I have submitted my Bandai 1/144 HG MS-04 Bugu [Ramba Ral] into ZakuAurelius Clean vs Weathered Competition 2021. ChrisPabz is one of the judges of the competition and on his youtube channel he gave me some really positive constructive comments and also many things which I can improve on! Check it out on timestamp 16:31.
Take a look at his other videos and if you like send him your WIPs or build for him to review; check out his Instagrambio for the link to send in your photos and follow him!
I have seen many fantastic designs from other modellers online, and many of them took the kit to a new level which I don’t think I will get there in a weeks’ time. So I thought I might as well do something different by combining the wings of the Endless Waltz version to my Wing Zero; to make my own 4 Wings Gundam!
Before doing Gunpla seriously, I tend to do a lot of scale models and sometimes harsh panel lining are not appropriate hence I used pre-shading to help bring out the details and parts separations. In this case, the Wings are majority white hence it is crucial to help lift the details up by giving it a high contrast between black and white. To help tone down the pre-shade it is best to coat the parts with several layers of paint one at a time; for the wings I used 3 layers of white.
I love painting the thruster bells, I tend to use double sided tape and give it a black coat to help bring out the shine on the silver layer. The silver is to give a metallic shine to the red inside of the thruster bells. Once dried, reversed the thruster bells are sprayed the outside; this will give a nice interesting contrast to the thruster bells and help make it stand out.
The other issue I had is that the leg joints are actually quite loose, hence I have to prop the Wing Zero on a stand for a hovering pose as the leg will drop off easily.
The eagle eye among you will notice that one of my wings are missing in some of the photos, that is because in the nature of kitbash, things do tends to break and super glue is your best friend.
This is a side by side with my Wing Gundam (Fenice), I bought the Fenice because I like the damaged design of the kit, as it kind of reminds me of the original Wing Gundam been self-destructed and kind of try to be put back together. But as you can see both design are although similar in principle but very different in parts design.
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As said, I believe Cannon 2 is an upgraded version of the Guncannon, and you can see although they do not have much of a similarly, but in principal both mobile suits have similar features.
The articulation of this suit is typical of a HG, I am not saying it will do splits and some “Kung Fu” poses, but as a long range support, I think I am quite happy with the pose I have set. Parts separation for painting is actually not too bad; I am able to achieve the colour scheme I intended without the need of much masking.
This Bandai 1/144 HG RX-79BD-2 Blue Destiny Unit 2 is released in 2007, although it has some good parts separation mainly around the legs. I am slightly disappointed with the torso. The latest version has the vents and waist cannons moulded in separated pieces for easy painting but this is moulded with the intention of using stickers and masking. The skirt armour is also mould as a single piece which I have to mask to get the colour separation I am aiming for. In the end, I drilled out that waist cannons and repurpose the beam sabres to provide the part separation.
The double Beam Cannon made this Gundam very back heavy and thus I am not able to get it to stand on its own; luckily I have a few spare stands to use.
I am not too keen on the original lemony yellow accent of the Mudrock but after playing with some colours, the Teal blue and off white base colours actually worked quite well together. Don’t look too closely on this kit, the details and panel lines are not deeply cut in early 2000 hence there are lots of searing from panel lining, I tried to clean up as best as I could, but I am not patience enough. Also my masking isn’t really up to scratch, there are several places with the paint bleeding and I have to touch up using hand brushing.
I gave my Mudrock Custom the number “06” because it is the 6th variant of the RX-78, I also used some red triangles to help give it a more closer representation to the actual Mudrock. Deep down, I know I had made a lot of mistake painting this, but I actually do like the colour, the customised weapons and look. This unique colour kind of refreshes and stood out on the shelf of my other entire similar colour Gundam. This is also a trash kit of the year for me but I am glad I finished it.
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I am usually into kitbashing and modify mine kit to give it a personal spin, but I struggle to come up with a better idea other than to paint this to how I remembered it when I was much younger watching the anime. I also gave it a beam rifle from my Hazel.
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To be honest, I have not been Heavyarms greatest fan, being an engineer and army I just do not believe in chest Vulcans or a heavy Gatling Gun as a hand (it makes it so imbalance…part of the Gundam lore); I mean it is a cool gimmick when I was a kid but I think it just takes the sci-fi fantasy one step too much for me. Ok ok! Mine quadruple Gatling guns are a bit over the top but I am just “compensating” and trying to help the pilot to shift the weight balance of the machine for efficient manoeuvrability
The other gripe I have with Heavyarms is the White/Orange colour which just for me do not match with the heavy gun blazing machine; I think the series did tried to fix it by giving it a new colour in Endless Waltz by changing it to White/Blue but it is still a bit of a half arse fix because the colour don’t even match the personality of the pilot.
Nonetheless, this is Gunpla and I am able to change out the colour to whatever I want. Thus, one of the reasons why it took me a while to get this kit started is because I can’t make up my mind about which colour scheme to go for BUT if you really want to know, I blame Covid for delaying the postal service from overseas (I think Brexit played a part too).
While building this, I come to realise that the kit quality and assembly design has really come a long way since. The parts separation for colours and painting is actually really good; even if the parts are not separated they have relatively sharp corners to allow easy masking. Thus, I am really able to mix if lots of different colour combination on a HG kit.
Articulation is not bad as well, but because I have overloaded my Heavyarms the legs tend to separate on its own after a while, hence I have to put it on a stand; or some people will strength the hip joint with dry glue.
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Disclaimer: I am not saying I dislike the following projects but just saying there are some bits that I do not like about it in terms of build process and final colour scheme or design which I believe I could have done better.
1. Bandai 1/44 HG HG GAT-04 Windam
I bought the Windam purely because it is a realtively new kit and it uses a new type of joint system which is similar to the 30MM and Leo. But while building it I isn’t really convince with the long antennas (V fin) of the original head sculpt and it makes it look like a “bug” hence I switched to a Gundam looking head that I found in my box of kit bash. While putting things together I am inspired with RGZ-91B Re-GZ Custom and thought I should paint this suit in that colour. I am not unhappy with the design, but somehow the completed colour scheme did not sit well with me; if I am doing it again, I would remove the red accent on the shoulders and used a different shade of blue.
2. Bandai 1/44 HG F91 Gundam
I have high expectations on F91 Gundam, because this is actually the 4th kit I owned. I not sure why but I really like this design, but I can’t seem to complete this kit with a colour scheme I wanted. Anyway I aimed to do a John Harrison version of this HG kit using a different face sculpt. But somehow the paint came out too glossy than what I anticipated, I tried to matte it down a but then it just went fuzzy. Sigh! And to hide my mistake, I tried to do some weathering. To be honest it looks okish in photos but in real life you can actually see painting errors…looks like I need to get another F91 in 2021!
3. Bandai 1/44 RG Zaku 2
I bought the RG Zaku 2 with a high expectation that after all these years of design development Bandai has surpassed itself in plastic technology! That is true however due to the inner frame complexity, some of the joints are weak and the instructions are difficult to understand even for an engineer who read basic japanese. Saying that, I am not disappointed with the final paint job but the build and paint process is tiring especially the power hose bits….I am still having nightmares of spraying tiny plastic bits.
4. Bandai 1/44 HG Wing Gundam Fenice
I think I have made known on several posts that I wasn’t keen onthe Wing Gundam series. However, the green coloured Fenice from the Build Divers anime series has inspired me to start one. I like the bashed and damaged design and the fact that the mobile suit is built up using spares, this is almost the ultimate kit bash! I inspired to do a damaged Wing Gundam with a brown cloak (just like Exia Repair), which I am quite happy with the final result. But I made a mistake by applying too much weathering to try to spearate the white colours, that has made the mobile suit looking strange in real life.
5. Bandai 1/44 HG RX-78GP03S Gundam
There are some kits made by Bandai you have to learn to avoid, like the Tristan and the GP03S! There are lots of warning signs from other reviewers and Youtube channels, but I am interested because the GP01, GP02, GP01FB are relatively good kits despite the age; I thought I should just gamble with the GP03S. I am wrong; the parts separation are terrible, and the bits are fiddly to put together, the huge booster skirt gets in the way of everything, to be fair it would have been more forgiving if it is moulded in different parts for painting. But once finished, it is just okish.
6. Bandai 1/44 HG GBN-Base Gundam
The Build Divers GM was one of my favourite kit, but sadly it did not make it to the top 12 of 2020, hence I thought the GBN-Base Gundam would be a good modern take on the dated Grand-dad design. The body shape has more agressive angles and looks “fit”. I actually like it so much that I bought 2 of this kit, the first version was painted in Thunderbolt dark blue/red and the 2nd was in anime bright blue scheme. The only reason why this is here is because the V fin on the head is slightly too long and this makes the head looks like a bug, especially if you do not clipped away the safety tabs. Also because of the shape of the modern design, the Gundam only looks good at certain angle. I might get another one in 2021 and painted it with more muted Grand-Dad colour.
7. Bandai 1/44 HG MS-14JG Gelgoog Jager
I love a Gelgoog design, and the Jager is no doubt one of the design I have high regards espeically the beam machine gun. But why is it in a my list of least favourite? That is because the joint dessign of this kit is so bad that you can’t really bend and pose apart from doing stationary stance. Bandai in their instruction manual has shown that they are able to pull out some fantastic poses but I am afraid of scratching the paint I did not move it too much. Also the colour scheme jsut did not sit well with me, if I am doing it again I will give it a much stronger colours.
8. Bandai 1/44 HG MS-7B Gouf
I am never interested in the Gouf mainly because I don’t like the huge curved horn design, I just don’t see it been a practical mobie suit design. But that is not the main reason why it is in my list of least favourite. The reason why it is here is because I was disappointed in myself for failing to get the pre-shading for the white to show up properly. I have no choice but to use weathering to break out the total snow white effect. This is the only kit that I might dump into the “Box of Despair”and buy another to do it again. Have I said that I really dislike painting “white”?
9. Bandai 1/44 HG MS-06FZ Zaku 2 FZ
This is actually one of my favourite Zaku 2 FZ variant. This is only here because I am slightly disappointed with my dark colour scheme. I am aimming for a German WW2 shock trooper colours, but my pre-shading for the grey did not show up enough to give it any depth. Hence I actually bought a 2nd kit to and give it a bit of justice.
10. Bandai 1/44 HG RX-93-V2 Hi-Nu Gundam
This RX-93-V2 should be on one of my favourite list but it ended in here because I really dislike the build process of this kit. The weight of the back pack is also makes the mobile suit imbalance and hence I need to use a stand to help it “stand”properly. I also feels the base grey would have been slightly lighter.
11. Bandai 1/44 HG Gundam Astaroth Rinascimento
I love IBO kits, they have this inner frame that makes the mobile suit looks mecahnical. I bought the Astaroth Rinascimento to purposely build a mobile suit that literally assemble from spares parts. I beleive I did achieved the look, but the reason why it is on the list of the least favourite is because I am disappointed with how the colours turned out. I would prefer the grey to have a bit more pre-shading to help with the look.
12. Bandai 1/44 HG Sengoku Astray Gundam
I bought this Sengoku Astray with anticipation that I will make it into a Musha Gundam look alike. I technically did acheived my idea and I liked the coloured scheme, but the reason it is in here because I really dislike the colour I used on the mouth piece; it is too dark to and hence it hides the face. I tried to painted it with red to bring it out, it works a bit but it does not improve the visibility. Sigh!