Thursday, March 12, 2020

MG Gold Ball


Introduction: 

Before I really get into it, this kit is the prize that I’m contributing to the current MG Ball group build being hosted over on my Discord. You still have time to join the competition if you would like a chance to win this kit, make sure you read the rules if you want to join the competition portion of the group build. 

The concept for this MG Ball changed a bit over time. A few names I used will give you a bit of insight into some of these ideas “Royal Ball, Goldie Bollocks, Golden Boy”. You get the idea. In the end, I opted for treating this Ball’s paint scheme more like a trophy.


Kit Talk: 

The Ball is one of the best (if not THE best) Master Grade model kits currently available. But, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t things that need to be fixed. For some reason, my print of this kit seemed to have some mold alignment problems. There are a few areas on the single-piece cylindrical parts where the panel lines don’t entirely match up. Hopefully, this doesn’t show up on any of your prints of this model. The arm parts that are closest to the main body have a seam running down the length of the part. I found that it’s easiest to complete the fusing of these parts while the metal and rubber components are already in place and masking everything before painting. The nice thing about the rubber components is that paint doesn’t want to stick to them. And if any does end up on these parts you can just mush the rubber around until the overspray flakes off. 

Color Guide: 

I base coated all of the metallic parts with gloss black. It’s important to ensure that the primer and black paint is completely free of contaminates. Any errant hairs, dust or other imperfections will be amplified once they’ve been painted with the glossy metallic colors. The gold parts were panel lined with brown panel lining wash and the gray parts were lined with a black wash. The non-metallic parts were painted with a flat coat, all of the metallic parts were left raw. All colors are from Gaianotes unless otherwise mentioned. 

Main Body: 

Pearlescent Gold Main 
Body Details 1: Silver 
Main Body Details 3: Neutral Gray 5 
Inner frame 1 & Cockpit: Neutral Gray 4
Inner frame 2: Gun Metal 
Cockpit Glass & sensors: Clear Red 
Stand: Flat Black
Pilot: Starbright brass 
Pilot details 1: Vallejo red 
Pilot details 2: Vallejo Black 

I’m an Amazon affiliate, which means that if you pick it up from Amazon right now using my affiliate links; then Amazon will pay me a small bounty on everything that you buy. Using this link helps me out a lot, and it doesn’t cost you anything!

Sunday, March 1, 2020

MG Gundam Astray Turn Red


Introduction: 

I really like the design of the Astray series; it’s sleek and athletic. And, among all of the different versions of this mobile suit, the Master Grade Astray has the best proportions and details. The Turn Red Astray’s color scheme is an inverse variation of the Red Frame. The heavy use of red in the armor and the large V fin and curved back armor gives the Turn Red the look of a stereotypical devil mixed with a horned beetle. Judging by the comments I have received, I think a lot of people find the Turn Red’s color scheme to be ‘weird’. This color scheme isn’t my favorite, but I don’t hate it either. 

The Turn Red’s gimmick is it’s two large Swords and re-designed head. Personally, I really like the massively oversized V-fin, but I can see how it’s contentious. As you would expect the two massive ‘tactical arm’ swords and accompanying backpack cause this model to be very back heavy. The two swords can be used to hold the suit upright in a standing pose and the included stand can hold one sword up for a ‘mid-swing’ pose. The two swords also maintain all the transformation gimmicks as the original Blue Frame’s tactical arms, but this model doesn’t use most of them. Also included is an ammo rack for the 4 magazines that attaches to the rear skirt. 

Kit Talk: 

Not too much to say here. This Astray is well designed with limited seam lines. The most prominent seam is present on the Astray’s beam rifle. There’s a lot of panel lining to take advantage of, even if a good portion isn’t visible under the armor. 

Water slide decals are included with this model, but they’re fairly bland, and there are fewer of them than you may expect. The decals tend to sit on a lot of elevation changes, this required a fair bit of mark sol and a hobby knife to finesse into place. 

The Turn Red also has a very straight forward color scheme with 3 prominent main colors and two less common colors. Masking was limited as well, only present as a few white areas on the head. This is the first model I have used Gaia Note’s Evo white surfacer on. Compared to Mr. Hobby’s white surfacer this product seems to be less robust. However, It’s also possible that I haven’t worked all the quirks out yet. There probably will be a few more instances of chipping on this model as a result.

Red: Nazca fire red
White: White & pale pink 
Black: Black, red & pale pink 
Grey: Neutral gray IV Green 
(sensors): Clear green over silver

I’m an Amazon affiliate, which means that if you pick it up from Amazon right now using my affiliate links; then Amazon will pay me a small bounty on everything that you buy. The Astray Turn Red is one of those weird ‘US normal release, P-Bandai release in Japan’ kits. So it may or may not be available right now. You can pick it up from Amazon right now using my affiliate link. Using this link helps me out a lot, and it doesn’t cost you a dime! 

Monday, February 24, 2020

MG Strike Rouge Ootori RM


Introduction:

I’ve been making a concerted effort to clear out my backlog of ‘built, but unpainted’ kits. The Ootori was one of the last models that I built during 2019 and, it’s a model I’ve been really eager to complete. I’m definitely not afraid to use pink in my builds and nearly every color on this kit has some amount of pink mixed into the color. This won’t be the last time you’ll see this pink-tinted white this year.

Compared to the very specific striker packs of Kira’s Strike Gundam, the Ootori takes more of a ‘kitchen sink’ approach. It features two cannons that poke out under the arms, an anti-ship sword, a missile launcher and a bunch of small missiles tucked under the wings. It’s a little less cohesive than the older IWISP design, but the Ootori has its own charm. 

Kit Talk:

Compared to a lot of my recent projects the Ootori was really straight-forward. There were a few areas on the backpack that needed to be fused and a few areas that needed to be masked or hand-painted. But comparatively, this was a quick and easy project.

Decals are from Delpi Decals, you can get some of these decals with the Official Bandai decal set. However, you won’t find all of the Ootori’s unique markings in that set. If you’re familiar with the more recent MG Seed Gundams, they have a ludicrous number of decals and I’m using ALL OF THEM. I really like the personality all the different decals impart to the design.  

Colors:

All colors are Gaia Color unless otherwise noted

White 1: White & pale pink 
White 2: White
Red: Red & pale pink 
Pink: White, pale pink & fluorescent pink
Black: Black & pale pink
Weapon Gray 1: Neutral gray 5
Weapon Gray 2: Nazca frame gray & pale pink
Blue: White, cobalt blue, fluorescent pink & pale pink
Yellow Stripes: Yellow Orange
Yellow Stripes (missiles): Tamiya Enamel Yellow
Green (sensors): Clear green over silver
Black (stand): Flat Black
Topcoat: Mr. Color GX 114

Sunday, February 16, 2020

HG MS-08TX [EXAM] Efreet Custom


Introduction:

The design of the MS-08TX Efreet has rapidly become one of my favorite mobile suit designs in the
last few years. In many ways, the Efreet looks like a highly customized Gouf, it’s curvy, blocky, beefy,
and spikey in all the right ways. In spite of the very limited production run of the mobile suit, almost
every version is substantially different in terms of colors, armor, and equipment. 

The HG Efreet Schneid is currently the only ‘normal’ release of the Efreet available. This version the
HG Efreet Custom was originally a P-Bandai exclusive, but it’s also available through Gundam

Kit Talk:

Masking, masking, masking. Masking was the key to completing this model. All of the white border
around the supplementary armor on the legs and the missile pods were painted white and then masked
and painted blue.

The orange and black details present on the tops of the feet and crotch, the grey details inside of the
shoulders, missile pods and the grey and orange in the backpack thrusters were also all masked and
painted. This kit took a comparably long time to paint as a result, but I really enjoyed the overall project
and result!

In terms of physical modifications, I added plastic plate to the chest and waist to elongate the
proportions of the model. I sharpened the shoulder spikes by adding material to the end of each
spike and then shaped them with a file and sandpaper. Several of the spike tips broke and had to be
remade, as a result, a few of them look a bit sloppy. I also added a very shallow vernier to the outer
leg armor from Kotobuliya. Replacement hands were taken from the ‘Gundam build custom hands
round’ set. The mono-eye was drilled out and a HIQ gem was painted with clear red and inserted. 


Colors: 


Blue: Gundam Color XUG 04
Orange: Gundam Color XUG 05 & Gaia Orange Yellow
Black: Gaia Black & Neutral Gray 4
Gray1: Gaia Neutral Gray 4 
Gray2: Gaia Neutral Gray 3 & 4
Red eye: Clear Red

Hit the bump for the rest of the photos!

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Start to Finish HG Kshatriya Part 5: Finishing


HG Kshatriya Wrap Up


Surprise! The last chunk in this series is NOT going to be a video! The Kshatriya series has dragged on for nearly a year in large part due to the issues associated with video production along with my general lack of motivation to deal with them. Instead, I will be wrapping up the Kshatriya series with this ‘after report’. For those of you that would like to see some video segments for this project, you can find a few drafts here on my youtube page. 


The topics to be covered in this post include the following:


Detail Painting


Panel Lining


Decaling 


Topcoat

Hit the bump for the full post.


HG NZ-666 Kshatriya


Introduction:


Hopefully, at this point, this kit doesn’t need too much of an introduction. I completed several videos on this kit during 2019, and you can view those videos on a playlist here. The Kshatriya is a large kit, but also a bit of a plain one. In the videos referenced above, I built the kit, made modifications to add detail and change proportions, painted and detailed this model. I’m pleased and relieved to have this model completed. Now, I just need to figure out how I can store it in my cabinet with those huge wing binders. 




Kit Talk:


This kit was an ‘on and off’ type of project. I don’t like working this way, because it’s easy to lose my ‘place’ during the project. However, due to the nature of the tutorial series pretty much required it. 


For an in-depth look at all of the modifications, and color guide information you should take a look at the tutorial series in this playlist. This series covers a lot of ground and I’m sure you will be able to pick up some new tips.



Wednesday, January 22, 2020

HG Gundam F91



Introduction:


I realize that this is a little late for 2019, however, it’s better late than never! Guss Submitted this modified HG F91 for the fourth Collab round of 2019. If you’re unfamiliar with the Collab concept, it’s a collaboration I run for my Patrons. I run the collab four times a year. Once the kit is painted I ship it back to my collaboration partner along with a little thank you gift. 


Like every collab, I really didn’t have a plan for this model’s paint scheme until it arrived.  


Kit Talk:


There isn’t much to say about this model since my collab partner GunplaGuss handled the construction and modification.  Like always I leave all the sanding and cleanup to my collab partner. Once the kit arrived I stripped it down and gave the kit a thorough cleaning before starting the painting and priming process.


A couple of constructive criticism points for Guss, (and anyone else interested in learning). When you fuse parts, make sure you sand them thoroughly afterward. The fused line should be level with the surrounding plastic. I noticed a fingerprint left during the gluing process, you can sand them out after the plastic has cured. Otherwise, good job! 


The color scheme I went with was more of a slight color swap than anything else. Guss asked for purple, and originally I started with a mixture of lavender and light blue, however, I wasn’t happy with the color. I repainted these parts with a mixture of lavender, light blue, and violet. The resulting color is a ‘blurply, bluey, periwinkle’. 


This kit required a lot of masking for all of the yellow color apps. The F91 features many of these vents on the shoulders, forearms, waist and legs. They do a decent job of breaking up the steel white. I chose neutral gray #5 for a darker inner-frame color. Along with the masking, this required a lot of hand brushed black paint. 



Sunday, January 12, 2020

1/5000 Star Destroyer


Introduction:


It’s strange that every time I look at this completed kit I start to hear the ‘Imperial March’ in my head. I grew up with Star Wars, like a lot of people my age the original Trilogy was my introduction to the series and Scifi as a genre. When one of my buddies turned me on to this upcoming release I preordered it immediately. 


There are currently two versions of the Bandai 1:5000 Star Destroyer, one includes LEDs the other does not. If you’re already comfortable with wiring up LEDs I’d recommend the base model, but if you want something that looks good right out of the box. The LED version is the way to go. This is the LED version of the kit.  


This is the 28th and last build of 2019! It was a really nice kit to end the year on. 


Kit Talk:


One reason I love the Star Wars kits from Bandai is their simplicity. These models take comparatively little time to build and paint. There are no inner frames, or intense articulation to worry about (excluding the 1/12 figures). This model was built in a single sitting on stream and painted in basically one afternoon including the masking the hull several times. Building this kit has reminded me how much I like working on this line, and I’m seriously considering building several more Star Wars models next year. 



I painted this kit using the following process:

Gray Primer

Base coated the entire model with Neutral Gray #5 (almost black)

Several thin layers of Neutral Gray #3 including highlighting raised areas

The first layer of masking for the ‘aztecing’ 

Several thing layers of Neutral Gray #1 & 2 with additionally masking for ‘aztecing’

Removed all the masking

A final thin layer of Neutral Gray 1 & 2 to blend the ‘aztecing’ with the rest of the hull colors

I realize the term ‘aztecing’ is more of a Star Trek thing, but the idea is the same. I used a variety of grey tones masked in simple geometric shapes to break up the giant field of gray.


The process is pretty fun and I think the shading turned well, the hull has plenty of color variation and a decent patina without looking completely filthy. If anything I should have applied another thin layer of grey to some of the darker patches to reduce the contrast and tie everything together better.  

Sunday, December 29, 2019

RG Unicorn Gundam Ver. TWC [Lighting Model]

Introduction:


Have you been to Odaiba? Have you seen the 1:1 Unicorn in person? I haven’t, but with this little guy in my collection, I feel like I have a little piece of that experience in my own home. 


This kit (unsurprisingly) is mostly the RG Unicorn with a new inner frame, some translucent white psycho frame parts and a series of LEDs. As a result, you end up with a lot of leftover spare parts for kitbashing for replacements. 


The assembly and wiring of this kit are very straight forward and the LEDs are wired into a flexible frame so there is no wire management needed. Everything just sort of ‘works’ with little effort. My one critique of this kit is that I really wish the LEDs produced a cool green instead of this warm yellow/green color we have.  


Kit Talk:


There isn’t much to say about the Unicorn at this point. I’ve built so many of them that I could assemble one blindfolded. 


One thing I was a bit disappointed by was that this kit didn’t include a set of water slide decals. This version of the Unicorn, of course, has a different decal scheme, and I couldn’t find an acceptable set of 3rd party waterslides to duplicate the 1:1 Unicorn. Instead, I fell back on the classic Katoki decal scheme by way of the HG decal set. 


Color Guide:


White: Gaiacolor White
Blue: Gaiacolor Ultra Blue mixed with Cobalt Blue
Grey: Gaiacolor Neutral Gray 4 mixed with Neutral Gray 5
Yellow: Gaiacolor Sunshine Yellow
Metal: Gaiacolor Gunmetal

Thursday, December 26, 2019

MG Stormbringer


Introduction:

In my opinion, the Stormbringer is one of only a few good designs to come out of Build Divers. But, it’s also a design that I’ve gradually cooled on, the line art for the design is fantastic, but the model doesn’t quite live up to that. The Stormbringer is based on the GM Turbulence, which is in turn based on the GM Dominator and GM Sniper II. The Stormbringer, therefore, has many of the same proportions and styling cues as those other models.

Kit Talk:


There are a few problems with the Stormbringer that needed to be fixed. The side boosters on the calf of each leg have a nasty seam line about 2/3rds of the way across the part. Fusing this seam was a challenge due to the details present. Additionally, there was a nasty gap in the front of the ankle guards. I fixed the gap by painting the grey and white parts separate, fusing the two halve of the white armor together and then painting the white parts 


During the final assembly, I noticed that the arms and shoulders had become very floppy. It made posing the kit rather difficult as a result. 

I based the color scheme of my kit on the ‘animation’ colors of the Gundam. The bright colors are somewhere between a pastel and fluorescent color.  

Color Guide:

White: Nazca Steel White
Blue: Gundam Color or Builders Blue
Red: Gundam Color or Builders Red
Yellow: Gundam Color or Builders Yellow + White
Grey: Neutral Gray 3 + Neutral Gray 4
Dark Grey: Neutral Gray 5 + Neutral Gray 4

Sensor Green: Mr. Color Clear Green over a base of silver 

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

RG Tallgeese III

Introduction:


This is the very first opportunity that I’ve had to build a Tallgeese III. I’m personally a big fan of the Massive Mallard Duo, but the Leggy Honk Trois has its appeal. Unfortunately, like other recent versions of the Elevated Fowl Drei, this version was a P-Bandai exclusive. Fortunately it seems to have received a fairly wide release within the US, so hopefully you’ve already had a chance to pick up a Stretched Duck Tres for yourself. 


Kit Talk:


This kit was built mostly out of box. Like most of the RGs, there are very few seam lines or other things that must be ‘fixed’ on this model kit to get it looking right. 


This model is partially molded using gloss injection; a lot of people may be familiar with this type of plastic from the RG Sinanju. I opted to keep the stock color scheme of the Sizable Swan San including repaint most of those glossy areas. I think this choice to use glossy paint gives the Colossal Cygnus 3 a regal and knightly appearance. I only needed to mask on small area of this kit. The ‘Ultra blue’ “sideburns” on either side of the face are molded in white, but appear blue of the cover art. Panel lining on this kit was done using Tamiya’s enamel ‘Sky Blue’ color. I will be experimenting more with color panel lining in the future.

Color Guide:

White: Gaianotes Ultimate White
Off White: Nazca Steel White
Frame Gray: Neutral Gray, Yellow, Brown
Blue: Gaianotes Ultra Blue
Yellow: Gaianotes Sunshine Yellow
Red: Bright Red
Verniers: Dark Stainless Steel

The decals from this kit are from Delpi Decals. Delpi Decals is quickly becoming my favorite source for decals; their print resolution and the detail featured on these decals is top notch. They likely rival if not surpasses Bandai’s own decals at times.