Shizuoka Hobby Show 2018

May 16, 2018 at 22:06 | Posted in Events | Leave a comment

I was looking forward to this year’s Shizuoka Hobby show after missing last year’s edition. There’s just something charming about it compared to other hobby shows I’ve been to in Japan. Maybe it’s the highschool brass band playing anime songs, or the JSDF vehicles parked at the entrance that gives it a carnival-like atmosphere.
Anyway, back to the Bandai booth, I finally got an up close look at some of the upcoming releases. The MG Jegan looks a bit underwhelming; it looks too much like the HGUC version. The same can’t be said for the RG Sazabi, though. There’s enough details to differentiate it from the HGUC and MG version. If I hadn’t already bought the MG, I would’ve gotten this one instead.
A bunch of HGUC GM variants are coming: GM Guard (regular release), GM Sniper Custom (P-Bandai), GM Cannon and GM Interceptor. Gotta catch em’ all. The HGUC Sinanju Stein also looks interesting, not sure about the Moon Gundam. The P-Bandai section included a HGUC RX-79[G] Parachute set, with a newly designed GM head. I guess Bandai listened to the unhappy customers complaining about the HGUC GM Ground Type head.

Non-Gunpla stuff included some Full Metal Panic, Pacific Rim, and Mazinger kits. There’s also some weird mecha kits with cats and Aoshima’s VF-31 Variable Fighter Girl.

There’s a whole bunch of mecha musume type kits at the Kotobukiya section, I just can’t keep up with it.

And finally, some pics at the modelers section. As always there were plenty of very interesting builds, but I didn’t notice an overall theme this year. But there was a whole row of MG Perfect Zeongs.

So anyway, enjoy the pics.


HGUC Blue Destiny feat. Ol’ Painless

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


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.

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.

HGUC Blue Destiny – Work in progress

May 4, 2018 at 17:17 | Posted in Work In Progress | Leave a comment
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This is another case of buying spare parts to add to existing spare parts, if that makes sense. Basically I had some leftover HGUC Ground Type parts from the previous GM Head build.
The remaining parts were the body and head, so I needed some arms and legs to complete it. I went to Yellow Submarine to find some body parts and found mostly Blue Destiny parts on that day, so that’s what I went with.
If you didn’t know already, Yellow Submarine shop in Akihabara sells gunpla spare parts, separated by body part, e.g legs only or arms only. The selection is fairly random, so you may not always get the parts you wanted. But they tend to have parts of new kits a day or so after release. Anyway, on with the build:

Instead of using the new HGUC GM Ground Type head, I bought the new HGUC Blue Destiny Unit 1 heads. Heads because the kit came with 2 head variants. I used the one with the commander antenna.

For the top half of the body, I used the GM Ground Type parts. On the shoulders, I added some detail parts from Wave.

I decided to replace the square chest vents with the muzzle from a pair of HGUC Kampfer shotguns. I had to drill some holes on the GM chest first to accommodate them.

The hips were from the Gundam Local Type kit. I inserted a ball joint and socket from Hobby Base, and padded it with epoxy putty.

Instead of elongating the waist like I always did, this time I added corrugated pla-plate (from M.S.G) around the waist, like so:

I still had the shoulder armor from the GM Ground Type, but no arms. So I bought the HGUC Blue Destiny Unit 3 arms. Since they’re both from the newer kits, there’s no compatibility issues. For the hands, I again went for the RG Mk. II hands like I did with the GM Head.

I used the legs from the HGUC Blue Destiny Unit 1 kit as it is. The only issue was the visible seam lines on the ankle armor. Instead of using the typical method of seam-line removal, I decided to disguise the seam-line by adding 1mm plastic strips near it, like so:

Now it appears that the seam line is a natural part of the design.

No specific weapons this time. That’s because I have plenty of Little Armory weapons stocked up, hence the RG hands.

So this is the picture I took when I was testing for the overall proportions:

This is a fairly short work-in-progress post. I didn’t modify too many things for this build because I wanted to focus on the paintjob. Which in this case is the woodland camo. Here’s a mockup of what I had in mind:

I’ve attempted several camo paint-jobs on Gunpla before, but I was never really happy with any of them. Hopefully this time I’ll get it right.

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