HGUC Jesta CannonFebruary 10, 2014 at 13:59 | Posted in 1/144 scale | 3 Comments
Tags: camouflage, custom mod, desert camo, Gatling cannon, Jesta Cannon, M.S.G weapon
After the release of HGUC Jesta, it came to no surprise that the Jesta Cannon was made into a HGUC kit. As awesome as it looks, there were a few things about the Jesta Cannon that I didn’t like too much: the asymetrical shoulder cannons, the shield thingy on the left forearm and the new beam carbine. So I decided to modify those things and accompany it with a custom paint job.
Materials & Methods:
I’ll break down the modifications I did according to body parts:
Head: I drilled holes on the forehead bulge and replaced the antenna with a thinner one from Wave option parts. Also fixed the seam lines.
Waist: I felt that the waist was a bit short and shallow, so I decided to elongate it by gluing a sheet of pla-plate at the bottom of the waist part and the corresponding male joint on the hip part.
Hips: I replaced the vents on the front skirt armor and added an attachment peg for the assault rifle on the back.
Arms: I fixed the seam lines on the shoulders and attached a square piece of wire mesh on the sides. I replaced the original elbow joint with the HGUC Blue Destiny joints because it’s double-jointed. I also elongated the bicep area with a sheet of pla-plate. Both forearms were also slightly modified. On the right forearm, I replaced the spare carbine magazines with spare grenades. On the left forearm, I removed the shield thingy and replaced it with the standard Jesta forearm. But instead of housing the beam sabre hilt, I attached a peg for the modified shield. Remaining gaps were filled with epoxy & basic putty.
Hands: I modified the right hand so that the peg faces 90 degrees downwards. I cut & bent the thumb & fingers on the open palm left hand so that they looked like they were gripping something.
Backpack: I ditched the original shoulder cannons altogether and replaced them with a pair of gatling cannons. They were originally from the FG Slash ZAKU Phantom kit. Some modification was needed to attach them properly to the backpack. I also attached some square plates to add some details and replaced the booster nozzles with MS Verniers.
Legs: I did the same modifications on the knee joints that I did on my HGUC Jesta to give it a bit more mobility. As a side effect, there’s an unsightly gap when the knees are bent. So I attached some leftover Zaku machine gun magazines to the underside of the joint. I filled some gaps in the joints with epoxy putty & basic putty.
Weapons: For the HGUC Jesta, I armed it with the MSG shotgun. Similarly, I decided to give this Jesta Cannon a M.S.G weapon. In this case it’s the revolver launcher from MSG Weapon Unit 22. But wait, there’s more; I wanted it to look more like the M32 Grenade Launcher so I attached a longer barrel scavenged from System Weapon 003 and a buttstock from the HGUC Zaku II F2 rifle. The grips and scope were scavenged from the Jesta beam carbine.
In addition, I also armed it with an assault rifle from Weapon Unit 17 with an attachable silencer taken from the Jesta beam carbine. The kit also came with the original Jesta shield. I modified it so instead of being attached to the backpack, it’s attached to the left forearm like the RX-78.
Painting, decals & weathering: Considering the weapons load, I felt it was appropriate to paint it with military camo and I settled for the 3C desert camo pattern. I sprayed black primer on all parts to hide the blue plastic hue. I sprayed Zaku light green (MS Green UG06) as the base color and then I applied the camo patterns using Mr. Masking Sol liquid latex. The second layer was Wood Deck Tan (Tamiya). After everything is dry, I peeled off the liquid latex and applied the final touch to the camo, which is the squiggles of dark brown. This was done by simply hand painting with Tamiya dark brown enamel paint. Some parts on the knees, shoulder and head were sprayed with Light Gray (Mr Color) while the feet, gatling cannons and missiles were sprayed with Olive Drab (Tamiya).
For the decals, I used mostly warning & numeral water slide decals. I applied some scratches on the decals and sprayed a layer of gloss topcoat to seal & protect them. The next step was weathering, which involved light brown enamel wash, silver dry-brushing & weathering pastels. The final step was spraying flat topcoat.
The Jesta Cannon design is not bad in itself, but some parts felt ‘meh’. For example, the original shoulder cannons look boring, while the left arm shield thingy feels bulky & unnecessary. Even the new beam carbine looks unbalanced.
On the plus side, the extra armor parts on the shoulder & legs do add a bit of bulk that actually looks good. Another good thing about this HGUC Jesta Cannon kit is that it includes some parts of the original Jesta. The original Jesta shield & beam carbine can be fully assembled, and there’s some spare parts for the arm, leg and skirt armor.
Building the HGUC Jesta really helped me identify which parts of the Jesta Cannon to improve & modify. While some mods looked significant (gatling cannons, arms), others were not so obvious (bent hands & fingers, knee joints). During final assembly, I snapped the male peg connecting the hip to the waist. I glued it back with super glue and thankfully it held well.
As for the paint job, I think it turned out better than the snow camo I did for the standard Jesta. My only gripe is that the light green looks too ‘minty’ to my liking. So after all the modifications & customizations, the end result still retains the ‘feel’ of a Jesta Cannon but with conventional military overtones.
Side note: I entered this kit for Hobby Link Japan’s Playing With Plamo 2013 contest. Didn’t win anything but it was a nice experience regardless.