Right, I decided to make a how-to for my XV8-03 "Contender" battlesuit, since someone out there might actually want to use this conversion themselves. I've found that this is a good way to give your battlesuit a waist and remove a lot of the 'squished' look of the torso without making it obscenely tall and harder to hide on the tabletop. Anyways, on to the tutorial!STEP 1
Assemble the jetpack as normal if you wish, but instead of attaching the front of the torso, get a fresh blade and (CAREFULLY!)
cut out the rear half of the hips, cutting right above/at the top of the socket. Do what you can to make sure this is a nice, even cut; you're going to need everything here! Repeat the same on the front of the torso, and glue it all together.STEP 2
Take a shield generator and locate the 'tabs' on the outer facing. Using them as guide marks, trim away part of the outer 'ring' so that it can fit into the cut portion on the underside of the torso. The protrusion under the power plant may need to be cut further as well to accommodate. HWen you're done, reove everything on the underside of the shield generator (the side that'd normally face the battlesuit when attached). Don't glue it in yet!
Step 3 is separate because I need to emphasize: BE VERY VERY CAREFUL DOING THIS!
I sliced the ever-living crap out of my thumb on the first suit; take your time, don't rush, and control your cut! Now that the warning's there, take the former shield generator and, using the lip of the outer ring, begin to cut out the raised portion in the center, leaving it flat. Glue it in, and perform any necessary extra cuts to smooth out everything and any desired gap-filling.STEP 3.5 [Optional]
If you wish to make the armored 'skirting' like I do, something that may help them fit better is to cut out part of the shield generator's outer ring to give them flat portions to glue onto.STEP 4
Glue together the hip pieces, being careful to make sure the socket's properly aligned. From there, make a cut from the bottom to the top on the side, using the front half's shape as a guide, removing any curvature. After this, cut the top flat and make any other cuts you wish; I opted to remove the uppermost portion of the groin plate seeing as there was a depression left on the inside from when it was removed from the chest. Glue it on at the rotation desired.STEP 5
Technically this step is optional, but it's practically given that, if you want a rotating waist, you want bending knees as well! I actually see some people struggle with this, so here's a simple, easily repeatable way to get bent knees! Prepare your battlesuit's leg as normal, then locate the 'tab' on the shin, right under the knee. Make a horizontal cut that just barely goes into the shin; now, put your knife down and slowly pull back on the shin, gradually applying pressure. The plastic will turn white and rip, and-if done right-will follow the curve of the knee! Once it's barely dangling, carefully cut it free, clean the cuts/rips, and engrave the grooves in the knee further back. Pinning is optional; I find that, if done right, the shin will get a very good seal on the knee when glued-one, and be very sturdy. The ripping makes the plastic a little rough on the surface, giving the glue more to 'grip' onto and this making a stronger bond. If you fee it's necessary, though, go ahead and pin it (especially if you will add large weapons/metal parts to the suit).STEP 5.5 [Optional]
If you want a nice dynamic pose, pinning the model to the base is almost necessary (and pinning battlesuits to the base is highly recommended anyways thanks to how little contact surface there is). If you're like me though, and your pins aren't quite as wide as your drill bit, or your model's wanting to move before the glue sets, there's an easy way to make it dry faster and get a firmer seal! Pour a little excess superglue into the area around the pin on the top and bottom of the base. Then, take some basing sand or baking soda and sprinkle it into the wet glue. it'll act like a sponge and soak up the glue, increasing the surface area and thus causing the glue to dry faster! I recommend that, while it's still wet, apply a little more glue and a second layer of sand/baking soda to make sure it doesn't soak up TOO much glue.STEP 6 [Optional]
For those who followed step 3.5, here's where that extra step comes into play! Find a spare jetpack (preferably one from a beaten-up suit or failed/cancelled conversion), and only remove the inner/front half of the lower jet, the largest part. Keep the half of the nozzle attached; you'll need that! From here, jsut prepare the part as any other, remove the excess where it was attached tot he jetpack half, and carefully glue it in after cutting the former nozzle to fit flush against the waist cut made earlier. Now your battlesuit can enjoy greater protection for the vulnerable joints! The final image shows it at it's curent state of complete with the exception of the head; I simply wanted to show how much better the stock head looks wen the 'stem' of the neck is removed and the head is allowed to sit almost flush on the collar.
That's it! Feel free to follow it as closely as you wish, or to go off-course to your heart's content! Many thanks to the conversionists from Advanced Tau Tactica, whom have inspired me greatly in this conversion and in many others; now get out there and start preparing your battlesuits-the enemies of the Greater Good will not wait for you!