Little Armory M4A1 & M203

June 10, 2018 at 15:56 | Posted in Little Armory | Leave a comment
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Little Armory M4A1 & M203 grenade launcher

As the box label implies, this is an M4A1-M203 combo, which is an under-barrel grenade launcher attachment.  The M203 can be attached to the M4A1, or be built as a standalone grenade launcher. Unfortunately there’s not enough parts to build both configurations. It also comes with one grenade.

All the parts come in black. I painted it with german gray, black and some gun metal. The M4A1 is basically identical to the plain version, but you only have the carry handle instead of a proper scope.

So here’s some detail shots:

And action shots:

Final thoughts:

The positive thing I can say about the M203 is that it adds more ‘volume’ to the puny-looking M4A1. The M203 barrel can also slide in and out, but you can’t actually fit the grenade inside.

I’m just disappointed that they didn’t include  another barrel so that we can have both the standalone version and the attached version. Also, the M203 barrel is not hollow, so that’s a bummer. Finally, I kinda wished they made some kind of M-16 variant instead of reusing the M4A1. But I guess you gotta milk that M4A1 mold for all it’s worth.

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HGUC Blue Destiny feat. Ol’ Painless

May 10, 2018 at 22:04 | Posted in 1/144 scale | 4 Comments
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Introduction:

For the uninitiated, Ol’ Painless is the affectionately named minigun from 1987’s Predator. This build is inspired by that weapon and the character who wielded it.
It involves a kitbash of the Blue Destiny Unit 1 (BD01), fitted with Little Armory’s M134 minigun. To complete the overall theme, I painted the BD01 in a woodland camo colorscheme.

Materials & methods:

The very brief work-in-progress can be found here.

Grey surfacer was first sprayed on all parts, making sure the original plastic color was covered.
The woodland camo pattern consists of black, brown-grey, dark brown and dark green colors. But I decided against adding the black squiggly pattern and just focused on the three remaining colors.

The first layer was brown-grey (Gaianotes). Then I applied camo patterns that were cut off from masking tape.
The second layer was dark brown (80% propeller color + 20% khaki). Then I applied liquid mask (Masking Sol).
The final layer was dark green (50% IJA green, from spray can + 50% Russian green).

I applied the camo pattern to the limbs, while the torso was painted in german gray and neutral gray. The backpack and some bits on the side skirt were painted with olive drab.
For weathering, I did enamel wash using dark brown + yellow enamel paints, paint chipping using Fine Tip Gundam Marker, and weathering pastels on the feet.
After applying decals, I scraped it a little with my hobby blade to simulate damage & scratches. Then it’s the final flat top coat layer.

For the Little Armory M134, I did some modifications to make it look more like the movie version. In the movie, they modified the minigun for handheld use by attaching an M60 handguard. Since there’s no Little Armory M60 kit yet, I made do with M4A1 parts. I glued the M4A1 barrel to the U-shaped part of the M134, like so:

The minigun itself was painted with steel, german gray and black. The backpack was painted with khaki, the railing with olive drab, while the belt-like thing was german gray.

Results:

First, some shots of the Blue Destiny:

Some closeups of the Little Armory M134:

And now Ol’ Painless in the hands of BD01. The M134 comes with a peg that attaches the backpack to Figmas, but it also fits nicely to the BD01 back (technically it’s the GM Ground Type back).

I also took the liberty of posing the BD01 with some weapons and armaments from my previous builds.

Discussion:
My previous attempts at painting camo patterns didn’t really produce satisfactory results. Because I used spray cans, the paint tended to seep underneath the masking tapes, ruining the camo patterns. Another disadvantage of using spray cans is the limited colors available. So this time, using an airbrush, I was able to get a result that I’m quite happy with.
This is also my first time kitbashing Little Armory kits. Admittedly it’s not a 100% recreation of the Ol’ Painless minigun, but I think it’s close enough. The M134 kit comes with some wires and straps, but I didn’t put them on because it would look a bit messy on the BD01.
So while the Blue Destiny Unit 1 is not technically a GM, those red visors are GM-y enough to warrant its inclusion in the Year of the GM lineup.

Little Armory M24SWS

December 2, 2017 at 21:06 | Posted in Little Armory | Leave a comment
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Little Armory M24 Sniper Weapon System

The M24 SWS is only the second sniper rifle kit by Little Armory after the M82 series. The kit comes as all black plastic, which looks boring. So I decided to give it a camo paintjob.

The base layer was dark green. Then I applied some camo patterns using blu-tack. That was followed by a layer of light olive green. The final layer was just simply enamel sand brown that I painted using a paint brush.

The kit comes with a separate spotting scope, two bipods and two rifle bolts. The bolts can still be moved back and forth after assembly. The scope lenses were also unfortunately black, opaque plastic. I attached some clear lenses from Wave option parts to the spotting scope, but I ran out of lenses for the rifle scope.

And you can see the size of the M24 compared to the M82A1 below:

Here’s some closeup shots:

And action poses:

Final thoughts:
In terms of design, the M24 SWS looks as basic as you can get. That’s largely the reason why I went for a camo paintjob. With the appropriate hands, it looks nice on Mr Skeleton. But as expected, it was a bit more difficult to get a good pose on the GM. Rifle grips don’t really go well with HG kits.
Overall, it was quite fun painting the camo patterns on this M24 SWS kit. But otherwise, I felt like it’s just another mediocre release.

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