HG Astray Blue Frame

August 6, 2019 at 23:35 | Posted in 1/144 scale | Leave a comment
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The first HG 1/144 kit I bought was the Astray Red Frame. That was a long time ago, and now there’s many more variations of the Astray, including new versions of the HG 1/144 kit.
I wanted to build the Astray Blue Frame, but I’m not too keen on the Second L version. So I decided to build the vanilla Astray Blue Frame using parts from the latest Astray kits.

Materials & methods:
This is another build which doesn’t have a box. I procured all parts separately from Hobby Base in Akihabara. The list is as follows:

The result is a mix of red and blue plastic parts, so priming was definitely necessary. The colors were pretty straight forward:

  • Blue: Cobalt blue + intermediate blue + white
  • White: Off white
  • Torso: Neutral gray
  • Weapons: German gray / Gray FS36118 / gunmetal

The tedious part is the masking. To be color-accurate, plenty of parts needed masking. And some parts like the biceps and calves have complex shapes, requiring all my patience and concentration to apply the masking tape properly.
The white parts on the fingers were paint brushed using white enamel paint. After that comes panel lining, decals, and flat topcoat.


Weapons and poses:

There have been some improvements in the 1/144 Astray kits since their first iterations. Part separation has improved quite a bit, and the only obvious seam lines were at the biceps. Proportions have changed too, and the range of movement is impressive.
I think the only downside is that some parts are still not color-accurate. Frankly, the masking step was a pain in the ass but it felt so good when I finally got to peel off the masking tape at the end.
Overall, these new HG Astray kits are an upgrade over the earlier versions. But if you want to avoid the hassle of masking and painting to make it 100% color-accurate, go for the RG, MG, or PG versions instead.

HGAC Leo – Work in progress

June 10, 2019 at 23:32 | Posted in Work In Progress | Leave a comment
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When the HGAC Leo kit first came out, I bought it almost immediately, snap fitted it, and tucked it somewhere under my bed as I worked on other projects. Now that I’m more or less done with the Year of the GM project, I can focus on the Leo. Out of box, the Leo looks a bit plain. So the plan was to add a backpack and some additional weapons.

I simply attached some extra detail parts from Wave on the chest.

I elongated the midriff by using 1.2mm plaplate. First I cut off the peg, attached the plaplate, and re-attached the peg on top of the plaplate.

The waist was also extended by 1.2mm, but the plaplate was attached on the bottom.

The Leo comes with only a pair of hands for holding the weapons. So I added a couple of hands from MS Hands (small). I did the same modifications for the fists like the GM Cannon build.

For the backpack , I went for the HGBC Tilt Rotor Pack. It is possible to simply attach it to the Leo using the built-in peg. But then, the wings would be facing upwards instead of being parallel to the ground.
So my solution was to attach the Tilt Rotor to the HGUC Loto backpack. I had to cut off the head(?) of the Tilt Rotor so that it’s closer to the Leo’s body. To connect it to the Leo, I simply used a spare runner, shown by the red arrow below:

On the top part of the Tilt Rotor, I attached some detail parts:

And on the back, I decided to add the gatling gun from the MSG Sentry Gun kit. I used some joints (also from MSG) to connect it to the Tilt Rotor.

I modified the Leo machine gun a bit by drilling holes in the barrel, and replacing the muzzle with some MSG parts. I also replaced the canister magazine with a standard curved magazine from another weapon.

For extra firepower, I added the twin gatling from the old HG Serpent Custom kit.

To go with the Tilt Rotor theme, I decided to paint it in some contemporary military color scheme.

GBN-Guard Frame

May 24, 2019 at 20:15 | Posted in 1/144 scale | Leave a comment
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The HGBD Guard Frame reminded me of a certain country’s riot police. With that theme in mind, I played around with various spare parts and MSG weapon units to get the look that I was aiming for.

Materials & methods:
The work in progress can be found here.
After priming and applying preshading, painting was as follows:
Head: Red madder
Chest, waist: Midnight blue + a bit of blue
Knees, feet: German gray
Other parts: Blue + german gray + intermediate blue
Joints: Dark gray (2)
Shield: Neutral gray
Weapons: Grey FS36118
No weathering this time, just panel lining, decals & flat topcoat.


Some action poses:

And the main reason for the RG hands: Little Armory weapons. The samurai sword in that last pic is from one of the Revoltech skeleton series.

The HGBD Guard Frame has a lot of similarities with the HGBF GM/GM, and to some extent with other recent HG kits. This means that I can swap parts rather easily for kitbashing.
Plus, the range of movement on the joints is also great, and I had fun posing it during photography. I also like that it comes with another head; comes in handy for kitbashing.
Overall, the HGBD Guard Frame is a solid kit, a fun build, and a new model for posing with my Little Armory weapons.

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