HG Buku

September 20, 2017 at 02:13 | Posted in 1/144 scale | 1 Comment
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Introduction:

I bought the HG Bugu kit in order to use the legs for my Zaku Cannon project. Rather than leaving the Bugu legless, I decided to do a kitbash with Zaku I parts.

Thus, Buku = Bugu x Zaku. For the color scheme, the main inspiration for this build is the old MG kit, Ramba Ral’s Zaku I.

Materials & methods:

I used the Thunderbolt Zaku I head, and attached a commander’s antenna from MS Blade 01 set. Made the eye slit slightly narrower near the middle using some putty.

I removed the ladders on the shoulder armor and replaced the backpack with Char’s Zaku II backpack. Extra thrusters on the top were covered with putty.

The power cables on the torso were removed and the gap in the abdomen was filled with putty.

The legs were from Char’s Zaku I kit. I covered some panel lines on the thighs and calves with basic putty.

For weapons, I bought the HGUC GP02 bazooka and a 1/12 scale resin Lewis machinegun at Yellow Submarine.
For melee weapons, I used the axe from my old HGUC Garma Zabi Zaku II kit. I also made a handheld Zaku shield with spikes.

The torso was painted with Intermediate blue + white, while the limbs & head were painted with a mix of cobalt blue + german gray.
After that it’s decals, light weathering, and flat topcoat.

 

Results:

A closer look at the weapons:

And finally some poses:

Discussion:

The good thing about the HG Bugu kit is that it’s modern kit, making kitbashing a relatively painless process.
There were some worrisome moments, for example when applying the decals. Some waterslide decals in my collection may well be 10 years old, and were prone to tearing.
Also, the ugly gash on the back of the right leg is not a weathering effect, but was the result of some accidental touching before the topcoat layer actually dried.
But overall, it was fun making a hybrid Bugu/Zaku look like Ramba Ral’s Zaku I.

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Little Armory M202A1

September 8, 2017 at 01:20 | Posted in Little Armory | 3 Comments
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Little Armory M202 Flash Rocket Launcher

The M202 rocket launcher was arguably made iconic by John Matrix in the movie Commando. This is the second Little Armory rocket launcher kit after the AT4. The plastic comes in olive drab and light brown. Also included is a strap, a rocket and some stickers.

I painted the green parts with my own mix of dark green paint, and the extended rocket barrels with copper. As usual, I opted to use my own waterslide decals instead of the included stickers.

There’s two types of configurations to choose from: the compact version, and the extended, ready-to-shoot configuration. You change between the two by swapping parts. Fully extended, the M202 is just a bit longer than the AT4.

Detail shots:

And with the skeleton & GM:

Final thoughts:

The M202 is essentially a square tube that shoots rockets. Design-wise it’s not the most pretty thing you’ll ever see but it does have its own unique looks.

As for the kit itself, I’d put it in the lower tier of all the Little Armory kits I’ve built. For one, the barrels are not hollowed out, making them look invariably toyish. Some of the swapable parts like the front & back covers didn’t fit too well either.

There’s not many poses I can make with the M202 other than the shoulder mounted, shooting pose. Even that pose was a bit difficult to setup on Mr Skeleton. The GM was slightly more forgiving. Speaking of which, the M202 seems like a nice match for the Ground Type GM.

So overall, I feel the M202 somewhat disappoints in terms of build quality and playability.

Bandai 1/72 VF-25s Messiah

August 16, 2017 at 21:11 | Posted in 1/72 scale, Model kits | Leave a comment
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Introduction:

Remember that post about my first Macross kit? Yeah, neither did I. That was until I found some old, dusty cluster of plastic somewhere within my apartment. Carbon dating of the dust layers revealed that it was from 8 years ago. This meant that this artifact is no other than my first Macross kit, the 1/72 scale VF-25s Messiah by Bandai.

Somehow it was stuck halfway through snap-fitting; half was already assembled, while the rest were still on their runners. To further motivate myself to complete this kit, I bought this book from Amazon with some nice photos of VF-25 Messiahs. I found an image that inspired this build:

vf25_hon1

The color scheme looks challenging, but I decided to give it a go.

Materials & methods:

I cleaned off the layers of dust from the plastic and continued from where I left off. After snap fitting, I separated the parts into internal (joints & moving parts) and external parts (wings etc). I had no intention of modding or customizing this kit because I wasn’t really sure what I was getting into. So for this build I just focused on painting. Prior to that, all parts were sprayed with grey surfacer. I used a combination of spray cans and airbrush for painting.

  • Internal parts: Mr Color Dark Gray (2) spray can
  • Feet: Mr Color 28 (steel) for externals; Gaianotes Starbright Duralumin for internals
  • Landing gear: Mr Color Light Gray spray can. Wheels were handpainted with black enamel
  • Pilot: Tamiya Olive drab spray can. Helmet was handpainted with white enamel
  • Canopy: Mr Color black for the canopy rim(?); clear yellow for the transparent part
  • Aircraft underbelly: Mr Color Light Gull Gray spray can
  • Aircraft surface base layer: Mr Color 307 (Gray FS36320)
  • Aircraft camo layer: Mr Color 305 (Gray FS36118)
  • Gun: Mr Color German Grey (exterior); Gunmetal spray can (interior)

The tricky part was painting the camo patterns. First I sprayed Light Gull Gray on parts that are underneath the aircraft, including wings. Next comes the base color (Mr Color 307); I carefully drew the boundaries using my airbrush and then proceeded to fill in the remaining areas. For the darker colored camo patterns (Mr Color 305) I directly drew the camo patterns using my airbrush instead of using any masking techniques.

For panel lining I used black enamel. Then comes the decals. Instead of using the supplied water slide markings, I decided to use my own catalog of aircraft decals accumulated from various hobby shows. To go with the camo pattern I painted, the decals I picked mimicked contemporary aircrafts; in this case US Navy aircrafts. To get a sense of where to position these decals, I referred again to this book.

vf25_hon2

To finish it off I sprayed a layer of flat topcoat. When I say finish, it’s not really finished yet. The final step is the actual assembly process. This was actually the most harrowing part of this build. According to the manual, you’re supposed to build it into Fighter mode first, and then later you can transform it into Gerwalk and Battroid modes.

As I was assembling, I noticed some joints were tight; maybe due to the layers of primer and paints. Inevitably I broke some of those joints because I pushed too hard. I performed a quick fix using superglue. Miraculously I managed to assemble the Fighter mode after several hours of trying to make the parts fit. After that stressful episode, I made the decision to keep it in fighter mode. Any attempts to transform it into Gerwalk or Battroid mode would risk catastrophic failure.

Results:

Discussion:

After 8 long years, I finally finished this kit. In a way, it was fortunate that I put it on hold. Because within that 8 years, I bought myself an airbrush. Without it, I wouldn’t have pulled off this paintjob. Which I think looks quite alright. The waterslide decals I used were getting kind of old, and were very prone to tearing.

The kit itself feels about as complex as a Master Grade kit, but not as sturdy. This is certainly not a toy that you’d play around with. It’s a shame that I can’t (and won’t) transform it into Batroid or Gerwalk modes, but at least it looks really sexy in fighter mode.

Overall, it was a long, rough ride but I managed to see it through. I think I’ll buy a couple more Macross kits, but probably not anymore transformable kits like this one. Hasegawa seems to have quite a selection of fighter mode Macross kits. Hopefully they won’t take 8 years to finish…

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