HGUC Powered GM

August 13, 2018 at 22:32 | Posted in 1/144 scale | 3 Comments
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Introduction:

All the builds for my ‘Year of the GM’ project so far involved some sort of kitbashing or modifications. So for this HGUC Powered GM kit, I thought I’d just do a simple repainting job. I played around with different colour schemes, and in the end I decided on something liek this:

Materials & methods:

Even though the plan was just a repainting job, I couldn’t resist making minor modifications as I snap-fitted the kit. These included:

  • Replacing the backpack thrusters with MS Vernier 03
  • Replacing the head antenna with Wave option parts
  • Same wrist mod as the GM Kai
  • Replaced face visor with clear blue version from HGUC GM Striker head
  • Elongation of waist using 1.2mm plaplate
  • Scribed additional panel lines on the forearms and ankle guards
  • Glued some pla strips on the ankles
  • Added detail parts to the backpack

Because of the colour scheme I chose and the fact that this Powered GM is quite an old kit, quite a lot of masking was needed. And that required a bit of thought into the order I painted things. So after priming and applying preshading lines, I painted the parts in the following order:

  • Various bits on the joints, neck, skirt armour & ankle: MS white
  • Joints: Gray FS36081
  • Verniers/thrusters: Starbright duralumin
  • Backpack: German grey
  • Chest, feet: Red + orange-yellow
  • The rest of the body: Grey FS36118 + white

That was followed by panel lining and decals. I decided to go clean this time, so no weathering. Finished off with flat topcoat.

Results:

Side-by-side comparison with my HGUC GM Type C makes the Powered GM look like a dwarf. Without major extensions (except the 1.2mm at the waist), it is actually quite small. The size is more comparable to my HGUC Zaku II F2 (modified into Desert Zaku).

Discussion:

Because the HGUC Powered GM is a relatively old kit, it suffers from some limitations. Except for the elbows, articulation is pretty limited. Unlike more recent HGUC kits, this one doesn’t have a round hole near its bottom for the stand peg. These two factors limited the poses I could make with this kit.

There’s also plenty of visible seam lines. Fixing them using the standard method would involve a lot of sanding, painting and masking steps. I bypassed the need for that by disguising the seam lines using pla plate, and by scribing extra panel lines.

But despite those complaints, I think the Powered GM is a decent kit. Parts separation is good; the extra masking that I had to do was due to the color scheme I chose. And I actually think that the short, bulky look suits the design.

Overall, what was supposed to be just a simple paintjob deviated slightly from the plan; but I was pretty happy with the paintjob and the minor mods I made.

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HG Thunderbolt GM

July 5, 2018 at 22:07 | Posted in 1/144 scale | 1 Comment
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Introduction:

I was reluctant to buy the HGTB Thunderbolt GM kit even though the design looks quite interesting. Some aspects like the head, wrinkly joints, excessive thrusters and astronaut backpack didn’t sit well with me.
As I accumulated more and more spare parts from the Year of the GM project, I decided to build a Thunderbolt GM, but with a Universal Century feel to it.

Materials & methods:

Work in progress is here. As usual, all parts were primed with grey surfacer. Then pre-shading lines were added using german grey.

Paint used was predominantly MS White. The exceptions were the chest, shoulders and feet.
For those parts, I used the recommended color as written on the manual, which was a mix of grey:blue:green. The shoulders and chest required a darker hue, so a bit of midnight blue was added to the above mixture. The yellow bits around the waist, neck and shields were painted with orange-yellow + white. Joints were painted with Dark gray (2) and the weapons with german gray.

Moderate weathering effects were applied using enamel wash. The black enamel paint was thinned more than usual and was only applied to certain parts of the model. Paint scratch effects were also applied using enamel german gray and a paint brush. Some large decals (e.g. on the shield) were lightly scratched using a hobby blade. Finally a flat topcoat layer was applied.

Results:

Discussion:
A lot of trial and error was involved in this build. Even after finalizing the parts, I wasn’t sure how it’ll turn out. The round shoulder joint might look out of place with the squarish shape of other parts, and the arms may be a bit too long.
But overall, I feel that this build captures the essence of the Thunderbolt GM, even without the distinctive parts like the wrinkly joints et cetera. Getting the color scheme spot on and making fully articulate manipulator arms on the backpack was probably the most satisfying part of this build for me.

HGBF GM/GM Command

June 13, 2018 at 21:36 | Posted in 1/144 scale | 2 Comments
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Introduction:
I bought the HGBF GM/GM kit after looking at some convincing reviews. The HGUC GM line sorely needs to evolve, and the GM/GM appears to be a step in the right direction.
The kit comes with 3 different heads: one was used for my GIMM, and I’m using the GM Command head lookalike one for this build. To complete the overall theme, I added parts from the old HGUC GM Command kit.

Materials:
Work in progress page is here.
Painting was relatively simple: red and white. For the white parts, I used Off-white straight. The red parts were red plus a bit of german grey. Only the beam gun required some masking.
Prior to painting, all parts were coated with grey surfacer, followed by pre-shading lines using german gray.
I decided not to weather it this time, just some black pastel smudges near the leg vents.
The rest is just standard S.O.P: decals, panel lines and flat topcoat.

Results:

Discussion:
I’m really impressed with the GM/GM kit. The proportions have a slender and sleek look to it, and the articulation is great. The upper chest can even pop forward, revealing some internal details.
You might notice some of the poses are similar to the ones from P-Bandai’s MG GM Command page. It was partly due to my laziness, but also I thought it might be interesting to recreate those poses.
Anyway, I quite enjoyed this build, and I might even consider making other GM variants using the GM/GM as base.

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