Brand: Bandai HGUC 051
Media: Injection plastic
The RGM-79GS is a late production GM deployed in the One Year War. It is an upgraded variant of the original RGM-79 GM with improvements in performance and maneuverability. Two variants were subsequently developed: the RGM-79G GM Command and the RGM-79GS GM Space Command. The RGM-79GS has performance that is onpar with the Zeon MS-14A Gelgoog and as its name implies, is optimized for space combat so it differs from the GM Command by having a backpack designed for space use, a 10% increase in output, more apogee motors and greater propellant capacity for longer operational time.
Production numbers are low and these were mostly assigned to platoon commanders. Several were featured in the OVA ‘Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket’.
Info adapted from Gundam Wiki
This kit was originally released in 2004. As such, it still suffered from some of the problems of the early HGUC line: a somewhat squat appearance, overly large hands, a short neck and limited articulation. Bandai also didn’t try too hard to hide seamlines during this time. Options include:
Of note is the lack of a clear beam saber while a clear visor is included. Parts breakdown is logical and straightforward with generally accurate colors as per the lineart. A small sticker sheet is also included.
I’ve had this kit snapped together for quite a while and decided it’ll be a ‘quickish’ build. Overall, it didn’t take too much time and any delay was simply due to my malaise.
To fix the proportion problem, I extended the upper legs, lower legs, front skirts, and forearms between 1.5mm to 2mm. I wasn’t neat about it which came back to bite me in the finishing stages. I also extended the neck polycap by 1mm to give the kit a longer-necked look and the base of the torso was extended 2mm.
I then proceeded to lose the left ‘ear muff’ which I replaced with a scratchbuilt antenna array and the cockpit door which I replaced with one fashioned from 0.25mm plastic plate. I also added verniers into the vents on the legs for added details.
Colors & Finishing
I kept the color scheme similar to the original lineart with additional red flourishes on the forehead and lower legs. I originally wanted 2-tones for the red areas but it didn’t work out. Other that that hiccup, everything went on without a hitch.
Markings were as usual from various decal sheets. I then added chipping with a sponge. Once these have cured and given an overall gloss coat, the kit went through the usual rounds of panel wash, fitering, streaks and fading with Mig AMMO Panel Line Wash Deep Brown, Mig AMMO Oilbrusher Starship Filth (a dark gray) and white oil paint. Last on is a light mist of flat coat to knock down some of the overall sheen and tie everything together.
I was supposed to finish this kit at the end of 2018 but it rolled over to 2019. In any case, add one more to my RGM collection.
Before painting, the tedious task of fixing seamlines and sprue marks begin. I’ve been turning to using an old bottle of Tamiya IJN Gray as a primer coat to reveal the problem areas. Various fillers were used including AK Interactive putty, super glue and epoxy putty.
Painting can then begin! I decided to go with the default colors with a bit of variety by making the red areas 2 tone. As is usual by now, I primed all the parts in black. Then I added a marble coat using white paint. I hope that the main colors will be thin enough for this marble coat to show through and add some ‘texture’ to the paint job. The 2 tones are done with a base of darker red, masked with blutack, then straight red over.
However, the 2 shades are a tad too similar so the 2 tone effect is quite subtle. I think it looks OK though and since I managed to get the marble coat underneath to show through, I’m moving on.
The 2-tone reds are more obvious on the shield though not by much. Blink and you’ll probably miss it.
With the modifications, the kit is now taller and compares nicely with the Jegan. Pre-mods it’ll probably only reach the Jegan’s shoulders.
Painting is now done and finishing is next.
After a gloss coat, I added decals. Weathering begins with a going over with sponge chipping using dark brown, medium gray and white paint.
After a gloss coat, panel washing, streaks and fading are next to finish this kit.
Brand: Bandai HGUC 097
Media: Injection Plastic
Markings: Various aftermarket
Adopted in UC 0089, the RGM-89 Jegan is the Earth Federation’s general purpose mobile suit. Designed by Anaheim Electronics, the Jegan traces its lineage to the original RGM-79 GM and like the original, it’s only lightly armed with one beam saber, a beam rifle and a vulcan pod. For added firepower, it has three grenades and a shield with twin missile launchers. While lighter armed than the previous general purpose mobile suit RGM-86R GM III, its performance is significantly higher.
Due to its versatility, the RGM-89 and its many variants would go on to serve the EFSF for the next 30 years.
Info adapted from Gundam Wikia
First issued in 2009, this is a modern re-imagining of the Jegan (the original kit appeared in 1988) as it appeared in the anime movie Char’s Counterattack. Since this is a modern HGUC kit, it features modern color molding, snapfit assembly, good poseability and better proportions than the original. As a newer kit in the HGUC line, it doesn’t suffer from the stumpy look and overly large hands that plagued older HGUC kits. Parts breakdown are also nicely designed for it to be easily painted separately. As usual, stickers are provided which I pretty much ignore.
Building a Bandai kit nowadays feels like building a LEGO set: everything just fits. I added some minor details on the thighs, legs and inside the shield with plastic card and photoetch parts. I originally had more done but changed my mind and swapped out the modified parts and put back the original. I drilled 0.3mm or so holes all over the kit as a test to see how these added details look. I find that it’s a simple and quite effective way of adding details. I also added small nozzles from Kotobukiya onto the verniers.
Proportions-wise, I only lengthened the waist by about 1.5mm with plastic card. I also pretty much kept the kit uncemented the whole time as all the joint lines double as natural panel lines. I really like this attention to detail by Bandai with the newer kits. However, there are some obvious ones on the backpack binders and (as always) beam rifle. These were treated with filler and sanded down.
Colors & Markings
I decided to go with the standard color scheme this time round although I did go with a more subdued shade of all the colors. For example, I used a lighter green color than what’s on the lineart (which I affectionately call ‘puke green’). As I was able to paint this kit in its component parts I didn’t have to do much masking. I did have to handpaint the shield missiles and the grenades on the hip though.
The markings come from various sheets from Bandai and OEM stuff I bought throughout the years. The scorpion marking on the shield is from a HiQParts sheet. I think I used the wrong size for this. Oh well.
Weathering was kept light with a panel wash of dark brown followed by sponge chipping with dark brown paint and then various fading, filters and streaks with white and black oil paints. In hind sight, I should have added some exhaust stains but I’m moving on.
Once cured, everything was knocked down with a misting of AK ultra matt varnish.
Number 9 of 2018
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!
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