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Author Topic: The Gunpla Thread  (Read 1298 times)

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Online Manimal

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The Gunpla Thread
« on: June 12, 2020, 01:58:25 PM »


Gunpla, it's cool, it's fun, it's a good time. This is a thread to talk about Gundam models, making 'em, reviewing 'em, whatever. I'm going to share my builds and blog style posts about making them in this thread so if anyone else out there enjoys this fun hobby let's talk about it.

I got into the hobby at the beginning of the year and now I'm addicted, I can't stop, I love it, I'm having a great time. At first I'd never even seen an episode of Gundam and now I've watched the original and Zeta and the franchise has begun a new phase of revitalized interest in anime for me. I started with the 2004 HG Force Impulse Gundam because it looked like a basic kit and I've made about 16 or so since. I love it. The local hobby shop here stocks them and they get in some older kits which is nice. Now with...world events...it was really the perfect time to get into this hobby so that's a bright side to things. I just love making these things, so of course I had to make a thread to share my experiences with this hobby. and anyone else who makes Gunpla here go ahead and post away.

« Last Edit: June 12, 2020, 02:02:19 PM by Manimal »

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Re: The Gunpla Thread
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2020, 01:59:19 PM »
Perfect Grade RX-178 MK. II (AEUG Version) - First Week Progress


After 4 months of making Gunpla it was time to go to the next grade, the Perfect Grade. With less kits to choose from the main factor for me was picking something from a series I've seen. With the classic RX-78 I had already made the RG kit and with the Zeta I'd made the 2.0 Master Grade, so the Mk. II was the natural pick. It's a cheaper kit as well, made in 2001. I ordered from Argama Hobby an awesome Canadian site that shipped across Ontario in under a week. The Mk. II was a cool suit in Zeta Gundam, with a simple look and classic big anime robot feel. The Mk. II was first piloted by Kamille and then by Emma, who I imagine as the pilot for mine. It's impossible to make this kit without having the Zeta OP playing over and over again in my head.

So let's have a pure time.


Spoiler
WHAT'S IN THE BOX?


Inside the massive box you get over 30 runners, LED parts, two bags of screws, a die cast hip joint, springs, snakey gold tubes, a construction manual, a full colour instruction manual and an insert with a picture of the completed kit. I marveled at the size of the parts, especially the feet which are so much bigger than the Master Grades. You got two huge runners of joints, a chrome runner for the pistons and inner cockpit, very sturdy thick plastic for the inner frame parts and all kinds of coolness that makes it worth looking over the runners before you get started. The manuals are pretty neat, even if I can't read all the text in the instruction manual which is basically an info book about the actually suit. This is the third kit I've encountered screws with, and there are quite a few with this one. 

THE BATTLE STATION


After going outside to unbox the kit and enjoy looking at the manuals and runners I set up once again on my basement coffee table. Not a recommended place to make Gunpla but a man's gotta do what he has to. I leave space for my laptop to have videos or a podcast on while I build. I like to make it so I can "remote build" as I enjoy building outside, and oh boy we'll get to the drawbacks of that soon. I build inside a cut up box to keep all of the cut off nubs in and to act as a cutting board, which normally I don't need since I don't cut off nubs like a caveman anymore. I organized the runners in the box and I take out the ones I need for each page. I highlight the armour pieces in the manual so I can go back after first building the inner frame of the kit. I got a pretty awesome pair of cutters on Amazon for only $10 and a few different sanding sticks along with a big ol' nail buffer/polisher which works like a charm. At this point I've figured out how to best cut the pieces out and clean them so I take my time getting each piece nice as I can to make the build take longer. 

WEEK 1 PROGRESS


After 8 days of casually building I've completed the arms, legs and head. Wow this kit is impressive. The inner frame is so amazing, it's super detailed and mega solid. This is a massive step up from other grades of Gunpla. You use so many pieces and everything comes together in a smart and clever way. If you take your time and appreciate how every piece works you'll get a lot out of this build. The arms are smaller with some very nice hands. You cut out each finger and they are fully posable. The wrist moves everyway you would want it to as well. I added a bit of silver with a Gundam marker and some grey panel liner on the black parts. I tried a black detail wash but it didn't look amazing. I'm not fully into painting and stuff just yet, but if you're crazy about it you can paint this inner frame so good.

The legs are simply outstanding, they have such a crazy design with springs in the ankles, pistons and the cool gold tubes. The engineering on this kit blows away everything else I've made so far, it's so well put together. When a joint feels loose you come in with a screw and it tightens right up. I was amazed building the legs how awesome they are, and this is only the inner frame! So much detail was put into this kit.



Inside the head is where the first LED wire goes. I hope I can do it right, the manual looks understandable but the torso and backpack will be the true trouble when it comes to the LED. The head looks pretty spooky without any armour.


THE OUTDOOR MISHAP


I was having a great time building outside, enjoying a warm day listening to the Boner City podcast. Everything was going good until I had to put a little part in on the ankle. As I twisted it around to click in I watched frozen as it bounced up, hit the deck and slipped between the cracks. Given that the piece is purely cosmetic and not vital to the functionality of the kit I was ready to let it go and move on, but it kept bothering me. 

Later on I looked and saw it sitting there between the cracks, perfectly. At first I tried a long pair of tweezers but it wouldn't reach. Then I tried chopsticks...ya I was really just going for anything thin enough that I could think of in that moment. and then I tried two rulers, but nothing was doing the trick. Then I thought hey, the piece has a circle end so I could hook something in it. I cut a string off one of my guitars already missing a string, bent the end and slid it down and through the hole in the piece. Then I moved it up the string with the ruler and maneuvered it up after many failed attempts. It was a great victory when it finally came through and a great lesson was learnt...build outside at your own risk.

I'd lost pieces in the carpet, including an eye piece I have never recovered from the RG Crossbone (luckily it came with two) but losing a piece between the boards in the deck is a lot more hopeless.
 

MOVING ALONG

So yes the build continues and I'm super happy with this kit so far. It's a lot of fun and giving me a lot of enjoyment in the build and the time it's taking. You really feel the brilliance in the design, it's such an awesome kit. I love longer builds as I want to get the most out of the kit. I like the build the most and the final product makes for an awesome piece. So I'll carry on building it and share the results when I'm done.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2020, 02:01:38 PM by Manimal »

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Re: The Gunpla Thread
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2020, 12:43:22 PM »
High Grade Jagd Doga (Quess Ver.) - Weekend Build


Is it a weekend when you're at home all week anyway? I don't know but one of my feel good things is to go to the local hobby shop. It's a great small shop with a super friendly owner and a nice selection of Gundams in the back. He gets a lot of High Grade kits and some older ones which I like to build. I wanted to pick out something nice and cheap to do this weekend to take a break from the big project of the Perfect Grade Mk. II. The Jagd Doga called to me with it's bulky appearance. A suit piloted by Quess in Char's Counterattack, a character that is quite unfortunate in a movie that would've been better as anime series, but it is what it is. Let's see what we got with this HGUC kit from 2007.

Spoiler
WHAT'S IN THE BOX?


With a slighter taller box and a price point a bit more than your normal HG I was expecting to get quite a few runners. That was not really the case as you get about eight. However the unique part is two long clear rods that will be used for the effect pieces of the fancy Newtype missiles. A sticker for the logo on the shield and the mono eye are included. You get a gun, a fancy beam saber, six missiles, a shield and not a part wasted. The extra pieces will be a second trigger finger hand and some poly caps. So nothing crazy going on here aside from some unique effect pieces. 

THE BUILD


I took a leisurely 6 hours or so to build this kit. I did it all outside enjoying the weather and a podcast. I took my time to try clean up each piece. The first thing I did was colour the tubes silver with a Gundam marker. I added some more silver here and there and a bit of gold on the bottom crotch piece. This kit certainly could use a bit of detail work so I'll likely go back with a silver panel liner to make the details pop some more. The box suggests painting the thrusters red and for anime accuracy you'll want to paint the two circular parts on the toes red as well.

Nubmarks were a bit of an issue with the red pieces on the kit as I predicted. You have to really be careful when cutting and sanding the armor bits. I took a lot of care when cutting the pieces and I basically destroyed my polishing block on this kit. This was fun to make anyway and it all came together very nicely. The gun has quite a few pieces and a part that swings out on the bottom. The legs cover up the seam lines are very smooth and there are only a few spots that could use panel lining. Detail work will have to be done to the back skirt to make it pop, otherwise it will look quite boring. Overall this was a great build and very satisfying.
 

LOOK AT IT!


This kit looks amazing! Look at the bulk! It captures the 80's anime look so well and it's just such an awesome and beefy kit. It will stand out among another High Grades for it's red colour and huge bell bottom jeans. This is basically an updated Rick Dias from Zeta Gundam. I love looking at this kit, I'm very happy with how it turned out. The legs are so simple and yet look so good. There is a good bit of detailing as well. The head is kind of weird and you don't see the mono eye at all unless you turn it to look out the sides. I can't say enough how great this kit looks, it really pops. 



The beam saber looks good with the green and a knife attached to the end. This kit holds the weapons very well, they aren't going anywhere.



The effect parts however don't look as good to me. The tubes are hard to bend right and unless you have this thing in a battle pose on an action base it's going to look silly and the missiles will fall off easily. I like that these parts are included but the look is less exciting to me. The shield is kind of dumb also since it clumsily hits the shoulder armor and sits on the back of the arm. I took it off and left the kit holding the gun and beam saber.


OVERALL THOUGHTS


The Jagd Doga is an awesome kit. It has some issues but once you're done and you put it on the shelf it pops. The design is excellent and it comes with a good amount of accessories. It's solid, unless you put the effect parts in nothing aside from the head fin is going to come off. That head fin needs to be glued in I'd say. Overall I'm very happy with this kit, it brought me simple joy to make and I had an awesome time. Once I get the RG Sazabi (on the way along with the RG Eva-01) these two should looks great side to side. 
 

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Re: The Gunpla Thread
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2020, 02:46:09 PM »
Perfect Grade RX-178 MK. II (AEUG Version) - Complete


The Perfect Grade Mk. II is an absolute wonder of robot modeling. It’s well balanced design is captured perfectly in this kit, with all the details and features you’d want. The bulkiness of the anime is conveyed through the armour and a ton of detail pokes through the inner frame. It has a good amount of accessories and a lot of articulation. The size is commanding and it has a presence that will outshine any smaller Gundam model. The build is fulfilling and demands attention to detail so all pieces fit in correctly. It has stickers if you want and a lot of possibilities for painting. The armour has areas to panel line, which I will likely do with grey later. This kit is not perfect but it sure is amazing and well worth the money.

So let's look at what we got here.


Spoiler
OVERALL BUILD


This kit is one hell of a build. It took me 14 days at a casual pace. There is a lot to the build and plently of undergating to ensure the smoothest cuts. You really want to take your time and be careful with every piece. You have to put everything in correctly, once I put the armour on I found I put a few of the S runner parts on backwards so I had to take things apart. The build involved a lost piece I had to rescue and a few pokes and cuts with the exacto knife which is purely my fault for holding it so dumb. With all the cool things you get, the diecast waist joint, LED unit pieces, tubes and screws the build is very satisfying overall.



I made the innerframe first to enjoy all the details. There is so much detail here that you just have to admire it and all that went into designing it. and then once you start putting the armour on you see this cool mech come to life. The 360 degree cockpit is awesome, it's a ball in the center of the torso. The LED unit is put in through the backpack, head and cockpit. I couldn't get LR43 batteries however so I ordered them on Amazon. I went looking at Wal-Mart, Best Buy and Dollarama but I could only find LR44s which don't fit. Go figure this kit can include everything but cheap batteries.
   



Everything in this build takes more pieces than it looks. The design is super clever and there are plenty of parts put in to make things look as smooth as possible. This shows in the backpack which has three pieces for each thruster and a small bit that slides in to hide the on and off switch on the top. The beam sabers are four pieces as well instead of the normal one or two from smaller kits.

ACCESSORIES


The beam sabers store nicely on the back and it comes with two long beam pieces. Everything goes into the hands via a peg that slides out. So there is nothing sticking out of the handles in a weird way. This is a tiny detail that goes a long way. However like every Gundam every putting things in the hands can be annoying and a little difficult.



The rifle is a neat, although a little plain and once you got it in the hand you want to leave it there. I had some annoyance taking these pictures. While this kit is sturdy and holds together very well it's the thing you want to pose and leave to look at instead of moving around. The rocket launcher was so annoying I gave up trying to put it in the hand. The handle falls off all the time so thankfully you can store it on the butt very well. Just like other Gundam rocket launchers it's not so easy to pose, this is normal business however. The shield is mega cool, it slides in and has this amazing locking gimmick. It also has a piece that lets the kit hold it in the back or side of the arm.


OVERALL


This is an amazing kit that truly lives up to it's name of a Perfect Grade. It has some issues holding things and some parts need adjustment if you move it around a lot. But this is all normal Gundam stuff, otherwise the design is fantastic. It looks stunning and has the perfect weight and size. It packs a lot of detail and has a great number of accessories and features. You will not get a G-Defender add for this kit though, which honestly...that would be a disaster and make the kit fall over all the time most likely.

I am super happy with this, it looks amazing and was very fun to build. It amazes me to just look at it. I couldn't of picked a better first Perfect Grade for myself. It's a design I love from the anime and it holds together so well. It's not too much of a brick, although I don't want to pose it a lot. It stands so nicely and without a ton of detailing it looks excellent.
 
 

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Re: The Gunpla Thread
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2020, 12:42:21 AM »
Real Grade Zeta Gundam - An Experience


The Real Grade Zeta Gundam is a kit that gets a bad rep for being a disaster. This small 1/144th scale model packs in all the detail and complexity of Kamille’s classic Gundam, complete with it’s transformation to Wave Rider mode. They had this kit at the local hobby shop and I kept passing it by, knowing it was going to be a crazy build and since I was happy with the 2.0 Master Grade. But I just had to know how this kit was, and I love both Zeta and Real Grade kits so I went for it. How did it go? Let’s see.


Spoiler
THE BUILD


Unboxing this kit you will see 13 runners, a fair size sticker sheet and a nice manual. Real Grade kits always have the best and most clear manuals and whether you like them or not they do come with handy stickers that are nice if you go for that look. You get the Zeta Gundam, it’s extending rifle, the weird arm shield, a few different hands, the grenade launchers on the arms, a small Kamille and beam effect pieces. Large for the beam sabers and small for the barrel of the rifle. This kit of course has it’s transforming gimmick as well so it includes some landing gears. I will not be transforming this kit however since I don’t want to inflict that much pain and suffering upon myself.

First off I used the grey panel liner on the black runner for the backpack and also on the white armour pieces. It didn’t hold all that well I must say, but that is due more to my basic way of doing it. 

It took me a few days to build the kit, spending a good chunk of my Monday building it. In the background I was watching garbage 2000’s era MTV “reality” shows like Next and Parental Control since BrutalMoose made a video on Next and it was amusing background noise. I took this kit slow, and you really have to. You gotta pay attention and make sure everything goes in just right. There were a lot of red flags along the way but somehow this kit pulled together. The legs connect in a gross way both at the knees and to the body. Everything that looked like a disaster in the manual turned out to be okay when done carefully and slowly. 

I had a good time with the build! The Zeta provides something interesting for sure, since it basically has no body. It comes together in a unique way. The only slightly difficult part was flipping the chest piece over the head. There are a few steps that take holding everything in place just right. Getting the wings to peg into the body was also a pain and I almost broke one of the clips off. You really can’t rush this kit.   



When it’s done the kit looks awesome! To my surprise it stands up just fine! Thanks to the heels in the feet it has no issue holding a neutral pose. The backpack also doesn’t give it weight issues. This thing stands much better than the 2.0 MG which is pictured above. The design of the RG is slimmed up in the legs and shoulders. The chest is weird, it looks like it puffs out too much and the yellow collar will not go up enough to click in place. So it’s left looking a bit off all the time. The way the torso is designed is an honest nightmare. It does not sit well and you always have to adjust the two white body pieces that shift around for the transformation.

The waist is a mess that somehow works. The front skirts are connected in a weird way and don’t lock into the crotch which makes them look uneven. The back skirt is also very lacking. This part of the kit makes you not want to move it around too much since you always have to adjust pieces. The arms and legs hold a lot nicer with some stiff joints and general good design.

When you just look at it this is one awesome kit. The blue pops out nice and it has the Real Grade detail that makes it look more alive and less toyish than the MG.
 

ACCESSORIES


Now we have one major issue with every Zeta kit, the weapons. The rifle is cool but it will not go up unless you tilt it to the side. It’s just too big! The shield is fine however and goes into the back of the arm nicely. The arms themselves work from either the side or with the tubes facing out. You can connect the grenade launchers for extra bulk but they look like nothing special. They are just two blue pieces after all. You can flip out a small panel to see two missiles in the arm.



The beam saber is a disaster. It just barely clips into the side skirt and it will not fit in the hand. I couldn’t get it to hold so I just gave up and did the best I could. The saber itself has a tiny handle. The rifle beam saber was silly in the anime and also silly on the kit, although it makes a good effect piece for posing. Overall the Zeta is good on accessories and gimmicks. The biggest gimmick is the transformation which, again, I will not do for my own sake. I transformed the Master Grade once and I regretted it right away.
 

OVERALL THOUGHTS


Overall the RG Zeta Gundam is a nice kit to look at. It has a unique build that is fun if you take your time and pay attention. It is rewarding and somehow comes together despite it’s crazy design. This kit is very impressive in the sense that they were able to make something so small and full of detail transform. However because of this gimmick you are left with a flawed kit that can’t be posed very well and has a waist and torso full of parts that move around.

I do quite like the kit. It looks awesome and I’m glad I got it. The stickers could have been better since some go over panel lines and feel sloppy in size. I do love the Real Grade design though, they look really nice for the size and I always have fun with them. They aren’t really for moving around though. I did buy a base for this kit so I might put it in a nice pose and just leave it, which is really what you’re going to get out of a Zeta Gundam kit. This model is cool if you like the design and want a flawed but unique experience. You aren’t getting the best of the best but you are getting something interesting. I had fun with it.
   

BONUS


This nice little thing holds all my Real Grade extra parts in it. Very handy and fun looking.



These Blinking Nail polisher things I bought on Amazon are very good for sanding! They smooth things out very well and are cheap which is just what you need. I also finally got the batteries for my PG Mk. II so we'll see how that ends up looking.
 

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Re: The Gunpla Thread
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2020, 02:43:16 PM »
HGAC Wing Gundam Zero Build Part 1 | Unboxing & Tools



Today we'll be looking at the High Grade After Colony Wing Zero. I'll be unboxing it and showing the first steps of my build process. I'm always looking for ways to lengthen my builds and improve as I go so I thought I would log this more simple build step by step. This specific kit is from 2014 and it's an anime accurate version of the less famous version of the Wing Zero. 

So let's get started!


Spoiler
In The Anime


In Gundam Wing the titular suit doesn't actually get too much screen time. In fact the original Wing Gundam spends most of the time underwater or under repair. Mid way through the show the Wing Zero appears out of nowhere however and instantly things get more badass. It's the Post-Evangelion Gundam with it's crazy Zero System. Something that drives the pilot insane and pushes them to the brink. Epyon also uses the Zero System which gives the pilot a look into their future.

For weapons the Wing Zero has it's twin Buster Rifle which is one of the most overpowered weapons of all time. I mean it can destroy a space colony in one shot. It also has two beam sabers and a transformation to flight mode. The best move it does in the anime is when it holds the rifles to the sides and spins around. So silly but cool. A ton of people get to pilot the Wing Zero until the main character Heero Yui finally makes his way into the suit. It's featured in the awesome final arc where Heero faces off against Zechs and his Epyon Gundam.

In the anime's second opening "RHYTHM EMOTION" we get plenty shots of the Wing Zero in action. It's one of the greatest OPs of all time, with incredible animation and direction. I get so hyped up when I hear that start up beep with the cockpit lighting up and Heero taking off. The opening is better than the anime itself, I have watched it so many times.

Now enough about that, let's see what's going on with this kit!

Unboxing


Inside we only get a few runners. Two in white, one in grey and the rest in red, blue and yellow. We get the beam sabers and chest camera in clear green and a small runner of polycaps. There are a few colour correcting stickers for the yellow on top of the wings, the yellow on the buster rifles, red trim for the yellow circular part of the shield and a few green highlights. I will be painting most of these details and only use the sticker for the eyes and possibly the green parts. For a High Grade kit this is fairly standard although slightly disappointing they couldn't of made a separate yellow piece for the rifles.   

No surprises with Wing kits since they are fairly basic.

Tools


Here are most of the tools I'll be using. A few different things to sand the nub marks, the most important being the Blinking Nails blocks to smooth the sanded spots. They don't last long but they work super well. I'll be using Testors Enamel paint on this kit, which I recently bought. I have been using the paint on a No Grade Sandrock I'm working on. It's a bit difficult to get the paint to thinner ratio down, which should be about half and half. You have to mess things up to get better so I'm always watching videos to try improve. I will likely use the paint straight out the jar for smaller details and do a few light coats with the paint thinned for the tips of the wings.

I have two different glues for seamline removal. I'm not too confident in my abilities yet so I don't know how much I'll do on this kit. That's more for practice on my No Grade kits. In addition I finally got a grey Gundam marker for panel lining. I use the Tamiya panel liner mostly but for whatever reason the grey one I have is very thin and leaves a lot of crude no matter how much I stir it up. I will probably use a combo of the marker and panel liner. I don't really like Gundam markers but they are good for certain things as long as you wipe the excess off.

Prior Builds
 

I have built the Master Grade Proto Zero and the 2000 No Grade Wing Zero kits previously. In April when I got the Proto Zero I hadn't seen Gundam Wing yet and didn't even know it was in the anime until it appeared. I suddenly liked the kit a lot more and it was the first one I detail painted. The MG kit is pretty awesome but it's not anime accurate. The legs and wings are changed. I got the High Grade kit to have an accurate Wing Zero in my collection.

Beside the Master Grade is the No Grade 1/144th scale from 2000. It was novel and fun to build. I find these kits very charming since you have to make a project out of them to paint tons of detail. I have a few others and I might go back to this one later.

I also built the Endless Waltz Wing Zero in Real Grade form. This is likely the most famous Gundam in the Western World with it's angel wings that are sure to making a Lasting Impression. The design is nice and the kit is good but I prefer the TV version for it's bright colours and super 90's shoulder pads.



I picked up an Action Base 2 from my local hobby store for this kit. These are very nice and simple bases that do great for HG and RG kits. They look nice and don't take up a lot of space. I love that you have to build the stands like the kits also. Adds an extra element of fun. The only issue with Action Base 2 is how easy it splits in half when you pick it up. The connection is poor underneath so you have to be careful with it. Also you can't put heavier kits such as the HG Jagd Doga on it very well. It has it's use for me though and I love the clear red and green they come in.

STEP 1: Washing The Runners



Now this seems kind of silly but I like to wash the runners before hand. Honestly I just like to add steps to make my builds take longer and to put more care into it. and you do wash off any of the gunk that is often on the runners. Fancy people call it the mold release. For older kits I think this is a must as they can be the most dirty. So I just put them in soapy water, scrub them a bit, leave them to drip dry and then wrap them in a towel until they're good to go.

So that's it for this part, now that we've seen what's inside and got the parts/tools ready it's time to put it together! The funnest part.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2020, 04:52:57 PM by Manimal »

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Re: The Gunpla Thread
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2020, 10:43:02 AM »
HGAC Wing Gundam Zero Build Part 2 | The Build & Out Of The Box Appearance



Now let's look at how the build for this High Grade goes and see what it can do when complete. How good does this kit look without panel lining, detailing paining and stickers? Let's find out.

Spoiler
STEP 2 : The Build


With this kit you get a basic build. There is nothing crazy going on here. Everything comes together fairly well and it's something you can do without any prior model experience. The arms are actually pretty neat and the blue part of the lower arm comes in three pieces, giving it a well needed panel line. The shoulders are well designed, giving colour separation and the ability to open up. The legs also have good part seperation. It will only take an hour or two to complete. I did it very slow over the course of a few days.

 

There are some very hard to fix nubs on this kit. The buster rifles have many nubmarks on the top which I tried hard with my sanding sticks and blocks to remove. I couldn't get them however, perhaps my method isn't good. If you sand these you're going to want to put them together first to get an even surface. As always there is a seam line going down the center of each rifle. Fixing it is more of a headache than it's worth for me. I find seam line removal very stressful as it can ruin a kit and erase detail. I will practice this more on No Grade kits to improve my technique. I'm certainly not taking chances on a kit of one of my favorite Gundam designs.



For the shield it actually is made of more pieces than I figured. You can see in the picture two areas that need paint. Thanks to part separation it will be easy to paint green on the top of the white piece and red on the rim of the yellow piece. If you want you can use the provided stickers for both of these details. I don't recommend it for the red trim and the green sticker will go over a rounded edge which is never a good thing.

Basically for building the Wing Zero the only challenge will be removing nubmarks on the buster rifles and the red pieces. Take care not to cut close to the pieces when you remove them from the runners. Even on the white pieces if you cut too close I have found it will leave little holes. White pieces are naturally easy to sand and you can often get away with just cleaning the extra plastic off with a hobby knife. 

Out Of The Box Appearance


When the kit is done you will notice one thing right away. It needs to be detailed! Very badly.

Basically panel lining will bring out all the nice detail in this kit. and indeed they do a good job with the panel lines and detail. It's accurate and referring to the anime will show all the parts that need detail painting. I like the appearance of the kit and it's colours are fantastic. The red, blue and yellow go together perfectly. This is an excellent tone of yellow. With detailing the Wing Zero is going to look just like the anime.

The circles on the shoulders absolutely need to have black painted in. The tips of the wings must also be painted yellow. It includes stickers for this part which is honestly not that bad if you don't want to paint it. I'm not looking forward to painting that part honestly. Mainly for how much trouble I have with yellow paints. But it's an important part of the design. Thankfully the kit has colour separation for the blue parts of the wings. 

I'd be here for a long time pointing out all the areas to detail on this kit. I like to detail paint so I'm happy to do this and make it as accurate to the anime as possible. In the show the panel lines are very dark so I'll be using black panel liner on the white pieces instead of grey. I will paint in green on the rectangle pieces beside the chest camera also. It's going to take some work but for the Wing Zero it's worth it to make this model look awesome.

 

Now for posing. Well straight up this is not a kit to mess around with. Just posing it for these pictures I had amazing trouble with the left arm popping out constantly. The way the ball socket connects to the shoulder is terrible. The wings are also prone to popping out with poor polycap connections. The shield is the worst part, it just barely connects to the arm. I don't understand why they gave the shield a bracket piece instead of a straight up peg to go into the arm. Because of this the shield will pop out if moved around.

I don't mess around with these kits, I build them and display them, so this is not a great issue for me. Certainly this kit is easier to mess around with then my Real Grade RX-78, Zeta and Justice Gundam. However it is disappointing how easy parts pop out. In that regard this kit feels behind it's time.

You can do the spin attack pose pictured above but some things look better in the anime than in real life.



The wings will open but without detailing the insides it looks very plain. and they don't raise up too high. In this picture I tried to recreate a pose from the fight with Epyon and that's as high as the wings would go before popping off. The wings on this design are sort of strange to begin with they appear very short and stubby.

Gimmicks
   

The biggest gimmick is it's "transformation" to Neo Bird mode. It's kind of dumb. It was dumb in the anime and it's dumb in model kit form. It never looked good. I honestly don't like the alternate mode of any transforming mobile suit. All you do in this kit is turn some parts around and pop the shield on top. I think this will be the only time I "transform" it. You have to replace the feet when you transform it also.

   

The double buster rifle pose that the Wing Zero is famous for, and even pictured on the box doing, is impossible with this kit. The fists cannot go together and attempting this will make pieces pop out. You just can't do it. Perhaps you can sort of get it if you try hard enough but I wasn't going to mess around with this as the hands kept splitting in half. I don't want to lose them as you only get one set of hands with this kit.

 

The top guns are here, although you will have to paint them as they are molded on the chest piece. The white pieces do not flip up, they must be removed to show the guns underneath. The shoulders will also open up.

Overall Thoughts


This kit is not overly impressive but it looks good. It is a nice representation of the Wing Zero and with some more work it will end up looking pretty good. There are spots of bad design and in general it doesn't feel up to the standard for a kit made in 2014. However it does do great in part separation on certain areas. Compared to the original No Grade kit it's quite a sight to behold how much better it is. This HG Wing Zero will be a pretty neat display piece and just looking at it in a neutral pose shows how cool it looks. 

Next up I will be detailing the kit so stay tuned to see how that goes.
 

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Re: The Gunpla Thread
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2020, 11:36:47 AM »
HGAC Wing Gundam Zero Build Part 3 | Painting, Detail & Completed Build



Now let's look at how the build for this High Grade goes and see what it can do when complete. How good does this kit look without panel lining, detailing paining and stickers? Let's find out.

Spoiler
STEP 3 : Disassemble & Wash


Now it's time to take the kit apart and clean the pieces. There is lots of dust left from the sanding so I filled a big bowl full of soapy water and swished the pieces around in it. I laid them out to dry after. There were a couple tricky spots to take apart, such as the chest. But now that the pieces are dry it's painting time.

STEP 4 : Detail Painting


There is not a ton of painting to do with the Wing Zero, however there are many spots that will benefit from black and grey paint. I decided to go with acrylics to make this easier. I painted a lot of small areas black, the most important part being the yellow circles on the shoulders. It wouldn't look good to panel line them and they are such a vital part of the design that you can't leave them.

 

I reference the line art for details to paint, but most of the time you can look at the completed build in the instruction manuel to see what needs to be done. This is the second time I've detailed a Wing Zero and it's really straightforward. This kit does however need yellow paint on the tips of the wings and yellow lines on the rifles. This was the biggest pain for sure. There are stickers included, I imagine it would look okay on the wings but not on the gun. The guns have a light grey on them also and I tried this but the area was so big that I didn't want to ruin it. 

 

STEP 5 : Clean Up


Normally cleaning up the extra paint is no issue. A q-tip and rubbing alcohol will do the job for acrylics. Sometimes you can accidentally streak the colour into spaces you sanded and you'll need to sand it some more to remove it. With this kit the yellow on the wings was an added headache with an area you couldn't get in with a q-tip all that good. If you get too close you'll remove the yellow inside the wing. I did my best and used a tooth pick to take off paint on the raised blue part. Overall this was the only difficult part with detail painting this kit. 



As a side note you can separate the waist skirts which normally move together. I simply bent them in half and sanded down the nub on the ball socket. You can't do this with very High Grade kit but it was an easy fix for this one. It's a good idea to do this for better looking poses.

Step 6 : Panel Lining


I had a fun time panel lining this kit. It took over an hour and although it had some annoying spots and incomplete grooves it made the kit look really solid. I used black Tamiya panel liner to make it more anime accurate. I like this a lot more than using grey. It makes things pop and for a design like this I think it's needed to bring out the detail. I got into a lot of spots but one issue was how it got into imperfections. As pictured above the panel liner got in small cracks I didn't know were there on the thigh pieces. I couldn't clean that.

Sometimes a q-tip and rubbing alcohol won't clean up the extra paint when you dab the brush on the panel line. I found using a polishing block removed the excess without ruining the lines.

When I put the kit together I found I had build the chest wrong and the arm was popping off because I had the polycap in backwards. So I fixed that.

Step 7 : Top Coat


Now that all the painting and detailing is done it's time for top coat to protect all that work and give the kit a nice finish. Some people like to paint, top coat and then panel line which I haven't tried yet. I used a clear gloss coat for this kit and it works really well and doesn't look too crazy. Top coating is kind of difficult, you basically have to do it outside or else you'll be sorry. You have to battle the wind and I never know how far away to point the can. I have made a few kits look dirty by applying the top coat too closely. With the Wing Zero however, it was nice and simple. Now I let it dry for a day.

Completed Build



All in all this kit is decent! It looks pretty cool and is a great representation of the Wing Zero. It's a basic kit and cheap in some regards. However it is anime accurate and easy to detail. With some extra work you can make a nice looking display piece! So this was a good purchase and a nice addition to my ever growing collection of Wing kits. Although Gundam Wing isn't the best Gundam series the mobile suit designs are my favorite. I pre-ordered the new Master Grade Wing Zero Custom when they showed pictures a few days ago...it looks really cool so I'm excited for that.


 

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Re: The Gunpla Thread
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2020, 09:03:43 AM »
awesome!
I learnt a bit about model making from reading that, nice to see all the step by step photos :D
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Re: The Gunpla Thread
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2021, 10:44:05 AM »
MG Ver. KA Wing Gundam Zero EW Part 1 : Unboxing & Straight Build



Christmas. After Colony 196. The new Master Grade of the famous Wing Zero EW is here! This is an all new upgrade from the Version Katoki line of the original Master Grade released in 2004. Since Hajime Katoki is the madman who designed this Gundam in the 90's his update is promises to be interesting. Sure enough the kit features many new gimmicks that I'll go over. Let's get into it!

So let's get started!


Spoiler
Prelude


I pre-ordered this kit in September when the first pictures of it were shown. I love both versions of the Wing Zero, this one being the one in the Endless Waltz movie. It's likely the second most famous Gundam in the Western world beside the classic RX-78. The scene when Heero Yui takes off into space and jumps into the Wing Zero is one of the best anime moments I've ever seen. It's iconic and goosebump raising, especially with TWO-MIX's awesome song "LAST IMPRESSION" going.

I previously built the Real Grade of this kit which is nice but I prefer the larger Master Grades. The last MG I built was the Ver KA of the Nu Gundam which was a really great and amazingly engineered kit. Ver KA kits are more complex on average and have lots of cool bits of designs. 

Unboxing


Inside we get a good amount of runners with many white ones made up of the angel wing pieces. There is an Action Base included with the kit which makes up a black runner. This is certainly a nice and well needed bonus to pose the kit. Two tones of blue can be seen as well as two tones of white. There are no polycaps here and the inner frame is a mix of the harder ABS plastic and the softer type. Everything is brand new aside from the base and the beam saber pieces. There is not actually a ton of colour with this kit as you can see from all the white and grey.



The instruction manual is nice and follows the clean aesthetic of other Ver KA kits. Inside there is a two page interview with Katoki which is thankfully translated into English. By now Bandai have started including English for everything in the manuals which is a fantastic addition.

We also get a sizable sheet of waterslide decals. These are a bit tricky to apply at first but they are actually quite enjoyable to do. I will post more on that later. Foil stickers are included for the green which I will not be using aside from the ones for the eyes. Otherwise no colour correcting stickers are included. Galactic Toys included two ads which are for the quite overpriced Frame Arms Girls and the Gundam action figures. I do like a few of the Frame Arms Girls pictured but the fact that they cost the same as this kit but have less pieces doesn't add up to me.

Step 1 : Painting Heero Yui


First up I like to paint the tiny pilot figures. Master Grades come with one to put inside the cockpit and one to put beside the Gundam. These were difficult to do since there are a few different colours to use but I was happy with the results. At first painting the pilot figures seems very hard but it actually isn't too bad. They are small so you don't have to be perfect. Just careful and slow. I used putty to put the standing one down on something and a clip for the other one. Heero Yui is seen in his iconic green muscle shirt doing his strange pose from the first opening of Gundam Wing.

Step 2 : Painting The Clear Pieces


Next I painted the clear pieces green using Gloss Green enamel paint. The stickers do the tricky but painting them is really easy and it will make them pop out a lot more than the stickers. As careful as I try to be I often get small scratches on the stickers, even using tweezers to apply them. I realized I painted the head cameras the wrong colour but I didn't feel like going back and the green looks fine so it's alright.

Step 3 : The Build


I built this kit slowly over a couple weeks. It's really not a complex build. It's more involved then any of the other Wing Master Grades though. The wings are comparable to the Real Grade in terms of pieces. The feathers are all separate and there are some cool mechanism inside. The back wings have one of the only seamlines on the kit, it's pretty easy to fix so I gave it a try. The build is quite different from the Master Grade Wing Proto Zero, the shield has a similar gimmick with the pop out yellow fins but the rest of the construction is new.

The body was the funniest part to build with a lot of really cool features. It looks amazing also! The legs were simple, not that they needed to be complex. They look great and are very practical. The opening gimmick on the back works great. Everything is smartly made on this kit. Lots of small gimmicks that make the kit great. The two tones of blue are awesome and fit together nicely in areas like the shoulders and side skirts.



A major issue for me was the blue pieces. I have started to use a glass file to remove nubmarks and it works great. However the blue pieces get stress marks real easy. So even being careful I still managed to get the white lines on many blue parts. There are undergated pieces with this kit, which is always nice. None of the nubmarks are awful per say but there are a few you will have to put work in to clean. Overall the build was enjoyable and now let's see how it looks together before I detail it.

The Straight Build






This kit looks amazing! While I think it still needs panel lining and decals it looks good enough out of the box. The level of detail is great and there are lots of parts where inner frame pokes through. I painted all of those areas black as seen below. This makes them pop out even more than the dark gray of the frame.



The blue looks awesome and really makes it look more colourful than it is. It's a good shade of blue also. The wings are very nice and although they are difficult to get in a good position the articulation is so great that you can move them anywhere.



Posing this kit is not that fun though. I will say there are no real issues of parts popping off. So it's not going to blow up on you. My issue is all the moving pieces! Everything like the arms, shoulders, chest joints has to be just so in order to look good and it's easy to mess things up by simply raising the arm. You have a lot of readjusting to do. But it holds together super well! I did try to do the double buster rifle pose but I gave up. It's far to difficult to risk breaking something for. This kit does hold the guns nicely and the shield is a good addition. I thought I wouldn't use it since it wasn't in the anime but I like the look.

Here is Heero inside.

The fantastic sliding armour pieces.

Rifle storage in the wings that looks awesome.


I tried to transform it into Neo Bird mode but gave up after simply sliding the leg. I appreciate the gimmick but Gundam kits are way too involved to transform. Just like the Zeta Gundams I don't want to risk breaking something or making things loose so I just ignore that feature. Besides I don't like how it looks in that mode anyway. I won't be posing the kit and messing around with it much at all once I finish detailing it so I wanted to get some nice shots in now. So ya, I'm going to put some more work in and share the end results of this kit when I'm done!
« Last Edit: January 05, 2021, 10:45:57 AM by Manimal »

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Re: The Gunpla Thread
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2021, 08:03:32 AM »
MG Ver. KA Wing Gundam Zero EW Part 2 : Completed Kit



Let's wrapped up on the new Wing Zero by going over the panel lining and water slide decals.

Spoiler
Panel Lining


I always find panel lining to be a bit of a pain. It's not hard and it's the easiest way to make your Gundam kits look great without doing much. But cleaning up is the struggle. I use the Tamiya panel liners which also leave a splash of paint to wipe off. I try rubbing alcohol and a q-tip but it doesn't always do the trick so usually I use a polishing block. This works very well but leaves a lot of dust to wipe off. I go crazy in some parts and end up making a bit of a mess. You really gotta watch out and not touch where you just panel lined if you use the liner. You'll get it on your fingers and all over the piece before you realize what you did.

For this Wing Zero there are some great panel lines in the legs and on the wings. Overall there isn't a whole lot to do, which is good since it doesn't over complicate the appearance. The legs have really deep channels and the wings are made to be panel lined. I used black to make the details pop. I prefer to use black since it gives it a more defined look. I'm not a big fan of grey lining myself. The wings look excellent with lining as do the hands. So now that lining is done I can say it adds so much and I absolutely recommend it for this kit.

Water Slide Decals


Water slide decals are very clean and look a lot better than stickers on a kit. You have to cut each decal out, dip it in water, put mark setter on the place you want the decal to go and then slide the decal off with a q-tip on to the kit. Sounds easy but it gets hairy sometimes. The decals slide all over the place and drying the excess water is an amazing challenge. The decals do not stay in place nicely. They will slide and if you're not careful they will come right off. I ruined a few of them trying to put on the kit but in general it went well.


 
A lot of people swear by water slides but I prefer dry rub decals. They are a bit harder but I feel like they actually stay on the kit. These make it feel like I can't pose it anymore or really handle it at all. I know you are meant to top coat your kits after putting decals on, and I'll be doing that in the future when the weather is warmer. There is no denying that water slides look awesome and add a ton to the kit. The Wing Zero has a lot of small ones that you will be having to really concentrate and be careful putting on. 



I skipped decaling the wings because I don't like the way they look. The wings look better plain since it's big dumb anime wings on a robot and we don't have to get technical and make it more "realistic". It's just a cool anime thing which is the exact reason I like the Wing Zero so much.



At the end the sheet of decals was all cut up. These make a mess and I'm going to have to vacuum my carpet now with all the little pieces on the floor. It took maybe a week or so to do all the decals with one marathon session last night to finally get it done. I enjoy a more involved build but next time I think I'm going to put the decals on as I build each part of the kit because it was a bit annoying to do all these at the end.

Completed Kit


Now I'm done and yes this kit looks amazing. I put it in one pose and I'm good. I don't want to mess around with it since I had enough trouble finding a decent pose. The buster rifles weren't working for me and it was annoying to try put it in the hand so I just folded them up and put them in the wings. I love the look of the Wing Zero with the beam saber anyway. The wings are very posable so you'll spend a lot of time moving them about for the best look.

I'm really happy with this kit and it's just as good as I hoped it would be. It looks awesome and packs in a lot of detail. If you take the extra steps like panel lining, water slide decals and painting the exposed inner frame black than this kit will look even better. But if you want to keep it simple and straight built it will look good as well. This is a kit that really pops and Bandai did an excellent job with it. 

One notable positive is the proportions. The legs on the old Master Grade and Real Grade were long and skinny. On this kit the legs are more reasonable looking and a bit thicker. I have started to not like the Real Grade's appearance very much, and now that I've built this kit there is no contest. The Master Grade Wing Zero Ver. KA is an awesome kit and anyone who loves it's design will love building this thing.

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Re: The Gunpla Thread
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2021, 06:02:40 AM »
my dad isn't keen on water slide decals, they definitely like to wander around :P
from what I've seen on YouTube there's tricks for making them stick better, and well, tricks on pretty much every step you can imagine :D

great to see the projects coming together!
and I think it's really cool to see how interests can be intertwined like this, anime and craft.
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Re: The Gunpla Thread
« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2021, 08:04:25 AM »
Ya water slides are annoying like that but damn they look good. It's the trade off. I'll have to watch some more videos on them. I just ordered water slides for my Perfect Grade Mk. II so detailing that will be next. I was too scared to panel line it and do a lot to it but now I feel I can take it on.

HGUC Rick Dom



Coming at us from 2006, this is the original Rick Dom. Let's see how this High Grade looks and how much work it requires to look as good as the pictures in the manual!

Spoiler
Unboxing


The runners for this kit are basic. A lot of big pieces that are spaced out. The purple instantly pops out for how light it is. This will be quite a different looking Gunpla. The black runner is also pure black and not super dark blue. The plastic quality appears to be a bit cheaper than modern kits, especially on the grey runner for the weapons. All these big chunks tell us that the kit will be full of seamlines. We'll see how bad they are when the kit is put together.

There is a small sheet of foil stickers. Three purple circles and one yellow. This kit doesn't need a lot of painting! Of course it's always nice to add some extra detail so I'm going to see the areas where a little paint would fit. I won't be using the stickers either, but it's nice to know they are just for the mono eye, weapon scopes and chest piece however.

Build


The build for this kit is nice and enjoyable. There were a few trouble areas and spots that things didn't quite go together well. These areas include the bell bottom jeans and one of the arms. A few cool things to note as the red inside the shoulders which is a separate piece. Since this is an older kit it relies heavily on polycaps so they are used everywhere. The weapons have good part separation and so do the side skirts. Anyone can build the Rick Dom and enjoy themselves, it's a good time and even going slow it won't take you too long. 


 
I made a few mistakes with this kit. I painted and panel lined as I went. For the rocket launcher I painted the clear piece before putting it in the scope and this was a bad idea. The paint created a thick coat that made it impossible to fit inside the scope. I had to clean it off and then paint the top once it was in. I sadly snapped the scope off and had to glue it back on the rocket launcher.

 

I painted pink and grey on the bigger rocket launcher, yellow on the chest, red inside all the thrusters and red inside the legs. The last part is a small touch but it will make the kit look a lot better from below. 



Panel lining this kit is risky! Do not panel line the hands out of the box! I used the Tamiya panel liner on the hands and the plastic is so brittle that they snapped in various areas. The gun holding hand broke so I had to glue it. The beam holding hand on the right side broke and there are cracks in other areas. People recommend top coating and such before using the panel liner and this is why.

Completed Kit


Once the Rick Dom is done it looks awesome! This kit has a simple design with great colours. It's stocky and curvy with an egg head and huge bell bottom jeans. The extended hand is a really nice personality filled touch! The giant rocket launcher is awesome. This kit includes parts to convert it to the Ground type as well. These are different bottoms for the feet, a smaller back skirt, and different thrusters in the back. Also the small rocket launcher. I built the space type but of course it's up to the builder how they want to mix and match. Nowadays Bandai would of made the Ground type the normal High Grade kit and the Space type a Premium Bandai release. I appreciate that all this was included.



This kit is not very posable but it's easy to put in fun poses thanks to the hand! The head doesn't really move and the waist is pretty well stuck in place. I'm not someone who poses my kits all the time so I don't mind. The hands are weak so the kit has trouble getting the rocket launchers in place. The big one is a challenge as the hands will snap in two trying to hold it. There are no pegs in the hands however the handle of the weapon can be titled, making it easy to put on the shoulder. The beam saber will go in the closed hand fairly well.



Overall this is a fun and good looking kit. I intend to gloss coat it when the weather isn't so cold. I enjoyed the simple build and although I ran into some trouble it was fun to detail. The Rick Dom is a good simple kit. If you don't like that there are various other versions of it so finding one to suit your preference is no challenge. I like the Scooby Doo looking original from the first anime. This is another great High Grade!
« Last Edit: January 21, 2021, 08:06:23 AM by Manimal »