Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The HGBF Sengoku Astray 70% Finished

Yesterday evening, I had to finish this kit because our youngest wanted a Gundam to battle with his big bro's Kampfer Amazing.

No mouth piece yet because I still have to paint the gold area there...

It still needs:

1.) More panel lining
2.) Coloring
3.) Extra decals
4.) Trim and sharpen the points on the Oni shield

Now if only I didn't have work, I'd do all of that today.

Unfortunately... Nope!

Some New Stuff that came in the past weeks

The MG Banshee Norn Final Battle Version. Been targeting this one on Mandarake and had at least 2-3 missed opportunities before I finally bagged it.

Great deal from Mandarake! Would have been greater if customs didn't charge me extra though.

Excited to see the clear green psycho-frame parts. I wanted this version of the Banshee for a couple of things: the Armed Armor parts and the bada$$-looking Revolving Launcher. 

Checked all runners and it's complete! Funny how all the psycho-frame runners are labeled "clear orange" instead of "clear green". So I am assuming that the instructions and build process is exactly the same as the original Banshee with added process at the end.

The HGBF Sengoku Astray. A gift from my wife for a special occasion. :)

Our youngest actually likes this one more. So instead of picking up the RE/100 Dijeh, I opted for this instead. It's a variation of the Red Frame Astray, anyway. So anyone who has read my earlier posts knows I love that unit! :)

Aside from the mid-year campaign cards, we got these free decals, too! So this HG kit (and our older son's Kampfer Amazing) will look extra awesome!

I just can't take the look of a V-fin that's not sharp...

Even though I know that our youngest will probably borrow this from me, I decided to sharpen the fins...

Cut the excess with a nipper...

Shaved extra bits with a knife...

Smoothened with 1000, 1200, 2000, 2500 grit sandpaper... (in that order) The left spike is done in this pic. The right side one still needs work which is why it looks a bit blunt.

After about 30 minutes, more or less... Success! I can sharpen it a bit more, but I don't like my son to hurt himself (or the V-fin).

The MG Char's Zaku II ver. 2.0. Been waiting for this to be available locally for quite some time. Now my MG RX-78-2 Ver. 3.0 won't be lonely anymore.

A smaller box than the newer MGs...

But packed to the top. Honestly, I didn't think I can pack everything in that box again after checking contents. :)

All accounted for! Now send it to storage until maybe later this year...

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

MG Dark Matter Exia Start!

While still waiting to finish detail painting on my Astray Red Frame, I decided to start on the MG DM Exia before my boxes of unfinished kits pile up...

Sprayed with clear matte acrylis epoxy.
Starting to lighten up that "Dark" (Matter) cockpit interior.

Toothpick painting the pilot (for the very small portions).

Adding more colors to the interior.

After another pass of clear matte before assembly to protect the paint.

Teensy-weensy stuff that won't be seen unless someone opens the cockpit hatch of the kit and flashes a light into it. Why am I doing this to myself?

After taking a macro outside, I noticed that I didn't paint the pilot's chest armor well...

'Nuff said!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

1/144 Gundam Portent Improvement Plans

I've been waiting to post something about this kit for a long time, so maybe I can spare a few minutes to share it here.

This kit was actually a Father's Day gift from my wife and kids. It was given to me accompanied by the Portent Flyer expansion kit.

I have finished building it in one day because it's only an HG and I wanted to improve on the kit a bit more since I am inspired by Gundam Build Fighters Series (I watch it with my kids who also got to love the show. They don't want the war-oriented Gundam series that much.)

Here's what I did:
Kotobukiya rivets, hatches and cylinders! I plan to put some in the kit.

Covering the stuff I don't want sprayed with topcoat. Used sticky tack and molded in with a toothpick.

"I can't see!"

The back of the ankle is just too plain. I should add something...

Rivets for my idea!

The left one is bare, the right one has the extra rivet piece. It was glued in with plastic cement.

Drilled some small holes on some places (left side leg) to add some interesting details in there. Shia (the pilot) will kill me for drilling holes on her beautiful mobile suit.

Originally wanted a small hole on the sides of the feet, but I changed my mind - rivet all the way!

More drilling on the arms!

More drilling on the bottom of the feet! I feel like a mole!

Next: Flat coat spray and color detailing!!!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Looking back at my MG RX-78-2 Ver. 3.0 build

Several years ago, when I was younger and didn't care much for the world, I always thought that the 1/100 Gundam X-Divider I made was already Master Grade. I thought the size was the gauge of this "grading system". I wasn't very much impressed by it, but I loved the build. It was the excitement of putting together very small pieces and slowly turning it into a poseable figure that really got me into plastic kits.

So every time I saw a MG kit, I always thought it was a simple build in a larger scale. But after research, I found out I was wrong. MG is more detailed than the No-Grade X-Divider I made before. In fact, it was more than twice the complexity of anything I had built before when it comes to Gundam. Kotobukiya's HMM not included.

So I decided to take the challenge of building an MG. What was all the fuss about with this grade of kit? I knew it was challenging, but will it be exciting to build?

I tried it out... My first MG build - The grandaddy of Gundams, the RX-78-2 Ver. 3.0!!!

That's the box, those are the first runners you'll be dealing with.

The first part is building the Core Fighter. Of course if you're planning to use the core block instead, feel free to skip the first part of the instructions. I didn't.

The built core fighter. I kinda mishandled the left wing, I think. It's become a floppy mess. :(

Tiny yellow vents! You don't need yellow paint to finish this kit!

So in MG, you rarely need to paint anything unless you want it to look super detailed, or if you want a customized design.
These foil stickers could be a pain in the a-- to place on those tiny elbow joint pieces!

Patience and holding your breathe helps!

Honestly, these foil stickers tarnished even before I finished the kit. So much for hard work!

Upper body done.

The amount of pieces for these legs alone may rival the parts count of  the simplest HG kit out there. But the color separation created after you finish it is reward enough.

The color separation I mentioned. Awesome!

Now going to the waist and crotch piece...

That yellow "V" piece is probably the smallest piece I've encountered with this kit. Don't sneeze and lose it, okay?

I need a clip for this one...

And a magnifying glass on a stand...

Moving on to test fit the parts...

Looks great!

Detaching parts again for panel lining. I used the GUNDAM MARKER Slushing Sumi-ire Pen (grey). 

This is what it looks like before clean up. I use either an alcohol-dipped cotton bud or an  eraser to clean up the excess.

Almost finished with the decals here...

Test shot of final kit. Just before I top coat it with matte...

From a side angle...

The back...

The shield...

Detached everything again for top coating. Funny how many times I assembled and disassembled this fella...

Stuck to the bottom of its own box via sticky tack and ready to be sprayed...

After spraying, it dulled the color a bit and removed the plastic luster. Just like I want it!

After finishing the kit, drink a cup of coffee! Good job! I've pat myself on the back and admired my creation.

So what do I think of Master Grades after this? It is awesome! If you find the HG kits boring, you can step up a few notches of complexity and jump in on the MG scale. You won't be bored. Hehe! Plus, it's great to see a very old design re-imagined into this ver 3.0. The amount of detail and attention given to this kit is mind-boggling. I wish Bandai will maintain this level of quality and detail on their MG kits. 

Coming up next...

The kit I've been eyeing for a very long time!

But I've already posted the finished Astray a few posts back. Hahaha! Weird.