Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Tajadol why you so expensive?? AAAHH!!! Wat do you mean Bandai is coming out with something very similar called Tajadol Ankh!?!

Yup this was announced a couple of days ago. Bandai is now coming out with a Tajadol with wings and a few changed assorted armors. This is the final version for Tajadol Ankh. It is a LIMITED version zzz...

Its Bandai's way of trying to milk more money now that Tajadol price is way over the ceiling. This will have a couple of impacts (1) Tajadol prices may drop (yaay for those who has not bought it yet) and (2) the Tajadol Ankh will probably be a limited release and its price will go sky higggghhhhhhhhh

Time to buy me another normal release Tajadol it seems XD

check the photo below to see where are the altered armors for this version (those parts I circled in yellow linings):

Hero Saga Kamen Rider V1-S custom (Agito series)! V for Victory, S for Sex! No, Im just kidding ;p

I fell in love with G3 G4 when I first saw it many years ago. They are a kind of kamen rider (sort of) with  robotic features. Enjoy some photoshopped pics of them i found somewhere on the net ;p

This means I love robots too. Yup, love them Soul of Chogokins, Aoshimas, and SRCs, just gotta love them. Can't afford Fewtures but one day.... Anyway, so when I came across these 2 G series riders that look sooooo robotic, soooo militaristic and with so much cool details and accesories, I knew I need to buy them one day. Never mind that I learnt later that they arent true riders but more like replicas of Agito.

Fast forward few more years later, I got me 4 sets of em ;p Not that I wanted to hoard, 2 sets were so that I can have another body base to fit in the extra armor that came with it. I then sold off the extra G4. Another 2 sets coz I wanted to make stuff with it. I have already made 2 customs by then, one was G3 mild so that I save money and avoid buying the limited. The other was G1 coz i thot he looks so cool in the hero saga book althought I wasnt skilled enough to make a perfect copy per the book.

I later bought another set coz I wanted to make G5. However, I found another guy's custom who made a very cool black color non canon G series rider, a gun/cannon variant, see photo below. It looked so cool I wanted to make something like it. I didnt have parts for that gun of his so I decided to make something slightly different. Instead of a gun/cannon variant, I decided to make a sniper variant. Hence V1-"S".

First thing I did was of course tried to gather materials for it, mainly the gun. The rest of the mod can be done via putty etc. The initial materials I was going to use was the below:

Later I found a nice piece of a 1/6 sniper gun which works better for my custom. If i remember correctly it costs me SGD6 or SGD8 for the gun. Not expensive and I was happy with the length of it. The only odd thing on the gun was the trigger area where it might look a tad too big for a 7 inche figure. No biggie. By the time i stuff him choked full of details, it will hardly be noticeable.

Step 1 : The first thing to do is also the hardest. Which is how to go about changing G4's head into the one I saw in the custom. It wasn't hard actually just very tedious to do all the sculpts in one layer or part at a time. The harder part is how to make the visor (see photo above for the large eye visor) attached to the head. I start by cutting off G3's antennas. I kept those antenna handy to be inserted later on other part of his head and his gun.

Step 2: I then start to add details to it piece by piece. This is called layering i think. I will sculpt one part and let it dry before continuing with the next part. Its so that I won't mess up finished sculpted parts while sculpting the next part. I also start adding some minor sculpts on the chest. The idea was to make it to appear his left side of his chest has more padding/ armors so that he can operate his large gun better.

Step 3 : For his grill vent looking mouth piece, I cut off SIC Zolda's mouth for it (see photo above) (you dont need to do that if you don't have a spare Zolda. Just use Oyumaru resin to recast a vent like mouth to attach on G3's head. For usage of Oyumaru resin pls look at my earlier post). To make the protective grills in front of his mouth, I used 2 bent wires and glue it in place and then supported it later with putty sculpts.

Step 4: I also realised that there is a great opportunity here to make the visor moveable to reveal his inner eyes. That would be so cool but how? I could connect the visor with screws at the side of his head like i did for my SkullRider custom (Ill do a custom for that some time later) but that will probably spoil the look on the side of his head. The visor must be seen to be "floating" in front of his eyes to make it more interesting.

Then I realised another trick when I recalled the first time i see a figrue that has exchangeable hands. When I was a lot younger, I was mystified on how the figures with such small hands suddenly can change their hand's articulation. I dont see where they have joints for them. Then I realised its very simple, they simply provide a few sets of hands in different articulation position. So simple and elegant!

And thats what I applied on the visor. I don;t mean i make 2 visors but I made connection between visor and head that is actually not really moveable yet I can display the head with either visor covering the eyes or open visor with the inner eyes visible. The way to do it is crude but you won't be able to see it when the visor is on; I drilled two holes on the head. One on the middle of his forehead and one between his eyes. The hole on his forehead should be drilled at a vertical angle of 45 degree to allow the connection to the visor to look to be tilted back over his head.

Step 5: Next was to make the visor. I used a thin plastic sheet as a base. I cut it in the shape of the visor. I then glue a thin and bent wire over the plastic sheet to retain the plastic sheet at a position that is bent in the shape of G3's head and to make the visor tougher once its is completed sculpted. See how it looks like in the photobelow.

Step 6: I then add putty on the plastic sheet which will cover the wire. It will start to look like the photo below. Now this is important, you got to drill a small hole at the back of the visor into the plastic sheet and putty, not a very big hole, just enough to allow metal wire to be inserted into it. Glue a metal wire into the hole you drilled. This metal wire will act as a connecting joint between the visor and the head. It will be inserted into the holes you drill on his head on the forehead or between the eyes. If you want the visor to be closed, insert the wire on the hole between his eyes. If you want the visor to be opened revealing his internal eyes, insert the wire on the hole on his forehead. See some photos down below on how it will look like in open and closed positions.

Step 7 : I then add even more details on the visor by adding in a putty sculpted piece on the top of the visor and a smaller putty piece below. To make those insect eyes on his visor, I drill holes on the putty surface of the visor. I also cut slits that crosses each drilled holes. See photo below. You can also see the side of the head and the top are slowly being sculpted into shape.
Step 8:
I flatten the surface of the back of his body by cutting off all the bits of armor poking out of his back (these bits of armor were later glued on the gun to add more details). I then drilled two holes on his back to fit in a jet pack I got from my spare Faiz Blaster. I didnt even need to repaint the jet pack as the color scheme fits in very well. I used color remover to remove some of the red paint from the transparent parts. Also added bits and pieces of extra armor i cut out earlier and glue them to various parts of his body to make him even more detailed.

Step 9: While I was sculpting the other parts, I have made a lot of tiny round putty bits and let them dry. I later insert and glue these small round putty bits onto the holes I drilled on the visor. Repaint the visor silver and the small rounded eyes red. Do linings on them. Repaint the entire head in the metallic silver and matt black scheme. Voila done :) If you notice fro mthe photo below, I have also used one of G4's small gun, cut and shorten him and insert him as a shoulder gun for my custom. The antenna I stick on the side of his head is one of G3's original antennas I cut off earlier.

Open visor position
Closed visor position
Step 10 : I used a GFF gundam shield i dont need and replace G4's shield with the gundam shield. I had to make a stud attachment for the gundam shield to attach to the arm. Repainted the shiled and add some wordings on him.  Repainted him from white and blue color scheme into silver and black color scheme. Add some wordings on the shield surface. I originally wanted to name him SR-1 for Stealth Recon 1 unit. I later change his name into V1-S for Victory1-Stealth unit. This is because his helmet resembles the Victory series than the G series in the Agito storyline.

Step 11: You are now almost done with the figure except to repaint his entire figure from half black grey and blue grey into pure matt black and metallic silver color scheme. I removed the SR-1 wordings from his shield and his right shoulder pad and replace it with V1-S wordings. I also add some red paint on the left handside of his shoulder armor, the spider eyes on his visor and the tiny "G" on his breast insignia. Finally black linings to correct those over painted parts. We're not done yet coz the most important piece for this figure has yet to be complete: his sniper gun.

Step 12 : Now we return to the simple 1/6 gun i bought earlier. I have previously cut off a lot of details from G4's body and head and I now used this on the gun. I also removed parts of G3's diecast gun like his scope and his ammo clips to be used as part of the sinper gun. I also used the cut off head antenna for the gun as well. See below for all the stuff i stick on the sniper gun to give him tons of details that it is lacking originally. I also start adding putty on the gun for later sculptings as you can see in the photo below.

Step 13: The gun went through a few designing changes such as the part where i designate where there will be vent like designs on it. Initially I wanted to sculpt the details out using putty. I later decided to use plastic sheets instead by cutting vent like holes in them with my blade and handdrill. I added a lot of other details using bits and pieces of materials i cut off from G4's back, his head, his guns, and even bits and pieces of resin materials from unused parts of other SIC figures. I also written "SR-1" all over the gun, i left these as is but added "V1-S" on other parts of the gun to compensate for the name change.

Step 14: To add more realism to the gun, I painted the end of the gun's scope silver and then drip some transparent putty on the end of the gun's scope. Once the putty dries, I then recolor the transparent putty with clear red. I then weather most parts of the gun from grey to metallic silver.

It took about 2 weeks to finish this custom, mostly to think about how to make the visor and design the gun plus the lapse time to let the sculpts dry before putting on the next part.

So, thats it, Kamen Rider V1-S. There is no such character in the kamen rider Agito series but i would like to imagine one day they develop this armor unit to help G3 to fight off monsters :) I still have 1 more G3 left and I will make G5 with it once I have more time and gathered all the materials i need ofr it :D

Until then, pls enjoy the photos of this finished custom :) I forgot to add earlier that I added a handle (from Zolda's gun) on the gun as the photo below so that he can hold the gun in another way plus a wire that can connects the gun on G4's head or his belt. The wire was from my old broken house phone.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

S.I.C Kabuto fever's gonna come soon ;D
Coming soon in Sept 2013, S.I.C Punch Hopper and Kick Hopper! :D

The TWO big question will be:
1) Will these guys be LIMITED release?? If they are, BanDie u suck!! ;p
2) Will these guys be released in a 2 figure set or 1 figure set with 2 armors? For most people, they will prefer the 2 figure set but for me I'll prefer the 1 figure 2 armor set coz I have extra kabuto type bodies i can use to fit them in hehehehe

If its Limited with only 1 figure body and 2 armor would still be palatable for me as there are spare bodies. You can actually find spare dark kabuto or gattack body for sale which would be cheaper if punch kick hopper is limited ;)

Personally, the best scenario would be a normal release with 1 body 2 armor. The yen although has dropped a bit recently, BanDie has been fixing their new SIC prices higher than they used to be so getting a 1 body 2 armor and buying a loose spare gattack/dark kabuto to house the extra armor would be the most ideal case ... money wise. :)

Friday, 17 May 2013

SIC Kiwami Storm and Flame forms - cheaper by making it yourself ;D

All right, so here's this nice kiwami limited exclusive agito flame and storm forms in a box. It doesnt come cheap for 2 small miniscule figures but it does come with those nifty effect parts. Well, I have yet to make those effect parts but for those who has been reading my previous posts will realise they can be very easily duplicated with transparent putty and oyumaru resin :). What I am gonna write today is a very simple custom of the 2 limited forms using an agito ground form and an agito trinity form. The custom will take at most half an hour of your time and the best thing is it does not require one bit of custom skills :D
So here it goes, a very simple and fast custom anyone can make :)

First of all get a kiwami agito ground form pack and a agito trinity form pack like the ones below:

Step 1 : Heat the agito ground form up using a hairdryer for say 15 seconds. Pull out his left arm and shoulder pad. I went and pull out his right arm and head too which is really unnecessary and i have to plug them back again.

Step 2: Heat the agito trinity form up again with hairdryer for 15 seconds. :Pull out his left arm and shoulder pad too.

Step 3: Now switch those left arms and shoulder pads between agito ground form and agito trinity form. Voila, you have storm form and flame storm XD but its not complete yet since their chests are still gold in color and not blue and red.

Step 4: Sand the chests, the shoulder pads and the upper arms area where you will repaint them.

Step 5: Paint a thin layer of metallic silver on those areas you want to repaint first. This layer will bring out the red and blue color of your subsequent layers.

Step 6: Once the silver layer has dried, paint another layer on them into their respective blue and red colors on the shoulder pads, the upper arms and the chest. You may want to paint 2 layers of these to get the colors in better. Always make sure to let each layer dry properly before adding the next in.

Step 7: Do some black linings on his chest abs and on those thin line sculpts.

Step 8: Use paint remover on the transparent globe on their belt and remove the original yellow color as much as you can. Use transparent blue and red paint and color them.

And there you have it Agito Flame form and Agito Storm form :D Damn simple! You have now saved around RM50 or SGD20. Next when I ever look into it, how to create the effect parts too ;p