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1/48 SOUTHERN CROSS BIOROID


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On 2/22/2021 at 7:53 PM, jenius said:

Southern Cross mechs are very small in comparison to Macross.

Part of why I like Robotech is the fact that all 3 different generations of mecha were built for different purposes, but shows a general technological trend of smaller and deadlier machines.  Albeit not without a significant amount of head-canon and handwaviness to smoosh three separate shows together into one story :D

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3 hours ago, captain america said:

Hey Ted, what shade of green did you use on the Gosu?

I've been experimenting with a three-shade blend, actually, using a layering technique I picked up from my Japanese friends:

layered_paint_scheme.jpg

Over a flat black base coat, a couple layers of semi-gloss green are sprayed over the surface, with more even coverage over the raised surfaces and less coverage in the recessed areas, suggesting a subtle gradation in color.  Thinner coats of a slightly lighter green are then sprayed over the most prominent areas, further enhancing the gradation effect and achieving the desired primary color.  It's not as high-contrast as the popular "cel-shaded" look, but it involves a similar combination of colors to achieve a more dynamic finish.

17 hours ago, captain america said:

It looks perfect for the green Bioroid

That depends on your source of reference... :unsure:

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The more research I do, the more inconsistency I find. :(

It's easier to determine the right colors for Mospeada mecha because of the wealth of reference material available, including the high-definition Japanese transfers; like Macross, the Blu-rays are definitive. 

Unfortunately, there's nothing as reliable for Southern Cross, as the best DVD transfers are nearly two decades old... and they were low-contrast 16mm masters to begin with.  What's worse, ADV's DVDs show the same heavy blue tint that plagued their Mospeada releases, so the colors are way off.

The green Bioroid is a particular challenge, since there's very little published art and no official merchandise to refer to, either; despite their age, I suppose the original Southern Cross TV broadcasts are the best color reference we have to work with. :mellow:

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1 hour ago, electric indigo said:

That would make the DVD version closest to the original color.

Sure... assuming Bowie was supposed to be a black guy with blue eyes. :p

bowies.jpg

I'd say the Southern Cross DVDs have the least-accurate colors.:nea:

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7 hours ago, tekering said:

I've been experimenting with a three-shade blend, actually, using a layering technique I picked up from my Japanese friends:

layered_paint_scheme.jpg

Over a flat black base coat, a couple layers of semi-gloss green are sprayed over the surface, with more even coverage over the raised surfaces and less coverage in the recessed areas, suggesting a subtle gradation in color.  Thinner coats of a slightly lighter green are then sprayed over the most prominent areas, further enhancing the gradation effect and achieving the desired primary color.  It's not as high-contrast as the popular "cel-shaded" look, but it involves a similar combination of colors to achieve a more dynamic finish.

That depends on your source of reference... :unsure:

green_Bioroid.jpeg

The more research I do, the more inconsistency I find. :(

It's easier to determine the right colors for Mospeada mecha because of the wealth of reference material available, including the high-definition Japanese transfers; like Macross, the Blu-rays are definitive. 

Unfortunately, there's nothing as reliable for Southern Cross, as the best DVD transfers are nearly two decades old... and they were low-contrast 16mm masters to begin with.  What's worse, ADV's DVDs show the same heavy blue tint that plagued their Mospeada releases, so the colors are way off.

The green Bioroid is a particular challenge, since there's very little published art and no official merchandise to refer to, either; despite their age, I suppose the original Southern Cross TV broadcasts are the best color reference we have to work with. :mellow:

I see what you mean! The green color probably looks different in different scenes as well. I was watching episode 7 or 8 online where they've got Greenie on an autopsy table, and it looked like a rather deep but bright green, much like the '87 VHS release colors. To be fair, even your Gosu looks like a different shade between the scale comparison pic and the recent ones you just posted, so I guess we'll just have to wing it.

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22 minutes ago, captain america said:

I guess we'll just have to wing it.

My conclusions exactly.  ^_^

As much as I'm enjoying these comparisons, it's starting to feel like a fool's errand... :huh:

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We'll surely revisit this issue when we debate what color the Spartas Hovertanks are supposed to be. :lol:

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I understand where @tekering is coming from. It really does become a fools errand as far as Southern Cross/Mospeada is concerned.  When doing my Invids, I really didn't give a rip about the different color variations on the different media releases. I closed my eyes, thought about the colors 10 year old me saw on my TV back in 1985, and then went to the paint store/bench to try and match it, because to me, that's what I remember. Now when I look at them now on my shelves, they make me smile. :) (Baby crabs not pictured)

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Edited by derex3592
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8 hours ago, tekering said:

Sure... assuming Bowie was supposed to be a black guy with blue eyes. :p

bowies.jpg

I'd say the Southern Cross DVDs have the least-accurate colors.:nea:

I find this all way too interesting. The lower left DVD release looks undersaturated except it's not uniform. Like the blue of the uniform. If you just desaturated the scene, it would look like the gray that we see in the upper right. Though obviously not as sharp, from a purely color perspective, I really prefer the upper left in both examples.

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On 2/24/2021 at 6:49 AM, CoryHolmes said:

Part of why I like Robotech is the fact that all 3 different generations of mecha were built for different purposes, but shows a general technological trend of smaller and deadlier machines.  Albeit not without a significant amount of head-canon and handwaviness to smoosh three separate shows together into one story :D

I always thought the trend was bigger and bigger foots...

thumbnail_Untitled.thumb.png.f79a26633975a2579f257d279a07cc97.png

...and forearms...

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Captain’s log supplemental: March 1st.

I was hoping to have a more elaborate update on Wednesday, but a molding accident dashed that hope and put me a few days behind. While no permanent damage was done, it did reveal some interesting shortcomings in the new Mold Star 30 material I employed.

 

In Pic 01, you’ll see the « new » blue Mold Star 30 material, and the pink mold uses the trusty Mold Max 30 compound. With the old pink stuff, I was able to scribble notes and cut guides on the plexiglass, and it would imprint onto the silicone, allowing me to see where I needed to slice the molds open. Pretty useful, right?

Well for whatever reason, this does not work with the Mold Star matrix, so de-molding was a, shall we say, rather white-knuckle experience. No sweat, I’m good at improv… But then the ugly side of the material came to light: even though it’s platinum-cured, it still reacts with anything that has sulfer in it.

Short version: the mold material reacted to the primer.

THE PRIMER!! 

ARE YOU F*C#ING SH*TTING ME?!?!?!

It’s OK, I’m calm, I’m calm…

So in light of this « interesting » development, I figured I’d share a mold fail for educational purposes.

In pic 02, you can see what the failed mold castings look like: interesting effect, but hardly wanted. A thin layer of silicone on the surface of the part remained gooey, creating a burnt/melted surface texture. There are other issues with the cured properties of the silicone that make it a bad choice for this sort of project which I won’t bore you with. As such, I’ll have to postpone some of the molds a couple of days while new material is shipped to me.

 

The good news: none of the masters were damaged, and the other molds were actually successful, and resu03.thumb.jpg.cce7c47b6c090238fed009101ee6801a.jpg02.thumb.jpg.3228c7388fccce8b3ae4f35a546bc5c8.jpg01.thumb.jpg.dbe35a44b5b5676286f485b19168f7b2.jpg

lted in some excellent cast parts, which you can see in pic 03. I was hoping to use these castings to show you a full-body mock-up of BIO LLOYD, but that’ll have to wait at least a week. It may end up being for the bast: I’ll use that extra time to work on the pistols so that I can finalize the hands and perfectly taylor them to their respetive weapons. That way, you’ll have even more eye-candy.

My sincere apologies for the delay, and thank you once again for your support and continued patience.

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Ouch - I feel your pain. I once had the experience that the plasticine I chose for a two-part molding process reacted with the silicone, resulting in a gooey mess, and that was shortly before my diploma deadline...

Good luck with the final steps!

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Captain’s Log: March 10th, 2021.

After my ‘eventful’ mold-making experience from last week, I’m happy to say that things are now back to normal. Further, all the masters for the BIO-LLOYD figure are now complete, and once I get these next few molds out of the way, I’ll be able to dedicate myself to the completion of the hover-sled. 

To say that this project is an exercise in tediousness and patience is to state the obvious. Pic 41 shows my molding station, and all the fingers, tiny bloobs, pitot thingies, and other bits that need to be molded. The extra effort comes from not only the addition of all those tiny bits, but then those bits have to be molded, cast, and then modified to suit LLOYD’s different variants, as we will see soon enough.

Pic 42: good ol’ trustworthy pink mold silicone is back!

Pic 43: believe it or not, this is only about 3/4 of all the molds needed—JUST FOR THE MECHA! Blasters, hands, visor domes and sled parts not included.

Speaking of blasters, pics 44 and 45 show the drum weapon masters, while 46 and 47 show the weapon used by Seifreet’s unit (hereafter refered to as SATAN CLAWS.)

Now back to the BIO-LLOYD variations, you can see the different toes required in pic 48. Based on the soure material, the toes for the blue unit have a different slope than for the other two versions, so I had to make those. Could I have chalked-up the differences to variations in the penmanship of the illustrator? Probably, but it they looked sufficiently different to me, and I wasn’t about to cut corners.

Same goes for the thighs in pic 49. On the left is the SATAN CLAWS version, which has a different blob on it than the other two variants. In pic 50, you can see that the thigh, knee, and even the upper part of the shin armor is different on the SATAN CLAWS variant. For the latter modification, you can simply trim the ‘ears’ on the shin and glue the variant parts as shown in pic 51.

The chest module is no exception, as you can see in pic 52. Once again, SATAN CLAWS variant is on the left. The other two variants are simple enough that you need only glue the appropriate blobs in place. You have NO IDEA how utterly tedious and despair-inducing it was to machine those little hoses!

For next week, it’s my intention to have one fully cast kit mocked-up so that you can see LLOYD in all his splendor. Wish me luck!

 

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7 hours ago, CoryHolmes said:

On those really bulbous shapes, was it hard to find a parting line that didn't have an undercut?  Or is that not much of a problem with your pink goo?

Undercuts are almost everywhere on my parts, but the beauty of silicone rubber is that it stretches. The bigger problem is twofold:

-I often get really ambitious with sculpting, often creating parts that have cavities at either end (like the thigh or the shin armor) and that can very easily lead to trapped air, which in turn leads to extra pockets of resin that need to be de-burred by the modeler. Thankfully, I've developed some hacks to remedy that problem in 97% of cases

-then comes the issue of where do I place the mold partitions and gates so as to give the modeler the least amount of grief, while still making sure that the part will mold properly? Many times you will see mold lines on primary surfaces, and this is by design: I'd rather have the modeler repair a relatively even, undetailed surface that's easy to sand, rather than try to hide the parting line and put it in an area that can affect fine detail, or worse, on a mating surface that will alter how parts fit together. 

Making molds is a bit like playing chess in your head, in that you have to anticipate things 2, 3, 4 steps ahead to avoid problems down the line.

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On 1/14/2021 at 8:09 AM, captain america said:

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Hey everyone!

 

I just wanted to share this project with you, because there seems to have been at least some interest in Southern Cross mecha.

 

A fellow MWer has commissionned me to make the master patterns for a 1/48 SPACE BIO LLOYD (Bioroid) complete with its FLYING CONVEYANCE (hover-sled) and I wanted to know how many people would be interested in a kit? Consider this to be that rare opportunity to get a properly sculpted model of this subject from this otherwise obscure series.

 

The kit will have the following features:

-built in accordance to original, primary visual source material

-integrated (free-pose) ball-joint system

-parts to build one of the three primary variants

-includes FLYING CONVEYANCE

 

Kit price until March 1st: $300 CAD + shipping

Kit price after March 1st: $330 CAD + shipping

 

Shipping charges will be determined at a later time. Take some time to think it through, see if finances permit. If you think you can manage it, then by all means, let your typing fingers do their thing. 

2 minutes ago, CoryHolmes said:

Cap'n, you said this model will be roughly 18cm tall, right?  Approx what scale does that work out to?

Edited by levzloi
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8 hours ago, CoryHolmes said:

I was told that modelling board (Renshape???) is increasingly hard to come by.  Do you have to ration what you use for a project?

Increasingly hard to come by according to whom? I buy a 2" by 16" by 60" plank once every 7-10 years, so I can't say I've noticed.

I don't ration, but I try to work-out what types of materials and construction methods(s) are best suited to the shape or part I'm making. I re-use a lot of small Renshape pieces simply because I have so many, and it's faster than working from a large slab.

Edited by captain america
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16 hours ago, CoryHolmes said:

 

 

My bad, when he said "it's expensive" I mis-remembered it as "rare to find".  :huh:

I guess expensive is relative. If a large plank costs 700 bucks and lasts 7 years, I consider that bloody cheap. My time/labor is by far the "costliest" part of  a project. I use quotes because anyone who has ever tried to contract these types of projects understands that the guys who charge the most usually cost the least in the long run. The biggest money-pits and time-wasters are the jobbers that'll do it for a "good price" as a sideline.

Thanks for posting that video! Just another reminder that I need to find a vac-forming machine.

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7 hours ago, captain america said:

I guess expensive is relative. If a large plank costs 700 bucks and lasts 7 years, I consider that bloody cheap. My time/labor is by far the "costliest" part of  a project. I use quotes because anyone who has ever tried to contract these types of projects understands that the guys who charge the most usually cost the least in the long run. The biggest money-pits and time-wasters are the jobbers that'll do it for a "good price" as a sideline.

Thanks for posting that video! Just another reminder that I need to find a vac-forming machine.

My boss has built his business around your latter example <_<

 

I played around with vac-forming at technical college.  It was fun!  Injection moulding was more fun, though :D  Would vac-forming be of use to your kit-making?

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On 3/12/2021 at 9:32 PM, CoryHolmes said:

I played around with vac-forming at technical college.  It was fun!  Injection moulding was more fun, though :D  Would vac-forming be of use to your kit-making?

Possibly. Large, thin hulls and fuselages are impractical to cast in resin. I was looking to source a machine right as Covid was hitting, and I think it put the supplier out of business, so back to square one.

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Bam!

Red (SATAN CLAWS) and blue (BIG BOI BLUE) versions shown. Please forgive the few minor details that aren't proper to the blue version (toes, codpiece, placement of the hose) since this baby's just holding with hot glue. Preliminary work has already begun on the sled, so you'll get to see some progress on that next week.

 

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Okay, admittedly -- based on your previous work -- I might've had unreasonably high expectations for this kit, but... :o

 

...you've nonetheless exceeded my expectations by a considerable margin! :blink:

This has got to be your finest work yet. :hail:

 

Now I'm starting to regret only ordering three... :huh:

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