Inside the Chop Shop Vol. 1: Customising your Heavy Hitter with Leonard Ellis!

Hey, Robot Rumblers!

With 20 days to go in our Kickstarter for GKR: Heavy Hitters - our first ever board game - we're turning our minds to all you creative folk out there. Namely, the incredible things you can do with the unpainted Heavy Hitters you'll receive in your Painter's Edition pledge. 

I hope you brought your sticky tape and glitter, because today we're taking a peek inside the Weta Workshop Chop Shop! And once you’ve mastered the ability to say that ten times fast, we’ll get started.   

Now, anyone familiar with Weta Workshop may know that we got our start by pretty much bodging together a bunch of stuff until it resembled something cool. To this day, we remain a handsy bunch. If it can be found on this earthly plain and we can get it to stick to things, then we want to know about it.

Our custom Heavy Hitters are no different. You’ll get four unpainted, unassembled versions in the Painter’s Edition.

So what do you do when you have a few dozen lying around and a crew with itchy fingers? Rope them in to customise their own Heavy Hitters!

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First up: model maker Leonard Ellis. This talented chap has had a hand in many of Weta Workshop’s collectibles and movie props, including amazing pieces from The Hobbit trilogy and Ghost in the Shell. He’s also helped us take our 2D Heavy Hitter designs into the land of the living, and is pretty much a model making machine all round.

Leonard grabbed himself an unpainted King Wolf and somehow, from the ashes, created this INCREDIBLE hot rod Heavy Hitter, which has the rest of the Workshop in fits of creative ecstasy.

"Roddy Loco", as he is known, is the result of some very clever kit-bashing, beautiful paintwork, a lot of attention to detail…and patience. All of the patience.

Slicing and dicing with reckless abandon!

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So let’s take a closer look. To make his hot little hot rod, Leonard lopped off the missiles, knee pads and that big ole gun King Wolf likes to lug around. Knee pads were replaced with bits of plastic strip tubing that were cut to shape (no fancy equipment needed, scissors should do the job just fine).

The exhaust pipes you can see there are bent welding rod, and the silver lines that give him his snazzy Art Deco style are simply painted plastic strips. You can get those at hobby stores, as well as the static grass that Roddy’s standing on.

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There’s a bit of kit-bashing involved here too. The guns that sit atop Roddy Loco are leftover bits from a Wingnut Wings model kit, as is the teddy hiding in his shin (if you look closely you can just make it out!)

Yes, robots have thighs.

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To get the rounded angles of the top of the body and thighs (or ‘upper legs’ if that’s too weird), Leonard glued bits of cut styrene tube to get a rounded streamlined effect. Then he blocked the rest in with epoxy putty. That should be available in your neighbourhood model shop as well. Sensing a theme here? 

A splash of paint and we’re done!

To finish, Leonard gave his new-fangled Heavy Hitter a coat of silver spray paint. Over the top of that, he used an airbrush to apply a clear orange acrylic paint. That’s the bit that gives the model its candy effect.

And that’s how Roddy Loco came to be!

Plenty more cool ideas, and cool stuff, over on our Kickstarter page. Join the Robot Rumble today! 

This post sponsored by King Wolf: Taking a bite out of the competition like a wolf, but not like any old regular wolf…like a KING WOLF!

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