Gunner's Gunpla

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M-308 Gunner
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Gunner's Gunpla

Post by M-308 Gunner » Tue Nov 19, 2013 4:33 pm

I've caught the Gunpla bug hard since I picked up an MG Shining Gundam at Dragon*Con this year, and I wanted to share some of the progress I've made in building since then.

A bit of background on my gunpla experience: I did some plastic model building as a kid, mostly with Star Wars kits and a few assorted other sci-fi things. In the early 2000s when Gundam Wing was popular in the U.S. I got back into model building with those kits, and I built a lot of the really cheap 1/144 stuff. I painted sloppily with Testors enamels and used Zig pens for the panel lines.

A bit later I discovered that spraying was far superior to hand-painting. I built a few decent-looking kits with that knowledge in hand.

These days I tend to operate from the Danny Choo school of gunpla - gunpla for busy people. I paint, panel-line, and weather, but I tend not to bother with sanding or puttying if I can avoid it.

So with that in mind, here are the kits I've worked on since September of this year. More to come as I finish them.

Caution: I have four kits to talk about, so long post ahead.

001. Master Grade Shining Gundam (Photobucket Gallery)

Materials used: Tamiya sprays, Tamiya/Model Master acrylics, Gundam markers, generic paint markers, Testors Dull Cote, basic hobby tools.

Comments: This was my first MG kit and I loved building it. As it was my first kit in years I worried mainly about getting it to look something like the samples on the package. Since this kit I've started doing some mild custom work and weathering, but I was pretty happy with how Shining turned out. It's fun to play with and pose, although the screws in the frame make some of its joints very tight.

The most trouble I had was with the Core Lander, which required some hand-painting. I was still trying to figure out what types of paints to use, and some techniques didn't quite work, so I ended up with some sloppy areas. (That's why there are no pics of the lander in the gallery...)

002. SD Gundam GP-03 Dendrodium (Photobucket Gallery)

Materials used: Tamiya sprays, Krylon clear acrylic spray, Tamiya/Model Master acrylics, Gundam markers, generic paint markers, Testors Dull Cote, basic hobby tools.

Comments: This kit was actually leftover from a time long ago when Big Lots got a bunch of unsold Gundam stuff from the tail end of Gundam's popularity in the US. I bought it for $3 or $4, but it sat in a box for many years when I wasn't into gunpla. As far as I can tell, it's the same kit as the BB series, but it came in English packaging with the design used on the SD Gundam Force toys.

Mostly I built this one because it was there and to test out one or two techniques. For one thing, I tried out the Krylon acrylic spray as a top coat instead of the Testors Dull Cote. I don't recommend this - it left a bumpy texture on the plastic where I used it. Stick with Dull Cote or Mr. Super Clear.

In any case, I didn't do much of anything creative with the build so there's not much left to say. It's a fun little kit but it's irritating to get the Stamen in and out of the Orchis.

003. HGUC Char's Custom Zaku II (Photobucket Gallery)

Materials used: Mr. Super Clear matte spray, Model Master acrylics, Tamiya weathering masters, Gundam markers, generic paint markers, basic hobby tools.

Comments: I tried something new with this one. Since I don't have access to an airbrush and Char's suit has weird plastic colors, I decided to see how the kit would look with nothing but a layer of Mr. Super Clear matte.

The effect was pretty nice, as you can see, and I made sure not to skimp on the panel lines and detailing so the whole kit looks like it was painted. For this one I tried out the Tamiya weathering sets, and I was absolutely thrilled with the results. I'm sure there are more professional methods of weathering but I now have sets A-D and I'm using them until they're gone.

Some actual painting was required for this one, particularly on the heat hawk. Nothing too difficult though, and I added in some silver details to give the kit some variation from the pink/brown color scheme.

I did a mild modification on the suit's head, using a bit of clear plastic from a cup to make a visor. I just wedged it in the helmet and it works fine. I also carved out a bit of battle damage on the shield using a hobby knife and a silver paint marker.

The HGUC molds might be aging, but I still have a ton of fun with these kits. I realized after building the Zaku II that I don't really need the modern MG or RG hyper-articulation to enjoy a kit.

004. HGUC G-Armor Set (Photobucket Gallery)

Materials used: Tamiya sprays, Mr. Super Clear matte spray, Model Master acrylics, Mr. Color, Tamiya weathering masters, Gundam markers, generic paint markers, soldering iron, basic hobby tools.

Comments: Shining was my first MG, and this was my first RX-78. I feel like I've arrived. :)

I've always loved the G-Fighter, so I was sure to get this set rather than just the plain Gundam kit. I had a bit of a problem finding a darker blue spray for the G-Fighter's main body, so I went with the Tamiya TS-55 spray. It did a decent job but was different enough from the plastic that any not-quite-covered spots stood out pretty badly. I had to re-spray some of the parts for that reason.

I went all-out with weathering and detailing again, and this time I had the "soot" master, so I was able to make proper scorch marks on the cannons. I also took another step in the battle damage department and burned some gashes into one of the RX's shields, then painted them silver and added in more soot to give them a burned appearance. I think it turned out pretty well.

I used the "gun metal" master for the shadowing/scuffing on the Gundam's white parts, and went over with a wet rag to lessen the effect. I really liked the result.

Only (again) the core fighter parts gave me any trouble, particularly the folded up one that's supposed to attach to the G-Bull. I actually just didn't paint some of the areas that you'd never see, especially since I won't often have the G-Bull on display. And if you see the pic of the core fighter, yes, I know I missed the white areas on the sides of the fuselage. Oops!

It's a really fun set altogether. The only problem I have is that it's tough to squeeze the Gundam's legs into the G-Fighter aft section, and I've had some paint scuffing as a result. You're supposed to fold the Gundam's feet down to fit them in there, but I find it's easier and less stressful if you just take the feet off altogether. No one will notice.

More kits to come in the future. I'm not working on one at the moment, but before the end of the year I'm planning on getting a couple more HGs, probably from 0079. I'm thinking Gouf, Zaku I, or Dom/Rick Dom.

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SpideyWing
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Re: Gunner's Gunpla

Post by SpideyWing » Mon Nov 25, 2013 1:21 am

"Because Rocket pants!" And now I want to see HGUC Gundam Sky as an old 40s Sci-Fi hero.

Seriously, that is a nice G-Armor set. I like the overall look of it, as it reminds me of a post-battle look for the Gundam.
Signature to be determined later...look! A Puppy!

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M-308 Gunner
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Re: Gunner's Gunpla

Post by M-308 Gunner » Mon Nov 25, 2013 1:08 pm

Thanks! I'm almost tempted to buy more G-Armor sets so I can have the components displayed in their different configurations at the same time.

But I've got a lot of other stuff I want to do before I get to that point. :)

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