2016 report card

December 23, 2016 at 16:31 | Posted in Random rants | 4 Comments
Tags: , , , , , ,

As 2016 rolls to an end, I decided to take a look back at the kits I’ve completed this year. 2016 started with a Zeon Remnant kit, the Zaku Desert, and finished with another, the Galluss K.

In between, I completed a couple of GMs & Grazes, a Ball, a Gouf and an Efreet. That’s 9 kits in total, meaning my build rate is one kit per 1.333 months or 0.75 kits per month. At that rate, and assuming I don’t buy any additional kits (highly unlikely), it would take 5.5 years to complete my current backlog. Just realizing the fact that I have approximately 50 unbuilt kits makes me ponder…

But anyway, here’s all that I built this year. I didn’t include the various Little Armory kits, though.

2016output_01

The Graze kits are the only non-UC kits I’ve built this year, and they’ve been quite a fun little package.

2016output_02

The two GM kits I built (GM III and Semi Striker) were featured in the Unicorn OVA, and it’s a prelude to more EFSF builds based on that series. The Thunderbolt Ball will also be supplemented with a pair of Balls in the near future.

2016output_03 2016output_04

I finished 4 Zeon kits this year, 3 of which are part of my Zeon Remnants Project.

2016output_05 2016output_06

Speaking of which, I’m adding a final addition to the project: the Juaggu. Despite stating at the start of the project that I’m not into unconventional Zeonic designs, I just wanted to finish this Zeon Remnants Project with something quite different.

zrp_juaggu
So here’s to a more productive 2017. Cheers.

1/144 Ball (Thunderbolt ver.)

October 1, 2016 at 17:38 | Posted in 1/144 scale | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , ,

Introduction:
Volume 3 of the Gundam Thunderbolt manga came with a limited edition 1/144 scale Ball. It came in 3 shades of plastic: white, grey, and baby-blue. Also included is an extensive sticker sheet and a stand. One design feature of the Thunderbolt series is the overabundance of verneirs and thrusters. This Ball is no exception. It’s a bit  too much for me, so it was one of the things I decided to modify.
My main sticking point for this kit is that the cockpit canopy is made of opaque plastic. You’re supposed to apply the supplied sticker over it. You may know that I loathe this kind of stickers, so I had to come up with a better alternative.So those are some of the things I modified for this build. Read on for more details.

Materials & methods:
The extra verniers were either completely covered up with putty or replaced with some detail parts.
tballwip_01 tballwip_02
For the cockpit canopy, I bought an 18mm diameter clear acrylic bead from Amazon. First I had to remove the plastic surrounding the canopy. To get a nice, circular cut, I ran a sharp pin along the circumference of the canopy multiple times until the plastic surrounding the canopy was thin enough for me to punch through it. After that I simply attached the clear acrylic bead behind the hole using super glue. Unfortunately, the super glue left a white residue on the clear bead. I scraped off the white residue using a hobby blade, but that left scratches on the clear bead. To get a nice, shiny finish, I rubbed Tamiya compound over the clear bead until the scratches were no longer visible.
tballwip_03
To add some detail to this kit, I glued a square plate near the back thrusters and some square pipes on the landing skids.

tballwip_04 tballwip_05

The final modifications I did were to the two front pistols. I glued some square vents and rectangular verneirs to add extra detail. The gun barrels were not hollow, so I drilled a hole through the plastic.

tballwip_06 tballwip_07
To provide some extra mobility to the pistols, I separated them from the front arms and attached a pivoting joint from MSG. Now the pistols can move semi-independently from the arms.

tballwip_08

For the color scheme, I decided on an urban camo similar to my HGUC Jesta. Unlike the Jesta, I used larger, more angular shapes of masking rape for the camo patterns. Painting was done in this order:
Base coat (Mr. Color Dark Gray 2) -> masking tape -> Mr. Color Dark Gray 1 -> masking tape -> Mr. Color Off White
For other parts, I painted them as follows:

  • The part surrounding the cockpit -> Navy Blue
  • Cockpit canopy -> clear red.
  • Arms and weapons -> Gunmetal, german gray and dark gray 2
  • Verniers -> Light gunmetal

Then its panel-lining, decals and some light weathering in the form of paint chipping.

Results:
tball_05

Discussion:
This is my first non-humanoid shaped gunpla kit, and it was kinda fun to build something different. Actually I put off building this kit until I found a solution for the cockpit canopy conundrum.
I wouldn’t recommend this kit for snap-fitters, though. Although some parts are molded in their correct colors, you still need to apply a whole bunch of stickers. Even then, it wouldn’t look as good if it was painted. The range of movement on the arms is also limited, but I wasn’t expecting too much from a ‘free’ kit anyway.
On the plus side, it comes with a stand; I like that it attaches to the backside of the Ball. The overall design is also unique and well detailed too. And if you’re wondering about the red glow from the cockpit in some photos, it was light from a laser pointer. Since this is not a regular release, it may be difficult to get one. If you manage to find one, be prepared to put in some effort to make it look presentable.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.