The biggest custom I ever made, Veerl.
The idea was a giant arachnid, but so giant that the other big Zoids will be small for him. In the 1998 story, Veerl a very special Zoid, with skills different than the others, a gigantic firepower and a size never seen. It is still an OER Zoid. Actually, it is not a spider. It is an arachnid, looking really like a spider, but it is not one. It is a reaper. In the begining, the body should have been bigger and the legs thicker, but I choose to do a reaper, which is thiner with very long legs. And I reduced the size of the legs of 25-30 %, from the original prototype.
A look at the body and the head. Two bodies of giants Zoids were used.
And a look at the back. It is not the body that gave me the most of work. This back section was the most simple, and the first to be done.
Of course, there is an opening canopy. I don't know why I used this special part from Ultrasaurus, how the idea came, but this was among the very first parts I found. And, it was fitting. You can aslo guess red glasses, inside the holes in the hood.
Each leg has three guns : two on the center section, and one at the end of the feet. For those, I used a set of Red Zoids weapons, the same than the one that were seen with Redhorn, Sabretiger and so. 8 particular weapons for 8 legs.
It was sure that I will find a way to use the opening parts of the Ultrasaurus body, here you have a lot of missils.
And if you think this Zoids could be attacked under the body...
Now, doing a Zoid this size without mini-Zoids inside would have been an enormous mistake, no, an insult to this work. There are four little spiders coming with Veerl, that can be hold in two places.
On the front legs or inside the body.
A size comparison, with Iron Kong MK2 LTD, who is Veerl's leader in the story. And yes, it is a 72 scale Zoid.
Now some stats : 5 pilots, 35 guns, 62 screws, 69 bottle caps, 92 Zoids caps, 1m20 in each legs, 1m50 for the two front ones, for a total of more than 10m of legs. 2m long and 1m80 width. A total of 4 kg. Two monthes to do all of this, and 4 hours to make the final build. He had been built from the 19 july 2012 to the 21.
And some step of the (long !) building.
First, the body. For this, I had in mind an Ultrasaurus body, but I didn't know if this was going to be the head or the tail. I found that using a Gorgon body as head was fitting very well. I reversed the Ultrasaurus one, first to use the opening parts, and also because the shape was better like that, a little more round, like a real spider tail. Another good thing is that like that, I was able to build and de-build the body as wanted, to test the parts I was going to put inside, until all was painted and finally glued. I holed the Gorgon body to put the Ultrasaurus pegs inside. This was a good oppotunity to make a solid attach between the two bodies. In fact, the main-body is very very solid, something very difficult to do in a custom.
Here I made several other details. The two claws, for example, and one gun coming from inside the head (the other cama after). I didn't choose to keep the same guns than on the drawing, I used the pegs I had on hands to see what could be hold here. I didn't want very big guns like initially preview, but not small ones too. Those from Genosaurer were perfect. After, I cut several pegs that were useless. There, you can also see what will be the opening cabin, in front of the head.
The inner structure. With the size of this Zoid, and with all the weight that was going to be hold on the back, I had to do something solid to put inside the head (on an arachnid, the legs are stuck on the head, and not the body). The two big screws are here to be put inside the two holes of Gorgon body (where the engine goes) to be stuck and maintain the structure and the body without any movment between the both. And it succed. All the body, tail and attach of the legs make an unique solid part.
One of the little Attack Zoids that comes with Veerl. The legs are actually made of bits of sprues (so it is usefull to keep the empty sprues sometime...). I didn't know how many I will build. It was depending of the number of Trooperzoid seat I had, and the attaches to put them on Veerl. There are four of them, but several others could have been done.
Now the difficult part : the legs. Each had to be done one by one, and the problem that there was no possibility of doing a leg without the other allready on the body, so it took a lot of space, and had to be done fast, because I couldn't let a Zoid of this side in the lounge more than 24 hours. The building of each segment was more simple, but when I had to put them on the body, each leg had to be the same level than the other, to stand on the floor. And I wasn't knowing which problems were going to appear before making a first building, and there was several to correct.
Each leg is done with three segment, that are made each of two plastic parts. A piece of wood maintains the solidity of the segment. On each side of the segment there are three holes (appart the attach of the body). One hole for the pegs, for the caps, and two other for screw, to stick the segments. All was thought to be de-built after the photos are taken. And a lot of details were done on the segments, not to have a plain smooth leg.
One photo taken after the legs are all done, just to check the solidity and the look of the Zoid. And the size, I must say. I wasn't able to realize the size he could have before this. After came the details and the painting, so each segment and the main body were all de-built.
There was so much parts, and they were so specific, that I put them in several bag, just to not mess everything. The first bag contains al the guns that are going to be put on the legs. The second is full of 32 bottle caps, that are going to be used on each attach of each segment of the legs. The last bag contains the pegs and screww for the legs. There was other bags like that.
Now, the segments of the legs. All the details are done and are ready to be painted. The problem was to find parts that I had by 8 or 16, to have the same thing on each leg. Only the two front ones are a little different, because they are longer. So I was able to use some special details only for them. I had the chance to have 8 Gustav trailer caterpilars, I used them to put the legs on the ground.
Two photo of the long time of painting. I used three sprays of mat white for the undercoat, two silver grey and five crimson red. The first time I'm using so much painting. And the red is so special that I had to visit four shops to find all those sprays. I wasn't expecting so much red, I thought three would have suffice.
Now, Something that I had to expect before painting : how I will recognize all the parts, to build them in the right order ? There are 24 segments and 42 little red parts to put on them. Those last little parts were numbered, and I used tape to keep the number away from the paint, and for the segment, each one has some little notches (1-2-3...) to know from which leg it belongs.
One last thing, the EBOZ 010 stickers. Reprolabels did that for me a long time ago, with other stickers. I wasn't knowing at this time that one day, I will do such a custom, but it was expected. Reprolabels did a lot of stickers, I actually used only two. No place to put the others. I also used the big red Insignas Reprolabels did. I had only two left, but the sufficed for the two front legs.
Main body and legs finished. Now, only the final build remains. After, the Zoid will stay de-built, like that. I waited several days before doing this final build, because a friend wanted to see it in real.
The most difficult part : attach the first segments of the legs on the body. It was very hard for the back legs, the place to put the screws is hard to reach. After, it was more simple.
Each leg was built separatly, and after put on the body. You can see a lot of details inside here.
Ready to be built ! here, it was the fastest and easyest moment.
Now the original drawing, done in 1998.
In the begining, this Zoid was supposed to be the biggest ever seen. Madthunder is a small Zoid near him, the head of Veerl is bigger than the triceratops. I only drew black and white drawings, so when I had to choose colours, some years ago, I thought it could be like Twin Horn, bright red, black with green canopy. But with the new design, I was seeing more a dark red/silver Zoid, like the very old ones. I didn't keep a lot of things from the old drawing, maybe the round part at the back of the head, and that's all. The first drawing was also maybe too simple, without inovation. It was only supposed to be a very big Zoid, impressive and huge, but the details were lacking. All was changed when I choosed to do a reaper, so the design of the legs, the square shape of the tail, and a lot of things were forgoten. And I think it was a good thing, because the first drawing wasn't inovative. It was made in a short time, without thinking of details. The actual model is maybe more thought. I couldn't have done this before, and I won't be able to do better in the future.
Actually, if I asked Reprolabels to do stickers for him in the past, it is because one day, I was thinking this could be done, this Zoid will be built. But several years ago, it was impossible. Seeing this makes me think that if I will be re-doing Kraken now, a lot of things will be improved. No, all will be improved. The articulation of the tentacles, the solidity of the main body, the moving of the arms... There, I'm seeing that what I did before is not perfect. Well, I waited all all this time to do Veerl, because maybe, I wasn't able to do it before. And maybe in 5 years, I would say to myself this could have been better.
To finish, some details of the, legs
And a last comparison with a (poor !) Mammoth.
Back to custom main page
Back to main menu