Wednesday, July 26, 2017

MG Victory 2 Gundam Ver. Ka


I'll admit that sometimes I buy kits just because they're on sale. At times that has become a bad habit, and has been responsible for the bloat of my backlog. This is something that I have gotten better about, but the MG Victory 2 Ver Ka is a good example. Building and painting kits that I have no connection to often results in some interesting outcomes as I do not feel compelled to capture the stock design.

The MG Victory Gundam is another example of Bandai building a design around a gimmick. In this case the Victory is able to separate itself to large upper and lower body core fighter components. And, like other transforming master grade designs this mobile suit sacrifices: detail, stability, and articulation to pull off this transformation. It's not quite as bad as the MG Delta Plus, but it certainly leaves something to be desired.

In general I don't care of transforming gimmicks, I don't transform my kits because I don't want to scratch up my painted job.

Kit Talk:

The first thing you might notice about my rendition of this kit is the customized color scheme. What you may not noticed are the panel lines I re-scribed throughout the build. I chose to apply the custom color scheme because I thought the base design was too bland. Adding a gentle gradient to the core fighter was a simple way to spice things up. It was also good practice for the design of the fin funnels on the upcoming (in my back log() MG Hi-Nu Gundam.

Unlike most of my kits (99% of them) I opted to use a semi gloss top coat instead of a completely matte version. I think that the semi gloss works well on a clean built and streamlined design like the MG Victory 2. I may continue to use this type of topcoat on upcoming kits like the RG Quanta or MG Freedom 2.0 in my backlog.

The most frustrating element of this entire kit were the red round details on the elbows. In my opinion these parts should have been molded in color and separate from the armor. Because they were not they were an absolutely nightmare to mask and paint. I also attempted reverse washing and hand brushing these elements with very limited success.

If you're interested in picking up this or other kits consider purchasing through the Amazon links on my site. Every purchase you make helps me out tremendously and doesn't cost you a dime!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Gundam Origin HG YMS-07-1 Gouf Production Type


Regardless of whatever fun little history I make up for this kit below. This project was my attempt to kit bash my own YMS 07A Mobile Demonstration Unit kit using parts I already had on hand. It was a short and sweet project that took maybe 6-8 hours and I completed the kit over the course of 1 week.

Mobile Suit History:

The following is my own fictional history of this series of mobile suit and should not be considered cannon. If you like this section please let me know and I may include more like it in future works.

When the YMS-07B-0 Protoype Gouf Tactical Demonstrator was tested, it was heralded as the true successor to the venerable Zaku 2 for earth based operations. The Gouf would be deployed as a command mobile suit as the head of a 3-4 man team, where it's superior mobility and armor would allow it to advance under covering fire to engage enemy forces in close range combat.

During initial trial runs the test pilot Ramba Ral showed superlative skill operating the tactical demonstrator model. However, as the engineers, scientists and other pilots soon discovered; the revolutionary integrated arm weapon systems represented a fatal flaw.

The right arm mounted heat-rod was prone to malfunction. Damage incurred during usage or other environmental factors could cause the rod to seize during retraction; burning out motors or otherwise damaging the winding mechanism within the arm. There is at least one recorded incident of a pilot damaging their own mobile suit with the heat-rod when they misjudged the trajectory of the weapon on a return swing.

The machine gun integrated into the left arm provided it's own problems as well. The short barrel length and compact design of the tri-machine gun limited the effective range of the weapon to less than half of that of the Zaku 2's standard 120mm machine gun. If a 07B-0 pilot found themselves pinned and out-ranged by an opposing force their options for engagement or retreat would be severely limited.

Ultimately the factor that doomed the deployment of this variation of the Gouf was that by not providing this mobile suit with a standard set of humanoid manipulators the Gouf lost access the various weapon systems of the Zaku 2. By utilizing a unique weapon system field technicians would likely find themselves without the parts or ammunition need to keep ahead of battlefield wear and tear. These factors would ultimately limit the Gouf tactically and logistically making it unfit for deployment. Zeon engineers attempted to remedy this fault by providing a 'replacement' arm with a manipulator that could be connected at the forearm. However the extra bulk required by this arm caused clearance issues with the stocks and barrels of many of the machine gun and bazooka models respectively.

That is not the end of the story for the Gouf type mobile suit. Zeon engineers fell back onto the earlier 07A-0 "mobility prototype" Gouf concept. These engineers would integrate a set of Zaku 2 lower arms and manipulators into the design of the Gouf to create The YMS-07-1 Gouf Production type mobile suit. This mobile suit was essentially a high performance successor to the Zaku 2. It featured a more powerful power plant, high ground speeds, greater jumping potential and heavier frontal armor.Ultimately the Gouf saw limited production as the Zeon began to favor the higher mobility and firepower of the upcoming YMS-09 Dom. 

Kit Talk:

This is a kit bash of the HG Gouf Tactical Demonstrator and the HG Char Zaku 2. The kits share many parts which made the kitbashing process very simple. The arms of the Zaku were simply attached to the shoulders the same way they would on the Zaku. I fixed the seamlines present on the forearms using the the process shown in this tutorial. 

The commander horn is a replacement part from one of the Builders Parts HG sets; the stock commander horn was blunt short and uninteresting. The horn was glued into place, but there was a considerable gap left between the two parts that I filled with Mr. Surfacer 500.

I had to scratch build the attachment peg for the Gouf's shield to attach it to the arm. The P-Bandai HG Gouf includes a custom part to attach the shield to the arm. I built this part from a piece of the HG Gouf and pla-plate. I then ground down the Zaku arm to attach the part onto the arm. I painted this component the same navy blue color as the feet, knees and chest. 

The color scheme for this kit was based on the Ms-07B-3 Gouf Custom with the white details taken form the YMS 07A Mobility Type. Similar to the Zaku 2 Ramba Ral custom I made years ago I created a hot glowing gradient along the blade of the heat hawk using orange, yellow, white and a coating of clear orange. I love the contrast that this creates with the blue colors of the mobile suit.

If you're interested in picking up this or other kits consider purchasing through the Amazon links on my site. Every purchase you make helps me out tremendously and doesn't cost you a dime!

HG Origin Dom Test Type


The MSD line of Gundam the Origin kits continues to deliver on really cool, really unusual designs. If this mobile suit looks somewhat familiar that's because it's likely the precursor to MS-06RD-4 Zaku HighMobiltiy Test Type that Aina Sahalin uses at the beginning of the 8th MS Team series.

I really like the design of this model. It's clear from the design that this mobile suit is a prototype due to use of the Zaku type torso and modified Zaku head.

Kit Talk:

This is the third HG Origin kit that I've had a chance to build. So far, each kit from the Origin series has been an excellent build if you can get past the lazy seam line design of the forearms. If you haven't already you can see my tutorial on fixing these seam lines here. 

The basic color scheme of this kit is really uninteresting. To improve the scheme I referenced an earlier build I completed for the HG Gouf Custom. I added a red slash on the check and added a fade to the legs, skirt and shoulders. In hindsight I probably should have added more small red details throughout the design.

If you're interested in picking up this or other kits consider purchasing through the Amazon links on my site. Every purchase you make helps me out tremendously and doesn't cost you a dime!