Spartan Destroid

The Spartan is a destroid - giant shooty robot - from the anime series Macross... which is, amongst other things, notable for having been the bulk of the source material for Robotech, and provider of several 'mech designs for the earlier editions of Battletech (at least until lawsuits started flying). This is a build of a resin kit of the Macross original.

It's originally a Yellow Sub kit from years ago that's been out of production for a while, this is a filthy recast from HobbyFan. Who seem to be trying to convince me never to buy resin kits from them ever again if the casting is anything to go by.

Maybe I'm just picky. I shouldn't be. Maybe I'm just trying to transfer my feelings of guilt at knowingly buying recast kits into annoyance at the shoddy casting that I only expected. I probably shouldn't do that, either.

Anyway, in roughly chronological order:

Initial legs poseInitial legs pose

The first thing I did after cutting the majority of the pour holes off and scrubbing all the mould release away was blutack half the kit together.

The second thing I did was decide that I really needed to repose it.

Spartan 2Spartan 2

So, I'm pretty sure I've seen a Spartan twist at the waist like that, but if not... blame my Battletech upbringing.
The right leg is sawed through at the knee and pinned into a bent pose, I think I can get away without moving the left one.

One missile...One missile...

Next up, to add some interest to the pose I decided to have it just beginning to fire a salvo of missiles.

The missile is constructed by sticking a 3mm bit of styrene rod in the end of my dremel and using that like a lathe to shape the bevel and saw in the neat lines, then drilled a hole, glued in a bit of brass rod, cut fins out of styrene sheet and glued those to the rod, then sculpted the rear ring over the top with milliput.

Two missiles...Two missiles...

The second missile is a lot easier - dremel-lathe for the shape then just glued into the hole where one of the boring flat ones used to be.

The hinges on the bay door were made by sawing a very thin section of styrene tubing and cutting that into quarters. Inspired by this Imai Spartan boxart.

Second poseSecond pose

Sticking it all together now the major parts are done to make sure it still looks good.

Feet modificationFeet modification

Greave fillingGreave filling

The greave was paper thin at the sides here where it hung over the foot - backed up by milliput not only to thicken but also to strengthen it enough to sand on the other side without snapping it off.

Leg angle modificationLeg angle modification

Waist twistWaist twist

The hemisphere was originally the same part as the circular waist and pelvis piece - a photoetch scribing saw was used to cut the dome parts off so they could be attached instead to the torso and the waist twisted a little. Possibly the most nerve-wracking part just 'cause there are little panels all the way around the base of the hemisphere that I had to be careful not to saw away...

Torso missile baysTorso missile bays

The left missile bay is sealed shut - it helps the spontaneity of the pose, in my opinion, and also it's a lot easier to clean up like that... ;-)

Final poseFinal pose

All the lines have been rescribed, all the tiny holes redrilled, practically every part has major filler work done, but she's ready to prime... which will undoubtedly show up all the little imperfections I'd not noticed so far.

Final poseFinal pose

Final poseFinal pose

PreshadingPreshading

Preshading sprayed on in Sea Blue and Matt White, then the lining inked over the top of that using a Städtler pigment liner.
Preshaded and assembledPreshaded and assembled

Preshaded and assembledPreshaded and assembled

CamoCamo

Plan for camouflage so far - still not entirely sure, but I'll keep experimenting.

First shadeFirst shade

The best thing about preshading is how it looks to totally over the top, and how you can't believe it's going to look good in the end until you lay the paint over it, and it all comes together. ;-)

Camo maskingCamo masking

To mask off the first camo colour, I've laid down a few strips of masking tape so I can cut sections wider than a single strip out of them. If you can make out the cuts in this photo, you have good eyes!

Second shadeSecond shade

The unfortunate downside to preshading is that it only really shows properly through the first layer of paint, which is why it's (more) important for that one to be the lightest shade. You can make out the panel lining after the second shade, but not much else. The third shade will be more or less completely unshaded, which means I'll need to do some kind of post-paint shading. I'll probably try one of these 'chalk wash' things I hear so much about.

Camo all doneCamo all done

This is the final result of the camouflage painting; some of the fading of colour in there is due to the preshading, some of the fading of colour in there is due to me not wearing my latex gloves when putting the masking tape on like I should have been, and thus the pieces getting a bit greasy in places and the tape lifting off a bit while I was spraying. But it looks OK, on the whole.

Touchups and pastel shadingTouchups and pastel shading

After painting the camo, areas that needed painting a different colour - the bare metal bits, the warheads on the missiles, the markings - were painted by hand, and then deep shading and a bit of weathering applied with a pair of old brushes, using ground-up pastels and pigments.

Close-up of torsoClose-up of torso

Close-up of missile rackClose-up of missile rack

And now, assembled:

Assembled!Assembled!

Assembled!Assembled!

Assembled!Assembled!

Assembled!Assembled!

Next up - a small scenic base.

Base startedBase started

A week or two ago I tried, as an experiment, using latex moulds to cast copies of some 28mm scenery I'd made; ruined walls and so on.

I tried casting copies in plaster of paris, but it didn't really work; they bulged and broke in the moulds and generally didn't look the same, let alone stand up on their own as pieces of scenery. On the other hand, I was left with lots of bits of plaster rubble, which make a decent base for this thing.

Nearly there...Nearly there...

The finished Spartan can be seen here.

Theme Originally by Antsin.com, hacked around by Jake, textures from grungetextures.com