My previous RGM-79 was a custom colored work. I decided that since I want to start a GM collection, I’d better have at least one GM in the standard red and white color scheme. So here it is, in all its assembled glory.
For some strange reason, I find that it looks a bit stumpy. It’s actually the same height as the GM Command and Cold Climate Type but it just doesn’t look like it is. Compared to the other GMs, it’s also very retro-looking. So much so that I feel that they end up not looking like they are related MS. So I’m going to do a bit of surgery to hopefully fix that.
I’m going to mod the kit systematically. First up are the feet. I added 1.5mm to the toe area to lengthen them.
Playing around with lineart coloring. As mentioned previously, I’m going to paint this thing in the original red and white color scheme… so I’m limited to just playing around with the color combo. Here’s what I have so far. The first is of course, the default anime-accurate color scheme. Whichever scheme I finally decide on, I’ll probably go for some ‘splinter’ camo with 2 shades of red. Just to break the monotony of the plain-jane color scheme.
Thighs and legs have all been extended by 1.5mm, which now makes the GM look oh-so lithe… which also means compared to the other HGUC GMs, it’s probably much taller :P.
To improve the pose of the GM, I did the same waist mod as I did in my (old) Rick Dias build. Just a simple build up of plastic plates into a slope. I then cut off the male part of the waist on the kit and repositioned it slightly to lean forwards. Then it’s all a matter of slipping on the slope and adding the upper body on top of it.
Next is a holster for the beam spray gun. I didn’t really have idea how it would look like so I just added a plaplate here and there until I got a holster-looking construct. The neat thing about this holster is the beam spray gun is mountable without additional mods needed to be done on the gun itself. It’s also a good fit on the holster. So much so it won’t fall off without aid.
OK… after 3 straight days of puttying and sanding, I’m finally done and am ready to begin painting the darn thing. Man… I really need to brush up on my construction skills. It will seriously reduce the amount of time I spend on this stage.
I dipped the visor into Future to get a super-gloss (although I must say since it’s so small the effect isn’t as effective as I’d hoped) and masked it carefully.
Right. Painting starts. I’m too much of a preshade slut so it’s no different for this kit. What’s different this time is that I’m trying to avoid using black for all my preshade. For the main body which is a desert sand color, I’m using a dark brown as a preshade. To be honest, I’m not sure whether it will work or not since it kinda didn’t for my last project, the PGM.
For the two thrusters, I use a preshade of black with both gunmetal and silver for the main colors. The interiors of the thrusters are first colored in red. Then I add it a gob of blutack before spraying the outside colors. Saves a lot of time in masking.
I decided to handpaint the Flecktarn camo pattern onto the kit. It just seemed easier that way. I also decided to reduce the original’s 5 colors into 4. [A] First a preshade of black then a light green/grey for the fill color. [B] The orange brown and the dark green come next. [C] And lastly is the dark grey.
The end result looks nothing like Flecktarn. Darn (hey it rhymes!). For one thing, the patterns I did are more patches than the dots that make Flectarn unique. I think the pattern also lost some ‘impression’ with the reduction of one color.
Being handbrushed, the camo itself is also very rough to the touch. I’m letting the paint cure for the night in an air-conditioned room and I plan to lightly sand the surface. Hopefully it’ll do more than just smoothen the surface. 😛
Given another go, I’d definitely take more time to do the camo properly. But Project WOOB’s deadline is coming up real soon so I better just quickly finish this.
All the main colors are done. I would safely say 80% is done as of the end of today. I should be able to finish everything by the end of the week. Here’s hoping.
To ‘meld’ the camo better, I decided to lightly sand the camo with a 4000 grit sandpaper. It does look better. At least, the paintjob looks more even now. Hahaha!
OK… I’m done with the decals. But I didn’t put too many anyways. Too much would have been overkill.
The decal on the shield is silvering abit. Damn cheapass decal sheet. Oh well. Hopefully another layer of gloss coat will reduce the silvering effect. Which I can’t get to right now since it just stopped raining and it’s super humid right now. Big no no for doing gloass coating.
This kit is part of the ‘US Aggressors groupbuild’. Construction went on quite straightforward although there are some problems here and there. Nothing that putty couldn’t fix though. One particularly annoying part is that I have to putty off the holes under the wings meant for underwing stores. Obviously if I was bulding a normal F-16 loaded with a ton of weapons I wouldn’t be bitching.
As per normal with aircraft kits, the cockpit has to be painted first before further construction could be done. It’s simple matter of grey for the whole cockpit tub, black for the control panels, green for the MFD screens and some drybrushing to bring out the detail of the control surfaces.
I decided that with the F-16’s huge canopy, I needed the ejection seat to be more detailed than what came in the box. So I got hold of a pair of ACES II resin seats from Legends Productions, a Korean resin kit manufacturer. The resin seat comes with molded-on seat belts and is generally much more detailed than the default kit seat.
I colored the seat based on references I got from The Ejection Site. A simple wash with diluted black color and some minor drybrushing is all I need to add depth and bring out the fine details of the seat.
Yep. Been awhile. My mates in the groupbuild has also been bugging me no end hehehe. So anyway, a lot has been done and I’m ready to prime the kit, fix some obvious problems then start painting. Small mistakes can be hidden pretty easily since I’m going to do some weathering. I can’t stand clean aircraft. 😛
I tried out a new method of filling the gaps: liquid paper aka correction fluid. This was suggested by a good friend G-Man from the Plamo Forums. Applying is easy: just whack on a dollup onto the gap. Then I ran a cotton bud with Gunze thinner through it, which thins and softens the liquid paper and makes it flow flush. So it works, I’m just now sure how it will look after priming. We’ll see.
I also added all the major not too fragile parts onto the kit, so I can paint in one shot. I guess in this sense, aircraft kits are actually easier to paint than mecha kits. So anyway, all the tiny sensor bumps and blades are added.
Next came the RWR sensors on the wings. These are the major parts that are missing from the kit which is too bad since they are quite obvious on the real aircraft. A bit of a challenge to scratchbuild them since the RWR sensors have an odd shape. They are pretty small so I decided to just make a general likeness hehe.
Oh bugger. It rained in the morning which ended up being a muggy afternoon which isn’t good for any sort of painting. So I couldn’t do the priming. Sigh…
So the only update here is a small old one. The canopy had a big seamline running down the middle so I scraped it off with a hobby knife and slowly sanded the area with ever finer sandpaper, ending with 400 grit. Then I dipped the canopy into Future floor polish to give it a supershine. To top it off, I carefully masked the canopy with Tamiya masking tape. To attach to the kit, I would use white glue as it dries transparent.
Here’s hoping tomorrow will be a bright sunny day…
Alright! Finally the priming’s done and lo and behold… stuff to fix. Man… when will I learn to be more careful during the construction phase? Brrr…
Here are the spots I found on top of the kit that need further fixing.
Not as many problems as I’ve foreseen, but still… it ain’t perfect. Oh well. There were also some problems at the bottom of the kit. During construction, I paid more attention to the top of kit since that’s what everyone will see first (hardly anyone will purposely flip the kit and look at the bottom) so there are actually a lot more problems to fix. However, since it is the bottom afterall, I decided to just fix the major ones hehehe…
The good news in all this is that the RWR sensors turned out very nice and I don’t have to make any further changes to them. Score!
Part of Project WOOB
Well, according to the WOOB rules, this thing has to be totally OOB. Basically, stuff can be cut out from it, but nothing (except for putty) can be added to it. Man… I didn’t realize it’d actually be HARD to do this thing OOB. Guess my hands are too itchy… hehe
OK… project is gearing up since the deadline is coming up fast (it’s end of March). I decided to sand away the EFSF logo on the shield and replace it with a proper decal. Painting it would have been a pain in the ass. I haven’t decided but I might not even put an EFSF logo on the shield at all.
Since this is a strictly Out of the Box build, I’m not allowed any modifications and much added details so I’ve decided to come up with a nice color scheme to make it stand out.
Looking around real-life units, I found the German Flecktarn to be an interesting scheme to try out. Flecktarn comprises of black, dark green, grey-green and rust-red clumps and spots on a light green background. It should be easy to pull off with a 1/144 scaled model.
And now, the sanding and covering of seamlines continue…
I did some initial sanding on the obvious seamlines. Then a quick primer coat to spot the minor gaps and seamlines. These gaps are then given a coat of putty and left to completely dry for about half a day. More sanding is done to even out the putty and ANOTHER coat of primer is put on the kit to make sure all the gaps are accounted for. Unfortunately, being the careless modeler I am, there ARE a ton of gaps to fix. Crap. Lucky for me I use a cheap-ass can of primer I got from a hardware shop.
Two things stand out from the build so far that’ll be a challenge. One, how the heck do I paint the round vents on the shield properly? Masking something round is gonna be difficult. The other is the front skirt. Normally, I’ll figure out a way to cut the skirt in the center so each side can flip independently. I can’t do that for this kit (per the WOOB rules) since in order to make it work, I’ll need to add stuff to it and that’s no go… I guess I’ll just keep it as is.
Price: S$20.00 (est. US$11.00)
One of the most produced aircraft in the world, the McDonnell Douglas Phantom II is still being operated by some Air Forces (through upgrades) even though the design dates back to the 1950s. The Phantom II is only one of the few aircraft that was operated by three US services (Air Force, Navy and Marines) at the same time. In the end, over 5000 Phantom IIs left the production lines with 1387 produced in the F-4E variant.
The F-4E is the only variant (the F was basically an export version of the E) in the long line that carried a built-in gun. Before its introduction, the view was that the gun was obselete with the advent of heat-seeking and radar-guided missiles. During the Vietnam conflict however, most air-to-air engagements were close ranged, which negated the effectiveness of missiles, and brought back the importance of the gun and the concept of dogfighting. The F-4E served with the USAF from 1967 to the early 1990s, when it was replaced by the F-15 and F-16.
The F-4E can be differentiated from other variants by it’s longer tapered nose with a gun housing that extends underneath the radome.
What can I say? I’ve built one before (an F-4J) and I can safely say that this is THE ultimate 1/72 Phantom kit in the market right now. Hasegawa has a habit of reboxing the same mold with different markings and different boxart so this one’s no different.
What’s ingenious (or sneaky, depending on how you look at it) about this kit is that Hasegawa has split the parts down so that in order to do a different version of the Phantom, they only need to swap one or two part trees, and voila! Instant different Phantom! That being said however, it does make this Phantom a lot harder to put together than the other brands because this does lead to more parts than necessary. More parts = more chances of finicky fit = more assembly time. This kit is much harder to build than say, the 1/72 Fujimi Phantom, which is a pretty good kit in it’s own right.
Overall detail of the kit is very good, with very fine recessed lines. Much like Hasegawa’s other offerings of the same scale, cockpit details are decal only, but since the cockpit is so small and cramped, you can pretty much get away with it. Also much like Hasegawa’s standard practice, the kit doesn’t come with any weapons. However, what was a pleasant surprise is the inclusion of the newer center fuel tank that the F-4E carried from the 1980s onwards. As a bonus, they also included the old fuel tank, so with enough research, one would be able to, except for the blunt gun nose period, model the F-4E at every stage of its service life.
Markings-wise, Hasegawa has given the option for three units.
- The 141st TFS 108th TFW New Jersey ANG – This aircraft comes in the ‘Euro 1’ scheme and has a tiger noseart.
- Gunsmoke ’89 3rd TFW PACAF – Hill scheme with ‘Shark’s mouth’
- 110th TFS 131st TWF Missouri ANG – This is the Wing Commander’s aircraft with special commemorative markings for the Phantom II’s 30th Anniversary
Decals are typical Hasegawa quality, slightly thick but nothing some Mark Softer couldn’t tackle.
All in all, a very nice kit that will build into a very nice representation of one of the most profilic aircraft of the 20th Century.
Preview courtesy of my wallet