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Gundam Modeling Madness

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  • Member since
    May 2011
  • From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Gundam Modeling Madness
Posted by Real G on Monday, November 14, 2022 4:59 PM

I gleefully purchased this kit at Yamashiro-Ya in Ueno, Tokyo in the early 1990s.  Resin garage kits were all the rage at the time, and this kit was fully representative of the best you could find in those heady days.  It had it all - outrageous subject, outrageous detail... and outrageous price (12,000 Yen)!  In addition to the resin parts, a PE fret with various fins, vanes, and vents was provided, along with some coiled hoses and brass wire.  The instruction sheet included a really cool comic strip which originally ran in B-Club magazine.  Kotobukiya was selling their own brand of resin de-greasing detergent called "Liqcaper", and a small bottle of said detergent was included with the kit.  What a package!

After returning home, I marvelled at the pile of resin parts that just oozed with insane detail.  And then I realized I had zero experience with resin kits.  The parts were extremely well molded, and cleanup was tedious only because of the intricate details.  The PE parts had no means of attachment to the model, so it was all DIY.  The resin parts also had no locator pins or aids either, but to be fair the kit was "free pose" in design to allow the builder to adjust to taste.

So after cleaning up the kit and giving the parts a wash using the included Liqcaper (which worked very well in stripping all the release agent), I assembled a few parts, added some locator pins, and applied some primer.  The arm supporting the enormous gun was the only kind of wonky looking bit in the box, and I had no confidence that the spindly thing would support the gun's weight for any appreciable time.  What to do?  What to do.  And then it sat in the box until I could figure out how to put this beast together.

Funny how 30 years changes one's perspective.  My younger self did all the heavy lifting by cleaning up most of the parts (the big, block-like energy capacitors for the main gun are still untouched), repairing a few broken parts, and adding some small details.  The articulated gun support arm will be replaced with a suitably bent up piece of wire with my own details.  I was really taken by the box art, but had no idea how to get that aged effect.  But model painting has evolved greatly in recent years, so achieving that look (might) be in reach.

“Ya ya ya, unicorn papoi!”

  • Member since
    September 2010
Posted by potchip on Monday, November 14, 2022 10:11 PM

Interesting. I quite like the rough designs of these concept arts. And sometimes when irregularty transfers to garage kits, nature of hand made products, it lends to the same charm. It is part of the reason I bought Yellow Submarine's 1/4000 SDF kits, even after Hasegawa released their plastic kits. The crisp molding, straight lines etc of the Hasegawa kit is lacking the organic look of line drawings - sometimes you actually want unstraight lines and rounded edges and asymetric parts, which ironically gives a bigger sense of scale. 

  • Member since
    May 2011
  • From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Posted by Real G on Tuesday, November 15, 2022 1:54 AM

Potchip, you apparently understand the Zen art of the unstraight straight line.  You speak the truth about how the imperfect organic look appears to look more natural than perfectly razor straight lines.

And this kit has unstraight lines up the wazoo!  Stick out tongue

“Ya ya ya, unicorn papoi!”

  • Member since
    October 2021
Posted by PhoenixG on Wednesday, November 16, 2022 5:58 PM

That's a spectacular looking kit! If more Gundam looked like that I'd be more tempted to pick it up.  Hope you get the opportunity to finish it.

I'd have to agree that there is something about the imperfections in a resin kit which give it a certain "liveliness" that is missing from the injection kits.

It was that which caught me when I first saw the reissue of this kit.Monster Fireball

I've never done resin but I was ready to jump into the deep end for this one.  Sadly, finances determined otherwise. Crying

On the Bench:

MB Strange Company Ep. 1

Bandai 1/72 Destroid Spartan (on vacation)

  • Member since
    May 2011
  • From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Posted by Real G on Thursday, November 17, 2022 1:36 AM

PhoenixG,

OMG, it's a powered suit...in a powered suit! Indifferent

What kind of expired senko was Kow Yokoyama smoking the day he invented that thing?!

“Ya ya ya, unicorn papoi!”

  • Member since
    October 2021
Posted by PhoenixG on Monday, November 21, 2022 11:35 PM

Real G

PhoenixG,

OMG, it's a powered suit...in a powered suit! Indifferent

What kind of expired senko was Kow Yokoyama smoking the day he invented that thing?!

 

 
LOL, I know right!?  The thing is like a Guerilla crossed with a Howitzer!

On the Bench:

MB Strange Company Ep. 1

Bandai 1/72 Destroid Spartan (on vacation)

  • Member since
    May 2011
  • From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Posted by Real G on Tuesday, November 22, 2022 12:54 AM

Actually, I think it WAS based on a Zoids King Kong.  I felt when Kow started leaning on the Zoids aesthetic was when his MaK design edge began to wander off course.  The Grosserhund is a prime example.

All artists have their off days though.  Kobayashi did that weird Space Battleship Yamato with the greenhouse window.  Heck, even the late, great Syd Mead did... Turn A Gundam.  I heaved about in rage/despair when I saw the design, asking myself how the artist who penned the Spinner and Sulaco could produce such a travesty of a mobile suit.

And if there is anyone with a high-pitched nasal voice who is about to tisk at me, saying Turn A Gundam was a great series - you are not welcome in my house.  Devil

Never hire a westerner to do anime mecha.  It never ends well.

“Ya ya ya, unicorn papoi!”

  • Member since
    May 2011
  • From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Posted by Real G on Tuesday, November 22, 2022 1:10 PM

Here are some closer pics of the kit:

The unpainted blocks on the shoulders are one-shot(!) energy capacitors for the twin beam guns.

There is a small white metal insert "face" that goes into the resin head.

Gigantic "smart gun", rear stabilizer fin, beam sabres, front armor skirt, and arm parts.

The hands are white metal, so the fingers can be adjusted a bit to handle the smart gun.  I think Kobayashi was inspired by Ripley's ad-hoc taped-together machine gun/flame thrower in Aliens, since this kit's gun includes a twin beam gun, grenade launcher, and flame thrower!

Those are really big shoes!

 

“Ya ya ya, unicorn papoi!”

  • Member since
    September 2010
Posted by potchip on Tuesday, November 22, 2022 6:48 PM

Ok you take that back about Turn-A Gundam! The bearded one has very elegant lines. 

The worst thing that happened to gundam design was Hajime Katoki IMO. When I read the background of that super ZZ at least I can appreciate back in the 80's there were competing asthetics and designers bring different styles to the table. Nowadays, it's all the same proportion and same concepts, with different backpacks. I scoffed at most of the Unicorn designs even if it's set in UC (unicorn mode itself, maybe, but the body proportions is an abomination). Just not interesting at all and stop making mecha with anime-human proportions already! /ENDRANT

  • Member since
    May 2011
  • From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Posted by Real G on Tuesday, November 22, 2022 9:26 PM

We'll have to agree to disagree Potchip.  I found Katoki's aesthetic refreshing in the late 1980s/early 1990s.  At the time, I found the folded paper edges and sleek industrial looks to be an attractive and sophisticated step up from Kunio Okawara's kind of dumpy super robot designs.  I liked Syd Mead's work for similar reasons, but his take on Gundam was just too weird and off-key for me.

Perhaps Katoki's current work has become cliche, since it appears Bandai has chosen him to pen most of the new kits' lines.  I was hoping there would be a true Katoki Zaku II, since the Zaku II 2.0 was so darned near perfect.  But I don't gush over all of his works, as I dislike anything Gundam Wing (perhaps that smacks of blasphemy here in the US, but I got my Gundam indoctrination elsewhere, years before Cartoon Network aired the show).

Makoto Kobayashi is like the Picasso of the Gundam world, kind of the end marker of the farthest that the extremes of Gundam designs will go.  And I like it.  A lot.  None of my friends do, but I don't care.

Time to get on with the Super ZZ.

“Ya ya ya, unicorn papoi!”

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Monday, December 5, 2022 10:27 PM

That's so cool G! Did you get any more work done? 

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    May 2011
  • From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Posted by Real G on Tuesday, December 6, 2022 11:39 AM

Not yet Gamera, but hopefully soon!

“Ya ya ya, unicorn papoi!”

  • Member since
    May 2011
  • From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Posted by Real G on Tuesday, January 3, 2023 3:09 PM

So on New Year's Eve I started this monstrosity:

Gah, that's a lot of parts!

This is all I got done in one evening.  I was starting to nod off by 10:30, but managed to stay up past midnight.

But like eating an elephant, by working on subasemblies one bit at a time, I'll get this thing across the finish line!

“Ya ya ya, unicorn papoi!”

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Thursday, January 5, 2023 5:00 PM

So cool!!!! Glad to see you in motion on this monster! 

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

Moderator
  • Member since
    September 2011
Posted by Tim Kidwell on Monday, January 9, 2023 8:56 AM

Looking forward to seeing how both of these projects shape up!

--

Timothy Kidwell
Editor
Scale Model Brands
Kalmbach Media

 

  • Member since
    May 2011
  • From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Posted by Real G on Thursday, February 9, 2023 1:33 PM

I pulled out this monstrosity from the Deep Storage Vault.

The Buran is mecha designer Kazuhisa Kondoh's interpretation of the MA-05 Bigro from the original Mobile Suit Gundam TV show.  Kondoh did a manga series which featured the Buran, as well as many other designs from various Gundam shows.  Kondoh's aesthetic felt kind of like anime meets Star Wars.  Such cool stuff in the heyday of the "hardware show" anime era.

The kit was purchased in Japan in the early 1990s, around the same time as the Super ZZ Gundam.  It was part of Goikken Muyou's "Abunai Mechanics Series".  "Goikken Muyou" means "Your opinion is not needed"!  And "Abunai" means dangerous, so the kit was from the "Dangerous Mechanics Series".  Big Smile

The main components are big and chunky.  And HEAVY!  No roto-casting here; it's all solid blocks of resin!

Anyway, the reason this kit got pulled out of the stash is because I belatedly wanted to check if the 3-D printed F-15 exhaust nozzles I purchased were a good fit - and they were NOT!  Indifferent  They were too small.  Oh bugger, I need 1/48 nozzles.  Oh well, my friends have 1/72 F-15s so I can let them use them.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled program.

“Ya ya ya, unicorn papoi!”

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Thursday, February 9, 2023 7:49 PM

I love that Real G! So many cool garage kits from around that era, probably 95% never sold outside Japan. 

Hope you get the larger nozzles soon, I want to see you dig into this big beast! 

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    May 2011
  • From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Posted by Real G on Monday, August 14, 2023 12:38 PM

Okay, enough wiffle and waffle!  I got a deadline that is approaching fast.

Parts have been pinned.  This kit has pretty much no locators, so it's all DIY.

Black base.

Some mottling.

Base color on.

Clown colors on.

I am finally really, really, really tired of fiddling with my single-action airbrush needle stop during fine detail painting.  I will switch to my Iwata double-action from now on.  I'll still use the old battered Badger 200 for simple stuff, so it's not going to the toolbox graveyard.

“Ya ya ya, unicorn papoi!”

  • Member since
    May 2011
  • From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Posted by Real G on Monday, August 14, 2023 1:28 PM

The instructions suggest using a bit of PE runner to make the eyes.  I thought the idea was ludicrous, but have come around to embracing it.  But where is the face?

The eyes will go a long way to answer that question!

“Ya ya ya, unicorn papoi!”

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Wednesday, August 16, 2023 7:54 PM

That looks soooooooo cool Real G!!! 

The huge feet looked a little odd to me at first but I guess if you have a huge gun you're gonna have big feet eh!?!??!! Stick out tongue

 

 

 

You need them for stability doncha????

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    October 2021
Posted by PhoenixG on Friday, August 18, 2023 1:56 AM

OMG, even incomplete that beast of a machine is looking freaking awesome!!

 

On the Bench:

MB Strange Company Ep. 1

Bandai 1/72 Destroid Spartan (on vacation)

  • Member since
    May 2011
  • From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Posted by Real G on Tuesday, August 22, 2023 6:20 PM

So guys, I had a little accident while packing the model for the contest.  A big, heavy, resin model with no moveable parts makes for poor traveling, and I must have gotten a little too impatient when trying to put it in a box.

The leg snapped off and the model came crashing down.  Sad  I had no time for repairs as I needed to get going to the airport. I had left the arms, gun, and rear stabilizer loose, figuring that I could tack them in place at the contest.  This spared the parts from damage.

So I went stag to the contest, a first for me.  If I were 10 years younger I would have had a major hissy fit, but fortunately age has its benefits.  After about 15 seconds, I realized there was nothing to do but just prop the model up on my desk and head to the airport.

An hour before the mishap, I loaded up all the parts to make sure everything was OK.

I was really worried that the support arm would not hold up the enormous gun, but it held fine.  Things were looking hopeful at the time.

The lessons I learned here were:

- Don't dilly-dally.  Finish contest models at least a week early if not more.

- Don't choose a big, heavy, super-fragile resin model.  Think about packing and transport ahead of time.

- And don't dilly-dally.

“Ya ya ya, unicorn papoi!”

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Tuesday, August 22, 2023 8:51 PM

Ouch!!! So sorry to hear about the accident G! Nice work getting Humpty Dumpty back together! 

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    May 2011
  • From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Posted by Real G on Wednesday, August 23, 2023 1:42 PM

Gamera,

I'll need to make quick repairs at least to the leg, as the model cannot be set down without getting further damage.  It's so close to being finished that I must push myself to get it done.

“Ya ya ya, unicorn papoi!”

  • Member since
    May 2011
  • From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Posted by Real G on Tuesday, September 5, 2023 3:28 PM

Humpty-Dumpty had a great fall, but we were able to put him back together again:

“Ya ya ya, unicorn papoi!”

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Tuesday, September 5, 2023 7:30 PM

Looks good to me G, nice work getting him back shipshape! 

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    May 2011
  • From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Posted by Real G on Monday, October 9, 2023 1:17 PM

I finally got around to taking a couple more pics of the 99% complete model:

I took it to the local model meeting this weekend, so I had to figure out a way to secure the model for transport:

It does not travel well, and is almost impossible to pick up and hold.  Still, it arrived at the meeting and returned home safely.

This was my first resin mecha model, and I learned some painful lessons from it.  Most importantly, since the model's joints have to be fixed in place, if anything moves after completion, that means it's broken.  The resin material demands either CA or epoxy glue be used.  Epoxy allows some time to adjust position of the parts, but cannot hold it until it cures.  CA, even the slow set type, is less forgiving and you must also know how to position the parts before the glue sets.  This caused me fits when positioning the arm parts.  There were so many joints that when I finally got to the hands, I could not position them to hold the gun.  Plus resin is heavy, and I unwisely used plastic rod to pin the parts together.  That's why the leg broke off when I was trying to stuff it into a box.  The legs are super heavy, and even now I can feel them flex when I try to move the model.

So for subsequent mecha resin kits, I will be using only metal rods to pin parts together.  I will retofit polycaps wherever possible to be able to make some adjustments to the pose.  Some high stress areas like the legs will need to be fixed in place though.  Resin kits are heavy, so a fully poseable model is undesirable due to stability issues.

But there are some really cool looking resin kits out there that are not available in injection plastic, so the pain is worthwhile (sometimes).  I don't have many large resin mech kits in the stash, but I have a bunch of small ones.  I think I'll pull one of them out next, to try apply the lessons I leaned from the Super ZZ.

The Breda is a much smaller kit and seems like a good candidate.  Stay tuned!

“Ya ya ya, unicorn papoi!”

  • Member since
    May 2011
  • From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Posted by Real G on Monday, October 9, 2023 1:44 PM

...or maybe I neeed a break and should work on something less challenging.

Ony ONE resin part!  Stick out tongue

“Ya ya ya, unicorn papoi!”

  • Member since
    September 2010
Posted by potchip on Tuesday, October 10, 2023 8:14 AM

That's not sci-fi! Unless you going to build a Nuka-Cola vending machine?

  • Member since
    May 2011
  • From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Posted by Real G on Tuesday, October 10, 2023 1:10 PM

Ha ha, Potchip, no it's intended to be an accessory for a car model.  Actually, I bought the vending machine because I thought it was a hoot that there was a kit of such a thing, and it was only one piece.  I suppose I'll have to build a car model now.

But fear not, the robot production line is still open!

“Ya ya ya, unicorn papoi!”

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