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Monday, June 22, 2015

HG Grimorie Start to Finish Part 3: Basic Improvements and Corrections


In part 2 I went section by section pointing out things on the kit I wanted to fix or improve. In this post I am going to demonstrate the solutions I came up with using photos and videos. Remember, modelers should use different solutions based on their experiences, aesthetic preferences, tools and materials to decided how they should modify and improve their kits.

Due to the way the videos and written content was created there will be some redundancy on certain subjects. After completing all of the work on the improvements I decided that I wasn't happy with the way certain videos turned out. I purchased a second kit and re-shot some of the videos.

Tools:

BMC 1 mm chisle
Pla-plate various
Brushes (various)
Builders Parts HG Vents

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Hit the bump for the full tutorial 



Head:

Out of the box I really like the Grimoire's head and I don't think much needs to be changed. I made one modification. I didn't like how shallow the recess of the head vulcan muzzel was. I used a pin vise to increase the depth of this feature.



Upper Torso:



The upper torso has a seam that runs from the top of the collar down to where the top connects to the middle torso. Before I correct the seam line I have decided to create inserts between the torso and the shoulder. 

The shape I need to cut out is fairly complex, there are ways to measure and cut the pieces out precisely, but I have a simpler way:

Measuring:



Cutting:



Once the basic shape is cut out I need to make the remaining cuts.



A hole has to be made for the polycap connector. I marked the basic shape using a pencil from the inside of the part. This shape was then cut out using an X-acto knife. What isn't shown is all of the sanding needed to make the hole large enough for the poly cap to fit and to get pla-plate into the recess.



Even after reshaping the part there are still plenty gaps where the pla-plate didn't fit perfectly into the recess.

At this point the torso's seam line is ready to be fused.




Sometimes after fusing a seamline you may still have low points along the seam, these defects can be fixed by applying Mr. Dissolved.




After fusing the seam on the kit the pla-plate was glued to the upper torso. I filled in the gaps between the pla-plate and the part using Tamiya' white putty.



Once the Tamiya putty cured completely, I sanded it flat to the surrounding areas.



There were some smaller imperfections present after the initial sanding. I applied Mr. Dissolved putty to the areas and re-sanded the area once it cured.

Mr. Dissolved applied:



Mr. Dissolved sanded:


At this stage the surface feels right, priming during the next part will reveal if the surface is smooth or if a reapplication of putty is required.

Middle Torso:



On the front hatch I added a very thin piece of pla-plate. I wanted this piece to look like a handhold for the hatch. This next video is from further into the build but discusses how this pla-plate was cut and applied.



Similar to the upper torso the middle torso has a seam that runs down the side of the part. This seam was fused and Mr. Dissolved was applied to any of the low point present.



Lower Torso/Waist:

The lower torso is the most modification dense section of the kit.



One of the easiest modifications a builder can perform on a HG kit is to remove the connecting rod between the two front skirts.



This allows the skirts to move independently, making posing look more realistic. The rod can be cut through rod using a side cutter or razor saw.




Adding a backing to the skirts hides the hollow sections of the kit. Before adding pla-plate to the front skirt I first needed to remove the semicircular structures near the ball joint on both sides of the skirt. This was necessary for the pla-plate to lay flat on the back of the skirt. To get the basic shape of the skirts I traced the outline on pla-plate and purposely cut the pla-plate to be over sized. 








Once the glue cured, I trimmed the excess with the flat bladed knife, and sanded it to be flush. Sometimes during priming you will find a fine gap where the glue didn't seep in. If a gap does appear it can be filled with Mr. Dissolved.



The rear skirt followed a similar process, but some modification had to be made to accommodate the connection points.



Like the front skirts the pla-plate needs to be trimmed to size and sanded flush.



The hollows behind the side skirts also needed to be filled, but due to the geometry of the part I had to use a different method to fill the hollow. I don't like relying on only putty to fill large gaps, it takes too long to dry and I always feel like it hasn't cured entirely even after a few days. Instead, I prefer to fill the gap 90% of the way with pla-plate and then top the area off with putty.



Once the Tamiya putty cured it was sanded and then Mr. Dissolved was applied over to fill any remaining gaps. 



Using pla-plate I added two notches above the codpiece.



Arms:



The shoulders and upper arms each had a visible seam line that was removed; each shoulder also had a low point that needed to be filled with Mr.Dissolved.

No modifications were required to accommodate the seam fusions in these areas.



The forearms were also fused:



Legs:

I decided to add a panel line channel to the back of each leg. This is a good technique if you want to hide a seam line without fusing it. For this application it is somewhat pointless as I also decided to hide the lower seam line using Mr. Dissolved, however this technique could easily be applied to the lower leg as well.  



I also decided to use pla-plate to add some detail to the tops of the knees.

Backpack:

The Grimoire suffers from having a lot of boring blank spaces where there should be some type of detail.



Using pla plate and Builder Parts HD I was able to create vent like structures in the recesses.



Weaponry:



In my opinion the Grimoire's shield and knife don't require any modification, but the rifle leaves something to be desired.



One thing that bugged me about the design is that the front facing camera or sensor is partially obscured but this fin like structure. I removed the fin and sanded the frame flat.



Using two pieces of pla-plate I added detail to the back of the rifle.

Completed:







In the next step I am going to move into priming painting and a bit of shading. Stay tuned for more soon!