HG Thunderbolt GM

July 5, 2018 at 22:07 | Posted in 1/144 scale | 1 Comment
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I was reluctant to buy the HGTB Thunderbolt GM kit even though the design looks quite interesting. Some aspects like the head, wrinkly joints, excessive thrusters and astronaut backpack didn’t sit well with me.
As I accumulated more and more spare parts from the Year of the GM project, I decided to build a Thunderbolt GM, but with a Universal Century feel to it.

Materials & methods:

Work in progress is here. As usual, all parts were primed with grey surfacer. Then pre-shading lines were added using german grey.

Paint used was predominantly MS White. The exceptions were the chest, shoulders and feet.
For those parts, I used the recommended color as written on the manual, which was a mix of grey:blue:green. The shoulders and chest required a darker hue, so a bit of midnight blue was added to the above mixture. The yellow bits around the waist, neck and shields were painted with orange-yellow + white. Joints were painted with Dark gray (2) and the weapons with german gray.

Moderate weathering effects were applied using enamel wash. The black enamel paint was thinned more than usual and was only applied to certain parts of the model. Paint scratch effects were also applied using enamel german gray and a paint brush. Some large decals (e.g. on the shield) were lightly scratched using a hobby blade. Finally a flat topcoat layer was applied.


A lot of trial and error was involved in this build. Even after finalizing the parts, I wasn’t sure how it’ll turn out. The round shoulder joint might look out of place with the squarish shape of other parts, and the arms may be a bit too long.
But overall, I feel that this build captures the essence of the Thunderbolt GM, even without the distinctive parts like the wrinkly joints et cetera. Getting the color scheme spot on and making fully articulate manipulator arms on the backpack was probably the most satisfying part of this build for me.


GM Thunderbolt – Work in progress

June 27, 2018 at 21:46 | Posted in Work In Progress | 3 Comments
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The Thunderbolt GM looks quite interesting, but I didn’t like some aspects of the design such as the wrinkly joints, astronaut backpack, and the excessive thruster nozzles. So I decided to give it a makeover, using spare parts from various HGUC and Thunderbolt kits.

The leftover head from the HGUC GM Ground Type kit was used. To make it look more like a typical GM, the goatee (chin protrusion) and mutton chops (cheek vents?) were shaved off.

The S-type Thunderbolt Gundam body was used for this build. It looks a bit stumpy, so some extensions were needed. Firstly, 1.2mm plaplate was attached on the top part of the mid-abdomen. I think the figure below is more explanatory.

Then, 1.2mm and 1mm plaplate was attached to the bottom of the waist part.

The original peg on the hips was cut off, and a polycap was inserted into the remaining hole. This will hold the ball joint (Kotobukiya MSG) that connects the torso together.

Although I didn’t like the astronaut backpack of the Thunderbolt GM, I still liked the extended arms concept. So a completely movable set of joints were made from various Kotobukiya MSG parts, and attached to the S-Type Gundam backpack. These arms will hold a pair of shields leftover from my previous GM builds.

Additionally, a spare tank (MS Builder parts) was attached to the S-Type backpack.

The original GM Thunderbolt shoulders were kept, but the arms were from the GM Ground Type. On to the shoulders, some pla strips and detail parts (Koto MSG) were attached to where the nozzles should be.

The original shoulder joint was required to join the various parts together, so the wrinkles were covered up with polyester putty, followed by basic putty.

The thighs and knee joints were from the HGUC GM II kit. The thighs were extended by 2mm using pla pipes (covered in yellow polyester putty below:)

The lower legs were from the Thunderbolt S-Type Gundam. No modifications were applied. The feet were from the HGUC GM II, and ball joints from Hobby Base were used to connect them to the legs.

On the ankle guards, 1mm strip was attached to disguise the seam line.

The right hand was armed with a submachine gun from Kotobukiya MSG. The original grip was small and was loose when placed into the HG GM hands. So the grip from the HGUC GM II rifle was transplanted to the MSG gun.

The left hand was armed with a cannon-shield(?) thing. I got it from the HG campaign a few years back. Some bits of 1.2mm plaplate was attached on top of the shield:

The position of the handle was modified, and some plaplate was used to attach it to the forearms. Also, some detail parts were added to the top part:

So this is how it roughly looked like:

For the painting, I plan to stick to the original color scheme.

HGBF GM/GM Command

June 13, 2018 at 21:36 | Posted in 1/144 scale | 2 Comments
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I bought the HGBF GM/GM kit after looking at some convincing reviews. The HGUC GM line sorely needs to evolve, and the GM/GM appears to be a step in the right direction.
The kit comes with 3 different heads: one was used for my GIMM, and I’m using the GM Command head lookalike one for this build. To complete the overall theme, I added parts from the old HGUC GM Command kit.

Work in progress page is here.
Painting was relatively simple: red and white. For the white parts, I used Off-white straight. The red parts were red plus a bit of german grey. Only the beam gun required some masking.
Prior to painting, all parts were coated with grey surfacer, followed by pre-shading lines using german gray.
I decided not to weather it this time, just some black pastel smudges near the leg vents.
The rest is just standard S.O.P: decals, panel lines and flat topcoat.


I’m really impressed with the GM/GM kit. The proportions have a slender and sleek look to it, and the articulation is great. The upper chest can even pop forward, revealing some internal details.
You might notice some of the poses are similar to the ones from P-Bandai’s MG GM Command page. It was partly due to my laziness, but also I thought it might be interesting to recreate those poses.
Anyway, I quite enjoyed this build, and I might even consider making other GM variants using the GM/GM as base.

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