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.

Fun with long exposure

September 6, 2018 at 21:17 | Posted in How-to | Leave a comment
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This is not really a how-to guide, but I thought I’d share some tricks I have for gunpla photography. If you’ve read my “How to photograph GUNPLA” post, you might notice I tend to shoot with long exposure times.
It depends on the lighting conditions, but with my camera set at ISO 200 and f8-f11 aperture, I can get shutter speeds of 1-2 seconds. That leaves plenty of time to play around with these things:

i) Muzzle flash effect parts

As the name implies, they simulate muzzle flash as the bullet leaves the barrel. I’m using the ones by Kotobukiya MSG. You can stick it at the end of the gun’s barrel and and it’ll look fine.

Or you can try this:
Once the camera shutter is pressed, move the effect part in front of the gun barrel and move it around a bit. The camera will capture that movement and it will appear as a blurred muzzle flash, instead of a well defined one.
The longer the exposure time and the more you move, the more blurred the effect will be. Here are a couple of examples:

A few things to note:
Since you’re moving the effect part with your fingers, you wouldn’t want them included in the final photo. That’s why framing is important. This technique works best when the gun barrel is pointed towards the edge of the photo, where your fingers won’t be visible.


ii) Laser pointer
A well positioned laser beam can leave a nice effect. Below are some examples of where to aim the laser pointer:
i) At the point of impact. For example, between the beam sabre and the Juaggu’s arm:

ii) On the surface of a wide spread beam weapon, like this beam axe:

iii) The space between the beam sabre holder and the hilt. This implies that the beam sabre is about to the activated:

iv) Directly toward the beam sabre hilt, with the beam sabre effect attached. This requires a bit of precision.

This effect is more dramatic in darker lighting conditions, and with a black background paper:

compared to a well-lit room with white background paper:


To summarize, here are the steps I took to achieve these effects:

  1. Put a camera with manual controls (PASM modes) on a sturdy tripod
  2. Set to Aperture mode (f8 to f11), ISO 200, 2-second timer for shutter release. Check if shutter speed is around 1-2 seconds. If not, dim the lights or adjust aperture to >f11. Alternatively, set to Shutter priority mode and adjust shutter speed to 1-2 seconds, keeping the ISO to 200.
  3. Get the effect ready (muzzle effect or laser pointer) and press shutter
  4. Very quickly, position the muzzle effect or laser beam to the point of interest and keep it there until exposure ends.
  5. Review photo and if unsatisfactory, repeat the above steps.

So that’s it, play around, and maybe you can find some other neat stuff you can do during the long exposure.

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