Tag: Mecha

WIP : Bandai 1/35 TA Shinden Pt. 3 – Painting

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.

WIP : Bandai 1/35 TA Shinden Pt. 2 – Painting

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.

WIP : Bandai 1/35 TA Shinden Pt. 1 – Construction

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. 🙂

Completed : Max Factory 1/72 Soltic H8 Roundfacer


Build Report

Kit Info
Brand : Max Factory Combat Armor Max 02
Media : Injection Plastic
Markings : Kit

The Subject
Fang of the Sun Dougram (Taiyō no Kiba Daguramu) is a 75 episode anime TV series created by Ryōsuke Takahashi that aired in Japan from 1981 to 1983.

In Space Century (SC) 152, an independence movement is growing on the planet Deloyer. Crinn Cashim, the son of the leader of the Earth Federation government on Deloyer, pilots the Dougram and fights for the ‘Fang of the Sun’, a small team of guerillas fighting for the independence of Deloyer.

The Roundfacer is the standard Combat Armor deployed by the Federation. It is versatile and would revolutionize mechanized warfare. It is easy to produce and would serve the Federation throughout the war with the insurgents. It is armed with a handheld linear gun, a shoulder-mounted 7-tube missile pod and 4 arm-mounted 25mm chain guns.

Info from Wikipedia and instruction manual

Note: Western audiences would probably recognize this mecha as the GRF-1N Griffin, a BattleMech from the board game Battletech.

The Kit
This is the second release in Max Factory’s modern take on the mecha from Fang of the Sun Dougram. The kits are by and large snapfit and come with water slide decals. Somewhat poseable with the use of polycaps, they also have a retro aesthetic to match the  design sensibilities from the 1980s. Parts breakdown is quite simple and can be easily separated into subassemblies. However there are some oddities: the pilot figure will need to be cemented in place since there’s nothing holding it in the cockpit and the right hand won’t hold the gun properly. A pleasant surprise though is the canopy which already comes with a pre-painted frame.

The overall fit is a mixed bag. Some of the joints fit well, others are loose. The shoulder ball joints are about 1mm too large so there’s no positive fit to the sockets on the body. Luckily for me, the easiest fix worked: I carefully sanded down one side of each ball joint. In any case, the overall design of parts are quite simple where Max Factory doesn’t try to avoid obvious seamlines. All in all, it slots in between a modern Bandai and Wave kit.

Colors & Markings
I went with a modified version of the standard colors for the Roundfacer. It’s now a 2-tone green painted in a splinter pattern. The 2 shades of green (RLM 2 and RLM 71) are what the Luftwaffe used for their machines in WW2. Otherwise, I followed what is shown in the instructions.

As usual I went easy on the decals. I initially wanted to add a custom artwork on the shoulder shield but changed my mind in the last minute. The kit decals are a mixed bag: they separated quickly from the backings but they have a satin finish to them and the white colored decals tore easily. Initially it looks like they didn’t react well with Mark Softer. Thankfully though, once cured and given another spray of gloss, they actually looked quite good.

I decided to weather this kit slightly more than usual which I wrote about here. TL:DR, it was panel lining with oil paint, then panel filtering with oil paint, then chipping and drybrushing with acrylic paint, then streaking with oil paint, then dusting with Tamiya Weathering Master, and lastly adding dirt on the feet with pigments. I also made sure to cover some of the paint that had flaked off with chipping. Unfortunately the weathering revealed some seamlines that I didn’t fix properly. Oh well, lesson learned and moving on.

So that’s it. My first completed kit of the year. And one that was relatively trouble-free. While not the best fitting, I like this series of kits. Definitely more to come.

Project Log
> Part 1 : Construction
> Part 2 : Painting
> Part 3 : Finishing

Number 1 of 2018

WIP : Max Factory 1/72 Soltic Roundfacer Pt. 3 – Finishing

As usual, I went easy with the markings. The kit decals are a mixed bag: they slide off the backings quite quickly but they have a satin sheen and some of the white ones tore easily. They also didn’t react much with Mark Softer.

I began weathering with panel lining with lamp black oil paint. This adds a subtle depth to the panel lines. I then assembled the kit together before going onto the filtering stage.

First up a look at the surface after panel lining but before filters.

I then added small drops of white, yellow and blue oil paint over the surfaces.

With a damp flat brush and up down motion, I then blended the oil paints together.

It’s subtle, but the oil paints add additional depth and variation to the colors. I also find that they blend the 2 camo colors together. At this stage I found seamlines that I didn’t fix properly. Oh well, moving on.

I messed up the final flat coat in my hurry to finish. The finish is pebbly in some spots due to uneven application.

Anyway, more weathering is next. Basically it’s:

  1. adding filters and blending with oil paint
  2. chipping with acrylic paint
  3. drybrush with acrylic paint
  4. streaking with oil paint
  5. dusting with pigment

These were all done to taste. Thankfuly, I managed to mitigate the pebbly-ness of the flat coat somewhat.

From the beginning of this build, I managed to lose the 2 chest inserts but luckily it looks OK without them.

I’ll try to clean up the dust marks, add a final flat coat to seal in the pigments and I can call this one done.

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