52nd All Japan Model & Hobby Show

October 23, 2012 at 21:13 | Posted in Events | Leave a comment
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For this year’s hobby show, I didn’t have much time to take too many photos, having arrived in the late afternoon. Nevertheless, here’s a brief summary of what caught my interest at the show:

First off is the RG Zeta, complete with full transformation gimmick. Will be on my to-buy list, since I don’t have a proper Zeta in my collection. From the HGUC section there’s the Byarlant custom and then there’s the HGUC Delta Kai; although I don’t quite fancy the overall look, the rifle does look sweet. Also displayed as a grey prototype is the Rozen Zulu.

Moving on the the MG section, where the biggest news is the MG Nu Gundam ver.Ka. Indeed it looks so much better than the original MG and comes with plenty of gimmicks, including a secret which will be revealed at the Gunpla expo in Akihabara later. From Gundam SEED, there’s MG Aegis. I just bought the MG Buster, so I think I’ll lay off SEED kits for a while. Then there another much anticipated MG release: the Tallgeese I. I already have the HG 1/100 version still unbuilt, but I’ll still get the MG version, regardless. There’s also the MG Age-2 black pirate version or whatever it’s called.

And finally some miscellaneous stuff. System Weapons 4 will include sniper rifles and some swords. Sweet… And Bandai will release some new Builder parts, including tank (fuel canisters), blade (v-fins), thrusters and human figures. So that’s about all the headlines that are related to Gunpla. I took some a few more photos here and there, so enjoy.

HGUC Banshee (Destroy Mode)

August 30, 2012 at 15:14 | Posted in 1/144 scale | 1 Comment
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Introduction:

Initially I wasn’t really interested in the Banshee; wasn’t too keen on the orange psycho-frame, spiky neck collar and the claw/railgun hands. I was more interested in the MG Banshee Ver.Ka with its green psycho-frame, but it was a limited item and quite expensive. After looking at various reviews, I settled for the HGUC Destroy Mode version after discovering that I can essentially make a ‘normal’ Banshee, ala ver.Ka. So naturally, the plan would have to involve painting the orange psycho-frame of the HGUC version into green.

Materials & methods:

The good thing about this kit is that it has all the spare parts to build a normal Banshee, with a normal neck collar and hands, together with the beam magnum and shield. Unfortunately building instructions for the beam magnum and shield are not included in the manual, but you can easily figure it out for yourself, if not, there’s always google. Another bad thing is there’s no clear parts for the beam sabre and the kit doesn’t come with proper closed-fist hands, so I used some leftover B-club resin hands instead. Other than that, all I did was just sharpening the v-fin.

For painting the psychoframe, first I sprayed a layer of Tamiya silver on the orange parts, followed by Tamiya pearl green. But I felt that it wasn’t green enough, so I painted enamel clear green over the parts with a paint brush. For the rest of the body, I wanted a darker color instead of the dark blue hue of the plastic, so I sprayed black primer over those parts. Upon inspection later, I thought it looked good enough as it is so I didn’t paint any further layers. The v-fin was sprayed with Tamiya gold and the backpack was sprayed with dark blue.

For the decals, I didn’t have proper Banshee decals in 1/144 scale, so I made due with whatever decals I had lying around. I used mostly gray-colored decals for the caution marks, and white-colored decals for the logo marks. I sprayed gloss topcoat over the green and gold parts and flat topcoat for the black parts.

Results:

Discussion:

For a HGUC kit, this one sure has a lot of parts, but the amazing thing is there’s no seam lines to fix. Well except for the beam magnum, but that part’s optional anyway. As I mentioned earlier, you have the option to build this kit as it appeared in the anime OVA or build a Ver. Ka style, like I did. Actually I ended up building the claw and railgun weapons anyway, for the sake of completion. Assembly and painting was pretty straight forward, although I had a few scares when I dropped the small pieces and they disappeared under my couch.

Aesthetically, it looks perfect standing up straight (like in all Ver.Ka box arts) and the proportions look balanced. The only downside to this kit is the articulation. The arms and legs can only bend 90 degrees and that limits the kind of poses you can make. Although that’s pretty standard for a HGUC kit, I can’t help but feel a bit disappointed. Even my SHCM-Pro Unicorn has better posability.

In conclusion, this is a great kit that is fun to build, gives you plenty of options in customization. Although I don’t prefer the claw/railgun weapons, at least they look better than on the HGUC Banshee unicorn mode, where the weapons look like giant tumors on the arms. The downside is the poor articulation, but at least it looks on its own just standing up straight.

RX-78-2 Gundam ver. Ka

March 3, 2008 at 17:55 | Posted in Master Grade | Leave a comment
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What? Not another RX-78-2 variant? Yeah, I’m a sucker for Bandai’s evil marketing strategy. Anyway, I got this cheap and i decided to paint it in the Real-Type color scheme after i found inspiration from an issue of Dengeki Hobby. No modifications this time, just plain ol’ assembling and painting. I used the same colors as the OYW version, except the red parts. For the green and gray parts, I applied some subtle darker-shaded strokes using a paintbrush to simulate military camouflages.

Not much masking to do, except for the bazooka. For the decals, I decided to follow the Gundam Fix Figuration (GFF) style of this same model. Using a combination of dry transfer and water slide decals for the RX-78-2 ver Ka, I tried to copy as precisely the decal placing from the GFF version. Some gray-colored dry transfer decals didn’t show up too nicely on the darker colored parts since they were originally intended to be used on the standard white color surface. The red colored parts turned slightly pink after I applied flat topcoat (red + white topcoat layer = pink). So that’s a lesson for being too generous with the flat topcoat.

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