HG 00 Gundam 10th Anniversary colors

October 10, 2017 at 21:47 | Posted in 1/144 scale | Leave a comment
Tags: , ,

Introduction:

The main reason I bought this HG 00 Gundam kit was to pair it with the XN Raiser kit that came with a copy of Hobby Japan. That was many years ago, but recently I came across some images of the 10th anniversary edition, which is basically a reissue of the HG 00 kit with white, baby blue and mint green colors.
For some reason I was quite drawn to that color scheme and so I decided to recreate it for this project.

Materials & methods:

For starters, I downloaded a front & back image of the 10th anniversary version for reference. Compared to the HG kit, there are some differences, shown below. Obviously there’s other differences, but I only highlight the changes that I made.


To make it look closer to the reference image, I added some notches at various locations using a 1mm wide chisel.
I made the v-fins on the head and chest thinner and more pointy by scraping them with a hobby blade. I added some additional panel lines on the backpack and shoulders.
To add more details to the GN drives, used a combination of clear parts, U-verneirs and Hasegawa’s clear green finish stickers, like so:

For painting, the main colors are white, baby blue (white + cobalt blue), mint green (pearl green + white) & yellow. The pearl green paint was actually decanted from a spray can.
Instead of decals, the white stripes on the chest and shoulders were actually painted on. First I painted the whole part with white, then masked the appropriate patterns using 2mm masking tape. On top of that I sprayed the baby blue paint.
Speaking of masking, there were many other parts that required it. Notably the v-fin, face and lower legs.
For the bladed weapon, I sprayed a bit of pearl white on it (also decanted from spray can). For the clear parts, I hand painted clear enamel paints on them and for panel lining I used German Grey enamel paint.
Decals were kept to a minimum, and I applied Hasegawa Mirror finish sheet on the side of the head, elbows, wrists and knees. And finally instead of the usual flat topcoat, I used semi gloss topcoat.

Results:

Now for some action poses:

For a HG kit, I’m quite impressed by the level of articulation. It can handle a slav squat pretty decently. The kit comes with 2 beam sabres that are placed in a rather unfortunate position. No clear beam parts were included but I had plenty of spares.

Discussion:

Out of the box, the HG 00 Gundam has nice proportions and impressive range of movement on the joints. I was particularly impressed with the ankle joints.
What it lacks is good parts separation, hence the substantial amount of masking required during painting. The standard weapons were kinda boring as well. That somewhat limited the action poses that I can do with it.

For this project, it was a nice change to try out different color schemes. It’s also quite refreshing to do a clean build instead of my usual lightly-weathered, dirty builds.

Anyway, happy 10th anniversary 00 Gundam.

Advertisements

Bandai 1/72 VF-25s Messiah

August 16, 2017 at 21:11 | Posted in 1/72 scale, Model kits | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , ,

Introduction:

Remember that post about my first Macross kit? Yeah, neither did I. That was until I found some old, dusty cluster of plastic somewhere within my apartment. Carbon dating of the dust layers revealed that it was from 8 years ago. This meant that this artifact is no other than my first Macross kit, the 1/72 scale VF-25s Messiah by Bandai.

Somehow it was stuck halfway through snap-fitting; half was already assembled, while the rest were still on their runners. To further motivate myself to complete this kit, I bought this book from Amazon with some nice photos of VF-25 Messiahs. I found an image that inspired this build:

vf25_hon1

The color scheme looks challenging, but I decided to give it a go.

Materials & methods:

I cleaned off the layers of dust from the plastic and continued from where I left off. After snap fitting, I separated the parts into internal (joints & moving parts) and external parts (wings etc). I had no intention of modding or customizing this kit because I wasn’t really sure what I was getting into. So for this build I just focused on painting. Prior to that, all parts were sprayed with grey surfacer. I used a combination of spray cans and airbrush for painting.

  • Internal parts: Mr Color Dark Gray (2) spray can
  • Feet: Mr Color 28 (steel) for externals; Gaianotes Starbright Duralumin for internals
  • Landing gear: Mr Color Light Gray spray can. Wheels were handpainted with black enamel
  • Pilot: Tamiya Olive drab spray can. Helmet was handpainted with white enamel
  • Canopy: Mr Color black for the canopy rim(?); clear yellow for the transparent part
  • Aircraft underbelly: Mr Color Light Gull Gray spray can
  • Aircraft surface base layer: Mr Color 307 (Gray FS36320)
  • Aircraft camo layer: Mr Color 305 (Gray FS36118)
  • Gun: Mr Color German Grey (exterior); Gunmetal spray can (interior)

The tricky part was painting the camo patterns. First I sprayed Light Gull Gray on parts that are underneath the aircraft, including wings. Next comes the base color (Mr Color 307); I carefully drew the boundaries using my airbrush and then proceeded to fill in the remaining areas. For the darker colored camo patterns (Mr Color 305) I directly drew the camo patterns using my airbrush instead of using any masking techniques.

For panel lining I used black enamel. Then comes the decals. Instead of using the supplied water slide markings, I decided to use my own catalog of aircraft decals accumulated from various hobby shows. To go with the camo pattern I painted, the decals I picked mimicked contemporary aircrafts; in this case US Navy aircrafts. To get a sense of where to position these decals, I referred again to this book.

vf25_hon2

To finish it off I sprayed a layer of flat topcoat. When I say finish, it’s not really finished yet. The final step is the actual assembly process. This was actually the most harrowing part of this build. According to the manual, you’re supposed to build it into Fighter mode first, and then later you can transform it into Gerwalk and Battroid modes.

As I was assembling, I noticed some joints were tight; maybe due to the layers of primer and paints. Inevitably I broke some of those joints because I pushed too hard. I performed a quick fix using superglue. Miraculously I managed to assemble the Fighter mode after several hours of trying to make the parts fit. After that stressful episode, I made the decision to keep it in fighter mode. Any attempts to transform it into Gerwalk or Battroid mode would risk catastrophic failure.

Results:

Discussion:

After 8 long years, I finally finished this kit. In a way, it was fortunate that I put it on hold. Because within that 8 years, I bought myself an airbrush. Without it, I wouldn’t have pulled off this paintjob. Which I think looks quite alright. The waterslide decals I used were getting kind of old, and were very prone to tearing.

The kit itself feels about as complex as a Master Grade kit, but not as sturdy. This is certainly not a toy that you’d play around with. It’s a shame that I can’t (and won’t) transform it into Batroid or Gerwalk modes, but at least it looks really sexy in fighter mode.

Overall, it was a long, rough ride but I managed to see it through. I think I’ll buy a couple more Macross kits, but probably not anymore transformable kits like this one. Hasegawa seems to have quite a selection of fighter mode Macross kits. Hopefully they won’t take 8 years to finish…

HG Graze Kai

November 13, 2016 at 00:25 | Posted in 1/144 scale | 5 Comments
Tags: , , , , ,

Introduction:

I built this HG Graze Kai kit in parallel with the standard Graze. They’re not that different, but the most obvious difference is the head. I bought a standard Graze head at Yellow Submarine because I initially wanted to use the Graze Kai head for another project. But I changed my mind and so I retained the Kai head.

Materials & methods:

I did the same modifications as the HG Graze. In addition, I modified the backpack so that a wing binder from MS Wing is attached.

For the weapons, I modified the original rifle by attaching the magazine to the middle of the rifle. I also decided to attach a bipod from one of my Little Armory M240 kits.

The Graze Kai was supplemented with the sniper rifle leftover from my HG Dynames kit. I attached the magazine from a GM machinegun and a clear lens inside the scope. Also drilled some holes on the muzzle and replaced the grip.

HG Dynames sniper rifle mod

I chose the color scheme of another mecha from Aldnoah Zero: the mass produced, olive-drab Kataphrakt. I used the leftover paint I mixed for my HGUC Jegan ECOAS build.

Results:

HG Graze Kai

Action poses and group photos:

Discussion:

I have to say I’m quite impressed with both the standard Graze and Graze Kai kits. The design looks quite unique and I like that some bits of the inner frame can still be seen even with the armor on. The head can be opened to reveal some extra details, too. Another plus point is the range of movement that surpasses most HGUC kits. It can do a pretty decent kneeling pose and the chest can swivel upwards and downwards.

The only minus points are that the included weapons are quite boring and the hands have only the gripping pose. I modified the existing weapons, added new ones as well as better hands.

I’m pretty happy with the build, except maybe the paintjob. The Graze was more brown than orange, and the Graze Kai was more green than olive drab. Overall, both these kits have left a pretty good impression and I might consider getting more kits from this series.

 

Next Page »

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