To date this has been my longest and most involved commission.
I received the package from my client on 8/18/2012, nearly two months later on 10/7/2012 I applied the final topcoat to the last kit.
From the onset I was both excited at the prospect of building a different type of kit, yet apprehensive due to amount of masking, small scale and the ages of the kits (the earliest kit was released in July 2003). Although this commission was for 4 ‘kits’ there were actually 5 individual models. The Skygrasper and Moebius Zero were a two pack.
Here's my impression of the EX line after building 4 kits:
Cons: EX kits aren't for beginners, they tend to be expensive for the what you're getting they're typically molded in 1-2 colors at most, seam lines on major joints, some parts were warped out of the bag, the instruction manuals are thin and unimpressive, the 1/1700 mobile suits and craft don’t really look to scale, the only color guides you'll have are the pictures on the box and these kits practically require painting to look good.
Pros: There is a lot of detail molded into the plastic, most panel lines are deep and easy to work with, and you’re usually given extra parts for the opened and closed hatches.
Despite the massive list of cons I came up with I would still conditionally recommend an EX kit. They’re not for everyone to be sure, but they can still be a fun challenge to novice or intermediate painter. For comparison I have included built out of box photos courtesy of Dalong.
1/144 Moebius Zero
The Moebius is still one of my favorite non-Macross space-fighters. The gun barrels on this kit required the most masking because they each feature 4 colors near the shooty-end.
Masking the side cannons, and the orange/blue thrusters on this kit was a challenge. I stripped and repainted 1/3 of this kit at least twice. Like the Moebius Zero the Skygrapser received a decal treatment. Unfortunately most of the larger decals from the RG simply don’t fit on the EX kit. Compared to the RG the EX is a bit fatter along the fuselage and narrower in the wings.
The Eternal was my favorite kit of the bunch, not just because it had the best design/assembly of the bunch but because it’s also colored Char pink and has a commander’s antenna! I went with a medium grey and white to contrast with the Char pink, the thrusters are ringed in silver. Overall the Eternal was the easiest kit to complete; it had the best degree of part separation, and required the fewest seam line removals.
Sans M.E.T.E.O.R units
Say what you will about Seed Destiny, but there were a few cool looking mecha and ship designs that came out of the series. For the Minerva I purposely stayed away from bright colors. The body is a light grey, I also mixed up a batch of a blood red crimson color, and a cool white with a hint of grey. You’ll also notice some splashes of black, medium grey, orange, pale purple and blue used in different areas. Nearly every part of this kit required masking, but the overall effect looks great. I’m really happy with it, especially how the runways, landing pads and white stripes came out.
1/1700 Arch Angel
Alas the last kit I decided to build was also the most difficult! Of the 5 models the Arch Angel required the most masking, and had the greatest number of visible seam lines. The bridge section of the Arch Angel also required more hand painting than any other model I built in this series. Also if it isn’t apparent from the photos the Arch Angel is MASSIVE! I compared it to the MG Sinanju in my last post. The archangel is just as long as the MG Sinanju is tall, and I suspect the Arch Angel’s large parts actually have a larger surface area than the MG Sinanju!