With this, so ends one of my more ambitious projects to date as well as a really cool build-off with Gaijin-Gunpla! This kit was a really big undertaking for me since it involved a lot of brainstorming and creative work to get everything together to way I wanted it to. Thankfully I managed to accomplish all of the goals I set forth for myself at the start of this except for one idea that I scraped because it just didn’t look right. This build was a blast the whole way through, even from the base Stein kit to the addition of all the extra parts I added. The Sinanju Stein continues the trend of ver. Ka kits being at the top of their game with the new ABS frame, PG styled hands and waterslide decals. The base kit itself is still good looking but to me (and many others from what I’ve seen) the Stein has a very ‘blank template’ feel to it in the sense that it has a design that is very workable with almost any aesthetic modifications as evidenced by the two very different styles Syd and I took with our Steins.
People say that the Stein is weird because it was shoehorned in the the Gundam’s lineage between the Nu and the Sinanju/Unicorn, giving it some design choices that made it juxtaposed between the two designs someone peculiarly and I tend to agree with that. It’s like a Feddie Sinanju but with a lack of design elements to properly tie it to the Nu/Hi-Nu design line save for the rifle and shield. To this end I decided to give it some bits from the MG Hi-Nu that would give it a more traditional ‘Gundam’ look, starting first and foremost with the iconic Gundam V-Fin, which was attached using CA glue after cutting the fin in two and positioning it correctly. In the end I think it’s a bit too narrow (the original test-fit had it much wider) but after having to glue and reglue it when I was using extra thin cement the angle of it shrunk each time and now we’ve got the final product. It still looks good and if anything the angle makes the look of the Stein’s fin more unique. For the colors for this kit I went with the ones I used on one of my Real Grade Zetas (Super Italian Red with an Alclad II flat ‘klear koat’ over it) and I think the bright color of the red plays outstandingly well with the dark gray frame and silver and light gray accents on the body of the suit. One thing I did notice with this model is that the color layout on my kits all tend to follow a similar pattern: color the tops of the shoulders and leave the bottoms white (sometimes with an accent color), solid upper body with a white or accent color lower torso along with colored upper calf armor and a combination of all three colors on the forearms. While identifying this pattern is something that doesn’t make me that happy (it means I’m going to want to shake things up on my next few kits since I want to break away from this pattern) it’s hard to argue that this color layout consistently nets some awesome results. Still, you can expect the next seriously involved build to break away from this habit of mine. The big part that makes this feel like a true continuation of the Nu’s line is the Fin Funnels. I’m really proud of myself for figuring out how to attach these and give them a wide range of motion (even more than they had on the Hi-Nu kit I took them from, if I do say so myself) and they way that even without any modifications to how they look they manage to fit so well with the way the Stein looks. You can read the WIP of how I made this section work in this WIP post since going in depth with how I made it work would be a bit redundant here. It’s really lucky that I had the MG Hi-Nu for parts on this kit since all of the big modifications utilized parts from that kit in some way. While it’s sad to use such a good kit for part fodder I think ultimately the whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts…and I can find another MG Hi-Nu for 4000 yen.
As something to give this kit some bite of it’s own, I took the last extra set of MG Unicorn gatling guns I had and the ReZEL Type-C’s mega beam launcher (I bought the ReZEL almost entirely because I wanted this weapon) and crafted them to fit on the Stein’s shoulders. Again, to save space and avoid being redundant you can look at this post to see how I made both new additions function with the Stein’s gear. Syd’s usage of the Tallgeese’s shoulder attachments is much more clever though due to the size and weight of both of these weapons I think this was probably the best route for me to go. The two grays with some gold for a little touch worked out really well and now I think when I go back to my MG Full Armor Unicorn I’m going to have to fiddle with the weapons a little bit so they’re not all one color like they currently are. The rifle and bazooka were both easy to do and turned out well, the decals that the Stein comes with making them look even better.
I nabbed an Armed Armor DE just for this kit to help round out it’s defensive abilities but given that it’s all white out of the box painting it up properly to look like it does now took a fair amount of work on my part as well as some very careful masking for the gray venty parts on the tips of the part that slide out. Using the decals on the DE’s parts means that the base shield looks a little odd but since this thing will always be packing the DE…who cares? I really like the way the DE looks on the Stein more than how it does on the Unicorn since it feels like the damned thing is upside down on the RX-0.
The finished product even manages to look good with all of it’s gear crammed on it though I think I’m more partial to how it looks with just the fin funnels attached. Thanks to the way I attached the shoulder mounted weapons the holes I made for them aren’t visible from the front so if I leave them off the suit still maintains a nice clean aesthetic. This kit really marks a big step forward for me and while it’s not something crazy that involves doing a lot of putty and pla-plate work or reworking parts it’s definitely the most involved custom piece of work I’ve done so far. I’m really proud of what I managed to accomplish with this and going forward what I learned while building this is going to prove to be a huge boon to what I do with models in the future. I’ve already gotten started on the next project, but it’s going to be a long one…you can bet that you’ll be seeing an update on it once I’m settled in to my new apartment and get everything situated properly!