Painting begins with a base coat of black. For this build, I tried Tamiya XF-1 Flat Black thinned with Mr. Color lacquer thinner for the base coat. Having not have much luck with using acrylic-based primers (I find them hard to use), using this new combo was very easy. I thinned the paint 1:1 and was done in no time. The finish is a lot stronger than acrylic primer : it doesn’t chip as easily. Going forward, I think I’ll base coat with lacquer paint.
I then added a marble coat with a gray color. I hoped that this would add some subtle variation of the actual color. I messed up the marble coat though and only realized why when I was cleaning the airbrush: the paint gunked up in the cup and nozzle. I suspect this is due to using Tamiya Acrylic Retarder on AK Interactive acrylic paint. I’ll need to test this some more.
Taking a look after painting, the marbling effect only shows up in the red colored parts.
I decided to do the marble coat again. As you can see, I’m not that neat about it.
The color scheme is a splinter camouflage of dunkelgrun and grau like what the German Luftwaffe used in WWII. First on is dunkelgrun (dark green). I then masked the pattern and sprayed grau (gray) next.
I do the same for the all the parts that will have the dunkelgrun and grau colors. The inside sections of the pelvis and shoulder plates where then painted in gunship gray.
Once these have cured it’s time for decals.
New year, new project. This time it’s a snapfit kit from Max Factory. The subject is the Soltic Roundfacer, a mass production mecha from the 1980s anime Fang of the Sun Dougram. This show was never exported out of Japan so I’ve never actually watched it. But I’ve always liked the designs of the mecha. For western folks who play Battletech, the Roundfacer would look familiar as FASA pretty much stole the design and renamed it the Griffin. The design of this kit is retro and has a certain charm to it.
Fitting-wise, the kit is not as well done as a typical Bandai kit. Also unlike Bandai, they don’t really make the effort of hide the seamlines. The molding is good in general though, and it can be easily painted in sub assemblies. The polycaps however, aren’t the best. Some of the fitting of the limbs is looser and the arms don’t fit well at all to the body: they fall off even just being left alone. All in all, I would probably rank this between a Bandai and a Wave kit.
The pilot figure will need to be cemented inside the cockpit since nothing holds it in place, which is odd. The size of the pilot also looks to be slightly bigger than 1/72. The gun also pretty much cannot be held with any positive lock by the hand. I fixed that with a small wad of blutack. A pleasant surprise is the prepainted canopy which would have been a challenge to mask properly.
Instead of trying to find and fit a smaller ball or socket polycap into the shoulders I tried the simplest fix first: I carefully sanded the ball joint flatter on one side and they now fit snugly. I did however, manage to lose one of the rings that go between the fist and the cuff so I decided to scratch a new one from some Kotobukiya Round Thrusters. I just needed to make sure the hole I made clears the square polycap on the cuff. The new part I made looks alright. It’s thicker so I went ahead and made another one to replace the remaining kit part.
Seamline fixing is next and I’ll be ready to paint this thing.
A scale modeler’s trip to Tokyo is never complete without visiting at least one of the Yodobashi Camera stores. On my trip in December, I stayed in Shinjuku and happily, Yodobashi Camera Shinjuku was only a 5 minutes walk away. Very dangerous indeed for this modeler.
It turns out that this particular Yodobashi Camera is the first ever opened and it’s huge: it takes up space in 12 separate buildings (!!) and multiple floors in each building. Quite amazing. I went to the hobby and games building and I was greeted with 5 complete floors of products to ogle at. The hobby section alone took up 2 floors.
So I definitely felt like I was a kid in a candy shop. Alas, the missus was on this trip with me and the fact is that my stash is unrealistically big (this is the subject for another post) so I just bought what I felt won’t be easily bought back in Jakarta including a new 0.2mm airbrush for when my cheap China-made 0.2mm eventually breaks down.
I also managed to visit BIC Camera in Shinjuku and Yurakucho but the selections are a lot smaller. Given a choice and a time limitation, Yodobashi Camera is the way to go although I managed to score a Fists of War kit in BIC Camera that Yodobashi didn’t carry.
In any case, any Yodobashi Camera in Japan is a must visit if only to marvel at the amount of products (be it model kits or other stuff) on display. Did I mention the building for watches in the Shinjuku branch takes up 3 floors?
So I completed 8 kits in 2017:
This is 1/3 less than what I completed in 2016. I took a short trip in June and ended up not doing any building till September. Although I finished less kits, I think my work has improved with construction being neater that resulted in less seamline fixing. I also worked on adding some tonal variations to my painting. However, I still find my weathering ‘off’ somewhat, being unable to make them appear random enough.
For the upcoming year, I hope to get into some armor and perhaps a car. And I also want to further improve my weathering. Who knew that it’ll be hard to make things look random? Lastly, I hope to be able to finish at least an even dozen kits again.
Site-wise, here’s a quick look at what happened in 2017:
The stats are not accurate for 2017 because I moved servers in August so I lost all the previous tracked results. I also had less posts because starting this year, I consolidated my work logs so each post was longer and more detailed.
Since I’m building more, I’ve been spending less time writing for the blog, hence I only did 1 preview and 2 reviews in the last year. While it’s a compromise I’m willing to make, I think I’ll try to find some time to add more articles and post my thoughts on the state of the hobby. Let’s see how it goes.