Back In The Sci-Fi Saddle Again

It’s about time I actually built another Bandai model, isn’t it? Just for fun, I’m going to try to slam through a 1/144 Bandai High Grade Universal Century (HGUC) Gaza-C by next Saturday, May 17. The reason for this is to get it into a regional contest that takes place on that particular day.

Working backwards, I already have a base to put the Gaza-C on. Since I haven’t started the Gaza-C, and the base is already virtually done, I’ll talk about the base in this post.

It started out life intended for the HGUC Rick Dias I built awhile back, but I didn’t like the way it worked with that particular model, so I held onto it–almost immediately realizing that the base was better suited towards the Gaza-C feet anyways (link to progress pic from that time).

Rather than just chop up a plastic bucket to get the curve I was looking for, I decided to bend a sheet of styrene. After some trial and error of several different ideas, I eventually ended up boiling a pot of water. I partially submerged the sheet in the boiling water, allowing it to heat and somewhat soften. Once it was semi-bendable, I shaped it to the inside surface of the water pot. Since I needed a tighter curve on the styrene, I then poured the boiling water into a coffee can (in the sink, for safety   ), and wrapped the styrene sheet around an empty wine bottle, and submerged it in the coffee can full of boiling water:

The end results were the the tight curve on a sheet of styrene that I was looking for.

My next step was really a sloppy approach–and I’ve heard several better since then–but this is what I did, anyways. Since I only wanted a portion of that sheet–and at an odd angle–I filled the sink with water, put the sheet in the water so that the portion I wanted sticking out of the base was also the portion sticking out of the water, and marked the waterline with a Sharpie marker. This allowed me to come back and cut away the portion that I was going to use, and putting the rest in the scrap pile. After that, I trimmed it up so it matched the flat surface of the wooden base it was going to rest on, scribed in some panel lines, and trimmed off the end of it. That process gave me this:

The whole thing was/is supposed to look like a small part of a large, cylindrical incomplete space structure, so I pulled out my piles of Evergreen styrene bits and commenced to constructing parts. I made a piece to "cap" off the curve on the inside. From there, I attached various styrene rods and built several styrene structures to stick out of it. There was really nothing to it other than time, a ruler, a sharp cutting instrument and some glue.

Here’s what that looked like after some paint and decals:

And that’s about as good as the pictures get for now. Since the last one was taken, I gave the wood a very nice stain and did a little work on it, but it’s really been gathering dust for over a year, waiting for me to start this darned Gaza-C.

Assuming I get my hobby room finished (and furnished!) tonight, I may be able to start the actual model as early as tomorrow. It’s going to be an OOB build, but I’m going to be changing that pink (or is it "salmon"?) to regular flat red. I’ll also be mixing up a flat purple paint for this. For markings, I’m just going to go into the spares box and probably end up pulling a lot off a "Gundam Decals" Rick Dias sheet that I’ve used a few times already.

All this is subject to change, of course.

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