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.

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.



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


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.

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.


January 30, 2018 at 21:51 | Posted in 1/144 scale | 1 Comment
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I thought I’d start off the Year of the GM with the first generation GM. I’m using the HGUC RX-79-2 Revive as base, complemented with HGBF GM/GM parts. Instead of the mint-green/red color scheme we’re all familiar with, I went for the RealType GM look, particularly based on this old kit:

Materials & methods:

The work in progress can be found here.
I primed all parts with grey primer and then added preshading lines (german gray) using my 0.2mm nozzle airbrush.
Painting was relatively simple:
Red parts: 80% red + 20% orange-yellow
White parts: 95% white + 5% yellow
Joints were dark gray (2), the backpack nozzles were starbright duralumin, followed by clear blue. I also sprayed clear blue over the visors.
The tricky part was the decals. I don’t have the exact set of decals for the Realtype GM look, so I made do with whatever decals I had in my possession. In the end it looked close enough.
Then I applied some light weathering with black enamel wash and some paint chipping effects. Then it’s the final flat topcoat.


And now some action poses:


I have to admit, I had a lot of fun posing this kit during the photo shoot. It may be a testament to how good the RX-78 Revive kit is. It’s easy to get dynamic poses, and despite the small feet, the kit feels really stable.

My only minor gripe is the GM/GM head. At certain angles, the thin, polycap neck looks quite jarring. I would’ve preferred a nicer looking GM head, but that’s what I have at the moment.

So this is my first entry for the Year of the GM. The mods are fairly uncomplicated, so that’s why I could finish it pretty quickly. But now I’m having doubts about finishing one kit per month, as I originally planned. Perhaps I shouldn’t rush into it and focus on quality, not quantity…

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