Archive for category Sinanju

I’m going to skip the apology…

and get right to the meat of things.

The RG GP-01 Zephyranthes is coming along really smoothly- the rest of the white parts have been primed and after that there’s some grays to paint up and then it’ll be finished! It’s a nice change of place as a simple recolor instead of something that requires a lot of time and money to be put in to it. I’m also working on the MG Banshee ver. Ka but as per the rules of hobbylink.tv’s contest I’m unable to post the WIP stuff here- you can see the updates here though. I’ll be working on the MG Full Armor Unicorn alongside it though, and I’ll make an update with pictures proper and you can just pretend it’s the Final Battle Banshee.

I finally got myself together and calibrated my camera, as well as changing some settings to get some cleaner pictures. This means we’ll be getting back to figure reviews in addition to being able to photoshoot models properly once they’re done. Of course, all of my other hobbies have kind of taken a slight back seat to Final Fantasy 14 but I’ll try to grind out these models with my time in the morning instead of pushing onwards to 50.

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Ready for a Nu kit.

Yeah, I got jokes. Before we get in to the Nu ver. Ka though, how about the current holder of the title of ‘best kit ever’ gets a little love?

Yeah, this big guy is finally done! There’s a small writeup over at it’s page which you can see in both the completed projects and commission pages.

Just a few more days to go until the Nu ver. Ka group build starts! Head over to the Gundam Australia forums to get in on the action or watch as we come together to work on Bandai’s latest and greatest!

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What I’ve been up to + Gunpla Expo World Tour 2012

I’ve been plugging away at kits, I just haven’t had much motivation to update thanks to third shift taking away a lot of my time during the day.

One of the big ones I’ve been working on is a Sinanju commission, which has proven to be just as much an undertaking as when I built my own almost two years ago. I’m waiting on a few parts that got missed to arrive from Gentei Kits (who have always provided excellent service!), and then this bad boy will be wrapped up after I decal the rifle and shield. I finished a lot of the larger sections of the kit like the trim and majority of the decals very quickly but in doing so managed to burn myself out pretty hard on working on the kit.

The other major thing I’ve done is changed PG Wing Zero Custom’s power source to USB. Battery power just wasn’t cutting it for giving all of the LEDs the power they need to glow properly. While it’s not as subtle now I much prefer the way it looks running off of USB and now that I’m in the process of putting the body together for the final time I will take plenty of pictures of the wiring to show folks the process I used to make it run off of this power source.

This model is a testbed for something else and I’ll leave you guys to wonder what…

And since here has been SO MUCH good stuff I figure I’ll go through some of those too! First up is the HGUC Ez8 and while it’s not a new MG kit, I’m really glad that one of the mobile suits that got me in to Gundam is getting a new kit. Guess this means I should consider getting the Gouf Custom HGUC to go with it, right? I wonder if we’re going to see an updated RX-79[G] as a result of this as well?

Oh. Apparently these are all potential RG releases?! I was never big on the Z’gok or GM, but I have high hopes that a Gouf RG would share a frame with a Zaku RG and I could get away with swapping some parts around on the two of them. RG RX-79[G] is a much better thing than a new High Grade so I really hope these are actual upcoming releases.

Of course, with upcoming RG releases they also showed off the next RG and once again despite not having seen SEED Destiny at all I have to say this is tempting. Some say the Destiny’s design isn’t all that appealing and while I can see why they would say that, something about it appeals to me. This kit doesn’t come out til spring 2013, so I have plenty of time to break through more of my backlog so I can get this when it comes out.

Just when I had been planning on building an HGUC Jesta squad, this goes and gets announced. From a cost standpoint it’s going to totally suck to buy 3-4 of them but the Jesta is such a good looking kit that overall I really don’t mind it- plus since it’s a grunt suit I expect it to be on the somewhat cheaper side of things. Also, on the HGUC side of things we’re also getting a Jesta cannon! Glad to see one of my favorite grunt suits get some love…can we have a GM Quel 2.0 now?

I think we all saw this coming with all of the new SEED kits coming out and I’m okay with that since this remastered version looks really good. It’s managed to motivate me to crack open the PG Strike I’ve had sitting in the box for awhile now and try to grind that out. Since the PG is for a friend though I think it’s safe to say I’ll probably brainstorm some other ideas and implement them on this kit.

While I have no love for Gundam AGE, AGE-3 and AGE-FX are two designs that I actually like from the show (especially AGE-3 Fortress) so these are actually something I might consider getting. I have no major ideas for them at the moment though.

I don’t think anyone saw this MG coming- it’s a total left field release but it’s one that I’m really glad about. I didn’t expect that the Sinanju Stein would get a High Grade release, let alone a Master Grade (and it comes out during the month of my birthday, to boot!). I’m sure that it will be just as outstanding as the MG Sinanju since it’ll likely share the same frame. Can’t wait to see more of this kit as it’s release nears.

And of course, the big one that everyone has been talking about since it’s announcement is Nu Ver. Ka and this thing is definitely a day one purchase for me with big plans. It’s no secret how much I love Katoki desgins and Bandai has really gone the extra mile with this kit in terms of what it’s packing. By now everyone already knows the skinny on this thing (aside from whatever secret thing they’ve yet to reveal- or was that the double funnel set they’re releasing in January?) so I’m not going to waste time with a boring recap of it. My plan of attack for this thing is already set and in place and it’s just a matter waiting now. More on that, once again, as the kit’s release nears. All in all this is going to be an excellent year for gunpla, and hopefully before this deluge of awesome kits come out I can get through more of my backlog and wrap up a few of the bigger builds so I can properly focus on these excellent new releases.

(All images care of Gundam Guy’s blog)

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Coming in hot.

Also incoming: the completed Zaku II squad. Sinanju has a few more parts before I start the decal hell on it, it’s a commission that I’ve only been working on for two days right now. The final finish will be flat but as well all know loss coats are important for doing work with waterslides. The Astray is awaiting Alclad II paint to arrive so I can finish the Tactical arms. The Asrtaea has one little bit left to attach to it to give it the full 7 Sword loadout that Exia lineage suits ought to have.

The Zaku IIs are finished, I just need to get them out of the box and snap a few pictures. Working third shift at work now means I spend a lot of the daytime sleeping however.

‘Til next time!

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It’s back! It’s going out again!

Back from a brief stint in the hands of another modeler, it’s…

Sinanju’s shield! Finally getting the first of many names, this has made it’s way back from the one and only Z and will be headed to lovely Japan next, in to the care of Gaijin Gunpla (Who is also getting the Unicorn bit in there) and then on to The American Salaryman in Tokyo before headed over to Busterbeam! After that, it’ll be taking a trip down to the land down under for the signatures of both Lanky and Sonar! See you soon, shield!

I get the feeling I’ll need to touch up the silver trim a bit upon getting it back, but it’s a small price to pay. Nothing I can do about the paint getting rubbed in-transit!

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Whoops!

I just noticed today that I’d left the page to the photodump page for my BB Sinanju incorrectly linked! Guess that explains why so many people were supposedly interested in Sazabi, huh? It’s fixed now though!

Nothing else to report, still playing with photo setups and waiting on paint..

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The Blue Berserker: A project in review (and a proper photodump)

So, it’s been awhile since I finally finished my role in the GAF Sinanju Group Build project, giving me plenty of time to reflect on this kit and what I learned by taking part in something like this. When I began working on it I was basically a novice at most aspects of building a gundam- painting, decaling, and modification. Sinanju was the 4th kit I spraypainted (The others being Nu, Sword Impulse and Sazabi), all of the others before it coming out…okay. Nothing spectacular. In addition to that, it was a kit that I had already built- meaning I’d have to strip everything down, clean off all the decals and paint, then essentially start over. This seemed like a really daunting task..Sinanju had been a real test for me the first time around, would I be motivated enough to do it all over and apply even more effort?

Cue a comment from one Gaijin Gunpla on this article. A group build? While I had built models with my friends over at the homestead, participating in something like this wasn’t something I had done before. Not to mention a lot of builders that I looked up to were taking part! Busterbeam, Gundam Guy, Gaijin Gunpla and of course Rob of ASM were all going to be working on their own Sinanju as well, along with a forum full of people able to provide information and advice should I be wary of my next step. Not to mention a bunch of people all working on the same model and getting hyped off of each other’s creative energy is always great. I poked my head in to the thread (glad it was open and the others didn’t mind me just showing up!) and began to toil away on the big red (for now) bastard.

This is the very first piece of information that I learned that comes in handy today. Until then, I had been using rubbing alcohol and just scrubbing vigorously until the paint was removed, or simply trying to cover the mistake up with more paint. Thanks to Tonzo, I now know that ammonia based cleaning products such as windex work a million times better for removing paint after a 24 hour soak. This would help in removing the old rifle paint and the formerly gold trim.

Before painting, I had to figure out what I was going to do about the shield. Like Busterbeam, I thought the default method sucked and looked for something less drastic than combing the forearm and shield parts together. I’m a person who is very stuck on symmetry, so in the end I would up drilling two .104″ (lol, imperial) holes in the forearm armor, which is just barely big enough to accommodate part of a sprue. A PC-C part trimmed down and shoved in to the shield frame and VIOLA! Stability, symmetry and functionality all at once! This was the first time I had done something like this to a kit (barring dremeling out Sazabi’s leg joints, which was a bit different imo), so as you can imagine I was very pleased to see it work out for the best. If only the blark part hadn’t gotten messed up so badly..more on that later.

I decided when I started this project that I would absolutely not cut corners, as that was a big problem I had with the first go. Detail every pipe, thruster, vent, and vulcan. Apply every decal. Get the trim PERFECT. I sprayed the black pieces with a coating of TS-29 semi-gloss black and set to work on the biggest challenge presented by the Sinanju a second time: painting the trim. The X-11 chrome silver I used for this behaved MUCH better than the gold leaf paint I originally used, helped along by the much finer brush I now had. Forcing myself to be patient, I took frequent breaks from painting the silver trim to go spraypaint the now-blue parts outside, also giving those at least an hour between coats. I used a lot of paint on this thing, at least five or six cans. Yeah, it was expensive (mental note: buy an airbrush) but it was also a hundred percent worth it. As with most things, going slowly and being thorough in your work pays off more than rushing.

Hey, great! I was pumped about how great the blue was shining and how the trim came out nice and crisp without much fuss…but wasn’t so happy with the shield. I went to remove some paint via winddex soak, repainted it, still wasn’t happy, then it broke while taking it off. Oh, the depression. This is the ONLY worthwhile shot of the shield since Bandai has yet to get me a new one (something that will be fixed soon, hooray!). It should be noted it was around this time that GaiGun gave the kit it’s alliteration-themed name (Like the Ebon Enforcer and Twilight Terror before it), “Blue Berserker”. Happy with how things were looking thusfar I had to steel myself for the next big hurdle that every Sinanju builder faces: the dreaded decals. It is here that Tonzo once again lends insight and informs me that a clear gloss coat will aid in the application of the decals. Two cans of TS-13 gloss clear and a whole bunch of my time later…

Gorgeous. Even under the too-yellow of my lamp, you can tell that the blue has some depth to it and produces a lovely shine. I finished up the decals with no hiccups and moved on to topcoating, which is when I found out that Tamiya gloss coats are far prettier than Mr. Hobby gloss topcoats. It’s not all bad though as the finish still looked wonderful! The waterslide decals were loads easier to work with than the dry transfers, I honestly think anyone who is serious about building this model needs to buy a set (or if you’re GaiGun, have a set made. Love ya man!) to make it look proper.

At the end of the day though, complaining about the topcoat is just me splitting hairs. The glossy finish really brings out the shine as long as I remember to position it so the light captures it properly, something that the other members of the GAF forum have helped me with as well. This model has been the biggest learning experience for me twice now, the first time in the realm of painting and excessive decal application and the second time in refining my technique (with the input of others). As it stands, this model is and will likely remain the crown jewel of my gunpla collection for some time, despite the fact it does not sit on the topmost shelf with the PG kits. I’ve put far more work in to it than any of my other models, past or present. At this point, I feel there is not much else I can do with my current toolset, so I may need to buy myself an airbrush (oh the money I’ll save on paint!) for the next big thing. Big ups to Busterbeam for showing me a good entry-level brush.

Actually, big ups to everyone that helped with this project, commented on the WiPs, told me it was coming along great, or just gave me some input on something to fix. Thanks a ton, I couldn’t have done it without you. This model is my bar for any and all future projects and is something I’m not sure I will manage to out-do any time soon. Like lots of people say, the Sinanju is one of the best MG kits out there in terms of look and design, but is also very demanding. After working on it twice now I can comfortably say that this model has the potential to be extraordinary with the proper amount of work and attention to detail.

You can see the photodump (And backstory, something I drummed up to tie together all of the groupbuild Sinanjus!) on his page.

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