Painting the Shinden is next.
First is priming with black.
Then I highlighted with white. Like the figures, I sprayed based on the direction of the the main light source being above. As usual, it’s at this point that still more seamlines turned up which require fixing.
While I go through the tedious process of fixing seamlines again, I spent a bit of time experimenting with the camouflage since I hadn’t really have 1 in mind yet other than it will be some sort of desert scheme.
Seamlines duly fixed, I went ahead with the main camo color of tan, in this case, Model Color Iraqi Sand. The color is yellower than expected but I think will tone down nicely after some filters and washes like on the figures.
Next up is the secondary camo color using Game Air Sombre Grey which actually looks blue. The demarcation was originally done freehand but didn’t turn out as well as I’d hoped so I went back in with blutack masking and re-did everything. The right shoulder was painted in red as a unit identifier. I then handpainted the joints Mig AMMO Medium Gunship Grey. The weapons were airbrushed the same color.
Decals and weathering are next.
Time to get more figure painting practice in. The figures were put together with all the accessories except the helmets attached. Starting with the medic, I first primed the figure black.
Then I added highlights with white. This assumes the main light source (ie. The Sun) is up above.
The base colors are handpainted on. The camouflage I’m using is not really based on any real-life uniforms. It’s simply a mix of tan, green, brown and black. The vest and other accessories are mainly olive drab. The result looks somewhat like a desert-ized form of tiger-striped camouflage.
I then filtered the figure with medium brown, dark brown and dark gray washes. I also went back in to adjust the skin color. I went through this wash and detailed painting a few times, adjusting to taste along the way.
The result is not too bad. Getting the skintone right is definitely the biggest challenge.
With its head facing forward, the wounded figure would be the bigger challenge. I went through the same process as the first figure and the result looks better I think.
I think I pulled off the skintone better on this one. I also changed up the color of the pouches to break up the monotony of olive drab. When in the AO, you can’t really be bothered to color coordinate.
For the bloody wound, I carefully dabbed 2 shades of red onto the leg and gave the spot a brown wash.
I then went in to paint some small details on the figures like the red button on the walkie talkie and the grip on the medic’s pistol. I also added patches onto the shoulders.
And now I officially can’t see straight anymore.
My next build is a shelf queen that I’ve assembled and kept in its box for perhaps close to a decade. This is Bandai’s 1/35 take on the Shinden from the anime Gasaraki. I’ve never watched it but I really like the designs of the Tactical Armors. In the story, the Shinden is a mass production and improved version of the Raiden. I’ve always planned to put this kit in a vignette with it advancing along with a figure but it never happened as I was intimidated by figure painting and the Shinden didn’t really look right in a running pose. In any case, earlier this year, Masterbox released the ‘Under Fire’ set of figures and I was inspired to finish this kit up with a different idea for the vignette. I’m still not sure I can pull off the figures but hey, if not now, when?
For its time, the Shinden is a very good kit with nice details and decent poseability. As usual with a Bandai kit, it is thoroughly snapfit and fit very well. Through the years, I’ve slowly worked on it by filling the hollow areas in the armor with epoxy putty and fixing the prominent seamlines. The joints have held up relatively well and while one leg is slightly loose, it can still hold the final pose I had in mind. The kit comes with various weapons for the arms and I went with the chain gun and rocket launcher.
The Masterbox figures are molded quite nicely. Details are crisp and each figure comes with various accessories to dress it up with. The box came with 4 figures but I decided to go just the wounded soldier and the combat medic dressing his wound. Some cleaning of mold lines are required but fitting is good with the combat medic needed some minor seamline fixing but it’s easily done with Perfect Plastic Putty. The fact that the putty shrinks once dried is even better in this case.
So my idea for the vignette is pretty much the same as what Masterbox intended for their set to be: covering fire for an injured soldier. Except in this case it’s the Shinden doing it instead of a SAW gunner. I don’t intend this to be a complex vignette. The base is probably going to depict wacka-wacka-kistan or somewhere semi-arid with the 2 soldiers behind some barely-there cover and the Shinden standing close by providing covering fire while the injured soldier is being worked on. Sort of like this:
I think I’ll need to add some sort of height in the terrain to make this more interesting.
I like being able to show 2 focal points with this vignette.
I received a suggestion to try closed fisst for the Shinden instead of the open ones. Unfortunately the fists that came in the box have holes in them for holding equipment. So I tried adapting some closed fists from the Bandai 1/144 MS Hand 01 (Federation) set. The balls on the set were too small so I chopped off the ones from the Shinden’s spares and pinned them onto the MS Hands with brass rods and superglue. I then superglued the Shinden hand covers onto the MS Hand. I think the end result looks quite good although just that slightly oversized.
OK, so the general concept is now done. Next up is painting.
Postscript: So it turns out that I had the shoulder binders upside down when I took these photos. It’s lucky I didn’t cement them in place. 🙂