Aug 012016
 

I’m revisiting this project as I plan on taking this sucker to Otakon. When I was working on the project, I haphazardly added some tiny little thrusters to the end of the hammer. Even at the time, it didn’t quite look right to me, but it didn’t really hit me until I was working on the Hi Nu project. Below are pictures I originally took of the Gusion with the hammer and tiny thrusters. You cannot even see them at certain angles.

This was sort of bothering me when I finished the kit, but I didn’t quite know what was really bothering me. Not until I was working on the Hi Nu project did it come slamming into my brain. There was just too much negative space at the back of the hammer with the little thrusters and they just look completely out of place. I had just replaced some crappy resin thrusters that had come with the kit with some updated resin thrusters that I had casted from molds of new aluminum thrusters I picked up specifically for the Hi Nu project. So the idea was to place bigger thrusters at the back of the hammer.

Since the aluminum thrusters had multiple parts, I just made casts of the separate pieces and used them to create different sized thrusters. I ripped up the original smaller thrusters and planned out a new layout with the new much larger thrusters. Once the plan looked good, I made more copies, cleaned them, primed them, then painted them. Then I glued them into place. Here’s a picture with the difference.

gusion_hammer_redux

I think this is a definite improvement over the wimpy little thrusters. They are beefier and there’s much less negative space at the back of the hammer. Here are some more pictures.

You can always go back to fix things. And no, I’m not fixing the bloody decals 🙂

Jul 152016
 

Last time I posted an update, it was for the damn V-fin that broke a few times. So with that, we go back a few days before the break as I was continued to paint the kit in parts. The upper torso was done so I took the painted parts and did a quick assembly. I’m liking this paint progress because I’m not getting burnt out with masking a ton of parts and I’m getting decent visual cookies that keep me chugging along.

The upper torso done, time to get on with the legs and feet.

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Jul 092016
 

So you broke a v-fin? It happens. It happens at the worst time possible. Is there actually a good time for breaking a V-fin? Possibly, when cutting it up to create a super saiyan v-fin. But most of the time, we scream obscenities when this happens. And this happened to me a few nights ago when I had just got done with all the principal painting for the VP Hi Nu kit I’ve diligently picked back up. What better way to kill the momentum, then snapping a part that has survived multiple boxing and unboxing, moves from one workshop to another, from one build gathering location to another, etc. The back of the damn Hi Nu is horribly imbalanced due to the amount of solid resin pieces added by the conversion kit. My original stand that held the kit didn’t hold and the kit fell backwards. As it did this, the V-fin, already glued to the head piece snagged on one my fat sausage like finger and, *snap* the inner piece of the fin goes flying to who knows where. Carpet probably ate it.

It’s resin, but the process to fix this is the same as any other bandai V-fin out there.

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Jun 132016
 

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
 

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 232016
 

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
 

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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