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.
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.