Customizing the Mavericks

The lens factory

The genious (in my mind) plan was simple: I'd make the lenses/tips for the camera / laser seeker heads from my trusty Vallejo Still Water. Even the bottle's description said that you could drop droplets on a flat surface, let it set for 24 hours and then peel them off for later use. And how would one get good-looking lens-like bits in a semidecent size if you didn't do them yourself?

Eagerly I dug out my bottle of VASW from its hideout and noticed a funny effect on the side. I thought it had maybe dried a bit. Shaking the bottle didn't do a thing to it, but when I pressed the side a huge lump detached from the bottle's side. There were two alternatives: either it had dried up partially and the rest of the liquid would work as usual - or over the years the components had separated as if centrifuged and therefore useless.

There was only one way to find out: experimenting! I dropped a good amount of droplets of varying sized on my cutting mat. Some of them would be too large, some maybe too small and some, hopefully, would be of proper size. This was a smarter approach than preparing four and then finding out that they all were missized. In case that this crap was useful anymore, that is.

Next day I checked the results. Ruined, all of it. So the following day I went by the Hobby Point on my way home.

I really can't recall how old my VASW was but it can't be eight years old yet. Something between five and eight, most likely from the older end of the scale, in any case.

As soon as I had the chance I did a new set of droplets and let them cure for a day. Below you can see a comparison photo where the ruined stuff is on the top and the fresh acrylic droplets are in the bottom.

Using fresh produce

Now that I finally got back to speed with this subproject (and as I was in the mood), I was quite trusty in my idea's decency. Carefully I peeled off the first lens and dry-fitted it on the tip of one of the missiles.

The seeker heads painted all chrome-y

Not all the lenses were of the same size, of course, so I would have to modify a couple of them later on. Still they looked pretty nice. Next I dabbed a bit of white glue on one of the missiles and then from that I reapplied the same glue on each of the rest. This way I'd maybe avoid the issue of overflowing glue.

In the photo above the lenses' glue was still drying, but as I said: they could've looked a lot worse. Of course I'd have to work on the missiles a bit more still, but I was more than content with my idea and its execution. Why, oh why didn't I get this idea in good time and do the same for the Pave Penny pod?

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