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.
The PGM-79 Powered GM variant of the RGM-79C was developed by the Federation R&D division as a testbed for an enhanced backpack that provided very powerful thrust and acceleration. With this enhancement, the legs were mounted with improved shocked absorbers.
Outwardly, the PGM-79 looks to be more heavily armored than the standard RGM-79C. However, that is not the case as the bulkiness was mainly due to the mounting of the backpack control systems and further improvements to the structure of the RGM-79C frame.
At least 3 units were tested with this modification in the Torrington base facility in Australia in UC 0083.
The Powered GM is my favorite GM variant from the Gundam universe, so needless to say, it is also the first ever Master Grade Gundam kit I did. This was also to be my first ever kit that I have extensively modified in addition to a kitbash with an aftermarket set of parts. In this case, it’s a conversion set from Akohobby.
And what an experience. Since I couldn’t leave well enough alone, I decided to modify the kit to suit my tastes. And the changes kept coming:
All in all, a very satisfying job.
Scale: 1/144 HG
Parts: 96 + 27 Polycaps
Price: S$21.00 (est. US$12.00)
The GAT-X105 Strike Gundam was one of five experimental Mobile Suits developed by the OMNI Alliance to counter the mobile suits deployed by the ZAFT faction. It is the most versatile among the five units as it was given the ‘flexibility’ to be upgraded with weapons packs : Aile, Launcher and Sword. The Aile (‘Air’ in French) pack adds additional mobility in space to the Strike Gundam as well as flight capabilities on Earth. Weapons-wise, however, the Aile only adds two beam sabers to the Strike’s standard equipment list.
Mobile Suit Gundam SEED just happens to be one of the first Gundam TV series that I’ve followed closely (I know the Gundam universe fairly well, but I haven’t seen stuff like Z Gundam, ZZ Gundam et al). I’m not much of Okawara’s fan when it comes to Gundam designs but on the whole, I do like his designs for Gundam SEED, with the Strike Gundam being my favorite.
This is the more complicated version of two 1/144 kits that are available in the mass-market. The HG series of Gundam SEED is equivalent to the HGUC Gundam series. Therefore, there are: covered joints, clear parts (wellâ€¦ in some of them anyway, not this kit), color-coordinated parts and ball joints. The Strike comes only with the Aile pack (you can use the Launcher and the Sword packs available in the No-Grade Strike Gundam kit if you want to arm your HG Strike although modifications are needed).
Because of the way the MS is designed and the way the parts are broken down, the kit’s legs will require a bit of planning to make the eventual painting of the kit easy. This involves a simple cut to the leg to separate the parts. Unlike most HGUC kits, this kit will require a fair bit of prep work due to a number of fairly obvious seamlines.
Construction looks to be fairly straightforward and based on the box photos, it will be a pretty poseable kit too. Quite remarkable considering the scale. While I would have preferred that they provided clear beam sabers, I tend to not display my kits with beam sabers anyway so this is a minor point to quibble about. Like the HGUC series, the fists are oversized for the scale and unless one buys the expensive resin hands or scratchbuilds a set, there’s nothing much that can be done.
Proportions-wise, this is in my opinion, the best looking (in my opinion anyway) Strike Gundam kit in the market right now. It even looks better than the MG version I think. The 1/100 scaled Strikes suffer from having big hips. This is probably because of the fact that they are compartments for the Strike’s daggers (officially called ‘Armor Schneider combat knives’ but I call them as I see them). The HG doesn’t have the compartments so the hips are much thinner and streamlined. Other design elements also make it one of the better renditions of the Strike in the market â€“ smaller feet and less bulky shoulders.
As usual, Bandai includes a set of stickers instead of water-slide decals for this kit. Seeing as how the Strike is supposed to be devoid of markings, this is not really a big deal.
All in all, another nice little kit from Bandai. Their 1/144 scale kits are getting better engineered now and that’s good news for everyone.
Preview courtesy of my wallet