Please consider supporting me by using this Amazon referral link

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Perfect Grade Unicorn Final Battle Version [Full Armor]


Introduction:

It's over, it's finally, definitely, totally, 100% finished this time! This build is the synthesis of the P-Bandai PG Unicorn [Final Battle Version] and the P-Bandai Full Armor Unit. As one would expect of P-Bandai, both of these kits are stupidly expensive and difficult to source (depending on when you're looking). And, I can only assume Bandai will eventually release their own version of this build eventually (because, why wouldn't they? Unicorn variants literally print money).

I have a love hate relationship with the Perfect Grade series. I love the idea of this series. Each kit feels like a celebration, and completing one makes me feel like I have my own 1:1 Gundam in my living room. But, in reality I hate how long it takes me to build them, not to mention the utter soul crushing terror when I break something...

I love this kit, and I'll never build one again.


Kit Talk:

If you want to get some background on the base model you can take a look at the two prior PG Unicorn posts for more information.

The Full Armor Unit includes the following parts:

  • One Bazooka
  • Two shields
  • Two leg mounted grenade racks
  • Two backpack mounted grenade racks
  • Two backpack mounted missile pods  
  • Two external fuel tanks
  • Two kick stands for the fuel tanks
  • Four gatling cannons
  • At a backpack/support system to mount everything
Since I had already painted the extra gatling cannons and shields for the base Unicorn this build actually didn't take too long. 

The fuel tanks are the single largest elements of any build to date. I used a pair of large quick grip style clamps to hold the pieces during painting, and my bench vise to hold them while drying. Decaling these elements was also challenging as all the decals needed to be kept parallel or perpendicular to existing panels on the tanks. The solution I came up with is cataloged in patron exclusive video, so check that out if you're already a patron, or sign up if you'd like to gain that and other benefits.

Oh, and for those curious. Photographing this kit was a nightmare for my tiny setup, and I wouldn't wish it on anyone. I had to use a wide angle 10-24mm to get everything into frame.




Monday, May 28, 2018

Perfect Grade Unicorn Final Battle Version [Destroy Mode]


Introduction:

I know what some of you might be thinking... "Where the hell is the Unicorn Mode!? I want to see that monolithic Katoki classic in its full glory!" Never fear friend, the Unicorn mode photo shoot is available here! I am breaking this build into several posts simply due to the size and number of photos to capture everything.

The year of giants continues to lumber on! And, like's namesake, it certainly feels like a mammoth, ponderous beast. I am embarrassed to admit that The PG Unicorn FBV has been a work in progress for the better part of three months! Had I kept up ant reasonable pace, I could have finished this build up by the end of April. But, unfortunately like a lot of weapon and accessory intensive kits, my motivation began to slip once the mobile suit was complete. I definitely intend to start the PG Strike Freedom with the backpack to avoid this trap.

Kit Talk:

For those not in the know, the Final Battle Version of the PG Unicorn is unfortunately a Premium Bandai exclusive kit. This version of the Unicorn features the green awakened version of the Psycho Frame, two additional shields, four additional gatling guns, water slide decals and a special glitter injected version of an action base one with an adapter to make the spiny shield thing. This kit was recently reprinted! So, if you've got about $450 burning a hole in your pocket, then you're in luck! I think most builders should skip this kit and pickup the standard PG release instead.

Like many of my builds, the goal of this project was to capture the iconic design of the Unicorn from the OVA or series.

Minor physical enhancements have been made to the basic kit. This includes: additional panel lining to rescribe, or improve the overall design, Additional detailing in the verniers scattered around the kit and additional layered detail added to the scopes of the various weapons scattered around the kit.

Similarly painting has been used to enhance the design of the mobile suit. The Psychoframe of the kit has been coated with a mix of clear green and pearl tourmaline paint to add more depth and an awesome reflective sparkly kick. Unfortunately the pearl effect is completely wasted on photographs or video, This effect is best experienced in person. Additional color separation was added to the internal frame and weapons just for fun.

Unfortunately the PG Unicorn doesn't have much in the way of mechanical detail plugged into the inner frame. Everything about this kit is in service to the transformation gimmick. While the transformation is admittedly cool, I would have appreciated some of the PG Strike and PG MK II detail. 

I am slightly curious to see what this kit would look like with the LED set. But, I just can't bring myself to pour even more money into this kit for a 1st or 3rd party LED set. In that vein of thought... stay tuned for the eventual Full Armor version coming by the end of June!



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!

Monday, May 21, 2018

Perfect Grade Unicorn Final Battle Version [Unicorn Mode]


Introduction:

I know what some of you might be thinking... "Where the hell is the Destroy Mode!? I want to see some sweet, sweet psychoframe!" Never fear friend, the Destroy mode photo shoot is coming soon; so stay tuned to the website for more content coming soon! I am breaking this build into several posts simply due to the size and number of photos to capture everything.

The year of giants continues to lumber on! And, like's namesake, it certainly feels like a mammoth, ponderous beast. I am embarrassed to admit that The PG Unicorn FBV has been a work in progress for the better part of three months! Had I kept up ant reasonable pace, I could have finished this build up by the end of April. But, unfortunately like a lot of weapon and accessory intensive kits, my motivation began to slip once the mobile suit was complete. I definitely intend to start the PG Strike Freedom with the backpack to avoid this trap.

Kit Talk:

For those not in the know, the Final Battle Version of the PG Unicorn is unfortunately a Premium Bandai exclusive kit. This version of the Unicorn features the green awakened version of the Psycho Frame, two additional shields, four additional gatling guns, water slide decals and a special glitter injected version of an action base one with an adapter to make the spiny shield thing. This kit was recently reprinted! So, if you've got about $450 burning a hole in your pocket, then you're in luck! I think most builders should skip this kit and pickup the standard PG release instead.

Like many of my builds, the goal of this project was to capture the iconic design of the Unicorn from the OVA or series.

Minor physical enhancements have been made to the basic kit. This includes: additional panel lining to rescribe, or improve the overall design, Additional detailing in the verniers scattered around the kit and additional layered detail added to the scopes of the various weapons scattered around the kit.

Similarly painting has been used to enhance the design of the mobile suit. The Psychoframe of the kit has been coated with a mix of clear green and pearl tourmaline paint to add more depth and an awesome reflective sparkly kick. Unfortunately the pearl effect is completely wasted on photographs or video, This effect is best experienced in person. Additional color separation was added to the internal frame and weapons just for fun.

Unfortunately the PG Unicorn doesn't have much in the way of mechanical detail plugged into the inner frame. Everything about this kit is in service to the transformation gimmick. While the transformation is admittedly cool, I would have appreciated some of the PG Strike and PG MK II detail. 

I am slightly curious to see what this kit would look like with the LED set. But, I just can't bring myself to pour even more money into this kit for a 1st or 3rd party LED set. In that vein of thought... stay tuned for the eventual Full Armor version coming by the end of June!



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!

Hit the bump for the full photo shoot!

Saturday, May 19, 2018

5/19 Live Stream

I live stream almost every Saturday at 7 PM EST! 

Come join me and hang out!


Wednesday, May 9, 2018

I found an 'Easter Egg' on the PG Unicorn

Like the title suggests, while working on my PG Unicorn I stumbled across an 'Easter Egg'. This little treat was hidden among the official water slide decal sets included with the Full Armor and Final Battle versions of the PG Unicorn.


Just below the large unicorn emblem on the shield features and just above the line of text 'RX-0 UNICORN GUNDAM'; there is a wispy line of text barely .2 mm high. Originally, I assumed that this text was just 'Lorem Ipsum' filler... but upon closer inspection the text reads: 'A MON SEUL DESIR'.


When translated to English this phrase means 'My only desire'. Syam Vist directly quotes this line nearing the climax of Gundam Unicorn Episode 7 'Over the Rainbow'.


This is also a reference to the silk and woolen tapestry Lady and the Unicorn: À Mon Seul Desir. This is the same tapestry featured in the Vist Foundation during the events of the first episode of the Gundam Unicorn OVA. The phrase is incorporated into the design of the tapestry and is situated on the tent just above the head of the lady.

For those interested, the tapestry is one of six in a set of real life pieces of art. Originally created around 1500 the tapestries are currently on display at the Musée national du Moyen Âge in Paris France.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Gundam Tutorial: Basic Panel Line Scribing

I have started a new series of simple tutorial series about creating your own panel lines! Additional parts will follow, so stay tuned for more information!


Monday, April 30, 2018

Gundam Tutorial: How to fix molding errors


While uncommon, molding errors do crop up every now and again. Check out the tutorial below to find out how to easily fix these errors.


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.