Customizing Best-lock tank, could use advice

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Customizing Best-lock tank, could use advice

Postby Battlegrinder » Thu Nov 14, 2013 1:32 pm

Several years ago, I bought a big best-lock army set, tragically unaware of that brands generally quality level. While most of the vehicles and units from said set have long been sold and discarded, I kept two of them that had evidently slipped through Best-lock QA, and were actually decent (or at lest mostly decent), a Abrams tank, and some kind of APC. I've decided to work on customizing the tank, if possible (will post pictures once I'm done soaking the crappy stickers off it. I guess hoping the whole tank would be reasonable quality was too much to hope for). Right now, I'm planning on gluing a few of the more problematic pieces together, sticking a brikarms M1919 or M2 on the turret, filing down some of the best-lock studs and replacing them with lego plates, and then repainting the whole thing. If anyone has useful advice for painting, stud replacement, or anything else relevant, I'm all ears (or should that be all eyes?).

The tank, in all its ugly glory:
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Planned color scheme:
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Last edited by Battlegrinder on Thu Nov 14, 2013 10:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Customizing Best-lock tank, could use advice

Postby Zupponn » Thu Nov 14, 2013 1:35 pm

Question: I know many of us here are against the modification of Lego, but what about stuff like wurst-lock and Nega-Bloks?
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Re: Customizing Best-lock tank, could use advice

Postby Zahru II » Thu Nov 14, 2013 4:42 pm

The only modifications those need require gasoline and a lighter hueueueueue
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Re: Customizing Best-lock tank, could use advice

Postby Apollyon » Thu Nov 14, 2013 7:23 pm

If it makes them better paint them i say!
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Re: Customizing Best-lock tank, could use advice

Postby Gungnir » Fri Nov 15, 2013 2:27 am

Zahru II wrote:The only modifications those need require gasoline and a lighter hueueueueue

That's awful!
Everybody knows explosives work better!
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Re: Customizing Best-lock tank, could use advice

Postby Ben-Jammin » Sat Nov 16, 2013 8:26 am

Gungnir wrote:
Zahru II wrote:The only modifications those need require gasoline and a lighter hueueueueue

That's awful!
Everybody knows explosives work better!


What about microwaves?
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Re: Customizing Best-lock tank, could use advice

Postby piltogg » Sat Nov 16, 2013 6:35 pm

If you paint over the studs the paint will wear off if you attach anything to it, and also the attachment will be too tight because of the thickness of the paint. So don't paint over the whole thing unless you are sure it is in a configuration you want to keep it in permanantly. The patches with no studs can be painted any way you'd like; no issues. You could add stickers there for a pretty easy fix-up that would also look decent.

Replacing the studs sounds like it would be more work than it's worth. I'd just work on adding in a few more details either with lego parts or with some other plastic or metal bits you've got lying around, as it looks pretty large and bland curently. if it was me doing it, I'd try to attach some side guns and make it like a predator tank from W40K.

All in all though, modding stuff doesn't usually look good unless you plan on modding All of your stuff the same way. Lego is blocky and unrealitic, and things you paint have a tendency to stand out liek a sore thumb.
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Re: Customizing Best-lock tank, could use advice

Postby Battlegrinder » Sat Nov 16, 2013 8:58 pm

piltogg wrote:If you paint over the studs the paint will wear off if you attach anything to it, and also the attachment will be too tight because of the thickness of the paint. So don't paint over the whole thing unless you are sure it is in a configuration you want to keep it in permanantly. The patches with no studs can be painted any way you'd like; no issues. You could add stickers there for a pretty easy fix-up that would also look decent.

Replacing the studs sounds like it would be more work than it's worth. I'd just work on adding in a few more details either with lego parts or with some other plastic or metal bits you've got lying around, as it looks pretty large and bland curently. if it was me doing it, I'd try to attach some side guns and make it like a predator tank from W40K.

All in all though, modding stuff doesn't usually look good unless you plan on modding All of your stuff the same way. Lego is blocky and unrealitic, and things you paint have a tendency to stand out liek a sore thumb.


First off, thanks for the advice Piltogg.

I'm not terrible concerned about paint wear, since there are only a few places that will have figs standing on them frequently, and I'm planning on matching the paint scheme to surface elements to minimize wear on the weapon mounts. For example, I'll be mounting a M1919 on the turret's roof in front of the rear hatch, so I'll use black bricks to attach it to the tank body, and paint that small section of the tank black as well (and make sure to use black parts in the weapon-to-weapon-mount interface for anything else I mount there). Any new weapons will attach to the mount I built for the M1919, which should allow for both reduced wear and rotating weapon loads. I'm not sure what effect painting over the new studs will have on their grip ability, so I might have to do some experiments before I paint the whole tank. Given that current studs are too big for minifigs to stand on anyway ("compatible with other brands", HA), the paint can't make things any worse.

Given the aforementioned compatibility issues, at least some of the currents studs do need to go, no matter how much effort it takes. Hopefully, I'll be able to dremal over the ones that need to go without much effort (I somehow suspect that Best-Lock did not invest in the highest quality plastic), and the glue some of my broken or discolored lego plates over the gaps. I'm going to try and use a few lego parts as possible during the conversion, probably just enough to provide places for minifigs to stand and weapon attachments. For the rest, I have another complete worthless Best-Lock tank to scrap and use for parts, as well as perform any destructive tests on (which, judging from the feedback prior to yours, will make several people very happy).

Oh, and thanks for suggestion sponson guns, I'll look into adding a few.
Last edited by Battlegrinder on Sun Nov 17, 2013 12:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Customizing Best-lock tank, could use advice

Postby Overwatch_Elite » Sat Nov 16, 2013 9:05 pm

You could just do the easiest thing and spray paint a base color, put some tape over and spray a different color, and then repeat in different ways until you get a decent pattern

it won't look like realistic camo unless you manipulate the tape really well, but being too realistic would make it not lego like at all
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Re: Customizing Best-lock tank, could use advice

Postby Battlegrinder » Sun Nov 17, 2013 12:27 pm

Overwatch_Elite wrote:You could just do the easiest thing and spray paint a base color, put some tape over and spray a different color, and then repeat in different ways until you get a decent pattern

it won't look like realistic camo unless you manipulate the tape really well, but being too realistic would make it not lego like at all


That;s pretty much exactly what I'm planing to do, though I might end up using a brush instead of a can for the non-base layers. I'm not shooting for an ultra-realistic look, just something that looks decent.
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