Leo

August 26, 2013 at 19:16 | Posted in 1/100 scale, Model kits | 1 Comment
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Introduction:

After completing my MG Tallgeese, I was thinking of what to do with the older 1/100 scale kit I have. I wasn’t really keen on building another Tallgeese so I decided to modify it into a Leo. The Leo is the grunt unit from Gundam Wing that explodes  just by the sight of a gundam. Because the old 1/100 kit uses flimsy polycaps for the joints, I decided to transplant some MG parts to make it sturdier. So I went shopping for parts at Yellow Submarine and bought MG Tallgeese arms and MG Deathscythe Hell legs. For the color scheme, I decided to try a jungle camo pattern, or specifically the tigerstripe camo.

Materials & Methods:

To transform the Tallgeese into a Leo, almost all parts required some sort of modification. So I’ll break it down into  different body parts:

Head: The kit allows you to build 3 types of Tallgeese heads, but the one that resembles a Leo head the most was Tallgeese I. I had to trim away the trojan headpiece and faceguard. As a result, there’s a deep gap in the Leo’s face so I glued a square vernier (Wave) in it. Then I attached a clear square visor (leftover from MG Tallgeese) to complete the Leo’s face.

Torso: This part required the least modification. I merely added square molds (M.S.G) on the chest and modified the shoulder joints so that the MG arms can be attached.

Waist: The front part was not modified. But the Leo’s butt is made up of two squarish booster units, which was quite different from the Tallgeese version. So I took the heels from the MG Deathscythe legs and used them as Leo’s butt. The booster nozzles were from Bandai’s Builders parts.

leo-1 leo-2

Arms: I just built the MG Tallgeese arms according to the manual. At first I thought of just leaving the big round shoulders naked, but then I decided to attach the shoulder armor from the Tallgeese kit. Not a perfect fit but the epoxy putty I used should hold them together.

Legs: I assembled the knee joints from the MG Deathscythe and attached them to the Leo’s legs with some epoxy putty. The feet were left as they were, but I modified the knees. I attached the ankle guard from MG Deathscythe to the knees and added some trapezoid tips on them. Some seam lines had to be removed from the thighs and shins.

For painting, I first sprayed dark grey surfacer on all the parts except the elbow & knee joints. For the feet and lower torso, I sprayed German Grey. For the rest of the parts, I applied some masking using liquid latex (Mr. Masking Sol). Because the applicator brush is too wide, I used a toothpick to ‘draw’ some camo patterns using the liquid latex. Then I sprayed Dark Green over the limbs, upper torso and head parts. Peeling away the dried latex revealed the camo pattern. To complete the tigerstripe camo, I drew some lines along the camo patterns using desert brown enamel paint and a hand brush.

Then came the standard decal application and panel-lining. For weathering, I applied some silver paint to simulate paint chipping and a lot of weathering pastel on the feet. The last step was applying a layer of flat topcoat.

Results:

Because the Leo doesn’t have native weapons, I photographed it with some third-party weapons.

And finally some group photos:

Discussion:

I couldn’t recall the last time I made such extensive modification on a single kit. Although the end product was a little rough, it was a fun and largely satisfying experience nonetheless.

Regarding the Leo, I have to admit that mine didn’t follow the original design 100%, but I felt it was close. I kinda liked how the camo pattern turned out. As for the rest of the body, it’s a mixed bag. The elbow & knee movements were superior because they were from MG parts. But the shoulder, feet & groin were not, hence the limited poses.

The 1/100 Tallgeese kit came with quite a few weapons such as a whip, mega beam cannon, dober gun & a shield, but I didn’t assemble any of them. I’m thinking of using the mega beam cannon for another project though…

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Tallgeese (Endless Waltz)

July 30, 2013 at 23:37 | Posted in Master Grade | 10 Comments
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Introduction:

The thing about Gundam Wing is that there’s too many overpowered Gundams in it (also applies to SEED). So the Tallgeese comes as a breath of fresh air, with its Trojan helmet and fat thighs. I already have the old 1/100 scale kit still in its box, but I went ahead and purchased the MG version regardless. I felt that the color scheme looks good as it is, so I decided to do what I did to the MG Heavyarms: paint the innerframe and apply weathering effects on the unpainted outer armor.

Materials & Methods:

I snap fitted the inner frame first, and put aside the rest of the outer armor. The inner frame was mostly of a monotonous grey tone, so I decided to paint it in different shades of grey: German Grey, Zeon MS Gray & Gunmetal. The thrusters were sprayed with Gloss Aluminium while the rifle was mostly painted with Olive Green.

Although the outer armor did not require painting, I sprayed some parts with Light Gull Gray to break the monotony of the white color scheme. The only parts that did require painting were the wings on the backpack, which needed a strip of orange-yellow.

Panel lining was done using black enamel on the white colored parts & desert brown on the darker colored parts. For weathering, I just applied multiple scratch marks instead of heavy damage. I used mostly dark grey enamel for the scratch effect and added a few dabs of dark brown enamel using a sponge to simulate rust.

I didn’t have any Tallgeese-specific decals, so I used water slide decals from Wing Gundam & various others in my inventory. And finally, I applied flat topcoat on the outer armor and made the final assembly.

Results:

Here’s the awesome inner frame;

And now with some clothes armor on:

Finally some action shots:

Discussion:

For a MG kit, this one ticks the right boxes: very detailed inner frame, good articulation, good parts separation and gimmicks on the weapons & booster backpack. I personally love the inner frame; it’s quite different from the typical gundam & zaku type inner frames. Overall, it’s a very nicely designed and well proportioned kit.

Now for the minus points. Like the MG Heavyarms, it doesn’t have movable fingers. Instead it has the same HG-like swappable fingers. It doesn’t bother me as much this time, since I didn’t plan to pose it with other 3rd party weapons.

Although the majority of the joints feel solid, the shoulders and waist feel less so. Probably because of the polycap joints that were used. It does tend to lean backwards due to the heavy backpack. Also, snap-fitters may not like the yellow sticker for the backpack wings but for painters, it’s not a big deal.

In conclusion, I felt the plus points outweigh the minus points, making the MG Tallgeese a kit that’s relatively solid and very nice to look at.

51st All Japan Model & Hobby Show (Part 1)

November 15, 2011 at 17:04 | Posted in Events | Leave a comment
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I should’ve posted this sooner, but there were other things that require attention. Anyway, after missing the last two, I decided to pay this year’s hobby show a visit. FYI, you can get a 300yen discount on the entry ticket by printing a coupon from the hobby show website. I’ll start off with some Gunpla stuff and in the next post I’ll put up a gallery of other stuff from the show.
So to kick things off, here’s some pics of Bandai’s latest Gundam anime, Gundam AGE. From what I’ve seen so far (the anime & gunpla), I’m definitely not interested. But for those of you who are, there’s plenty of AGE gunpla for you:

The above are the HG releases, but it didn’t take too long for them to release a 1/48 mega size scale:

Here’s some stuff from the Gunpla Builder’s section, some of which were published in Hobby Japan magazine:

And here’s some Limited edition stuff on sale for the Gunpla Expo in Akihabara. Too bad I couldn’t attend it. From what I saw there’s a RG Strike Rogue, a pink Bearguy, clear RG RX-78 & Exia, a shiny AGE and PG RX-78. Hmm, not so interesting…

But here’s something I might look forward to: weapons set in 1/144 scale. Currently there’s the gattling guns for the Unicorn & some Zaku machine guns. Also, a fancy display base will also be on sale soon. It seems to fit 1/144 scale models, but it can expand to accomodate the smaller MGs (Wing series, Crossbone).

 

Next is the Gundam Unicorn section. From the HGUC series, there’s the Zee Zulu and Dra-C, and you can see them in action on Vol.4 of Gundam Unicorn. Hopefully Bandai will release a remake of the Kapool. There’s also clear versions of the Sinanju and Ksatriya, but I’m not sure if they’re limited items or not.

Then there’s the MG Full Armor Unicorn. The amount of weapons attached is bordering on the ridiculous. For sure assembling all of them will keep you occupied for quite some time.

Moving on to the Gundam SEED section, where there’s been a sort of a revival. The first few SEED Gundams (Strike, Aegis, Buster, Duel, Blitz) will be re-released with some minor changes: 1) The box art will be different; 2) an adapter peg for the Bandai Action  Base will be included; 3) the color of the plastic will be slightly different; 4) marking stickers will be attached.

But the main attraction is undoubtedly the RG Freedom. If I didn’t already have a MG Freedom, I would have bought this RG version. I’ll probably skip this one and wait what’s next on the RG production line. A Zeta perhaps?

 

Here’s some B-club releases: Turn-X, Nemo & Gelgoog

 

And finally here’s some pics from the Gundam Wing section. Headline news is the already released MG Sandrock, which looks cool. Might get one in the future. But my main interest is in the upcoming MG Heavyarms. I already have the HG 1/100 from the Endless Waltz OVA, but I’m definitely getting this MG version. What’s next on the line? A MG Tallgeese perhaps?

And there you have it. All the Gunpla-related items from the 51st All Japan Model & Hobby Show. I’ll follow it up with photos from other exhibits in my next post.

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