Favourite 12 Projects for 2020

1. Bandai 1/144 HG Captain Zeon Nu-Zeon Gundam

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”.

2. Bandai 1/144 HG RX-0 Unicorn Gundam (Destory Mode)

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!?

Bandai 1/144 HG UGY-R41 (Land) Man Rodi

I have also recently set up an online shop selling some of my digitial prints of my gunplas’photos. Please take a look here.

The Man Rodi kit was released by Bandai in 2015. Althought it is considered a recent kit but I struggle to find any in stock from my regular online seller shops. I saw it by chance on eBay for a decent price and went for it. Initially I wasn’t keen on the Man Rodi just because I did not like the design of its “space”legs. Hence when I saw the IBO Mobile Suit Option Set 9, I started to have some ideas.
I am warming up to the design especially the curves. I assume the Man Rodi was inspired by the Gusion which I have built previosuly and also the Gusion Rebake Full City.

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.

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Bandai 1/144 RG MS-06F Zaku 2

Bandai Real Grade Zaku 2 at 1/144 scale is a marvel of Bandai innovative manufacturing process to mould moveable joints and hinges together as a single plastic piece.

I had so much hope and so excited when I bought this as my first RG kit from eBay. But boy, this is no ordinary Zaku 2 when compared to the standard HG kit. This is much more complex and has many small parts, which is actually very good in terms of parts separations. However, I did not enjoyed one bit of this build. I struggled to understand the instrucitons even though I read basic japanese and I review technical/construction drawings for a living.

Some of the parts are so small that I am not able to use either clips or double sided tape to hold it down for painting. Espeically the hose armours, they are just small loose rings that i have to individually string it up and spray them one by one. Also the internal frame has build in joints and hinges that if you painted them over, they will pracitcally fused together and stopped moving.

Super glue and cement are your friend when putting this together. Some of the external armour is just a push fit onto the inner frame, and these are to allow movement to simulate “Real” world movement of the joints, and these are so loose and keeps popping out.

I have used a sinper rifle and bazooka magazines from my other HG Zaku kits. The parts are not really interchangeable so I have to modify and glue them on.

Proportion wise, it looks good when compared to the HG Zaku 2. But the head sculpt just look slightly weird, it is although the hose pipe on the RG head is slightly higher and makes it look dis-jointed from the chest.

My RG Zaku 2 side-by-side with HG Rx-78 Origin. I painted my RG Zaku 2 based on the colour scheme I saw in Stardust Memories. There is a scene where GP01 is tasked to find GP02 and a remants of Zeon troops with Zakus mashed up from old parts.

I am not sayng not to buy a Real Grade kit, but I have to honestly say I am not keen on getting another unless it is on special offer (I heard the Sazabi is the best RG though). What I am trying to say is that if you are just starting off and like a quick build this is not the kit for you. You will probably have more fun buying a cheaper HG and experiement with painting scheme. But if you like a challenge like I did, buy a RG but know what you are getting yourself into. You have been forewarned, this is no ordinary Zaku!