Conversion Guide: XV83

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Riley


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I decided to "improve" the look of my crisis suit. This article shows what I did, and how I did it.

XV83 Head

When I started converting my crisis suit, which I now have named the XV83, I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with the head. Because I wanted my suit to really stand out and the head is such a central piece of the suit I decided early on that it had to be different.I researched several mech designs trying to settle on a suitable look but when the new Forgeworld battlesuits came out I decided it would be best to adopt their style. In this section I will explain in detail how I made the XV83 head so you can attempt this conversion yourself.The XV83 head design is quite similar to the XV84 head. It is a bit broader in the front and has different detail. Somehow I got the idea in my head to make this a full plastic conversion and stuck with the idea through the entire conversion. So the head is basically carved from a solid piece of plastic. If you attempt to make it you may want to use milliput or Green Stuff instead.Here are the pics from the parts that make up the head:Gallery image
[gal_img]1412[/gal_img]
  • Part A: Carved from plastic
  • Part B: Carved from plastic. Added detail. I tried to get the same feel as the detail of the XV84 head
  • Part C: Camera lenses/Eyes cut from the original head
  • Part D: Neck joint cut from the original head
  • Part E: Short antenna piece unmodified (except I cut an angle where it fits onto the head so it will fit straight onto it)
  • Part F: Random circular piece of plastic. I ended up using two circular pieces of plastic because the piece in the picture wasn't thick enough. The second piece was smaller in diameter which made it look even better.
  • Part G: This was cut from a pulse carbine. I tried to mimic the sensor on the XV89 head.
The most difficult part of making the XV83 head is definitely carving part A. It took me a couple of tries (And several times cutting my fingers in the process so watch out!) before I got it right. Below are some of my older attempts:[gal_img]1413[/gal_img]The white stuff is poster putty which I use to stick parts together to have a look at the overall feel while working. Now that we have had a good laugh... let's get to work!

What you'll need

  • Hobby knife
  • File
  • Needle files
  • Sanding paper
  • PVC Cement glue

Before You Start..

You'll be attempting a pretty complex conversion so it may take several attempts to get it right. This is also pretty time consuming if I may add.You'll be carving with a hobby knife.Please be careful. Find a suitable working place with lots of lighting and a working pad to carve on.

Now lets actually start!

[gal_img]1414[/gal_img]

Step 1

[gal_img]1415[/gal_img]We'll be working from the side view. First get a suitable block of plastic and cut it down to the right proportions (Remove blue area from diagram). Then use the knife to remove a large part of the red area. Use a file to round off the shape. You can use sandpaper to finish off but it isn't necessary at this stage. WIP depicts what shape you will end up with.

Step 2

[gal_img]1416[/gal_img]We now switch to the top view. There are two ways to do this. I used step 2a. You can either remove the blue area with a knife and file and then add the red areas with additional plastic. Or you can carve only the green areas away (Step 2b). Either way you'll need to end up with the shape that's depicted in WIP.

Step 3

[gal_img]1417[/gal_img]Working from side view. Once again remove the blue area with a knife and file. Round off with sandpaper. See WIP for reference.

Step 4

[gal_img]1418[/gal_img]Switch to front view. Now you'll only be using the file. Round off the top of the head by filing away the blue area. Looking at the top view the Red area is the general area I rounded off. See WIP for the product of this step.

Step 5

[gal_img]1419[/gal_img]Switch to front view. Use your file to remove the blue areas on the side. Switch to side view. Use file to remove red area. Reference WIP for product of this step.

Step 6

[gal_img]1405[/gal_img]Stick to side view and use your hobby knife to carve out the blue area. Now switch to front view and carve out the green area with the knife. Reference the red area in the second side view to get an idea how deep to go and what the general shape should be. Use file and sandpaper on the area until the Camera lenses (Part C) fits neatly into it.And there you have it. The final product: Part A. You can use a knife to etch lines into the head to add detail.Part B is a relatively simple design. I carved it from a piece of plastic too. I don't think you'll be needing explicit directions how to make it, but if anyone runs into trouble just drop me a line (Must be a member of the forums).

Detailing

Here's a diagram of how I go the detailing onto the part. I simply carved it from the bottom of a drone![gal_img]1406[/gal_img]

Final Note

No way am I going through all that trouble of carving Part A again! If you're done with it you'll probably want to make a mould of it before continuing. I for one did.

XV83 Armour

In this section I'd like to discuss the extra armour I added in my XV83 conversion. Once again I found inspiration in the new Forgeworld Battlesuits. The shin guards are based on the XV84 design and the knee pads are from the XV89 design. The shoulder pads are my own design and are basically the simplest design I could come up with at the moment.The armour I added is made of plasticard, stuck together with PVC cement and filed and sanded to get a smooth look. I plan to do similar conversions in the future, so I made templates of the parts. Here are the templates:[gal_img]1407[/gal_img]

Shin Guards

[gal_img]1408[/gal_img]PVC cement actually melts the plastic locally so if you use the correct amount of glue you can create a seamless connection between two plates. Apply glue on the connection surface, let it work for about 30-60 seconds and then press both parts together with enough pressure. When it has dried, use your file and sandpaper to round of the sharp corners. The rivets on the shin guards are made by rounding off a plastic rod with a file and sanding paper and cutting small discs of it.

Shoulder Pads

[gal_img]1409[/gal_img]The Tau symbol for the shoulder pad was made from two circular pieces of plastic, one Large, one Small. The larger one was rounded off with sanding paper and filed down to the right thickness. Then a circular hole was made at the top so that the smaller one would fit in it. A thin line was etched from top till bottom to finish it off.

Knee Pads

[gal_img]1410[/gal_img]I wanted to match the new legs design of the Forgeworld battlesuits so I made the hinge where the leg connects to the body. The hinge is made in a similar way as the Tau symbol: circular piece of plastic rounded of with sanding paper, etch a line from top till bottom and cut tiny indents on both sides. Again GS Definition: Green Stuffis a good alternative. I cut the ball joint flat at the outer side and drilled a shallow hole so that the hinge would fit in it.

Lower leg extension

[gal_img]1411[/gal_img]I also extended the lower legs on my crisis suit, so if you want to use the templates you need to compensate for that. Either draw new ones or extend the lower legs too.




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