Brand and Kit Number: Bandai #0148831
Media: Injection Plastic
Markings: Gundam Decal Set #22 and #30
The RGM-79Q GM Quel is the first mass-produced mobile suit deployed by the Titans, the elite peacekeeping force founded by the Federation after the events of Operation Stardust in UC0083. It is designed for deployment inside space colonies for peacekeeping, riot control and suppression. Manufactured in Luna II, it is an upgraded and less complex version of the RGM-79N GM Custom. By the beginning of the Gryps Conflict in UC0087, it is considered out-dated and has been replaced by newer mobile suits.
The GM Quel first appeared in the OVA series Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory. It was on screen for less than a second rolling up on a flatbed and getting readied by technicians.
Info from Gundam Wiki
Part of the long line of kits in Bandai’s HGUC series, this kit was released in 2007. As usual, it’s fully snapfit and is molded crisply in multiple colors. Like other HGUC kits released during this time, it’s much easier to keep this kit in separate subassemblies for painting than ever before. However, the limbs still required some modification to facilitate that. Poseability is also improved from previous generation HGUC kits but still nothing to write home about.
The kit depicts the GM Quel as it appears in the Advance of Zeta: The Flag of Titans, a side story about the Titans Test Team as serialized in Dengeki Hobby Magazine. The proportions of the GM Quel are bulkier here than how it originally appeared in Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory.
As mentioned above, the breakdown of this kit is decent with the only hang-up being the elbow (fixed to the lower arms) and knee (fixed ot the lower legs) joints. I decided not to modify them and simply hand paint the joints later. I find the proportions not quite right on this kit: the head is on the small side, the neck is (typical of HGUC) short, hips are wide, and the knees are too big. I decided to do some slight modifications. First I replaced the whole waist on down with parts from the HGUC GM Custom. The legs are slightly different in design but nothing too major. I then extended both the neck and the waist by about 1.5mm using plastic sheet. I also changed the weapon to the FN P90-looking one from a Kotobukiya MSG weapon set. The pistol grip needed some trimming before it fit into the hand. A very small piece of blutack keeps the fit solid. Lastly was swapping the thrusters on the backpack with those from the GM Custom. During construction I managed to break off the antenna on the head which I replaced with 0.5mm brass rod.
Colors & Markings
I decided to go with the default colors this time and concentrate on seeing if I can add color variations to the finish. I first thinned AK black primer with lacquer thinner to see if it will result in a better finish but I may have overthinned the primer as it split. After re-priming everything with the standard AK primer, I added a thin layer of the main color in random splotches and squiggly lines. Then I added a very thin blending coat of the same color on top of this. However, this didn’t quite work out as the variation didn’t really show through. I decided to move on and finish the build.
The blue on the GM Quel is a very dark blue (purple in some publications) but I went with a lighter shade instead. I went with gray black for the torso. After the primary colors were done I went back to hand paint all the smaller details like the small vents on the upper torso, verniers, the forehead piece and the elbow joints. The green sensors on the feet and the head were given a base of white and then hand painted transparent green. Color-wise, the only change was painting all the verniers and thrusters yellow instead of red.
For the markings, I mixed and matched from various Bandai Decals and a generic sheet. As usual, I went easy with the decals. The Bandai decals have yellowed somewhat but once given enough of a soak, came off the backing quite easily and reacted very well with Mark Softer. No ‘nose art’ for this one which would have gone on the shield.
Weathering is kept mild starting with a general oil wash of black. I then hand painted some light chipping with black gray and dark grey blue paint. I also added some streaks with oil paint. After that it was a light dry brush all over the kit with medium gunship gray. After a final flat coat, I went back to brush on Future on the green parts to gloss them back up and dirtied up the feet using Tamiya Weathering Masters. The last step was to remove the blu-tack masking on the visor which was also given a dip in Future way back when. I managed to chip off some paint above the visor which I had to go back in to fix with hand painting.
This didn’t turn out quite as expected but all in all, barring the failed paint variation, it was quite trouble-free. My collection of Federation mass produced mobile suits are now starting to get off the ground. Hopefully more to come soon and I can get a unifying theme going.
Number 5 of 2017
After the EF-111A Raven, I’ve been trying to get this completed before the end of April. I tried to get some paint variation like my previous build but it didn’t turn out that well. I also tried to see if I can get a stronger base coat to prevent the paint from being scratched off as is typical of acrylics. I thinned the AK Interactive Black Primer with lacquer thinner but the thinner split the paint. Perhaps I overthinned. Anyway, I quickly finished off the painting to get this build completed.
Mild weathering is next and I can call this done.
Next in the HGUC line is the weirdly proportion mass production Barzam from Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam. Even though it’s oddly shaped, it’s actually designed by the famous Mamoru Nagano. There is a Refined Barzam design that was done by Hajime Katoki for Gundam Sentinel that brought the design more in-line with the Gundam Mk. II. Hopefully they will release that design too.
Pictures show that this kit will have quite extensive poseability in the arms which bodes well for future releases. It’s coming in in May for 1,620 JPY. More pictures on Hobby Search.
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