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Sunday, December 4, 2016

HG Burning/G Gundam


Introduction:

This is the 99th kit I have completed for my blog.

When Mobile Fighter G Gundam first aired in the US the names of the Devil and God Gundam were changed due to Dark and Burning Gundam respectively due to Toonami's self censorship policies. My choice of using the Build Burning and God Gundam is a play on this name confusion.

Kit Talk:

This is a kitbash of the HG Build Burning and HG God Gundam. My goal of the build was to combine many of the visual elements of the God Gundam with the improved engineering of the Build Burning Gundam. I tried several variations of parts, modification and combinations until I was satisfied. Unfortunately I quickly found out that skirt and waist on the God Gundam strictly limited the ability of the kit to perform kicks.

Modifying and attaching the backpack to the Build Burning Gundam was the most difficult part of the build. I used pla-plate to build up the connection point on the Burning Gundam to create a strong connection point.

One of the main problems I have with the HG God Gundam is that the red fins have a lot of really weird gaps that had to be filled in with pla plate and putty. 

I used decals from the HG Unicorn Gundam to make a really basic ver.ka style decal schemes.




If you like my work and you want to help support me, then consider purchasing from the Amazon links on my blog or by clicking this link. Every purchase you make helps me out tremendously and it doesn't cost you a dime!

 Hit the bump for the full photo shoot

Monday, November 28, 2016

HG Graze Custom


Introduction:


The HG Graze Custom was my first introduction to the IBO line of model kits. The basic Graze design has become a fast favorite since completing this build. It's a cheap and cheerful build that I would encourage anyone to pickup. The basic Graze comes in several flavors, I also have a Schwable and Ryusei-Go hanging out on my desk waiting for paint.

I think one of the reasons I like this design so much is because it looks like it has drawn inspiration from some of the mecha featured in the older Armored Core 2 game. I played this game and many of it's sequels a lot as a kid. The head and shoulder designs look similar to parts from the Crest Company. I'm strongly considering building an armored core style kit bash build including these parts down the line.

Kit Talk:

I actually built and painted this kit in about 6 hours over the course of a single weekend during the middle of my MG Sazabi Ver. Ka build. That project was starting to drag and I wanted a quick win to keep up my morale. Unlike most of my builds, this kit is pre-shaded, I decided to go this route as it was a quick and easy way to add detail without weathering, or decals or other time consuming processes.

One area of this kit that I firmly believe needs to be corrected is the long seams along the lower legs. I fused this seam after painting all of the frame parts, and them carefully masked and painted the area.



If you like my work and you want to help support me, then consider purchasing from the Amazon links on my blog or by clicking this link. Every purchase you make helps me out tremendously and it doesn't cost you a dime!

Hit the bump for the full photo shoot 

Sunday, November 20, 2016

1/35 Zaku 2 Head Char Custom


Introduction:

This is the final kit in my backlog and the end of my 2016 resolution to clear it out. This is also the third time I have built and painted one of the 1/35 Zaku 2.0 heads. I mentioned in prior builds, this is an excellent model kit. I wish that one day Bandai will start to release more large scale head model kits. 

The Char version of this kit was released as part of the 35th anniversary P-Bandai combo pack including a special version of the RG RX 78-2. This model comes with a commanders horn and a head designed to accept it. The  basic original green version included in the Ramba Ral Commando pack lacked an option for the commanders horn. 

Kit Talk:

There isn't much to say about this kit. I used the same paint application process as the two earlier models but made some small changes to reflect the Char color scheme. The Char Pink color is from Gunze's Gundam color line of paints, and can be considered the "official" Char pink.

If you like my work and you want to help support me, then consider purchasing from the Amazon links on my blog or by clicking this link. Every purchase you make helps me out tremendously and it doesn't cost you a dime!




Hit the bump for the full photo shoot!

Monday, November 14, 2016

MG Sazabi Ver Ka.


Introduction:

I think I may have mentioned before that I've fallen out of love with big kits. I really like the 'idea' of large complex kits. But in practice I have a very difficult time staying motivated throughout these builds. Staying motivated throughout the build was further complicated because I ran out of both neutral gray and top coat during the build and for whatever reason I had a lot of trouble finding more to purchase. This resulted in a very minor paint mismatch and a lot of wasted time. 

Kit Talk:



Originally I had planned on adding a lot of pla-plate, greebling and scribing throughout the kit to add detail. And In many of the WIP shots on my google+ feed will show those details in an early phase. However after beginning to paint and lines these areas I decided that I did not like the outcome. I eventually reverted or replaced many of these parts on the final design. I did keep a few pieces like this detail added to the inside of the shoulder joint.



Instead of using the stock color scheme I used a more simplified version using mostly red with a secondary darker red used sparing to break up the otherwise uniform color. 




Sometime during the build I lost the mono-eye and forehead sensor. I make replacements out of pla-plate and builder parts HD components.



Like a lot of builds There are a lot of hidden paint treatments throughout that may not be visible under normal circumstances like the skirt detail. Keep your eyes peeled for a few other areas.


Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Godhands 5.0 The second pair


A year and a half about I got my hands on my first pair of Godhands nippers. I compared the Godhands against every pair of nippers I had used up to that point, and my recommendation was mixed and based on experience level. Last week I purchased my second pair of Godhands nippers.


Saturday, September 24, 2016

Tutorial: Scratched/damaged paint repair

While assembling my Sazabi ver Ka I accidentally scratched the paint and ruined a decal on one of the prominent chest pieces. This is the process that I followed to completely remediate the damage.



This image isn't the clearest, but the decal and paint have been scratched off. The paint was scratched all of the way down to the plastic around the edge where the decal used to be. 

Preparation: 

To repair this area there are a few considerations I had to take into account:

  • The damaged decal and the matching decal on the other side needed to be removed and replaced. 
  • The topcoat and paint in the effected areas needed to be leveled for a consistent finish.
  • I want to keep the two decals that are situated near the median of the part.
I also needed a few tools and materials on hand

  • Masking tape
  • High Grit (2000) sand paper
  • Color matched paint
  • Airbrush
  • Decals
  • Topcoat
Hit the bump for the full tutorial process!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Google Plus Reminder


This is just a reminder that if you want to stay current, or if you're bored from waiting for me to get new content together, then you should check out my Google Plus feed! I post frequent project updates, wips, and behind the scenes shots that aren't really blog worthy material. Google Plus is also the best way to ask me questions that you might have about your projects.

Monday, August 1, 2016

1/72 Y-Wing


Just like with my previous Star Wars model kits I won't claim that this kit is an accurate representation of any of the filming models of Gold Leader. My Goal with this build was to create a model that fit the mental image I have cultivated for the craft over the last twenty-some-odd-years of watching Star Wars I painted the Bandai Y-Wing almost immediately after the X-Wing. I still had a lot of the light greyish white color used on the fuselage. 

For those not in the know, let me fill you in a little bit using a modernish comparison if the X-Wing is like an F-15 air superiority fighter, than the Y-Wing is like an A-10 Warthog; durable, well armed and slow. While the X-Wing will always be my favorite rebel fighter from the movies, I do prefer the Y-wing to the oddly designed B-Wing. 

Like the X-wing I used a variety of techniques including pre-shading, post shading, filters, and chipping. Overall the weathering is less dramatic than the X-Wing; but that's not surprising considering all of the "happy accidents" that occurred during that build. 



Sunday, July 24, 2016

1/72 X-Wing


Introduction:


Full disclosure, lightsaber and blaster fights are awesome, but the dog fighting and space battle scenes have always been my favorite action set pieces from the Star Wars franchise. Many of these scenes are what inspired me to get into modeling in the first place. 


Like my prior Star Wars models I definitely won't claim that this kit is accurate to the movie models, but it absolutely fits the mental image I have of the fighter. 


Overall this wasn't a bad build. there were a few issues that popped up along the way. The biggest being the upper fuselage snapped at the thinnest point by the cockpit. Despite fixing this multiple times it continues to snap and I ultimately decided to leave it. I also mentioned in an earlier post that this kit was accidentally splashed with rubbing alcohol.


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, July 19, 2016

MG Sazabi ver ka WIP

If you have been following along on Google + you have probably seen most of these photos before. However here is a bit of insight into the work I have done to the Sazabi ver ka.


Here's the mostly built Sazabi before I started any work. You may notice that the handle to the beam shot rifle has broken away from the rest of the rifle. I'll end up fixing this down the road.


This is an early photo of the first parts I started working on. You may notice that the crotch armor (upper left hand corner) has a vent cut into the front of the armor. I later plugged and filled this hole.


I'm very pleased with the way the feet turned out. The center thruster detail was added using two sets of Kotobukiya parts, and didn't require and glue or permanent modification to the base kit. In otherwordsmi can very easily revert this modification if I want.


Using my digital calipers for measuring and my BMC chisel for scribing I added depth to existing seams and panel lines, and carved new ones. Any mistakes that were made during this process were fixed using baby powder and superglue. I also partially drilled holes in several places for additional sunken details. I may file these with BBs or detail parts later.


I craved out chunks of the shoulder armor to reveal more of the detail hidden below. I'm currently contemplating what type of detail I should add to the top section of the armor closest to the torso.



This is a bit of detailing I built out of pla plate and rods for the crotch armor. It also covers that hole and patching previously made by the vent I cut into the top. I'm not sure if I will include this detail on the final,build, or if I will go with a lower profile piece instead.



Here's how the torso looked a few nights ago. I added some detailing to the beam cannon on the waist. I drilled out and inserted a rod into the center of the cannon to look like the barrel of the beam cannon. I also have a collar that will be inserted around this rode for extra detail.

I wasn't happy with how the notched detail on the "beak" part of the chest looked after first installing it. I eventually filed it down so that it's slightly recessed behind the upper part of the "beak".


I'm happy with how the head looks out of the box, so aside from rescribing some of the shallower panel lines, I will leave the head alone.


The strips added to the sides and back of the waist will be layered slightly more to add dimension.


Here you can see ther several sets of panel lines scribed into the shoulder armor. The more outboard "lightning bolt" looking scribe is the one I will keep. The other was filled with a mix of baby powder and superglue. Here I'm using primer to check how well the filler worked, and where I need to spend more time.


And it turns out that it isn't half bad. I will need to clear a bit of the primer out of the panel line I made, and do a bit of clean up.

Monday, July 11, 2016

1/72 Star Wars Red Five and Gold Leader WIP

I've been working on these two models for about two weeks now. Each has presented a few challenges and opportunities for learning. Take a look at the photos and comments below.


This is the first image that I shared, at this stage in the process I had painted the entire kit with a mixture of black, dark blue and smoke grey as a base shading layer. 


After the shading layer a mixture of white and grey was painted somewhat inconsistently over the entire model to create a base color. 


The belly of the fuselage had the most noticeable inconsistent finish. Because the intent of this model was to paint multiple colors and weather the base coat didn't need to be consistent. 


The nozzles, gaps in the wings and the back plate were painted with a mix of warm grey, whites-silver and black.


This was my first attempt at painting the unit markings on the wings and colored panels. Ultimately I was unhappy with how inconsistent the markings truned out. I stripped only these ares by using a toothbrush and alcohol to massage the paint off of the end of the wing tips.


This photo occured after I had repainted the wing tips and followed up with another round of masking. This time I used a ruler instead of trying to use the decals as a template. 


And here's the result along with some salt chipping. In hind sight the left wing tip was chipped too much.




Here's how the X wing looked in its nearly completely painted state. This is also the last good photo I have of the kit before "the accident".


Here's little Luke. I painted the figure entirely white, masked the head and painted the body orange. Everything else was hand brushed with Vallejo acrylics.


Here's the kit post accident and weathering. I accidentally left a bottle of rubbing alcohol out on my desk after painting little Luke. When I walked by I accidentally knocked the bottle over and splashed the kit. The alcohol "burned" the paint in a lot of areas. Some of it turned out okay and enhanced the look in someways. I did my best to cover it up with hand brushing, chipping, washes and other techniques. My original intent with this kit was to do a cleaner version of Luke's X wing, but ultimately the design was much dirtier than intended.


Like the X wing the Y wing started with a shader coat to give it depth.


WIP content on the Y wing is going to be a bit light because it was a quick build and I didn't photograph much. Here's the principle paint job on the model. Masking the yellow lines on the nacelle domes was difficult due to the soft curve. I ended up using the included decal to mask in the right shape. They actually left pretty clean edges too.

Like the X wing the Y wing will receive a weathering treatment to make it look for realistic.


Like the X wing I used Tamiya's panel lining solution for all of the panel lines and sunk detail. I followed this up with a few layers of Vallejo's dark grey wash and chipping using Vallejo black and grey.


By comparison the Y wing looks pretty clean when placed next to the X wing. I still need to topcoat the kit and hand paint the pilot before I can finish this one off. Stay tuned.





Monday, July 4, 2016

Updates on Google Plus



This is just a reminder that if you want to stay current, or if you're bored from waiting for me to get new content together, then you should check out my Google Plus feed! I post frequent project updates, wips, and behind the scenes shots that aren't really blog worthy material. Google Plus is also the best way to ask me questions that you might have about your projects.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Liger Zero Schneider (attempt 2)


Introduction:

 If you have been following along on the blog since at least the beginning of the year, you might be aware that after finishing the Liger Zero Schneider commission it got lost in the mail on the way back to it's owner. I'm not the type of person to leave someone twisting in the wind; so I offered to completed another one. This is the second part of this replacement commission; the first part for the basic Liger Zero was posted a few weeks back here.

Kit talk:

Like the prior version I was asked to apply a coat of desert weathering. I used Vallejo's acrylic black paint and a stout brush to add chipping throughout the design along the hard edges and corners of the kit. I greatly prefer how the chipping appears on this version over the last and there are plenty of photos capturing the chipping effect in the details section below. Unlike the first Schneider this version was painted with a slight darker orange color, I'd describe it as being less of a traffic cone orange and more of a hazardous orange. 

I also added Vallejo washes of dark gray and desert dust before brushing Tamiya's Desert Modeling Masters onto the kit. The modeling masters is excellent at highlighting hard edges, but the clear coat is good and tempering and blending the effect into a more realistic appearance.



If you like my work and you want to help support me, then consider purchasing from the Amazon links on my blog or by clicking this link. Every purchase you make helps me out tremendously and it doesn't cost you a dime!Hit the bump for the full photo shoot!

Hit the bump for the full photo gallery!

Otaku Empire Albany NY

Nestled in the 1st floor of Crossgates mall somewhere between the Bestbuy and the Apple store is a new store I heard about from user: u/Mega_Manatee on r/gunpla. I wasn't in Albany NY for long and I didn't have too much time to poke around the store but I did have an opportunity to speak with Adam the owner and to take a few photos.



Before you walk into the space you will notice the two display cabinets on either side of the door. All of the kits contained within were basic straight builds.


Click to enlarge for the full panoramic 

Overall the store isn't very large, by my estimate It's probably a 35 x 50 ft space. More than half of the shelf space was full of Gunpla. Most series were represented and there was a good mix of MG, HG, RG, RE 1/100, SD kits as well as stands and builder parts HD packs. I didn't see any PG kits while I was in store, but apparently the day before the store was crammed so it's entirely possible that they were simply sold out. There also was a shelf full of non-gundam kits like Evangelion and Kamen Rider.


Here are a few things that stood out to me while I was in the store:
  • They had a good variety of models. Super Deformed, High grade, Real Grades, Master Grade, Perfect Grade, No-Grade kits. RE 1/100, stands and Gundam weapon kits. It was also nice to see some Kotobukiya kits on the shelves.
  • The kits in stock are a nice mix of old, new and different series and they included very recent releases. The HG prices are competitive with other brick and mortar stores. On average the HG kits I saw were only about $1-2 more than the prices listed on Amazon. 

  • In the future I hope their staff paints, modifies, etc, models in the display cabinets. Gunpla and modeling in general is a highly creative hobby and I think it's  encouraging to show that aspect of the hobby off. 

  • There's also an online shop associated with the physical store: http://www.otakuempirestore.com/ The website still appears to be under construction and the paid membership plan might need some revision overtime.
  • I hope they consider carrying a limited selection of Tamiya or Mr.Hobby paint in the future. Now that Hobby Town USA in Colonie Central is out of business I'm not sure where or if I can buy model paints in Albany anymore.