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Dlinker
June 13, 2013, 11:54 PM
Time for some holes to be poked in the methods I use to complete a kit. Or to finally have a WIP thread.

To start things off, here's something I was working on earlier with enamels, the results of which will be used in the next build after the Dynames (that's taking way too long to complete). Let's see who can guess which spoon was painted using enamel thinned with Testor's Enamel Thinner and which one was thinned with Tamiya Lacquer Thinner.

5351

I'm wondering about the texture too. Looks grainy. Spoons were primed using Vallejo Surface Primer and paint used was MM Gloss Black.

jaqio
June 14, 2013, 1:47 AM
I never used lacquer thinner to paint. But I think it's the one to the right that you used it to thin the paint with. Because it seems to have more of an smoother finish than the other one.

Dlinker
June 14, 2013, 2:34 AM
That's one vote for the spoon on the right. It was a smoother finish so it will be interesting to see which one won't feel sticky tomorrow night.

If anyone's wondering why I'm doing the test, it's because I want to try out enamel metallics on this next build to see if they really do look better and are easier to spray. Also, supposedly, lacquer thinner gives enamels a better finish when used with an AB so I'm testing out two things.

Right now, with Tamiya Acrylic metallics, only the Gun Metal seems to spray easily. The rest need the needle pulled back more than usual when being sprayed or else nothing comes out. Me thinks I'm either not thinning them enough or the metallic flakes are simply too big for the .3mm needle.

Squee
June 14, 2013, 3:37 AM
If you're using gloss black, i think you should add a little more thinner to your ratio. It should look "wet." Lay down a mist coat to gain some tack on the piece and then go over it with more paint in like a minute. Don't go back over it once it looks wet as the air will "flatten" the look. That high gloss look makes the metallics shine better.

thwalker13
June 14, 2013, 8:42 AM
I kinda think it's the spoon on the left that was thinned with the Lacquer thinner. Not really sure why. That is just what my gut is telling me.

And also, good to see that you made a WiP thread man.

Dlinker
June 14, 2013, 10:50 AM
@Squee, an interesting observation and one I'll try this Saturday. The mixture there was essentially 1:1 so perhaps I'll add a few extra drops of thinner and make it a 1:1.5 mixture. That may explain the grainy texture too. I sprayed it using my usual method of laying down the tacky coat --> medium coat --> slightly heavy coat. I should try doing it like how I did with a clear gloss coat earlier: tacky coat --> sweeping heavy coat until it's shiny and mirror-smooth under a light. Thanks for the input, it's much appreciated.

@thwalker13, that's one vote for the for the left spoon. I don't think anyone else will chime in so I'll pronounce you as the winner! It was indeed the left spoon. Looks like your instincts are sharp too, haha.

I'm hoping this WIP thread will be another helpful resource that anyone can use in this forum. The side-benefit is that I can improve the methods/techniques I've been using since starting the hobby last March because I know I have plenty to improve upon. Also, maybe this will show that my kits don't just get completed out of thin air, haha.

One thing I noticed about lacquers is that it doesn't take much to vent the stuff out. I used a fan behind me to blow air out of the door and it was enough to minimize the fumes. I'm still going to wear a respirator though, since I like being up close with the parts being sprayed.

thwalker13
June 14, 2013, 11:03 AM
I think your WiP thread will be a very helpful tool for everyone. I know I am going to pay close attention to it. And I can't wait to see your next project.

I just felt that the left spoon was it. Call it the force guiding me I suppose.

jaqio
June 14, 2013, 12:27 PM
That's it no more quizzes for me! lol. And i'll be looking forward to all the information from this thread also.

Dlinker
June 14, 2013, 9:15 PM
Haha, but quizzes help hone your eyes.

I went and checked on the spoons to see which one was still feeling sticky. Both spoons were still feeling sticky, but the one that had lacquer-thinned enamel feels less sticky compared to the enamel-thinned spoon. Maybe there is some truth to the claim that lacquer thinner shortens the curing time for enamels.

I think I'll do it on this next kit to see how it goes. I have to make sure to prime first, and prime a nice coat to prevent the paint from damaging certain parts.

Now, you're probably wondering why I'm bothering to use enamels with lacquer. I myself have said it before that it defeats the purpose somewhat and that if using lacquer thinner, why not go all the way with lacquer paints. The answer is this: convenience and marginal cost savings. I have the enamel paints and my nearby hobby store stocks plenty of them. No need to spend again and wait for paints to come when I can readily use what's available. Plus, I really do want to see how enamel metallics look when airbrushed. This is all just speculation, but I think enamel paints are easier to work with than lacquer paints since mineral spirits can clean them with little to no odor or damage. Just less hassle for me, not having to worry about a strong solvent hitting my skin.

Squee
June 14, 2013, 11:11 PM
I am always too lazy to make tutorials, so here's a link from MVM on how to spray Gloss black. It's really the best way to make your metallics shine.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jOJvjCqXgqU


The only thing you need to note that would be different for you is that enamel doesn't glaze over/cure as fast as lacquer so you need to get it nice and glossy in 2 coats. Otherwise you run the risk of paint running.

Dlinker
June 15, 2013, 1:54 AM
Aha, that's pretty darn close to what I did when I was gloss-coating some parts on the Dynames. Well, same concept with the tacky coat and then spray the part until it becomes somewhat reflective. What I need to work on is getting that finish in one go, then leave it be. No more of that minor touch-up stuff after.

With the spoons earlier, I didn't do that at all. I was actually surprised I covered an entire spoon with only eight small drops of paint and some of it got stuck in the plastic cup I was using to mix so less than that was poured in the AB.

Can't wait to try it out tomorrow. I think I'll stick with lacquer thinner for it for now. Thanks for the rather informative and well-done vid. Love it when examples are that clear-cut.

Dlinker
June 16, 2013, 12:48 AM
I decided today to do some more practice on some items I'm going to try out on the next build and put aside practice on applying gloss black enamel until tomorrow.

First up was practice on scribing panel lines. I learned plenty when I did it for the Delta Plus and Dynames, but I realized after painting and panel lining that the lines were too wide and too deep, not to mention kinda sloppy as well. Last week, on a whim, I again googled up how to scribe panel lines and found another method that seemed like a better fit for me. Essentially, it involves plotting the potential lines out using dots (either with a pencil or with a needle) then connecting the dots using a guide. Compared to before where I drew the lines and then placed Dymo tape as guides, this one took less time to prepare because it didn't really need Dymo tape. Instead, I used my small metal ruler so I was able to get the scriber on the desired spot quickly. Also found a good method of joining the different directions of a line together without much risk of unnecessary damage and it involves placing the tool at the end of one line, then scribe from that point, and so on. That troubled me often before and I had to fill those mistakes.

Another thing that I wanted to change up was the tool set. I used needles of various sizes, a slightly blunt hobby knife, and a Tamiya P-Cutter II. It dawned on me that this could have been why my lines were too deep (scored the lines too deep with a knife and needle) and too wide (P-Cutter scores trenches on a surface and combined with a deep initial score, the resulting line can end up being too wide). So I skipped the needles and P-Cutter and went with the hobby knife plus a Squadron Scribing Tool I bought some weeks ago since I wanted to try it out. Here are the results. I did some testing to see how many strokes will work best (marked on the pic), but I won't find out until I paint and gloss coat. Partway, I decided to skip the hobby knife and use only the Squadron (again marked on the pic).

5373 5374

I'll get to practice applying enamel gloss black on these tomorrow since the primer should be set by then.

Speaking of paint, I got impatient and decided to also practice on spraying enamel metallics using those spoons. Choice of colors are: Chrome Silver, Anthracite Gray Metallic, German Silver Metallic, and Steel. Here are the results:

5375 5376

I think I need more thinner for Chrome Silver due to the larger dots of paint coming out of the AB, along with a good wet coat, but it looks nice. I wanted to see what happens if I used mineral spirits to thin so I did it for the German Silver. It certainly behaved differently, almost as if no paint was getting sprayed at all. An unexpected benefit of the mineral spirits is that it allowed for an easy wet coat; After the paint session, I touched the spoon and it was stupidly smooth and very reflective compared to the others. I won't be using mineral spirits, but it was still nice to see. Anthracite Gray was difficult somewhat because it's a dark metallic, darker than Gun Metal, and the only noteworthy thing is that the resulting paint job was somewhat grainy in texture. Steel caught me by surprise because it kept sputtering in the AB and the results were very rough and grainy. I probably needed to thin it more than 1:1 ratio. I have an acrylic version of it so I'll give that a try too, in case the enamel version is too uncooperative.

thwalker13
June 16, 2013, 1:09 AM
Great looking tests my friend. The scribing of panel lines is one thing that I really want to attempt in the near future. What material did you use for that? It looks like Pla-Plate but I am not 100% sure.

Dlinker
June 16, 2013, 2:28 PM
Thank you, good sir.

And your instincts are right once again: it is Tamiya PlaPlate. Could have used Evergreen since it's the same thing, but I ordered this variety pack already so I figured to use it. The 1.2mm sheet is perfect for practicing panel line scribing since you can score it deeply without risk of running through the plastic. I have two more pieces available and I'm thinking of trying out curving lines on them. Kinda have a plan to do some Turn A style panel lines on a curvy kit (probably on the upcoming HGUC Gerbera Tetra) later on.

I was doing some more thinking on the metallics and came upon the decision that I will be trying out MM Metalizer paints as well. Which means more spoons to paint later today, then a visit to the hobby store tomorrow.

Then, finally, it's time to start de-nubbing the parts.

jaqio
June 16, 2013, 3:22 PM
Wow! that's some good looking scribing work Dlinker. I'm interested in this method your using also, I need to try it out.

Also looking at you and Thwalker13's tests, I'm getting that big build feel from what you two are posting. So This is another one I can't wait to see more of.

Dlinker
June 16, 2013, 6:31 PM
Thanks for the compliment, jaqio. I thought it was the best scribing I've done ever, haha. We'll see later on in the week when I start washing those lines how they stack up.

Once you're ready to try it out, practice like there's no tomorrow. It's like de-nubbing; you'll start with one method and after a while, you'll either find a new method or change it up so that it's perfect for you.

As for the build, ehh, probably not so epic. It's an HG kit I've already done before, but I'm painting and customizing a bit since the first kit was a straight OOB build. I'll lay out the plan this week.

thwalker13
June 16, 2013, 8:48 PM
Jaqio is kinda right on my part. I'm leading up to a big build. I do have a question Dlinker, have you tried scribing on a spoon?

Dlinker
June 17, 2013, 12:10 AM
Haha, I'm a bit burned out on big builds after doing so much on the Delta Plus and Dynames. I want to work on something a bit more straightforward this time that involves very little masking...

As for your question, my curiosity was piqued so I just tried scribing a spoon. Here are the results:

5377

I used a strip of Dymo tape as a flexible guide since it's a curvy surface. The lines there are after 20 strokes with the Squadron tool, which isn't unusual since the spoon's plastic feels harder. I realized I could test the width using a pencil and it seems to be around .2mm, judging by how my .3mm pencil couldn't reach the bottom of the line, only the edges.

In other news, I did not do any painting on those test parts today, partly because I wanted to test out using lacquer gloss black for quick curing times (assuming the hobby store has them) and to see how it goes on a surface primed with Vallejo Surface Primer. I tried out Tamiya Liquid Surface Primer as a non-acrylic primer and while it worked well, it was too much of a hassle due to how hard it was to clean up after. I cleaned up using Tamiya Lacquer Thinner so maybe the hardware store stuff is a better choice.

Aside from that, I was able to clear coat the Dynames' rifle. That means the kit will be completely finished this Thursday at the latest. Ugh, took too much time on it.

thwalker13
June 17, 2013, 7:41 AM
Hmm, seems like for ideal testing it would be better to use some spare parts or pla-plate to get an accurate feel of scribing. Good to hear that the Dynames is nearing completion. Can't wait to see it.

Dlinker
June 17, 2013, 11:57 AM
Yeah, you're better off that way than relying on spoons. Luckily, Evergreen styrene sheets are readily available on most domestic online hobby stores (and brick/mortar stores as well) so no need to order from HLJ.

There's one thing I forgot to mention about scribing lines: appearance. I'm aiming for really skinny lines with sharp edges on this next build, but if you prefer lines that have rounded edges (such as those already available on the parts), sanding on the actual line itself using needle files or scoring a bit with a P-Cutter may be needed. Not sure if that made sense.

thwalker13
June 17, 2013, 12:18 PM
Made sense to me.

Dlinker
June 17, 2013, 3:34 PM
Got back from the hobby store today and they had no lacquer bottle paints at all. I ended up ordering a bottle of Mr. Color GX Ueno Black and a bottle of Mr. Color Thinner from ModelGrade. Looks like a gloss black according to the product pic and seems to be lacquer so we'll see. For now, I just stocked up on few Metalizer paints, Alclad Chrome, and a bottle of Alclad Gloss Black Base Coat, which seems to be a not-so-good product, but I wanted to see for myself.

Time to start painting soon.

thwalker13
June 17, 2013, 4:53 PM
I have heard rather decent reports of the Alclad black base. However most of those reports are from people who use it only as a base coat for the Chrome and other metallic paints.

Dlinker
June 17, 2013, 6:32 PM
The reports I read were from 2006 so it's likely Alclad already fixed their formula for it because it seemed to spray fine for me. Took me a couple of tries until I got the method right, as seen from the first spoon on the left going to the right where it becomes much more reflective:

5378

According to the bottle, best results can be had if you let it sit overnight. We'll see tomorrow whether I get cracks or other disappointments when I spray a Metalizer buffing paint on it. I tested out the hardware store lacquer and my hunch was correct: Tamiya Lacquer Thinner is weaker. The hardware stuff dissolved the Alclad easily within seconds so clean-up was simple. Doesn't smell as bad as the Tamiya stuff too, but it certainly does burn if it gets on the skin.

Since I don't have anymore AB work to do today, it's time to do the next experiment: changing the color on a clear piece to something else.

Dlinker
June 17, 2013, 9:03 PM
The experiment was a failure and I should have expected it. I don't think there's a way to reliably change the color of a translucent green part to something completely different (rather than a shade) and still retain the transparency. Tried painting on a variety of clear colors and nothing resulted in the color/look I wanted.

I may have to just paint it in a neutral metallic, then put the desired clear color on top so that at least it still looks cool.

thwalker13
June 17, 2013, 9:11 PM
Any pointers on that one Dlinker? I'll have to tackle the same issue on my Stein. As the clear parts to Armed Armor DE are, well, pink. I want them red. And still transparent.

Dlinker
June 18, 2013, 2:10 AM
Hmmmm, you should be able to apply a few coats of Tamiya Clear Red (via AB, of course) to remove the pink-ish color and really make the red stand out. Transparency shouldn't be affected because even with a handbrushed thick coat, there is still some transparency to the surface (even on my disaster of a test piece).

You can also use Future mixed in with some red food coloring, if you prefer the dip method. At least that way, you may not need a gloss coat.

FYI, I was trying to change clear green to clear purple. I do believe now that it's impossible to achieve, haha.

Before I go to bed, it's time for panel lining and decals on the Dynames' weapons.

thwalker13
June 18, 2013, 7:34 AM
Woohoo for decals. lol.

And you peaked my interest when you mentioned Future and red food coloring. I have never heard of this. Explain?

Dlinker
June 18, 2013, 1:20 PM
Quite simple, actually. I stumbled upon it on the FineScaleModeler forums and it's typically used for adding a tint to neutral clear pieces.

You just take some food coloring and add it to an amount of Future. The more you add, the stronger the color, of course. It's what I did for the visor on the Delta Plus to make it orange. Future is known to enhance the look of clear pieces so it should make those transparent ones a bit prettier/shinier as well. I can't really say how much to add. You kinda have to measure it by eye, but the great thing is it's easy to clean up from the part.

I bought a box of the Ateco stuff from Amazon and it works well.

thwalker13
June 18, 2013, 4:39 PM
Dlinker, my good friend. You have solved what I think might have been my last big question on my Stein project. Thank you!

Dlinker
June 18, 2013, 7:13 PM
You're welcome, good sir :) Hopefully it will serve you well in that beast of a project.

Just finished testing the Metalizer and Alclad Chrome paints on the four spoons painted yesterday with Alclad Gloss Black Base. No cracking and the Metalizers worked incredibly well, especially the buffing ones. Kinda crazy how smooth the surface gets once you buff it for a minute. The Chrome was somewhat of a miss, though, and I'm blaming the less-than-ideal application of Gloss Black along with me spraying more than two layers:

5387

I also noticed that some tutorials skip out an important step, namely dusting the area to remove any left-over chrome dust. The spoon above actually looked duller than that until I lightly buffed it with a lint-free cloth.

My lacquer paint shipped out today so hopefully it will be in before Friday. I went ahead and sprayed those panel line scribing test sheets Gloss Black as well since I know now that it's not defective stuff.

Lastly, I put on the last coat of clear gloss on the Dynames' guns. Tomorrow, the flat coat with Vallejo Matt Varnish. For the rest of the day today, it's de-nubbing time.

Dlinker
June 19, 2013, 3:55 PM
Got all of the parts de-nubbed and sanding away any mold lines I encountered:

5396

So now to lay down the plans. This is the HG 00 Qan[T], a kit I already built last year, but I ordered a second one so I can get a replacement head jewel after it went down the drain during a wash session. At the same time, I already ordered replacements from GGInfinite, which came later on so I had a complete kit. I really like the design so I couldn't just leave it under the bed collecting dust.

A plan came to my head during then that combined Gundam with Transformers: The Qan[T] is one of the ultimate good-guy suits and it has an ability to teleport vast distances. Transformers has a mirror universe where all of the good guys become bad guys. What if the Qan[T] accidentally teleports to that evil universe and gets corrupted? What will it look like?

That's where the proposed paint scheme to mind. All of this testing on metallics is to see what choices I have available and I think I have my choices, following the color scheme of the Transformers' Shattered Glass continuity (which I hope isn't infringing on anyone's copyrights):

White = Metalizer Steel
Blue = Tamiya Gun Metal
Red = Metalizer Magnesium
Yellow = Tamiya Titanium Gold
Grey = Tamiya Metallic Grey.
Green = Metallic Purple (as bright as I can get it)

The panel line scribing tests have their place as well. I want the evil Qan[T] to have something akin to veins coming out of the GN drives on its arms, legs, torso, and head. Those "veins" will be done via panel lines.

jayhat100
June 19, 2013, 8:54 PM
That idea sound great, it should awesome. I really like the titanium gold and use it often.

thwalker13
June 19, 2013, 10:00 PM
I think this will be one awesome build man. I can't wait to see some pics of this.

jaqio
June 19, 2013, 11:07 PM
Very interesting idea Dlinker!

Dlinker
June 20, 2013, 1:20 AM
Thanks for the vote of confidence, gentlemen :)

My only potential pitfall with this idea is the purple, which I'll test out by Friday on those test pieces which should have a semi-cured clear-coat then. I want it really bright, especially for the panel lines, so I'll have to hunt down MM Pearl Purple and MM Hot Magenta. Hmmm, maybe I should put an order in for VMC Fluorescent Purple too, just to cover all of the bases. I need to mix up some Clear Purple for the color test on the GN Sword Bits as well.

In other news, the Dynames is finished. I'm letting the guns sit overnight with their flat coat so pics will be up tomorrow. I'll have him posing with someone who should have gotten a photoshoot a long time ago.

thwalker13
June 20, 2013, 7:56 AM
Can't wait to see the photoshoot man.

And the Qan[T] is sounding more and more interesting by the post. I used MM Pearl Grape on the MG Master Gundam it looks amazing. So I can only imagine what purple will look like on the Qan[T].

Dlinker
June 20, 2013, 1:39 PM
Ooooh, so that's what the purple was. Hmmmm, I have MM Plum Crazy that is pretty close in shade. I'll see how it goes when I start color testing later on.

thwalker13
June 20, 2013, 3:39 PM
Can't wait to see it man.

Dlinker
June 20, 2013, 9:01 PM
Took a break from the usual tests to finally get the photoshoot done for the Dynames and its special guest, which will be in my Completed Kits thread.

However, that's not to say I didn't do any tests at all. I tested out the clear purple samples I concocted using Tamiya Clear Red and Blue, as well as some Tamiya Clear mixed with a tiny amount of Purple. The mixture of Red and Blue was a failure because the shade was too darn dark no matter what I did. The Clear w/ Purple mix was more successful, creating a nice purple shade while leaving the metallic still somewhat present. However, it still didn't meet the brightness criteria so I think I'll have to wait for my shipment of Fluorescent Purple from Sprue Brothers. Once it comes in, I'll test with a mix that with some Vallejo Silver. I really want those GN blade parts to be bright, man.

For the enamels, I'm going to test out some Hot Magenta and Fluorescent Red, see what happens if I mix in a bit of Plum Crazy and Arctic Blue, respectively.

thwalker13
June 20, 2013, 11:27 PM
Sounds like an interesting round of tests man. Getting a good metallic clear feel is rather difficult. I've tried it before its pretty tedious. Keep at it man. Care to post any pics of some results?

Dlinker
June 21, 2013, 12:21 AM
Ask and ye shall receive, good sir. Here are the results with the initial tests on the GN Sword Bits, going from crappy results to somewhat good results:

5413 5412 5411

I painted red on the middle blade there to see how the clear red gets applied, because it was a failure as well to spray clear blue first followed up by clear red to blend into purple. It turned dark-ish blue instead...sigh. Here's to hoping Vallejo will rescue my efforts, haha. I think it's a nice effect though, and I may use it for another build later on.

Tonight, I'm doing the color blending with the enamels.

Dlinker
June 23, 2013, 1:20 AM
Finally got a chance to do the panel line tests:

5426 5427

Kinda hard to see from the pics above, but the best lines were those made with 5 strokes so that's what I'll aim for. For the color of the lines, I tested following and got the following results:

- MM Hot Magenta: Very noticeable line and with enough saturation, becomes a nice bright purple shade. Mixing in a tiny amount of Plum Crazy darkens it a bit, which I might do.

- MM Plum Crazy: Too dark, especially on lines that thin. Won't really pull off the effect I want when most of the kit is going to be in dark-ish colors.

- VMC Fluorescent Magenta mixed with Fluorescent Blue: Similar effect as the Hot Magenta, but is much more difficult to apply because it's acrylic going on top of an acrylic clear coat.

End result is that I will be going with MM Hot Magenta darkened with some Plum Crazy for most panel line colors.

Another search I may have concluded is the shade of purple for the GN parts. I tested a few paints (and variants of them) and came up with the color I liked most: MM Plum Crazy with a tiny bit of MM Chrome Silver. It brightens the Plum Crazy and gives it a more noticeable sheen. I'll be testing it further on some spare clear parts tomorrow.

Aside from those tests, I was able to get started on some minor mods, starting with the head:

5428

Since this is a bad guy suit now, I want the head to look more like it so I trimmed the V-Fin. I'm thinking of attaching the spare bits as additional horns on the top of the head, like a buzz saw. The putty on the back is simply due to me sanding off too much during the de-nubbing process.

jaqio
June 23, 2013, 2:37 AM
Cool looking presentation. I'll love to hang that on my wall!

Even better the Shattered Mirror version of Quanta is going into mod phase, and like the sound of using the extra bits to give him a more aggressive appearance.
I say go for some "Hate Spores" man!:mad:

thwalker13
June 23, 2013, 10:23 AM
Great looking colors man. And I think you made the right color choice. This will be an awesome looking kit. And I think I need to get me some pla-plate to test out the scribing.

Dlinker
June 23, 2013, 2:20 PM
Yeah, I also think I hit a good spot with the colors. Took me several days and many hours of thinking it over and over, but it happened and I couldn't be happier. Stressful stuff sometimes, haha.

My scribing test piece will probably stay at my desk for a while, because it certainly does look cool. I think I was trying to mimic the Zohar from the Xenosaga series when I started scribing...

5460

As for the Hate Spores and the Hate Plague in general....I'm suddenly thinking of Jaqio's highlights using clear paint....kit will have a metallic paint job all over....most of it kinda bright....perfect for use with clears....I think I may have another item to consider doing for this kit. Thanks for the inspiration, Jaqio!

jaqio
June 23, 2013, 4:30 PM
Wow! Thank you Dlinker! I get a lot of great information from you and thewalker13's threads. So i'm honored that anything i've painted or suggested would inspire.

I see the similarities between the "Zohar" and your test piece. I never played the game myself, but that is pretty cool looking.
But i say frame it put it on the wall and call it art.

thwalker13
June 23, 2013, 8:05 PM
I see them as well. I think that would be so cool to turn a test piece into.

Dlinker
June 24, 2013, 1:54 AM
Haha, I do have two more pieces of plastic plate for line scribing practice available, and I do still need to work on applying gloss black in a smooth, mirror finish. I think I know what color to paint that test piece now.

Haven't been able to do much on the Qan[T] today. Felt really sleepy for most of the day so only thing I got done was some sanding on the arm joints and bicep armor piece to reduce friction, applied that purple mixture to some clear test pieces, as well as another minor mod (this time, on the torso). Pics tomorrow.

thwalker13
June 24, 2013, 7:42 AM
Can't wait to see them. I'm anxious to see how that purple looks.

Dlinker
June 24, 2013, 11:22 AM
I applied it earlier in the evening yesterday and so far, it looks good. However, I'm wondering if maybe it's too light. I know I don't want a dark purple; the original Qan[T] has dark green for the GN parts and I wanted to make a clear contrast with this one by having a lighter purple. It could have been that I applied it too thinly, though. The mixture looks better when it's not thinned as much.

I'll refer to other pairs of eyes later on, when I post the pic.

thwalker13
June 24, 2013, 12:18 PM
Awesome possum. Can't wait to see it.

Dlinker
June 24, 2013, 9:52 PM
Here are the results of the latest and hopefully final round of color tests. First up is the mix of Plum Crazy and Chrome Silver on the clear pieces:

5466

Not sure if it's too light, but the more I look at them, the more I'm accepting them. I may paint the eyes the same color too.

Next is one of the GN Sword Bits. One side was already painted with a mix of Tamiya Clear and Tamiya Purple. The other side is a mix of VMC Fluorescent Magenta and VMC Fluorescent. Quiz time: which side was painted with the Tamiya first?

5467 5468

I really liked the results of this test. Sure, the color works best with good lighting only, but it's a close match to what I was looking for.

My main concern now is the purple on the GN drives. What do you guys think? Not enough purple?

thwalker13
June 24, 2013, 10:28 PM
That clear purple looks awesome man. I wouldn't change it from that.

As for the quiz. I think test #2 was done with the Fluorescent paint.

Dlinker
June 25, 2013, 12:26 AM
Alright, cool. That be some good validation, haha. Let's see if others feel the same way. For the time being, I'll coat the insides with Future tonight (just for added protection so the enamel has no chance of damaging anything), then paint tomorrow.

Regarding the quiz, I forgot to mention Test #1 was painted with the Tamiya mix first, then sprayed with the Fluorescent. Does that change your decision?

I must say, it hurt when I cleaned all of that paint off....such a pretty Sword Bit. But at least now they're free of any dust so I can start spraying the metallic. Can't do it until Thursday, though. I think I'll go with Tamiya Chrome Silver for the undercoat instead of Flat Aluminum. It's not as white, but it does shine a bit more.

Also, about the eyes, I forgot again that this is for a bad guy suit. It needs to have noticeable evil eyes so I'm applying that Fluorescent on it.

For tonight, time for some sanding on the shoulder pieces in preparation for seamline filling, then another mod for that one right shoulder flap to make it look more "edgy".

thwalker13
June 25, 2013, 7:35 AM
I think the chrome silver would probably do better in the end. As long as it has a more metallic look to it. Are you still going to go purple for the eyes? Or maybe red?

As for the quiz. I think that test 2 just seems a shade or two brighter and more fluorescent than test 1.

Dlinker
June 25, 2013, 11:09 AM
Alrighty, chrome silver it is :) It is much more metallic with a more noticeable shine even in typical lighting.

For the eyes, I will indeed be going purple, but I may apply the Fluorescent Magenta as is with no addition of Fluorescent Blue to deepen into a purple hue. It may end up looking pink, but at that size, it shouldn't matter too much. Red will work too, but I'm going to save that for another kit (probably the RG Destiny).

For the test, your decision is noted. My only clue to the correct answer is that you shouldn't be surprised, haha.

In other news, I didn't get any seamline prep done last night because I was finishing the mod to the torso and head. Well, more like got distracted by the mods to the torso and head. Added one more set of "horns" to the head and honestly, I can't tell if it helps to add a more evil look or just makes the head look gaudy. Pics will be up later today when I get off work.

thwalker13
June 25, 2013, 12:13 PM
Can't wait to see them. I applaud you for removing seam lines like that. I'm honestly to much of a wimp to cut up my kit and modify it so that I can remove a few seam lines. So kudos goes to you good sir.

Dlinker
June 25, 2013, 1:16 PM
Why, thank you, my good man.

I think part of the reason why I'm sealing up seamlines is because I did a terrible job of it with the Zaku Sniper. I've been watching videos of the process ever since and it seems so simple, yet I'm having a tough time with it. I keep saying to myself, "I'm going to get this seamline removal crap done right, no matter how long it takes".

Compared to the rifle and guns on the Dynames, the seamlines on this one look like a cakewalk. No small angles or tiny spaces so it shouldn't take too long, I hope.

jaqio
June 25, 2013, 2:01 PM
AMAZING! That Plum Crazy and Chrome Silver for the clear parts are my favorite part especially. I personally like lighter hue, so I have no issue with the color myself. But The GN Sword Bits are really awesome in and of themselves to. Looking real good from the get go.

And I remember having to watch a LOT of tutorials of seam removal just to get over the fear of totally destroying a parts shape, or just screwing up the surface.
But now I actually enjoy the process. I'm sure after removing them from a few kits you'll start to look forward to a few seams to get rid of.

Dlinker
June 25, 2013, 3:31 PM
I actually altered a shape or two on the Dynames during seamline removal on the arms so that was a nice learning experience, haha. It certainly does get simpler as you do it more often, kinda like nub removal or sanding.

Glad you like the colors! My eyes weren't too far off and I do enjoy how they look. It seems I'm set with that so starting on Thursday, I'll start painting up the GN blade parts and tonight, apply some Future on the clears before applying the metallic purple mix.

And since jaqio didn't participate in the quiz, I'll announce that thwalker13 is correct once again :) It was the second blade pic that was painted only with the Fluorescent mix with no Tamiya undercoat (aside from the Flat Aluminum). Really interesting how color blends are so easy to do with an AB.

thwalker13
June 25, 2013, 4:11 PM
Seems like I need to get onto a game show. And quick.

Dlinker
June 25, 2013, 5:35 PM
Yeah, you're on a roll here. Think of the killing you can make winning more than just praise, haha.

thwalker13
June 25, 2013, 8:18 PM
Haha, no kidding.

jaqio
June 25, 2013, 9:48 PM
Ah man you know I stink at quizzes! I can't take the shame of getting another one wrong lol!

As much as I am beginning to like removing seamlines, I still can not stand those little micro lines that tend to be on weapons and head areas.I just leave those suckers be.
But you know what's really a pain? when you distort a beveled edge! Aww man those have been the bane of my modeling lately.

Dlinker
June 26, 2013, 2:30 AM
Haha, it's cool, man. They be just for a bit of fun here and there :)

I hate those kinds of seamlines too. I had a nightmare of a time removing the seams from a Koto grenade launcher. I'm expecting the same thing whenever I get to working on the rest of the guns :( And distorted bevel edges? I should post up a pic of the Dynames' forearms....on the left forearm, the beveled edge is almost diagonal now (yeeesh, it could have gone way better).

And now, some more progress. Mods on the head are mostly done, just need to smooth the putty. I still don't know if this gives a more evil look or just makes it a tad more gaudy:

5479

Modified that shoulder flap too, so it looks like a bad guy shoulder flap. I got that bigger pair of "horns" from the torso:

5480

I didn't really like that aspect of the design so I cut them off and stuck them to the head. Sanded them a bit to make them look a bit more fluid. I may sand some more later on.

Applied Future on the clear parts too, so tomorrow is metallic purple application time.

thwalker13
June 26, 2013, 7:37 AM
I actually really like the look of that helmet. Once you get the putty sanded down and looking good, I think it will really come together. Now what would really set it off. Is if you painted those new horns a different color than the rest. Kinda set them apart from all the others. RG Style! If you can't tell I think the RG kits have ruined with with their blasted color differentiation.

Dlinker
June 26, 2013, 11:26 AM
Haha, thanks a bunch. I tried putting those parts elsewhere on the head in different ways to see what looks best and this was the most logical arrangement without making the head look really tacky. Sanding the putty down takes a while, though. Such a tight space up there.

I've been thinking about painting them Titanium Gold, like the V-Fin so it matches. Or would it be better to paint them a different color from the V-Fin? Oh man, decisions, decisions...

As a fellow fanboy of RG color differentiation/separation, I can fully understand your desire to apply it to any painted kit :) I tried it on the Dynames and now I don't think I'm turning back.

jaqio
June 26, 2013, 11:56 AM
Man those mods really fit the theme of this project! I can find nothing wrong with these.
Also, you work quick! I would have procrastinated like crazy on those mods till I forgot that I thought about them in the first place!

Talk about those kotobukiya weapons. they look so darn good but, they all have those tiny seams that are just a pain to hit. I had to start using those small round metal files last time i had a very apparent one.

Totally agree with the real grade statement. Got to go multiple shades every time now to.

thwalker13
June 26, 2013, 12:10 PM
I've been thinking about painting them Titanium Gold, like the V-Fin so it matches. Or would it be better to paint them a different color from the V-Fin? Oh man, decisions, decisions...

Ok, the V-Fin is going to be gold. What color is the rest of the head going to be?

Dlinker
June 26, 2013, 2:06 PM
@jaqio, just the right kind of encouragement I need. Much appreciated as always. I actually thought I was working slow, haha. I wanted to get this process done so I won't get impatient with letting the putty cure/harden. Slicing up the parts was easier than I thought too and the key thing is to simply not worry about it. Just go nuts as carefully as you can and if you mess up, then it's time to learn how to fix parts :)

I truly was excited to use putty to fix up my mistakes too. Speaking of mistakes, I cut too close for one of the spikes on that torso piece so I had to re-attach using extra thin cement, then sawed again a day later. I was surprised as hell that it went so seamlessly. I was expecting the part to snap off again... Those little Hasegawa saws help tremendously with this kind of thing so I heartily recommend them to anyone looking to do any sort of mod on their kits.

I have a bunch of Koto weapons to build for later kits and I think for one set, I'm going to use putty only to fix the seamlines. Last time, I used extra thin cement only and it was challenging so I want to see if putty is easier.

@thwalker13, the head will match the color scheme I laid out before so the white parts will be Metalizer Steel and that blue trim on the head jewel will be Tamiya Gun Metal. If the V-Fin will be Titanium Gold, would it match if the horns are the same? Or perhaps leave them the same color as the rest of the head (Metalizer Steel)?

jaqio
June 26, 2013, 2:36 PM
"Just go nuts as carefully as you can" Love that!

I've got some Tamiya basic putty that I bought a few months ago, think i'll finally try it out. And thanks for the tip on the Hasegawa saws. I've got to make a paint and supply purchase next weekend so i'll take a look at them.

Dlinker
June 26, 2013, 4:52 PM
Haha, it was the best way I can describe it.

I'll be jealous and envious if your hobby store stocks those saws. I had to get mine through HLJ and even then, it was the last of their stock at the time. I protect them like Nazi gold because of it...

I'm starting to love Tamiya Basic Putty. I hated it at first when I used it on the Zaku Sniper, but now, it's become much easier to work with. Does smell like death, though, and curing time takes a full 24 hours before becoming rock hard (at least when I use it). I love how it can be molded by hand after a few minutes.

jaqio
June 27, 2013, 2:37 AM
I checked for the saws today and nada! Oh well, i gotta check some of my Ebay guys this week.

Dang shame about the Tamiya Putty having such a smell to it. I've started to recently get real bad headaches from just using their thin cement product. Now i have to wear my 3m mask when just opening the bottle!

Dlinker
June 27, 2013, 12:10 PM
If eBay doesn't have them, it seems HLJ has them back in stock: http://www.hlj.com/product/HSGTP-4/Sup

Kinda pricey, but I think they're worth it. They give a much more precise and cleaner cut than if you used a hobby knife or a P-Cutter.

I always leave a window wide open when I open up either the extra thin cement or the putty. Last thing I want is for the smell of that stuff lingering in my room, haha.

In other news, I was pretty beat up last night so I didn't get much done. I applied the metallic purple on the clear parts so I'll see later today if they need a second coat. Also mounted up the GN blade parts so I can spray Tamiya Chrome Silver on them when I get home. Pics up later tonight.

jaqio
June 27, 2013, 1:22 PM
Thanks for the heads up. looking forward to those pictures to.

And that's true, you don't want those fumes lingering either!

Dlinker
June 27, 2013, 10:50 PM
A few of the clear parts were just fine, but some needed a second coat:

5488

I held them up to the sun and sure enough, ain't no light getting through so that's good. I wouldn't want the Metalizer Steel showing up underneath.

Got the GN parts painted with Tamiya Chrome Silver also. Darn paint is such a hassle to spray. Not sure whether it's because I need more thinner or it requires a bigger needle. Used up more than I expected:

5489

Tonight, it's time to sand the putty smooth on the head.

thwalker13
June 27, 2013, 11:29 PM
They are looking good man. Keep up the awesome work.

jaqio
June 28, 2013, 1:54 AM
That metallic purple for the clear parts are working really well.

I always have to end up back flushing the mess out of my brush after using Chrome! Have you noticed it leaving metal flecks in your brush even after cleaning it out, and mixing in other paints?

Dlinker
June 28, 2013, 2:22 AM
I'm loving the metallic purple too. I'm thinking of adding MM Chrome Silver to any color to make it metallic, because it does an excellent job. It may be the closest I've gotten to mimicking what the metallic Gundam markers provide.

And yes, Chrome of any kind is a big headache for me, with Alclad Chrome being the most annoying to clean out. I always, always have leftovers showing up on the brush even after washing the needle and wiping the cup clean with lacquer thinner (a few passes too). More than one occasion I've sprayed another color and notice it has metallic dots on it! I've made it a habit to do a purge spray first using a non-metallic after spraying Chrome (be it Tamiya, MM, or Alclad), spraying on a piece of cardboard for a minute or two. That usually gets rid of it well.

I've been thinking of buying another AB to use strictly for metallics. Just not sure if I should splurge on another HP-CS, or buy another G44. I want to try out a Badger Patriot, but it may not be compatible with the plugs I already have.

thwalker13
June 28, 2013, 7:37 AM
The Patriot is what I have. And during the few times I have used it, it's pretty nice. Of coarse I haven't gotten that deep into yet, but I really like it. Though, I only have 1 needle for it.

jaqio
June 28, 2013, 11:49 AM
I had to buy separate AB's myself. But I just seem to use my .3mm Master brand most, and my .5mm Iwata for bulk painting.

I have a .2mm velocity but I can,t get use to it for the life of me. I tried spraying chrome thru that brush last year and nearly killed the thing!
But somebody told me that the particles from that paint are to big to flow out of the nozzle without clogging it.

Dlinker
June 28, 2013, 12:18 PM
I hear many good things about the Patriot too and its needle looks to be ideal for metallics, which sometimes need a bigger needle due to how thick they can be.

At the same time, though, the cheapo G44 works really well too and I know it's compatible with the current cable/adapter setup I have now. It's $10 cheaper as well. Hmmm, more decisions. I do know that I want a metallics-only AB though, haha.

@jaqio, that .2mm needle should work fine for Alclad stuff since the particles are much finer. Tamiya or even MM, yeah, I can see why it would clog. I think the only Tamiya metallic I've sprayed that never clogs and sprays normally throughout a session is Gun Metal.

Dlinker
June 29, 2013, 2:48 AM
Finally finished with smoothing out the putty. This is the best I could get without taking off too much:

5494 5495

I wanted it as smooth as possible so it looks like the horns grew out of the head. I'll find out for sure once it's primed...

Now, time to start working on the eyes.

Squee
June 29, 2013, 3:58 AM
That looks pretty cool. Are you going with an organic look, or are you trying to sand for completely smooth attachment? It looks like you might want to hit a few spots on the horns with lighter sand paper, like on the edges of the putty.

thwalker13
June 29, 2013, 11:57 AM
That looks really awesome man. For a "bad guy" version of this kit, those extra horns will make it look more awesome.

Dlinker
June 29, 2013, 1:29 PM
@Squee, I may have to go with an organic look because I had a hard time attaching them cleanly using just plastic cement. However, despite my fear of sanding too much of the putty, I think they should stay attached even if most of the putty on the sides are sanded off. I'll give it another go today and see what happens. I'd love a clean attachment.

@thwalker13, thanks, good sir. It did come out looking better than expected, especially considering the somewhat hasty putty work after the plastic cement method failed. I must say, working with pieces this small can be really difficult, haha.

Dlinker
June 30, 2013, 1:50 AM
The heat made me really lazy so I spent most of the day napping after the usual house chores and buying a few things. But, I was able to get something done.

A minor disaster happened with the head because my worst fear happened when I was sanding one side: the horns detached. Luckily, it was just the pair on one side and they detached cleanly, leaving a bowl-shaped recess where they were at. So I put down some thin cement, waited a minute, then put some cement on the horn itself, and re-attached as best as I could. I honestly don't know if it's a good idea to apply thin cement on putty, but I checked it out a few minutes ago and they're stuck pretty well. Will see what happens tomorrow when I try to sand them smooth again.

Besides that, I got the blade parts painted up with the fluorescent purple mix:

5496

Kind of a pain because the mixture kept clogging in the AB. Before that, I laid down some primer on two parts that I want to do a better gloss black test on:

5497

These are the ankle guards and since I'm removing a seamline on the shins/calves, I figured to get these painted up first. First time using Tamiya Liquid Surface Primer as a primer and it's kinda temperamental. The mixture is thinned 1:1.3 or so (primer to Tamiya Lacquer Thinner) and it sometimes clogs up while spraying at 20 PSI, which should be fine according to the stuff I've read. It laid down kinda rough, but since it's a lacquer-based primer, I was able to sand it smooth and re-spray so now it feels much smoother.

I got curious about primers again so I ordered a bottle of Mr. Leveling Thinner along with a bottle of Mr. Surfacer 1200. I want to see if it's easier to spray and easier to clean, because Tamiya LSP is a bit bothersome to clean even with hardware store lacquer thinner. Also, I made my decision about the metallics AB: I chose the Badger Patriot. TCPGlobal had it much more expensive so I bought from Amazon along with a quick-disconnect adapter. Hopefully it works with the current setup.

Dlinker
July 1, 2013, 12:42 PM
Got those ankle guard things painted up yesterday with MM Metalizer Steel, which looks nice considering they look similar to the clips, which are real steel:

5505 5504

It wouldn't spray flawlessly for some reason, but it could be because I didn't thin them properly. I'm thinking of getting a pre-thinned mixture prepared considering how many parts I'll have to use it on. Some areas weren't covered with primer so I'll see if the lacquer paints will cause any weakness/damage.

I had to re-do the eyes as well because the fluo was a bit dark. Re-applied some last night and it looks much better so it must have been that toothpick I was using to mix, which did already have old paint still on it.

Sanded down those re-attached horns as well on the head. Seems the plastic cement did its job, luckily. There were minor scratches I didn't want to sand down so I just applied some Tamiya LSP on them with a toothpick, then I'll sand again when I get home.

Can't wait to get these done...I'm itching to do some panel line scribing now.

thwalker13
July 1, 2013, 12:51 PM
That steel looks great man. And I'm glad to hear that you avoided disaster on the horns. I do want to ask, what kind of putty are you using? I'll have to use some on my Kampfer when I actually start it.

Squee
July 1, 2013, 12:55 PM
The uneven spray could be caused by a bunch of things. Is this the buffing kind of metalizer or the non buff. You might want to get a non abrasive clothe like for cleaning glasses and lightly wipe the parts to buff it smooth. Metalizers also work better over gloss black. The only other thing i can think of is you need to lightly sand the primer with a high grit paper, 1000 or above. I mean, it looks fine to me, but you said it's a bit uneven. Hope this might help a bit.

Dlinker
July 1, 2013, 3:39 PM
@Squee, thanks for the advice, man. Always appreciate it.

To answer your question, this one is the non-buffing Metalizer so I just sprayed it on as lightly as I could. That's when I ran into issues because the AB would spray fine for a few seconds, then it would stop and I had to pull back some more on the trigger. I had to see-saw between 2 to 3 inches from the part to 6 inches during the whole thing to avoid overspray, even going to the point where I treated the AB like a spray can to compensate for the flawed spraying. I guess I did a good job, haha.

I did put a gloss black undercoat using that bottle of Mr. Color GX Ueno Black with their thinner. Had to make two passes, but it seemed to have helped since it looks and feels much better than last time I sprayed it on that scribing test piece. I loved how it dried so quickly so it was easier to get a better gloss finish, but at the same time, I'm curious to see how it goes if I use the Leveling Thinner. Prior to that, I sanded the primer also using a used sheet of 1500-grit (maybe a new one is better) after I saw some imperfections, then re-sprayed, then sanded really lightly again in an attempt to make it as smooth as possible. It really does look okay, even in uneven lighting like when I took those pics. My worry now is if I can replicate these results with the other white parts.

@thwalker13, I'm too lazy to try out different kinds of putty at the moment so I stick with Tamiya Basic Putty (grey color). Can be troublesome to work with at first. If you have a putty knife or anything resembling a mini spade, it would serve you well when working with this stuff. Toothpicks are great for tiny applications too. Just make sure to give it 24 hours to cure before doing anything with it. Also, glad to see another pair of eyes that think the parts are done well :)

thwalker13
July 1, 2013, 4:40 PM
The only putty I've used thus far, was Testors. And honestly, I hated the stuff. It was a lot easier to work with if I dampened my fingers before using it. A lot easier to smooth out as well cause it didn't stick to my fingers. Though I'm thinking I'll try out the Tamiya stuff soon.

Dlinker
July 1, 2013, 5:16 PM
I hear the Testor's stuff can be tricky and some even say not to use it at all. I went with the Tamiya because people keep saying good things about it, although I honestly thought they were spreading BS due to how I had a hard time with it initially. Now, it's my go-to putty. One word of warning: this stuff shrinks as it cures and sometimes it's better to apply in thin layers than in one big glob to lessen the curing time.

Jfl0
July 1, 2013, 5:31 PM
I use Squadron. Not sure if that is a testors brand but I like the results. http://www.amazon.com/Tube-White-Putty-Squadron-Tools/dp/B000H7L6RC/ref=pd_sbs_t_3 I used this putty on Wing Zero Custom's wings and they turned out great after some TLC and sanding.

Squee
July 1, 2013, 6:17 PM
Sounds like you need to clean your airbrush. That stuff is prethinned and is super thin, should run through just fine. I'd take apart the brush and give it a good cleaning.

Dlinker
July 1, 2013, 8:10 PM
I never actually thought about that, but it makes sense. I'm looking at the nozzle piece and it's black inside, probably due to all the dried up enamel and lacquer the backwash hasn't been able to clean. Time to break out the tiny brushes and scrub around inside. I guess being able to spray normal colors through it isn't an indication that it's clean, haha.

I do anything from the cup and back are clean so it's likely that nozzle.

Squee
July 1, 2013, 8:15 PM
Yea that's definitely the problem then. You should only see the metal of the brush, no grit or paint in the tip. Watch how nice it sprays once you clean it out!

Dlinker
July 2, 2013, 2:30 AM
That's what I was thinking. I remember when I was spraying just acrylics, I could always see the bare metal on the nozzle.

I spent about two and a half hours cleaning out that darn nozzle. First, I used the brushes from the Paasche Cleaning Kit dipped in lacquer thinner to clean, and it made it worse because it ended up pushing all of the gunk to the tip. As a result, for a while, I couldn't even get the needle through the tip and I certainly couldn't see through it. Bad news so I thought, why not soak in hardware store lacquer thinner for a bit. Two hours later, gunk is still present. However, during those two hours, I did a bit of googling and found that using toothpicks can help in cleaning up gunked nozzles.

I went through three toothpicks and after dipping them in lacquer thinner, then scraping/chiseling out the gunk, I washed the nozzle in water and blew through the tip pretty hard as if I was whistling through it.

Success, unexpectedly.

The gunk got loose and I got out as much as I could. Still feeling paranoid, I got some cotton and wrapped a small bit on a toothpick, then dipped in LT before scrubbing inside the nozzle. More gunk cleaned out and I can see through the nozzle, not to mention the needle fits through. After another 20 minutes of doing that, I looked inside the nozzle with a flash light. I can still see some paint, but it's mostly metal now and I can actually see the inside of the tip (also just metal). For good measure, I left the nozzle soaking in Simple Green. I'll do a test spray tomorrow when I get home from work, using all lacquer. I'm suspecting my experiments with enamels caused the gunk build-up...

In other news, since most of my time was spent cleaning, I didn't get much done other than sanding up the head, especially the repair section shown here:

5512

I think this is finally done for real now, as I can't sand anymore without risking detachment again. Perhaps I'll prime tomorrow and see what happens.

thwalker13
July 2, 2013, 7:35 AM
Glad to hear that you got your airbrush all cleaned out man. Kinda freaks me out to try using enamels in mine.

Dlinker
July 2, 2013, 11:26 AM
Yeah, I was about to call it quits on the nozzle and just order a new one. Good thing persistence ruled the day and I stuck with it, haha.

I think I just didn't clean out the AB properly when I was using enamels. Mineral spirits didn't eat through the paint fast enough and Tamiya Lacquer Thinner is tamer than hardware store LT so it didn't dissolve as much either. I'm going to find out later today if enamels were truly the cause.

thwalker13
July 2, 2013, 12:21 PM
As someone who has enamels for most of his painting career. I can say they are a pain in the a$$ to clean up.

Oh, I picked up some Tamiya Basic Putty. Can't wait to try it out.

Squee
July 2, 2013, 12:45 PM
Question Dlinker: What kind of AB are you using? Depending on what you have, you can use the backspray method to help clean your ab better.

Dlinker
July 2, 2013, 1:24 PM
They certainly are a pain to clean. What I have started to do is simply get a paper towel, drop some mineral spirits on it, then wipe the paint off. Takes a few wipes, but it seems to be the only way to effectively clean without making a big mess. This is when I'm handpainting and the paint is on a palette thingy. With the AB, I tried doing something similar, but obviously that gunky nozzle is proof that it didn't work out right.

Nice haul with that Basic Putty. Once you get past the smell of death, you'll find the product to be pretty versatile and reliable.

@Squee, I'm currently using an Iwata HP-CS as my main paint AB. I'm going to see later today if the backspray method works well for cleaning when using lacquer paint. And if so, then I know the real culprit. It works well with acrylics when I backspray Windex so there is clearly merit to it.

Squee
July 2, 2013, 1:34 PM
Ah okay so you're using a good airbrush. Just put some thinner in your cup, and twist the nozzle cap a little so that when you press the trigger, air bubbles in the cup. It cleans the internals.

After each painting, i put some lacquer thinner in the cup, twist the cap and press the trigger. Do that for like 20 seconds, dump the liquid, and do it again. Then just spray the excess out . Maybe do a few more drops of lacquer thinner just as a check and it should spray clean.

Dlinker
July 2, 2013, 3:36 PM
I'll give it a whirl today. I typically do my backspray by covering the tip with a rag, then pressing the trigger. I always pull the trigger back and forth as well during this. Not sure if that does more harm than good so I'll forego it today.

This info is much appreciated, as always.

The AB was deceiving me because it sprayed that gloss black just fine and when I purged the black with lacquer thinner and a few backsprays, it sprayed clean in that it was clear with no pigment showing. Still wondering how that gunk built up in the nozzle, and why it was such a bitch to remove.

Dlinker
July 3, 2013, 1:44 AM
I didn't have time to test the HP-CS with paint, I did test with water and it certainly feels like an improvement. Before, I would have to pull back the trigger half-way to get more paint out, but now it's more like a quarter of the way. Pulling half-way sprays a much higher amount than before.

I tried out the Badger Patriot also with water (at around 18 PSI), after finding out it's compatible with my quick-disconnect plug. Certainly feels sturdier compared to my other big-tip brush, the G44. Much more compact too, with less dials and knobs to worry about. Seems easier to take apart and put together too. My only curiosity is how it takes a couple of seconds to spray when doing slight pulls. Half-way trigger pulls result in instant spray, but it takes time before it sprays when I just slightly pull on the trigger compared to how it's instant all the time for the HP-CS. Not sure if that's normal.

Also got the head primed, resulting in obvious imperfections on the horns that I need to sand.

Dlinker
July 5, 2013, 1:17 AM
Ended up spending the entire day scribing the panel lines on the kit. Took way longer than expected because it was so difficult. Parts are really small so I had a hard time holding them in place, then the surface isn't always flat so I had trouble putting consistent pressure on the scriber. However, I think they came out well:

5522

Being symmetric with the lines is an absolute bitch and since I didn't have any tools to do it (or the know-how), I did it by eye as best as I could. Wasn't a complete success, but I'll take what I can get. It also felt like the plastic was tougher on the kit than on my test pieces. Or maybe it was because I didn't have a consistently straight surface. I didn't stick to my stroke limit because of it so I'm hoping it won't make the lines too overpowering.

Also did another very minor mod on the head, namely the chin's red part. I noticed that it's always straight-edged on the bottom so I thought it would be more appropriate for a bad guy version to have a pointier chin. Probably hard to tell from this pic:

5523

Tomorrow will be the tests with airbrushes, along with anything else I can fit in the day.

thwalker13
July 5, 2013, 7:37 AM
Panel lines look really good to me man. I'm sure it is a bitch to get everything to match up symmetrical like that. I wonder if there is a proper way of doing that. Seeing as how I have horrible OCD of symmetry, I think that would be my downfall when it would come to that mod.

And I think I have see where you made that point on the chin.

Dlinker
July 5, 2013, 12:14 PM
I've googled for the solution to that question and always came up with nothing, at least for small lines (like the circuit board pattern I tried to make). For big areas and big lines, it's much easier to be symmetric, but for small stuff, I think it has to be done by eye. Depending on what you're doing for the Stein, it may not be as difficult as you think.

I did mess up a couple of times during scribing and as a result, I've got two parts I'm waiting on so I can sand the putty off. Ugh, scribing complex lines on a 1/144 kit is torture sometimes.

thwalker13
July 5, 2013, 12:29 PM
I can imagine. I have not decided on whether or not I'll do scribing. That might come later on. Though it would give the Stein a nice level of detail.

I took a closer look at those lines you did. Some of those, you could almost highlight them with green or even clear purple. It would look like GN Particles are coursing through it's body.

Dlinker
July 5, 2013, 2:52 PM
Let me tell you now that if you do decide to add some scribing to the Stein, make it the very last thing you do. That way, if you decide to stop mid-way, you've already done everything else needed.

I've been thinking about that too, perhaps adding some Chrome Silver to the Hot Magenta to see if it puts some sparkle to the panel lines. I think I've got some testing to do again, haha. Thanks for the nudge :)

thwalker13
July 5, 2013, 3:34 PM
I still have aways to go before tackling the Stein. So we will see where I am when that time rolls around.

As for your panel lines, when I saw them I was reminded of something. I don't know if you have ever seen or played Zone of the Enders. But it reminded me of Jehuty and how it has that blue glow pulsing through it's body. Would look really cool.

(Jehuty is probably my favorite Mech of all time BTW)

Dlinker
July 5, 2013, 7:07 PM
I've played ZOE 2 twice on the PS2, once normally and again as Naked Jehuty (which brought the PS2 to its knees with all of the constant fireworks), as well as Fist of Mars for the GBA so I'm familiar with it. And yes... Jehuty was one of my inspirations for the bad guy Qan[T] :)

Along with Fable 2 (the Will lines your character gets if you use Will powers constantly) and a bit of Warhammer 40K.

I'm hoping I can get close to that look, because it really does look majestically beautiful.

thwalker13
July 5, 2013, 8:34 PM
That it does. I need to get the HD Collection of Z.O.E. Good luck man. Post pics of it!

Dlinker
July 6, 2013, 10:52 PM
Got really busy last night at my GF's house and earlier today so I didn't get a chance to take much pics. I did get a good deal done, though, thanks to that much-needed four-day weekend.

First up, I was able to gloss coat the GN blade parts so they are practically done.

Second, I was able to test out the AB's with some lacquer paint and metallics. The HP-CS sprayed like a dream with both gloss black and metallics, and after a couple of backsprays to clean and a good wipe, I checked the nozzle. Still pretty clean, so that means the enamels (and likely, my poor cleaning job of them) were at fault. Looks like I'll have to play around with them some more after this build. The Badger Patriot almost gave me fits because it wouldn't spray water at first, but after re-seating the nozzle, it was okay. I realized that slight delay in spraying was due to the needle size (.75mm), which I've never used before. Comparing it to how my .5mm G44 performs was inaccurate. Despite that size, it worked like a dream spraying Metalizer Steel and got some great results. I'm pretty darn happy with it so I registered online at Badger's website to get a warranty.

Third, I tested out how Mr. Color Leveling Thinner performed and I think I prefer it over normal Mr. Color Thinner, especially with gloss black coats. Much easier to get that smooth mirror-like appearance. Also tested Mr. Surfacer 1200 and it was indeed easier to spray and clean up compared to Tamiya LSP so I'm going to use it as my primary primer now.

Fourth, seam line removals (pic doesn't show them all) plus a few still being worked on, as well as the results of fixes to yesterday's panel line scribing screw-ups:

5525

A bit of a pain, but soooo much easier than with the Dynames. I can still see the seam line somewhat so I'll see what happens when I do the first primer coat tomorrow. Fixing the panel line screw-ups with putty was much easier than I thought, haha.

thwalker13
July 7, 2013, 12:11 AM
Awesome work man. Way to get things done man. Everything seam wise is looking really good. And glad to hear that the airbrushes are working out for you.

Dlinker
July 7, 2013, 2:20 PM
I was surprised I got that much done, considering I've been feeling pretty lazy lately. I was supposed to wash the parts last night in preparation for priming today, but I ended up falling asleep by 9:30pm, haha.

So that's what I got planned today: washing parts, then sticking them on the clips. I'll need to thin/mix some primer too. I've been thinking if I should just pour that primer in a 4oz (the jar has about 1.4oz) container, then pour an equal amount of thinner so I always have a pre-mixed batch ready.

Dlinker
July 9, 2013, 1:05 AM
Spent an hour and a half priming pieces and I only got to finish a bit more than half of the parts. I didn't think it would take that long and having to mix a batch of primer each time I run out in the AB is getting tiresome. I think I will order another bottle and use that as my pre-mixed batch.

As much as I enjoy the primer bringing out any issues with the surfaces, it means I got more work to do. And today, here are the victims (in a crappy photo):

5532

Saw shallow pits in the surface along with an occasional needle-point hole, so I just filled them with Tamiya LSP. Me thinks I should try out Mr. Surfacer 1000 or 500 for it as well. I'll wet-sand them smooth tomorrow with 2000-grit sand paper and hope for the best. If that fails, I've got some more heavy sanding to worry about. I also noticed a couple of seam lines in the shin parts that didn't get properly sealed, but at this point, I'll live with it. Funny how those particular seams didn't get sealed properly while the last-minute welds sealed like a dream.

Last night, I was able to get the eyes done. The wash was a disaster due to the Q-Tips I was using. I would get lucky with removing the enamel from one eye, then on the other eye more paint than necessary gets removed. After it happened three times, I just painted the black on with a 3/0 brush. Not as bright as I expected, but it's visible enough:

5533

thwalker13
July 9, 2013, 7:44 AM
Looks really good to me mate. What kind of q-tips are you using? The ones that I use work great.

Dlinker
July 9, 2013, 10:29 AM
Thanks, good sir.

I'm using your normal everyday generic Q-Tips bought from Walgreens. I noticed these have tips that are thicker than usual compared to ones I've use before (Swisspers brand) so they have more cotton strands sticking out. Even when I tighten the tips, those pesky strands won't stay down and they get stuck on the black.

It almost made me want to shell out extra money for the Tamiya brand, haha. What kind are you currently using?

thwalker13
July 9, 2013, 12:05 PM
I actually use cuticle cleaners from a beauty salon. (you can find them at Wal-Mart as well) But they have a much tighter wrapped head and the end comes to a point which is great for getting small details. They come in a bag for about 3 bucks. I found them on sale and stocked up. You just have to deal with the bag and the plastic of the q-tip being pink. lol

Dlinker
July 9, 2013, 1:06 PM
Hmmmm, cuticle cleaners. Another thing I never considered to use. Thanks for the tip :)

For stress-free wash cleaning, I can brave the feminine impressions I'll give out when I buy a bag, haha.

Dlinker
July 10, 2013, 2:02 AM
I was finally able to finish priming all of the parts and I'm certain now that I'm going to buy another bottle of primer and get it pre-mixed.

5539

The two shoulder/arm pieces and one bicep piece gave me the most trouble. I thought I sanded them down properly, but nope, on one shoulder and bicep piece was still a bump or two visible after priming and on the other piece, there was a shallow pit. Fed up, I wet-sanded them down like crazy with my 800-grit, then smoothed them with 1000 and 2000. And still it wasn't smooth! Luckily, a few seconds with dry 2000 grit was enough to smooth them. Thank goodness Mr. Surfacer is sandable and dries in minutes or else I'd have some messy and uneven pieces.

Also, using sprues to block polycap pieces works like a charm and there isn't a difference when doing it on an HG kit. The sprues are actually thinner so I wrapped a single piece of masking tape to thicken it a bit, then stuck it through. Excellent way of holding certain pieces as well.

Tomorrow, I may go through all of the parts lightly with 3000 grit and then it's time for laying down gloss black on Saturday.

thwalker13
July 10, 2013, 7:39 AM
Sweet update man. Sounds like the sprue idea worked like a charm. Also glad to hear that you were able to get all the parts ready to go.

Dlinker
July 10, 2013, 11:00 AM
I was very surprised using sprues to plug polycaps worked so well. I may even start using sprues as rods from now on, to mount up symmetric sections like arms or legs. I was hoping to do it for the head, but no polycap under it.

Priming parts can be so tedious. I keep forgetting about it in my excitement to get it done. Maybe I should have just primed the whole kit while built up, but I keep worrying there will be too many touch-ups to do after.

thwalker13
July 10, 2013, 12:10 PM
Assembling pre-paint always worries me. I'm afraid that I will either not be able to get the parts separated or I'll break something while trying to get everything back apart. Which is why I just take the extra time and paint parts individually.

Dlinker
July 10, 2013, 1:06 PM
I understand that worry. I've snapped a few parts, broken off pegs, and got pieces bent doing it.... Hard lessons learned. Now, when I'm building, I always do a quick fit with the parts just slightly put together before I take them apart. If it's already hard to take apart that way, I start clipping pegs at angles, loosening slots, and generally finding the best way to detach them cleanly without damage.

I'd say it increased my work time by a day or two. And I still worry, haha.

thwalker13
July 10, 2013, 3:50 PM
Yeah I'd worry a lot. If these were Revell car models where parts are easily replaced by a drop of a phone call I wouldn't worry about it. But these are Gunpla, and as we all know. Getting replacements outside of Japan is harder than making a deal with the sisters of fate.

Dlinker
July 10, 2013, 5:04 PM
Darn right. It does make you more confident in repairing damage, though, as well as instilling a bit of fearlessness that can make you more relaxed when handling a kit. Or at least makes me relaxed, haha.

thwalker13
July 10, 2013, 8:38 PM
Yeah I would imagine that it would. I'll get there one day. Honestly doing these small modifications to the Kampfer and the Stein are stepping stones for me.

Dlinker
July 11, 2013, 1:16 AM
I hate to use this analogy, but it's kinda like killing people. You hear stories about how the first kill is the most difficult, then the flood gates open and every following kill is as easy as swatting a fly.

After the first mods you do and the first time you see your modded kit at completion, I think every following mod attempt becomes much simpler to do.

In other news, I got lazy so I only got minor touch-up sanding done on the primed parts. Stupid Wednesdays. They always make me feel lazy at night.

thwalker13
July 11, 2013, 8:43 AM
That's actually a good analogy to use. And is rather accurate.

That's one reason I wanted to do the mod to my Kampfer. To kinda get me started for the Stein.

Haha, they do that to me as well. So don't feel bad.

Dlinker
July 11, 2013, 10:53 AM
I've grown to dislike Wednesdays a good deal, except when I don't have to go to church. I don't mind church, but it does limit how much time I have in the day to do stuff. Makes me rush to get out of the office too and I don't like rushing.

That 3000-grit works like a dream when smoothing out primed parts, and that was doing it dry. I'm actually looking forward to continuing it when I get home so note to self: rely on 3000-grit for giving primed parts that original plastic smoothness.

thwalker13
July 11, 2013, 12:12 PM
Do you need to smooth out primer? I've never really used it so I'm unfamiliar with it.

Dlinker
July 11, 2013, 1:24 PM
Only if you want a really glossy, smooth finish to the paint, which is what I'm aiming for this time since the Qan[T] will be all metallic. I'm only smoothing out the noticeable external areas, though. I'm painting the inside of the shield, but since no one will really see it, I can leave it as is. Hopefully I smoothed it out enough, haha.

If you don't mind a bit of texture to the paint job, then there's no need to smooth out. Or if the finish already looks smooth to you, you know?

Also, since you mentioned you'll be using Tamiya Acrylics once your AB is up and running, you can actually spray that on lightly-sanded bare plastic and it will come out pretty darn smooth (like bare plastic smooth). I've noticed that primer adds texture to it.

thwalker13
July 11, 2013, 2:40 PM
Hmm, I might go over the parts I prime then just to give it a little smoother finish for the steel paint.

Dlinker
July 14, 2013, 2:38 AM
I was able to finish laying down a shiny coat of gloss black on all of the parts today. Completely underestimated how long it would take, though. I don't use the AB past 8pm and I managed to finish by 7:45pm. Could have finished earlier had I not decided to take a one hour nap before starting. I had to rush several of the parts, but luckily they were just the joints/frame parts, which I wasn't planning on having a good mirror finish anyway.

Using Leveling Thinner worked wonders in creating that mirror shine, but it certainly was a pain to have to keep mixing a batch so I'm going to buy a new bottle and mix the entire thing already so it's available whenever I need it without having to thin. Spraying it for a few hours caused some build-up in the nozzle too, but I was able to clean it with some cotton (doused with HS lacquer thinner) and a toothpick.

During the paint process, one of my worst enemies reared its ugly head: dust particles. I don't have a paint booth (and can't really use one due to space limitations in the garage) so I rely on a fan blowing behind me to push everything out the door and it's not perfect. Here are the victims in another crappy photo (ignoring the sword part and a couple of parts for the head I painted days earlier):

5556

The 3000-grit saved my butt yet again, though, and the fact that lacquer paints can be sanded. After some sanding of the affected areas, the dust particles were gone and the area was smoothed out even more which should help in re-creating the mirror shine that got lost. Just need to wash them really quick with some water and then re-spray so hopefully, I'm still on track for laying down the metallics tomorrow.

thwalker13
July 14, 2013, 11:07 AM
Glad to see that you were able to get so much done. I've had the dust problem as well in the past. It's really aggravating.

Dlinker
July 14, 2013, 1:34 PM
It really is a pain. I think from now on, the minute I see it happen, I'm stopping any painting and get that crap sanded off. Not worth the hassle of sanding off more paint than required.

Squee
July 14, 2013, 2:03 PM
The 3000-grit saved my butt yet again, though, and the fact that lacquer paints can be sanded.

This has become my favorite part of using lacquers lately. Due to humidity, my compressor keeps letting moisture slip through and i have been getting the occasional paint sputter on my parts. I can just wait a few minutes, sand it off, and spray it again quickly. ^_^

Dlinker
July 14, 2013, 6:43 PM
@Squee,

Exactly right. I'm just inches away from going all-lacquer because of it, haha. I'm starting to bring with me a couple of strips of 2000 and 3000-grit whenever I spray that lacquer gloss black, which is now my primary undercoat for any metallics. Finish came on too heavily? Got a dust particle? I just take a minute to sand it away (probably less depending on how bad) and then re-spray. Then it cures quickly so you get double the time savings. What would take two days if using acrylic takes an hour or less. Invaluable for someone like me who only gets a few hours a week to work on kits.

Squee
July 14, 2013, 7:25 PM
Yea i think the only acrylic i have anymore are some old tamiya bottles i keep that have specifically mixed colors in case something ever scratches on an old build. I've given away almost all of my tamiya.

Dlinker
July 14, 2013, 11:17 PM
I probably won't move to all lacquer until I exhaust all of the Tamiya acrylic in my inventory. It's still good stuff so I feel bad ignoring it, haha.

In other news, I really wanted to get the metallics finished today, or at least close to finished....Instead, all I got done were the blue parts that are now Tamiya Gun Metal. Why? Because the lacquer gloss black didn't behave properly despite me thinning it at the same ratio (1:1.5). AB kept occasionally spurting tiny bursts that resulted in noticeable marks on the mirror finish. Those same parts I fixed yesterday? Spent an hour and a half with them because of it. Sprayed and it's looking good, then the AB spurts and it's back to sanding. Several times of that. Ugh.

In a fit of frustration, I added some thinner to a mixing cup I used (still had some paint in it) and mixed it around to create a really thin mixture and dumped it in the AB along with what was already in there. Surprise, surprise, the AB started spraying fine and actually worked way better. Lesson learned: start mixing at 1:2 ratio from now on. Easier to get that mirror finish too. I thought it was a clogged nozzle again, but nope, it was still clean.

My only consolation was getting to use the Patriot to lay down the Gun Metal. Got the blue parts done in 20 min. Will post pics later tonight, when I start handpainting the Gun Metal sections on the head.

Dlinker
July 15, 2013, 1:28 AM
Here are the pics of the head and blue parts (now Gun Metal). Apologies for the not-so-great photos; my smartphone camera ain't so good at low light:

5569 5570 5571 5572

Thank goodness I had steady hands tonight. It wasn't as clean as I wanted when painting the metallic grey on the cheeks, but it's good enough and I'm sure the Metalizer will cover up the tiny bits where I painted beyond what was needed.

thwalker13
July 15, 2013, 7:56 AM
Seems like this kit is giving all sorts of tiny issues isn't it? Glad to hear that you're getting them all worked out though. The gunmetal and the black on the head are looking really good though.

Dlinker
July 15, 2013, 11:11 AM
That's what I was thinking during the painting session. Little niggling issues that keep popping up when they shouldn't be. Oh well, such is the hobby, haha.

It's very fortunate that the gloss black went on without a hitch for the head. Would have been a nightmare sanding it for re-spray. All that's left is to let the acrylic cure, then mask with Blu-Tack so I can lay down the Metalizer on Tuesday.

Dlinker
July 16, 2013, 1:29 AM
Got the Metallic Gray sprayed on all of the "frame" parts, minus one that I wasn't sure whether it was originally gray or blue. I noticed a really glossy black undercoat doesn't make much of a difference when using acrylic metallics in terms of better shine, but at least it feels very smooth. Can't wait to lay down the Metalizer tomorrow. Hopefully the masking tape didn't affect the parts I painted a while ago. Also, the Patriot goes through paint quicker than any AB I have. Darn that .75mm tip.

I can't help but wonder if Metallic Gray provides enough of a contrast against the Metalizer Steel. Pics will be up tomorrow evening.

thwalker13
July 16, 2013, 7:45 AM
Nice man. Can't wait to see that progress. Sounds like the Patriot is working out well for you.

Dlinker
July 16, 2013, 10:55 AM
I'm absolutely loving the Patriot. I think you'll get a blast out of it too once your setup is running. Simple and effective, with not much fiddling around required. I'm tempted to get a smaller needle for it, for those situations when the HP-CS is out of commission and I have to re-appropriate it as a colors AB.

I'll admit, I'm afraid of those masked parts. I'm using Tamiya masking tape, but the tape has been on the parts for many days and I didn't apply a clear coat on them prior. I was reading stories about how Metalizer paints peeled off after using masking tape....Meh, maybe I'm just reading up on it too much. Those parts were already pretty scratch resistant when applying the tape.

thwalker13
July 16, 2013, 11:10 AM
Actually, after I had applied the Sealer to my spoons that I tested. I performed a scratch test, and the sealer (which had been on there for a few days) flaked right off. The Metalizer underneath scratched as well. I was rather surprised at how brittle it felt. Hopefully yours will have better luck with that tape. Masking painted parts makes me nervous. I haven't had the best of luck. But I'll have to get over that. How does it work with Future?

Dlinker
July 16, 2013, 1:17 PM
Wow, that's interesting. I always thought the Metalizer Sealer would work just as well as any clear coat in terms of durable protection. I can understand damage from friction (since nothing really resists that), but a scratch test? That worries me. I think the first thing I'll do when I get home today is to remove the tape from a part I know won't be painted anymore: the modified shoulder flap.

I haven't tried masking over parts coated with Future, but I don't see any issues with it, especially if you use Tamiya Masking Tape and you give the Future a day or two to cure (and it's not a heavy coat). Should work as if doing it on bare plastic.

I'm very surprised I haven't encountered any paint peeling due to masking yet. Even with Vallejo acrylics and Tamiya acrylic given less than 24 hours to cure, nothing has lifted. Oh no...maybe I just jinxed myself...

thwalker13
July 16, 2013, 1:29 PM
Quick! Knock on wood!

That's comforting to know when I start using the tape that I got.

Dlinker
July 16, 2013, 3:17 PM
Haha, you can all share either my relief or my disappointment when I post the pics later. Man, I do wonder why I didn't decide to clear coat those parts already. Got too swept up in the quick-curing lacquer bandwagon, I guess.

There is one thing to look out for regarding the masking tape. You may have to lightly buff the surface when you peel it off. Sometimes, there is some residue left over. I don't notice it happening often, but I did see it happen when I was masking one of the glossy black parts.

thwalker13
July 16, 2013, 4:40 PM
Yeah, the cheap 3M painters tape did that to the shield on my Banshee. Was not a happy modeler. And I know what you mean about getting caught up in things. I was so ready to be done with that Skyline I built cause I wanted to start the HGUC Sinanju that I made tons of mistakes there at the end. I wish I had been more patient. But alas, MUST BUILD GUNPLA!!!

Dlinker
July 16, 2013, 5:03 PM
Darn right :)

The worst thing that's happening now is that I'm already thinking of the next kit and the kit after that. Why? I already know I've got plenty to worry about with the current build. Ugh, maybe I should start some kind of journal thingy and lay out anything that comes to mind so I can stop thinking about them.

thwalker13
July 16, 2013, 7:04 PM
Honestly I need to do just that. I get so many ideas for future projects that I can't keep them straight. That's actually not a half bad idea man.

Dlinker
July 17, 2013, 1:54 AM
Haha, I should give it a try soon, just to keep myself busy in something related to model kits when I'm not actually working on one.

In other news, I was able to lay down most of the Metalizer Steel and Metalizer Titanium. No issues at all and the Patriot, once again, performed admirably:

http://s20.postimg.org/o4mpx4bo9/parts.jpg (http://postimg.org/image/o4mpx4bo9/) http://s20.postimg.org/cgso2kmjd/sword_main.jpg (http://postimg.org/image/cgso2kmjd/) http://s20.postimg.org/n8ln3xcm1/arm_piece.jpg (http://postimg.org/image/n8ln3xcm1/)

Seems the Metallic Gray is different enough in appearance compared to the Steel, which is good. The Gun Metal worked just as I hoped: a darker contrast just like how the original blue was.

Here are also the results of the masking:

http://s20.postimg.org/95zpoy789/shin_calf.jpg (http://postimg.org/image/95zpoy789/) http://s20.postimg.org/q7sjr1m3d/shin_calf_2.jpg (http://postimg.org/image/q7sjr1m3d/)
http://s20.postimg.org/inzgozswp/done.jpg (http://postimg.org/image/inzgozswp/)

A resounding success! I masked off that shoulder flap and on the shins/calfs, that ankle part at the bottom that's separated from the rest of the piece. Despite having no clear coat and likely being in contact with some water (when I was washing the parts after seamline removal), the combination of lacquer gloss and a day of curing for the Metalizer created something pretty darn tough. Phew, now I can rest easy on that aspect.

I did encounter an odd thing with the Metalizer Titanium. It's the buffing kind and this is what happened:

http://s20.postimg.org/smkfbh2c9/foot_1.jpg (http://postimg.org/image/smkfbh2c9/)

For some reason, despite having more than 30 min to cure after spraying, some of the paint came off as I was buffing lightly. I was thinking of re-spraying, but I kinda like how it looks weathered now. This happened on all of the parts I painted with the Metalizer and I honestly don't mind it this time.

I also need to paint up the head differently too. The Metallic Grey on the cheeks looks too much like the Steel so I'm changing that to Titanium Gold. I also see some spots where the Blu-Tack masking wasn't precise enough; a good opportunity to try handbrushing the Metalizer, haha. I have to apply a bit more of the Gun Metal on the front area too since it looks kinda faded. Not-so-good lighting so the part looks darker than it is:

http://s20.postimg.org/lfiqflrfd/head_1.jpg (http://postimg.org/image/lfiqflrfd/) http://s20.postimg.org/cuu0266mx/head_2.jpg (http://postimg.org/image/cuu0266mx/)

thwalker13
July 17, 2013, 7:41 AM
Looks like some really nice progress man.

Glad to see that the masking gave you no issues at all. That color separation on the legs is a really nice touch.

What did you use to buff the Metalizer? I know everything that I have read on it says to use something really good and soft. Like panty hose or a microfiber electronic cleaning cloth.

Dlinker
July 17, 2013, 10:54 AM
Another worry I had was that the two ankle parts on the shins/calves would be a different color since they were sprayed a while ago. However, you're right, the slight difference in finish and sheen does look appropriate. A lovely surprise there, haha.

I was using a microfiber cloth for cleaning my glasses to buff the Titanium. Really strange because I used the same cloth on the test spoon and that didn't happen. Maybe I sprayed the coat on too heavily for these parts, compared to the light coats I applied with the HP-CS on the spoon. I did notice how the paint on the edges got affected quickly with even a glancing touch by the cloth. I'll have to put that paint down for another round of tests later on, this time with strips of plastic plate.

thwalker13
July 17, 2013, 12:20 PM
Didn't you say the Patriot had a larger needle on it? Wouldn't that result in a thicker coating because more paint is being allowed to pass through? Or do I have that backwards?

Dlinker
July 17, 2013, 1:37 PM
You got it right, it does mean more paint is sprayed if the AB has a larger needle and the Patriot has the largest so far. I think I didn't spray far enough so the paint went on heavily rather than being misted on. Makes me wonder now if I should spring for the smaller needle/nozzle set for working with Metalizer and Alclad metallics.

It's usually not a problem because I sprayed the Steel at that distance and nothing has chipped, scratched, or otherwise ruined on those parts, but as the general precaution goes, not all paints behave the same way...

Squee
July 17, 2013, 2:12 PM
Just lower your psi when spraying metalizers and alclad. Sometimes i'll spray with as low as 8psi for alclad.

Dlinker
July 17, 2013, 3:50 PM
Seriously? I should give that a try then. I've been spraying the stuff at 15 PSI.

V0LTES-V01
July 18, 2013, 12:07 AM
Man, I'm already anxious to see the end result of the 00 Quanta project! I noticed the scribes and head ornament modifications you included. You applied them very well. How did you engrave the scribed patterns?

Dlinker
July 18, 2013, 1:23 AM
Thanks for the compliment, V0LTES!

I used a Squadron Scribing Tool (which looks kinda like a dentist's pick) and a combination of drawing the lines with a pencil and using Dymo Tape or my small metal ruler as guides as I score the surface. I tested with five strokes, but I actually used seven or eight since the plastic felt tougher, using the weight of the tool and a tiny bit of pressure. Trying to make them symmetric was all done by eye so they're imperfect. As for the designs, that was all last-minute, haha. I would draw various patterns until I find the one that works best, then start the strokes.

Very low-tech and probably not the most efficient way to do things, but I know no other way, unfortunately.

Dlinker
July 20, 2013, 12:34 AM
I finally got the shield done today along with a re-spray of the head and another connector part for the shield:

5618 5619 5620

The masking tape ruined the mirror shine on the shield. When I took the tape off, there were little bumps all over that showed where the tape was at. I couldn't buff them out so I had to take the 3000-grit and wet-sanded just enough to make the bumps not so prominent. Not sure why that happened, but I'm leaning towards not giving the lacquer enough time to cure since I did spray somewhat of a heavy final coat. Either that or it's simply not a good idea to apply masking tape on a mirror gloss surface. Luckily, the Gun Metal does a good job of still having some shine since the surface was still incredibly smooth, plus I never wanted these parts to be uber shiny anyway (that's reserved for the Metalizer parts). You can't see it on the pic, but if you shine a light at a certain angle, you can make out where the bumps took effect.

I decided against painting the cheeks with Titanium Gold since it would conflict with the original colors I had in mind (that area is grey on the original kit's artwork and grey on this one has to be Metallic Grey). Instead, I realized I can still see some of the black undercoat so I re-masked those non-Steel spots, which was easier now since there's a color difference between the spots, and re-sprayed. Now the difference is more noticeable so it all works out. Still wondering if I need to clean up those edges on the cheeks where a tiny bit of black still shows. Masking with Blu-Tack can only do so much on this scale, it seems.

With this, it's just waiting for tomorrow to clear coat any parts that are ready. I wanted to wait until I can clear coat all parts at the same time, but it's no big deal to leave a few for later that still need curing.

thwalker13
July 20, 2013, 10:12 AM
I actually think gold on the cheeks would look really good. If you could find another small spot on the suit, maybe somewhere on the chest, it would really offset each other very well.

Sorry to hear about the shield. Seems like you're having trouble out of the Metalizer like I did.

Dlinker
July 20, 2013, 4:29 PM
The yellow neck piece includes two areas on the front chest section so that will make do for the gold (along with the main V-Fin). The use of duller metallics for the blue and gray should cause it to stick out more, especially for the torso that is mostly dark metallics. I want to make sure the more drab overall paint job is a direct opposite of the original colors, haha.

Regarding the shield, what I should have done instead of relying on masking tape is spray that little section with Metalizer already, then mask only that section. The Gun Metal, being a much darker color, will then cover any excess Metalizer. It would have kept the mirror shine and I would have used less masking tape. Sometimes, I keep forgetting that rule of paint light first, then dark over it.

The Metalizer has actually worked really well with no issues for me. Hopefully you'll get the same results when you start using them with the AB, instead of relying on somewhat unpredictable spray cans.

thwalker13
July 20, 2013, 6:58 PM
That is true. Using darker colors to hide lighter colors is always easier than the opposite.

And yes, I'm so sick of spray cans. Especially those that tend to explode on me.

Dlinker
July 20, 2013, 7:25 PM
When are you going to get that compressor, if you don't mind me asking?

thwalker13
July 20, 2013, 11:47 PM
Actually, might be sooner than you think.

I don't like spending a lot of money at one time. I hate the idea of putting a lot of money forth at one time. So I save for everything that has to do with my hobby. Been trying to sell a few printers I have laying around to get the money I need so that I can get it.

Dlinker
July 21, 2013, 12:07 AM
Cool, you'll be spared of the spray can's misfortunes, haha. I understand how it's like now to watch expenses on a hobby; I can't spend much on the hobby now until after the wedding so I'll see how much I can do with what I have until next December.

In other news, I gloss coated all of the parts, but not without pulling another newb move with one of the feet: I put it together without the polycap and it was impossible to take apart without damaging the paint. I had to cut off the majority of the polycap's connecting points to get it in and of course, it's pretty loose so I have to tighten with Future. F*ck, man, I don't know why I have such a hard time taking thing slow once all the painting is done.

Then another couple of issues arose with the Metalizer parts. Seems the paint on a few parts wasn't sticking as well as I thought because it started to rub off when I was handling them. It was mostly the edges except for the backing on one of the hands, where a couple of spots in the middle started rubbing off. Very unexpected and will now be something to test out after this kit is done. I'll have to make do with that part as "weathered" as well. Second issue was the darn feet again. So I gloss coated them, waiting three hours, then did a quick check by lightly scratching them (usually, nothing will happen because not even acrylic gets scratched with this check). Paint still came off. That's another item to add to my "To Test" list. A potential third problem is with one of the shin/calf parts. The gloss coat seemed to have brought out the black underneath. Mind you, this is an acrylic clear coat I used. This is kinda normal so I'll wait until 6pm tomorrow and see if it's still like that (since that will be 24 hours). If it is still like that, then another item to add to the list.

The only parts that gave me no trouble at all are the Metalizer parts where the coat was more than usual and the Gun Metal/Titanium Gold parts. Freakin' acrylic paints gave me less of a headache than the lacquers. I'm doing something wrong with them and I'll get to the bottom of it.

thwalker13
July 21, 2013, 11:27 AM
I've read a lot that the Metalizer paints are notorious for rubbing off when handled to much. Even with more than enough time to fully cure. I'd recommend picking up some Metalizer sealer. See if that solves your problem.

Dlinker
July 21, 2013, 8:43 PM
Yeah, I read about that too. It's like these paints weren't really meant to be used on kits that will be handled a bit, which I can kinda understand. If they were meant more for traditional models, then it makes sense why they look great, but are prone to rubbing off since those models don't get handled often.

It's just strange because several parts are perfectly fine, no areas getting rubbed out. That makes me think it's an issue with my airbrushing method. I was thinking of trying out the Sealer, but I heard it dulls the metallic finish somewhat. When I get some money, I may buy a bottle just to try it out. For now, I have some pieces of the runners ready for the tests.

thwalker13
July 21, 2013, 10:33 PM
I have a can of the stuff. And honestly it just gives it a more glossy look to it. That's really it. It doesn't affect it in any way other than that.

Dlinker
July 22, 2013, 12:11 AM
Hmmm, I wonder then if the Sealer for AB use is any different than what's in the can. Maybe the can version doesn't affect it as much.

In other news, I was able to get my test parts ready, but I won't be able to do the actual tests until Tuesday. That's because tonight and tomorrow, it's time to panel line the Qan[T]. Man, I'm hoping nothing goes wrong...

thwalker13
July 22, 2013, 7:36 AM
Good luck man, I hope that it all goes well for you.

Dlinker
July 22, 2013, 10:46 AM
I was able to get the effects wash done on all of the parts with no issues at all. Having a really glossy finish helps the clean-up go much faster so from now on, I'm going to aim for a smooth paint finish on each kit I do. I also noticed even with those same Q-Tips from before (haven't had a chance to buy the cuticle cleaners yet) that a smooth surface greatly reduces the chances of stray cotton strands from sticking.

Today, if I have time, I'll get the normal panel lining done, then hopefully the final clear coat tomorrow. Pics up tonight.

thwalker13
July 22, 2013, 12:18 PM
Can't wait to see them. Glad to hear that all went well for you. And yeah the smoother the surface, the less likely a strand will get caught on something.

Dlinker
July 23, 2013, 2:02 AM
I had to add more wash to some of the parts, but I think I got everything done tonight. Here are the sample representatives:

5639 5640 5641 5642

I noticed that changes in lighting makes the difference between the shins/calves different to see, which is good because the clear coat really did darken one of them. All in all, putting the washes in was very straightforward with little to no issues. The head gave me a few fits, but nothing too bad. It was a good thing the majority of the parts were very smooth or else I would have had more occurrences of the Steel rubbing off.

Tomorrow, it's time for the final clear coat and then I'll see how it all looks when put together and viewed at a distance.

thwalker13
July 23, 2013, 7:37 AM
Man, that purple lining looks awesome! It really gives the kit an extra punch of detail. And it does give off that, glowing feel.

Dlinker
July 23, 2013, 10:37 AM
Yeah, I'm really glad this came out looking snazzy. I'm confident enough now to say I know which depths look best for me and work well when scribing lines, and it's made me a big fan of that Squadron Scribing Tool. Only took me two kits, but hey, better late than never, haha. About the only thing I don't like is how dependent the look is on lighting and viewing angles, but it's a minor gripe.

I do still need to work on making them cleaner, though. I think drawing the lines beforehand on the parts is indeed the better option, especially when aiming for symmetry. After that, it's just a matter of figuring out how to make guides that follow the drawing. An unexpected result: I now want to buy the HG Zabanya. Many flat surfaces means an easier time for scribing.

thwalker13
July 23, 2013, 12:28 PM
Practice makes perfect. And there is no reason why you can't make a kit look more detailed in the process. hehe

Bossguy
July 23, 2013, 12:54 PM
It looks so beautiful! The color is like candy to my eyes! Very, very well done.

Dlinker
July 23, 2013, 1:04 PM
True 'dat, good sir. And I'm going to keep practicing on it. I don't know why, but scribing lines just speaks to me and makes me want to keep doing it. Although, for the time being, I think I'll take a break from it, haha.

@Bossguy, thanks for the compliments! It ended up looking pretty close to what I wanted so I'm satisfied, flaws and all.

thwalker13
July 23, 2013, 1:04 PM
I agree with Bossguy.

Wait a minute, Bossguy! Welcome back!

Dlinker
July 24, 2013, 2:15 AM
Hopefully he'll continue his WIP thread again soon, haha.

Looong post warning:

I was able to lay down the final gloss coat on the parts. Now to wait until tomorrow to put it together, then to find time for a photoshoot.

In addition, I did the tests. The conditions were spraying Metalizer Steel and Titanium (buffing kind) on three types of parts at 15 PSI and a distance of 5-6 inches. The parts were:

1.) Primer and gloss black lacquer to a mirror shine (or close to it):
http://s20.postimg.org/l5hp31aft/gloss_black_test_steel.jpg (http://postimg.org/image/l5hp31aft/) http://s20.postimg.org/gh1p7ul95/gloss_black_test_titanium.jpg (http://postimg.org/image/gh1p7ul95/)


2.) Primer only, but sanded smooth with 3000-grit:
http://s20.postimg.org/m91tezv2x/primer_only_test_steel.jpg (http://postimg.org/image/m91tezv2x/) http://s20.postimg.org/fg1giq49l/primer_only_test_titanium.jpg (http://postimg.org/image/fg1giq49l/)


3.) Bare plastic:
http://s20.postimg.org/c1ja2l8ux/bare_plastic_test.jpg (http://postimg.org/image/c1ja2l8ux/) http://s20.postimg.org/xzfqwdnvd/bare_plastic_test_titanium.jpg (http://postimg.org/image/xzfqwdnvd/)

To keep things short, the best results in terms of appearance were the primer+black and bare plastic. Best results in terms of durability was the primer+black. Worst appearance was the primer-only, which is kinda expected since primer is never as smooth as bare plastic or gloss paint. The Titanium didn't rub off at all and neither did the Steel for all of the parts, BUT that could be because I built up a slightly heavier layer.

With the Qan[T], a number of parts were either small or had edges that I didn't focus on when spraying. That meant a bigger chance of a light layer and why edges and the back guards on the hands (small parts) got rubbed off easier. Next time I use it on a kit, I'll keep these results in mind.

After the tests, since I didn't feel like starting the next kit, I went and started on the 1/100 resin gun I got from Tatsuhobby a while back to see how resin feels:

http://s20.postimg.org/86khdrf2x/resin.jpg (http://postimg.org/image/86khdrf2x/)

I sawed/sliced off all of the flash/nubs (using those blessed Hasegawa modeling saws). There are mold lines everywhere, uneven surfaces, chipped corners, and parts that don't fit too well. And yet, I'm actually looking forward to working on this. Only as a side project, though, because I know this may take a long time.

thwalker13
July 24, 2013, 7:41 AM
Glad to hear that it'll be put together here soon. Can't wait to see it.

And it sounds like your tests had pretty much the same results as mine. Except yours didn't eat away the primer. haha I think that now that I'll be using the airbrush, I'll start leaning towards trying out Alclad's products. Watching StryderPrime's work with them has kinda inspired me.

I've seen that gun before somewhere, isn't that the same gun that was used in the 08th MS Team?

Dlinker
July 24, 2013, 10:58 AM
Yeah, I'm curious to try out Alclad's Regular line as well and see how those are like. Metalizer is nice, but it seems fragile for my purposes. Of course, this is assuming Alclad is tougher which I don't know yet. What I do know is that getting a really good finish with their Chrome can be pretty darn difficult.

Regarding the gun, I think it's a similar design to the one from 08th MS Team. I compared it to the one included in the Ground War set and that one had a handle at the front, no scope thingy on the side, and the barrel is slimmer. I'm not entirely sure where this one came from, haha.

thwalker13
July 24, 2013, 12:27 PM
I've heard horror stories on the chrome as well. I bought a bottle of it when I was ignorant on the fact that it's an airbrush only type. So I have it to try out. Just need to get some of their base black 1st.

Dlinker
July 24, 2013, 1:15 PM
It should be a cinch creating that mirror shine with your Badger. I tried it with my HP-CS and the .35mm needle seems to be way too small for creating that shine on anything larger than 1/144. That black undercoat is what determines the results so it all hinges on its appearance.

At least Alclad gives you a healthy amount of the gloss black base, haha.

Brotzmann
July 24, 2013, 1:41 PM
I think the Alcad chrome works nicely. As long as you prep the surface well and make sure it's nice and smooth, you'll get a nice glossy finish. I've heard using clear coat dulls the finish but I do it anyway most of the time. It will rub off fairly easily and I have tried doing panel line washes over it without enough clearcoat and taken off the paint. I like it better than the Tamiya metallic silver and Mr. Metal Color silver. Those are the only types I've tried.
I do have alcad glossy and dull clear coat and I'm not sure if those affect the finish or not. I need to experiment.

Dlinker
July 24, 2013, 3:21 PM
That's the problem I had with Alclad Chrome. I was trying to mimic the kinds of finishes I see from people online and I still haven't gotten close all because of the gloss black not having that mirror shine. I think I'll try it again, but this time with a smaller test piece. I want to do it right at least once, haha.

Regarding the clear coat, I wonder if the Aqua Gloss Clear gives better results. The bottle says it works well as a sealer for Hi-Shine finishes. Supposedly even works well as primer.

thwalker13
July 24, 2013, 4:14 PM
I was actually going to suggest try out the Aqua Gloss coat. Cause I believe I read somewhere that Alclad made that just for it's metallic type paints, such as the chrome.

Dlinker
July 24, 2013, 5:23 PM
Really? Huh, I thought it was just an acrylic alternative to their existing enamel clear coats. I've been using it on all of the kits I worked on this year and it's great stuff. It didn't do jack against protecting Metalizer, though, but that's the Metalizer's fault. A clear coat is only as tough as the paint underneath after all.

thwalker13
July 24, 2013, 11:44 PM
Hasn't Alclad made a specific clear coat for the metallics? I could have sworn I seen it listed on their site.

Dlinker
July 25, 2013, 12:53 AM
I'll admit, I haven't read much about the stuff I'm using aside from the bare essentials so I have no clue, haha.

I noticed Alclad Chrome is actually pretty durable. I expected some of it to get rubbed off during my tests weeks ago when I was brushing away the excess chrome dust, but nope, nothing.

thwalker13
July 25, 2013, 7:50 AM
Here are the official instructions from Alclad themselves. It really doesn't give specifics on clear coating the chrome or other paints like it though.

http://alclad2.com/how-to/

Dlinker
July 25, 2013, 11:06 AM
Hmmm, I think as long as you use their brand of clear coat (either the enamel or acryl version) then it should work fine.

Man, all this talk of Alclad is making me want to get some tests done. Maybe this weekend, haha.

thwalker13
July 25, 2013, 12:25 PM
Tell me about it. Once I get a cleaning station and some generic lacquer thinner from ACE I'll probably order their black undercoat and start testing their chrome.

Dlinker
July 25, 2013, 1:27 PM
You have a respirator and all that ready as well? Them lacquer fumes are seriously ugly stuff.

And I almost forgot about sprues again. Instead of spoons or strips of plastic plate, I'll just use those for my tests. And maybe a plastic strip or two.

Can't wait until I get home today. Time to put together the Qan[T].

thwalker13
July 25, 2013, 4:43 PM
Oh man, I bet you are excited.

As for respirator, no. I haven't ever used one.

Dlinker
July 25, 2013, 5:06 PM
Yep, I am. At the same time, I have to tone it down. I'll take my time putting it together, treating the parts like they were made of glass so I can avoid any occurrences of paint chipping, haha.

You might want to invest in a respirator and some gloves if you'll be working with lacquer thinner. The thinner can burn your skin and you'd be surprised at how often you'll get your fingers and hands in contact with the stuff. Harbor Freight should have a box of blue disposable gloves. That's what I use.

Dlinker
July 26, 2013, 1:55 AM
So I was able to build up the majority of the Qan[T].

And I'm very impressed. I thought nothing this year would top the Dynames (since despite my typical never-satisfied-with-my-own-work feeling, I feel it's one of my best yet), but this one may just beat it. Still a few things I wish I could have done better, but I'm satisfied a good deal. Pics up this weekend and then to start on what's probably my last painted kit of the year.

thwalker13
July 26, 2013, 7:45 AM
Can't wait to see the pics man. So what kit are you going to be working on next?

Dlinker
July 26, 2013, 10:56 AM
I'm leaning towards something different from the norm, sort of like how I went with the HMM Berserk Fury last year for my final kit. The only thing in my backlog that fits the criteria is the 1/72 VF-1A and its strike pack so that may be it.

Regarding the Qan[T], I learned a harsh lesson late last night: Never finish assembling a painted kit when you're the least bit rushing to get it done. I was putting the head together and the eye section wouldn't go on so I used a bit of pressure. When it did, I felt something give....and it was one of the horns I re-attached. So now one of them has an obvious seam that I sealed with carefully-placed plastic cement. The snap line is still there, but I'm doing nothing about it. It will be another case of last-minute "weathering and battle damage".

Horn mods at 1/144 scale...not an easy thing to do and certainly a very fragile result.

thwalker13
July 26, 2013, 12:34 PM
Ouch, sorry to hear that man. I had instances like that with the Master Gundam. It just seemed hell bent on fighting me on every occasion that it could. Did everything else go together rather well?

Dlinker
July 26, 2013, 1:18 PM
Yeah, I remember your Master Gundam giving you some fits, haha.

There was only one other thing that didn't connect as well as I thought and that was one of the GN Sword Bits. For some reason, it just didn't want to go in the slot. It got to the point where the connecting area got bent from all of the forcing I did. Luckily the damage to the paint was minimal. I was able to get it in by shaving off some plastic from the affected area.

Apart from that, everything was surprisingly straightforward. The clear parts went in fine, the main V-Fin went in okay (had to use some pressure too, but nothing unusual), the joints aren't scraping a large amount of paint (meaning there is some really minor paint scraping), and no more paint rubbed off. I'm thankful for it all, haha.

Now I just have to figure out some good poses for the photoshoot.

thwalker13
July 26, 2013, 1:58 PM
A cool duel with Dynames might be pretty neat.

Dlinker
July 26, 2013, 3:00 PM
Haha, I might have it dueling with the Zabanya whenever I complete it. My existing Dynames is at 1/100 scale so it will be like an evil David versus good Goliath fight scene.

thwalker13
July 26, 2013, 4:10 PM
Haha, I have one word for you. Perspective.

Dlinker
July 26, 2013, 5:15 PM
Once I buy that fancier lens for my brother's camera, I think I'll be giving that a whirl. Just as a test, haha.

Wiz33
July 26, 2013, 8:16 PM
Off topic. I'm finally starting on the VF-25. You're not kidding when you say this thing is complicated. But what a piece of engineering though! I'll have to learn how to post pictures and start a WIP thread ;-P

Dlinker
July 26, 2013, 9:45 PM
Ooooh, you're in a world of pleasure building it. I know I said it's a big pain in the rear, but it was one of the most amazing builds I've done in terms of actual building.

My only word of advice: take your time with it. If you rush, there's a good chance something will break.

Wiz33
July 27, 2013, 2:54 AM
Yea. Taking it real slow and reading the Translated manual twice before each step. Got the nose, head, both arm and one leg done after about 5 hours. Just the thought of taking it apart again to paint later gives me headaches ;-P

Dlinker
July 27, 2013, 1:30 PM
Ugh, I remember the nose and head. Took me forever to build the nose due to all of the tiny pieces and the head was just atrocious for how loose everything was. Mind you, this was the very first kit I ever built so I didn't know anything about tightening parts. Grand achievement once the thing was standing, haha.

Speaking of Macross kits, I have decided on the next kit to work on and no surprises here: The recently released 1/72 VF-1A with Strike Parts. Here's what I got done so far:

5677

Was able to get the nose and back/wing portions removed from the sprues. Despite being 1/72, this thing has parts small enough to rival a 1/144 kit. Many of them, in fact. Surprisingly, it's nowhere near as complicated as a VF-25 so it shouldn't take me a week to remove from the sprues.

I kept expecting an inner frame, haha. I was kinda happy that there wasn't...

Wiz33
July 27, 2013, 2:11 PM
Wow, you got yours already. Mine is still sitting in HLJ's private warehouse but since I just got a notice that the RG GP-01, GP-01Fb and the Cosmo Falcon have been place in my warehouse . I will have them ship everything out.

Dlinker
July 27, 2013, 3:30 PM
Yeah, I pre-ordered it early and shipping via SAL didn't take as long as I thought. I was expecting three weeks, but they got here within two.

There are way less parts than a VF-25, that's for sure. The manual isn't as thick too.

Wiz33
July 27, 2013, 5:32 PM
Yeah, I pre-ordered it early and shipping via SAL didn't take as long as I thought. I was expecting three weeks, but they got here within two.

There are way less parts than a VF-25, that's for sure. The manual isn't as thick too.

Did you see that Mech9 already have the translated manual up?

Dlinker
July 27, 2013, 7:55 PM
I haven't yet. I'll take a gander at it later. I was able to get the arms, head, and gun pod removed from the sprues. Tonight, the legs.

Dlinker
July 29, 2013, 2:23 AM
Finally got all of the parts off the runners and was able to de-nub the legs, which had the most parts aside from the Strike Pack. Encountered some bad nubs on three parts, though. There were pits that I had to fill with Tamiya LSP. A bit more sanding tomorrow and the legs should be completely ready.

Then it's the Strike Pack next. I thought doing the funnels for the Hi-Nu were repetitive. Boy, was I wrong. This one takes the cake.

Wiz33
July 29, 2013, 2:56 AM
Pictures if you get a chance. On the bad nubs. Are they just cutting mistake or was it one of those parts that if you don't pay attention, you cut at the wrong place?

Dlinker
July 29, 2013, 10:57 AM
I'll post a pic when I get home tonight. Got lazy yesterday after all that sanding, haha.

For the bad nubs, it was a cutting mistake. Two of the affected parts were for the feet (front section) and instead of cutting horizontal with the nub, I cut vertically and too close to the part, resulting in a tiny pit. The third part, I cut it too quickly so it was essentially snapped off, resulting in a tiny pit even before I sanded away the nub.

thwalker13
July 29, 2013, 12:15 PM
I have that problem all the time. I apply to much pressure while cutting and I end up taking off way more than I should. Really frustrating.

Dlinker
July 29, 2013, 1:07 PM
Part of the reason for me is impatience, haha. I just want to remove them from the runners as quickly as possible so I can get to sanding. Another good thing about 1/144 kits compared to the big guys.

Dlinker
July 30, 2013, 12:33 AM
So I was able to finish with the extra sanding needed for the legs and here's how far I've gotten:

5710 5711

Second pic is the pre-build of the legs. I noticed many of the white parts will be difficult to take out so that was as far as I could go without potentially ruining something. I was glad to see much of the tiny grey parts are all internal and hidden from view, meaning less nub clean-up.

Tonight, it's nub clean-up on the very tedious-looking Strike Parts set:

5712

So many darn missles.... So many tiny thrusters...

I thought about the paint scheme I'll do for this also. Specifics will be tomorrow; got a few colors I'm still on the fence about.

thwalker13
July 30, 2013, 7:57 AM
That, is a lot of parts. I honestly don't see how you don't get parts mixed up. I envy you on your ability to keep up with parts in a box like that. Unless I separate each part out according to where they go and to which side (right or left) I get mixed up. Then I can't find stuff. lol

I'm interested to see how you're going to paint it. Going to be using more Metalizer? Or maybe even some Alclad?

Dlinker
July 30, 2013, 11:05 AM
Haha, to each their own when it comes to parts management. Yours sounds much better than mine, seriously. When it's time to build, it's always like building a jigsaw puzzle where I have to constantly refer to the manual to see what part goes where. It's probably why it takes me so long and why I often make mistakes during the process (limp left foot on the Qan[T], I'm looking at you).... Oh well, sharpens the memory with harsh lessons at least :)

Here is the paint scheme I was thinking about. Most of it will be Tamiya Acrylic and Metalizer as I'm still figuring out if I have money to buy some Alclad:

White parts = grey blue
Black parts = offwhite
Red parts = yellow or orange-yellow
Feet = Metalizer Titanium
Gun Pod = darker blue and Gun Metal with grey undercoat
Head turret barrels = Gun Metal with grey undercoat

Strike Parts colors:

Small missile with stabilizers = Medium grey with red stripe

Small missile normal = Medium grey with yellow stripe

Missile pod = Dark grey blue and green hue for missiles

Big bombs = light grey and tan tip

Thrusters = Tamiya Titanium gold inside

Main bodies = Dark gray blue and dark grey with light grey blue for turret barrels.

One of my main goals with the Strike Parts is that they're alive with colors as a throwback to those shooting games of the 90's like Raiden Project, Tyrian, and Raptor: Call of the Shadows.

thwalker13
July 30, 2013, 12:42 PM
Man I'm digging that color scheme already. And I love the idea of differing the color on the missile types. Anything that adds a touch of realism is a + in my book. I also notice that you're going with a much darker color scheme overall as well. The Grey/Blue should look pretty cool and give a more "Jet Fighter" feel to it.

Dlinker
July 30, 2013, 1:25 PM
Yeah, I want a color scheme that is much more realistic with this kit and I think this will work well. Here's a pretty good mock-up of what I hope the colors will look like. This is from the PC game, Supreme Commander:

5713

I'm a bit conflicted on how dark I want the grey blue, though, because I still want to take advantage of some of the decals. Too dark and many of them will be useless.

Also, I thought multiples colors for missiles might come off as being too anime-ish, haha.

Dlinker
July 31, 2013, 1:43 AM
I finally got all those darn missiles and small round parts de-nubbed and sanded. If they didn't have such obvious mold lines, things would have went faster. I can't stand mold lines anymore, especially on rounded parts like these:

5722

Now I can continue doing the rest of the parts that aren't so rounded/curved. At this rate, I won't be done with the Strike Parts until probably Saturday noon.

thwalker13
July 31, 2013, 7:46 AM
Sanding and prep is always my least favorite step. But hey, look on the bright you're getting closer to being done. And it could be worse, you could be working on the Full Armor Unicorn. :P

Dlinker
July 31, 2013, 10:53 AM
Me too. Unlike any step after, I can't step back after sanding/prep and get a feeling of fulfillment. Instead, I just get a feeling of exhaustion, haha.

Thank goodness my nail file from the beauty section at Walgreens is still working. I was using another file from a Squadron Filing Set earlier, but I'm seeing rust spots on it. I think it doesn't like being used for wet sanding (or at least wet sanding for this long).

And yes, this is why I'll never work on a Full Armor Unicorn kit :) I'll be driven mad and probably hate the hobby for a while if I work on one.

thwalker13
July 31, 2013, 12:27 PM
Yeah, the closest I'll ever get to the FA Unicorn is the HGUC version. I do plan on getting that one.

Dlinker
July 31, 2013, 1:20 PM
Nice, it will be interesting see your experience with it. For sure it will be a detailing monster, though.

I bought the Robot Damashii version instead, haha.

Wiz33
July 31, 2013, 1:41 PM
Me too. Unlike any step after, I can't step back after sanding/prep and get a feeling of fulfillment. Instead, I just get a feeling of exhaustion, haha.

Thank goodness my nail file from the beauty section at Walgreens is still working. I was using another file from a Squadron Filing Set earlier, but I'm seeing rust spots on it. I think it doesn't like being used for wet sanding (or at least wet sanding for this long).

And yes, this is why I'll never work on a Full Armor Unicorn kit :) I'll be driven mad and probably hate the hobby for a while if I work on one.

How much sanding do you need to do after you file down the parts. I'm using the Tamiya 3 pieces file set from way back and it seems to be holding up well. If I'm careful and just let the file glide over the nub without much pressure. I get a fairly smooth finish that once primed with Mr. Surface 1000, you can't tell any difference. So most of my sanding now is just on seam lines and sometimes I even file those.

Dlinker
July 31, 2013, 3:11 PM
For each nub, I always go through the areas again with 800-grit, wet sand. That's because even though the finish feels smooth after filing down the nubs (since the file I'm using has a finishing side), I've seen it before where there are still obvious marks left after priming with Surfacer 1200.

I don't sand the entire part anymore since it doesn't seem to make that much of a difference, even when using acrylic primer. Washing with dishwashing soap does the trick for me, most of the time.

Dlinker
August 1, 2013, 11:01 AM
I finally got all of the round warhead parts done in terms of nub removal. I put together the bomb parts and noticed an ugly seam at the tips so I had to seal them. Of course, this was after I put them together and they're hard to take apart (late night, tired, wasn't thinking) so I may end up having to use putty if the cement didn't work. Which is fine, since I still have plenty to de-nub.

Dlinker
August 2, 2013, 10:47 AM
And I did end up having to use putty to remove the seams on the bomb pieces:

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Then I saw another set of pieces that need to get seam welded, which were the cannon barrels:

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This one I did correctly (I hope), applying the plastic cement inside the seam contact points before squeezing shut and clamping. I'm really glad I decided to get the Strike Parts done first. They're turning out to be more work than any of the parts on the main kit.

Wiz33
August 2, 2013, 1:13 PM
Looks like a lot of work. I may hold off on this kit when it comes in. After building the 00 Raiser and the VF-25. I think I'll move onto something not mecha related for a change. Next up will probably be something from the Yamato 2199 lineup but that's going to be a few weeks away since it'll probably take me that long to finish the VF-25

Dlinker
August 2, 2013, 2:57 PM
Yeah, you might get burned out if you work on another Valkyrie kit, especially if it has additional parts.

The worst thing about the Strike Parts is that they're all exposed, compared to the main kit where the majority of the difficult parts are hidden. I don't see much obvious mold lines in the main kit too, whereas this one has plenty. For example, last night, the four rocket pods plus two covers for each one had mold lines. Sanding/filing the same looking part many times gets really boring.

Wiz33
August 2, 2013, 4:53 PM
And I did something similar last night. Remember those 8 triangle thingie that goes onto the wing booster in the Superparts kit? 3 nubs on each. That took a little while.

Dlinker
August 2, 2013, 5:01 PM
Ugh, yeah, I remember those. Back then, I was trimming them with the knife on my Leatherman. I got very close to losing several during the process.

I want to just let go and forget about mold lines or anything like that, but it's become a habit now.

Dlinker
August 5, 2013, 1:50 AM
5779 5780

Finally, I finished de-nubbing everything, along with fixing up pits and seam-welding the most obvious stuff (like the gun pod above). I even managed to wash all of the Super Parts pieces and didn't lose a single thruster, so those are ready for mounting and priming. I must say, this was one of the most challenging kits I ever had to de-nub. Lots of small pieces and nubs located in delicate locations on delicate parts.

Next up is the pre-build phase.

Wiz33
August 5, 2013, 1:55 AM
Go Go Go! looking forward to it.

thwalker13
August 5, 2013, 7:38 AM
Glad to hear you made it through the de-nubbing phase man. Some good work on the seam removal there, can't wait to see your pre-build.

Dlinker
August 5, 2013, 11:11 AM
Haha, thanks guys.

And yeah, welding the gun-pod was easier than I expected. I usually don't have much luck welding rounded parts, but this one is a good exception.

I started building the arms yesterday before going to bed. Good lord, those hands are some of the most fragile things I've worked on (and probably one of the most frustrating to put together). The index finger is held to the rest of the fingers by a tiny peg and it's not enough because it kept falling off. Hopefully painting it will add more friction to keep it in place.

I also noticed some more seamlines on the shoulders and elbow joint, which I'll weld with putty when I get home today. The saving grace? I can paint the arms as two pieces consisting of the arms and wrist/hands. Nothing complicated.

thwalker13
August 5, 2013, 12:21 PM
That's a plus. Always good when time and effort can be saved. How is the hand constructed anyways? I've heard a few of you guys complain about the hands. Are they similar to Gunpla construction?

Dlinker
August 5, 2013, 1:20 PM
Similar, but the digits are more rudimentary:

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See how the digits don't have ball joints? It really makes them easy to pop off, especially that index finger. Personally, since you can't do much with these particular hands anyway aside from holding the gun pod, I would have been happy if they just replaced them with a static set.

It makes me sad.... poor Macross doesn't get the same quality hands as Gundam :(