Critical Flame-Out (14 days remaining)

Things have not been going well for this project. Back at the end of August, I worried that I was running out of time until SCGMC but with two months left, I felt I could buckle down and make it happen. Unfortunately, I’ve just not managed to re-engage with the project with the same kind of energy I had before, so I’ve had to accept the fact that this project won’t be ready for this year’s show.
On the bright side, I did some work on the Zaku’s arms, improving the joints and adding the elbow joint.


In attempting to wrap up the project, a fair bit of my effort goes into things like figuring out how various parts will be molded and recast. One change I’ve made since the early days of the project is that early on, I would include polycaps in cast parts by casting the resin around them. At this point, I’m trying to avoid that, and instead cast the resin with a hollow slot for the polycap to sit in. This could potentially be a problem if I need to switch to using different polycaps in the future, but it also means less work setting up a mold before casting in it. It also means that sometimes I’m a bit limited in where and how I can install polycaps.
One such case is the shoulder joint: it contained two polycaps, one is used for lateral extension of the joint, the other is used for rotation of the upper arm. However, over time I came to the conclusion that having that second polycap in the shoulder joint left too little material surrounding the polycap, so the resin parts would be a bit fragile. I decided that the best way to deal with this would be to move the second polycap from the shoulder joint to the upper arm.

The elbow joint is a part that I’d never really taken a crack at before. I kind of struggled with the question of how to handle it, where to put pivot points, how to connect it, etc. I think some of those details are still yet to be resolved. But I did come up with a plan.
One of the complications here is that I’m trying to build the joints for this project with just regular 3mm polycaps. I’m using ones made by Wave but the idea is to design the parts so that other polycap parts could be used, too. However with the limited space available in the elbow joint, there’s not enough space for such polycaps, so instead I’m using something a little different: a 3mm polycap, but a more compact one, with one leg that extends away from the joint. I wasn’t sure about committing to an elbow joint based on an unusual polycap type, but I’m liking the joint I made so far.
The elbow joint on the Zaku Kai is roughly cylindrical, but with a ring and some detail in the middle, so the process started with cutting some circles. I don’t know where my circle-cutting tool is, unfortunately, so the results are a bit rough.

It’s frustrating that I couldn’t have this ready for SCGMC this year. For all the times I’ve been out to SCGMC, I don’t think I’ve yet shown up with a model that was both new, and which represented a level of quality I was really happy with. Maybe the one exception to that was the MG Rick Dias in… 2013? It’s always frustrating to book the trip and attend the show, and just not have anything out there that measures up to the competition. I won’t be empty-handed this year, at the very least I have the tiny Scopedog I tried to get done as a last-minute project last year, but I’m still hoping to whip something up in the two weeks I have left. So far it isn’t looking great, though, I just haven’t been focused. Also, to get any kind of model work done quickly I need my workspace set up properly, and that is work I’ve been dreading and avoiding for the last 4 years. I’m putting the Zaku Kai work away for now, though, and I will try to get something else done, even if it has to be something simple.

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