1/100 HG Gundam Nataku Ver. EW

22 02 2014

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Laser Beams and Outerspezz

22 02 2014

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This Gundam model took me 5+ years to finally get around to finishing. It took some motivation from my friends who recently have gotten crazy into gunpla. This is a 1/100 scale HG Nataku Endless Waltz version.

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Gundams come on plastic sprues sometimes called “runners”. The plastic is a little brittle, so I don’t cut off too close the part because that sometimes tears off a chunk of the piece. It’s much better to leave a stub and then sand it down.

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After cleaning the stubs and seam lines off of the pieces, the next step is to spray the pieces. I mask off the joints and poly caps so that the extra paint will not create future fit issues.

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I use a Badger double action siphon feeding airbrush with a Iwata air compressor.  When spraying the pieces I use bbq skewers with alligator clips attached to the end (I bought mine at jo-ann fabric). I don’t have any place to spray indoors, so here you can see my garage. The only disadvantage is that I am a bit dependent on weather. I can’t spray when it’s raining or snowing, or too hot or cold, or humid…*sigh* New England weather can be fickle so good spray days are unpredictable. Sometimes it can be a few weeks before I’m able to spray again.

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It’s not necessary to use an airbrush. You can use a spray can, but an airbrush gives you greater control over the amount of paint you use and the flow rate. I use it to shade the pieces to give them a more realistic finish. I pre-shaded the pieces black and then sprayed color on them.

The last step that I did with this model was to do the panel lines with an oil wash. I use tamiya acrylics to spray, and future floor polish to seal it. Both are water based and will help oil paints flow into the seams and cracks. This helps give definition to the lines on the panels. You can see it here on the face and legs.

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The HG version of this model is pretty simple. While it does have some good detail, there are many places where there are very ugly seams. One is right in the middle of the shins of the leg. I used green stuff to fill the gap and sanded it until it was smooth. I then took a hobby knife and re-scored the panel lines again. I think it turned out well. You can barely tell that there was a gap there.

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Here’s the finished model below.

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Zoom Zoom!

9 01 2014

Hi everyone,

Sorry for such a long reprieve from blogging. This past summer was very busy for me, and with home renovations I had to pack up my painting table. Finally I’ve been able to set up my new workstation, but again it’s in the dungeon basement. Here’s a shot:

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You’ll notice that I had a few projects in the background. I’ve been working on a Tamiya model of the Toyota FT 86. I’m building it for a friend’s birthday. He actually owns a FRS so I’m trying to convert it to look more like his. He’s made some modifications, like window tints and a roof wrap, hence the black roof. 2013-12-16 20.40.02

Over all the Tamiya is a nice kit that is molded perfectly and fits great. I haven’t had to adjust any of the pieces. Everything fits together like a glove.

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Interior details

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One great feature is the decals. They are nicely printed and also fit well. They really add detail to the model. Take a look at the GPS!

For those not in the know, decals are kinda like fancy stickers. You dip them in water to loosen them off the backing and then slide them off onto the model. Sometimes decals are printed a little off or have a boarder that makes them look like stickers. bad decals may be very stiff and not bend enough to hug the surface of the model, or they may be too soft and break apart when you try to put them on. Good quality decals should look “painted on”.

have a look at this old Shelby I built in middle school. The years have not been kind to the decals…2014-01-05 22.05.35

The blue racing stripes are decals, but some of them are peeling off. The middle school version of me tried to make them stick by using clear tape. (Not very successful!) The problem was that the decal probably had too much water which stripped the glue. It didn’t help that the decals were too stiff so they didn’t hug the curve of the bumper. There are some solutions to this problem (pun here if you caught it, har har).

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I used Micro Sol and Micro Set solutions, a two step system, to treat the decals. Sol helps soften decals so they really hug irregular surfaces. Set helps make sure that it sticks and doesn’t come off.

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I also had a lot of fun putting together the suspension. While I didn’t always understand all of Tamiya’s design choices, they did make the model a lot of fun to assemble.

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Despite the great model, one complaint I have is the lack of detail in the engine. They have all of the main components the engine should have, but none of the wires and tubing. The battery of the car isn’t even attached to anything. I don’t know much about cars, but I’m pretty sure the battery needs to be connected to the… uh… well at least it needs some wires connected to it!

Here’s with the “hot lava” base coat (Testors metallic lacquer)

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Here the body’s 95% finished (don’t mind the hood, it does close flush). Very shiny after using some Future Floor Polish!

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This was my first experience using Tamiya clear paint. I used Tamiya smoke x-19 to tint the windows, clear orange x-26 and clear red x-27 on the tail lights and reflectors. I have to say I had trouble with the smoke. The windshield is huge so painting it with an airbrush is ideal. However, when I tried putting the smoke through my airbrush I couldn’t get it to apply evenly. It left an “orange peel” texture… gross! In the end I hand brushed it. This was mildly better, but it left streaks and if you look closely enough, bubbles as well. I think the smoke was just too thick and it didn’t react well when i tried to think it with alcohol. The  clear red and orange paints were the same consistency, but they worked much better on the smaller pieces like the tail lights.

On the other hand, I had a very positive experience with Pledge (Future Floor Polish)! It was so cold outside this past week that I opted to stay in doors and apply it with a brush. It’s weird using floor polish on a model, but all the forums say that it’s great, and I agree! It goes on smooth even with a brush, and if you get pooling or unevenness you can use more future to dissolve it. It dries pretty quickly and cleans up easily with windex, alcohol, and water. 1001029_046500001826_A_400

This model still needed some personal touches to make it really unique. So another friend helped me add in some LED lights. I didn’t have a battery pack that fit, so I wrapped the button batteries in electrical tape and used twist ties. The headlights fit amazingly well. There were even predrilled holes for LED’s. However, it was a little tricky fitting the fog lights. I had to drill holes for them, and there is very little space between the back of the fog lights and the wheel wells. So I had to really bend the wires to make sure it fit. Still, I think in the end the lights look absolutely brilliant!

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For the final touches, I asked my friend’s sister take a picture of his license place so that I could really make the car his. check out the final model in my gallery.

Thanks for reading this super long post!

Happy birthday Buddy!





Tamiya Toyota FT 86

9 01 2014

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A birthday present for a friend, his car a Scion FRS.

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Dungeon Crawling

12 04 2013

With the spring semester winding down, and most of my class projects complete I have much more time to paint. My house is also a huge mess, so I don’t have much else to do. Because the SDE models are so small it’s pretty easy to knock these out quickly. They look better in real life. I’m not the best photographer.

Here are some WIP of 3 Super Dungeon Explore (SDE) Heroines, the “Glimmerdusk Ranger”, “Hexcast Sorceress”, and “Riftling Rogue”.

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I was really trying to practice painting “anime eyes”. I think they came out pretty good.

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The eyes are pretty simple if you know where to highlight and where to put the white dot for the reflection. I don’t know that much about anime eyes, so I used a google search for some images. I pretty much copied one of these eyes found here

This was probably one of the most fun mini’s I’ve painted in a long time. There is just so much detail (albeit less than there should have been because some of the molding didn’t come out right). I’m still working on my NMM (non-metalic metal). I think I’m getting much better at it!

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The cape was really fun to paint. I tried to shade and highlight it naturally, but on the yellow I added some extra high contrast, which looks kinda like it’s gold.

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probably one of the most difficult to paint because of the pose. The crouching position makes it hard for my paint brush to reach all the areas.

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Now let’s dungeon dive for some treasure!





Angry Bear WIP

5 04 2013

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This is the card for the “Angry Bear” hero that comes with the game. I wanted to paint him close to the art, but with a little mix of polar bear (the mouth is black).

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So first off I sprayed him with white primer.

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Next I gave him a base coat of Citadel “snakebite leather”. You may be wondering why I painted him brown if he’s going to be white. Well, he’d look pretty one dimensional if he was entirely white. It wouldn’t give me the ability to add shadows or highlights. Plus, if you look carefully at a polar bear you’ll see that they aren’t pure white.

The coat of the bear is a mix of white with Citadel paint “bleached bone”

I did the base coat of the chains with Vallejo “parasite brown” (what colorful names… har har har!)

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My attempt at “non-metalic metal”, using only flat paints to depict the shadows and highlights real metal has. You’ll notice that the left manacle is flat yellow, while the right one looks “shiny”. I have to say that this process has been very frustrating. I don’t have very good pictures of the stages because I had to redo it so many times. I’m still not entirely satisfied with it, but I think I just need more practice.

To make the gradients I used (from dark to light) Vallejo “charred brown”, Citadel “snakebite leather”, 50/50 mix snakebite and Vallejo “scrofulous brown”, scrofulous brown, 50/50 mix scrofulous and Vallejo “sun yellow”, sun yellow, 50/50 mix sun yellow and white, and final highlights with plain white.

The trick to it is getting a really smooth transition in your gradient. mixing this many paints together can be a bother. I wish I had more skill using a wet palate. Oh well!

More pictures to come!





Exploring that dungeon!

13 03 2013

I have obviously be remiss in keeping my new years resolution… Not that I haven’t been doing anything, but I just haven’t posted it yet. However, I haven’t even started painting my dungeon explore set. with the craziness of my schedule this year, and some family events I haven’t had much time to devote to modeling.

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(pic of my dungeon explore set)

The models are really cool, but there are some molding and fit issues. When they manufacture these figures, most of the time it’s a mold that is filled with plastic. Where the two halves of the mold meet sometimes excess plastic leaks out. We call this flashing. There is flashing on pretty much every figure, which is fine but that means there is a lot of cleaning to do.

The second hurdle is the fit. Some of the pieces don’t fit together that great and this leaves an ugly gap. Some of the gaps are less noticeable, but some are really awkward.

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(Dude, looks like you took an axe to the neck! It’s your own fault for not wearing any armor or anything to protect himself.)

This poor guy has a huge gap right on his neck. I used some green stuff to fill the gap.

There are gaps for me to fill on most of the models.

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But I have filled most of the hero figures, and sprayed them with paint primer. Painting to commence soon!

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