LeoAugust 26, 2013 at 19:16 | Posted in 1/100 scale, Model kits | 1 Comment
Tags: camouflage, grunt unit, gundam wing, Leo, weathering
After completing my MG Tallgeese, I was thinking of what to do with the older 1/100 scale kit I have. I wasn’t really keen on building another Tallgeese so I decided to modify it into a Leo. The Leo is the grunt unit from Gundam Wing that explodes just by the sight of a gundam. Because the old 1/100 kit uses flimsy polycaps for the joints, I decided to transplant some MG parts to make it sturdier. So I went shopping for parts at Yellow Submarine and bought MG Tallgeese arms and MG Deathscythe Hell legs. For the color scheme, I decided to try a jungle camo pattern, or specifically the tigerstripe camo.
Materials & Methods:
To transform the Tallgeese into a Leo, almost all parts required some sort of modification. So I’ll break it down into different body parts:
Head: The kit allows you to build 3 types of Tallgeese heads, but the one that resembles a Leo head the most was Tallgeese I. I had to trim away the trojan headpiece and faceguard. As a result, there’s a deep gap in the Leo’s face so I glued a square vernier (Wave) in it. Then I attached a clear square visor (leftover from MG Tallgeese) to complete the Leo’s face.
Torso: This part required the least modification. I merely added square molds (M.S.G) on the chest and modified the shoulder joints so that the MG arms can be attached.
Waist: The front part was not modified. But the Leo’s butt is made up of two squarish booster units, which was quite different from the Tallgeese version. So I took the heels from the MG Deathscythe legs and used them as Leo’s butt. The booster nozzles were from Bandai’s Builders parts.
Arms: I just built the MG Tallgeese arms according to the manual. At first I thought of just leaving the big round shoulders naked, but then I decided to attach the shoulder armor from the Tallgeese kit. Not a perfect fit but the epoxy putty I used should hold them together.
Legs: I assembled the knee joints from the MG Deathscythe and attached them to the Leo’s legs with some epoxy putty. The feet were left as they were, but I modified the knees. I attached the ankle guard from MG Deathscythe to the knees and added some trapezoid tips on them. Some seam lines had to be removed from the thighs and shins.
For painting, I first sprayed dark grey surfacer on all the parts except the elbow & knee joints. For the feet and lower torso, I sprayed German Grey. For the rest of the parts, I applied some masking using liquid latex (Mr. Masking Sol). Because the applicator brush is too wide, I used a toothpick to ‘draw’ some camo patterns using the liquid latex. Then I sprayed Dark Green over the limbs, upper torso and head parts. Peeling away the dried latex revealed the camo pattern. To complete the tigerstripe camo, I drew some lines along the camo patterns using desert brown enamel paint and a hand brush.
Then came the standard decal application and panel-lining. For weathering, I applied some silver paint to simulate paint chipping and a lot of weathering pastel on the feet. The last step was applying a layer of flat topcoat.
Because the Leo doesn’t have native weapons, I photographed it with some third-party weapons.
And finally some group photos:
I couldn’t recall the last time I made such extensive modification on a single kit. Although the end product was a little rough, it was a fun and largely satisfying experience nonetheless.
Regarding the Leo, I have to admit that mine didn’t follow the original design 100%, but I felt it was close. I kinda liked how the camo pattern turned out. As for the rest of the body, it’s a mixed bag. The elbow & knee movements were superior because they were from MG parts. But the shoulder, feet & groin were not, hence the limited poses.
The 1/100 Tallgeese kit came with quite a few weapons such as a whip, mega beam cannon, dober gun & a shield, but I didn’t assemble any of them. I’m thinking of using the mega beam cannon for another project though…