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.

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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.

HGUC Blue Destiny feat. Ol’ Painless

May 10, 2018 at 22:04 | Posted in 1/144 scale | 4 Comments
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Introduction:

For the uninitiated, Ol’ Painless is the affectionately named minigun from 1987’s Predator. This build is inspired by that weapon and the character who wielded it.
It involves a kitbash of the Blue Destiny Unit 1 (BD01), fitted with Little Armory’s M134 minigun. To complete the overall theme, I painted the BD01 in a woodland camo colorscheme.

Materials & methods:

The very brief work-in-progress can be found here.

Grey surfacer was first sprayed on all parts, making sure the original plastic color was covered.
The woodland camo pattern consists of black, brown-grey, dark brown and dark green colors. But I decided against adding the black squiggly pattern and just focused on the three remaining colors.

The first layer was brown-grey (Gaianotes). Then I applied camo patterns that were cut off from masking tape.
The second layer was dark brown (80% propeller color + 20% khaki). Then I applied liquid mask (Masking Sol).
The final layer was dark green (50% IJA green, from spray can + 50% Russian green).

I applied the camo pattern to the limbs, while the torso was painted in german gray and neutral gray. The backpack and some bits on the side skirt were painted with olive drab.
For weathering, I did enamel wash using dark brown + yellow enamel paints, paint chipping using Fine Tip Gundam Marker, and weathering pastels on the feet.
After applying decals, I scraped it a little with my hobby blade to simulate damage & scratches. Then it’s the final flat top coat layer.

For the Little Armory M134, I did some modifications to make it look more like the movie version. In the movie, they modified the minigun for handheld use by attaching an M60 handguard. Since there’s no Little Armory M60 kit yet, I made do with M4A1 parts. I glued the M4A1 barrel to the U-shaped part of the M134, like so:

The minigun itself was painted with steel, german gray and black. The backpack was painted with khaki, the railing with olive drab, while the belt-like thing was german gray.

Results:

First, some shots of the Blue Destiny:

Some closeups of the Little Armory M134:

And now Ol’ Painless in the hands of BD01. The M134 comes with a peg that attaches the backpack to Figmas, but it also fits nicely to the BD01 back (technically it’s the GM Ground Type back).

I also took the liberty of posing the BD01 with some weapons and armaments from my previous builds.

Discussion:
My previous attempts at painting camo patterns didn’t really produce satisfactory results. Because I used spray cans, the paint tended to seep underneath the masking tapes, ruining the camo patterns. Another disadvantage of using spray cans is the limited colors available. So this time, using an airbrush, I was able to get a result that I’m quite happy with.
This is also my first time kitbashing Little Armory kits. Admittedly it’s not a 100% recreation of the Ol’ Painless minigun, but I think it’s close enough. The M134 kit comes with some wires and straps, but I didn’t put them on because it would look a bit messy on the BD01.
So while the Blue Destiny Unit 1 is not technically a GM, those red visors are GM-y enough to warrant its inclusion in the Year of the GM lineup.

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