Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I, Dolores...

Resin kits are a tremendous pain in the ass.

But, I'm getting ahead of myself. 

As you may or may not have figured out, I'm a tremendous mecha-head. Two of my all-time favorite games are Zone of the Enders and ZoE: Anubis for the PS2. They're high-speed, kickass 3rd person mecha-combat games from the same crew (sort of) that brought you the Metal Gear Solid series, and the designs are simply amazing. The producers made several half-assed attempts to expand the series into other media. That brings us to this tragedy:

I bought kit before I saw the series, and lord, the series ain't good. It's a lighthearted farce that makes a mockery out of an otherwise very serious game universe. That big trucker fella on  the right? He spends the series driving that pink mecha in the back. The pink mecha? She has an AI personality laughingly made to resemble a 12 year old japanese girl. 

I am not kidding. 

It made me very sad. 

Brave lil trooper that I am, I watched the entire series. 

Later, I had to cleanse my brain by watching the grittiest episodes of the Band of Brothers series. 

I will leave it at that.

Anyway, because the ZoE protagonist mecha, Jehuty, is my grail kit (more on that in another post) and Dolores isn't a bad design at all, I quickly jumped on the chance to buy a pair of kits from a recaster on the cheap (and I mean CHEAP). They came like this:

Also, because I like toys, I decided to articulate as many of her joints as humanly possible with aid of readily available (and really, really cheap) ball joints from Kotobukiya and Wave. Let me tell you, if you love drilling and power tools, then take on a project like this, because you'll do a lot of it. Just be sure to mask up, because resin dust will kill you. In addition, Dolores' original paint scheme was... well.... hmmm...

So I took it upon myself to change things up a bit, and added a lot more black and crimson:

This was a fixed-pose resin kit, so there was some sanding and green-stuff remodeling involved, primarily around the knees, hips and torso. She's jointed in the neck, shoulders, upper arms, elbows, hips and knees. I wanted to joint the wrists, but they were just too slender to cut into and joint. In fact, I ended up having to repair them with some fine metal rod (aka paper clip). I ended up with a kit that is, quite satisfyingly, posable:

Although those knee joints give me pause. I may have to hunt down hardier ones in the near future. 

That wire base thingy holding her up is $4.50 and sold in packs of 2 from Hobbylink Japan, which is where I also purchased the joints. I'm rethinking the decision to leave her wings black, and may paint those pink so they accent her engine nacelles. Yes, those are double-ball joints. They have amazing articulation and hold up quite well. 

Anyhow this was such a fun and satisfying project that I may do this to other things not meant to have joints, like 40k kits. If you're hobby-inclined and like a nice involved project, I recommend trying it yourself. Word to the wise, though, do your drilling somewhere well-ventilated and wear a mask to keep the dust out, because it's very fine and will get in your lungs. 

Happy Thanksgiving, people. 


Tears of Envy said...

Awesome! Thanks for sharing. I must check these kits out.

Mark said...

I met the recaster on the e2046 forums, although I understand he sells kits on eBay as well.

Anonymous said...

You watched the entire series!!!!!!?
How on earth did you manage that - it's fucking awful!

Mark said...

I know. Being such a fan of the games, I had to see it through to the end. The mecha designs were decent, and the basic plot okay, but man, turning Dolores into a little girl fembot? I could accept that as part of a Transformers episode or something, but for a story as hard and gritty as ZoE? I dunno.