Here’s the 2nd WIP of my custom Barbatos Lupus. Late as hell, but you know what they say – better late than never.
Originally, I planned to release this post towards the end of June, but you know how it goes. A little more polish here, extra mod there. Eventually I started feeling a bit of a burnout. Decided to switch projects before it really hits me. I picked up and built Tamiya’s Kawasaki Ninja H2R for a change of pace and some painting practice.
I will be restarting my work on Barbatos soon and try to stay up to date with WIP posts. For now, here’s a summary of the work I did from May to July.
In WIP #1 I extended the spine by 6mm to improve the proportions. While it helped quite a lot and helped showcase waist mechanics, I felt the proportions still needed some work. Barbatos Lupus benefits greatly from leaner, more athletic look, so that’s where my main focus at this stage was. I further extended the spine, thighs and widened the shoulders.
In the end, I feel like his badass factor went through the roof, gaining a bit of Evangelion vibe in the process.
After the first waist extension, original actuators turned out to be a bit too short and tended to fall out. I decided to rebuild them. As I took them off, one of the mounting pegs broke off, just to make sure I had no excuse.
I cut off the remaining peg and drilled through the part to make space for brass rod, as per standard fix. Then I rebuilt the pegs, using some drilled out plastic rod and original ball joints.
Since I didn’t have the right size plastic pipe on hand, I had to glue 3mm pipe inside 5mm one to make new hydraulic cylinders. This also prompted me to stock up on various sizes of Evergreen rods and pipes.
Still, they turned out alright. Later on I smoothed everything out with AB Putty.
While the first spine extension helped the proportions, I still felt like the kit was a bit too short. At the time I didn’t want to cut it up again. Decided to extend the thigh inner frame instead.
First up, I cut the thigh right below the polycap. With no pegs and no armor attachment points it seemed like the best place. The only issue was cutting through that little spiky detail on the outer side, something that caused a ton of trouble later on.
After cleaning up the cut, I glued in extra 6mm of plastic, just like I did for the spine. Inspired by Joshua Darrah’s Zeta Plus ebook (get it, it’s awesome), I decided to make my life harder and extend each half individually, so I can still disassemble the legs for painting.
|I spent nearly two weeks sculpting the thighs using Flex-i-File, my ghetto chisels (a.k.a. sharpened screwdriver bits), various files and random bits of sandpaper. As you might have noticed, I also cut off the back parts of the frame, as they were getting in the way.
Even though I’ve spent a lot of time on them, I couldn’t re-sculpt those knife-y details properly. In the end I gave up, filed the entire thing down and rebuilt it using 3mm triangular plastic strip.
|I did some extra beveling on the seam line to turn it into a detail. It’s not perfectly straight, but should look pretty nice with a bit of weathering. Then again, it’ll mostly be hidden by armor anyway.
Overall I’m quite happy with the result.
|You can see the finished hydraulics here. Also new hands and some head mods. Ignore them for now, we’ll come back to those later.
Barbatos Lupus already looks quite beefy with his unique round shoulder armor. Still, I figured with a little work, he could look downright heroic. I’m a bit short on pictures here, so I’ll be using left and right side pics interchangeably.
First, I sawed the ball joint off the original shoulder connection piece and glued on a piece of 3mm pla-plate. Yup, still using those sword leftovers. Added a piece of brass rod to install the ball joint back onto the piece.
I filed the extra plastic down to match the original shape and added extra bit of 1mm plastic at the bottom. It was needed to stop the entire thing from dropping too low under the weight of the arm .
|Next up, I needed to mod the armor plates mounted on those pieces. Since they’re hollow, I began by tracing them onto 1mm pla-plate. After cutting out the rough shape with scissors, I glued it to the armor piece and used jeweler’s file to match them.
With this flat surface ready, I used 1x2mm plastic strip to bulk up the armor plate. 1mm pla-plate was added for a bit of support.
On the third picture you can see a comparison against OOB. There’s a bit of a gap left – I wanted to add a bit of detail there, building vents with striped pla-plate. It’s the reason I built those pieces as “boxes”, instead of sculpting them from 3mm plate.
I closed it up with another layer of 1mm and used AB putty to fill the gaps.
|Here you can see how finished mod compares to OOB version.|
Spine, Episode 2
I really like the wider shoulders on Barbatos Lupus, but this mod made the kit look shorter than it was. Figured it could use another waist extension.
In the meantime, I’ve already closed up the back of the spine, so cutting through it again was not an option. Not to mention another rebuild of hydraulics.
Instead, I sawed off the ball joint at the bottom and glued in another 2 pieces of 3mm leftovers. Also added bit of 1mm plate as stabilizer, bringing the total spine extension to 13mm.
Sorry, but that’s the only picture I took when working on it.
New Set of Hands
I’ll be blunt: I hate the standard Barbatos Lupus hands. I hate their basic looks and complete lack of expression. I kid you not, I’ve seen more expressive roadkills. The minute I started this project, I knew I had to replace them with something more interesting.
Head on this kit isn’t in big need of modding, but I still wanted to try a few things. I’m somewhat happy with its current state, but redoing it is still on the table.
That’s about it for this Barbatos Lupus WIP update. Sorry it took so long, but as you can see, it’s quite a lot of stuff to write down.
If you want to stay up to date on my work, consider following me on Facebook. I tend to drop WIP pictures there every other day.
P.S. I finally decided on a name for this custom.