Wednesday, April 18, 2012

…hello Gundam!

Heavy Arms Custom (AE86s in the background)
I started building gundam models around January this year. The first kit I purchased was a Bandai Heavy Arms custom HG (high grade), the end product of which is pictured on the right:

I had so much fun building this kit I decided to do a few more, so I got a Throne Zwei and a Seven Sword, both of which were non-bandai models. 

Throne Zwei
Why replicas? For one thing, they are a lot more affordable for an otaku on a budget… and since I am still getting a feel for this hobby I wouldn’t want to invest in it too much just yet.  You can go on and preach about how terrible knock-offs are and how there is nothing that can justify buying them. Once you’re done being all high and mighty, ask yourself this: when was the last time you bought music? How many gigabytes of pirated and copyright infringing content have you consumed this year? And besides, this is my blog, I’m not forcing you to stay and read, so get over it. Moving on…

These HG models served as good practice for what was to be my first serious attempt at gunpla: a master grade Sinanju. These kits go for a good $70 on HobbyLink for the ”ver. KA”, and about $120 for the Titanium Finish versions. I wasn’t prepared to shell out that kind of money on a model just yet, so I opted for a replica, which cost me about one-third the price. I wasn’t able to take a lot of work-in-progress pics for this build, but here is how it turned out:

Not bad for a replica, yes? I sanded each part individually and did my best to get rid of seam lines and nub marks. I wanted it to look like the Titanium Finish version, so following a youtube guide I did a base coat of Bosny chrome, followed by 3 to 4 layers of hand painted Tamiya clear red. The gold trim was also hand painted with Tamiya gold leaf…an endeavor which allowed  me to reach my average annual swear count in a matter of a few days. 

It's Alive!

I was able to complete this model in approximately one month, putting in about an hour a day. The paint job is far from perfect if you look at it up close, but looking at the entire model it turned out better than I expected. The dry transfer decals were applied without following the placement guide. And lets not forget the LED mono-eye I was able to squeeze into this build :

The Sinanju is by far my most favourite mobile suit design. That said I wasn’t about to keep it looking just like any one else’s Titanium “ver. KA”. What’s great about this hobby is that you can get really creative with your builds, and if you aren’t planning on taking your model to a competition, then you have no one else to please but yourself - it will be sitting on your desk anyway, so go ahead- paint it, weather it, add weapons to it, customize it to your heart’s content! 

Taking inspiration from a Sinanju I saw online that had double the backpack engines, here is what I came up with…Sinanju 2.0!

got thrust?
I took the backpacks from two SD Sinanju kits and attached them where the white tube-like things used to be. All of those metal thrusters are actually ballpen tips in various sizes – I just inserted some gold eyelets into some of them to add more detail. I’ll put up more pics once the SHELF section is ready, but here are a few more:
with a scratch-built sword



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