Archive for March, 2013

Showdown WIP 5 – Main Body

While it’s just the primer, I wanted to put things together and see how they looked at this stage in the game. We’ve run in to a lot of equipment issues on this build due to age and my own mistakes (bent a fluid nozzle, the air regulator crumbled from the inside out) but so far things have managed to turn out pretty good regardless. The chest, feet, part of the arms and backpack are finished, decaled and hit with the characteristic flat coat.

Once the new regulator shows up it’ll be time to start prepping the weapons and getting the whites finished up.

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RG Karaba Zeta Gundam – First Look!

I know that a lot of people have been curious about this kit and while I mentioned some things about it in the last post, I wanted to make a quick update before work with some actual pictures of what makes this kit so special.

The box itself is much larger than the standard Zeta Gundam box due to the fact that there are 5 extra runners involved with this kit.

Three of the I and E runners in gray, pink and white and two of the A runners with different coloration. Bandai really wanted to make sure this thing looked as good as possible out of box! I did some looking and if you could get your hands on another frame runner, two d runners and the runner that has the white armor parts you could build an entire extra RG Zeta Gundam and then some with what you won’t be using…but the cost of ordering those parts would likely run you more than the cost of just buying another RG Zeta.

This is a big one. When the promo shots for the Karaba Zeta came out there was an error on the leg sticker- “Karab”. People (myself included) were pretty annoyed that such a blatant typo could make it through Bandai’s QA and actually make it all the way to production again (phase shit armor, oops) but I’m pleased to report that the issue isn’t present on the kit after all! This is a huge plus and makes me really happy.

Given that my attention is focused pretty hard on the Stein right now it’s hard to say when I’m going to get to building this but it WILL be my next build and while it’s getting painted in stock colors you can be sure that I’ll be using every little sticker and bringing out every detail I can to make it a really impressive build.

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Showdown WIP 4 – Hi-Stein

Tentative name, I haven’t quite found something that gives it that proper “custom” feeling. In any case the mods for most of the weapons are done now save for the shield/rifle mounted cannon (still mulling this one over- might be a step to far to mount it to the already oversized beam rifle) and leg mounted missile racks which I haven’t even begun to fiddle with yet.

Let’s talk how I got these parts on there. First and foremost the shoulder mounted weapons are connected to the shoulder via the shoulder joints from the MG Hi-Nu. I they fit in there by opening up the small gap on the shoulder frames just a touch, then tightening them up with super glue to ensure they don’t flop around at all. Using the shoulder joints gives the weapons the ability to rotate on the X and Z axis with the arm from the new Type-C ReZEL giving it movement on the Y axis. The huge cannon on the left shoulder was easy enough to fit since that’s the part it’s supposed to mount to in the first place but to mount the gatlings I had to get a little creative.

I forgot to take a picture of it, but there’s a PC part cut down and jammed in to the opening of the S8 part of the Type-C ReZEL and then I sanded down a chunk of sprue so it fit in the PC part. After that, I drilled some holes in to the side of the gatling guns and used superglue to tighten those joints, though they aren’t locked in to place so they can move up and down independently of one another. I’ll cover up the holes with some pla-plate to keep things looking nice and clean but for now that takes care of our shoulder mounting adventures.

I was initially worried that I would need to drill holes in to the Steins shoulder armor to accommodate the shoulder part’s male end but as it turns out the part that covers the area I attached the joint to is actually covered by the part that goes on top of the shoulder and all I had to do was cut off a little extra plastic to make it work. Here’s a comparison of the two parts, one modified and the other stock. This leaves enough room that nothing is in the way of the shoulder joint.

The last bit of work that I had to do on the shoulders- and this is something I realized I had to do maybe five minutes ago- is cut down a side of the part that hangs down from the shoulder since the balljoints are in the spot for the back side that slips in to the shoulder frame. This was a quick and easy thing to do and to make sure the part stays put with half the support I just tightened the remaining area up with superglue which is becoming shockingly common with this build.

The end results speak for themselves though, the joints are all rock solid and have plenty of movement to allow for the rifle to come under the arm so the kit can grip the cannon or have it sitting above the shoulder for firing. You’d think all these modifications would result int he suit having poor balance but thanks to the Stein’s larger size it supports all of these extra parts quite well and doesn’t suffer much in the way of stability. There are only a few things left to do now like figure out what I’m going to do with the Armed Armor DE and the second beam cannon. I really like how Syd’s fantastic build and my own are going towards two different schools of thought- high speed combat and overwhelming offensive power. Maybe I’ll have to mail my Stein to Japan when this is all said and done so they can be photographed together!

In other news, my Real Grade Karaba Zeta Gundam has arrived from Gentei Kits! I have a three day weekend this week, you guys can expect to see a preview of the kit at the very least because I know a lot of us were/are wondering why the ox is so much bigger than the regular RG Zeta Gundam box. There aren’t any extra weapons, but Bandai did go the extra mile on color separation and gave us multiples of the same runners in different colors to ensure that the Karaba Zeta looks are true to the artwork as possible. Be on the lookout for pictures soon since we’ve got some serious free time coming up!

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Stein Showdown 3 – Mad Science!!

Now we’re really getting things underway.

Test fitting most of the gear now that my Type-C ReZEL got here (I’ll build that later- I want to finish up some other projects first), I need to drill a hole in the shoulder armor but the arm from the Type-C fits the Hi-Nu shoulder joint perfectly with no extra work so that’s excellent. Aside from that it looks like most this will come together relatively hassle free. I might need to tighten up the balljoints on the backpack to compensate for the fin funnel’s extra weight (those still need to be painted as well, they won’t be staying black and dark red) but as you can see the it all works together pretty well. There are still more things to come so keep your eyes peeled for another update later in the week with the finishing touches on this thing mod-wise.

Also, My RG Karaba Zeta Gundam shipped so you’ll probably see a build of that up soon too- I’m painting it in stock colors since that’s the whole point of the kit but I’ll be sure to put it lots of extra effort to make it a really outstanding build.

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Stein Showdown progress!

Thanks to having an actual legitimate weekend off for the first time since December, I managed to get most of the reds on the Stein and a few of the silver and other details wrapped up.

Don’t mind where that missile rack is, it’s since been moved to an area that doesn’t result in a bunch of ugly looking empty space. I’m REALLY loving how this is turning out so far, the colors are all really bright and pop together well. As you can see, the V-Fin and chest vents got changed to silver and I think that change gives it a much more look that is it’s own instead of borrowing everything from the Deep Striker.

I really love how the backpack on this thing turned out. I’m just waiting for new Hi-Nu parts before I atach the funnel racks to this area, the funnels themselves will probably be done over the next few days along with most of the whites on the suit. The parts that are painted already all have their pre-decal gloss coats down as well, so that will save some time when we reach that step. A few parts suffered small scratches but since there’s still red to paint repairing them won’t take much time or extra effort.

Here’s where I’m putting the missile pods on the waist for now. It sits a little too low for my taste, but seems like the best available simple solution for mounting missiles on the waist. It doesn’t get in the way of the arms or anything else and it doesn’t create weird looking empty space.

I should have most, if not all, of the whites done over the next two days depending on how much energy I have. I’m still torn on how to handle the Armed Armor DE due to the psychoframe parts, I might just paint them gray or some other color and make up a ridiculous explanation for why they aren’t ‘active’.

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Showdown!!

When I was starting my build of the Sinanju Stein, I made a quick update on the It’s a Gundaaaam! Facebook page with the V-fin in place, prompting a comment from Syd of the Gaijin-Gunpla fame; ‘You should see what my Stein is getting.’

That sparked a fire. Syd and I got to talking and decided that since we were both at roughly the same point in our builds we would wrap up what we were currently working on and then we’d have a showdown of Steins, each of us customizing our respective units.

As you can see, I’ve already the majority of the frame painted (aside from the backpack frame), and while I’ve painted a few parts yellow I’ve decided to change their color so even that won’t be the same on the final kit.

Digging in to the first of many mods (apologies for reusing the same picture from the last update, but I’ve already taken the backpack apart to paint it up), we’ve got the addition of the Hi-Nu funnel racks on to the Stein’s existing backpack.

Started by cutting a hole in to a section of the backpack armor, low enough so that where it’s mounted it won’t get in the way of shoulders OR ruin the suit’s profile. Maintaining a certain flow of a suit’s design is always an important aspect when doing mods like this and I rather dislike it when people just slap a ton of weapons and/or equipment on a suit. Remember kids- just because you CAN add 0 Raiser wings to something doesn’t mean you SHOULD.

It took a long time to come to a conclusion on how to set up these funnel parts. I wanted to maintain their ability to rotate, spread out and move up and down and to do that I ran through a lot of ideas before I landed on using the hip joints from my old MG Hi-Nu and while it’s sad to use the kit as parts, the recast Vicious Project Hi-Nu parts I got were so deformed that the resin kit is nigh useless. I hacked the L15 part down to size so it had a nice low profile but had enough surface area to still provide a solid area to glue to the inside of the Stein’s backpack part.

I ordered new parts for the actual funnel racks, but for now test fitting with the old Hi-Nu parts does the job. I made a little more room on the inside of the parts so they fit snugly though I think that when it comes time to load the racks up with the funnels I’ll need to either jam a PC part in there (unlikely- there isn’t a lot of room to put the one that works with the hip joint in there) or tighten the joint up more so it doesn’t turn or move unfavorably. So far so good! My parts from Gentei Kits arrived yesterday which had a lot of the other extra weapons that are going to get attached to this kit- but the MG General Revil ReZEL doesn’t drop until this Thursday (supposedly) and that has the parts I need for the final two big mods to this kit. Stay tuned, and keep your eye on Gaijin-Gunpla for what he’s going to do with his own Stein! It’s bound to be amazing!

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Project next.

More on this soon. Big announcement coming!

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