HGUC GM Head

April 24, 2018 at 20:46 | Posted in 1/144 scale | Leave a comment
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Introduction:

Usually when I kitbash, I tend to add newer parts to older kits. But in this case, it’s the other way round. I added parts from the older HGUC RX-79[G] kit onto the newer HGUC GM Ground Type kit because I prefer some design aspects of the older kit.
The other motivation for this build is to pose it with my Little Armory kits, which is why I wanted to fit it with RG hands.
For the color scheme, I played around with various ideas, but eventually I went for the simpler white/navy-blue color scheme of the S-type Gundam from Thunderbolt.

Materials & methods:

The work in progress can be read here.
After spraying grey surfacer and applying pre-shading lines, I proceeded to paint it as follows:
White parts: MS White 100% (Gundam Colors)
Blue parts: Midnight blue + Intermediate blue. I forgot the actual ratios.
Yellow bits: Orange yellow + a bit of MS white.
Joints were the standard Dark Grey 2.

Then I applied some weathering in the form of enamel wash, paint chipping & smears using enamel and markers, and weathering pastels at the feet. After that it’s decals and a flat topcoat finish.

Results:

Here’s the assortment of weapons and accessories. I went ahead and painted the RX-79[G] head as well, just because.

Some action poses, including with some of my Little Armory weapons:

Finally some group photos. In terms of height, it’s: GM Sniper (OOB) < GM Head < Ground Type GM (mod).

Discussion:

This is my third kit to feature the GM Ground Type head, and the reason for it is simple: it’s the best looking GM head so far. The GM III head comes a close second. The new HGUC Ground Type GM head however, doesn’t have the same appeal.
In case you’re wondering, you can get these nicer looking heads from the HGUC Ground War set or the P-Bandai HGUC GM Sniper II White Dingo kit.
My favourite parts of the new HGUC GM Ground Type are the legs and forearms. Everything else, the older RX-79[G] is superior, especially the short front skirt armors.
To combine these different parts into a single kit is what’s most satisfying in this build. So next up is another ground-based unit.

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How to use fine tip marker for weathering

April 1, 2018 at 14:18 | Posted in How-to | Leave a comment
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When first starting out with this hobby, the Fine Tip Gundam Marker was a nice and easy way to fill panel lines. Nowadays, I don’t use them for that purpose anymore. Instead, I found a new use for them: weathering.

i) Paint scratch effects
This is a type of light weathering that simulates scratches on the mecha, revealing the darker colored surface underneath. Let’s say you start off with a nice, fresh GM leg like so:

All you have to do is to draw the scratch marks using the Fine Tip Gundam Marker. You can draw light strokes to simulate scratches, or you can dab the marker on the same area to simulate a larger peeled surface. When drawing the light strokes, try to keep a straight line, because scratch marks tend to be straight in real life.


More importantly than HOW you do it, it’s WHERE you do it. Think about the moving parts of the mecha and imagine where physical contact would most likely occur. I like to put them on the edges, or corner parts. You should end up with something like this:

ii) Smearing effects
This simulates grease or grime that has leaked from some parts of the mecha. First, you dab the marker tip on a particular spot; making sure there’s enough paint transferred.

Starting from the spot with the marker paint, use your finger to rub in a downwards motion.

The outcome should be something like this:

Like the scratch effect, the placement of the smear is important. I tend to apply it near vents, openings or damaged parts on the mecha.

Some recommendations and caveats:
I feel that this effect works best coupled with other weathering effects, like an enamel wash. It would just break the illusion if a clean mecha suddenly has some scratch marks or grease smears.

Like any other weathering effect, moderation is the key. Not every surface or part should have scratch marks or smears.

These two effects are mostly for lightly weathered mecha. For more heavier weathering, there’s other methods more suitable for that.

The Fine Tip Gundam Marker comes in black, grey and brown colors. I find the brown marker sometimes results in a reddish color, so take note. Feel free to experiment with other fine tip markers and other colors.

Conclusion
If you’ve stepped up from the Gundam Markers for panel lining, don’t throw them away just yet. They may yet leave their marks on your gunpla.

HGUC GM Type C

March 15, 2018 at 22:04 | Posted in 1/144 scale | Leave a comment
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Introduction:

To be honest, I’m not a big fan of the standard GM colors (mint green & red). But since it’s the year of the GM, I should make at least one kit with that iconic color scheme. I thought the GM Type C (GM Kai) would be fitting; after all, the MG version did come with that color. I had some HGUC GM Kai parts leftover from the GM Wagtail build, but not enough to build a complete kit. So I used the HGUC GM Custom kit and other HGUC spare parts to compensate.

Materials & methods:

The work in progress can be found here.
After giving all parts a coat of grey surfacer, I proceeded to apply some preshading lines using German gray. The paint mix is as follows:

  • Torso & feet: 80% red + 20% orange
  • The rest of the body: 90% white + 5% green + 5% intermediate blue
  • Backpack: 60% midnight blue + 40% intermediate blue
  • Thrusters: Starbright duralumin
  • Weapons: German gray
  • Joints: Mr. Color dark gray (2)

After painting I applied an enamel wash using black enamel. I followed that up with some paint chipping effects using fine tip gundam markers. Then I placed some decals to mimic the ver. ka style, like in this pic:

Some decals were a bit too white, so I dabbed some weathering pastel on top. I finished with several layers of flat topcoat.

Results:

And some action poses. It wasn’t as fun to play around with compared to my previous GIMM build. I guess that’s expected, since the GIMM was based on the newer RX-78 Revive while the GM Kai is mostly based off the older GM Custom kit.

Discussion:
I was hoping to finish this kit by the end of February, but it’s really cold this year. My Gunpla activity tends to be slower in lower temperatures. Plus February’s a short month. OK, I’m just making excuses.

In the end, I got the look I wanted. But because I was rushing through the project, some details appear a bit rough. I was also a bit worried that I elongated the thighs too much, but I think it turned out alright.

Overall, not by best work, but I’m happy enough with the ver. Ka feel of this build. So next up is the GM head.

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