MDF M8 Avenger/Foam N7 Armor Build

Discussion in 'Replica Props' started by Dainbramage546, Feb 23, 2012.

  1. Dainbramage546

    Dainbramage546 Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    With Mass Effect 3 coming out next month and finally getting a short break between projects in college, I decided to finally get around to the M8 Avenger.

    I'll try to take a decent amount of pictures of the process, but I tend to get caught up in working and forget.

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    Using a mix of Volpin's blueprints, reference pictures, and a papercraft model, I made some rough blueprints of my own, which I turned into stencils. MDF board is amazing for this kind of build so I bought a 4' x 2' sheet of 3/4" and a 4' x 2' sheet of 1/4" for details.

    If you've seen the build by Mr. Krix, I followed his idea of making a skeleton and putting the gun together like a puzzle, allowing the use of a belt sander.

    [​IMG] MDF makes a really fine dust (which is "toxic") and also clogs up respirators really fast so I bought super dust masks for sanding and woodworking.

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    All cut out!

    N7 Armor
    After seeing the awesome sets of armor by EvilFX and how relatively cheap EVA foam is, what better way to pick up ME3 at midnight then as Commander Shepard?

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    I started by making a duct tape mannequin. My roommate found this hilarious, but helped out anyway.

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    Scaled and ready to go.
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    I'm an architecture student so this step was made easier with a plotter.
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    All done! I printed out the front and back but you get the idea.
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    I love the way the EVA foam looks. I got 4 24"x24" sheets at Lowes for $17.

    Mass Effect 2 Templates Have Arrived
    Here's the link where I got the templates. He has some videos on how to scale them as well if you haven't really used any adobe software.

    Mass Effect N7 Armor Build! « Evil FX / BioWeapons.com
    Volpin Props: Mass Effect M8 Avenger Assault Rifle
    Those are the builds that inspired me to do this. Thank you!

    I'll post more as it progresses!
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2012
  2. Dainbramage546

    Dainbramage546 Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: M8 Avenger/N7 Armor Build

    After a few days work, I decided it was time for an update. Picture heavy.
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    Starting to assemble the pieces.
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    Most of the sanding was done with a belt sander. It made my life so much easier.
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    I got a new toy for my dremel. It made details easier and straighter.
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    And here's what it looks like now. I need to make the scope and middle pieces (out of styrene) as well as a few other small things. I ordered the gallon kits of OOMOO 25 and Smoothcast 300 and they came friday. Hopefully I can get this done and molded by wednesday. If anyone is interested I might sell a few casts of it.
     
  3. pRoJectEarth7

    pRoJectEarth7 Well-Known Member

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    Re: M8 Avenger/N7 Armor Build

    Excellent work there man...:)(y)thumbsup

    With the speed you're doing things, I'm sure you'll be ready in no time...;)

    Cant wait to see everything finished and you fully suited up...:love

    Keep building... cheers!
     
  4. Sluis Van Shipyards

    Sluis Van Shipyards Master Member

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    Re: M8 Avenger/N7 Armor Build

    Looks great so far! I really need to try using MDF on something.
     
  5. Jeyl

    Jeyl Master Member

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    Re: M8 Avenger/N7 Armor Build

    Will the trigger move?

    :confused
     
  6. Wes R

    Wes R Legendary Member

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    Re: M8 Avenger/N7 Armor Build

    Looks really good and I want that printer, it would make large scale projects like this so much easier.
     
  7. Dainbramage546

    Dainbramage546 Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: M8 Avenger/N7 Armor Build

    There's something I really want to do with the M8 that would in fact make the trigger move, as well as do other things. I don't want to say it yet, since I don't know if I could pull it off haha We'll see
     
  8. Dainbramage546

    Dainbramage546 Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: M8 Avenger/N7 Armor Build

    Just a quick update. Tomorrow I'm going to put on the pieces I made with styrene and then molding and casting!!

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  9. cosmic_x

    cosmic_x Well-Known Member

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    Re: M8 Avenger/N7 Armor Build

    molding and casting? Will you offer kits?
     
  10. Dainbramage546

    Dainbramage546 Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: M8 Avenger/N7 Armor Build

    If there's interest I'd do a run of them. I could have them available in the next couple days. PM me if you're interested

    I'm doing a little better at taking pictures than I thought.
    Another perk of being a college architecture student is our large spray booth. It's winter in North Dakota so I'd be screwed without it.
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    Nick, holding the M8
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    Since I didn't want to make 8 of these, and 12 of the other little styrene piece, I molded them.
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    My roommates probably hate me for taking up all of the counter space. Oh well.
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    Dixie cup molds. They can be used for something other than beer! :lol
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    I always make too much plastic and I need some more claws for portal guns, so it's kind of a win win.

    I'm going to finish up the styrene parts on the gun, sand the first layer of primer and recoat it, then molding tonight!
     
  11. Dainbramage546

    Dainbramage546 Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: M8 Avenger/N7 Armor Build

    Here's a couple shots of it all put together!
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    I'll update more once I get the molding done!
     
  12. Yodajammies

    Yodajammies Sr Member

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    Re: M8 Avenger/N7 Armor Build

    Great job with this build! Your cuts and assembly looks very precise.
     
  13. AnotherChris

    AnotherChris New Member

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    Re: M8 Avenger/N7 Armor Build

    The work is amazing and the speed at which it's coming together is mind-bogglingly impressive. I'm looking forward to seeing how the molds come out.
     
  14. Dainbramage546

    Dainbramage546 Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: M8 Avenger/N7 Armor Build

    Thanks! The band saw and belt sander were my best friends during this build :lol


    Thanks! The last week or so I've been spending at least five hours a day at the woodshop, trying to finish this beast before ME3 comes out. Hopefully the molds come together as well as the rifle did
     
  15. Sluis Van Shipyards

    Sluis Van Shipyards Master Member

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    Re: M8 Avenger/N7 Armor Build

    That is sweet! How much does it weigh so far?
     
  16. Crank729

    Crank729 Sr Member

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    Re: M8 Avenger/N7 Armor Build

    Awesome build!!!
     
  17. Dainbramage546

    Dainbramage546 Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: M8 Avenger/N7 Armor Build

    I'm not exactly sure, but the weight of it feels about what a rifle of this size would. It feels really solid.

    Thanks!
     
  18. Dainbramage546

    Dainbramage546 Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: M8 Avenger/N7 Armor Build

    Just a quick update on this, I gave it a quick painting, made the scope, and I'm molding it tonight with Rebound 25. I also took this to the midnight release of ME3 last night and it was a big hit.

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  19. scorpion

    scorpion Active Member

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    Re: M8 Avenger/N7 Armor Build

    super awesomeeeee build your work is perfect!!
     
  20. Fuzzual

    Fuzzual Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: M8 Avenger/N7 Armor Build

    excellent build sir, great detail!
     
  21. thorn13

    thorn13 New Member

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    Re: M8 Avenger/N7 Armor Build

    This is so cool!!!
     
  22. Dainbramage546

    Dainbramage546 Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: M8 Avenger/N7 Armor Build

    Thanks for the comments everyone! I keep forgetting to update this thread so I'll do it now!

    I keep putting off working on the N7 armor but here's where the front sits right now.
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    It's been chilling on my duct tape mannequin in one of our living room chairs for weeks.

    I'll post some pictures of the molding process of the M8 later. For now, here's what my counter looks like.

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    These are for sale in the junkyard.
    http://www.therpf.com/f13/mass-effect-m8-avenger-kits-141518/
     
  23. notaek

    notaek New Member

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    Re: M8 Avenger/N7 Armor Build

    Your kitchen looks like it'll be well defended from any Reapers, lol. Great detailing on the M8's and the armor looks like it's really coming along! Can't wait to see more soon!
     
  24. Dainbramage546

    Dainbramage546 Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I finally got around to doing a write up of the molding process of my M8. This was my first attempt at doing brush on mold and it went fairly well.

    I'll start by showing some shots of one of the castings.

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    The first step is the claying up of the master. I cut out the shape of the gun out of an old white foamcore board and used clay to fill in the gaps.
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    Next came the first layer of Rebound 25.
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    Several layers of rubber and a few cardboard registry keys later...
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    I let the rubber dry overnight and brought it to the spraybooth the next day. We decided to make the mothermold out of fiberglass since we had a lot left over from the portal gun molds. I'm interested in plasti paste. If anyone has used it, let me know what your opinion. Here's the mold after a couple layers of fiberglass.
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    Since the process is the same on both sides, I'll skip to the finished mold.
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    And here's the mold closed and cleaned up. It's held together during slush casting by ten or so nuts and bolts.
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    Rebound 25 is awesome stuff. This mold held up to around 15 castings and is finally starting to sag a little. The castings still look great but I'd like to get a new mold together, with some improvements such as taking out the barrels and a couple styrene parts to make it easier to for installing LEDs.

    I'm currently working on a couple castings for a friend and for myself. I'll post some pics when I get a chance to paint them up!
     
  25. zanderwitaz

    zanderwitaz Well-Known Member

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    nice build! I'm glad you sold so many of these. I can barely sell like 2 of mine!
     
  26. cosmic_x

    cosmic_x Well-Known Member

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    One thing to consider is also the price, these were selling for $180 -$200. I got one without any second thought :)
     
  27. Dainbramage546

    Dainbramage546 Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Thanks! I'd love a Mattock, your build of that is absolutely incredible. Unfortunately I'm a little broke right now
     
  28. Dainbramage546

    Dainbramage546 Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Update time! Sorry this is taking so long, I've been really busy with work and online summer classes.

    Ready to go, set up with clay.
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    Print Layer (1)
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    Layer 2
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    Layer 3
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    Close up of Layer 3. I've never used Thi-Vex II thickener before, but it's awesome.
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    Layer 4 (with foamcore registry keys)
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    I didn't quite have enough to do another print layer over the last layer but that's ok. I'm going to clean it up a little with an exacto knife before doing the plasti paste II mother mold.

    I made a mold for one of the middle pieces as well and here's a pic of a few of the castings.
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    Here's a couple pictures of my workspace. Spray booths are neat.
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    I'll keep updating this as I get more done!

    Thoughts, comments, suggestions? Let me know!
     
  29. Ki Djowac

    Ki Djowac Active Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Looking great there !! I'm glad i got into the run :)
     
  30. Khepry

    Khepry New Member

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    oh yes :D

    I can't say I know how this all works but I absolutely love progress pics ^^

    Edit: Would you happen to have measurements for the whole rifle? (length, width, heigth)
    Might start thinking of a container/display of some kind :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2012
  31. Dainbramage546

    Dainbramage546 Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Update time! I was sick for a few days so I didn't get as much done as I wanted but it should be done this weekend!

    Mother mold!
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    Plasti-Paste II is awesome and goes on nicely. That being said, I'm probably never going to use it again. Unfortunately it didn't go as far as I thought it would (my bad). We used up an entire gallon kit on one side and just to be safe ended up reinforcing that with fiberglass. The mother mold on the other side will be fiberglass. It's also really heavy haha

    Flip it!
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    A little clean up and this side is ready for rubber!

    We slush cast 12 M8s with our old mold and decided not to with this one. To get a nice even cast each time Nick started building this!
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    Since that was taken he's installed gears and whatever else to make it spin with a hand crank. He's the engineer, I'm the architect :)

    Our new rotocast machine is 2' x 4' and will make this so much easier, especially since plasti-plaste weighs a ton!

    More updates coming soon!

    Also, the M8 is roughly 29" long, 12" tall at the top points, and 3" wide (all in inches)
     
  32. Ki Djowac

    Ki Djowac Active Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Looking good there !!! Awesome work:thumbsup
     
  33. Dainbramage546

    Dainbramage546 Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Just a quick update on this, we're finishing up the mother mold tomorrow so we should be set to cast in the next couple of days! I'll do a write up as soon as the mother mold is done.
     
  34. Ki Djowac

    Ki Djowac Active Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Sounds good to me(y)thumbsup
    Thx for the update :cool
     
  35. Khepry

    Khepry New Member

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    definately looking forward to seeing the first one come out :D
     
  36. Dainbramage546

    Dainbramage546 Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    The mold is done and tonight we should get it hooked up to the rotocast machine.

    I laser cut a prototype out of thin basswood that turned out great so I'll make another one with thicker wood and post a picture! My flickr account is up to 200 photos so I have to go delete some haha

    Almost done :D
     
  37. chaotictinkerin

    chaotictinkerin New Member

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    Just read your thread and all I can say is I HATE YOU! :angry No, not really, I'm amazed by how fast you were able to put these together. I've been working on an m8 myself and was trying to decide if I should cast it in several pieces or one single mold. My intention was to be able to add electronics to the different sections and then assemble them. You had mentioned adding electronics yourself and just wondered how that was going to work as a single casting. Keep up the great work and can't wait to see whats next.
     
  38. Dainbramage546

    Dainbramage546 Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Thanks haha It's hard to explain without having a cast or the master to use as an example but I'll try with some pictures. In this new version, I took out the middle pieces, casting one out of solid resin and laser cutting the other, making it hollow for electronics. Since the M8 is being rotocasted, it will be hollow, allowing for electronics to be installed internally. I found that a 2 AA battery pack from Radio Shack fits perfectly in the hand grip.

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    Each kit comes with the laser cut piece, the piece that goes inside of it and the two barrels that attach to it. I'll throw in a solid resin scope as well if you'd like it.

    Here's a few pics of the second side. It's essentially the same as the other side (without the plasti-paste). I'm really happy with the way the fiberglass turned out.

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    This is how it sits right now. All that's left is to drill the edges and put the bolts in, hook it up to the rotocaster and cast. Nick got off work late and wasn't feeling too hot so we didn't get to that tonight but we should have a few casts done in the next couple days.

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    I found a random picture of some of the pieces we cast.

    Almost done! :)
     
  39. Ki Djowac

    Ki Djowac Active Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Man, this is gonna rock. You're thinking stuff through here and it shows in the quality we see here !! Room for electronics, etc... Oh yeah, you can bet one of my BC 4.0 pcb's is going in this bad boy.(y)thumbsup:thumbsup

    One of my things to do on my very long 'things to do list' is looking into a soundfontmaker probably to get some accurate M8 Avenger sounds in there :cool
     
  40. Khepry

    Khepry New Member

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    what he said!
    got a Blaster Core pcb too, and it's going to fit in there very nicely :p
     
  41. Volpin

    Volpin Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I am way late to the party here, and sorry to point this out after you've already molded the piece (twice!) but I just now noticed something, in case you mold it a third time or want to change this part:

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    That piece seems to be upside-down on your rifles.

    Even still, nice work. I'm envious of your rotocaster! Always wanted to mold my M8 but was too worried about destroying the paintjob in the process.
     
  42. Darth Detroit

    Darth Detroit Sr Member

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    I have no idea what this is, but THIS is the reason why I joined this site back inthe day!
    FAN-FRICKIN-TASTIC work!
     
  43. Dainbramage546

    Dainbramage546 Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I noticed that after I molded it the first time and felt really dumb for gluing the pieces on upside down. I didn't want to hurt the master so I left it the way it was. I suppose it's a way to identify one of my kits haha

    The paint on my master is toast. The upside is that it gives me an excuse to redo it and paint it a dark red, I've always loved the way that looked on some variants of weapons in ME1.

    The paintjob on your M8 is gorgeous, the weathering is fantastic. I need to invest in some more paint and give it a shot.

    Thanks, it means a lot coming from you! The rotocaster was well worth it, slush casting these bad boys kills the arms pretty quickly. :)
     
  44. Dainbramage546

    Dainbramage546 Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Picture time!

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  45. Ki Djowac

    Ki Djowac Active Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    WOW, Looking great here !!! (y)thumbsup(y)thumbsup:thumbsup
     
  46. Khepry

    Khepry New Member

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    oh man, can't wait to get my hands on one of those :D

    looking very nice mate!
     
  47. Khepry

    Khepry New Member

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    They have arrived!

    Me and Ki Djowac can now start plotting and figuring out what we want to do with them as far as electronics and customizing is concerned :p

    We'll open up a topic for progress (and planning I think)

    Cheers mate, awesome work
     
  48. darkestknight

    darkestknight Member

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    Really nice work, you make it look easy :)
     
  49. Dainbramage546

    Dainbramage546 Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Thanks :)


    Here's a few shots of a fully finished kit that I did for a member here, weathering and all.
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    Mass Effect M8 Avenger Weathered - a set on Flickr
    There's the link to the set on flickr, more pictures there!
     
  50. animefan

    animefan Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Insane, now you just have to show us one with leds installed
     

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