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!
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.
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.
Scale: 1/144 HGUC
Price: S$12.00 (est. US$7.00)
The introduction of the MS-09 Dom by the Zeon forces proved to the Federation that while the RGM-79 GM was a capable MS, it needed to field a more maneuverable and better-performing MS to match up with the Dom. Late in the War, the RGM-79D was introduced. The RGM-79D has increased power and maneuverability and is modified for extreme weather conditions with a specialization on cold climate.
I am a GM phreak so ANY release of a GM variant is something I look forward to. The OAV series Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket (0080) just happens to have some of the best designed GM variants. The original 0080 model kit line saw the release of the RGM-79G and RGM-19GS, a slight variation of the RGM-79D. The RGM-79D and the RGM-79SC GM Sniper II were only available as resin kits or resin conversion sets then. When Bandai announced the RGM-79D as part of their HGUC line, it was welcome news for me because this means the GM Sniper II is now a distinct possibility for a release in injection form. Anyway, here’s a look at the RGM-79D.
The kit comes in three trees of colored parts, as per Bandai’s practice. Parts breakdown for the HGUC series so far have been excellent. They allow the modelers to pretty much finish the kit in subassemblies, paint them and then do final assembly. Considering they are just 1/144 kits, the HGUC line’s poseability has also generally been good. I also like the fact that the visor is a transparent green piece, saving me the time of having to paint it.
One thing I’ve noticed is that this kit will probably build up into a much bulkier version than the original anime version. That’s not necessarily bad, but purists might have a problem with it. I don’t. I think the proportions look tight, without the roundness of the HGUC RGM-79 and the huge waist of the original 0080 RGM-79G/GS model kits.
As with most HGUC kits, accessories are bare: a Sten-looking machine gun (which can be held with both hands… COOL), shield and a beam saber with the hand molded in. There are pros and cons to this: It does look better than the regular fist, but it’s a pain to paint and choices of poseability with the beam saber is pretty much limited. Plus, you can only use the beam saber for the right hand (the beam saber hilt is on the left shoulder). However, this is easily remedied, as most Gundam modelers would have beam sabers lying around in the spares box anyway.
Bandai still refuses to include waterslide decals with their kits. This one comes with a sticker sheet, which naturally is too thick for any use if you do serious modeling. But, since the core audience for these kits is kids, a sticker sheet does make sense.
All in all, this looks to be a excellent kit and as mentioned above, this kit has since spawned a couple more variants from the 0080 world: namely the RGM-79G and RGM-79GS twins. Personally, I think that we can never have to many GMs. Bring them all on Bandai!
Preview courtesy of my wallet