Just in time before school resumes next week! I must say I’m quite glad how it’s turned out. It’s not perfect though, clear colors require a lot more skill to paint, and I didn’t have access to waterslide decals, so I had to paint in some of the white lines where I couldn’t apply the dry transfers successfully.
Doing the shots like a toy review. Didn’t paint any of the panel lines because I expected to do this like an automotive model where the panel lines on the car body aren’t painted.
The head vulcans were masked before painting on the clear red. The gold trim was done using a reverse wash described previously.
I put the head parts together and couldn’t remove them when I realized the mono-eye couldn’t be seen. Too late to make any changes. I’m not sure whether replacing the eye with some Wave H-Eyes option parts would improve things. Wanted to try inserting an LED but I wanted to keep things simple, plus there wasn’t much space to store the batteries. In the end the paint made the mono-eye stuck in position so now it can’t move with the head.
Sleeves. The fingers were cut to individual pieces.
The parts for the inner frame were so well-fit and tight it became nearly impossible to move them after painting. The joints also scratched the paint easily. I had to give them another quick blast of gun metal after putting them together.
I’m inclined to believe the shoulder spikes are for decoration purposes and probably won’t stand up to a shoulder tackle given how they hang on the shoulders.
The moving parts for the backpack thrusters are almost stuck in position too. I don’t dare to move them for fear of scratching the paint.
I tried to do pre-shading for the white parts. They weren’t too obvious, and even harder to show up in the camera.
Some of the white lines were painted on. I think it’s quite obvious which ones are painted.
I did the same trick as with my Zaku II back then, documented in this how-to article and gave the ankle pistons some nice shine.
There is only one pair of pistons on this guy and I’m glad to see it isn’t completely hidden from view.
Beam rifle with the grenade launcher attached.
Melee weapons. I forgot to paint them in my rush to finish up the kit. I actually intended to paint a little white, but it’s alright since I’m practically keeping him in a static pose.
The awesome shield/axe combo thing.
Sorry for the lack of action shots. The joints were simply too tight and I was risking some severe paint scratching.
I’ll try my best to remember the work sequence:
- Straight assembly, removal of mold parting lines and nubs [links 1, 2, 3, completed kit unpainted]
- Primed with Tamiya Fine Surface Primer, additional sanding with higher grit sandpaper where necessary
- Painted inner frame with gun metal, all other colored parts black [link]
- Yellow parts and parts with gold trim painted gold
- All other colored parts painted silver
- Red armor parts painted clear red
- Reverse wash, masking for gold trim [link]
- White parts pre-shaded with black, then painted white
- Reassembly and dry transfers applied [link]
- Top coated with Super Clear Gloss UV Cut
The color scheme was kept simple:
- Black: Black/(G) Pure Black
- Inner frame and weapons: (G) Gun Metal
- Silver parts: (G) Star Bright Silver over Black
- Red parts: Clear Red over (G) Star Bright Silver over Black
- Gold parts, gold trim: (G) Star Bright Gold over Black, (T) X-1 Black over (G) Star Bright Gold
- White: White over Black pre-shade
All colors used are Mr. Color unless specified: G = Gaia Color, T = Tamiya enamel X- series
I was really happy to be able to finish it just in time. I was getting a little worried of biting off more than I could chew as I was still priming the kit on Christmas last year. The assembly and sanding took the longest. I wasn’t sure whether it was the sheer part count, complexity and the amount of parting lines, or it could be me multi-tasking. I actually marathoned quite a lot of anime while sanding the parts.
I think I spent as much money on supplies as the kit itself. I took a total of 4 resupply trips because I kept running out of paint. First was the primer, it took up over 3 cans, and I also rushed out to get emergency supplies to fix my scratched figma Luka. Then it was the inner frame at 2 bottles of gun metal, then the clear red at 3 bottles. Not to forget the 2 trips I made to buy the parts for my own spray booth. Looks like I’ll have to sell some of my figmas to reduce the total spending. I still have an unopened figma Mari. 2 more figmas are on their way, I’m really tempted to open one of them but it seems I may have to sell them both as well.
The painting was a challenge as well. Normally, painting opaque colors was just an easy matter of simply slapping them on without worrying much about over-painting. Having to work with clear colors made me realize how incompetent I was at using the airbrush. I needed to have precise control over the paint flow to keep the shade consistent across the surface of a part. There was also the issue of orange peel, where paint would dry before hitting the surface. I learnt that colors with a gloss finish would generally require more thinning, and a lower pressure to prevent the paint from drying in mid-air. I had to be more patient this time round by painting the clear colors with more passes or else the paint would orange peel or cause runs which would be a huge disaster.
I also tried different brands of paint this time. My verdict on Gaia Color? The Star Bright Silver and Star Bright Gold are simply superb for airbrushing and are worth the price premium. They are far superior to the finish you get from using Mr. Color. However they are more difficult to work with as the metallic particles seem to be very dense and settle really quickly. As for Gaia’s Pure Black, I didn’t really know how much thinner was ideal, so it turned out that I achieved a higher gloss using Mr. Color Black compared to Gaia Pure Black.
Anyway, thanks for watching me build this kit over the past month! I must have pissed off quite a few readers with my misleading posts and pictures, making you guys think I’m painting some awesome color when I’m just sticking to the default color scheme. Looks like I have to thank my trusty supplies and keep them yet again. The airbrush was throwing tantrums by spraying water onto my wet paint; luckily the damage to the paint job wasn’t serious and could be remedied.