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Thursday, April 19, 2018

HG Atlas Gundam Bandit Flower ver.


Introduction:

The Atlas is a striking design appearing in the second 'season' of Gundam Thunderbolt. Piloted by ace EFSF mobile suit pilot Io Flemming.  Built (paradoxically in my opinion) to function well in both atmospheric and aquatic battlefields, the Atlas features two large 'Sub Legs' aka the banana boats. The banana boats are pieces of support equipment mounted on two articulated arms at the waist. The arms allow the Atlas to change into various modes to maximize performance in a given situation. The banana boats also feature powerful thrusters and storage space for two bullpup style battle rifles.

This particular kit is a P-Bandai exclusive release of the design featured in the OVA. It features a more compact (and significantly shorter) rail gun, as well as a slightly redesigned shield. This release also includes a set of water slide decals; this set is similar to the one included in the GD 114 decal set, but features several additional decals.

This was the first kit commissioned through my new patron 'Commission Grade' level. If you'd like to support me and get a custom made model, you can find more information here: https://www.patreon.com/GGD

Kit Talk:

I don’t consider myself to be a contrarian, but I often approach ‘bad’ kits with the vain hope that they’re not as bad as everyone says. I walk away disappointed most of the time.

I was going to spend time in this post complaining about the masking and painting required to pull the detail out of the chest, knees and joints. But, I feel that it would be better highlighted in a separate video review, so look forward to that, or don't.

All in, I really appreciate the base design of the Atlas mobile suit; it's slim and athletic, and the exposed 'spine' of the design is cool and unusual. If Bandai were to take the design and upscale it to a MG Ver. Ka kit, I could see myself really enjoying the build. As for the HG, I won't touch another one.



 
If you like my content, and you'd like to show your support, you can purchase this kit, or anything else through the Amazon links on my site. It doesn't cost you a dime, but it helps me tremendously!

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

2018 State of the blog, updates, plans, projects, etc


Intro:

Four months into the year seems like a perfect time to start talking about my direction for 2018, right? As the blog rapidly approaches its sixth anniversary at the end of April, I can't help but look back on all that I've accomplished without some measure of pride. Here we are years later, over 125 kits completed and I'm still at it. Among all of the hobbies, activities, sports, music, etc that I've pursued over the years; Gunpla/Plamo is the one that I have followed the longest and with the most vigor.

New Social Media:

Many of you may not be aware that I've started branching out into other forms of social media over the last few months.

If you want to see more regular small quippy content you can follow me on Twitter and Instagram.

I've also taught myself enough about video editing in the last year that I'm no longer embarrassed to share content through my YouTube channel. I have also started live streaming on most Fridays around 7PM EST.

And finally I have started creating exclusive content for my Patrons over on Patreon. I've really enjoyed creating logos and other Gundam themed graphics for my Patrons. 

The Blog:

It feels like it's been a very long while since I've created worthwhile content for the blog. It's not a good feeling. It's like a nagging sense of guilt; like I've abandoned something I care about...

I knew when I decided to take on four supersized projects back to back, that the blog would suffer as a result. But, I never expected to see the the viewership drop off quite like it has. Now, as I near finishing the second of the four projects, I can't help but feel that I've somehow made a mistake.

The question I now need to ask myself is, 'where do I go from here?'. And truth be told; I'm not really sure. Without a doubt I'll still be creating new things, but I may take a break from the larger projects for a while. I feel like I need some smaller projects to catch my breath and replenish some of that creative energy.

The Future... future... future...:

I feel like now is the time for me to refocus on the core projects that help to define my work on Social Media/Blog/YouTube. I have project ideas percolating in my brain that I will be focusing more time into. I have started accepting commissions in a more open capacity through Patreon. More information available here. And, I've already received my first new commission, and it's already well underway. New tutorials are also coming, maybe more... only time will tell.

A big thank you is due to everyone that checks out my content on a regular basis. You guys and gals are the best. I couldn't be luckier to have you.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

HG Nu Gundam White Unicorn Custom


Introduction: 

A while ago I started kicking around an idea for a collaborative build project. I started telling patrons about the idea on the monthly live streams. And, after receiving some positive feedback I decided to move forward with the project.

I put an open call out for submissions a few weeks ago; and I received a great response!

This kit was submitted to me by Patron Andy, Thanks Andy!

If this sounds like a interesting idea, and you want to participate in future collabs you can sign up as a Patron at anytime! For now, I am planning to continue the GoodGuyCollab Project by accepting at least 3 more collaborations in 2018.

Kit Talk: 

This kit was sent to me already completely built. The builder Andy did an excellent job preparing this kit for the Collab by: fusing seam lines, modifying parts and making this easy to disassemble.


The inspiration for this kit came from the Zeta 3 Amuro's 'White Unicorn' custom color scheme. I really like the colors on this scheme, I just wish that he continued to use them throughout the remainder of his appearances! I enhanced this color scheme with many hand painted details such as painted pistons in the knees, white piping at the back of the knees, details on the fin funnels and backpack and the sensors.

The HG Nu Gundam is an older design. Many of the molded details on the calfs, and side skirts were left very shallow, and frustrating to mask and paint. Despite this, the kit has generally good color separation, proportions and flexibility.



If you like my work and would like to help me out, consider purchasing this and other kits from Amazon using this link or others featured on my site. Every purchase helps me out considerably and it doesn't cost you a dime!

Vic Viper by Kotobukiya from Zone of the Enders 2

Here's a new video showing off my classic Vic Viper from Zone of the Enders 2!

I absolutely love this design!






If you like my work and would like to help me out, consider purchasing this and other kits from Amazon using this link or others featured on my site. Every purchase helps me out considerably and it doesn't cost you a dime!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Real Grade Unicorn


Introduction:

When this kit was first released I had zero interest in picking one up for myself. Not because I thought it was a 'bad' kit; but because I felt (and still feel) like I'm done with the Unicorn design. Despite this I did end up purchasing one for myself. And, I'm glad that I did give this kit a shot.

In all likelihood I think this version of the Unicorn has made the HG and MG models obsolete. This version of the Unicorn features the stability of the HG, but includes the transformation of the MG and the armor detail of the PG. This version of the Unicorn is real triumph of engineering and should be on any 'must build' list.

Except for the action base connector; that piece of shit is responsible for the kit falling off the stand and breaking horn twice.

Kit talk:

This was a straight forward build with a few small modifications to the paint process. I'll cover this material in more detail in a youtube video later this week. I downplayed the contrasting white and light grey colors of the armor and offset the bright whites of the kit with a darker navy backpack and feet.




I purposely left the psychoframe components glossy to further contrast the against the flat armor.

Decals were take from both the RG and Ver. Ka decal sets, with an emphasis on the Ver. Ka decal scheme.

If you like my work and would like to help me out, consider purchasing this and other kits from Amazon using this link or others featured on my site. Every purchase helps me out considerably and it doesn't cost you a dime!




Sunday, January 28, 2018

MG MS-06R Zaku II High Mobility Type (Reuse "P" Device) aka Psycho Zaku


Introduction:


If you have caught any of the youtube, or blog posts talking about my 2018 plans; then you'd know I'm building a bunch of gigantic kits for 'The Year of Giants". The Psycho Zaku was first on the list, and it's unsurprisingly massive. So massive, that it cannot fit into my Ikea Detolf shelf with the fuel booster attached!

The 'Psycho' Zaku is an experimental unit equipped with a next generation operation system. This new system is able to integrate the pilot directly into the mobile suit; allowing them to control the suit directly via their thoughts. Even rookie pilots are able to master the controls in a very short period of time. Unfortunately there's is a gruesome price that must be paid for this advantage. To take full advantage of the system, pilots must be quadruple amputees to fully integrate.

Kit Talk:

I approached this kit with the intent of finishing it in three stages:

  1. Weapons
  2. Fuel Tanks
  3. Mobile Suit



The mobile suit part of the kit was very straight forward, as it is essentially a Zaku 2.0 kit with some extra doodads and new parts. I wasn't sure about all of the gold details on the kit, and I chose to paint the thruster bells with a two color gray and gold scheme. After everything was assembled I really grew to like the embellishment that they provide.

The joint covers are a tad bit frustrating, and the power piper covers were a bigger pain in the butt. 


I've been experimenting with mono-eyes over the last year. I have used: detail parts, aurora domes, scribing and painting to create new effects. With this kit I tried a new technique, a simple white dot place slightly off center. It's a really basic effect, but I like it. In future projects I think I may take the technique further by hand painting for lens detail and coating it with a clear color.  

I chose to hand paint a few details on this kit like: the gray belting on the legs and several of the small circular divots found all over the kit. They're small details, but small details make a good kit great. 


Colors:

I used the following colors on the kit. 

  • Main body: Gaia Color 003 Bright Red
  • Knees, feet, hands, etc: Gaia Color 061 Midnight Blue
  • Thrusters & details: Gaia Color 122 Star Bright Gold
  • Chest, biceps and details: Custom mixed orange (Identical to the orange used on the Thunderbolt Gundam)
  • Joints & weapons: Gaia Color 073 or 074 Neutral Gray 3 or 4 
  • Fuel tanks & backpack: Custom mixed Gaia Color 014 Natural Brown & 02 Black 
  • Details & thruster covers: Gaia Color 71 Neutral Gray 1
  • Topcoat: Gaia Color 008 Flat Clear



If you like my work and would like to help me out, consider purchasing this and other kits from Amazon using this link or others featured on my site. Every purchase helps me out considerably and it doesn't cost you a dime!


Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Kits on Display


I currently have a few of kits on display on a shop I frequent in Syracuse NY.

The shop is called Walt's HobbyTown located on Dwight Park Drive in Syracuse. This is the same shop that we hold our monthly build nights.

If you happen to live or are passing through the area you should check the shop out. They have a good selection of paints and materials and a growing number of Gundam models!



Currently on display are:

MG Providence Gundam
MG Victory Gundam
RG Zeta
HG Zaku C5 from Gundam The Origin


They have a good selection of kits, definitely worth checking out!


Monday, December 25, 2017

GoodGuyCollab: HG Sandrock Custom


Introduction:

A while ago I started kicking around an idea for a collaborative build project. I started telling patrons about the idea on the monthly live streams. And, after receiving some positive feedback I decided to move forward with the project. An open call for collaborators was made to current patrons at the beginning of the month, once I had submissions I made a selection and the kit was sent to me.

This kit was submitted to me by Patron Evan, Thanks Evan! If this sounds like a interesting idea, and you want to participate in future collabs you can sign up as a Patron at anytime! For now, I am planning to continue the GoodGuyCollab Project by accepting at least 4 more collaborations in 2018.

Kit Talk:

Unlike every other kit ever featured on this site, this kit was built entirely by someone else. As a matter of fact I only painted, panel lined and topcoated this build.

This kit arrived fully assembled and partially glued together. The starting condition determined the techniques used to complete the kit. Four of the main colors (white, blue, purple/grey and grey) were painted with an airbrush. The other colors (red and yellow) were hand painted. There definitely is a difference in the finish of the two paint techniques, however this is minimized once

Compared to the MG Sandrock released a few years ago, this kit definitely shows its age. It has massive seam lines everywhere, low detail and limited articulation. The kit also looks strangely large and broad compared to what I recall of the MG. If you want a model of the Sandrock Gundam, avoid this one, treat yourself to the MG.



If you like my work and would like to help me out, consider purchasing this and other kits from Amazon using this link or others featured on my site. Every purchase helps me out considerably and it doesn't cost you a dime!

Sunday, December 17, 2017

HG Zaku 2 Origin C5


Introduction:

What's better than an awesome Zaku model? How about a Zaku with a ton of weapons and some new interchangeable optional parts? It's no secret that I'm a fan of the Origin line of model kits. I find the simplicity, detail and mod-ability of these designs to be extremely appealing.

One peculiarity of this kit is that the molded colors of this kit are far darker than the colors displayed on the box and in the manual. The molded colors look more like the darker 'real type' MSV Zaku than the animated lighter greens. This isn't really a bad thing, but it is surprising.

This was a 'relax and unwind' type of build after the Perfect Grade Millennium Falcon. These smaller, simpler HG models are a quick win, and help keep up my momentum during large projects. This kit will likely end up at my localish shop sometime in January.

Kit Talk:

I started the build about a week ago. My goal for this project was to build a quick, clean, classically colored Zaku C5.

I opted to exclude the belt-fed machine gun for this build as I'm reserving it for a future project. All of the other weapons included with this kit are represented here. And unlike the Bugu, I opted to keep the scope on the large MS rifle.

This is the first build I have opt to use aurora type dome builder parts from HIQ for the lenses in the weapons and mono-eye. I'm not sure that I like it, but I've tried different techniques on each of these kits.



If you like my work and would like to help me out, consider purchasing this and other kits from Amazon using this link or others featured on my site. Every purchase helps me out considerably and it doesn't cost you a dime! 

Friday, December 8, 2017

Painted and Complete Perfect Grade Millennium Falcon


Introduction:

Back when I was about 5 years old, I saw Star Wars for the first time. For many years after, it would be my go to movie whenever I: visited cousins, was home sick, or at a sleep over. It’s a film series that helped to cultivate my love of science fiction and later scale modeling.

I won't claim that the Model kit Bandai produced is a perfect replica for the filming models created for the original Star Wars movie in the 1970s. And, I'm sure there are members of the RPF working hard to dissect and modify the kit to have it perfectly match the filming model. Having an exact replica of the filming model doesn't really matter to me. I'm just happy have this huge an beautiful model in my collection.

Kit Talk: 

The 1/72 scale of this kit is unsurprisingly massive; but, I was still surprised when I unboxed the massive upper hull pieces. The completed kit measures about 18 inches long and 14 inches across. The build features a layered structure, a LED lighting system and optional parts to display the kit in a 'landed' position.

Like all of the Star Wars models I have produced; I won't claim that this is a screen accurate recreation of the Millennium Falcon. Having a model that is 100% accurate doesn't really matter to me, I'm perfectly happy that the finished results of this build accurately matches the mental image that I have of this iconic space ship.

I covered some aspects of this build in more detail in the two work in progress posts that proceeded this one. If you want to see how I built and painted this kit in detail you can find posts at the links below:

WIP 1 Planning and Building

WIP 2 Painting and Masking


If you like my work and would like to help me out, consider purchasing this and other kits from Amazon using this link or others featured on my site. Every purchase helps me out considerably and it doesn't cost you a dime! 
 

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Perfect Grade Millennium Falcon WIP 2 Painting and Masking

Over the years, I've learned that I am terrible at documenting my work. Once I get started painting, or masking I just sort of zone out and get sucked into whatever I'm doing.


At this point the largest parts of the kit have been put together. The goal here is to start shading and painting to keep colors and shading consistent.



After a coat of mr. surfacer 1200 I used Gaia Color neutral gray 3 to start the light shading around the hull of the ship. I basically traced the panels and holes and any 'deeper areas' with the shading color.


Saturday, November 18, 2017

State of the blog 2017 and plans for 2018

2017:

With the release of the HG Bugu this month I have complete 20 kits this year! The last time I achieved this feat was in 2013! However, things are about to change. 

If you missed the live stream, or haven't seen the un-boxing or the subsequent WIP post then you won't know that I am currently working on the Perfect Grade Millennium Falcon. If you have seen the un-boxing, then you'll probably understand why the rate of content releases is going to slow down. The PG MF is a mind boggling large and detailed project, despite this I have made pretty stead progress on the build and it's almost entirely based coated!

On November 18th I am planning to be at Walt's Hobby Town in Syracuse NY at noon for the build day. I'll probably hang out and build for a few hours. If you're in the area and want to join the build day, consider stopping by.

In December I will kick off  the "colab project" with my Patrons on Patreon! Patrons will have the option to submit an entry for a collaborative project, where I'll paint a built kit they send me and mail it back! I'm going to start with one kit to begin with and create a schedule from there, it may become a recurring activity if it is well received.  If that sounds like an interesting event consider signing up as a Patron!


2018:


I'm calling 2018 the "Year of Giants". My plan is to tackle 4 large scale PG and MG kits in my backlog.  This plan almost certainly precludes completing kits in the rapid time frame you're probably used to. However if I can somehow overcome this task I'll finish the year off with another large build (PG Exia, HG Neo Zeong, MG The O, Who Knows?) and maybe a Patreon contest or giveaway...



Sunday, November 12, 2017

Perfect Grade Millennium Falcon WIP 1 Planning and Building


Welcome to the first work in progress post for the Perfect Grade Millennium Falcon hereafter referred to as the PGMF.

This first post is going to focus more on goals, strategy and planning more than outright building.

If you haven't already seen the unboxing, check it out.


Sunday, November 5, 2017

HG Bugu Rambal Ral Custom


Introduction:

I started building the HG Bugu at the last build night. I didn't get far at the time but I could tell that this would be a good build with a fair bit of crossover with the Zaku and Gouf kits from the Origin series.

In the lore the MS-04 Bugu was developed from the MS-03 Waff. The Bugu was built with high performance in mind not affordability or production scale-ability. The Zaku 1 would later be developed from the Bugu, but would not perform at the same level.

Kit Talk:

I made a few basic detail mods to the kit. I added photo etched parts into the otherwise blank divots on the thighs, skirts and chest. A Kotobukiya detail piece was added to the inner visor as none of the Origin kits have a physical mono-eye part. I've used a different technique for this detail on every Origin build so far, but none of them (including this) have really felt right.



I made a Zaku 2 shoulder shield as a replacement/upgrade that might have been featured had we seen the Bugu later on into the Origin series.

 
The Bugu's stock color scheme is essentially one color, medium blue, and it's as boring as you can expect. My color variant is based off the same color scheme I used on the Production Type Gouf I made earlier in the year.

The deacls used on this kit are taken from the 1st HG Origin decal set. The Ramba Ral "R" is great as the R is actually a cut out, the decal inherits whatever the base color is.

If you like my work and would like to help me out, consider purchasing this and other kits from Amazon using this link or others featured on my site. Every purchase helps me out considerably and it doesn't cost you a dime!

 

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Barbatos 6th Form



Introduction:

It's been a really, really, long time since I have done any sort of "build off" type event with anyone else in the community. I'm not a super competitive person by nature and I don't consider modeling or art in general to be competitive activities. However, I find a build off and a hard deadline can help me try new things and focus my attention.

Kit Talk:

The HG Barbatos is undeniably an amazing, inexpensive and modular design. However, that doesn't mean it isn't without it's pitfalls. This kit has a lot of hollow areas and it definitely requires some modification, masking and detail painting to get it looking right.

From the outset I knew that I needed to do something beyond my normal clean built style. The 6th form of the Barbatos is probably the least popular version of the HG Barbatos. The HG version of the 6th form is weirdly out of proportion; the shoulder and chest armor is too large and chunky. The blocky forearm armor looks like the mobile suit is wearing cardboard boxes, and the high heeled feet are the absolute worst incarnation of this design; blech!

In a very broad sense, my modifications were based on the design of the Hi-Resolution Barbatos 6th form. The Hi-Res version of the 6th form is absolutely gorgeous, and I have seriously been considering picking it up!

I used the HG Barbatos 6th form as a base and pulled components from the 4th form and Barbatos Lupus.

For paint I chose to use a off white, slightly de-saturated color scheme. The 'white' used on this kit is Gaia Color Neutral Gray #1 and each of the primary colors has this color incorporated into it to tone the color down.

This build features way more hand brushing than any previous build. The symbols on the chest and knees, details on the face, backpack, weapon, feet, side skirts, etc, etc, etc all feature some amount hand brushed vallejo details.

The decals are leftovers from the sheet included with a copy of Model Graphix. I purchased this decal set to complete the Ryusei-Go earlier in the year.

If you haven't already seen the work in progress posts you can check them out here:

Work in Progress 1

Work in Progress 2

These WIP posts will get into the meat of the modifications performed on this kit which will not be present in this post.



If you like my work and would like to help me out, consider purchasing this and other kits from Amazon using this link or others featured on my site. Every purchase helps me out considerably and it doesn't cost you a dime!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Barbatos Build Off work in progress part 2

Welcome to the second and final WIP post for the Barbatos build off project with Saint-ism. This will be the last post as I stopped documenting the work due to running out of time. While I still technically have 7 days to finish the project, I will spend 4 of those days traveling for work, with no ability to work on the model. Despite not being documented here the kit is currently fully painted, detailed, decaled and waiting to be top-coated.  

The biggest problem I face when working on modified kit, is determining when to stop modifying and move on. I'm sure that I could have pushed the build further; scribed more panel lines, added more pla-plate. But, I'm not sure that more modification would have benefited the kit.  


Early into the project I intended on using the stock feet. The heel parts are hollow for the most part. I used Tamiya's epoxy putty to fill in these areas along with the areas behind the knees on the leg armor.


I used plastic plate on the back of the skirt armor to fill in the hollow areas. In hind sight I should have spent more time on this area and layered the plate with cutouts or scribing.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Barbatos Build Off work in progress part 1

For those not in the know I'm currently participating in a Barbatos themed build off with my buddy Saitnism! He and I are each tackling a different variation of the Brabatos Gundam from Iron Blooded Orphans.

I chose to build the 6th form of the Barbatos Gundam, this is the final variant of the Barbatos from the first season, and the mobile suit features from pretty serious upgrades.

My goal for the build was to enhance the base kit by incorporating parts from other Barbatos variants, pla plating and modifying the base kit.


Work started with the chest.


I cut out the notch at the bottom of the chest and reduced the amount of material to either side.


1/72 A Wing Star Fighter


Introduction:

Unlike the classic X-Wing the A-Wing receives preciously little screen time throughout the Star Wars films. The A wing relies on mobility and speed to maintain an edge in battle; the slim fuselage and large engines reinforce this idea. 

This might be a controversial opinion, but I think weathering builds are much easier and quicker then clean built kits. There's way more room for error, and many mistakes that might ruin a clean build kit can add to the appearance of a weathered design.

Kit Talk:

I purchased this kit as a warm up for the PG Millennium Falcon. I wanted a quick project to practice weathering, pre-shading and many of the other skills needed to create the believable worn appearance that is iconic of many of the great Star Wars designs. 

The body was pre-shaded with black or navy blue depending on the main color. I also used a melamine foam sponge to very lightly buff and sand the top color. Weathering wash, dry brushing, powdered weathering media and other techniques were used to make the design appear worn. I didn't push the weathering on the design as far as on the X-wing, but it still has a seasoned appearance.

The small size of this kit only required about 12 hours from unwrapping the kit to taking the photos.



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