HGAC Leo

June 14, 2019 at 23:12 | Posted in 1/144 scale | 1 Comment
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Introduction:

This is the plain HGAC Leo kit, with no backpacks or add-ons. I initially wanted to attach Overflag wings on the back, but later I switched to the tilt rotor backpack. Since the tilt rotor resembles the V-22 Osprey, I decided to call this Leo kitbash the Leosprey.

Materials & methods:
I made minor modifications to the Leo and the tilt rotor, which you can find here.
I decided to go all out with the Osprey theme, so I went for the two tone color scheme like this photo:

The first layer is Light Gull Gray, and the second layer is Mr Color Grey FS36320. I drew the wavy patterns directly using my fine nozzle airbrush. All other parts were painted with a combination of german gray, gunmetal, gray FS36081, and dark gray (2).
It has been a while since I applied weathering effects, so I decided to use every weathering trick that I know of. But the aim is not a battle damaged, dirty Leo. I’m opting for a light weathering look, as if it’s been out for a few sorties. So after applying decals & panel lines, I sprayed a layer of gloss topcoat from the spray can and proceeded to apply the following weathering effects:

  • Enamel wash using very thinned black enamel
  • Oil smears using dark brown enamel
  • Paint scratches using black enamel applied with fine brush and toothpick
  • Dry brusing using silver enamel, mostly on the feet and weapons
  • Weathering pastel on the tilt rotor vents

To finish, I applied flat topcoat. But this time instead of using the spray can, I used the bottled type diluted 1:1 with lacquer thinner, and sprayed using my airbrush.

Results:

 

Some close ups of the Tilt rotor and weapons:

And some action poses:

Discussion:
Admittedly, attaching the Tilt Rotor Pack to the Leo is not a novel idea; you can already find several builds from google image search. To make this build unique, I decided to go full Osprey. That included painting the two tone color scheme, and using decals from Hasegawa’s 1/72 Osprey kit.
As for the HGAC Leo, it has a very simple construction. For example, it uses only 6 ball type polycaps. But range of movement on the limbs is on par with the latest HG kits, making it quite fun to play around with. But be warned, as with any kit, playing with it too much will result in loose joints. Overall, there’s not much to complain about the HGAC Leo.

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.

Body:
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.

Hands:
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.

Backpack:
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.

Weapons:
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.

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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