HGUC GM SniperMay 4, 2013 at 10:33 | Posted in 1/144 scale | 2 Comments
Tags: GM Sniper, MS 08th Team, sniper rifle, system weapon 004, weathering
The GM Sniper only featured for a few minutes in the MS 08th team but is one of my favourite units from that series. That’s because I’ve always been a fan of grunt units & snipers. There’s no official HGUC kit for the GM Sniper (yet), but there is an old HG version of it.
So I decided to make one from the Gundam Ground type, since their bodies are very similar. All that’s missing is the GM head and a sniper rifle. Turns out that the HGUC Ground War Set comes with not one, but two spare GM heads. As for the sniper rifle, the recently released System Weapon 004 includes a few variants to choose from. With that, I have all the necessary ingredients to build a GM Sniper.
Materials & Methods:
The main difference between the ground type GM and Gundam (apart from the head) is the chest vent. The Gundam has a vent on the right side and a flare/vulcan gun (?) on the left whereas the GM has vents on both sides. I decided not to modify the Gundam’s chest and so everything was built according to the manual but with a GM head instead of a Gundam’s. Parts that needed seam-line fixing were the head, forearms, ankle armor, shoulder armor and weapons.
After I finished snap-fitting the kit, I thought it looked a bit plain so I added some detail parts on various parts of the body. I used a mix of M.S.G parts & some leftover bits from my HCM-Pro kits. Because the Ground type Gundam only comes with a huge box-like backpack, I decided to attach a smaller one which was a leftover part from my GM type C kit.
Before painting, I primed the whole kit with black surfacer. I decided to use two shades of green for painting; a darker green (Mr. Color IJA Green 16) for the feet, chest & hips and a lighter tone (Mr. Color Dark Green 70) for the rest of the body. I also painted the sniper rifle and the box-backpack with green while the weapons were sprayed with Tamiya Gunmetal. The HGUC Ground War set includes two hover trucks which I painted with camo patterns: one with blue/grey combo and the other with black/brown combo. Because the GM Sniper is 95% green, I used mainly white-colored waterslide decals for contrast.
Since this is a ground war set, it would be a sin not to include some weathering. First I applied enamel wash using light brown paints. Then I applied some paint chipping effects using enamel silver, followed by some rust effects using red-brown enamel. I applied dry-brushing on some metal parts and weapons and then added a few sprinklings of weathering pastels around the legs. I didn’t apply any battle damage effects this time. And to finish, it’s the usual flat topcoat spray.
Here’s the ‘vanilla’ GM Sniper:
Because the Ground War Set includes a lot of extras, I might as well take photos of them as well:
There is a particular satisfaction in modifying a model kit into something else, in this case turning a Ground Gundam into a GM Sniper. Although admittedly, those two units are very similar to begin with. Regarding its range of movement, I have to say I’m quite impressed: the elbow joints can bend >90 degrees; the knees can bend just enough to make a decent kneeling pose. The amount of goodies that came with the Ground War Set was also pleasing. Not pictured are several 1/144 scale soldiers that I didn’t bother with. I really can’t think of any negative points about this kit. Overall I’m really satisfied with this kit and how it turned out.