C3 TOKYO 2016 (Part 2)

August 30, 2016 at 00:10 | Posted in Events | Leave a comment
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Having spent a fortune (almost) on some resin kits at the dealer’s section, I spent the rest of the day taking photos at a leisurely pace, starting with the Bandai section. There’s a few new kit announcements since the last hobby show I went to. First, let me start with the least interesting news. The next HGUC revive kit is apparently the Strike Freedom. As much as I hate it, I guess the old HG kit needs an update. The next RG will the the Build Strike Gundam. Another NOPE for me. The next RE/100 kit will be the Bawoo. It’s not really screaming ‘buy me’ either. Also in display is the MG Psycho Zaku from the Thunderbolt series. If you like massive backpacks, then this kit is for you.
Now for some slightly better news: the GM Ground Type gets an official HGUC kit. If I hadn’t made one already, I would’ve gotten one. From the Origin series, there’s Ramba Lal’s ブグ (Bugu? Boog?), Char’s Zaku I with a belt-fed machine gun and the Guncannon Early Type. They all look interesting and I might consider getting at least one of them.

Now for the Premium Bandai releases. Some of you might be screaming at Bandai why the following kits won’t be regular releases. On display were HGUC Zeta Plus C1, MG Heavyarms Custom, HGUC Gundam Marine type, Super Famina Titans colors, among others.
Of those, I’m most interested in the Zeta Plus C1. The MG Heavyarms Custom, also looks tempting.

There were other things around the Bandai section like Macross Delta and lots of other random stuff.

 

Outside of the Bandai section, there were plenty of interesting models & figures, like the ones published in Hobby Japan magazine. There was a live performance by the SKE48 idol band at that time, but I’m not into that stuff. Instead, I rather enjoyed the live band performance by the US servicemen/women from a nearby military camp. The JSDF were there too, cheering on.

HGUC GM Semi Striker

July 18, 2016 at 18:47 | Posted in 1/144 scale | Leave a comment
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Introduction:
The GM Semi striker has long been on my to-build list. I purchased a HGUC GM II kit and some GM Striker parts from Yellow Submarine with plans to make my own GM Semi Striker. But then Bandai released the official HGUC GM Striker kit on the Premium Bandai website and so I gave up on my original plans and bought the P-Bandai kit.
Although the GM Semi Striker looked nice out of the box, I wanted to add more ‘Striker’ elements to its design. The secondary aim was to improve the looks and proportion of this kit.

Materials & methods:

To read about the changes I made to the kit, click here.

For painting, I went for a very simple color scheme: the GM command colony type colors. It involves only two colors: dark grey for the feet and torso, and a kind of pale khaki for the rest of the body. I mixed my own paints as follows:

  • Torso & feet: ~60% German gray + ~30% white + ~10% orange yellow
  • The rest the body: ~80% white + ~10% yellow brown + ~10% smoke gray

For the joints & hands I sprayed Dark Grey (2) from a spray can. The weapons were painted with various combinations of German Grey, Light gull gray, and gunmetal also from spray cans.

After all parts were painted, I proceeded to apply some decals which are mostly warning & numeric types. Then I sprayed gloss topcoat over the parts with decals, and this was followed by an enamel wash using black enamel.
Some additional light weathering were applied, mostly paint scratch and rust effects. After that it’s the final flat topcoat layer. Like the HGUC GM III, I attached some reflective mirror finishes on the left shoulder and forehead sensors, then dabbed some clear enamel paints on them.

Results:

Some action poses:

And some group photos. The modifications I made means that this GM Semi Striker is the tallest GM kit I have.

Since I outfitted the GM Semi Striker with Hobby Base hands, I thought I’d pose it with some Little Armory weapons.

Discussion:

Overall, I felt that I have accomplished what I set out to do with this project. The GM Semi Striker now looks nicer, to my eyes at least. My only regret was not modifying the elbow. It looks a bit weird when bent. Even though the proportions were improved, it’s still not the most posable and flexible kit I have. It therefore wasn’t easy to pose it with the twin beam spear.

To conclude, I have no regrets purchasing this P-Bandai GM Semi Striker kit. It was a lot of fun modifying it to look how I want. Now I have to think about what to do with my abandoned GM II kit…

HGUC GM Semi Striker: Work in progress

July 3, 2016 at 12:51 | Posted in Work In Progress | Leave a comment
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I have thought about converting my HGUC GM II into the Semi Striker by using some GM Striker parts, but then Bandai released the official HGUC GM Semi Striker kit on its P-Bandai website. Being the lazy person that I am, I decided to buy one for the sake of convenience. But that doesn’t mean that this will be an Out of Box build, as you will read below:

Head: The face feels a bit long, so I decided to shave the chin off a little bit. You can see the difference this makes compared to the original GM II head:

semist-wip_01

 

Torso: I added some plaplate & square plate on various positions on the chest to mimic the GM Striker design. The waist was elongated by a sheet of 1.2mm and 1mm plaplate.

 

Arms: Elongated the bicep using 1.2mm plaplate and added some panel lines on the forearms. Also attached some 0.5mm plaplate strips at the wrist.

semist-wip_11

 

Waist: Drilled some shallow holes on the front skirt and crotch. Added some parts from MS Armor on the front and side skirts. Glued 1.2mm plaplate on the peg to accommodate the  elongated hip.

At the back, I attached a square plate and a bracket to hold a combat knife from Kotobukiya’s MSG Knife Set.

semist-wip_08 semist-wip_08b

 

Legs: Lengthened the thighs by gluing 2mm square pipes at the top.

semist-wip_12

I didn’t like the original lower legs so I replaced them with more bulky ones from my HGUC Hazel II kit.  On the back of the knees there’s a large, empty gap. So I covered it with a sheet of 1mm corrugated plaplate. I also glued 1.2mm plaplate on the bottom of the knee joints. On the lower leg, I filled the gap with epoxy putty and glued a piece of 0.5mm plaplate cut to resemble the GM Striker.

I kept the original feet but used a double ball joint to connect them to the legs. On the ankle guard I glued a strip of 0.5mm plaplate.

semist-wip_17

 

Backpack: I decided to use the GM Striker backpack which was actually a spare part from the kit. Modified the peg so that it attaches to the body and stuck a polycap on the right side to attach the beam spear. I used the original backpack verniers.

semist-wip_18 semist-wip_19

 

Weapons: The kit comes with the standard GM II beam rifle, which I chucked out almost immediately. I decided to use the small rifle included in the MS Option Set 1. Modified it a bit by attaching the magazine from the Jesta beam carbine and attaching a plastic pipe on the barrel.

semist-wip_24

I also have a forearm shield that came with Gundam Ace magazine. The peg fits nicely on the GM Semi Striker’s left forearm, so no modifications were needed.

semist-wip_20

 

Here’s the overall look before priming & painting. I’m thinking of painting it in GM Command (colony type) colors.

semist-wip_22 semist-wip_23

 

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