WIP - Gustav Variant / グスタフバリアント / Gustav Variant

A few moths ago, I stopped in one of the few Japanese book stores in NYC and spotted the Maschinen Krieger Graphix Vol. 1.
In it, there are three Konrad variants that inspired me to start building this suit. I think a month later after I first flipped through the book, it was those suits that got me to purchase it. I felt like a kid. Already a few weeks into it, here is the beginning of  my field adapted, heavy armored Gustav variant with the help of Aves Apoxie Sculpt courtesy of Captain Kirk's kick ass modeling care package. You rock, man!

Let me know what y'all think. Also, looking for a name for it- any ideas?
It looks like an armored beetle to me...

I wanted to get a taller, beefier top. I used the back end of the Gustave Nitto kit and the re-pop of the Gustav kit that comes with the MEL kit with sprue to space them. I also had to split the top of the outer top to be able to spread it across the sub. then I filled the gaps with the Aves.

003. Face- The face plate/armor is done. It reminds me of a welders mask...
Legs-I worked them out. The  needed to be a bit bigger. So I sculpted the shin to the knee armor so it is one- like the Raptor. How ever, these will  eventually look like plates welded together.
Now, it can walk.

The manipulator and laser arm are complete. I really like the  upper arm shape from "The Naked Sword" build, so I am "borrowing" it. The shape is very cool, so I've added it as an armored "slip" or "sheaf- not sure what you would call it. Added a sensor and light at forearm as well as shield.
Sculpted pieces work with Aves. Thanks again, Kirk!

Decided to scrape shoulder armor I stated with and work these SAFS hip plates.

Front completed with additional armor as seen on the original Konrad builds that inspired this guy. So, I am "borrowing" the front plate and the layered shoulder armor.

Moving right along and ready for chipping and washes and general snaking around. Doing a two tone paint scheme here to keep it simple.

Last minute add on- grenade of sorts...

I'll be adding the hoses and MV lenses and calling this done soon.

Rise of Gustav V.II
I started a second Gustav possibly to place in a dio with the first. My plan for the second was for it to be a bit lighter than the previous. I actually wanted to keep it simple, but as always these things are a work in progress The final results are always different from from what I set out to do. Per Andreas' request, I am going to try and do SBS build for him and the rest of you. Andreas, this buds for you!

Hip armor:
I started with the hip armor first fashioned from a plastic spoon. First time  and fun doing so.

2. I turn the spoon inside out to fashion the facing left side plate. I trace the 
facing right plate so I don't have to outline it from eye nor sanding. Laziness? 

3. Place and Trace...

And now, the end result. I was going to smooth sculpt ofter them, but scraped the idea after. The sculpt didn't go to waste though....

Engine: Panzerfaust
, 1/48 aircraft rocket launcher and MD 500 exhaust served as a foundation for the engine's shape and profile.

Sculpt flattened out after curing for 1/2 hour then laid over engine area.

With a little help, gravity starts do do its thing-

Cut off excess sculpt and then shape with figures.

Some sanding and carving.

Added pupils, so I think he's kinda done. Let me know what else I might do do to make him better.

I thought this might be interesting for some:
Shield is cut from styrene sheet along with strips to hold it to the forearm.

Strips spaced accordingly, then glued and wrapped and meet as shown.

I used thin styrene strips for the canopy frame too.

The corners were then filled with putt so to meet up.

Painting: I forgot to snap a picture, but before priming with Tamiya Dull Red from Rattle can (bellow), for high chipping areas by hand, I hit those spots with a coat of Testors Enamel Steel.

Next, Humbrol Enamel Khaki for the base coat, applied by hand and slightly thinned. This is the first time I've used Humbrol paint on a large area as I've been afraid of screwing up the build. Though, after mixing it well it went on like a dream and dried nicely.

Next by brush, I applied my own mix of Tamiya Acrylic Deck Tan and RLM Grey.

Only the feet done here with my mixture thinned with water, and after two coats- just to illustrate the difference in paints and coats.

Completely finished with the Tamiya Acrylic mix and (BK's gonna laugh here)- the white areas finished with a mixture of Testors Acrylic Primmer White and Tamiya Flat Base thinned with water and applied by brush.

Decals were applied next as well as joint covers and manipulator painted up with Floquil Enamel Weathered Black. For decaling, the surface areas the decals are applied to are primed with Tamiya Gloss. Once decal is applied and dry, I go back with the gloss and and just over the decal working from the center out spread it out evenly. Sorry, but no pictures to illustrate this.


A few local washes here and there and one over the roof to bring the white down and I'm almost done. Then some dusting and oil/fuel marks.

I went back over the numerals with an orange/red mix for more pop. I used oils for rust streaks and bleeding as well as local washes. Darker toward the bottom, lighter at the top.

I haven't documented the weathering process so well because I moved fairly quickly and I don't have the steps down well enough to record them. As usual, I'm winging it. However, below are some of the products I've been using.

Rust pigments with fixer used for texture and colour variation for rusting metal. Apply then let dry and repeat with a different shade to achieve variation in colour.

I scuffed away with a soft file and chipped with a blade. Then filled the chips with Vallejo 71063 silver as a base for  AK's Dark Steel pigment over. Then fixed the AK pigment with Mig pigment fixer. Get your hands on some AK Dark Steel Pigment; it's amazing. The more you rub the area you've used it in, the brighter it gets.

 I beefed up the 'Leg Wells". Playing with armor plates toward the back. I am in two minds about it- thinking I want to run the hoses to the side and behind it, then I'm thinking not. The side windows are sculpted and parts from a 1/35 WWII German night vision kit. Shoulder plate is the back door from Hughes chopper kit filled.

Worked out the engine. Can you guess what it is in the middle there to help guide and shape the sculpting?
I'm thinking the kit's supplied exhaust pipe is over kill...
In the last picture, the exhaust outlets on the side of the box..(the grey bits) are the gun muzzles from A Tamiya WWII 1/35th weapons set.

004. I took this picture of the the full back with out armor plates. I've changed my mind with regards to the back armor plates shown in the first posts. I started to fill/build out the entire area by the engine (hence the tube in the pictures from yesterday) but it just started to look dumb. So I am now back to c leaner end.
I've sanded back the periscope bump and started to fill the area to make seem flush to the top of the hull. Any thoughts on this? Do you think it will be better than having a strangely shaped (strangely as in a not well thought out manner) bump?

I fixed the shape of the back and added a hump sensor on the right too.

Optical side sensor fashioned from 1/72 Jerry can.


The base coat with rattle can Hull Red, then quick spray of black. Hand painted coat of Testors enamel "Sand". Next, a mix of Tamiya White and Deck Tan with a smidgen of German Grey- one coat by hand. Lately, I hit it with Tamiya Deck tan mixed with Tamiya flatt and that's how the chalky dusty finish came about.

Got to some chipping and weathering. 
I started with an oil wash. A mixture of payne's grey, phthalocyanine blue and a bit of yellow ochre. I applied it over sections of the suit. Lighter at the top and for less time until wiping it off. Thicker toward the bottom letting is sit a bit longer. After whipping, what ever was remaining to my liking I let  dry and set in. I went back with a very thinned out coat of the Tamiya acrylic colour I mixed in spots after.

I do my chipping and scratches with a wet file or knife blade down to the base coat. With a very fine brush, I fill the chip or scratch in with my new love, Vallejo 71063 silver mixed with a bit of soot pigment. After it dries, I go in with a very thinned oil rust colour. This darkens the silver and collects at the edges of the chip or scratch nicely. Next, I'll go in with various hues of rust in the chips, scratches and corners.


Done with washes and chipping. Maybe a touch up hear and there along with some dusting and streaking. I've started work on a partner in crime for this dude. Another Gustav not nearly as armored up though... for now that is.

I fashioned the shoulder armor from a plastic spoon too. I used styrene and brass rod for the details at the top. I like the idea of them being asymmetrical.

Since I plan on not fixing the suit's position, I need the armor to move with the joint. I made the fasteners like the original to slide in the slit.

Connected to the upper arm joint.

I'm plugging up the side windows. I've used sculpt on the window's inside/outside to add  volume to the surface.
I'm addicted to the sculpt. Spreed it out, let dry and sand to shape.

Started on the pilot from the PKA kit. Cleaned him up nice and carved the details out.The Base coat/primer is Tamiya gloss black then without masking, Tamiya Flesh Tone. Both from rattle cans. His uniform, helmet and goggles will be light in colour.

Hinge bars for the hip plates.

Face painting-

This is the first head I've painted that looks human. I took my time with it which made it surprisingly easy. In the past. I've rushed through the steps, not had the best brushes or paint generally delivering poor results.

I started with Tamiya gloss black and then Tamiya Flesh from rattle cans. after they dried overnight, I went back with Tamiya Acrylic Flesh mixed with Desert Tan. I watered the mix down considerably applying several coats across the face.

This resulted imho, a nice, even surface and tone to build on.

I made a similar mixture, only now I added a bit of white. I watered it down and used it to highlight the face's most pronounced features. I lucked out with the lips- I used red primer from Polly Paints thinned as the lip base colour then went over with a few coats of the same mixture after they dried. I also jumped to the other parts of the bust. Base coat colours are in Testors enamels.

I used watered down Tamyia Acrylic colours over the enamel base colours. I varied the  concentration in spots to push highlights and shadows.

I then used some oil pin washes in areas.


For more surface details, "D" rings cut from thick styrene.

I find easier to make the hole while still part of the sheet.

Place in desired location.

Then shaped with sanding stick after attached.

Hoses shaped with brass wire. I find it easier to bend than the copper wire that comes with the kit. I use crazy glue to hold the shape and fill the gaps.

...and since I like to have my Ma.K movable... so I'm always trying difference ideas for joint covers. I've used electrical tape before, but thought I'd try 1st aid tape.

Wrap around the joint and secure with crazy glue.

Joint covers and hoses...

Then Surfacer time. I use 500 for texture for parts I want to seem cast.

Prior to the first oil wash, I've sprayed the suit with Testors rattle can Matte. I'm doing the first oil wash prior to chipping and scratching. The mix consists of payne's grey,  green, burnt umber and a bit of yellow ochre- A greenish /black colour.


I pull the wash down from top to bottom of torso to get subtle streaking.

A shot from the next day after drying. I kinda like the look of it with out chips n' dents.

However Unfortunately, scratch n' dents with some local washes are next.

Just about done with the suit as I can always find something to add. I dusted them up a bit last night and need to add grease and oil spots. Also, I got some great pointers from Captain Kirk for the Gustav pilot's face that I want to implement. I started to play with a dio scene and now I am considering adding a PKA to follow in the charge. The ground work will be simple... rock and dirt maybe with some scorch marks. Originally, I wanted to have the bigger Gustav depositing the grenade down an air-shaft as the second Gustav kept watch, but I'm not good enough to convey the full value of that type of subtle scene. So, when in doubt, go for action. I quite like the "ready to launch" pose I've been able to get from the larger Gustavish thing.

The direction of the pilots head lends it self to the suggest he is covering his buddy.

The PKA coming up the rear with just Panzerfausts reminds me of a little kid running to catch up with his big brother.