BUFF with a Panzerfaust

A while back I won a set of Perfect Grade kits in the Gundam.info kit giveaway… That was very cool. But the prizes really weren’t my style. In descending order of desirability they were PG Astray Red Frame, PG 00 Raiser, PG Wing Zero Custom, and PG Strike Freedom… Ah, yes, Strike Freedom. You know, it’s quite an accomplishment, making Freedom Gundam look tasteful by comparison…
Anyway, since the prizes weren’t my cup of tea I decided to trade ’em off. Fortunately I found someone with a pretty good collection of stuff to offer who was willing to make a trade. Even though I was getting rid of the Perfect Grades, I felt like I still wanted to honor the spirit of the original prize by getting some unreasonably large, terribly overpriced, but fun Gundam kits. So I got this beastie: The HY2M “Glorious Series” Rick Dom.

I probably would never have bought this kit – It struck me as really expensive for what you get. In terms of construction, it’s kind of like a big High Grade with a lighting gimmick, but it’s priced like a Perfect Grade. Most likely I never would have given this kit a shot if I hadn’t gotten it in trade. But having built it up, I’ve developed an appreciation for it. It’s not my first 1:60 Gundam kit (I have a PG Zaku assembled) – but the large scale combined with the bulk of the Dom makes it a really impressive piece. So I’m really looking forward to building this guy up and I’ve even given some thought to buying another HY2M “Glorious Series” kit (either another Dom or the Gouf) in the future.

I’ve decided to start things off by arming him up a bit. The kit included the giant bazooka (and it is freakin’ huge…) and the heat saber, but I thought he’d look good toting a few Sturmfausts around. One of the option sets for the PG Zaku includes a couple Sturmfausts – but I don’t have that set, and don’t know where to get it, so I spent a few hours tonight scratch-building one. (I wanted it to look like the ones in 0080 anyway, so the PG weapon set Sturmfaust wouldn’t have been a great choice anyway…) The design of the weapon is really simple, so I didn’t expect it to take long.
I started with a little survey of the Sturmfausts in my collection, sticking to One Year War types and mostly in 1:100. I needed something to take measurements from and scale up to produce the 1:60 scale version. The Zaku F2 and MG Zaku v1.0 Sturmfausts are almost identical, following a slightly different design from the ones in Gundam 0080. The MG Kampfer one is kind of cheaply built, with hollowed-out areas all over the place and a really thin stick. The HGUC Rick Dom II one is pretty similar to the Kampfer one, but (accounting for scale) a thicker stick and slightly different proportions for the warhead. All of them pointed to a stick about 120mm long and 6-7mm diameter, with a warhead around 25mm long.

With some basic measurements in hand, I started building. I used brass tubing to create the handle: using the pipe cutter to cut lengths of tubing and rings to form ridges, and telescoping different sized together made this part easy.

Next up was the warhead. I took a few measurements, eyeballed the rest, and sketched it out on graph paper.

When I was satisfied with the warhead design, I folded the paper along a line representing the edge of the metal tube that was going to run through the part – then I transferred the design to sheet styrene by poking through the paper with a knife.

Next I cut out the pattern from the sheet, leaving a negative cross-section. I super-glued this to a piece of brass tubing (CA accelerator is super-valuable for jobs like this…) to set up a rig I could use to turn the template around the part’s axis.

From there on it was a matter of applying polyester putty and turning it around in the template to generate the correct shape. The part looks like just a glob in the first few iterations of the process, but after three or four applications, the part starts to take its proper shape.

After four applications of Bondo and one application of my really old tube of Mori Mori, I decided to try a new type I recently bought, “Mode Putty”. It’s often useful to use cheap brands of poly putty (like Bondo) for the early stages of this process, because the early stages are mostly just about adding bulk – but toward the end when you want a smoother surface, it’s usually better to use a special hobby type. I did two applications of Mode putty and then assembled the mostly-complete Sturmfaust and posed the Dom with it.

Beyond that, there’s only a few details I have to add – plug up the front end of the warhead, add a few recessed details here and there, and there’s a flip-up sight and activation switch that should be on one side of the forward end of the tube. I may also plug up the back end of the tube – I’m not really sure. When the Sturmfaust is done I plan to cast up some copies, so both my HY2M Dom and PG Zaku will have one more weapon in their respective arsenals.

2 Comment(s)

  1. I have this same kit, and am debating what to do with it. With a footprint the size of a DVD, it is quite a shelf monster. Nice work on the Faust.

    MarkW | 2012-01-27 | Reply

  2. That foot really is something, isn’t it? Assembling that really impressed upon me what a monster this kit is.
    I am leaning more and more toward converting it to a Rick Dom II. It seems sort of a waste in a way, since so little of the original kit is going to be useful for that kind of conversion…
    It could be fun to just build this as-is – just keep it simple and have fun with it. There’s a few things in this version of the Dom that do bother me – like the amorphous blob of a head and so on… But overall I think it would be a nice model to have. Vastly preferable over the PG Astray I traded off to get this kit.
    But at the same time, I think if I’m going to have a giant shelf monster, I’d kind of prefer to have it to be the giant shelf monster I really want it to be… The Rick Dom II, in this case. I look at the Rick Dom II and see features like the “Darth Vader” helmet or the “muscle-man” torso or the forearms, and I think, “gee, I really wish my giant Dom looked like that.” If I ever feel the need to go build a MG-style Dom, I can just buy a MG Dom…
    So maybe rather than worrying about letting parts of the kit “go to waste” I should see the kit simply as a catalyst for an exciting project… If the kit inspires me to make a great model, isn’t that a worthy use of it?
    I haven’t made up my mind yet, so for the moment I’m working on weapons and accessories: things that will be useful if I go forward with the conversion, but that I can still use if I don’t. I got some 3/4″ brass tubing to make some fuel tanks – though I’m not entirely sure yet if it’s large enough. I’ll likely take on the Rick Dom II bazooka and MMP-80 as well, even if I don’t go for the full conversion. (The kit bazooka strikes me as a bit oversized anyway…)

    tetsujin | 2012-01-27 | Reply

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