Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Time to Build-A-Headquarters

So the way I see it, the centerpiece of an action figure collection is the playset.  When I was a kid, I had all of my He-Man figures arranged around Castle Greyskull, and Skeletor and his minions arranged around Snake Mountain.  But now I've got this collection of Joes and vehicles, but no playset for them.  I do have a Terrordrome (only missing the gun tips for the lower guns- almost complete!) but the Joes still need a place to call home.  I've been looking around for projects in my ability level, and I found

Vexar Design's Build-A-HQ Tactical Operations Center.

This is what I am going for.  Image Credit: Vexar Design
Holy Effing sweet. Its a playset that looks cool as hell that someone with some inexpensive tools, money for supplies and patience can build themselves.  That's two birds with one stone, the way I see it. I decided to take this project up a few days ago, and so far so good.  I love a lot of things about this project.  Here is a list of them.

1. Its modular, so I can add rooms as I see fit.
2. I get to put it together myself!
When I am done with the first section, I plan on
branching out like Canesfan0245 did.  
Work and Image Credit: Canesfan0245 & JoeCustoms
3. I get to work with new materials and build some skills there.
4. Vexar's website has the designs to build the thing (more or less) step by step.
4. Vexar's design is cool, and they have images on the website that can be used for decals right there.
5. It's a freaking action figure playset that doesn't suck!

Canesfan0245 over at worked from the Vexar design and made several other rooms based on it, and the work looks tight.  This little project looked like the perfect next activity to launch into.  So far I am a few hours in (yes, I did say a few hours.  Cutting the styrene takes a long time at the moment.) but I am making progress.  I picked up all the parts Vexar lists on the website to purchase.  Thankfully, my local hobby shop carries the Evergreen Scale Model brand styrene that Vexar recommends AND Vexar identified by item number exactly what stuff to buy.  This turned what could have been an hour shopping trip into a 10 minute shopping trip, because there are lots and lots and lots of types of styrene made by Evergreen in different dimensions, and many of them are very close in size.

My poor xacto knife!  Thank goodness for my sharpener
(the grey and orange item top right corner).  My sharpener
is the unsung hero of this project so far.
So far I have the four six inch columns cut out, the four five mm corner brackets cut out, and the front and back walls cut out. It took me about 30 minutes cut the five mm corner brackets with my xacto knife, and involves plenty of resharpening during that time.  If anyone has any better ideas about how to cut those bad boys out, please let me know.  I have a saw, but I don't know if a saw is the right tool to use on the styrene square tubing.  I also have the door cut out, and I attached the back wall to the floor. 

I purchased two cans of Krylon Satin River Rock color Fusion For Plastic brand spray paint that I will use to give the white sections a more grey/tan color, because I'm not a huge fan of the blinding white of the naked styrene.  I hope this goes well.  I should probably get a section of styrene and do a trial spray paint run first to make sure the paint adheres to the plastic before I go nuts spraying the entire model itself...  note to self: yeah. Do the practice piece first.  But hopefully that will work.

I can follow directions!  They say line the floor up to a wall
to make sure the back wall section glues at a 90 degree
angle.  So put it up against my wall I did. 
If you look at the instructions on the Vexar Design's website, you will see that I am in the middle of step 7.  I do plan on doing the optional step 8 to create the light switch and conduit because it does not look like it will take much more work and because the results look really nice, and give the project a much more real life, lived in look.  I am really getting ahead of myself here, but the next section that I would like to do will be a mission briefing room/dojo/if there is room/work out room.  If there isn't room for a third room, I will combine the dojo and the workout room into one space.  I plan on having this section just to the right of the section I am working on, running parallel to the tac ops panel.  The mission briefing room will be in front and the dojo will be behind it, and an hallway will run along both rooms running lengthwise along the module.  So that's where I am thus far.  More as this thing continues.

Until next time,

David D.

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