RGM-79 GIMM

January 30, 2018 at 21:51 | Posted in 1/144 scale | 1 Comment
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Introduction:

I thought I’d start off the Year of the GM with the first generation GM. I’m using the HGUC RX-79-2 Revive as base, complemented with HGBF GM/GM parts. Instead of the mint-green/red color scheme we’re all familiar with, I went for the RealType GM look, particularly based on this old kit:

Materials & methods:

The work in progress can be found here.
I primed all parts with grey primer and then added preshading lines (german gray) using my 0.2mm nozzle airbrush.
Painting was relatively simple:
Red parts: 80% red + 20% orange-yellow
White parts: 95% white + 5% yellow
Joints were dark gray (2), the backpack nozzles were starbright duralumin, followed by clear blue. I also sprayed clear blue over the visors.
The tricky part was the decals. I don’t have the exact set of decals for the Realtype GM look, so I made do with whatever decals I had in my possession. In the end it looked close enough.
Then I applied some light weathering with black enamel wash and some paint chipping effects. Then it’s the final flat topcoat.

Results:

And now some action poses:

Discussion:

I have to admit, I had a lot of fun posing this kit during the photo shoot. It may be a testament to how good the RX-78 Revive kit is. It’s easy to get dynamic poses, and despite the small feet, the kit feels really stable.

My only minor gripe is the GM/GM head. At certain angles, the thin, polycap neck looks quite jarring. I would’ve preferred a nicer looking GM head, but that’s what I have at the moment.

So this is my first entry for the Year of the GM. The mods are fairly uncomplicated, so that’s why I could finish it pretty quickly. But now I’m having doubts about finishing one kit per month, as I originally planned. Perhaps I shouldn’t rush into it and focus on quality, not quantity…

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Hasegawa 1/72 F-15 Starscream

December 17, 2017 at 13:29 | Posted in 1/72 scale | Leave a comment
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Introduction:
After completing Bandai’s VF-25s model kit, I felt the need to build more Macross kits. But I don’t want to go through the agony of transforming kits, so I bought several 1/72 Macross kits from Hasegawa. But before going straight into those kits, I thought I’d practice on a cheap, 1/72 scale aircraft. So I bought a 1/72 scale F-15J Eagle kit by Hasegawa with a C7 label on it, so it may be an old kit.
After googling for possible color schemes to paint it in, I decided to go for the Starscream theme. I’m not talking about Michael Bay’s version, but the original cartoon Starscream. Since this was my first ‘proper’ aircraft kit, I did some research by looking at various build videos on Youtube.

Materials & methods:
The bulk of my plamodelling experience comes from Gunpla, so it’s inevitable that a lot of comparisons will be made with Bandai’s brand of plastic. First thing that I noticed when I opened the box and checked the parts is the presence of leftover plastic trimmings on some parts. You just don’t see this kind of thing in Gunpla kits anymore.

The second thing I noticed was that the panel lines are raised. Perhaps it’s easier to explain with kanji. Typical panel lines (Gunpla etc) are like this:  凹 (grooves within the plastic).
But this kit is like this: 凸 (raised parts). Assembly was simple enough, but the pilot seat and cuockpit interior had to be painted first. After that the two halves of the main body were glued together. Speaking of glue, it is not optional for this build, it is mandatory.

Third thing I noticed during assembly was that the parts didn’t fit so well. So I used a lot of basic putty to fill the gaps between parts. As I was sanding off the leftover putty, I realized that I sanded off quite a lot of the panel lines. Not wanting to spend too much time on this project, I shrugged it off and moved on.
The landing gears were designed to always be extended, but I wanted to have them retracted. So I filled the landing gear bays with epoxy putty and then attached the covers, like so:

The rest of the process went like this:
1. Mask the cockpit interior & pilot seat with masking tape.
2. Spray with white primer. Why white? Simply because I wanted to finish that particular can I had.
3. Attempted to do preshading. Airbrushed german gray along the panel lines. As you can see below, my hands are not particularly steady.

4. Spray first layer: Mr Color Gray FS36118.
5. Cut out camo pattern. I don’t have a masking tape huge enough to cover the large surface. So first I drew the camo patterns on a piece of paper, cut them out, then attached them to the F-15 with some blu-tac.
6. Spray second layer: Mr Color Gray FS36320.
7. After removing the camo pattern papers, I felt that the two colors were too contrasty, as you can see below:

8. To make the patterns less obvious, I sprayed the whole thing with several layers of Mr Color Gray FS36320.
9. Once I was satisfied with the base color, it’s time to paint other parts. And that means a lot of masking.
The blue color on the nose & rear stabilizers (Mr Color cobalt blue + flat white), as well as the red jet intakes (Mr Color Red + Orange yellow) were simple enough.
The white & red stripes on the wings and rear stabilizers were slightly more tricky but the patterns were relatively simple so it wasn’t too difficult.
The underside (where the jet engines are) were painted with Mr Color burnt iron, while the jet nozzles were painted with steel.
The inside of the cockpit canopy was sprayed with Mr Color clear orange.
The missiles were painted as recommended in the manual, and I decided to add some smart bombs from an add-on kit (also by Hasegawa).
10. Panel lining was limited to some parts only.
11. I used up the majority of the waterslide decals that came with the kit. To complete the Starcream theme, I needed some Decepticon logos. I hoped to find some Decepticon waterslide decals but alas, only stickers seemed to be available. I trimmed off the edge of the stickers as much as possible before attaching them on the wings and in front of the cockpit.
12. Final layer of flat topcoat was applied.

Results:
Since I made the decision to remove the landing gears, I needed a stand to hold it in place. So I bought the Macross Display Stand, which comes in a pair.

And here’s some photos with the VF-25s:

Discussion:

This project is quite a different experience from my typical Gunpla builds. The same techniques are employed, but the main bulk of the work that went into this F-15 Starscream was fixing the gaps/seamlines and painting+masking.
I’m not particularly impressed with this Hasegawa F-15J kit for reasons discussed in the methods section. But I guess you get what you pay for. For a few extra dollars, you can get a better F-15 kit by Hasegawa or other makers.
The Decepticon stickers look too shiny and stand out too much, making it look very toy-like. But for this build I’m not too bothered about it.
Overall it was a good learning experience for me. Hopefully the Hasegawa Macross kits I bought won’t give me too much trouble.

Little Armory M24SWS

December 2, 2017 at 21:06 | Posted in Little Armory | Leave a comment
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Little Armory M24 Sniper Weapon System

The M24 SWS is only the second sniper rifle kit by Little Armory after the M82 series. The kit comes as all black plastic, which looks boring. So I decided to give it a camo paintjob.

The base layer was dark green. Then I applied some camo patterns using blu-tack. That was followed by a layer of light olive green. The final layer was just simply enamel sand brown that I painted using a paint brush.

The kit comes with a separate spotting scope, two bipods and two rifle bolts. The bolts can still be moved back and forth after assembly. The scope lenses were also unfortunately black, opaque plastic. I attached some clear lenses from Wave option parts to the spotting scope, but I ran out of lenses for the rifle scope.

And you can see the size of the M24 compared to the M82A1 below:

Here’s some closeup shots:

And action poses:

Final thoughts:
In terms of design, the M24 SWS looks as basic as you can get. That’s largely the reason why I went for a camo paintjob. With the appropriate hands, it looks nice on Mr Skeleton. But as expected, it was a bit more difficult to get a good pose on the GM. Rifle grips don’t really go well with HG kits.
Overall, it was quite fun painting the camo patterns on this M24 SWS kit. But otherwise, I felt like it’s just another mediocre release.

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