Jun 272016
 
Hi_Nu_progress

The last time I made an update to this blog about working on this kit was November 17, 2010. And I had just finished priming and was starting to spray the metallic colors for some of the frame pieces. I had originally started this project in March 2008 when the Bandai Hi Nu and Vicious Project conversion kit was around. Over the past 8 years, the kit has been unboxed, looked at, and possibly got some work; but it ALWAYS got boxed back up and thrown back onto the shelves. It’s gotten to a point of being a running gag on being in development hell. Motivation to finish a kit plays a huge part in actually finishing kits. It’s not that I didn’t have the time to finish it; I just was not motivated enough. I’m sure I had some more recently updated pictures on my computer, but all I could find is what I’ve already uploaded. And it is only a picture of the sand – prime – sand process. And that process alone is excuse enough to kill any project.

I even had a paint scheme planned out all those 8 years ago. That’s completely changed now since I started back up this past week. At this point, I just want to finish the sucker, so nothing too fancy with the paint scheme. I’ve had some Hi Nu decals sitting for longer than 8 years, so time to stick with the basic scheme; with just the smallest amount of personalization. The parts are strewn on my workbench and I’m quite surprised that I’m not missing anything. At least nothing vital so far.

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Jun 132016
 
shiki_2_0_completed 019_JPG

I picked up this kit immediately when it came out last year and started working on it. Back then I was finishing up the waterfront diorama and only soaked the kit’s runners in some purple power to strip it and just built it at one of the monthly build gatherings. To be honest, it looked pretty damn good in all it’s translucent nakedness. It would be really cool to completely do up the internal frame and clear coat the translucent parts and be done with it. Maybe a later project, I really liked the kit. For this one, I really wanted to paint some gold. I have a ton of gold paint. Finisher’s blue gold, finisher’s red gold, alclad pale gold, alclad titanium gold, alclad polished brass (very close to a gold), Mr color super metallic gold, testor’s enamel gold, gaia color bright gold, and an endless combination of chrome/polished aluminum/ + clear yellow or a custom mix of clear yellow/clear red/clear orange. I had some testing to do, and I sprayed a few swaths on a test part to see what looked best.

I decided on Finisher’s red gold since I wanted a warmer gold in comparison to the others but I also did not want a very yellow gold or bright gold for that matter.

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Jun 122016
 
display_base_standoff

A few days ago, I was reading through some threads on reddit/r/gunpla and came across a thread asking about where to buy a specific type of display base. One of the users responded with a few links on how to build your own, and from this link in particular, I was inspired to search out some local suppliers and do my own version. The basic premise to the base are a few sheets of acrylic and some metal standoffs. The plastic pieces are easy, I’ve been grabbing scrap acrylic from local shops for a while and I dropped by one near my work and they sell the scrap by the pound. I picked up about 4 pounds of scrap plastic; gloss black, clear, and white and in different thicknesses. The next item was a little harder to find, the metal standoffs. There are plenty of sources online (amazon, eBay, online retailers, etc) But I wanted to see these in person before I picked some out; so I found a local sign shop supplier that was a wholesaler. The guy there hooked me up for a small sale since I wasn’t a sign shop (they only sell to sign shops)

So I picked up some metal standoffs seen in the above picture. Metallic black, chrome, and satin aluminum in the 13mm x 13mm size. They didn’t have the red and blue metallic ones in that size so I ended up with 13mm x 19mm, they’re a little taller. They sell individually for about 1.50 – $2 a piece, so I ended up spending about $42 or so for the 5 sets of 4.

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May 262016
 
rtf_5_2016 001_JPG

RoboToyFest is an event that happens twice a year in Pasadena, once in May and then once in October. Last year, Those Gundam Guys were invited to judge their Gundam Model Contest. Not wanting to change the format, we were invited back again and due to a slight miscommunication, we didn’t know about our implied invitation until last Friday. It’s a damn good show and any change we have to promote the hobby we’ll jump at; so we made a few posts on our Facebook page and then headed out to Pasadena this past Sunday for the event. And this also gives us an opportunity for some SCGMC fundraising with our shirt sales. Unfortunately, we didn’t get a chance to advertise this show much, but since we’re going to be there in October, we should mention that THERE IS A GUNDAM MODEL CONTEST!!! And it’s perfect for folks getting ready for SCGMC in November, there’s just enough time to put your kits out there and get some critiques from us and possibly make improvements for the next contest *cough* SCGMC *cough*

Ok, enough blabbing, onto the contest.

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May 262016
 
aurora (11)_JPG

Years ago, there were modelers in Japan that had a really cool reflective/rainbow like effect on Gundam eyes, GM Visors, and even mono eyes. I remember one sculpting group names Studio Reckless always had their display kits done with this effect. And they also sold the product they used. For the US market, this was pretty hard to come by until AkoCreation started selling the product. They then further improved on the product by adding an adhesive backing. And unfortunately, their site is no longer up, so we’ll have to find another source for the product. The local crafts store should have a product very similar and probably much cheaper. But the focus of this post is on the application for this particular product.

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May 232016
 
grimgerde_commission 055_JPG

A little over a week ago, I picked up the 1/100 Grimgerde as a commission project. The customer sent an email to me back in early March asking if I could build and paint the kit straight out of the box. The kit wasn’t released yet, so the project waited. Late April, the kit got released, but I wasn’t able to get my hands on the kit until May 14 when the local sources got the kit in stock. We had a build gathering, so it was the perfect day to start cutting, sanding, and snapping the kit together. I didn’t finish the job at the build gathering because things generally degenerate to food, drink, and for this past gathering; hanging out around the fire pit roasting marshmallows and making s’mores. Twas a good build gathering.

I got about this far at the build gathering:

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Apr 252016
 
gusion_100_completed 028_JPG

I learned nothing from my mistake with the 1/144 Gusion, and colossally fucked it all up again with the 1/100. Just look at the shoulders for the 1/100 as well as the 1/144. It’s not the same issue per say, but it’s the same underlying issue that resulted in the problem. But we’ll get to that later.

First, there’s the final bits of detail paint work and the ever-so-fun patience game once all the paint has been sprayed. The first gloss coat needs time to cure. Decal application needs time for the decal softening and setting solutions to work. The second layer of gloss coat needs to cure. The enamel wash needs to be applied – then a bit of time to allow it to partially dry, then the cleanup then letting it sit to fully dry. And the final flat coat and letting that cure. But once the flat coat is done, we’re not quite done yet either. Since there are some detail parts that need attention as well as the final assembly. It’s damn hard fighting the temptation to only wait an hour after the final flat to dry to the touch and just get in and start assembling and gluing final detail bits. The flat coat is like any layer of paint, it needs time to cure. The one hour, dry to the touch ain’t gonna cut it. My impatience has caused horrific accidents at this stage from fingerprints to marred paint. Patience sucks ass; but is a necessary evil.

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