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.
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.
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…
Here are pictures of the completed shoulder and leg.