Friday, November 7, 2014

Getting caught up

I apologize for almost a weeks gap.  It's difficult for me to post much when I'm working as I work 12 hour shifts, overnight!  I'm hoping to get one to two posts a week doe the foreseeable future.

So I've spent the last week assembling mecha!  It's been a good time  I managed to get all my Zentraedi assembled as well as my Destroids.  Just this evening I started on the Veritechs!'

First some Zentraedi:

The Glaug command pods fully assembled look fantastic!  They have a couple of fiddly antenna that you just have to be patient with but overall the kit goes together fairly well.  Attaching the legs to the hips is a three handed job so will take some patients as well.  I think it took me less than two hours to get both assembled.  I'm excited to see them painted up!

The Zentraedi Quel-Gulnau recovery pod.  Like the Glaug the antenna can be a little fiddly but overall this is probably one of the simplest kits in the game so far.  It's the largest model so far and so easier to work with than some of the UEDF mechs for sure.  It's going to need some gap filler, the 'eye' in the front has some gaps I couldn't close using glue.  The other thing is the legs are somewhat bent out of the box so I'll need to apply some heat and straighten them out.

The last Zentraedi kits I had to do were the artillery pods.  I see a lot of people magnetizing these guys so they can swap out the pods or particle beams.  Makes some sense and down the road I'll probably do the same but in this case I just assembled a basic Artillery pod squadron.  I'm shooting to get everything assembled and ready to play and I'll be doing conversion work down the road on newly purchased models.  Overall as easy as the Regult pods to assemble with the added bits of the missile pods.  The larger missiles have gaps that will need to be filled but otherwise solid kits.

Once I'd completed all my Zentraedi I moved on to the UEDF Destroids!  A quick note, some sharp eyes will notice I messed up assembly on a couple of the mecha.  Goes with the territory when I'm doing this at work as I can sometimes get distracted by ACTUAL work lol.  Nothing catastrophic but sticklers may notice.

First my favorite mecha in the line, the Tomahawk!  As you can see the Destroids can be posed pretty dynamically.  This sticks out particularly because I have a large collection of these guys for Battletech and those models are really static.

Below a fuzzy picture (sorry) of the two assembled Tomahawks.  I decided that in my alternate storyline, my Destroid commander will be driving a Tomahawk and I tried to make him as dynamic as possible. He's in an action pose - no conversion work here this is the kit straight up.  I used the open missile pods on him as well.  The command pod is the final touch, replacing the classic flood light.  While I find the command pod a little large overall I like the way the mecha looks.  Overall this kit went together fairly well.  There are some gaps in the seams on the legs that will need to be filled but otherwise no major issues.  You can get a lot of variation from these kits with all the parts and options they give you.  I did end up drilling the barrels out a little since they come filled in.  Something small but whenever possible I try to drill the barrels out on these guys.

The Defender was up next.  Not as sweet as the Tomahawk but still pretty sweet. The barrels are supposed to be one over the other but like I said, I'm betting most people won't notice once it's on the table.  Much like the Tomahawk the Defender is pretty dynamic.  You don't get as many options on this kit (the command pod comes on all Destroid sprues if memory serves, but since there are no missile pods or anything the piece count is lower than for the Tomahawk.

The Phalanx!  This model has grown on me really.  I've never disliked it but it hasn't been on the radar like the other three have been.  Again I messed this kit up a little.  The missile pods have a tab for the doors to plug into.  On top of this if you look close you'll see the little box structures on top of the pods...those are supposed to go on the bottom!  Effectively there is a definite side the front part is supposed to connect so you can get everything in it's proper place.  Technically both these guys and the Defenders could be fixed with the application of a jewelers saw but I decided not to bother.  I expect my collection to grow quite a bit and having a couple messed up is no big deal.  I may end up using them for objective/wreck markers down the road once I get enough replacements.  This kit more than any other really stuck out for me as an example of how these models were over engineered.  The cockpit piece is a tiny little piece that plugs onto the torso once it's been assembled and the little boxes that stick off the sides of the legs are also separate pieces. I can't see a reason either of those pieces are separate. In fact, overall a lot of multipart pieces could have definitely been solid pieces. Legs for example, no thicker than pieces from other games kits I can't imagine why they were designed the way they were.  I suspect these kits may have been designed by an actual model kit designer who may not have been familiar with how small these things were going to be.

Finally the Spartan.  While I don't hate this mech, it's not my favorite.  I think it looks a lot different from the others and sort of sticks out.  Plus these kits are really static compared to the others.  Wouldn't be too difficult to cut any of these models up and repose them but I'm surprised these are so static compare to the other Destroids.

Finally, as mentioned I started assembling the Veritechs.

I'm torn deciding whether these kits or the Regults were easier to assemble.  The part count for the fighter mode is low - 2 torso, 4 leg pieces, wings, tail fins, head and gun.  You get a lot of extras with these - heads for the 1A, 1J, 1S and 1R, plus several different kinds of missile pods and bombs for under the wings.  These guys went together relatively easily, I think I did all 9 (last one not shown) in about 2 hours.  I decided to go with the standard squad 1 x 1J, 3 x 1A per squadron.  The final fighter I decided to build as a 1R.  Probably would have been better as a 1S but frankly, it's difficult to tell since the heads are underneath anyway and on paper the 1R looks kind of cool.

This means I have 18 models left to build, veritechs in guardian and battloid mode!  These kits look a lot more complex than any of the others but until I start digging in it's hard to tell.  I was hoping to be done by saturday but it's looking like it might take me through the beginning of next week to complete assembly, then it's on to painting!

* A quick note on the tiny pieces like the antenna and some other bits.  First, take your time cutting these pieces off, no rush.  Make sure you're securing the piece when you make the final cut/clip or it may fly off - tough to find these pieces if you lose them like that.  Clip away from the actual piece - leaving some flash on the piece.  This cuts down on the pressure imparted to the piece as the clipper or knife separates and pushes the plastic away.  I also recommend you cut thinner, pointier ends or tips first before cutting the larger ends.  A good example is with the veritech heads - the gun barrels are tiny and you should cut near the barrel first.  If you cut on the other end the piece will shift and it may snap the gun barrel.

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