HGUC GM Semi Striker: Work in progress

July 3, 2016 at 12:51 | Posted in Work In Progress | Leave a comment
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I have thought about converting my HGUC GM II into the Semi Striker by using some GM Striker parts, but then Bandai released the official HGUC GM Semi Striker kit on its P-Bandai website. Being the lazy person that I am, I decided to buy one for the sake of convenience. But that doesn’t mean that this will be an Out of Box build, as you will read below:

Head: The face feels a bit long, so I decided to shave the chin off a little bit. You can see the difference this makes compared to the original GM II head:

semist-wip_01

 

Torso: I added some plaplate & square plate on various positions on the chest to mimic the GM Striker design. The waist was elongated by a sheet of 1.2mm and 1mm plaplate.

 

Arms: Elongated the bicep using 1.2mm plaplate and added some panel lines on the forearms. Also attached some 0.5mm plaplate strips at the wrist.

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Waist: Drilled some shallow holes on the front skirt and crotch. Added some parts from MS Armor on the front and side skirts. Glued 1.2mm plaplate on the peg to accommodate the  elongated hip.

At the back, I attached a square plate and a bracket to hold a combat knife from Kotobukiya’s MSG Knife Set.

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Legs: Lengthened the thighs by gluing 2mm square pipes at the top.

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I didn’t like the original lower legs so I replaced them with more bulky ones from my HGUC Hazel II kit.  On the back of the knees there’s a large, empty gap. So I covered it with a sheet of 1mm corrugated plaplate. I also glued 1.2mm plaplate on the bottom of the knee joints. On the lower leg, I filled the gap with epoxy putty and glued a piece of 0.5mm plaplate cut to resemble the GM Striker.

I kept the original feet but used a double ball joint to connect them to the legs. On the ankle guard I glued a strip of 0.5mm plaplate.

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Backpack: I decided to use the GM Striker backpack which was actually a spare part from the kit. Modified the peg so that it attaches to the body and stuck a polycap on the right side to attach the beam spear. I used the original backpack verniers.

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Weapons: The kit comes with the standard GM II beam rifle, which I chucked out almost immediately. I decided to use the small rifle included in the MS Option Set 1. Modified it a bit by attaching the magazine from the Jesta beam carbine and attaching a plastic pipe on the barrel.

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I also have a forearm shield that came with Gundam Ace magazine. The peg fits nicely on the GM Semi Striker’s left forearm, so no modifications were needed.

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Here’s the overall look before priming & painting. I’m thinking of painting it in GM Command (colony type) colors.

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53rd All Japan Model & Hobby Show

October 16, 2013 at 18:26 | Posted in Events | Comments Off on 53rd All Japan Model & Hobby Show
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Let’s start with the main attractions in the Bandai booth:

The much anticipated MG Sazabi Ver. Ka was on display, and it sure looked nice. It may not be clear in the photos, but the plastic has two shades of red and a green LED monoeye can be attached (sold separately). The box itself looks huge but the boxart looks a bit underwhelming. Another MG release will be MG Gundam X.

From the RG front, there’s the RG Strike Freedom. Only the wing bit will be bling-bling gold while the rest of the joints will be the cheese-yellow color. Sold separately on Premium Bandai is the wing of light. No news on the next RG though, but hopefully it’s a Zeon suit.

There’s far more HG releases this time, starting with the Gundam Build Fighters. They’re basically a mishmash of existing designs and attached with awful names like Zaku Amazing. There’s also a HGUC Silver Bullet and Zaku II Johnny Ridden custom. Also on display are HGUC kits from the Gundam Thunderbolt manga: GM, Zaku and Full-Armor Gundam.

Other stuff include PG Astray Blue Frame, armed with just a huge bazooka. System Weapon 006 will include 2 types of bazookas and sturm faust grenades. On sale at Premium Bandai site will be MG Astray Red Frame (lite version), MG Astray Noir, MG Crossbone Gundam X3, HGUC ReBawoo and Unicorn recolors of MG Zaku Cannon & Zgok.

Japan loves Char Aznable so much that they customized a Char car (Toyota Auris). There’s also Char Golfbag, Char Shoes, Char bags and Char printer.

And here’s the rest of the photos I took of other booths. Of interest is the latest M.S.G Weapon Unit by Kotobukiya: Japanese swords, assault rifles & a gatling gun. As a follow-up to Metal Gear Rex, Metal Gear Ray will be released next year. A new feature in this year’s show is a section called Junk City. It’s where spare parts of Gunpla & other plamo are sold. Parts like weapons, hands & joints of various MG & HG kits were there and the price ranged from 200-900 yen. I bagged myself a few RG joints, MG Jesta hands & Zudah sniper rifle.

HGUC Banshee (Destroy Mode)

August 30, 2012 at 15:14 | Posted in 1/144 scale | 1 Comment
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Introduction:

Initially I wasn’t really interested in the Banshee; wasn’t too keen on the orange psycho-frame, spiky neck collar and the claw/railgun hands. I was more interested in the MG Banshee Ver.Ka with its green psycho-frame, but it was a limited item and quite expensive. After looking at various reviews, I settled for the HGUC Destroy Mode version after discovering that I can essentially make a ‘normal’ Banshee, ala ver.Ka. So naturally, the plan would have to involve painting the orange psycho-frame of the HGUC version into green.

Materials & methods:

The good thing about this kit is that it has all the spare parts to build a normal Banshee, with a normal neck collar and hands, together with the beam magnum and shield. Unfortunately building instructions for the beam magnum and shield are not included in the manual, but you can easily figure it out for yourself, if not, there’s always google. Another bad thing is there’s no clear parts for the beam sabre and the kit doesn’t come with proper closed-fist hands, so I used some leftover B-club resin hands instead. Other than that, all I did was just sharpening the v-fin.

For painting the psychoframe, first I sprayed a layer of Tamiya silver on the orange parts, followed by Tamiya pearl green. But I felt that it wasn’t green enough, so I painted enamel clear green over the parts with a paint brush. For the rest of the body, I wanted a darker color instead of the dark blue hue of the plastic, so I sprayed black primer over those parts. Upon inspection later, I thought it looked good enough as it is so I didn’t paint any further layers. The v-fin was sprayed with Tamiya gold and the backpack was sprayed with dark blue.

For the decals, I didn’t have proper Banshee decals in 1/144 scale, so I made due with whatever decals I had lying around. I used mostly gray-colored decals for the caution marks, and white-colored decals for the logo marks. I sprayed gloss topcoat over the green and gold parts and flat topcoat for the black parts.

Results:

Discussion:

For a HGUC kit, this one sure has a lot of parts, but the amazing thing is there’s no seam lines to fix. Well except for the beam magnum, but that part’s optional anyway. As I mentioned earlier, you have the option to build this kit as it appeared in the anime OVA or build a Ver. Ka style, like I did. Actually I ended up building the claw and railgun weapons anyway, for the sake of completion. Assembly and painting was pretty straight forward, although I had a few scares when I dropped the small pieces and they disappeared under my couch.

Aesthetically, it looks perfect standing up straight (like in all Ver.Ka box arts) and the proportions look balanced. The only downside to this kit is the articulation. The arms and legs can only bend 90 degrees and that limits the kind of poses you can make. Although that’s pretty standard for a HGUC kit, I can’t help but feel a bit disappointed. Even my SHCM-Pro Unicorn has better posability.

In conclusion, this is a great kit that is fun to build, gives you plenty of options in customization. Although I don’t prefer the claw/railgun weapons, at least they look better than on the HGUC Banshee unicorn mode, where the weapons look like giant tumors on the arms. The downside is the poor articulation, but at least it looks on its own just standing up straight.

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