Snatcher - Metal Gear MkII Robot Build

Discussion in 'Replica Props' started by nick daring, Apr 11, 2012.

  1. nick daring

    nick daring Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Before Metal Gear Solid took over the world of video games, Hideo Kojima created an story based cyberpunk adventure game called Snatcher. The game blatantly combined elements of Terminator, Blade Runner and Akira into a big weird futuristic detective melodrama that was released on the Sega CD. Fun, mind blowing stuff for a nerdy American kid in 1994 (The original Japanese version was released in 1988!)

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    In the game you are accompanied by a Navigator, a small robot partner kinda like R2-D2 and a tricorder combined.

    His name is "Metal Gear MkII" and about a year ago I decided I wanted to make him.

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    He's about the size and shape of a chicken.
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    And he has a big CRT monitor strapped to his side for you to use as a computer and as a vid-phone in the game.

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    First step in a project like this is always research. I went through the game and screengrabbed every appearance that the robot makes in the game.

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    I also found that the old Japanese manuals, merchandise and promo material had some awesome artwork and blueprints used in the development of the game! This was crazy helpful since the actual game artwork was extremely inconsistent in the robot's appearance.

    Stuff like this is invaluable!-

    View attachment 90386

    View attachment 90385

    Much thanks to the fine folks at JUNKER HQ (.net) for the great scans. In fact you can follow my initial research on the forums there- Junker HQ - View topic - Metal Gear MKII Research

    I even started gathering screencaps from older versions of the game where the artwork was different from the "Standard" Sega CD version in order to get every offical appearance of the robot. In the end I ended up with a giant page of reference material that looked like this-

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    I was now pretty much armed with all the info that existed on this character. It was time for a "proof of concept" to make sure this thing looked cool in 3D and that spending months building the full size version would be worth the effort in the end.

    Nick
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2012
  2. nick daring

    nick daring Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: Snatcher- Metal Gear MkII Build

    I wanted to make sure i understood all the forms of this strangely designed robot so I quickly built a small 5 inch model of the robot out of super sculpey and armature wire.

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    The cool thing about making this test at this size it matches up with the robot from the Japanese-only RPG style remake of the game called "SD Snatcher".

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    So now my test is also a game prop as well!

    Nick
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2012
  3. Sandman0077

    Sandman0077 Sr Member

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    Re: Snatcher- Metal Gear MkII Robot Build

    Sick detail!!
     
  4. nick daring

    nick daring Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: Snatcher- Metal Gear MkII Robot Build

    Onto the full size replica!

    But how big is this guy?

    I went through all the game reference that had another human and pulled those images together-
    [​IMG]

    It looks like he comes up to about the knee level when his head is retracted.

    My working height is at about 18 inches.

    I also kept in mind what would look good on top of a shelf as well.

    Here's a graphic showing the new Metal Gear MkII from MGS4 next to models from an upcoming fan remake of Snatcher comparing the sizes.

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    The Metal Gear MkII's design is funny. He's kinda like a Blade Runner SPinner mixed with ED-209.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Total 80's style robot.

    In fact the design is a self homage to the original Metal Gear game's boss.
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    Hence the "MkII". It's even referenced in the game's dialogue which technically makes Snatcher take place in the Metal Gear Solid universe. Weird, huh?

    Nick
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2012
  5. nick daring

    nick daring Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: Snatcher- Metal Gear MkII Robot Build

    Next I wanted to make a quick cardboard mock up of the fullsize. Am I being overly cautious? Maybe.

    Nonetheless, here we go.

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    It's big but not too big.

    Also the monitor's screen works out to where a 5.6 LCD Screen should fit in fairly nicely. More on that later.

    Next up a I dropped into Adobe Illustrator and made finalized working blueprints that combined the various elements from my previous research. This was a lot harder than it sounds even though I had those awesome Japanese blueprints to work from. The game graphics still vary from the blueprints quite a bit at different times and in different ways and I wanted to try and capture the character in the game and not what the original design guy wished it had looked like. The blueprints even have problems with matching up from the front view to the side view. For instance, the right side of the Monitor Box is never shown except in the rough early design sketches. Some liberties were be taken to work out all the details.

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    I broke up the sections into separate pieces that could be printed out and glued onto sheets of MDF.

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    If you spray the adhesive and let it sit for a minute before applying them to the board the bond is temporary. Like a strong post-it note.

    Next I jigsawed them into a stack of parts and began gluing the pieces together!

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    Yup, you guessed correctly. I'm doing this Volpin style. All hail Volpin. :)

    Nick
     
  6. nick daring

    nick daring Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: Snatcher- Metal Gear MkII Robot Build

    Going back to the LCD screen I mentioned earlier. For this robot I wanted some minimal functionality. A few LED's on the head and body and a working screen of some sort.

    Here's how the screen fits into the space-
    [​IMG]

    The left and right are slightly cropped and there's a few milimeter gap on top and bottom. With a dark screen on top the gaps should dissapear and the graphics I'm planning shouldn't require the those side spaces. All is good.

    Searching around on Ebay, I found a cheap digital frame that displays Jpgs, MP3s, and Video! I bought 2 for about 15 bucks each if I remember correctly. I don't have much electronics experience so I was afraid I might destroy one taking them apart so having a spare on hand makes me worry a little less.

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    I originally planned on just having the robot display a photo gallery of screengrabs from the game or even edited graphics that match up with what the robot would be showing in the game, but with this video and sound capable frame I can have Metal Gear speak lines from the game, play the soundtrack or even have the entire game play out in video form!

    It also is controlled by a remote. Classy.

    If all goes well, I'd love to have full PC built into it. That way you could actually play the game on the robot in emulator form. How fun would that be?! The ultimate PC Mod!

    You could even have the PC control more elaborate sound, video and even head animatronics. That's a ways off still though since I'm not a PC builder.

    Metal Gear MkII Version 1 comes first. Keep it simple and upgrade later.

    Nick
     
  7. Wes R

    Wes R Legendary Member

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    Re: Snatcher- Metal Gear MkII Robot Build

    I'm officially in love with this thread. I was looking into making one from Snatcher and Metal gear (and making one a metal gear). I'm going to keep watching this and now i want to see that fan remake lol. If you offer castings where we can add our own electronics i'll be all over it. Keep up the good work. have ou also looked for screencaps from the playstation remake? This game needs reissues with Policenauts.

    Edit: I always though the Mk 2 in Snatcher was knee high to the other characters.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2012
  8. nick daring

    nick daring Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: Snatcher- Metal Gear MkII Robot Build

    If you've read any of the Volpin builds you know what comes next.

    Insulation Foam.

    I traced out the needed shapes and cut them out on the jig saw.
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    Glued them down with woodglue since it was handy. This stuff stayed wet for a while since it needs air to dry but it got the job down. Maybe contact cement next time? Not sure what would be optimal without melting the foam. Maybe hot glue. :/
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    Using a coping saw I bring the foam closer to where it should be.
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    The little Ryobi Mouse sander does short work of that nasty chunky foam.
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    More sanding...

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    And the triangular side box is glued together, primered and sanded smooth, primered, sanded smooth, primered... until it looks right.
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    I want that 80's rounded off "friendly tech" feel to all the pieces so all the edges got sanded down heavily.

    Panel lines were scratched into the primer and wood with a pointed file.
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    I stole this technique from SteveNeil's awesome build threads and videos.

    Hopefully it's deep enough and clean enough to make me happy.

    Nick
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2012
  9. Woodlake

    Woodlake Well-Known Member

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    Re: Snatcher- Metal Gear MkII Robot Build

    I have no idea what a snatcher robot is, but really enjoying the build Nick!
     
  10. Sundowner

    Sundowner Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: Snatcher- Metal Gear MkII Robot Build

    Man I've really enjoyed reading through your build!
     
  11. PoopaPapaPalps

    PoopaPapaPalps Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: Snatcher- Metal Gear MkII Robot Build

    This is a great build; gotta love Snatcher. This is funny because, coincidentally, I'm working on two gun builds from Snatcher at the moment.
     
  12. Wes R

    Wes R Legendary Member

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    Re: Snatcher- Metal Gear MkII Robot Build

    This thing looks factory made you did such a good job. Man now i wanna buy a sega cd and replay the game :lol Poopapapapalps (that's a mouthful): did you do a wip for the snatcher guns? Nick: you should do a life sized Snatcher next lol.
     
  13. PoopaPapaPalps

    PoopaPapaPalps Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: Snatcher- Metal Gear MkII Robot Build

    ^ My Random Hajile blaster is nothing more of a retro-fitted toy shotgun (in-game, it says his gun is just an old shotgun bought from the black market and just modified to shoot lasers) and I didn't think it'd be all to interesting seeing someone just take some artistic license with a toy.

    But as my Junker blaster progresses I'll be sure to put up a WIP.
     
  14. nick daring

    nick daring Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    More shaping and sanding to nail the tricky shape of the body and head. Subtle organic curves.

    Then coated in a layer of acrylic paint to protect the foam from the body filler.

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    Nick
     
  15. Wes R

    Wes R Legendary Member

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    Looks good. Have you thought about some way to play audio clips of Mk2 talking?
     
  16. PoopaPapaPalps

    PoopaPapaPalps Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I can't wait to see the finished piece. Blinky lights and all.;)
     
  17. Ruddigger

    Ruddigger Sr Member

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    Great idea for a prop, and its turning out awesome.
     
  18. nick daring

    nick daring Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I hope it turns out awesome! I'm basically using a bunch of building techniques that I've only read about for the first time.

    I think I've got a solid plan though.

    The digital frame I'm using to run the monitor will also play MP3s making him him talk essentially. Lie I said earlier I hope eventually install a full PC or perhaps an Arduino controller for more functionality.

    Nick
     
  19. LeMarchand

    LeMarchand Sr Member

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    Love it!!!!! :) :) :)

    SD Snatcher and Snatcher have been the most influantial games in my life and sparked my love for anime and cyberpunk :)
     
  20. Laffo

    Laffo Sr Member

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    Nick,
    Try some of this stuff for your pink insulation. It makes the stuff bullet proof. It also has a tooth so bondo stick to it AND it seals it so you can use a solvent based paint or poly on it.
    And it's cheap and goes a long way and is water based.

    Hot Wire Foam Factory

    Used it on some pink foam feet and it's held up as good as fiberglass.
    Laffo.
     
  21. Mike J.

    Mike J. Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Awesome build-up!
     
  22. PoopaPapaPalps

    PoopaPapaPalps Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Holy cow. I might just have to get a bucket.
     
  23. nick daring

    nick daring Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Interesting stuff. Could it act as a replacement for body filler? It says in it's description that it's sandable.

    Bondo and it's ilk is stinky enough that I'd love to find a water-based alternative.

    Nick
     
  24. Mike J.

    Mike J. Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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  25. Palendrome

    Palendrome New Member

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    Looks awesome! The Volpin method gets the job done every time!
     
  26. nick daring

    nick daring Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Coated the head and two body pieces in a gloppy layer of Evercoat Metal Glaze. This stuff was recommended in SteveNeil's awesome enterprise build as a vastly superior product to regular Bondo. Bondo gets incredibly hard compared to other body fillers and the hardness isn't important in our modeling needs.

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    Started sanding the bottom body piece with my Ryobi Mouse sander with an 80 grit pad. It grinds down the material at a nicely controlable rate that I like so far. Looks like I'll have to route out the center groove with a dremel and a pipe with sandpaper wrapped around.

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    Nick
     
  27. LeMarchand

    LeMarchand Sr Member

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    nice!

    i'll see if i can import some of that stuff, looks really usefull.

    Been meaning to make a replica of the pistol myself, added it to the 'to do' list for this year
     
  28. PoopaPapaPalps

    PoopaPapaPalps Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    ^ We'll have to compare notes. ;)

    Oh, and great progress by the way, Nick!
     
  29. nick daring

    nick daring Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Last edited: Apr 16, 2012
  30. PoopaPapaPalps

    PoopaPapaPalps Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    :lol This just keeps getting better! I was asked not too long ago by a friend whether Gibson's head was a possibility in the future.
     
  31. nick daring

    nick daring Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    First round of sanding the body filler went pretty smooth last night.

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    There's a few low spots that I still need to build up a bit more in several areas but I'm happy with the first round of filler shaping.

    Nick
     
  32. nick daring

    nick daring Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    More sanding and the first layer of filler primer.

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    Still trying to figure out the how to approach the forms in certain undefined areas. Since this guy only lived as low res 2D graphics, it's gonna be tricky to make those spots look good. Weird shapes abound.

    There are a few thin spots in the skin from all the sanding but I don't think that'll make much a difference once more filler, and primer keep get added on and sanded down.

    We'll see.

    Nick
     
  33. Ruddigger

    Ruddigger Sr Member

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    Its moving along nicely, keep going!
     
  34. nick daring

    nick daring Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Put in a couple more hours of sanding, primer, more body filler to raise up a couple low spots. I even started applying some red glazing putty to some of the bigger pinholes and gashes.

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    I hope these micro updates aren't annoying. I always want to see more steps in every build up so I thought I'd make that happen here and avoid the giant leaps in levels of finish you see in some build logs. Baby steps.

    It's getting there.

    Nick
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2012
  35. Laffo

    Laffo Sr Member

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    Sorry Nick,
    No, it won't work as filler because it's watery, but great as a tooth coat and great for hardening and protecting the foam. Gives a great base to start putting on whatever filler you decide to use. You can throw the piece across the room after you coat it.
    Laffo.
     
  36. Ruddigger

    Ruddigger Sr Member

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    Any progress Nick?
     
  37. nick daring

    nick daring Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Been juggling a few projects so progress has been slow.

    As I've been shaping this bot down the form is really taking shape. I followed a bit of Volpin methodology that he used on one of his Daft Punk helmets and made a strip of sandpaper backed with duct tape and used that to smooth out all the high spots. The strap rides along the curved surface wonderfully and tears down those high spots perfectly. Highly recommended technique.

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    The alternating layers of primer really start to describe the topology of the form's surface as you are sanding it down.

    The only issue now is that the skin is getting really thin and even is cutting through in a couple spots.

    Here are a couple areas of foam that I think melted when I put on a layer of primer.
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    I still need to do a bit more sanding in a couple areas and also need to carve in panel lines which would probably go into the foam layer. What to do?

    I was afraid this might happen. Should've globbed on the body filler a little thicker initially. Oh well, live and learn.

    Here's where I'm at right now-
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    It's really, really close though.

    Nick
     
  38. Ruddigger

    Ruddigger Sr Member

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    Nice progress, it's starting to look really smooth. I don't know how deep you plan on going with the lines, but that problem might be solved by laying down tape strips for the lines and then spraying a lot of high build primer. When you remove the tape you have a nice line, and haven't gouged the prop.
     
  39. nick daring

    nick daring Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I thought about doing that. It might be the solution I'm looking for.

    Once I realized that I was getting super close to the foam I actually laid down about 5 good coats of high build primer to help build back a bit of a barrier.

    Hope the tape method gives me a good look. Might even be easier to get the curves I need to achieve.

    Nick
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2012
  40. PoopaPapaPalps

    PoopaPapaPalps Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Any updates?
     
  41. nick daring

    nick daring Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I got stuck working on a costume project last month but have started working on Ye Ole' Metal Gear again.

    I still need to do a little more shaping and sanding on the body and the skin is super thin at this point. I don't want to smear on more filler and lose much of the work I've already done and I'd hate to go through the trouble and expense of making a waste mold to create a resing version that could sand down more.

    I'm thinking about coating the whole thing in a thin layer of resin to do the final bits of sanding. Similar to the method described here- http://www.therpf.com/f24/how-plastic-coat-foam-costume-pieces-146539/

    That way I can retain the majority of the smoothing and shaping I've completed so far and get another 1/8" or so to work with. In fact adding another level of material would even help even out any slight wobbles and bulges.

    It's super close but I really want it perfectly smooth and round in form. No wobbles!

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    Nick
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2012
  42. Rysjin7717

    Rysjin7717 Well-Known Member

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    Nick, Wow!!! I remember snatcher that was a great game love th' build so far can't wait ta see it finished brah. Keep up th' good work.:cool:cool
     
  43. nick daring

    nick daring Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    The main torso parts are about as smooth as I can them now.

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    I'm going to cast the body and head in resin to do the detailing and make the removable door. The scratch built parts are just too fragile at this point to work with any further. Having a resin version of these pieces will give me confidence to work much faster too without worrying about * up the piece.

    To change things up a little, I started work on the monitor box last night and got quite a bit done.
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    My table saw prowess is much better on this project. I finally adjusted my tiny table saw to get really accurate cuts finally. No sanding to fit!

    Here's the sketch I made to figure out how to approach the construction.
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    I think I'm going to skin the box in styrene with all the details done of the individual sheets first before attaching to the final box.

    The face plate where the LCD screen will fit in will be cast in resin.

    It should look something like this when done.
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    Nick
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2012
  44. aeonpulse

    aeonpulse Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    WOW. Awesome project! I was lucky enough to own a SegaCD along with this game in the mid-90s, and I absolutely loved it. Can't wait to see how this turns out!!!
     
  45. nick daring

    nick daring Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Finding an original sega cd copy of snatcher is incredibly hard now and expensive. I actually don't even own an original copy and am only able play it on emulation these days. Fun stuff.

    Nick
     
  46. LeMarchand

    LeMarchand Sr Member

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    i also have the original Mega-CD (that's what the sega cd was called here). I remember reading all i could about the game and buying it instantly on the day it was released.

    I really wish Hideo Kojima would use current computertech to regenerate the snatcher universe, so much possibility
     
  47. Ruddigger

    Ruddigger Sr Member

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    I'm always happy when this thread gets updated. Looks like you're tearing through that monitor box.
     
  48. zaidi

    zaidi New Member

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    awesome build. read everything. :)
     
  49. drknotter

    drknotter Active Member

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    This is great! Great work!
     
  50. Getoninja

    Getoninja Sr Member

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    so cool!!
     

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