It begins – Barbatos Lupus custom.

This is actually my very first kit – FM 1/100 Barbatos Lupus. I built it back in January, before I got proper tools. Used some crappy wire cutters, utility knife (you know, the snap-off blade type) and some sand paper scraps I found in garage. This guy got me addicted to Gunpla.

Over time my plans for him kept evolving. At first I wanted to try hand painting him, but quickly decided to wait until I have an airbrush. Once I had it, I started thinking of doing some detailing or even scratch building. Eventually I decided to just put it on hold until I have at least one finished kit.

Now that my MG Freedom 2.0 is done, the time has come.  Surprisingly, I had no trouble deciding what my first attempt at scratch building should be. After all, what better to start with than…

A giant sword!

Anyone who ever played MMOs with me could probably see that one coming a mile away. I’m pretty sure over the years words ‘Blaze’ and ‘greatsword’ became synonymous to most of my gaming friends. Still, this kind of weapon definitely suits brutal combat style of Barbatos Lupus.  I decided to base this sword on the one used by a BlazBlue character – Kagura Mutsuki.

I did some drawings in spare time to get an idea how I wanted to adjust the shape. Eventually I created a final template for the blade. Barbatos Lupus WIP - initial sword design.
Using the template, I cut the two halves of the blade out of 3mm plastic sheet. I used a modelling saw to cut the diagonals where the blade widens up. Sawing through the main edge seemed like a nightmare, so I gave them a few passes with Tamiya scriber and broke off excess plastic. Two halves of the blade.
With both halves glued together, I drilled a 2mm hole for the handle. Then I widened it to 3mm about halfway. While the pin vise looks alright there, I’ve built the handle using 2mm brass rod inside 3mm plastic pipe. Metal core provides much-needed stability for this beast of a blade. Without it the handle would bend like a wet noodle. Pin vise is a bit too big and expensive to use as a handle.
Using a variety of files and sanding sponges I sharpened the blade. Due to my limited patience, I had to spread this across couple evenings. This step really made me wish I owned some sort of Dremel or a belt sander. Sharpening the blade

While it looked pretty decent for manual work, I was kinda unhappy with few uneven spots. As I started working on correcting those, I realized those imperfections actually added character. After all it was a giant tool of destruction, not a piece of IKEA furniture. Going forward I started aiming for more of a rough look than super shiny factory new one.


To begin, I stuck a piece of the masking tape on the blade and drew the shape for the mount. As you can see, I never actually glued the handle in. It stays in place perfectly fine on friction alone. Designing some details using masking tape
I stuck the masking tape onto 2mm plastic sheet to use as a template for the pieces. After cutting out one for each side of the blade, I filed them to shape and added a slight bevel on the edges. I glued them onto the blade, leaving about ~6mm sticking out. Using masking tape as a template Both sides of the mount cut and beveled

Here you can see the reason. I used two 3mm pla-plate leftovers from the blade to finish up the mount. Also drilled in an opening for the handle.

As you can see in the background, it required a few tries to get right.


Finishing up the handle mount

Instead of two huge rivets the original sword had, I opted to use many small ones for detailing. Damn things kept falling off and I actually lost quite a few.

You might notice I also glued in a tiny piece of 5mm pipe for extra detail.

Adding some rivets

Pommel was an interesting one. I didn’t have any pipes bigger than 5mm. As I tried to think of a best way to sculpt one out of epoxy putty, I remembered I had box of random electronics parts I salvaged at work a while ago.

What you see here are various seals from decommissioned cash registers. One of those fit perfectly. Solid metal also provided a bit of counter balance. I set it in place using epoxy putty. Also added some around the mount to fill uneven edges.

Sorry for out-of-focus photo, didn’t notice it at the time.

 Using salvaged cash register parts for the pommel

Continuing with the ‘rough’ theme, I added some cast iron effect by applying plastic cement to the blade and brushing it around with an old toothbrush. Took a couple of rounds of applying glue and slight sanding until I was happy with the result.

Just one of many great tips I learned from Clash of the Deities by Mr.Dash.

Creating cast iron effect

All that was left to do at this point was to spray primer, fix the mistakes it revealed and prime it again. Overall I’m very happy with how it turned out!

All primed up!

Making the big guy slightly bigger.

Barbatos Lupus is definitely one of my all time favorite Gundam designs. Main distinguishing feature of IBO Gundams are exposed mechanics at the waist. They look great and refreshing and… are barely visible on model kits. No wonder waist extension is one of the most popular mods for this line. My build is definitely not going to be an exception.

First, we brutally cut the model in half.


Then glue in some extra plastic. In my case – 2x 3mm, again leftovers from the blade.

Lookin' sharp!

Waist extension definitely helps the proportions and badass factor. At this point I’m really liking where this is going.

Anyway, that’s it for this WIP. If you’re enjoying my take on Barbatos Lupus so far and want more frequent updates, check out my Facebook page.

Barbatos Lupus Custom

Other WIP posts:
> Barbatos Lupus Custom WIP #1
Barbatos Lupus Custom WIP #2
Barbatos Lupus Custom WIP #3
Barbatos Lupus Custom WIP #4

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