Monday, May 4, 2009

MG Destiny Part 10

Enhancing the cockpit

Thinking about this again, I laughed at my sudden burst of bravery and adventurous spirit in undertaking the task I charged myself with. ^^;

But as you will see in Part 11, the next review, things went the way as planned (mostly), and it's was a success. So it wasn't blind courage when I first thought of it.

It all started when I looked at the cockpit, and said to myself, ...

"It's too boring."

And I began to think about plans to make some enhancements to it, to make it look better.

Then again, looking at what resources I have at hand, I didn't have any over-the-head ambition for it to be really that good and realistic. I just wanted to add in some details so that it's "not so plain".

As you can see from the photo of the cockpit above, it's totally empty, very much like an empty cell. Comparing that to what you see in the anime:

No comparison at all ^^;

And of course, do bear in mind that there are quite a lot of differences between the two:
(1) Much wider space in the anime vs a rectangular box for the MG, which is just about right to fit the pilot in it.

(2) In the anime: a complete cubicle for the pilot, including the dashboard in front of him and the control panel on the left and right for his arms to work on; for the model: the pilot is in sitting position only.

(3) In the anime: at least three screens inside the cockpit - left, right and in front of the pilot; for the model: none.

Those were the few points I could think of regarding the cockpit. For the first one, nothing can be done I think, since I couldn't possibly enlarge the whole part for more room. Adding some accessories and the computer screens are possible though.

I did make handles to be installed beside the pilot figure, but it didn't work out in the end. I can tell you that now because I have completed the whole thing already at this point, but you will get to see a bit of the handle and its story later on.

I did some sketches of the cockpit with references to the anime. The design is not available on sites like Mahq Dotnet. So, this was the time when I thought a mecha setting book would be wonderful. ^^; Anyway, I just went through a few episodes in SEED Destiny to have a look at how it was supposed to be like. Given that there are so many reused scenes here and there in the anime, and the scenes with Shin inside Destiny's cockpit every now and then as well, getting a rough sketch wasn't too hard at all. ^^;

The main tasks were to design the screen and mecha details on either sides of the cockpit as well as that above the seat. I just went for those that I could think of how to do, instead of everything inside the cockpit. Also, I was thinking about stuff that could be seen when the cockpit is opened.

May be very little things to be seen, but not zero at least ^^

Once decided on what to do, taking the measurements of those extra parts came in.

For being such a small part, it was very hard to take the measurements of anything at all, especially when everything is inside the cockpit. So I cut out a short card, added a bit of folded paper tape on the edge and used it as a mini ruler. To use it, I just slipped the card into the cockpit, and when it touched the wall, I pressed the card to the side of the cockpit, made a mark on the card and took the measurements. In this way, I got a much more accurate values for all the measurements needed.

After that, I did some measurement outside the cockpit to get the thickness of the wall. A bit of subtraction here and there and the width and height of the parts to be added later were done.

I made the two screens on the left and right first. Materials and tools I used:

Sticker (again after Shiba-I Sazabi), Gundam Markers (Gray from SEED Basic Set and Light Blue from SEED Destiny Set Vol. 1), knife and tweezers.

Cut out the few parts needed according to the measurements taken. The few pieces of sticker you see here resemble the screens - painted in light blue, the bars around them and the base which the two wheel-like design will be sitting on - painted in gray.

For the two wheels, it's pretty much impractical to actually cut them out the same way I did with the screens shown above. They are just too small (will be less than 3mm in diameter). For that, I used something else instead.

A thin slice from the stick of a cotton swap ^^

Imagine cutting a circle of 3mm in diameter from a sticker. You can be a top class brain surgeon after that ^^;

After getting the wheels, I cut two tiny bars from the sticker, painted them in in gray and use them to stick the wheels to the bases created just now. I pasted them in a skewed position just like how the part looks like in the actual setting.

Painted a bit of details on both screens as well, something which I regretted very very much afterward. -_- Not in my original plan, but looking at the light blue parts being too plain, I was hoping that some details would make it better. But the drawings from the normal pen was too thick, and the doodles didn't look like computer text at all. My last minute smart-ass add-on made the two screens look very childish now.

Lesson learned: You don't listen to others, you'll get lost; you don't listen to yourself, you'll get lost even more ^^;

It's a little too late to do anything now actually, I most certainly do not want to cut another two screens and bars of such small size, paint them again, basically redoing everything. ^^; I'll just leave them like so.

Moving towards the final stage already ^^

Pasted the wheel with the base onto each screen and painted the edge in gray, and the two screens are done.

Not celebrating yet, not before putting everything into the cockpit and find that all of the them could fit inside it. ^^

Moving onto the pilot seat:

Taking the measurements again. Measuring the attachment for the pilot seat was much easier than the screen actually. You can just use the width of the entire cockpit minuses the wall to get the number.

The whole part was made of stickers painted in gray as well. With the "bars" done, you can just estimate the size of the "cushions" (?) and cut them out without the need of accurate measurements. If they can fit onto the base, then they are OK.

Painted some of the part in silver as well to make them stand out more. Being placed deep inside the cockpit, they need to be in a shiny color to be noticeable.

And the pilot seat enhancement is complete ^^

As mentioned earlier, I did make control sticks for the cockpit as well. I just put in some effort and time in folding a staple (using tweezers) into something that resemble a control stick XD

But I lost the confident after this because the sticks just looked too big as compared to the cockpit. And because of their size, I couldn't find anywhere suitable to place the handles. ^^; Not to mentioned that there is just enough space for the pilot figure will fit into it, so there's very little room for something extra to fit in, with consideration to the screens I just installed as well.

I still kept the idea of the handle till the completion of the pilot figure though.

Anyway, here's the result:

More things to see now, especially when viewed from either sides. ^^

But Shin is not here to inspect it yet. The cockpit can't be considered "pass" yet. XD Painting the pilot figure will be in the next review.


ed said...

u are one crazy man!
salute u for the tremendous effort.

GUNDAM GUY said...

I did this before.... the effect is using a glow in the dark stick (just the white portion)and very lightly spray thin coat of clear blue. Before taking pictures / mesmorizing at your handy work...just use a flashlight to give it a dose of light. The effect is stunning.

GUNDAM GUY said...

In my previous post...i meant a glow in the dark sticker, cut out for the monitor of the cockpit.

GunStray(Mikee) said...

Thats epic crazy, yet you pulled it off, keep up the good work

Q said...

lol so much focus even on the cockpit. I have to commend you on that. Looking forward to see you paint the figure as I need the skills and tips on that.

You have the courage to do the tiny cockpit in MG Destiny, but you aren't brave enough to paint the edge of Exia's GN Sword XD jk I gotta stop picking on you for that ^^;

Keep up the good work!

Nakano said...

Hi! I love you blog, nice to see the blow owner mess with gunpla too. But since most of the time the cockpit is closed, by doing what you're doing, isn't that a bit of an overkill? O_o

Evaritus Lau said...

*4 people giving 2 thumbs up*

I ish respect bro leh !

wencong1356 said...

3 letters to describe my feeling

W T F ?

Ngee Khiong said...

>>Gundam Guy

Ya, fluorescent material would be really good for cockpit since they can glow in the dark. Will try experimenting with this in future projects. ^^

>>ed, GunStray

Thanks, thanks. Not finish yet :D


My All Exia Project has yet to be concluded. Hehe~


Yup, it's a little too much (^^;), but once it has started, it's very hard not to do so much because of the chance presented there.

I watched a video about a Japanese modeler making his own dash switches for a Subaru Impreza WRC model car from tiny wires of different colors and then painted them one by one.

My work would be really minor ^^;


Thanks thanks. ^^


I'll take that in good spirit XD