Clean and sand the piece you plan on chroming. if it has chrome on it that is damaged, ALL of it needs to come off. 2) using mineral spirits as thinner and CONTACT cement, paint the piece with a thin, even layer of cement and LET DRY. if it's still wet, it isn't ready! 3) For Prime's pipes, I used 4 pieces of pre-cut foil. 1 rectangular piece for the upper pipe, one for the lower, a strip for the intermediate bevel between pipes, and a square for the bottom. I applied the first to the upper pipe, then to the lower, then the bottom square, then the intermediat strip. I then took and burnished it down with the knife handle, taking care to press with my fingers to reveal the divots in the lower pipe. I took a small screwdriver and pressed the divots deeper as to bring out the detail. then, i cut the foil at the top of the pipe and burnished the small excess down, even getting it into the hole I had drilled in the top of the pipe! Finally, after trimming the excess, i burnished the stack overall to create the chrome effect. Yeah, the foil has some imperfections (tears and whatnot) here and there. But with how badly Prime's stack's were (almost bare of all chrome), this is a major improvement. You can also redo your transformer's stickers (foil ones) by printing the sticker onto clear decal film, then applying that to a piece of aluminum foil. After using Micro-SOl on it and allowing it to dry, simply clear-coat it and use contact cement to apply it to your figure (or whatever glue you find works). The way I apply foil to recessed areas is to apply it from the center outwards, pressing it down from the center of the area and working to the ehges. The, I use a burnishing tool (steel rod or other item) to smooth and burnish it down into recesses and crevassed. if you experiment with it and develop yout technique, you can get some pretty impressive results. 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 answetr them. -WV
  20. Right? What really gets me is that they essentially killed the entire Marvel G1 universe; while as you said Tripredacus, ignoring G2. Also: if Primus cannot be killed (much like Unicron), but simply lose his presence in that universe, wouldn't he at least send someone from another universe to investigate why that one universe was now seperated from the multiverse? I don't think Primus would take kindly to an impostor (the Dark Matrix Entity) impersonating him. Frankly, after all the rich history and ecerything going all the way back to issue 1, I think this was not a good way to end it. But then again, perhaps Furman left a way to revisit this universe at a later point, as "eons pass" leaves a lot of room. I just think a molten planet and all transformers dead is not what Primus' dream consisted of. And no: I don't like Botanica. if Primus wanted that, why bother with Primordeals or transformers to begin with, Unicron aside? Were plantbots not capable somehow of taking on a monster planet? I like your points as well, MikePrime, about the time period that passed. I think the passage of time altered what Simon Furman wanted to do with the series, and it may have colored him in certain ways. JMHO. I really appreciate your input on this guys; I was expecting a different outcome to ReGeneration One. Anyone else have a take on this?
  21. Note: spolier if you have not read # 100 Just found out how it ends, and frankly, I'm disappointed. All of that, just to see pretty much every character from Cybertron croak, and Primus pretty much dust. That pretty much ruined the Marvel series for me. Think I'll leave it at the last official Marvel one, where they all go home. That said, I know other folks are going to have a different view, and many probably will see it differently from me. Your thoughts (please keep it at the level of issues and not personalities here; my opinion is just that. ) ?
  22. Been a while folks.... Through 3 moves across country, several projects later and a LOT of fussing in between, I've landed back here with a resounding "THUD"! I may be quietly in the background, but if anyone has any questions or comments, fel free to shoot them my way! WV, IN!
  23. I personally wouldn't use either of them. My recommendation is Alclad through an airbrush; that's going to give you the best chrome look for my money.
  24. True on all counts: I knew the pic was the reissue, but it still has the same issue even with the hand change. The point is that by excising the original handle and replacing it with a peg, it corrects the issue. If they were going to change a mold, it should have been the gun, not the hand. BTW: my POC pic is of a reissue, just with original stacks and the hands trimmed down to original specs.
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