May 242017
 

I got to thinking about the kit and the mods I made for the thing and never really got around to listing them out. It is not only for the competitions that I plan on attending; but a visual reference to how much really changed on the kit from the stock photos Bandai and others have put out to the dizzying camoed painted completed version I have now. I also realized that when I snapped “final” pictures the other day, I left some sticky tack on the lower area of the GM’s slide down visor. So I took some new pictures with some slightly altered lighting to fix the rather harsh looking light against the kit.

Using stock photos, here’s the direct comparisons:

The list of mods after the jump:

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May 212017
 

This past week was spent finishing up work on the GM Sniper 2. Realistically, there were only 7 or so steps left from the last update. The decals, the after decal gloss coat, panel lines, flat coat, weathering (in two steps, paint chipping and pastels), then the final flat coat. So there’s not much to see in the progress other than some quick snaps during the above processes.

But the sniper is still only the first part, granted, it really is the “main” part of the project. I still have the complementing base that needs to be finished before this project as a whole can be tied off as truly finished. I’ll quickly go through the final steps for the GM then get back into the base work, and at the very end, the completed gallery; all after the jump!

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May 152017
 

Its been two weeks since the last update post. There were a few busy weekends where not much progressed and all the work in these past two weeks was just the endless cycle of paint-mask-paint-mask. So this will just show you how f-ing tedious that process was and hopefully show that it’s actually worth the grinding. The last bit of work done last night was spraying the clear gloss over the kit. Several coats of clear gloss. And the reason for this will become more apparent as we progress through this update. Before taking the kit apart into small subsections for the clear gloss, I snapped a few assembled pictures. It’s a good time to bring back the snapped pictures I took over 3 months ago when I first started this project to get a side by side comparison.

Frontside:

Backside:

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May 022017
 

Work has me on travel a bit, and last week, I was in Ecuador, Guayaquil specifically. I did make a quick picture post of the skirts right after getting 90% of it painted up just as a quick teaser and to keep my motivation going. But I didn’t really go into details about the process. So let us backup a little bit to before I even started throwing colors onto the kit and it was still being primed and sanded. The paint scheme I mentally pictured required a little bit of testing before I jumped right into spraying the parts and masking. In the past, not doing the proper color tests and just trying things have bitten me pretty hard on the ass. I mixed up several batches of colors and got to work on spoon testing.

When I was in Hong Kong in March; I picked up some metal templates; a square and a hex. Each template has 4 sizes, the largest on one side, then the other side is split into three sizes. The template is pretty nice for cutting exact size squares or hexs. Tape is just placed on the template, then I used a toothpick to run along the edges to press down the tape, and finally, run a brand new hobby knife blade along the pressed in grooves and I have my cut squares. A test spoon is painted with the first layer of color then the masking and paint scheme tests begin.

Fast forward the different levels of masking and I was satisfied enough with the results that I could proceed. The spoon test also showed me that I needed to change the masking technique slightly. But the important part of color matching worked, so progress continues on the actual kit after the jump.

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Apr 202017
 

It’s been awhile since I last updated on this project. We got new Kampfer shirts in, so the last update was used to promote that. Somewhere in the middle of this post there will be some shameless plugging for our new Kampfer shirts as well as our reprinted Shiki shirts. But enough of that; on with the update. Starting off, I felt that the red bit for the crotch needed a slight bit of detail so I took the scriber and cut some plastic on the sides. It’s relatively simple plastic removal but does a decent job of adding some detail.

Returning to the rear skirts; in the last update, I had just started putting together a scratch built knife and was creating a sheath for it. I trimmed down that plastic piece from the GM Spartan conversion kit and sanded it down to fit into the existing spot on the rear skirt. I also had to sand down some of the internal area for the rear skirt piece for the damn thing to fit. Once the piece fit; I drilled into the plastic and glued a magnet into place. I drilled a corresponding spot on the knife’s guard and added a magnet there. Now the knife is actually held by the power of the magnet instead of friction or just gluing it into place. I wanted the knife functional. A little priming shows areas to fix.

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Apr 062017
 

I was originally going to post this progress update on Monday; but since we had just gotten back from Tatsu Hobby’s contest; I wanted that post to stand on its own. So a few days later, I’ve continued to plug away at the kit as I got some new ideas flowing but still need to finish off the old ideas that I’ve already started. I also finalized the work on the new toe and will show the process of making resin copies. Since a majority of the build work is done; I also took some time and sprayed the initial layer of primer over the legs and other parts. At this point, it is about 90% primed. Here’s a quick teaser picture.

More after the jump.

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Mar 272017
 

Finally getting back to work on this project. Taking a two week vacation really breaks the momentum I had going for this kit. I actually thought about bringing pieces of the thing with me to work on while I was in Tokyo and Hong Kong. Then, knowing my damn luck, I would have lost said pieces. So I just quit cold turkey and left everything here. Plus, I really didn’t have time to do any sort of model building while I was gone. Hell, I even got to catch up through the first half of Iron Blooded Orphans by marathoning it on my flight back as my attempt to reset my biological clock and fix the potential week long jet lag. It worked, I only ended up taking an hour long nap before landing back in LAX. Ok, enough digression. My trip to Tokyo and HK was quite fruitful. I ended up picking up a bunch of new tools that I immediately put into use. While in Hong Kong, I visited the Man 66 Hobby shop on the 7th floor of the Richmond Commercial Building in Mong Kok. I saw a damn cool cutting tool, “the Chopper II” which is an improvement on “the Chopper” that I had picked up a couple of months ago. So my first order of business when I got back was to order this via Amazon. It is pretty damn difficult to get back into building mode. So it took a few days. I didn’t quite know where to start; or actually, I wasn’t motivated enough to actually start. But over the last week, I started slow on a few pieces here and there. The majority of the work for this post is focused on the legs. We’ll start off with where I last left off.

So the last update on the project, I had cut up the outer calf parts. The problem is that the cut isn’t precise. So after sanding an opening, I needed to glue some plastic back into place to rebuild some of the screwed up areas. So this past week, I’ve been slowly adding more plastic, sanding it down, test fitting, then adding more plastic back, and resanding, etc. I also glued the two halves back together so that I have a solid connection on the ends. It seems counter intuitive to cut the part in half only to glue it back together, but it makes for a much easier process for this kind of a mod. The last picture in this series shows what it currently looks like. There is still some cleanup work; but I’m progressing. I also added some strips of styrene to the back of the thruster housing. I still need to sand and prep that bit of detail.

Continued after the jump!

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