S.A.F.S. - Raptor Series: 28
Super Armored Fighting Suit MkIII Scale: 1/20
 


S.A.F.S. Raptor
 

History:

The original box art suit history is in German. I don't have it translated yet.

Kit Build:

The is the resin conversion kit for the Raptor. The quality of the solid resin body is very crisp and clean and required only minor clean up. I wanted to add a little drama to the raptor as most of my MaK builds are very static. I chose a classic action hero pose of wide spaced feet and gun straight out. It is kinda hard to pull off the pose with an SAFS, as there is no motion in the "head" to help carry the visual motion through to the gun arm. If it was not done right, it would look like he was just sticking his arm out. It took me a while to get a good pose.

The kit feet, legs, and arms were packed with 30min epoxy putty and solder wire was used to replace all of the kit joints. Epoxy Putty was then used to replicate the "flexible" joint covers.

Finishing:

I didn’t intend to finish the Raptor in the desert camo scheme it is most often associated with. I wanted something different, and look what I got. It’s totally different. I just ran out if ideas for painting the thing and since desert tan always weathers so well, I decided to do it anyway. The tan is Testor’s MM Acryl Dark Tan and the brown in Tamiya Flat Brown. The camo was really easy to paint and I did it all freehand. I airbrushed a coat of Future floor polish for the decals and weathering.

After decals were applied, an overall wash of artist’s oils and mineral spirits was applied over the gloss surface. I kept building up layers of the wash in the corners to accent the details. I airbrushed Testor’s MM Acryl Matt Clear to kill the gloss. This stuff is DEAD flat. I highly recommend it if you use Testor’s paints. I have had it react with Gunze Acrylic paints, so experiment. After that, I airbrushed a very light application of Polly S Dirt mixed with a little black to accent the model edges and panel lines.The paint was more a thick wash mixed at 70:30. I also sprayed the feet with this paint and gently brought it up the legs and sides of the suit. It did a great job of weathering the Raptor. I used this same paint when I painted the rubble and ground work and used it to accent the building corner so it really helped blend the model into its surroundings.

I then went back with a couple more applications of a darker wash to bring out certain details. I then drybrushed the model with Light Tan to bring out the small details, but stayed light on the application as I did not want to overdo it. At this point, I applied the rust chips. I wanted to go light on this too. I think I did just enough. I then applied the pastels to dirty up the suit even more. Mineral spirits and ground up pastels were mixed and applied as rust for the exhaust pipe, and fluid leaks for the “fuel” port and power pipe connections. The springs for the power pipe were given a liberal coating of dark brown ground pastel sludge as well. Pastels were used to create the dusty look on the upper surface.

Display:

Since I had the Raptor already posed for combat, I decided to put him into a combat type situation.

The building corner was made the same way as the wall for the Kunzer, urethane foam with a coat of Bondo polyester putty.

The pedestal was made from a plain wooden base from HobbyLobby and a section of vinyl tube cut to a ragged edge with a motor tool. The vinyl was glued to the wooden base with epoxy glue. Styrofoam and an old spray paint cap were used to build up the interior height so as the Celluclay was not too thick.

The debris are various pieces of busted concrete from my decaying sidewalk to the garage. Each winter I get more rubble for dioramas. Everything was pressed into the wet Celluclay and the Raptor was pressed into it to leave footprints. Once dried, the entire base was spray painted with Krylon black and the cylinder was masked off and the bottom was sprayed with Krylon Flek-Stone. Holes were drilled in the Celluclay and the Raptor feet and copper wire was used to hold the Raptor to the base with out glue. The base was painted and weathered like the model, washes, drybrushing, and pastels.

The panzerfaust tube was put in since they are in every 1/35 WWII diorama I have ever seen, weather they should be there or not. But if you look closely, the crumpled poster at the Raptor foot is a propaganda call for Volksturm, civilians pressed into service towards the end of WWII as the city’s last defense. The panzerfaust was a common weapon of the Volksturm in WWII and was very effective against the Allied armor. So with two little pieces of diorama materials, I am creating the story that the Raptor is breaking through a ruined cities last desperate defenses. I found the poster images on the web and used a color laser printer to make the scale posters. The torn one still on the wall is a German enlistment poster from WWI. I created the little Raptor plaque in Photoshop, printed it with the color laser and used spray adhesive to stick it to the pedestal.

Check me out, I can build models.