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ZetaForge's Samurai Armor Build Options
ZetaForge
#1 Posted : 26 July 2017 22:02:31

Rank: Semi-Pro Level 2
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Joined: 09/05/2017
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Location: Honolulu
My reason for building this model is as a research project for my art work – contemporary Samurai armor. Or maybe “research project” is my justification for taking workday time to build probably the COOLEST scale model I have ever built.

My build diary here in the ModelSpace Forum will focus on the mechanics of putting the armor together. I'll also have a supplemental posts on my personal blog at russogi.com/blog with insights and other thoughts I have about the armor design and construction and how it has, or will influence my art.

For a more detailed introduction about who I am and my reason for undertaking this project you can go to my introductory post here in the ModelSpace Forum or here on my personal blog.

Now on to the unboxing.

I ordered the entire kit rather than a part-work subscription. So if you're wondering what it looks like when the entire kit arrives in one shot, here it is.

ZetaForge attached the following image(s):
DSC03213_composit_800c.jpg
ZetaForge
#2 Posted : 26 July 2017 22:04:34

Rank: Semi-Pro Level 2
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Joined: 09/05/2017
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Inside each of the big boxes are smaller packages each containing one pack. 12 packs in all. Each pack encompasses several steps. 55 steps for the entire project. Each pack comes with a full color instruction booklet and each of the steps are packaged in their own blister pack sealed with a cardboard backing.

Here is a detailed look at each of the 12 packs. For reference, each floor tile is almost 39.5cm or about 15.5" square.

I've included a higher res gallery on my blog here
ZetaForge attached the following image(s):
open-all-composit_c800.jpg
ZetaForge
#3 Posted : 26 July 2017 22:10:21

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Date Masamune used some of the best technology available in the design of his armor. This includes parts from a McLaren Honda MP4/4!

Somehow this Pack 7 for the MP4/4 was mistakenly included in my kit in place of the Samurai armor Pack 7.

In addition to the incorrect Pack 7, the Yoroi bitsu (armor storage box) is missing. The yoroi bitsu serves as both storage container for the armor and as the base for the wooden display stand to sit.

I quickly contacted DeAgostini customer service and informed them of the errors.

The correct Pack 7 was dispatched at no charge to me. It did take about 2-3 weeks to make it to me but, being in Hawaii, you accept longer shipping times as part of the price of living in paradise.

Trying to get the storage box however is an on going issue. More on that later.
ZetaForge attached the following image(s):
pack7_oops_700c.jpg
ZetaForge
#4 Posted : 26 July 2017 22:14:18

Rank: Semi-Pro Level 2
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Joined: 09/05/2017
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Location: Honolulu
This is my first model from DeAgostini, and my first impression was set by the packaging. I was impressed. Each step comes in a blister pack with a snap-fit backing keeping the parts secure. Both arrive sealed with a cardboard backing. I was surprised at the weight of some of the parts.

The model itself is made of multiple materials including metal, wood, faux leather and multiple types of material. The kote (armored sleeves) are made of chain-mail. Half scale chain-mail, how cool is that!

ZetaForge attached the following image(s):
DSC03265_crop_700c.jpg
ZetaForge
#5 Posted : 26 July 2017 22:15:57

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I've been reviewing the instructions online and reading the build diaries of others here in the ModelSpace Forum to get an idea of what's ahead.

Since I have the entire kit, I am planning on building the armor in sections rather than following the steps in order. For example, lacing all the kusazuri (tassets) sections at the same time. I find when I work, it's much easier, and more enjoyable, to tackle similar tasks together.

But building out of order presented the problem of keeping parts from getting lost and keeping them organized. There are a lot of parts and many of them are much smaller than they look in the instructions.

Fortunately, I found that the packaging is durable enough to be opened and closed several times.

Both top and bottom are contoured to keep the parts in place and snapped together at several points keeping top and bottom securely closed.

This allows me to use them as storage containers making the parts accessible while keeping them organized.

I'll be following up shortly with another post as I start the build.
ZetaForge attached the following image(s):
20170725_153657_crop_700c.jpg
Gandale
#6 Posted : 27 July 2017 07:17:59

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Look forward to seeing your build come together.....Cool Cool

Regards

Alan
macky42
#7 Posted : 27 July 2017 08:12:35

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Hi,

I bought the full kit and am building it in complete assemblies as well. So far helmet/mask, cuirass/tassets and one sleeve complete. I've lost the mojo at the moment but will probably get back to it in the winter.

One tip, take care not to waste any of the blue lacing, they supply enough but not much more.
ZetaForge
#8 Posted : 28 July 2017 01:52:29

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Thanks for stopping by to read my post.

@macky42 - Thanks for the tip on the blue lacing. -Russ
Markwarren
#9 Posted : 28 July 2017 05:59:47

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Looking forward to seeing this come together. It will be an interesting build. BigGrin

Regards
Mark
tnequette
#10 Posted : 03 August 2017 17:58:40

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ZetaForge,

Very interested in following you build. I really enjoyed mine but, as usual, you always see so much which could have been done. Such a wonderful subject and model.

Tom Nequette
ZetaForge
#11 Posted : 13 August 2017 07:45:48

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I decided to start with the wooden stand. Looking at the instructions, it seemed fairly straight forward. Also, I would be able to keep some of the partially built armor sections on it as I progressed with the build.

The instructions indicate the pegs (clothespins) may need sanding. As I got started, I found all the holes, round and square, needed adjusting. Instead of sanding the clothespins, I used a 5/16” drill bit to widen the holes. Once drilled, the clothespins fit easily while remaining tight enough to keep the stand together without adhesives.

I used a Popsicle stick wrapped with sandpaper as a sanding block to clean out and adjust the square holes. For smaller areas I used a jeweler's file.
ZetaForge attached the following image(s):
20170812_090934crop_c600.jpg
ZetaForge
#12 Posted : 13 August 2017 07:47:26

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The top peg to the kabuto (helmet) platform had the opposite problem. It was very loose. I applied some super glue gel to the clothespin to add some mass to it. I left the platform off and let the glue dry overnight. The kabuto platform now fits snugly.
ZetaForge attached the following image(s):
DSC03352crop_c600.jpg
ZetaForge
#13 Posted : 13 August 2017 07:49:16

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The hole for the menpo (facemask) cross arm was too tight. I worked on that for a good half hour or more going back and forth sanding the piece and clearing out the hole.

In the end, I managed to get the entire stand assembled without having to glue it together.
ZetaForge attached the following image(s):
20170810_150232crop_c800.jpg
ZetaForge
#14 Posted : 13 August 2017 07:50:30

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When I display the armor, I plan to use a drape over the stand, so finishing really wasn't necessary. However, I decided to clear coat the wood stand primarily to protect it from moisture. Honolulu has relatively high humidity.

I added small felt pieces to the ends of the crossbars to prevent the wood from scarping against the inside of the do (torso) armor.
ZetaForge attached the following image(s):
base_comparison_c800.jpg
20170810_150223crop_c800.jpg
delboy271155
#15 Posted : 13 August 2017 19:15:05

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Good to see you started on this and some nice tips added, well done.

Cool Cool Cool Cool

Regards
delboy271155
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arpurchase
#16 Posted : 13 August 2017 20:10:08

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BigGrin Looking good and nice workCool
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ZetaForge
#17 Posted : 13 August 2017 20:11:07

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Delboy271155-

Thank you for following my build.

Before I started, I thought this would be a very "by the book" build and that I wouldn't be doing anything outside of what the instructions indicate.

I wasn't sure if I would be able to contribute any new insights or techniques to Forum members.

Turns out, as I build, I'm thinking of little mods to enhance the build but nothing that really affects it's design or look.

As they say, "nothing ever goes according to plan."

-Russ
Gandale
#18 Posted : 13 August 2017 21:31:06

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Lovely work and good to see this one progressing..... well done....Cool Cool

Regards

Alan
Metal Mech
#19 Posted : 13 August 2017 23:45:16

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Stand looks good. Looking forward to the rest of it.

DeAgostini kit builds:

Millennium Falcon: 18% Complete
Shelby GT-500: 28% Complete
Thunderbird 2: 13.75% Complete
ZetaForge
#20 Posted : 16 August 2017 04:34:59

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Gandale, Metal Mech, thank you for following my build.

I've added a blog entry with some thoughts on stand designs here.

I decided on another little addition to the stand.

The foot of the stand was pretty smooth after the final layer of clear coat but I decided to add a rubber coating to it.

I used black Plasti Dip Spray. I've used it for years to create a protective layer between parts to prevent paint rub. In this case, I thought it would provide a good non slip foot for the wood stand.

If you haven't used this product before it goes on a little thicker than spray paint and dries into a rubber coating.

I masked off the sides of the base. The trick is to remove the tape just as the Plasti Dip begins to dry - it starts to go from a gloss black to a matte black.

Letting it completely cure before removing the tape, especially with a heavier layer, can pull the rubber off the part leaving ratty edges.

ZetaForge attached the following image(s):
20170815_164731_b600.jpg
base-bottom_b800.jpg
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