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.
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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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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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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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The weapon set is relatively simple and I have to say parts separation could have been better. Details are not bad but luckily most of the parts have good edges for masking. Yes lots of masking to make it look at least half decent.
Even though the weapon pack does not belongs to the OO Diver, I think it gives the OO Diver more bulk and battle ready look.
But I guess that is one of the reason why it was a eye candy for me. Nonetheless, I do like the unique Gelgoog shape and the big beam machine/sniper rifle that comes with the kit. Saying that, this kit comes with nothing else, no shield, maybe some beam sabers.
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I started this as a “frankenstein” experiment to see if I am able to kit bash a box of spares and unwanted High Grade kit from Ebay. Bandai Iron Blood Orphans kits are actually quite easy to work with especially most of the kits shares the same “inner frame”. This blog post is just basically to update my previous Pinkinstein with new photos and a short video. Please take a look at my other projects to support this website and my work.
I always wanted to do Char’s Red Comet Gelgoog, but the original design is although similar in shape but is lacking in details. This variant is from the Stardust Memories series and has some good details and some adequate articulations. The kit is somewhat sparse as it only comes with a small Zaku machine gun, 2 light effect beam sword and a modified Zaku shield with spikes. I have to make my own beam rifle that look like what Char had used when he had the Gelgoog, also I have to superglue the hilt of the beam swords together to make it look like the twin beam sword.
One of the reason why I had not built a Red Comet version of the Gelgoog is because it is quite difficult to get the Salmon pink colour and dark red torso colour correct. I have been experimenting with colour mixing and it is only unitl now I have some confidence of getting the colour almost correct. This kit also has some nasty seam lines running down the middle of most parts such as arms, legs, tights, I have to ‘cement’ them together and sand off the seam lines using my sanding sponges from DSPIAE. The sanding sponges are great for this kit because Gelgoog has rounded surfaces. I bought mine from www.armourofgod.co.uk.
This kit also do not come with any decals which is not a surprise, so I used some of the decals that from my RG Zaku 2 to help bring out some of the edges of my Gelgoog.
I always wanted a Titans’ colour mobile suit, but I struggle to get the colour correct because it is either a Titan’s blue in some box art or purplish in the anime. Thus I can never decide on what to do, also I already have a Gundam Mk2 in white hence I don’t really want another Mk2 just for a colour change. The Hazel 2 gave me a good compromise as it came with a RX-78 type head with different head camera options. Hence this Hazel is a Gundam Mk2 wannabe but with some modifications.
I am also inspired after watching Build Fighters anime where they used a modified Gundam Mk2 with a G-Defensor booster! It was quite difficult to get my hands on the Build Fighter Mk2 and I am not really keen on the head and chest design hence I thought this Hazel 2 will look great when customised with a Booster backpack instead. I also kit-bash my Hazel with GM3 backpack, head vulcan and beam machine gun from Jegan, Side skirt armour from GM Command. In order to get the booster to retro-fit securely to the GM3 backpack, I have to drill a 2mm hole to accept the peg from the booster; I could used super glue as well but I thought a hole and peg will give me more options in the future.
I was quite please it is all assembled together. I had reservations on the Hazel 2 huge backpack and that is one of the reason why it had not bought this kit, but with the booster pack it looks like a total different machine. Also the dark purplish tint, this gundam stands out on the shelf with my other design and now I know why Titans called it the “Dark” Gundam.
But after seeing Bandai releasing a PBandai version of the Pale Rider, I thought I should be be able to kit bash a Pale Rider out of my spares using the GM as the base unit. I ended up with an old Tristan’s legs and arms armour, Ez8’s shield, Old Ground GM’s side skirts, and Ground Gundam’s weapons. One of the main reason why I like this GM kit is because this is the one of few design where the mobile suit has 4 chest vents and the vents are part separated from the chest unit which means easy painting. This really helps especially the Pale Rider has a distinctive 4 white chest vents. Also not forgetting the head antenna and lots of super-glue!
Some of you eagle-eyed people may wonder why I used the decals from ‘Alex’ since it is not cannon and not even the same mobile suit. Basically I don’t have much of a backstory and since I have a bunch of decals left over from other kit bash, I just thought I might as well use some to make my ‘Pale Rider’ look more ‘legit’ and the ‘Alex’ font looks very attractive over the white shield. Come to think of it, the ‘Pale Rider’ comes equiped with a HADES system which is a improved version of the EXAM system thus my custom “ALEX” can be an “Autonomous Logic EXam” System! There you go, I have a backstory!
Because this was a competition submission, I thought I will spend a bit more time and love to prep the surface and sand off the seam lines. Well let’s just say I have good intentions and carry it as far as I could just like a Ball Pod going against a Zaku 2. Mind you if I am a New Type, I might has pulled it off, but I lost my momentum and gave up on decals.
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!
When I first saw this strong red and metallic gold Captain Zeon Nu-Zeon I wasn’t really keen on getting it, but when I realised it was based on Nu-Gundam I started getting ideas in my head. Mainly because I have not had a RX-93 Nu Gundam, thus I thought I would be able to customised this as an “improved” version of the out-dated kit; especially when Bandai released the Fake Nu Wepaons and I have a spare booster shield from my Hazel. I painted the mobile suit in Gundam colours and I am very pleased with my “creation”.
I did not buy this Unicorn Destory Mode kit thinking I am able to customise it or made it any better. I just saw this in the shop by chance and thought why not since “every” Gunpla builder had one and it is almost like a rite of passage for a Gunpla builder to have at least one Unicorn. I did not really enjoy the build because there are many small parts hence a lot of painting. But once I have finished painting and assembled it together I am surprising pleased with my ideas of using metallic blue and using a double shield set up pinched from my Unicorn Normal.
3. Bandai 1/144 HG MS-06R-1A Zaku 2 High Mobility Type
I was inspired with Christmas and was keen on doing a Thunderbolt Psycho Zaku 2 to pay tribute to the anime for it ‘December Sky’ episode. But after reading some reviews and the Youtude channels on the build process, I wasn’t too keen on paying a hefty price for a rare Zaku 2 with lots of bazookas and huge booster pack. Thus I decided to buy a Zaku 2 High Mobility kit which is much cheaper and comes with lots of spare weapons. I repainted using Thunderbolt Psycho colours and kit based with missiles pod from an old Heavyarms, and a Bazooka from Sinanju Stein (Narrative version). I am actually quite please with how it turns out; the bright red and strong orange accent – just like a psycho Santa!
4. Bandai 1/144 HG MS-05 Zaku 1
I can’t have a Psycho Zaku 2 without the Zaku 1! Which similarly I wasn’t too keen on paying a hefty price for a rare Thunderbolt Orange Zaku 1. Thus I decided to to re-purpose an old Zaku 1 kit from eBay and uses the weapons left over from the Zaku 2 High Mobility kit. I repainted using Thunderbolt Zaku 1 Orange/Yellow colours and kit based with missiles pods from an old Zaku 2 F2. I am actually quite pleased with the completed kit! Now my Psycho Santa has an “Elf”to help carries Santa’s weapons!
5. Bandai 1/144 HG RX-78-2 Gundam (Origin Ver.)
I was slightly surprised that I placed this RX-78 Gundam Origin as 5th on the list; especially this is the one kit I will use to showcase what I can do. But because I like to customise my kits and make them look different and unique to the box art. The other top 4 kits are really “WOW” me when I finished them (also because I had a bad feeling throughout the built process on the other 4 that I might regret my design decisions). This Origin kit is just “perfect” in many ways, it is a solid build and I have confidence that it will ended up a good looking kit. The only big difference is that I used a GM3’s backpack that is kit bashed from my GM3 Beam Master. This backpack is similar to Gundam Mk2, hence I was thinking it could be a prototype for the Mk2. I was inspired by RX-78-3 roll out colours as well. The colour and backpack design helps it to stand out better than all my other Grand-Dads on the shelf!
6. Bandai 1/144 HG GM3 Beam Master
The Build Fighter kit like the GM3 Beam Master comes with lots of spare parts to make either the GM3 or the new Beam Master. I appreciate that many people dislike the cheesy orange colour of the Beam Master but this kit I believe is the ultimate kit bash machine where it comes with lots of spare weapons, shields, backpacks etc which is used on many of my “creations”. I actually bought 2 so that I can build a Thunderbolt inspired GM with lots of shield and double beam cannon and I also made a RGM-109 Heavy Arms lookalike!
7. Bandai SD/CS Gundam Ground Type
I will understand if you are quite confuse when you are expecting to see a SD CS Gundam Ground Type but end up looking at a Blue Destiny inspired Mobile Suit. I was never keen on SD type kit, especially with the googly eyes, but the SD/CS made me changed my mind about this series. I already have 2 HG Ground Type Gundam kits, thus I wasn’t keen on making another version on it in SD/CS. But since the SD/CS booster kit comes with a GM head, I thought I could actually make a “Blue Destiny” inspired mobile suit. The most stressful process of this kit bash is painting the large visor red; I am glad it came out ok! Phew! What a cutie!
8. Bandai 1/144 HG XXXG-01SR Gundam Sandrock
I wasn’t keen on the Wing Gundam series because when it was aired, especially I was already in my late teens and hence wasn’t interested in “kiddy” cartoons. Due to lockdown, I am starting to get myself back into Gunpla, and Bandai has a plan of re-releasing the the Wing Gundam kits in late 2020 and into 2021; which I was inspired to start a series on “band of brothers”. This new version of Sandrock has great parts separation for painting compared to the older version. I had a blast building this kit and kit bashed the wings of Jiyan Altron to make fangs for the Cobra shield and as a red cape for my “Centurion”!
9. Bandai 1/144 HG Gundam Jiyan Altron
This is my Jiyan Altron, it is a Build Fighter version but I preferred this over the older version of Bandai HG kit. This modern kit has more parts separation, surface details and better joint movement. I have modified the Dragons arms to come out of the backpack instead of the shoulders.
10. Bandai 1/144 HG UGY-R41 (Land) Man Rodi
Man Rodi is a simiple HG kit, and there is not much to it. But it is one of my favourite build this year because the colour scheme and legs used for land makes this kit very unique. It is not an easy kit to get hold of and I have to wait for a long time before seeing both the legs and Man Rodi kit on sale on eBay. I also added a large shield to the kit to give it a “Security Guard” look.
11. Bandai 1/144 HG Lightning Z Gundam
I did not customise this Lightning Z Gundam kit at all apart of cutting out the plastic that holds the cable for the rifle scope. This is another hard kit to find. I always wanted a Zeta kit, but I don’t like the transformation of the HG Zeta kit hence I have been eyeing this none transformer version, also this kit has a “pistons” waist which is helps with the mechancial feel of the Zeta unit. What I did was that I spend quite a long time build this because I want this to be “perfect” Zeta Gundam!
12. Bandai 1/144 HG RX-78-2 Gundam
Finally my 12th favourite kit of 2020. When I bought this Rx-78-2 Gundam I didn’t actually get it for the mobile suit but for the Core Fighter as this is the only kit that Bandai released in the HG scale that comes with Core Fighter. But I thought it would be a waste to not build the mobile suit, because this shape and design was one of the tradtional Grand-daddy! So I kit bashed the backpack from the Origin with the cannon, shield from the Tristan and machine gun from Alex Gundam. I was inspired by Psycho Gundam colours and thus painted it to looks like it. I really like how it turn out, pretty crazy right!?
I have also recently set up an online shop selling some of my digitial prints of my gunplas’photos. Please take a look here.
Usually I would tend to customise my kits to make it uniquely mine. But in this case, after converting it to a Landman Rodi and repainting the colour change to suit the anime. I just thought by adding a shield which has almost similar surface details would make this suit looks more like a “Security Guard!”
The Rodi and the Gusion looks really similar which is no surprise as the Rodi is designed to act as a “Wingman” for the Gusion. With them side-by side the Gusion looks more like a big brother to the Rodi.