Category: On the Bench

WIP : Nitto PKA Gustav Pt. 2 – Painting & Finishing

As is now usual, I start with a base of black.

Next is a white marble coat.

The main color is Panzer Grey with red for the chevrons. These were sprayed slightly thinned so the marble coat shows through.

The decals come from the Wave PKA Konrad kit as the original Nitto ones have yellowed and were unusable.

For weathering, I went with oil paint dots of yellow, blue, white and red.

I randomly dot the whole kit with various colors then blend together with a brush soaked in turpentine.

I also used white to add streaks.

This method ties the 2 contrasting colors together. It also adds subtle variations to the overall paintjob and makes the whole thing look ‘lived in’.

Next I start to ‘beat up’ all the surfaces with various filters, washes, sponge chipping and streaks. The clear parts were also given a wash with white and dust colored oil paints to grime them up.

The base was done with various grades of sand from Woodland Scenics. These were painted with various shades of brown then given brown and dark gray washes. Tufts of grass were added to break up the monotony.

Once attached to the base, I did additional weathering with dust and brown colored pigments.

I gave the kit a half day to cure and misted a flat coat to knock down some of the remaining glossy areas. All done!

WIP : Bandai HGUC GM Space Command Pt.1 – Construction

Next up is yet another kit that I have finished snapfitting for a long time. It also continues my EFSF grunt mobile suit collection (what a mouthful).

This is one of the earlier HGUC releases so it suffers from the typical problem of its vintage: overly large hands, limited poseability and a somewhat squat stature. I decided to modify this kit slightly. I began by extending all the limbs: forearms, thighs, lower legs and the front skirts. These were extended between 1.5mm to 2mm by simply chopping them in half, inserting plastic card between the halves, then trimming them. The front skirts were also separated so they can move individually.

The overly squat chest also needed some modifications. To ease painting, I cut off the connections for the lower torso.

Doing it this way lets me paint the torsos separately and I can insert the lower to the upper torso later.

I also modified the neck by moving the polycap up 1mm and holding it in place with a wad of epoxy putty. The lower torso was also extended by about 1.5mm by stacking plastic card on the bottom.

I definitely prefer how it looks now.

The EFSF logo is embossed on the shield and like my previous GM Command build, I trimmed this off and will replace it with a decal.

Much to my ‘surprise’, I managed to lose the left ‘ear muff’ so I replaced it with a Kotobukiya round mold with 2 0.5mm brass rods inserted as antenna. After I was done, the missing part turned up. Oh well.

Another part I lost while this was in storage was the cockpit door. I fashioned a new one. It looks sufficiently different from the original but I like it this way so it differentiates the space from the ground versions.

Since this is the space variant, I added additional vernier and round molds to the legs.

I closed up the hole on the right forearm since it won’t be carrying anything there. I also closed up the hole for the antenna on the right shoulder.

Ready to move on to the next step!

WIP : Hasegawa 1/72 VF-25S Messiah Pt.3 – Finishing

The kit decals went on OK. Some are robust and took handling and adjusting well but others did tear and some careful re-alignment was needed.

I also made a big mistake in putting the SMS logo on the wrong side of the tailfins. I had to carefully re-hydrate them to move them to the correct side. In the process I managed to strip the black color on one of the tailfins. So I carefully sanded and buffed the area, masked off the existing decals, then re-sprayed black. It looks OK now.

The whole point of going with Ozma Lee’s VF-25S colors is the very cool skull logo on the back of his VF-25. Thankfully Hasegawa designed it in 3 parts. Due to their intricate design, I went with decals for the yellow and black chevrons. The other yellow markings were masked and sprayed. The 2 shades of yellow don’t quite match but I’ll live with it.

Once the decals have cured, the kit was wiped down, dusted and sprayed with another gloss coat to prepare for the panel wash and weathering.

Weathering begins with a panel wash using Mig AMMO Deep Brown wash. Is it better than the usual oil paint sludge? Not really. But it’s ready to use out of the bottle.

I’m not neat about it at all. What matters more is that the wash gets into all the panel lines.

After 30 minutes or so, I wipe down the kit with a paper towel lightly dampened with odorless turpentine.

I tried my best to wipe from the front to back direction. This follows the direction of airflow (er… yeah even though these things usually fly in a vacuum).

Next I added filters, discoloration, faded the decals and streaks using the same brown wash in addition to white and black oil paints. The efforts are more obvious in the light gray areas.

I made sure to add streaks on the wing actuators.

The overall markings and (especially) the skull doesn’t look as stark now.

Final assembly of the parts is next and I can call this done.

Build Log
Pt. 1 – Construction | Pt. 2 – Painting | Pt. 3 – Finishing

WIP : Hasegawa 1/72 VF-25S Messiah Pt.2 – Painting

Looks patchy after a few rounds of gray to check for seamlines. But it’s finally ready to paint.

First is the base of Tamiya XF-1 Flat Black cut with lacquer thinner.

The VF-25S is in a 2 tone gray camo. I used MIG AMMO Light Gray for the lighter gray.

I’m guessing because the mecha were all CGI animated in the TV series the designers could get away with more stylized camouflage designs. That translates to having to do a lot more masking though. In any case, I first used 1.5mm and vinyl masking tape to trace the curves, then the usual masking tape to backfill the rest.

The darker shade of gray using Model Air Aggressor Gray was then sprayed on.

The colors were added in thin coats so the black base shows through. The result is a patchy look that I think looks good for an operational machine.

The masking tape are then removed and checked for any spot fixing required. Luckily there was only a few this time. Once that’s done, it was time for decals. I begin with a gloss coat.

While waiting for the gloss coat to cure, I assembled the thrusters. For some unknown reason the various components were snapfitted together. These will be installed during final assembly.

Finishing this kit is next!

Build Log
Pt. 1 – Construction | Pt. 2 – Painting | Pt. 3 – Finishing

Interlude : 1/87 Miniature Project

Over the last few days I’ve been helping my friend with a commercial project using 1/87 scale figures. Due to its commercial nature, I can’t show the final figures and pictures.

I can however, show this one figure I modified from a mountain climber into a guy in a bathrobe. It’s a rejected figure that I spent the most effort on. Oh well. 😀 Anyway, the idea was a man in a bathrobe stepping onto a weighing scale.

I trimmed the jacket and leggings, added parts of the robe with epoxy putty, chopped and swapped in a bare head and added painted on slippers. Then the whole figure was repainted. In the end though, a different figure concept was used.

And lastly, some non-spoilery behind-the-scenes photos I took…

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