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captain america

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  1. Hey @everyone This is just me giving you guys a progress update on the 1/48 TANKU-ROBO kits: production is already underway, with the 9 first full kits and 10 partial kits are cast. My resin shipment is backordered, so I'm casting up all the flexible elbow parts while I wait. With that said, the first kits will start shipping in about 10 days!IMG_1422.HEICIMG_1421.HEIC
  2. To be fair, there are other offerings on the market. These two, for example. And then there was this thing, which may have been a one-off: So I stand by what I said: The very best you can get!
  3. Hood gap: I added a plate to the opening which can be removed for robot mode. IRL the panel would simply retract into the hood. Shoulder: as stated above, the chest (and all abdomen parts) are masters and I didn't want to press the shoulder joint in for fear of damaging it: it's holding with friction only in the pic, and when glued properly, will be more than sturdy enough. Hands: these are aftermarket posable hands which are included in the kit, and the tab in the palm is made to fit the slot in the handle of the rifle. I would have liked round hands, but I couldn't find a vendor who supplies them. Also, shipping payments are due!
  4. Here it is: the 1/48 TANKU-ROBO in all its glory! Please forgive the gappy abdomen and stiff posing: I'm using a mix of cast parts and freshly primed master-patterns which fit very tightly and I don't want to damage them. I did not attempt a full "Walker Cannon" mode for the same reason, but it is fully feasible! FYI: the gaps in the elbows are because the flexible covers are still being cast, and I'm still waiting on the pilot figure/seat to be delivered. I will posting the shipping fee details on Friday and re-opening the orders for batch II early next week, so keep a very close eye on this page so you don't miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime 20th Anniversary kit! IMG_1260.HEIC IMG_1262.HEIC IMG_1263 copy.HEIC IMG_1264 copy.HEIC IMG_1265 copy.HEIC IMG_1268 copy.HEIC IMG_1269 copy.HEIC IMG_1271 copy.HEIC IMG_1272 copy.HEIC IMG_1273 copy.HEIC IMG_1275 copy.HEIC IMG_1277 copy.HEIC IMG_1278 copy.HEIC IMG_1279 copy.HEIC IMG_1280 copy.HEIC
  5. Captain's Log: Friday, June 14th. Just a quick update today: I have successfully cast all the parts requiring duplication (arms, lower legs, feet, etc.) and while I was very close to showing a fully symmetrical model today, it was a bit too tight on time, so I will push that to next Friday. In the meantime, I have made some detail tweaks which you will see then. Will the model be able to hold the rifle with both hands: most likely yes, and that will be shown. Support autocannon missing tips: this is by design, as very thin barrels will not cast properly, so only 2 of the 3 barrel stages are present. I will leave it to the OCD modelers to add the final tiny segments in styrene. The front portion of the rifle has been tapered to match the line-art; will show this with the extended barrel. As for the rifle and making it sit more sunken into the hood, this would require the addition of a channel in the hood which would ruin the look of the latter. Lack of forethought in the original design means the best option for a physical model (IMO) is to have the rifle sit slightly higher. This also makes the inclination of the rifle slightly adjustable, giving it more usability in hover mode. 76.HEIC 77.HEIC 78.HEIC
  6. Captain's log: Friday, June 7th, 2024. Closing stages of construction have arrived. I made a few alterations to some of the parts to make them more conformal to the source material, and am now at the priming stage, getting ready to mold all the parts which require duplication. The first is the foot armor cover thingamabob, which you can see in pics 68 and 69. Admittedly, the pieces you saw last week were place-holders, but now I have a far better solution which looks right! That was a bit of a sticking point for me, because the clearances in the lower leg/foot area are very tight. The lateral armor pieces are separate (held with tack putty!) which will be needed to avoid binding the foot in robot mode. Pics 70 and 71 show the deployed main gun and support autocannon. The kit will also include plugs to reproduce these in retracted mode inside the arm nacelles. Pic 72 shows the rifle unit in hovercraft (stowage) mode with the raised stock and retracted barrel, but will have the optional long (extended) barrel and lowered stock. Pics 73-75 shows the hood fairing, now sloped down as per the line-art. I did like the previous version with the squared nose, but apparently it was really bad for gas mileage!! With these mods done, I can now begin mold-prep for the duplicate parts as I await the arrival of the pilot figure from Carlos. If the castings aren't ready by next week, (which is doubtful) I may simply skip an update, though the odds are pretty good that I'll be able to show a fully finished figure in the next 7-10 days, so stay tuned!! 67B.HEIC 68.HEIC 69.HEIC 70.HEIC 71.HEIC 72.HEIC 73.HEIC 74.HEIC 75.HEIC
  7. Thanks for the kind words, and thanks for taking an interest in the project! As you might imagine, a project like this poses many hurdles, (what transforming mecha doesn't?!?) not the least of which is the animation style sheets, which not only conflict with the animation, but with themselves as well. Admittedly, I don't mind a bit of constructive criticism because there are so many elements to keep track of, and an extra set of eyeballs helps to redirect me if I stray. You can be a maker or you can be the art director, but it's hard to do both. With that said, all the issues Ted pointed out are not major and have already been addressed, and you'll get to see that in tomorrow's update.
  8. Captain's log: Friday, May 31, 2024. After a long two weeks of grinding, puttying, sanding and adjusting, I'm finally getting there! Now it's reasonably close to a final product. There are still a few tweaks to made here and there for optimal fit, and still lots of surface finishing, but I elected to leave the primer off most parts to let you see just how little putty work was needed despite such a complex project. I'm happy that Ted pointed out the flaws in the initial head design, and I was even able to enlarge the backpack without severely affecting the overall geometry! Pics 49-52 show the leg in its various configurations. I am still tweaking the toe which stores in the calf and deploys for Walker Cannon mode, cos it's not quite right yet. The ankle tilt is not as steep as the Bio Lloyd, but is still quite good. If anything, I think that actually works into the storyline of the series, as I had always imagined the bad guys having a more nimble/advanced mecha. Pics 53-58 show the hovercraft configuration from various angles. Please forgive the floppyness: it's mostly holding with friction and a bit of hot glue and I don't want to damage the masters by manhandling them. Once I cast a few mirror parts I will be able to pose everything properly and show you how everything lines up nicely! Pic 59: the head before and after corrections! While it looks drastically different, I was able to retain the same core module and alter the peripherals. I think the new head looks way better and is far more faithful to the artwork. Pics 60-66 show robot form in all its glory! I skipped Walker Cannon mode, simply because the parts would need to be glued securely to achieve it, but the geometry is sound! I still want to slightly lower the butt-cover hinge, but otherwise I think she's looking fantastic! Still waiting on Carlos to finish the pilot figure, which I don't think will be a a major factor ATM. The next 2 weeks I'll be sanding/priming the current parts, making the final adjustments, finishing the weapons and molding some duplicate parts so Tanku-Robo can stand unassisted. I may one again skip next week's update for the sake of productivity, but it's only so I can provide a better update!! 49.HEIC 50.HEIC 51.HEIC 52.HEIC 53.HEIC 54.HEIC 55.HEIC 56.HEIC 57.HEIC 58.HEIC 59.HEIC 60.HEIC 61.HEIC 62.HEIC 63.HEIC 64.HEIC 65.HEIC 66B.HEIC
  9. The Tanku-Robo is following (largely) the same mindset I employed for the construction of the 1/32 Legioss: the model is not be made to transform outright, as the fragility of resin parts makes that completely impractical, but the geometry and dimensions are sound in that there is no cheating required in the form of parts-swapping to represent parts which morph dimensionally (differently sized/shaped parts, etc.) Because of the small size of this project compared to the Legioss, some minor parts-swapping will only be employed to achieve what cannot be done by mechanical means due to the limitations of the material and technology: tiny working hinges, thin overlapping structures, etc.) One example of this is the hips/crotch module: you will have one set for robot, and one(wider) set for the two other modes. Had parts been made of metal, they would be easily expandable/collapsible, but not in resin. I can tell you that if you study the line-art sufficiently, there are so many cheats between all modes that if you want silly accuracy, the only way to achieve that is to have a separate, dedicated static kit of each mode, like what Imai did with the 1/72 Legioss plastic models. That is not now, nor has that ever been my design philosophy, as everything I've made has had a foundation in practical reality. I do believe that's part of the appeal of my models. With that said, there's still some possibility for adjustment, even for the challenging backpack issue; let me see what I can do.
  10. Hi Ted! The slightly smaller backpack is born out of a necessity to appease two different modes. To be fair, the thruster module is separate, and what you see in the robot pics has those thrusters flattened for Transport mode. As such, they can be made to flare-out when not collapsed, so the backpack will be more faithful to the line-art when completed. Your assessment of the head being partially inspired by the Matchbox toy is correct. I was also trying to harmonize what I saw in the various views of the line-art and other publicity renderings, none of which are consistent. The eye piece looks almost domed in some images, flat in other views, and recessed in other views (see image below). Also, the way the geometry is established in drawings does not line-up so well IRL, but I do agree that it can be improved, and it will be. It's good to have an extra set of eyeballs on the project!
  11. Captain's Log: Friday, May 17th, 2024 Things are going well. VERY well! Considering I'm only a month into a variable-geometry model project, I have to say I'm quite surprised at the progress I've made in such a short time. Pics 38-42 show the hovercraft mode looking very nice indeed. I put in a lot of hours fiddling with the geometry: sanding a little here, removing a bit of material there, constantly going back and forth with some details to get everything nice and flat. This is something which takes up a stupid amount of man hours, but the proof is in the pudding: this thing looks like $$ and I'm far from done! Now comes robot mode, which is equally impressive! I received my order of aftermarket hands, and they fit perfectly in the forearms. Frankly, everything just looks... Wonderful! The only drawback is the parts count continues to rise, as I make improvements to the geometry in order to enhance posability and harmonize the two main modes. Frankly, it's worth it: no one has ever done justice to these mecha, so I'm going all the way. When I stop and consider how far I've come since the days of the 1/32 Legioss, which took me about a year, and here I am doing something almost as complex, but much smaller, in about a month. I can only give glory to God!! I may skip next week's update as I have some other commitments, but rest assured that I'll be back with a vengeance in 2 weeks! 38.HEIC 39.HEIC 40.HEIC 41.HEIC 42.HEIC 43.HEIC 44.HEIC 45.HEIC 46.HEIC 47.HEIC 48.HEIC
  12. Thanks, Ted! I was certain they were thrusters, though the temptation to call them tank headlights was indeed strong! The chest is still in a crude stage of development, and will indeed have chamfered edges, but I only make those refinements once all the necessary geometry is verified.
  13. Pic 35: another critical joint on the figure is the hinge at the solar plexus. I made the parts here from styrene for the sake of simplicity. What's interesting is that this can also serve as an ab-crunch joint, and I added a swivel at the waist, so robot mode will have an unusually decent range of motion. Pic 37: this is what I have after about 3 weeks of work. Once the feet and the extra armor parts are added, it will make much more visual sense. That's it for this week, and stay tuned for the next update
  14. Pic 32: in order to allow the mecha to have a smaller waist as well as have clearance for the arms inside the mid-torso in Transport mode, the abdomen panels are also collapsible. They were a veritable bear to make, but the end result was worth it! In fact, you can see in pics 33 and 34 how nicely the sides transition to accommodate the arms and still offer relatively flat sides. Pic 36: the front hood along with the lower part of the backpack and the two square openings at the bottom, which I assume are thrusters of some sort.
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