The End Is Near

Since my last update on the ol’ Heinrich build, I’ve made considerable overall progress. Enough where I’m confident that I can–at least–get the suit itself finished by the deadline. The overall display? That’s still up in the air, but I’m not as concerned with it at this time.

As you can see, the whole thing is now put together, with all the relevant pieces and parts there. The legs are probably the most significant "building" portion of the progress, so I’ll go through those. First, I did the Milliput joint covers for the knees and ankles. Then, I added the ankle armor, which consisted of a small piece glued to a rod for the sides of the ankles, and a small portion of 1/2" pipe styrene for the rear ankle armor. The knee armor was a bigger pain. I walked around a building supply store for the better part of 45 minutes trying to find something I thought might work. I ended up with two things: Thumbtacks (which were too small and not enough dimension) and some sort of shelf-mounting hardware set which contained some plastic "caps" of varying sizes. For the hose-holders, I just cut up a pair of drop tank halves and scraped out the inside so they’d fit closer to the surface of the curved leg. Oh, and I added a thin piece of styrene to the "inside" of each foot. It’s not that noticeable, but it makes it look more like a Heinrich foot and less like something I sculpted.

The skirt armor is now attached. I can’t remember if I mentioned this before or not, but the sides and rear are Ma.K. pieces, and the front is just cut out from a ping pong ball. So, along with the right forearm, those are the only Ma.K. kit pieces on the the whole thing.

I sculpted the joint covers for the shoulders and added some fake fingernails for the shoulder armor, and that was pretty-much it, other than the hoses. The skirts, shoulder armor, and knee armor all got hit with the Mr. Surfacer 500 to give them some raised texture. To see what it looked like at that stage, click the following links:

I used mechaskunk braided hoses, and I had somewhat mixed results. The leg hoses were pretty easy: just bend a paperclip to the right shape, run it through the hose, and glue at both ends. The arms were considerably more difficult. I need to come up with a better way to do that–and I still may do some very minor tweaking on the gun-arm where the hoses connect. I’ll save the details (and hours of frustration), but it was just difficult trying to get the hose to "connect" over the top of the 1/16" styrene rods without fraying. Badly. Even after burning the end with a lighter (which really didn’t seem to do anything other than give it a slightly burned color).

After any minor tweaks I might make, it’s really down to the painting and decaling. Looking at the spares bin–specifically the Heinrich decal spares–I’m going to go with an overall dark color scheme so that I can use the white warning markings. I also stumbled across a comprehensive decal sheet for a 1/48 Bf109 that I’ll probably use here and on other builds. There’s at least two markings on the sheet that I recognize from other published Ma.K. builds, so I think it’s a good source for finding some unit patch to stick on this guy.

I’m feeling a lot better about this thing than I did, even a week ago, but I passed "burned out" on him a long, long time ago. Now I just need to see if I can stumble over the finish line.

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