Last night and the previous night, more painting was done on the kit. The internals were treated to a base coat of Finisher’s gloss black (this issue may be important later in the post). Then the main internals were painted with Alclad Magnesium. A few selected pieces were painted using Alclad Steel. The hydraulics were done with chrome and burnt metal. Most of the main kit has been painted, and parts of the backpack section have also been painted.

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The white armor pieces were base coated with Finisher’s Bright Red. Since the peripheral armor pieces are red, I wanted a red shade to the white. The important issue with this paint technique, and any other pre-shading technique is to get an even color tone. In a good number of cases, the parts are painted piece by piece. It is important to compare painted pieces to each other to match up color tones, otherwise, the finished kit will look a bit odd.

The yellow parts were treated to a base white coat. This was followed by a spraying of clear yellow. This creates a much brighter yellow. Same tone issue as teh above are important here, as more layers of clear will darken the tone, so it is very important to check for tonal differences.

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I ran into a problem. And I am not entirely sure of the root problem as this has never happened to me before, but because it has never happened to me before, I believe I can narrow down the cause. The ABS joint pieces are brittle and breaking apart. Most evident are in the smaller ABS shoulder and hand joints. The slightest pressure to put the pieces together is causing the parts to stress and completely snap. Now, this could be from soaking the kit in industrial strength cleaner. I have only recently started to soak the kits (for a short period of time) in industrial strength cleaner. The cleaner may be reacting to the ABS causing it to become brittle. I’ll have to do some further testing to be absolutely sure.

The other possibility is that the Finisher’s paint I used is too hot. I did not prime the parts prior to spraying the Finisher’s, so the paint’s strength may have caused a weakening in the plastic’s structure making it brittle. But I have never run into a problem with Finisher’s being too hot for any plastic.

The last possibility is that Bandai’s ABS is utter crap. Perhaps the engineering of the kit and plastic composition is just not to standards for real model builders. That these kits are truly toys, not meant to be painted as the chemicals in paint and cleaning products work to break down the plastic. Has there been a change in the formula that Bandai uses to inject mold their plastic?

Again, nothing is conclusive until I do some tests with older abs plastic, newer abs plastic, in the purple cleaner and with finisher’s paint…. it’s utterly frustrating. I’m going to have these joint pieces and hand internals cast in resin. Worse case scenario, I reinforce the original joint pieces and just make these joints fixed. I build models, not toys; I don’t expect the kits I build to be played with…

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Here are pictures of the completed shoulder and leg.

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This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. dhcloud

    That sucks about the pieces. How many were damaged? Hopefully you figure it out and get this one finished. The pics look good.. but nothing like seeing it in person. It seriously looks like a marble counter top in person.

    Oh.. and the lightbox isn’t working on the pictures in this post.

  2. GameraBaenre

    Broken parts: both hand internals, the four shoulder joints… I’m not moving anything else as I don’t want to stress out the kit… I’m leaning towards making the stupid thing fixed posed…. The quality of the plastic is just retarded.

    No idea on the light box, works for me… the page needs to finish loading for the lightbox things to work.

  3. Darkage

    Actually, those shoulder joints are always crap. Also had a similar problem for a similar joint in the PG aile strike pack. I don’t think it’s a chemical problem. I admit the marble color is cool, but I’m not sure it works with the IJ. It looks a bit like a red camouflage. Well, gonna have to wait and see it finished.

  4. Derringer

    Gamera, in order to make the joints silver and gold on the I. Justice and Strike Freedom, Bandai had to modify the chemical composition of the plastic to get that color instead of the stock gray/black. A lot of people who’ve built the MG Strike Freedom believe its durability was compromised to achieve this coloring.

    If you’ve ever worked with the Strike Freedom MG, you’ll find the gold colored ABS plastic is also a brittle piece of shit and that its wing assembly actually destroys itself every time you move the wings. I believe the “silver” stock color of the ABS plastic on the MG I. Justice also suffers from this.

  5. GameraBaenre

    Yeah, I figured it was a factory defect. And no, this is the first seed kit I’ve actually really worked on… I don’t count the PG Strike as I just snapped it and then ended up selling the damn thing unbuilt…. But yeah, the whole brittleness bugs the crap out of me… An exercise in casting to replace the stupid joints. At the very least, the resin will be much stronger than that of the stupid bandai ABS shit.

  6. Logan67

    Astray Red Frame MG
    Tried to make a titanium Astray Red Frame Gundam. From a vid I saw on Youtube on a Sinanju build.
    Painted the frame with AK Interactive chrome (gloss shine) enamel for a base coat.
    Let it sit overnight to dry. Then painted it with Tamiya clear red X-27.
    After it dried, I tries to build the model and all the joints broke.
    The other parts I painted with Tamiya acrylic and Model Master enamel were fine.
    I think it was the AK Interactive enamel (1st time I ever used this paint) that did something to the plastic that made it brittle.
    Will either have to build it as a fixed joint or do a diorama where the Gundam has been in battle and was recovered for parts and repair.

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