Body movin'

The waiting is over, I've finally moved!

After unpacking countless cardboard boxes, I got to a point where I've faced:

  • relatively free floor
  • carefully wrapped display case
  • equally carefully wrapped gunplas

In other words, all ingredients necessary for ressurect display case spell!

This time my room is facing west, so I had to be more careful with display case placement. I need enough light to be able to look at my tiny robots — but direct sunlight is going to do a number on the plastic. I've ended up with a shaded, but still bright enough spot, and an order for 5 meters of LED strip. Wiring this up will be fun.

RG Freedom Gundam WIP

From the limbo, I post at thee!

We were supposed to be moving some time late April. It's almost July, and — as you can guess — we haven't moved yet. To escape the ennui of the wait, I've cracked open an RG box containing a special version of RG Freedom Gundam. The "special" bit is a fancy gloss coating — not exactly metalic, more like slight silvery sheen. My knowledge of Gundam SEED hasn't really improved since completing Aile Strike, so yet again I was a bit clueless as to what exactly I was putting together.

HG Ahead Smultron - done!

After all, it was supposed to be a simple job, right? As things usually go, "simple" got out of control and after putting it together I've decided to experiment. First thing I've tried was panel scribing. I had some cheapo panel scribers in my tool drawer and I've decided that I'd give it a go. There are many proverbs saying that you need to be careful when you're removing material, as this is usually a one way street. Guess what — same applies here. It's damn easy to make a new line, and it's even easier to make it unnecessarily deep and thick. I've used dymo tape to mark the line, scriber to carve out initial groove and finally a triangle file to make it deeper. Worked like a charm. That is, I've produced some panel lines. And have bent my thinnest scriber. Plus, as you can see on the photos below, I went a bit too wild with this on the shield and ended up with something that can no longer be called a panel line - it's more of a panel groove. It doesn't look as bad after coating, but it's definitely not the thing I initially had in mind. I've tried to use sandpaper wrapped around a toothpick and a very thin file to even out the edges. That of course resulted in even wider panel lingaps.

As you can see I've managed to control things better in other places, but still — this shows how important it is to get good quality tools and plan things beforehand. In few places my hand slipped and scratched more than I'd planed too.

Once the scribing rage subsided, I've decided to do some minor detailing. I've painted selected details with a Gundam marker, and once it was dry I've removed excess paint with a toothpick. This went well, apart from the fact that it's hard to get an even paint coverage with just the marker. Using a brush helps, but then visible brush strokes start to become a problem. But for small bits, marker + toothpick worked as advertised. Provided the toothpick was actually a toothpick and not a roughly-toothpick-shaped piece of wood, that is. I've used brown Tamiya premixed wash for panel lines. The wider the line, the poorer the capillary action was, and you can see that the lining on the shield isn't exactly something to write home about. The ink wouldn't flow, and would stay in uneven surface of the groove at random segments of the groove. One more reason to keep those lines thin and tidy. I've tried to experiment a bit with making my own panel wash, but it was a complete disaster. I've used Revel enamel thinner and paint for this, and for some reason I couldn't get it to mix properly. I'd end up with an oily soup of the thinner, with swirling tangible paint blobs in it. This thinner also turned out to be rather aggressive to the plastic itself — it'd lightly wear down every surface it'd touch, leaving a fine white residue.

I've also applied some generic HIQ Parts decals. They're well made, with minimal margin, and applied correctly every time. I've also used Mr. Mark Setter, which brought another useful lesson — once you apply it, don't move the decal as it gets soft, and can be torn easily.

The experiments ended with application of a gloss top-coat (Vallejo's). After all, it couldn't get much worse, right? And it didn't; although the coating isn't that even, I was pretty happy with the end result. The varnish covered some of the scratches and gave a nice sheen to the kit. The whole thing looked good enough, that I've decided to make a photo shoot.

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