Thursday, June 7, 2012

Project Unicorn : Stage 1 [Snapfits, Concept and Prep]

Alright, so I've pretty much cleared the first stage of starting out on gunpla. What, in my opinion, is the worst, most torturing, and stress-inducing stage. I'm sure you all know what I'm talking about...

But before we clear that up, here's a picture of our 2 heroines (Yes, Gundams, like ships and cars are female) !

So yeah, if you guessed seamline removal and nub-management, then here's a Gunpla Dollar for you, you're absolutely RIGHT! I find sanding and gluing to be the most tedious part of gunpla, and its so easy to mess up your kit. So in this post, I will be touching, very barely on how I did my clean up. Also on the menu, a brief explanation of what I'm trying to achieve with these 2 guys.


Image above shows our two Unicorn units side by side. Here are a couple closer shots of them, not too much detail or variety but its just a simple snap build, if you want more, there are always reviews! Simple part swap between the two HGUC Unicorn units to get what it is now, with the addition of a HGUC Bazooka I got off someone online and 2 Hobby Base 1/144 Posable Hands.
Banshee Heavy Arms
Sexy Unicorn

Sister or Rival Units?


Simply put, I'm trying to go with "originality" regarding these 2 units. As original as part swapping can get me of course. Also, lets keep this breakdown simple, no long paragraphs to bore you guys as you read...

- All white (not sure if I want to do multiple shades of white as Unicorns are pure white!)
- Black backpack and feet
- Gold V-fin (come on, Unicorns don't have white horns!)
- Dark metallic inner frame
- Gold psychoframe with orange highlights
- Pearl purple gloss coat (to give that purple hint in the right light)
- Golden decals

- Titans-ish dark purple for the main armor
- Black backpack and feet (to strengthen the notion that these are sister suits)
- Gold V-fin and chest crest (to strengthen the notion that these are sister suits)
- Light metallic inner frame (to counter the dark exterior)
- Masking done on shield to fake "inner frame parts"
- Candy blue psychoframe with purple highlights
- Gloss finish
- Golden decals
- Metallic weapons with flat coat on top for a satin finish

Yup, going for a speedy/light Unicorn and a Heavy Armed Banshee, not quite FA Banshee, but almost there.

[Surface Preparation]

At the start of this post, I stated that I hate this part the most. All the gluing, the sanding. There is nothing worse personally!

But we must proceed, for the good of the project.

Firstly a look at the tools I used to remove the nubs and seam lines

- Modeling Cement
- Various grits of sandpaper
- Sanding sponges
- Ice cream stick
- Hobby knife
- Sanding stick

Here are the offending seams

Going to have to apologize, but I totally forgot to take a during shot, after I had applied the glue. But its a pretty standard process that you can find anywhere online! (if you just google seamline removal tutorial) What I did basically was apply the cement on one side of the part that has the seamline, count to 5 then attach the parts together, and then squeezing really hard for about a minute so that some cement and plastic mixture oozes out of the seamline. Let it dry for a day, and proceeded to sand off the excess cement via sandpaper (400 grit first, followed by 800 and then 1000 to top it off). Used the hobby knife to get the hard to reach places and then gave everything a light sanding with a 3M Microfine sanding sponge.

Here are the results...

Bye Bye Seamlines
Might look a little messy, but once primer has been applied, it should look all good!

This has been a really long post, but the next one, will definitely be a short one, but full of pictures, polar opposite to this one!

Look out for it!