The box comes with a set of decals with a ton of choices of markings. I decided to go with an arrow on the right shoulder and the Ultramarines insignia on the left. To prep for them I brushed on some Future.
Meantime, I painted the Purity Seal with Transparent Red on top of Foundation White for the seal and Desert Yellow over Sand Light for the parchment. Both were given a Vallejo Model Wash Brown wash and drybrushed with Foundation White.
Next I detailed the eyes with a spot of Foundation White in the corners to give an impression of reflection. I also lightly painted the Aquila with Silver again to pop up the details.
The Bolter was given the same treatment as the figure: a base color of Silver and Ultramarine, then a wash with Model Wash Black, then detailed painting with Ultramarine and Gunmetal Gray, then highlights with Sky Blue and Silver which were then toned down with a wash of Ultramarine and Gunmetal Gray.
I then went back to the figure to do clean-up like around the eyes and to lessen some of the preshades on the limbs. I also decided to redo the highlights with Sky Blue. Then I put on the decals on the shoulders. They were surprisingly opaque but didn’t really want to conform around the curves of the shoulders so I had to brush on a few layers of Mark Softer along with using a sharp knife to cut the decals so they can conform better. The last step was to then attach the Bolter.
And I’m done with the figure! Doing up the base is next.
So I was expecting to finish this build by this weekend… but it was not to be…
I decided to assemble the major assemblies together before doing the panel line wash, so first up, the gun was clamped in between the two part bottom fuselage.
Then the head assembly was cemented into position.
Next the engines and intakes are glued in place.
The gun and bottom fuselage are then attached and I’m primarily done. The rest would be panel washed separately before a final assembling together.
So I first did a wash on the port wing with Vallejo Model Wash Black Gray and it turns out that the Future coat I did was not thick enough and I had to really go in and scrub the wash to get rid of it. And even after doing that, there are still stains all around the wing. I’ll need to do another gloss coat over the whole kit to get it smoother.
So the kit is now shelved for another round of gloss coating. In the meantime, I panel washed the landing gear with no issue with Vallejo Model Wash Gray which gave them some subtle depth. I then painted the clear bits Transparent Red or Blue and brushpainted Future over them to prepare for final installation.
So, a delay then. But luckily not too much of one.
I decided to depict a Space Marine from the Ultramarines chapter which means an overall blue color scheme. Painting begins with a black undercoat. I’m using AK Interactive Black Primer for this.
Then it’s spraying Vallejo Foundation White on the areas where logically would be the brightest. It’s also here that I fixed some of the seamlines and sprue cut marks.
Then it’s a liberal coat of Vallejo Ultramarine over the whole figure. Taking care not to totally cover the black color in the crevices. The Aquila (eagle emblem) was left un-colored.
Next is an overall thick wash with Vallejo Model Wash Dark Gray.
Then I go back in with Ultramarine, making sure I don’t paint into the corners so the wash is still visible. I then painted the shoulder armor and Aquila with Model Air Metal Silver. They should be gold color but my bottle of gold has split and can’t be used. It’s also at this point where I painted the mouth piece and joints with Vallejo Black Gray.
Following that is another wash of dark gray over the silver and a much lighter wash into all the details on the figure. I touch up with ultramarine if the wash gets too heavy.
For the eyes, I first painted Foundation White as a base and a few coats of Vallejo Transparent Red over them.
Then it’s time for highlights. I first used Vallejo Sky Blue on the edges and then toned them down with another thin wash of black gray. The results are I think a bit too subtle but acceptable. I also added some very subtle highlighting of the silver parts with white.
So, a bit more detailed painting, decals, boltgun and the base next.
Detail work begins with the anti glare panel and a black band that surrounds the nose. The Hasegawa decal is a multipart affair the Samueldecal sheet doesn’t even include one so I have to mask and spray it. I also took the opportunity to paint the inlets on the fuselage. It was also at this point when I realized the canopy frame needed to be black also. Note to self: always look at references.
As you can see, the work isn’t very done very cleanly. So I ended up redoing most of it.
After a layer of Future, decaling begins. The Samueldecal require me to cut as close as possible to the markings to reduce the amount of extra decal film. The red Macross logo also came with a white roundel so I had to stack the colored decal over it to make sure the white colored sections are opaque. I then carefully cut the decals wherever they cover panel lines with a sharp knife so when I do the panel line wash it will still flow down the panel line.
The decals are robust and thin but the markings themselves ‘chip’ off quite easily as can be seen on the photo below. Otherwise though, they are surprisingly easy to use and they snuggle down very well with some Mark Softer.
In the photos the decals still look wrinkly which should cure smooth. Once they are all cured I will do touch-ups with paint.
Media: Injection Plastic
The MSA-003 Nemo is a mass production mobile suit developed by Anaheim Electronics. It is an upgrade of the RMS-179 GM II with improved power, armor, acceleration and maneuverability. The Nemo was first fielded in UC 0086 by the AEUG and Karaba during the Gryps Conflict and FIrst Neo Zeon War.
The MSA-003 would remain as a frontline unit well into UC 0096, where they saw action during the Zeon attacks on Dakar and Torrington Base.
The Nemo first appears in the series Gundam Zeta however the first HGUC of this MS is the variant that appears in Gundam Unicorn. Besides the different color scheme, this Nemo is armed with the same bullpup-styled rifle as the GM Custom and not a puny beam pistol. Otherwise, everything is the same.
Like most recent HGUC kits, this one is a marvel in engineering with nearly no seamlines. The breakdown of parts also cater to painting in sub-assemblies. While it’s still not perfect, I can safely say it’s on par with the older MG kits for sure. Bandai however, still has a habit of molding the weapons in two long halves which means there’s a seamline running down the whole thing.
As usual, snapfitting the thing is no issue at all. And prep work was thankfully minimal (the vents on the shoulders are particularly hard to fix so I didn’t) even though Bandai likes to have a lot of sprue connections on each part for some reason. The visor was given a coat of Future and set aside. As is my standard practice now, this will be an OOB build.
I used the following colors for this kit:
I decided to go with the default color scheme with a slight deviation. So it’s Pastel Green for the primary color, Blue Angel Blue and Prussian Blue for the blue parts in a splinter pattern and US Gray for all the exposed internal frame. For the red and yellow parts, I added a layer of white color first before the actual colors so they will be bright. For the transparent green parts, I used silver as a base. To break up the monotony of an all gray rifle, I decided to paint the handguard Pastel Green. The rifle now looks even more like the real-life L85A1.
Most of the parts are airbrushed over a very thin layer of Vallejo White Primer with details/mistakes picked out/fixed with hand brushing. To add a bit of detail I masked and handpainted a yellow band on the right skirt which I didn’t do properly. I also handpainted the cockpit hatch Insignia Red. For the record, Model Master Acryl just doesn’t compare with Vallejo when it comes to brush painting.
After a coat of Future, I added a minimal number of decals from Bandai and third party sheets. As per my usual practice, I decorated the shield with some art: this one in particular is of a kangaroo with boxing gloves. Apt since the Nemo can be found in Torrington Base which is in Australia. The decal itself is from Hi-Q Parts. After the decals have cured I wiped them down with a wet tissue to remove any remaining residue then brush painted more Future over them. It was at this point that I realized I should have used the EFF markings instead EFSF ones. Oh well.
After that has cured, I then panel lined with Vallejo Model Wash Grey which is lighter than the Dark Grey version I used on the Guncannon. The end result is that the panel lines on the Nemo are very subtle. Not sure which one I prefer yet though. For the blue parts, gray for the panel lines will be useless, so I went with a very thinned wash of sky blue. I think it may be a bit too bright but I’ll live with it. No other finishing techniques were used so as to keep the Nemo looking clean and new (-ish).
To finish the kit off, I sprayed Vallejo Polyurethane Matt Varnish which required a few passes to be really flat. I ended up with only 2 passes to maintain a slight sheen on everything. The visor was inserted last right before final assembly.
One of the ankle guards broke during final assembly and now there is a gap at the joint that I decided not to fix. Throughout the process of finishing this kit, I noticed that paint was chipping off in various joints due to the tolerances of the fit. In the end, I decided I shall keep this kit in a static pose for the final gallery photos. I will also need to figure out how not to get too much paint onto the joints themselves as it causes the fit to be too tight in some areas (the feet are particularly bad on this one).
And I’m done.
Number 1 for 2016