Leo

August 26, 2013 at 19:16 | Posted in 1/100 scale, Model kits | 1 Comment
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Introduction:

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.

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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.

Results:

Because the Leo doesn’t have native weapons, I photographed it with some third-party weapons.

And finally some group photos:

Discussion:

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…

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Overflag

June 10, 2009 at 23:10 | Posted in 1/100 scale | 6 Comments
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Introduction

Even though I promised myself to build some gunpla during the winter, I instead went into gunpla hibernation. I started with teh Overflag late autumn last year, and only in mid-spring did I finish it. Yeah, my building speed is a neck-breaking 2 gunpla per year. Anyway, unlike most kits I bought, I already had predetermined plans when I bought this kit: paint it and decal it like an aircraft. I had a bunch of aircraft decals so why not? My initial plan was to paint it green with Japanese aircraft decals but then I thought maybe I had too many green models so I opted for the white colored version of the WWII Zero Fighter plane.

Materials & Methods

The kit design itself is relatively uncomplicated, but somehow required more work than most MG kits. This is because of many visible seam-lines and some parts that needed pre-painting, masking and assembling. Case in point: the face visor. I painted the parts behind the face visor with silver, assembled the whole head and masked the visor part with tape. I also filled some gaps in the knee and foot with epoxy putty and added some detail parts on the chest & wing tips.

I was hoping for a creamy-white color for this kit, but I couldn’t find the appropriate spray can so I ended up buying a grey-white colored one. I sprayed Mr. Surfacer on the parts before spraying the grey-white color. Then I applied an enamel wash consisting of brown-yellow paint. The end result was somewhat more grey with a tint of blue. Then I made a last-minute decision to ditch the Zero fighter decal scheme and replace it with an American fighter decal scheme, which I thought was more matching with the final colors. Finally I applied some weathering in the form of rust color chipping and some soot/ash effects near the exhaust/turbine parts.

Results

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Discussion

I didn’t really enjoy the building part of this kit, but the painting and decaling made up for it. I must say that this model kit is not very stable if you put it on standing position, due to the abnormally small feet. And in fighter mode it looks cool from certain angles but kinda awkward from other angles so I actually prefer to keep it in mobile suit mode. Overall its a relatively simple & straight-forward built and I’m pretty satisfied with the end result. I think the design is unique and refreshing, and is one of the nicer looking mobile suits from Gundam 00. Finally, I apologize for the shallow depth of field in the pictures; I was shooting handheld using the widest aperture.

Heavy-arms Custom

February 29, 2008 at 18:35 | Posted in 1/100 scale | 2 Comments
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I got this as a birthday gift several years ago and I snap fitted the parts and just left it on my desk collecting dust. Not satisfied with that, I endeavored into some ‘real’ modelling (covering seam lines, sanding, gluing, painting etc…). For this kit I decided to give it heavy weathering. This was my first attempt, mind you. I made bullet holes in the front skirt using my rusty hobby blade and made some scratches here and there.

I painted the yellow parts with gold-color gundam marker. I mixed my own colors to paint the chest , shoulder and skirt parts (blue + german grey). I didn’t paint the white parts, except for places with yellow residue from the plactic cement. For the gattling guns and leg missile pods I first painted with gunmetal + silver followed by smoke color from a Tamiya spray can. Some drybrushing was applied to the bullet holes and other parts. Finally I applied some stickers from my other model kits and a free sticker sheet from Newtype magazine.

My only complaints about this kit are the elbow joints which are made of polycap material. Gets loose very easily, especially with the heavy gatling guns. And the leg articulation is very poor. Other than that, this is one mean looking kit.

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