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.

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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.

Little Armory Type 89 Rifle

November 26, 2017 at 17:13 | Posted in Little Armory | Leave a comment
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Little Armory Howa Type 89 Assault Rifle

The Howa type 89 is an updated battle rifle for the JSDF, replacing the type 64. Like the type 64, this kit comes with a bayonet, two magazines and bipods.

Unlike the type 64, the type 89 is all black plastic. So I painted it with black, german gray and steel.

The type 89 is about the same size with the type 64.

Here’s the rest of the photos:

Final thoughts:
Nothing much to complain about this kit, and nothing to shout home about either. Personally I think it looks better than the type 64, but that’s not saying much. It just looks like a generic assault rifle to me. At least it looks pretty decent when posed with the skeleton & GM.

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