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Halzman
July 21, 2014, 2:09 AM
Disclaimer: Sorry for the long post; I like to write and document things. It amuses me. *NOTE - HI-RES IMAGES*

[In the beginning...]

A couple months back I decided I would start to do gunpla. After seeing models displayed at comic con last year, and various painted,detailed inner frame pictures online - I was sold. So, with this thread, it is my intention to document my builds for my own record, and for anyone else who is interested in starting out, since I am also starting from the ground up.

Most of the kits I plan on doing will be Master Grade 1/100. Since I have such a fond love for the Gundam franchise, I want to do the primary good-guy/bad-guy suits from each series, and in some cases, specific mobile suit series from a given series. For example: RX-78-2 Gundam/MS-06 Zaku II Char Custom from Mobile Suit Gundam, XXXG-00W0 Wing Gundam Zero/OZ-13MS Gundam Epyon and the three varients in the Tallgeese series from Gundam Wing, GP01 through GP03 from 0083 Stardust Memory, etc. Currently, my priority will be premier suits from GUndam 00 - Exia, 00 Gundam, and 00 Quanta. I bought the Gouf Custom because I also wanted a bad-ass Zeon mobile suit in my collection, and it was the first mobile suit to come to mind.

I started off with two kits - Master Grade Gouf Custom and 00 Quanta. The Gouf I bought online from amazon, and the Quanta I bought from a friend. Since I wanted to do these kits right, during assembly, I would cut the remaining nubs off with an X-Acto knife, and sand accordingly (I used 60, 120, and 320 grit). I also planned to remove seam lines by coating with a clear glue, letting it dry, and then sanding it down. It was something I tried on the shoulder armor of the Gouf Custom, but it didn't come out right most likely due to the glue I was using (Krazy Glue I believe). If i remember correctly, each kit took me about a week, working on it 2-3 hours per night and finishing one section per night. All in all, I think both of them came out looking good - The Gouf Custom I did first, then the 00 Quanta. I do recall there were some pieces that just wouldn't stay in place (the clear green parts on the Quanta's legs, etc) that had to be super-glued in place. I realize now that it was most likely because I sanded and trimmed too much or too perfectly. I've also been made aware that I should use an even higher grit sandpaper, like in the thousands - A nail file or filing stick works well too.

http://i61.tinypic.com/ixw676.jpg


With both kits completed, it was my intention from the beginning to paint them. Again, on amazon (i buy almost everything from there), I searched for an acrylic paint set. I don't remember what painting/gunpla video/article convinced me to choose acrylic, but for the time being, it's what I'm sticking with. I'm using Liquitex Basics acrylic paint - bought a 48 color assortment set. I also bought myself a paint brush variety set, giving me some basic brushes to start off with.

With my basics covered, I was ready for painting and decided to do the 00 Quanta first. After stripping each section (head, torso, arms, legs, accessories) down to its inner frame, or in some cases, down to its individual pieces - all the parts were put into separate bags for each section. My intent was to paint each section and then move on to the next. By keeping each section separate, I would be able to identify parts with the manual, should I forget or unable to figure out how to put the piece back together - certainly a much better option then doing all the parts at once or by color group.

I started off with the torso section since it had the least amount of colors to be painted - Grey and White. From the Liquitex Basics set, I used Titanium White for the white sections, and a custom mixture for the grey using the Titanium White and Mars Black. For every one drop from the 0.74 fl oz Titanium White bottle in the set, i used 3-4 drops from the Mars Black. My painting method was to paint a coat, let it air dry for 24 hours, then paint another coat, let it air dry for another 24 hours, and then apply a clear matte protective coat via spray can. From there I would then use dry brushing to add more detail, add decals, and finish off with a final matte clear coat for protection.

So after letting these parts dry for a few days, it dawned on me that I had a huge problem. If each section had on average 10-15 parts, and I had 6 sections to do just for the mobile suit, that was anywhere from 60-90 pieces I had to leave out in the open to air dry for several days. On top of that, some of the pieces that I didn't fully disassemble had unexposed parts that still needed paint - which was obviously my fault. Although hesitant to do so, even if I did completely disassemble everything, I would still have the same space problem. And so my gunpla building came to a temporary halt.

[In the Present]

So after having 3 months pass since I last painted the torso section of the 00 quanta, it's parts are still on clip leads attached to cut up spurs of the larger model trees. The Gouf Custom... sitting in its box waiting to be completed. However, in the time that's past I've seen and learned two things: Airbrushes exist and are available on the commercial market, and that you can use spray paint to paint an entire tree of a model before assembly - Or A + B = Awesome Idea. What finally threw me back into the gunpla mode was surprisingly a 1/100 scale Space Shuttle Atlantis. I bought the kit as I wanted something to represent our current space exploration technology level, but being a Tamiya kit, I lacked the proper glue/cement for assembly, so it was put on the side.

It wasn't until about a week ago that I picked up some Loctite Super Glue that worked out awesome and I started to put the Shuttle together. But again, because it was a Tamiya kit, it had to be painted and have decals added. So I found myself with the same painting/space dilemma I had 3 months back. Solution - Buy and airbrush for painting, and since I'm gonna buy an airbrush, I might as well get a new Master Grade kit to test my new method. At this point in time, my love for Gundam 00 transcends both love and hate, so I went with the 00 Raiser.

The airbrush I have been using is a TCP Global Master Airbrush Model VC16-B22. This airbrush kit was bought on amazon for $50 and I believe has a working/load pressure of 15 psi.It's about the size of a computer hard drive external dock, or the main body of a DSLR camera. Since I already have acrylic paint, all I would need to do is thin the paint. At the moment when thinning paint for use in the airbrush, for a small bottle divided up into 5 parts: 1 part paint, 4.5 parts 70% Alcohol, and .5 part of water. From what I understand, too much water breaks up acrylic to the point that it is no longer paint. Having said that, I am in no way sure that my current thinning method is proper. Thus far, my painted 00 Raiser tree's are acceptable looking.

For comparison, I've included pictures that shows an unpainted 00 Raiser tree, an air brush painted 00 Raiser tree, and hand brush painted 00 Quanta parts. I'm very impressed with the results of the air brush. Although not visible in the images, the hand painted Quanta parts have visible brush strokes. I should note that I didn't thin the acrylic paint for the Quanta.

http://i60.tinypic.com/71l75y.jpg

http://i57.tinypic.com/120qbky.jpg

I'm also finding the airbrush easier and more enjoyable to clean, which is good because I hated brush cleaning. Generally, I fill the airbrush paint cup anywhere from 1/4 to 1/2 full - enough to paint two trees with one coat, consisting of 2 regular passes and 1 touch up pass before leaving to dry. Each pass dries for 5-10 minutes before the next, or when any wet spots fade away. After the cup is dry, I'll add some water and rinse the brush. I also pull the needle back completely and clean the nozzle area of the airbrush. After the flush, nozzle cleaning, and a quick paper towel wipe down, it's good to go for another round. When I'm completely done painting, I do the same process, but I remove the needle first, then do the flush. Once the needle and cup cover are cleaned, the whole airbrush is reassembled and ready for use next time.

My entire setup consists of a compressor with airbrush, acrylic paint, a cup of 70% alcohol, a cup of water, a crap paint brush for cleaning, and paper towels. I used a desk vise to hold the trees for general painting and hold by hand for hard to reach areas. On occasion, I will paint both sides of the tree and I use tie wraps to hold the trees on clothes hangers for drying.

[Master Grade 1/100 Gundam 00 Raiser Project]

At the moment, I have most of the trees painted with 1 coat of paint. I have 6 grey trees to finish up. Once those 6 are finished (I decided the only paint 5 of the 11 grey trees tonight so that I could write this very long forum post on gunpla) I will apply a coat of Krylon Matte Clear Finish. Once that's dry, I can begin assembly of each section. I knew going in that each part will have to be denubbed, filed, and then a touch up paint job done. Another fine example of theory dieing in the face of practice. While not terribly complicated of a process, it does open up great risk to damaging the paint job on areas that don't need work.

So, my new lesson learned is that I will use the following building process for my next kit. Wash the trees with soap and warm water and allow to air dry. Mix up desired colors of paint - more then you expect to use. Remove the parts for one section at a time and proceed to denub and sand - re clean if necessary. Paint parts with one or two coats of paint and then apply a matte clear coat. Assemble section and proceed on to the next one. Once all sections are complete, add dry brushing detail and decals and then a final matte clear coat.

For reference, I am using the following Liquitex Basics colors for the 00 Raiser:

White Tree - Titanium White
Grey Tree - Mars Black and Titanium White
Blue Tree - Cobalt Blue Hue
Red Tree - Cadmium Red Deep Hue
Yellow Tree - Cadmium Yellow Medium Hue

http://i61.tinypic.com/nf2xyo.jpg
http://i57.tinypic.com/2e5p83o.jpg
http://i60.tinypic.com/2hezkw3.jpg

Dlinker
July 21, 2014, 11:10 AM
You know, the first thing I thought of when I glanced at your post was how much of a pain it would be to touch up all of those pieces after painting them on the sprues. So if I'm understanding you correctly, you will have to deal with that with this kit?

Some great progress you're making overall, though. You're learning a bunch of new things as you go along.

Halzman
July 21, 2014, 2:53 PM
You know, the first thing I thought of when I glanced at your post was how much of a pain it would be to touch up all of those pieces after painting them on the sprues. So if I'm understanding you correctly, you will have to deal with that with this kit?

Some great progress you're making overall, though. You're learning a bunch of new things as you go along.

Not gonna lie... when I finished up with my first 3 trees, it fully dawned on me on just how much more work I had ahead of me - I knew from the beginning I would have to do that, just didn't realize just how much work it would be. At the very least, I now know exactly how I will be dealing with future builds... but for this kit, I'll have to deal with the touch-ups, along with the 00 Quanta and Gouf Custom kit - although at least those kits are fully denubbed and sanded.

Thanks for the compliment on my progress! I'm just really glad that the paint job came out great with the air brush. Hopefully tonight I can finish up the remaining 6 trees I have, and then I can put on my first top coat and work on assembling the kit. I had an old MG Zaku II leg assembly around that I use for painting experiments - I had tried removing the nubs off of those pieces and I didn't damage the paint job too much with my X-Acto knife so that was kind of a relief so I'm hopefully I can finish the 00 Raiser pieces without too much trouble.

Dlinker
July 21, 2014, 3:06 PM
Looking forward to your results. It sounds daunting to touch-up so many pieces so I'm curious to see how it all looks in the end.

Not only that, I'm curious to see if you encounter any paint scratches or chips with the paint you're using. I still encounter chips from time to time, mostly in the small edges of thigh pieces, and I'm using lacquer products :shock:. Might just be a product of bad layering, though.

Setsunason54
July 21, 2014, 7:40 PM
I just recently purchased an airbrush on amazon as well. Let me ask you this, does just water work with cleaning your AB? I use acrylic and it's a pain to clean the airbrush.

Other than that, looking forward to your work there.

Sazabee
July 21, 2014, 8:36 PM
I just recently purchased an airbrush on amazon as well. Let me ask you this, does just water work with cleaning your AB? I use acrylic and it's a pain to clean the airbrush.

Other than that, looking forward to your work there.

I suggest you use Lacquer Thinner to clean it (Walmart has a giganto one for like $6) and if not you can also use 91%ISO

As far as OP, the work looks good! It'll be a gigantic pain in the ass to do touch ups :|

The color choices look great, looking forward to your results.

I personally thinned my paints at either 1:1 or 1 Paint: .75 91% ISO and I've had great results with that.

I might be getting a MG Quanta soon (It's built already) so I'm personally looking forward to that as well lol.

Halzman
July 21, 2014, 9:27 PM
Looking forward to your results. It sounds daunting to touch-up so many pieces so I'm curious to see how it all looks in the end.

Not only that, I'm curious to see if you encounter any paint scratches or chips with the paint you're using. I still encounter chips from time to time, mostly in the small edges of thigh pieces, and I'm using lacquer products :shock:. Might just be a product of bad layering, though.

Thus far, with the paint thinning method I outline in the OP, I have had no problem handling any pieces - granted I'm been trying to handle the 00 Raiser tree's as if they were rare fine china. As I mentioned, I have a MG Zaku II leg laying around that I use for paint experiments (hell, in reality I just spray it with whats left in my air brush lol) and this far, with rough hand handling, it's holding up just fine. The second my nail or any other 'sharp' surface touches it though - there goes the paint job. In retrospect, I should of sprayed it with the matte clear finish I plan on using to see how it holds up. Perhaps I'll do that tonight.

Now by chips, do you mean that over time, the paint layer itself just starts to chip away on its own? Like decaying paint?

- - - Updated - - -


I just recently purchased an airbrush on amazon as well. Let me ask you this, does just water work with cleaning your AB? I use acrylic and it's a pain to clean the airbrush.

Other than that, looking forward to your work there.

I used to use the 70% alcohol for cleaning, up until I read that too much water mixed with acrylic paint breaks up the paint to the point that it's no longer paint. For the past 3 nights, I've used nothing but water for cleaning - I will however use alcohol on the nozzle area and to wipe down the actual needle, but no much - just a soaked cotton bud or tissue paper.

Out of curiosity, what acrylic paint are you using and how are you thinning it?

And hopefully either later this week, this weekend or next week, I can begin assembly of the 00 Raiser :)

- - - Updated - - -


I suggest you use Lacquer Thinner to clean it (Walmart has a giganto one for like $6) and if not you can also use 91%ISO

As far as OP, the work looks good! It'll be a gigantic pain in the ass to do touch ups :|

The color choices look great, looking forward to your results.

I personally thinned my paints at either 1:1 or 1 Paint: .75 91% ISO and I've had great results with that.

I might be getting a MG Quanta soon (It's built already) so I'm personally looking forward to that as well lol.

Thanks for the compliment!

I was also very glad that the colors I picked came out, more or less, the way I had hoped they would when dry. I'm trying to go for a 'brand spankin new, right off the assembly line' kind of look for the 00 Raiser, and will probably keep that look for most of my kits. The blue I used is the only color I have mixed feeling about - It looks good but something about it feels off. I was afraid though that if I went with a darker blue it would look too off from the original colors. Also, in regard to the daunting task of paint touch ups, since I didn't have to mix any colors it should be easier to redo the painting. I can deal with mixing black paint and some white to get the dark grey I like, but that's as far as my paint mixing abilities go right now lol It's something I will eventually need to tackle though, not so much for the Quanta, but definitely for the Gouf Custom.

With your paint thinning, is that for acrylic paint?

And the Quanta was an absolute joy to build and I cant wait until I paint the remainder of that kit. I hope you do end up getting it!

Dlinker
July 22, 2014, 12:43 AM
By chips, I meant during handling and when certain areas encounter friction. For example, for me, it seems to happen most on sharp edges of pieces, like on the tips of thigh armor and forearm armor (the area that rubs the elbow joint). I'm thinking now it is poor spraying technique, because I tend to just spray a medium layer right away on those areas rather than slowly build up the layers. You probably won't encounter it because of how thorough you paint everything.

Setsunason54
July 22, 2014, 2:47 AM
I use testors acrylics and and no matter how thin I use it or just the right amount, it just doesn't clean properly and it's a hassle. Now today I've used a regular deco acrylic paint and I thinned it down by a lot and used it and that was so easy to clean. Just cleaned up the needle.

Halzman
July 22, 2014, 9:09 AM
By chips, I meant during handling and when certain areas encounter friction. For example, for me, it seems to happen most on sharp edges of pieces, like on the tips of thigh armor and forearm armor (the area that rubs the elbow joint). I'm thinking now it is poor spraying technique, because I tend to just spray a medium layer right away on those areas rather than slowly build up the layers. You probably won't encounter it because of how thorough you paint everything.

I've only experienced chipping when either my nail or another type of rough surface edge comes in contact with a part. this is only with 1 layer of acrylic paint - no top coat/clear coat of any kind. this goes for both hand and air brush painted parts. Quantas part are fine until they get scratched or i move a joint - some joints are better then others, while others not so much.

And as for how thourough i paint - ha, that made me laugh this morning! Each tree/sprue gets a spray can like pass over for a minute or so, with the airbrush greater then 6" away but no more then 12" - I'm looking not to cover the entire sprue with paint, but to get it looking like the sprue has dots of paint everywhere. I work on two sprues at a time - after the second one has its first pass over, i let both sprues sit for 5-10 min... enough time for me to have a smoke - or until i get impatient and the sprues dont look wet. I then do another pass over, hitting the sprues from different angles and moving in as close as I can - the second i notice wet spots on the piece i back off from it. after the second pass over dries, i'll hold the part in my hand and do any touch ups. I consider all that 1 coat and two sprues usually take me 20-30 minutes to do?

- - - Updated - - -


I use testors acrylics and and no matter how thin I use it or just the right amount, it just doesn't clean properly and it's a hassle. Now today I've used a regular deco acrylic paint and I thinned it down by a lot and used it and that was so easy to clean. Just cleaned up the needle.

haha yea i know what you mean. Thats why i found the airbrush a delight to clean, almost like cleaning a rifle. With brushes it was always blahhh... i have to clean my brushes.

I'm not sure what kind of thinner you use, but it sounds like its not reacting well to whatever is in the testor acrlic paint. I'm glad that you had better experience with the other paint and clean up!

Chaser90EK
July 22, 2014, 9:16 AM
I use testors acrylics and and no matter how thin I use it or just the right amount, it just doesn't clean properly and it's a hassle. Now today I've used a regular deco acrylic paint and I thinned it down by a lot and used it and that was so easy to clean. Just cleaned up the needle.

You use DecoArt? I'm still trying to pick my brand for when I can start painting beyond paint pens...

Dlinker
July 22, 2014, 11:23 AM
Yeah, that sounds pretty thorough compared to what I do for those edge areas. We're talking five seconds or less worth of spraying and then that's it, haha. Compared to the rest of the piece where it takes a minute or more to finish.

Halzman
July 22, 2014, 6:29 PM
Yeah, that sounds pretty thorough compared to what I do for those edge areas. We're talking five seconds or less worth of spraying and then that's it, haha. Compared to the rest of the piece where it takes a minute or more to finish.

The really humorous thing is that I've felt I haven't been painting the sprues enough lol Although I still have a few coats to go, with the clear coats and more painted layers, but I have felt I've been slacking on them.

Btw, that HG GM Sniper looks amazing!

Dlinker
July 22, 2014, 8:01 PM
Thanks for the compliment about my GM Sniper. Funny how I didn't really have high expectations of my results on the kit as I was working on it. Just kept doing until it was done, haha.

Regarding painting, four layers of paint is usually more than enough, even if you're using acrylic. It's even more the case if you sprayed primer first. Not to mention you give the paint some time before spraying another layer on top. Of course, if you don't feel right with the amount of layers you're doing now, I can't stop you :D

Halzman
July 23, 2014, 9:02 AM
Just wanted to do a quick update. For the second night in a row, I didn't get around to painting the remaining 6 sprues for 00 Raiser. I did however apply a clear coat to the painted sprues - From my handling tests last night, which was done an hour or so after the coat was sprayed, the parts faired pretty well to rough hand handling. In addition, my nail had difficulty chipping away at the paint - some parts were better then others, but overall it took quite a bit of force to scratch the paint enough to reveal the molded sprue color. I should note that I did the clear coat in a lazy man fashion - just sprayed each coat hanger from multiple angles, I didn't focus on each individual sprue, which is why some parts held up better then others.

I did also fully disassemble all of the parts for the 00 Quanta. Thankfully none of the parts I had to glue prevented the model from disassembly - only one part got damaged but no big deal. Since I had previously, unsuccessfully, hand painted some of the torso and waist sections, I left those to soak over night in a cup of water and some 70% alcohol. Hopefully a scrap toothbrush will take the paint right off tonight.

I'm trying to get the Quanta ready for painting, so that I can start painting groups while the remaining 6 00 Raiser sprues dry and get there clear coat, which if I paint them tonight and clear coat tomorrow night, I'll have all the sprues ready for Friday night/ the weekend - and then I can begin assembly while the Quanta parts dry.

thwalker13
July 23, 2014, 10:45 AM
Sounds like you're making some decent progress so far. I'm rather curious to see how you touch up the parts after you remove them from the runners.

Halzman
July 24, 2014, 1:54 AM
Some great updates tonight - After two days of procrastinating, I finally finished the remaining six sprues for the 00 Raiser. Which means tomorrow night I can apply the clear coat and then Friday night, gundam willing, I can begin the assembly of the kit. On a 00 Quanta related note, the water soak didn't really do much to remove the paint from the parts, I found that an electronics cleaning brush dipped in alcohol works very well - after about 5 minutes of that I decided I'd do something more joyful for the remainder of the night.

Since I have a majority of the 00 Raiser sprues ready for cutting, trimming, and sanding - I would do just that. I decided I would try a single piece - not an external piece, that if got damaged, would leave me angry, or a mediocre part that no one would see, but something in between.

0 Raiser Internal cockpit/front portion thingy

http://i59.tinypic.com/33tmk5w.jpg

http://i59.tinypic.com/2465cly.jpg

http://i58.tinypic.com/155krxt.jpg

http://i62.tinypic.com/1960bs.jpg

http://i58.tinypic.com/3499x13.jpg

At first, when I began this process, I was very hesitant of touching and handling any of the sprues, but not anymore. Don't get me wrong, I'd not going to throw them around and come away scratch free. Using my nail, a downward motion scratch yielded some scratching, but not down to the bare plastic. A knife edge type nail scratch will usually go right down to the bare plastic. In regard to my painting and coating - I painted every sprue, front and back. Some areas I payed more attention to, others not so much - It all depended on how important the part was in the overall kit. But in the grand scheme of things, this first coat of paint and clear coat is serving it's purpose just fine.

Although the pictures shown didn't have the cuts repainted, it does illustrate that minimum damage was done. Due to the lighting, the cuts after trimming and sanding look better then they actually are. But it's not so horrible that it takes away from the piece. I have no doubts that with a second light coat of paint, each piece will look good as new. And once all that business is done with, I can give a go at dry brushing and detailing.

thwalker13
July 24, 2014, 8:16 AM
Sounds like you've got your method of painting nailed down pretty well. As long it's working, run with it. I can't wait to see those frame parts all detailed. (I'm a detail junkie if you can't tell)

Also, what did you use to take those pictures? They are so clear and crisp, or is that from the lighting?

Halzman
July 24, 2014, 8:23 AM
Sounds like you've got your method of painting nailed down pretty well. As long it's working, run with it. I can't wait to see those frame parts all detailed. (I'm a detail junkie if you can't tell)

Also, what did you use to take those pictures? They are so clear and crisp, or is that from the lighting?

I had to restrain myself last night from continueing on lol I've never done detailing before but I'm looking forward to it

The camera I've been using is the canon 550d/t2i

thwalker13
July 24, 2014, 8:44 AM
Ah, ok. I was wondering if you were using an actual camera. They look really really good.

And I think you'll like detailing. I love detail painting. Seeing the parts really come life and begin to pop out with details is exciting to me.

Halzman
July 24, 2014, 9:03 AM
Ah, ok. I was wondering if you were using an actual camera. They look really really good.

And I think you'll like detailing. I love detail painting. Seeing the parts really come life and begin to pop out with details is exciting to me.

OK, now that I'm not running to catch a train, I have time to write a legit reply lol

I'm still fine tuning the painting method, but overall I think its rock solid. Some parts do have wet spots that dried - I'll just deal with those on a one-on-one basis.

Its funny, with those pictures, I kept trying to light them even more, but I didn't wanted to use a high ISO on the camera, due to grain. While the low mysterious light setup will work for poses and what not, I need to get more light on parts so that all the detail is visible.

Also, I've been taking the pics at full resolution (18 MP) on my camera, resaving them as lower quality JPEG, and then when uploading, drop the res to 1024x768? I have no problem uploading the full res 5000xsomething, but can the forum handle it?

I also think I will enjoy the detailing portion of this build. I strangely enjoy the whole nub cleanup process due to the attention to detail required lol But it was great fun last night looking at the parts on the sprues,figuring in my head how I might go about doing things. I'll definitely have to do a masking test tonight with some tape and see how that'll work out.

thwalker13
July 24, 2014, 9:53 AM
I'd say that the resolution of the photos you uploaded are perfectly fine. 5,000+ might be a bit much. But the 1024x768 looks good to me. I like the lighting, it kinda gives off a factory like setting. As for masking, I would recommend Tamiya masking tape. I use it ALOT and it works really really well.

Halzman
July 25, 2014, 1:05 AM
It's good to say that the last 6 sprues for the 00 Raiser now have a clear coat on them. After I finish with this post, I'll probably put another coat and let them dry until tomorrow night when I get home from work. I'm really looking forward to finally begin building lol With that out of the way, I could spend the rest of the night working on something else. Once again, I decided not to scrub away at the remaining 00 Quanta pieces that I had previously hand painted.

Instead, I decided I would try something I haven't done before - dry brushing detail on a piece. As for my supposed masking test, that didn't exactly happen lol. In the brush kit I bought some time ago on amazon, I had a 2/0 fine brush - the finest brush in the kit. The brush itself, did exactly what I wanted it to do, and then gave some more. As expected, I did go outside the lines with the brush, but not because of an unsteady hand, but the bristles of the brush. To clean those mistakes, I would use my X-Acto knife to very carefully remove any excess. If I did this immediately, the knife almost lifted the paint right off the piece, leaving it undamaged. If I let it sit and dry, well the pictures speak to that.

All in all, I don't think it came out too bad. Certainly not among the best I've seen on this forum and the general interwebs, but for a first try I'm happy with it. In regard to masking, it would of been far more difficult to cut masks around the sections I painted. In fact, cutting masks for the sections I did paint, and the do my touch up coat should work out even better - As if the base coat had been the copper color, and then the dry brushing being the dark grey. Although in the proper build order, I would of done a second touch up coat of the dark grey, clear coat again, and then do the detailing.

The panels were done with Liquitex Basics color Copper; The 'dots' were done with same brand acrylic paint, color Silver.

http://i59.tinypic.com/i5rm9h.jpg

http://i58.tinypic.com/2emga55.jpg

http://i62.tinypic.com/24oo9yu.jpg

http://i62.tinypic.com/4smya0.jpg

I still have more detailing to do on the piece, but I kind of feel that I need to reconsider the brush I'm using before I can proceed further with better results. At first, I used the paint right out of the tube, after mixing. I would brush it on a paper towel until the thick pigments were off the brush, and then paint the panel (the 'dots' were simple enough and require no explanation lol). For varying reasons, eventually I mixed a fresh dot of paint with small amounts 91% alcohol drops and mixed. It helps reduce the amount of thick pigments and the next panels done came out moderately better. Looking at the front of the 0 Raiser, the right section was done first, then the left. The panel sections closest to the cockpit were the last sections done. From prep time to finish, I spent about 2 hours on this lol I'm not sure if that good or bad.

Going back to the bristles, I just felt I didn't have full control of maintaining a brush shape. With the 'dots', I would center the brush and move downward, and the brush would compress perfectly against the indent of the 'dot'. With the panels, the wrong type of downward force compressed the brush in a more dynamic manner, hitting edges or what not. During my brainstorming of writing this section of the post, I half answered my own question - Can anyone recommend a foam/felt type brush that is about the same brush thickness and has the same type of compression and brush shape control I'm talking about?

From those that have done this before and know the difference between what is and is not acceptable as quality work, at what level would you say I'm at? I've seen many pictures of beautiful frame work detail that have inspired me, but I don't really have a reference as to how good it is - I just know that it looks damn impressive to me. Having said that, what is the absolute limit of how good a gunpla model can look up close? Even the air brush layer, up close, has a texture to it - it's not perfectly smooth (although, that could just be my bad).

thwalker13
July 25, 2014, 11:30 AM
It's looking really good man. I'm loving the details that you have added. And if you're going to be adding more than it's only just going to look much better. I can't wait to see what you do next with it.

Halzman
July 25, 2014, 12:53 PM
It's looking really good man. I'm loving the details that you have added. And if you're going to be adding more than it's only just going to look much better. I can't wait to see what you do next with it.

Thanks for the compliment! I was glad to find this morning that the brush I was asking about does exist. I found the tamiya weathering foam brush on amazon and it looks like its exactly what I'm looking for. Before I order, I'm gonna run to my local Michaels tomorrow morning and see if they have something similar. Once I have that in hand, I'll feel much more comfortable doing the remaining detail work.

Dlinker
July 25, 2014, 1:38 PM
Regarding your last couple of questions, it's tough to say what level you're at. Usually, that kind of thing would be determined by the quality of a few finished kits rather than just a single kit or section of a kit. For quality up close, if the military model kits I see being displayed at my local hobby store are any indication (which look fantastic), there will always be some kind of texture. It doesn't really matter, I think, because most of the time, nobody will bother scrutinizing a kit that close.

Let us know how that foam brush works for you. I've been meaning to try one out myself.

Halzman
July 26, 2014, 4:28 AM
Regarding your last couple of questions, it's tough to say what level you're at. Usually, that kind of thing would be determined by the quality of a few finished kits rather than just a single kit or section of a kit. For quality up close, if the military model kits I see being displayed at my local hobby store are any indication (which look fantastic), there will always be some kind of texture. It doesn't really matter, I think, because most of the time, nobody will bother scrutinizing a kit that close.

Let us know how that foam brush works for you. I've been meaning to try one out myself.

Thanks for the honest reply. I guess its just one of those cases of you don't know what you don't know lol.

And I will definitely keep you guys posted about the foam brush - if I don't see anything at Michaels tomorrow, I have some regular foam brushes that I can cut and reshape - possibly experiment with those, otherwise I'll have the tamiya one by Monday.

- - - Updated - - -

I've waited all day for this! After spending two hours building the head I feel very satisfied - only doing a basic clean up with an X-Acto knife and some lining with a fine black gundam marker - No sanding or paint touch ups, stress mark repairs, or seam removal. The only decals I applied were the translucent one for the eyes, which I misaligned the left side, and the ones for the internal light pipe structure (Head Unit, Step 2). The worst damage is on the backside.

Obviously I still have a ton of stuff, as mentioned above, that I will do tomorrow. I also wanted to see what an assembled section looked like for reference, but more so because I'm impatient.

http://i61.tinypic.com/124g4tu.jpg

http://i58.tinypic.com/b6u4gi.jpg

http://i57.tinypic.com/micljo.jpg

http://i62.tinypic.com/2r21y86.jpg

http://i61.tinypic.com/voagly.jpg

http://i58.tinypic.com/15y7yqa.jpg

http://i59.tinypic.com/2rc8o5f.jpg

My decision to be impatient will most likely kick me in the face tomorrow, if the pieces are more tight fitting then normal because of the paint and clear coat layer. For the moment, I will enjoy my small victory and save that for tomorrow. I'm glad I spent the week to paint the sprues though - it just adds so much more depth to it.

I'm also glad the alcohol on a cotton bud didn't rub away at the paint when cleaning up the lines - that was a relief to find out on layer 1 instead of 3 or 4. I had planned to sand but I wasn't too satisfied with my experience using the nail smoothing block, mainly because after doing some research I couldn't determine the actual grit of the block (TRIM Smoothing Block 11-50BU) so I wanted to hold off on that.

As for painting, I'm pretty confident that another coat of paint on the pieces will remove any noticeable trace of nub marks - except for the rear. Since I have to remove the seam to the left of the mark, I might be able to kill two birds with one stone. In order to fix the eye I will remove the sticker and paint the eye outline - I'll probably mask the eyes with the eye stickers and air brush the paint onto the outline. As for the rest of the internal decaling for the head, I'm just gonna have to be more careful with placement - and that goes for the rest of the kit as well.

If I can get the head repainted by tomorrow night, it'll be finished and ready for detailing Monday night. Tomorrow will be disassembly, sanding and applying the second layer of paint - I can also place the stickers for the clear parts. I'll probably spend Sunday building the body unit at the very least, and applying the clear coat to the head unit. Then Monday night, I can redo the panel lining, assemble the head back together, do some edge treatment with a dry brush and seal it up with another clear coat layer. I'm still not exactly sure where seam removal fits in to all this... I'll just figure it out along the way lol

Let me know what you guys think!

Setsunason54
July 26, 2014, 6:34 AM
The head looks beautiful. That clear blue makes it look nice. Have you tried sharpening the antennas a bit for realism? Just thought I throw it out there if you are going to or not.

Other than that, it looks great man.

Dlinker
July 26, 2014, 1:28 PM
^ If he's going for accuracy, then there's no need to sharpen the antenna, haha. I'm looking forward to seeing how the torso and legs will look. On something like the 00, those segments get the most notice.

So far, things are looking good. The head seems pretty clean in those pics.

Halzman
July 27, 2014, 1:31 AM
Setsunason54 and Dlinker - Thanks for the compliments! That clear blue piece inside the head definitely helps bring the unit to life. I don't think I'll sharpen the antennas the way I think you mean, but I might do some work on the edges to give it a thinner look. Although I will cry for days if I end up breaking them lol.

Torso and legs get the most notice you say? Hmmm... maybe it wasn't so bad that my schedule for today got totally jacked up. After a very nice hibachi dinner tonight, and lots of scotch, this happened ;)

http://i61.tinypic.com/20aaxpl.jpg

http://i62.tinypic.com/rllxyp.jpg

http://i57.tinypic.com/34ruplt.jpg

http://i58.tinypic.com/2m5e6ie.jpg

http://i59.tinypic.com/2m330io.jpg

http://i62.tinypic.com/9pwfis.jpg

I did go back and clean up the head unit parts, which in the end wasn't too difficult to disassemble. The torso unit I cleaned up while doing the assembly. I'm really liking the way this unit is looking thus far. Which is kind of bad since I'm starting to lean towards the idea of finishing the build and then doing the painting - mostly because even with the scratches done from sanding and what not, it's not really effecting the overall look of the unit. I even found that the sanding helped blend in some of the scratches. Spent about 3 hours working on it.

Being realistic, with the remaining sections to complete of 00, and then the 0 Raiser, I'm looking at another week and a half or two weeks before it's finished and ready for seam removal, panel lining, decals, and other such detailing. Probably 3 weeks since I don't know how much I'll get done this week, being the end of the month and an internal inventory audit at work, plus GOTG this Friday.

Assuming I still feel the need to keep building, rather then paint as I had originally planned, I'll probably do the torso and waist units next, being relatively simple, and then the legs and arms. That could mean that next weekend, I could theoretically paint everything all at once and be good to go for next Monday night? Ahhh... hopes and dreams lol

thwalker13
July 27, 2014, 10:50 AM
It sounds like you have a pretty decent plan of action thought out. And the chest and head of the 00 are looking really good.

Dlinker
July 27, 2014, 1:09 PM
The torso looks fantastic and your nub work is darn good. I'm a bit confused, though. Did you paint these parts already or no? I thought you did, but maybe that was only for the 0 Raiser?

Halzman
July 28, 2014, 2:43 AM
It sounds like you have a pretty decent plan of action thought out. And the chest and head of the 00 are looking really good.

I just try and wing it as best I can, as I'm going along lol


The torso looks fantastic and your nub work is darn good. I'm a bit confused, though. Did you paint these parts already or no? I thought you did, but maybe that was only for the 0 Raiser?

I did indeed airbrush all the sprues, for both 00 Gundam and 0 Raiser, before beginning assembly. Thus far, I am not regretting that decision. My next step, once its all built, is to take it apart and go over with another paint and clear coat layer for all the parts. Then I can focus on detailing.

----

To both of you, thank you for the compliment! I've been busting my ass trying to make this model the best I can - especially since I have a very fond love for the 00 Gundam lol.

On that note, I did accomplish even more work today. Spent about 2 hours working on the hip and GN Drives/Condensors (not pictured), then another 3 hours of so for the backpack and arms - took me longer then I expected, but I did decided to watch Gundam F91 for the first time.... weird, but cool gundam. Unfortunately, my carriage is about to turn back into a pumpkin, so I couldn't finish up the shoulder pieces tonight.

http://i62.tinypic.com/seoyhj.jpg

http://i61.tinypic.com/iz5oah.jpg

http://i60.tinypic.com/2lxe2jr.jpg

http://i62.tinypic.com/2z9immv.jpg

http://i61.tinypic.com/2008dgm.jpg

http://i60.tinypic.com/14tskmp.jpg

http://i58.tinypic.com/2n1vmv7.jpg

http://i61.tinypic.com/2emezjl.jpg

Tomorrow, when I have some time, I plan to do some experiments, detailing wise, with some stuff I picked up from Michaels today, along with some other goodies. More on that later. For the time being, have a good night everyone and enjoy the eye candy!

thwalker13
July 28, 2014, 7:47 AM
The 00 is looking really really good man. You're doing some excellent work to it. I can't wait to see what you do in terms of details.

Halzman
July 28, 2014, 9:15 AM
The 00 is looking really really good man. You're doing some excellent work to it. I can't wait to see what you do in terms of details.

I just hope I can do half as good a job as you did on banshee - serisously that shield detail is amazing and inspiring. I'm still making my way backwards on your wip thread, and many others.

------

Speaking of detailing - at Michaels I picked up another fine brush, with shorter bristles. I also picked up these picks that have a ball end to them - not sure what they are called but I think they are for sculpting? Anyways, I figured with the smooth ball end and the extremely small diameter of said ball, I might be able to use them for painting those tiny panels.

As a separate experiment, I took apart an old fine point sharpie, removed all the ink from it, and flushed the tip with alcohol. I'm not sure what kind of tip it has, but I wanted to see if I could repurpose the tip of the pen for my needs. In the end, I didn't get that tamiya weathering brush, its the same thing as a fine makeup brush and the brush is anything but fine lol

For the white panel lines, I ordered from amazon a fine grey gundam marker which I should have by Wednesday, along with an action stand and batteries for the led unit. The black lining I did on the head is standing out too much for me and looks off, so I'll give the grey a go and see what that will look like.

I was glad to see yesterday that my local Michaels has at least one decent shelf for model building supplies and what not. I picked up some testor plastic cement, for removing seam lines - they did have a nice selection of testors paint there as well. No gundam models though :(

thwalker13
July 28, 2014, 10:38 AM
You know, I wonder if one could take one of those pens, clean out all the ink from it, and the tip. Then fill it with some lining mixtures. And use the pen to line kits with? That, would be awesome.

And thanks, it takes a steady hand to paint details that are very small. But it can be done. Best thing to do is just experiment more and more to find your comfort zone and what works best for you.

Dlinker
July 28, 2014, 11:21 AM
That's one of the great things about sticking to original colors: You don't have to worry about touching up areas as much and minor chips/scratches are very hard to notice. Seeing that 00 makes me want to do original colors on a kit again.

It's a good thing you're experimenting. That's part of the fun and I believe it's what keeps the hobby going for anyone.

Halzman
July 30, 2014, 12:02 AM
You know, I wonder if one could take one of those pens, clean out all the ink from it, and the tip. Then fill it with some lining mixtures. And use the pen to line kits with? That, would be awesome.

And thanks, it takes a steady hand to paint details that are very small. But it can be done. Best thing to do is just experiment more and more to find your comfort zone and what works best for you.

I currently have one of those fine point sharpie markers ready for such an experiment, just haven't done it yet lol Stay tuned tomorrow, I'm gonna try to test that and some other tools, and then document the results.

One thing that stood out the most among the small sampling I saw was the missile details on the inside of banshee's shield - My brain exploded with joy to the level of awesomeness I had come across ;) How each segment was painted on its own with the black, red, and silver - just fantastic!


That's one of the great things about sticking to original colors: You don't have to worry about touching up areas as much and minor chips/scratches are very hard to notice. Seeing that 00 makes me want to do original colors on a kit again.

It's a good thing you're experimenting. That's part of the fun and I believe it's what keeps the hobby going for anyone.

haha I suppose, the sanding did help kind of blend everything in, but up close, the sand lines and plastic/paint color are very visible. The white parts are the only ones to get away with that a lot. I had trouble finding nubs that I had just smoothed out with an X-Acto knife, I grab my sandpaper and then all of a sudden its, "Hey, where was that nub at?" Although, there easy to spot once any bit of dust or dirt get on your fingers and you touch the part. Maybe I should start wearing gloves when I do this lol Ironically though, sanding gets rid of the dirt no problem.

I stuck to the original colors because I'm not creative enough to do otherwise lol I'm kind of a purest when it comes to replicating things. I like being given a strict set of parameters to follow so that I can challenge myself with 'How can I make it look/operate/etc the best using the tools that I have'. And your definitely right about experimenting - I could of had this kit done a week and a half ago in a day, but I wanted to go the extra mile for once, while at the same time not spend huge amounts of money on tools and equipment, so I use what I have or what was cheap - just trying to make do lol


-------------------

Wake up for me, 00. Here we have 0 Gundam, Exia, and me!

After 3 days of building, the 00 Gundam is finally done!

http://i59.tinypic.com/296mctl.jpg

http://i58.tinypic.com/2n9x021.jpg

http://i62.tinypic.com/2u7y7g0.jpg

http://i59.tinypic.com/ilj9lk.jpg

http://i62.tinypic.com/2mo5nv6.jpg

http://i60.tinypic.com/24zliqx.jpg

To be honest, I don't even feel the need to repaint this lol It looks fabulous to me as is - At the moment, I have it standing on my desk to the right of my keyboard, and the presence it gives off, holy crap. I can't wait to get this on an action stand, and then of coarse there's still the 0 Raiser. It looks like I still have a lot of parts on a lot of sprues, so that might have to wait till next week.

I need to focus the remainder of this week on dissassembly of the 00, looking at what exactly I need to repaint. I always planned to do a second coat, but while assembling, especially the legs and arms, I took notice to what was going to get ruined due to friction points, what wont be seen at all, etc With that in mind, it means I may not have to disassemble it like I had to for the 00 Quanta. Unfortunately, molding hair lines may be a problem, but from quick glance, it seems to be more of the internal parts, not any of the external armor pieces.

I should probably also look into building some sort of Gundam photo booth, so I don't have to use a batman cape... true story.

thwalker13
July 30, 2014, 7:34 AM
Your 00 is turning out great man. Much better than how mine turned out. It looks so, clean and crisp. You're doing some excellent work man.

Chaser90EK
July 30, 2014, 8:44 AM
Loving how clean this looks. All the details really pop even without panel lining

Dlinker
July 30, 2014, 11:11 AM
Amazing work on the smooth paint job. It reminds me of my Metal Build 00 right out of the box. I can see a couple of possible nub marks so I understand your need to repaint, but I think it's just those pieces and not the entire kit that will need it. Save yourself some work, haha.

I bet it will look even better once you're done with panel lining.

Shponglefan
July 30, 2014, 9:56 PM
After 3 days of building, the 00 Gundam is finally done!

http://i59.tinypic.com/296mctl.jpg.

That turned out really nice! Good contrast on the various parts and a very clean paint job overall.

Halzman
July 31, 2014, 2:12 AM
Your 00 is turning out great man. Much better than how mine turned out. It looks so, clean and crisp. You're doing some excellent work man.

Thanks man! I'm really digging the 'pure' look to it as well. I'm getting really nervous about the upcoming detail work though - from what I've seen, too much or too little is no good. I just hope I can find that balance so that I can maintain the pure look to it, but also bring it more to life.

Any chance you know what page in your 140+ thread I can see pics of that 00? lol I searched but kept coming up with Master Gundam.

- - - Updated - - -


Loving how clean this looks. All the details really pop even without panel lining

Thank you sir! I had done some lining with a fine black gundam marker on the head, but feel it's too dark - I'm looking forward to using the fine grey marker on all the white parts.

- - - Updated - - -


Amazing work on the smooth paint job. It reminds me of my Metal Build 00 right out of the box. I can see a couple of possible nub marks so I understand your need to repaint, but I think it's just those pieces and not the entire kit that will need it. Save yourself some work, haha.

I bet it will look even better once you're done with panel lining.

Thank you for informing me of a metal 00 Gundam - My bank account just laughed at me though, so there goes that lol.

Oh, but repainting it would be soo much more fun! Unfortunately, in person, you can see the toll the sanding took on the pieces, a lot of edges especially. Not to mention, after putting 00 on an action base, my inner kid came out and... well, gundam sounds were made lol The shoulders really took a beating during movement, along with the top front of the thigh armor. I can imagine that once the 0 Raiser is mounted, the side binders are going to wreak havoc on the GN Drive mounts. Once I take the armor off and look at the bare frame, I'll have a pretty good idea on just how much I need to do.

- - - Updated - - -


That turned out really nice! Good contrast on the various parts and a very clean paint job overall.

Thank you sir! Speaking on contrast, 6 of the grey sprues, which were the last I airbrushed, came out slightly lighter then the rest of the sprues. It's barely noticable, but I know its there, so I have to fix it lol I also wanna experiment which darkening up the blue just a little bit more.

Although it was a failed experiment to you, I loved the way the white came out on the GM leg, just above the ankle section of the armor - it's kind of inspired me to perhaps experiment with that. I never would of thought that on my own, so thank you!

- - - Updated - - -

So again, action base is totally worth the ten bucks lol

http://i61.tinypic.com/18iy60.jpg

Once that distracted me for long enough, I wanted to do two things; show the tools that I use, and do my detail brush experiment. I was also going to write up a long report on the whole thing - but I really need to get to bed lol

So the short version.

Tools - Self explanatory. In regard to the two paint bottled pictured - the one on the right , with the thin black layer on the bottom of the bottle, is my dark grey paint I used on all the grey runners. If I mix it, its goes back to the mixed color, but if it sits over time, the colors separate, and oddly white becomes the main color. Is it because of poor paint mixing/thinning? I picked up a liquitex brand medium, so I'll have to give that a try.

Experiment Results

Brush on A Side, Blue Section - works as advertised, I did have some stray bristles, but overall not bad. Might just have to shell out the cash for a good fine brush - Any recommendations?

Fine Tip Cotton Bud A Side, Black Section - Works pretty well for a few passes, but needs upkeep. Very good on inner panel edges.

Fine Point Sharpie Mod B Side, Blue Section - Kind of works but scratches the paint very easily - not recommended lol

Small Stylus B Side, Black Section - Out of all the improvised tools, it worked pretty well. Didn't seem to scratch the paint at all, unless hard pressure is applied. Because of the ball shape, not recommended to be used near inner edges/walls.

The brush (duh) and the small stylus both returned the best results, in regard to paint finish.

http://i59.tinypic.com/344r12f.jpg

http://i59.tinypic.com/343i0kl.jpg

http://i61.tinypic.com/juczk7.jpg

http://i58.tinypic.com/dn0ays.jpg

thwalker13
July 31, 2014, 8:18 AM
Very interesting results, finding alternate ways of doing things is always fun and exciting.

And you asked about my 00 Raiser, took me a bit, but I found it.

http://www.gundamforums.com/showthread.php/6760-ThWalker-s-Completed-Projects/page8

Dlinker
July 31, 2014, 11:04 AM
Sorry to hear about the paint damage. You'll run into that more times than you can count, even when using lacquer paint that dries super thin. But, it's a good thing you're taking it in stride.

Regarding brushes, here's something I saw recommended some months ago: http://www.amazon.com/Majestic-Langnickel-Handle-Detail-11-Piece/dp/B006VO5NRE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1382730923&sr=8-1&keywords=synthetic+detail+brush+set

It's a brush set, but with it contains some really useful detail brushes. I've used a couple and they do the job well. Might be worth a try.

Halzman
August 2, 2014, 5:08 AM
Very interesting results, finding alternate ways of doing things is always fun and exciting.

And you asked about my 00 Raiser, took me a bit, but I found it.

http://www.gundamforums.com/showthread.php/6760-ThWalker-s-Completed-Projects/page8

I was hoping the experiments would yield better results, but at least I know the limits of those tools, and how they could be used for limited applications.

I think the 00 Raiser came out pretty great! I did take notice that you went ahead and custom painted some of the panels, especially on the 0 Raiser. That's also a pretty good paint job on the action base. All that lettering though... lol

- - - Updated - - -


Sorry to hear about the paint damage. You'll run into that more times than you can count, even when using lacquer paint that dries super thin. But, it's a good thing you're taking it in stride.

Regarding brushes, here's something I saw recommended some months ago: http://www.amazon.com/Majestic-Langnickel-Handle-Detail-11-Piece/dp/B006VO5NRE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1382730923&sr=8-1&keywords=synthetic+detail+brush+set

It's a brush set, but with it contains some really useful detail brushes. I've used a couple and they do the job well. Might be worth a try.

At the least, now I know which parts are going to get a little messed up. After re looking at everything, its not so bad - in fact, I might be able to use those scratch marks for dry brushing, using silver or dark grey.

For the price, I'm willing to pick up this set; it also seems to have a really nice selection. Thanks for the recommendation!

- - - Updated - - -

Just a quick update - last night I finished up the 0 Raiser and most of the side binders - tonight I finished what was left and fully assembled the 00 Raiser!

http://i61.tinypic.com/23t061l.jpg

http://i61.tinypic.com/9scqs0.jpg

http://i57.tinypic.com/261hpop.jpg

Originally I was gonna start prepping for painting, but I just couldn't resist finishing the kit lol Thankfully the side binders didn't mess up the GN Drive mounts as much as I thought they would.

Shponglefan
August 2, 2014, 12:00 PM
Looking good! And that desktop wallpaper would make an awesome backdrop for some photos.

Dlinker
August 2, 2014, 1:10 PM
Are you still going to take it apart for re-painting or leaving it as is? It looks great.

Halzman
August 3, 2014, 7:03 AM
Looking good! And that desktop wallpaper would make an awesome backdrop for some photos.

Thank you kind sir!

If you want, I can post or link my background, so others can use? Its a large resolution though - 5760 x 1080

I have a green screen somewhere around here, and with that, I'd like to experiment with some photo keying and make up some good shots

- - - Updated - - -


Are you still going to take it apart for re-painting or leaving it as is? It looks great.

Yup, thats why I'm up at a relatively early time today lol I'll take off all the outer armor to start with and have a look at the frame, see how much thats gotta come apart for retouching, and take it from there.

I do still have 2 things to build - the GN Sword III and the GN Shield - so I might just do that real fast and then start the paint prep

- - - Updated - - -

With all the weapons and accessories completed (ironically in the same order of the show), phase 01 of the build is complete.

5 days for painting all the runners with one coat of paint and one coat of a matte clear coat, 4 days to complete 00 Gundam w/ GN Sword II, and 3 days for 0-Raiser w/ GN Sword III and GN Shield. At 12 days, I averaged about 3 hours per day, making for a 36 hour project time.

http://i59.tinypic.com/34plus6.jpg

http://i59.tinypic.com/mtxf5v.jpg

http://i57.tinypic.com/3531o3r.jpg

http://i61.tinypic.com/35cicnp.jpg

http://i61.tinypic.com/jz6zh1.jpg

http://i61.tinypic.com/t8pxuf.jpg

Phase 02

Thankfully, the inner frame doesn't look too bad. It's still going to get a second coat of paint, but it looks like I don't have to really disassemble any internal components, like the arm or knee joints. I'm probably going to spend a few days going over each section of the inner frame (head, torso, waist, legs, arms, twin drive, 0-raiser, side binders, gn swords/shield) and just do some more sanding and deal with any seems I want to eliminate, as well as plan out the painting and future detailing on visible/exposed sections. Once that's done, I'll move on to all the external armor pieces.

Originally I was gonna do the second coat of paint this weekend, but logic prevailed over emotions in the end lol It was really hard to take this apart, and not physically (well in 3 instances it was), but just... I want to be finished already lol. On the upside I get a week to do 2 more things - get the brush set Dlinker recommended, and practice using the new matte fluid medium I picked up last week. I used it to mix the paint for my alternative brush experiments and it worked out pretty good but I should test it in the airbrush before I go all in.

Unfortunately, while taking it apart, I had 3 mishaps - 1 lost piece, and 2 broken pieces. The lost piece is one of the thrusters from the backpack unit (i'll eventually find it?) and the broken pieces are 1 thruster unit holder piece, and 1 pointy edge inner frame piece from the tail of the 0-Raiser. I still have the broken pieces and I can probably put them back together no problem, and as for the thruster - since I plan to display this in 00 Raiser mode, the 0-Raiser itself covers up that section, so not too terrible.

thwalker13
August 3, 2014, 5:12 PM
That is pretty cool to see the entire inner frame put together like that. Sorry to hear that you had a few mishaps. Hopefully you'll be able to find the part that you lost. But the kit itself is looking really good man. I can't wait to see your detailing.

Dlinker
August 3, 2014, 6:04 PM
Hearing about those issues reminds me how risky any sort of disassembly is. I have to applaud your patience on this project. For my first few paint jobs, I remember letting my impatience get the better of me, resulting in some hard lessons learned.

Halzman
August 4, 2014, 2:26 AM
That is pretty cool to see the entire inner frame put together like that. Sorry to hear that you had a few mishaps. Hopefully you'll be able to find the part that you lost. But the kit itself is looking really good man. I can't wait to see your detailing.

I was almost compelled to put the inner frame back together like that lol So so very sexy... like something only a Celestial Being engineer would see.

I may look into getting the 3 replacement parts, but for now, I'm just gonna work with what I've got. Judging from history, I will find the part in 3 years when I'm looking for some other obscure small part lol

And thank you once again kind sir! The detailing may come sooner then I thought...

- - - Updated - - -


Hearing about those issues reminds me how risky any sort of disassembly is. I have to applaud your patience on this project. For my first few paint jobs, I remember letting my impatience get the better of me, resulting in some hard lessons learned.

Haha, yea lesson learned. Although, I didn't have to much of a problem with 00 Quanta. Usually I take my time and feel how the part is moving, while looking at the manual to see the contact points. But I've never taken apart a painted kit. The twin drive in general was giving me problems the whole time, so I put it to the side and moved on to another section. At some point, I realized I needed to use more force then I usually do, and I got cocky with that and paid for it.

It has been tough trying to keep to a set schedule - I started this figuring a kit would take me 4-6 weeks to finish, that was my goal at least. Or rather, that is my threshold of patience lol Often, I have the attention span of a goldfish and jump from different projects and what not.

- - - Updated - - -

Ok, so today I kind of blasted through with the clean-ups, or as much as I cared to do, and managed to get a light coat of paint on all the internal parts. I was hoping that I could get a second light coat and fully blend and cover up that scratches and what not from the first coat, but it's late.

I did have some pretty good success using the liquitex matte medium today. To test it, I grabbed a zaku frame and airbrushed away. The paint coat was comparable to my first airbrush paint mixture, but the strength was far better. The first was easily scratched and peeled, but this one seems to hold up much better. It is somewhat thick and took me most of the day to figure out how to thin it right. It's still more of magic then science to me, but I'll figure it out. The paint coat tonight came out mostly okay, but I did notice a lot of sputtering from the airbrush, and some of that did transfer on to the pieces.

http://i58.tinypic.com/dqggeu.jpg

http://i57.tinypic.com/281930l.jpg

http://i61.tinypic.com/2w7obv4.jpg

thwalker13
August 4, 2014, 8:07 AM
Parts are looking really good to me. The paint is looking good as well, in the last pic it kinda resembles metallic grey.

Halzman
August 4, 2014, 9:25 AM
Parts are looking really good to me. The paint is looking good as well, in the last pic it kinda resembles metallic grey.

I gave the parts a quick look over this morning, and everything seemed ok - at least the color came out right lol I may have to do some sputtering cleanup on the parts tonight, but i should be good to go for another coat regardless.

The color really seems to shine through, especially when you hit it with a lot of light, it'll get a bit darker once the clear top coat goes on. I'm counting on edge highlighting with silver paint for the metallic look lol

Dlinker
August 4, 2014, 11:10 AM
Silver edge-highlighting? That sounds very intriguing. I don't think I've ever seen anyone do that on an inner frame, except maybe from those who weather it.

thwalker13
August 4, 2014, 11:33 AM
That will be interesting to see.

Halzman
August 5, 2014, 12:38 AM
I ended up going balls to the wall when I got home and finished up the second coat of paint for the inner frame parts. With that out of the way I had time to experiment!

http://i57.tinypic.com/n3sx3s.jpg

http://i57.tinypic.com/30sj47t.jpg

Yesterday, when I was testing out the new paint medium, I airbrushed the backpack section of a zaku, so I had a perfect testbed for edge highlighting. I basically just used a dry brushing technique and hit edges (and some surfaces) until it looked right lol I did get carried away with it here and there, but overall I'm satisfied with the results. It was amazing to see how quickly light reacted to the silver paint.

I dont intend to do the entire inner frame, just the sections that are somewhat and directly exposed. Depending on how it looks once reassembled (the entire 00 Raiser kit) I may extend this technique to the outer armor as well, just not as aggressively.

Shponglefan
August 5, 2014, 1:37 AM
Nice work on the backpack, the highlighting gives it the right amount of pop. Looking forward to seeing how it looks on the inner frame!

thwalker13
August 5, 2014, 7:39 AM
I really like that, if you do that with the inner frame of the 00 it'll look awesome.

Dlinker
August 5, 2014, 11:27 AM
Looks fine to me, not overdone at all. It looks best on the edges more than the flat areas.

Halzman
August 6, 2014, 12:22 AM
Shponglefan, thwalker13, and Dlinker - Thank you kindly guys!

Tonight, the parts got there treatment of a matte clear coat. I'll probably do another spray before I go to bed tonight.

And the anticipation of putting the frame back together and then breaking out my brush with silver paint is freakin killing me!!!! If I had to describe gunpla right now I'd say "99% of waiting, 1% of work" lol.

I had started off on just the edges, but something didn't feel right about it, so I started doing some work on the flat surfaces. I do admit that the edges look better, or at least fit in more with the technique, then the flat surfaces. But that's not to say that I would go back and just do the edges. The small, and not so small lol, bits on the surfaces were kind of almost necessary, like a reminder to the viewer that those areas were also bare metal underneath.

Perhaps if just for the surfaces, I use the same silver, but add either a pin drop of black or grey. Or maybe just use a straight black and dry brush on the surfaces?

...::: Goes and does experiments :::...

* on a side note, I just realized I have a color Ivory Black, that is basically the same shade of dark grey I mixed for all the grey runners/parts. I wish I knew that beforehand lol

Both sides had a basic silver edge-only highlighting. The left side, I mixed the silver with a touch of black, and the right side I used just black. On second look at the silver, I dont think mixing it with gray will make much of a difference.

http://i57.tinypic.com/1eqmmr.jpg

http://i60.tinypic.com/1054jcx.jpg

I like the way the black came out better then the silver-black mix, which had a very gun metal look to it. The only problem is that unless you're extremely careful with the brush, which I was not, you can very easily cover up the edges that were done. And then theres the brush strokes, but I'll judge that again tomorrow, after a day or proper drying. I also did find it very difficult to tell if I was even doing anything at all.

I'll just play it safe for now and just do to the edges for the inner frame lol

Dlinker
August 6, 2014, 11:15 AM
The area on the right looks good on the second pic, almost like artificial lighting effects. That's the impression I'm getting, especially when the left side of it is completely dark.

Halzman
August 7, 2014, 1:57 AM
The area on the right looks good on the second pic, almost like artificial lighting effects. That's the impression I'm getting, especially when the left side of it is completely dark.

Yea, the silver and black mixture just brightened up everything. In person, the effect was even greater. I really need to figure out a way to photograph these types of things better lol

I went ahead a started working on the inner frame, but only managed to complete the torso, shoulders, arms, and twin drive. I tried my best to get the camera to show as much detail as possible.

http://i59.tinypic.com/2r76b9u.jpg

http://i61.tinypic.com/2m7w9ap.jpg

http://i57.tinypic.com/2n63o0.jpg

thwalker13
August 7, 2014, 8:13 AM
The frame is looking really good man.

Halzman
August 7, 2014, 9:30 AM
The frame is looking really good man.

Thanks! This morning it looked a little dull to me, like the highlights were still there, just not intense. I kinda feel like doing another pass on them, but I'm not sure how that would work.

thwalker13
August 7, 2014, 9:48 AM
Some times paint can darken up as it cures, especially if it's a light shade over a darker shade.

Dlinker
August 7, 2014, 11:28 AM
The amount looks just right on the left binder mounting piece. Everywhere else, it looks like a mixture of paint and light.

Halzman
August 9, 2014, 3:10 PM
Some times paint can darken up as it cures, especially if it's a light shade over a darker shade.

I will have to keep that in mind the next time lol I found that the silver on the dark grey paint looked almost like the original grey color from the unpainted sprues - drove me nuts while drybrushing.

- - - Updated - - -


The amount looks just right on the left binder mounting piece. Everywhere else, it looks like a mixture of paint and light.

haha I totally see what you mean about paint and light, although I'm not sure if you meant that to be a good or bad thing. I kind of like the look though, and I'm curious to see how the exterior armor reacts with the inner frame.

I did do a major mistake with drybrushing. At first I started off with some paint left on the brush, very lightly touching the edges. Half way through the process, I remembered/rediscovered that the correct method is to have almost no paint on the brush, going very harshly over the edges. Doh!

I finished this up last night, but fell asleep at my desk while attempting to write a reply lol I was curious to see how the green led unit would react with the inner frame - it looks even cooler in person.

http://i61.tinypic.com/2luux4o.jpg

http://i59.tinypic.com/288bi39.jpg

http://i57.tinypic.com/20glmzc.jpg

http://i60.tinypic.com/a2yzh3.jpg

Sorry for the blurry images. In order to keep the grain look of the image low and have the details show, I had to keep the ISO/exposure low and drop the shutter speed really low. Because the shutter was opened for a longer time, any slight movement gets transferred as blur.

With this out of the way I can now focus on repainting all the exterior armor pieces!

-----------

Speaking of leds - I wanted to get the 5 led units, but at $20 a pop + batteries, that's a MG kit right there. I have some electrical training so I figured I would do a little gundam led project - I spent Thursday coming up with a general plan.

I plan to use a 9V battery, powering up 6 green leds. 5 of those will be in the standard led unit placement on the kit, but I also want to add a custom one for the 0-Raiser. The area that bends when it connects to the back of the twin drive emits gn particles on the show, so I would also like that for my kit.

From there, I wanna try a trans-ams effect using leds as well. Since I've been meaning to play around with a Raspberry Pi, and in order to truly replicate the trans-am effect, I will need different groups of leds to do different things at different times - and this technique can also be translated to the gn drives as well.

At the moment I'm still trying out different leds, comparing voltage/current needs relative to brightness. I'm also trying to figure out a way to cut out 6 individual channels for the wires. The 00-Raiser will probably stay on the display stand, so I could run the wires along the main support beam, and put the batteries and what not underneath.

Shponglefan
August 9, 2014, 9:06 PM
That green LED effect looks pretty bad-ass. Can't wait to see how this looks all wired up!

Halzman
August 13, 2014, 2:39 AM
Just wanted to pop in a give a quick update on progress.

As far as painting goes, that has been temporarily put on hold. I'm kind of failing at airbrushing right now lol But that's ok because you dont know what you dont know, and failing always helps you identify what you need to know! Since I've had a few days to sit back and relax and reflect on what I've been doing, and look at what I want to accomplish, I've learned a few things.

As a beginner, I learned that there is way more to airbrushing then just getting the equipment, thinning some paint, and airbrush away! Airbrushing is simple in theory - in fact the physical act of airbrushing is probably the easiest thing to do (except for shading... that's an art). If you can operate a spray can correctly, you can airbrush. But actually, airbrushing is quite an elegant exact science - and it is not to be taken lightly lol I believe that because of the entry level nature of the paint I use the pigment is too thick to begin with for any amount of thinning - I would need to sacrifice the integrity of the paint binder and all adhesive qualities. In addition, the .3mm nozzle size I'm currently using may be too small for that pigment size, or my compressor cant deliver the necessary pressure for the pigment size.

In order to refine this science, I've ordered a few things for experimentation. I'm going to try using an airbrush medium (liquitex brand) with the paint I'm currently using - I don't want to put that horse to rest just yet lol. I've also got a replacement .3mm nozzle, along with a .5mm nozzle, on the way. If all that fails, Shponglefan has made an excellent recommendation of Vallejo Model Air Paint. Worse case though, I'm gonna have to buy a legit compressor sooner rather then later. I should at least get the airbrush medium tomorrow so I may have a chance to resume painting again. I'm not sure exactly when the new nozzles will come in, but I should have those by the end of the week.

As for the gundam and my goals with it. After staring at the bare frame for several days I started to feel that it was starting to stray from where I wanted it to be, or what I had envisioned in my mind. It looked like it was going to a lighter shade of gray - I think this is because I was doing dry brushing wrong - light strokes with a little paint, instead of almost no paint with harsh strokes. I decided to be brave tonight and correctly drybrush the entire frame with a 10:1 black to silver mix. At the moment it looks like the darker shade of grey I started off with, plus a slight shine on some edges from the original highlighting, but I'll wait until tomorrow to see how it dries. I'm starting to think the frame should just be slightly darker but not pure black - paint mixing experiments tomorrow!

Dlinker
August 13, 2014, 12:02 PM
Good to see your difficulties so far aren't dissuading you from continuing in this hobby. I went through a similar phase when I first started airbrushed. Back then, I was using Vallejo Model Color thinned with Windex with an airbrush fitted with a .2mm needle. I thought I was okay because I was able to paint three HG kits just fine, but I was proven wrong when trying to pre-shade and doing more precise paint application. For me, airbrushing became so much easier once I moved to Tamiya acrylics. It will be interesting to see how your experiments go and how Vallejo Model Air compares to your current methods.

Halzman
August 14, 2014, 2:33 AM
Dlinker - haha I came close a few times, but I've already done the initial investment, so I might as well go as far as I can go. And I totally understand what you mean - I foolishly thought to myself, I pulled off painting all the runners, why would individual parts/sections be any different? As long as I'm able to find solutions, and it doesn't break the bank, I'm good to go.

I probably wont get the Vallejo paint until next week, but I did receive the liquitex airbrush medium today and gave it a go around. I also received a photo booth (inspired by Shponglefan, but not as good lol) so I decided to take a couple shots of the frame, since its last dry brush session yesterday.

http://i57.tinypic.com/5nsk6x.jpg

http://i58.tinypic.com/5kkld2.jpg

http://i57.tinypic.com/2rhn50j.jpg

http://i60.tinypic.com/2dsocip.jpg

http://i60.tinypic.com/1zlatuh.jpg

http://i58.tinypic.com/swpqp3.jpg

http://i59.tinypic.com/o56s6b.jpg

By itself, the airbrush medium performs flawlessly through my airbrush. I then decided to mix up two batches of paint - first with the paint mixed into the medium, and the other with the medium mixed into the paint. The first batch came out as a dark pink at best. Adding the medium to the paint was the way to go, but i'd say your pretty close to a 1:1 ratio to maintain a pure color. Both mixtures did maintain a milk consistency so I was happy about that.

For all the tests above, I used the second batch of paint and cleaned the airbrush nozzle/needle area after each session. The first picture was just to test the overall capabilities I had with this paint mixture. The second shows my attempt at drawing defined objects with the nozzle cap on, and the last without the nozzle cap. After each session I did have to clean more and more, and thin the paint some more on occasion, but never to the point I've had to thus far, which was a huge relief! The overall process isn't as fluid as I want it to be, but it's manageable enough that I can resume painting, or at least I foolishly think so lol. Judgeing from my results I'm even more curious to see what a .5mm needle will do - It may just be the final fix needed. I do still intend to try out the Vallejo paint, and if it turns out to be even easier to work with, I'm in.

Note - the two large blobs of paint on the last picture is from me waving the airbrush around like an idiot, not because of the nozzle clogging.

I'm also definitely gonna go with drybrushing another black/silver mix to try and get the frame just a tad darker, then I can re-highlight.

thwalker13
August 14, 2014, 9:15 AM
Really nice looking tests man. Seems like you're getting the hang of the airbrush pretty quickly.

Dlinker
August 14, 2014, 11:24 AM
Getting those results while not having to clean up as much as before definitely seems like you're in the right direction, at least for something like base-coating parts of any size.

Don't neglect to clean out your AB nozzle once you're ready to paint again for real. It goes a long way towards easing your experience.

Halzman
August 15, 2014, 12:33 AM
thwalker13and Dlinker - Despite my paint flow problems, I was always able to manage with the runners because the airbrush eventually reached a point that I could count on consistent paint flow at a relative distance, regardless of how terrible it actually was lol. I'm going to re-look at my cleaning methods and make sure that my cleanup during and after paint sessions is actually as good as it should be. Although, I have a slight problem I need to take care of first.

http://i60.tinypic.com/25tes02.jpg

So I received my new nozzles and needles today, but when trying to remove the nozzle, I accidental turned the wrench in the wrong direction and broke the nozzle clean off. I took my pin vise and slowly tried to remove as much of the male thread as possible, starting with a .040" bit and moving up to a .048" bit. At that point I figured to go any higher would destroy any remaining female threads on the airbrush, so I said the hell with it and got the .5mm nozzle installed. I knew I had a major problem when water had difficultly passing through, but tried paint anyway. After 15 min with that, I took the nozzle off again and basically reamed the hole with my old .3mm needle, which actually did manage to remove all the male threads of the nozzle. Airflow improved, but was still jacked up. Ughh.... so I'm in the market for a new airbrush now lol I'm gonna do some research this weekend and hopefully get something on order for next week, along with the Vallejo model air paint. Despite the odds being stacked against me on this test, I still feel the paint pigment is too big.

If i really want to get creative, I could always try to convert the airbrush to an even bigger nozzle lol I'll just have to buy the appropriate tap, nozzle, and needle. Then again, I get frustrated enough when I have to deal with 2-56 taps and screws. And I might have to modify that needle chuck assembly.

Since my airbrush testing came to a halt, I figured let me do some led work.

http://i58.tinypic.com/9fmkw3.jpg

Apparently the manufacturer of the 3mm led I bought does not see green as bandai does lol I'll have to scour the interwebs for info on what led they do use, or it's equivalent. BUt the circuit is the basic building block for everything else. I'll work on the 5-6 leds I want to put on the 00 Raiser, and then focus on the trans-am effect.

For anyone that's interested in doing leds and has any questions, let me know! More then happy to help out :)

Squee
August 15, 2014, 1:06 AM
If you don't find the led color you're looking for, you can always spray some thin coats of clear color you want to darken it. Also, its nice to see someone plan out the led work! Lots of people just wing it.

Halzman
August 17, 2014, 2:57 AM
If you don't find the led color you're looking for, you can always spray some thin coats of clear color you want to darken it. Also, its nice to see someone plan out the led work! Lots of people just wing it.

That's not a bad idea! I'll definitely give that a try - I have been meaning to try out clear paints for effect parts and whatnot. Someone at work had mentioned using clear cellophane but I think a clear paint would work out better lol

- - - Updated - - -

I ended up spending most of the day working on the inner frame. Since restoring the color, and making it a tad darker, I wanted to give the dry brushing and edge highlighting another go around.

Painting plastic into metal - pure alchemy lol

http://i62.tinypic.com/29vdoog.jpg

http://i60.tinypic.com/b6opd4.jpg

http://i58.tinypic.com/152ma2g.jpg

http://i59.tinypic.com/21b290x.jpg

http://i58.tinypic.com/2wmi2ag.jpg

http://i57.tinypic.com/23wv22v.jpg

http://i61.tinypic.com/33cvx9i.jpg

http://i61.tinypic.com/zj7xcg.jpg

http://i57.tinypic.com/124ah50.jpg

I more of less followed this tutorial I found on youtube - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDs3WffVOZI - My mistake the first time was not layering the colors enough, so there wasn't enough contrast to bring out all the details.

Starting with a large brush, I drybrushed the entire frame with a dark black/silver mix. Using a large brush again, i went over the frame with a lighter black/silver mix for the second layer. For the third layer, I used a small brush to hit only the edges with a silver/gray mix, with a drop of black. And finally, I mixed silver and white, with a drop of gray for the fine edge highlighting. In terms of shades, I went from - black, dark gray, light gray, white. I may go back tomorrow and do the fine edge highlighting again and possible a very subtle black dry brush over the entire frame.

In airbrush news, I actually managed to resurrect my airbrush friday night. I took the whole thing apart, cleaned/fixed up the nozzle assembly and did some sanding/shaping on the needle. Before I had problems getting water through it, now its not a problem. I did also have great results with the airbrush medium, but I didn't want to push my luck just yet with paint mixed in lol.

redslash
August 17, 2014, 4:19 AM
that looks very nice, never really thought of drybrushing a gundam. might want to give that a try once.

Squee
August 17, 2014, 5:43 AM
Awesome looking frame! I've been seeing this more often recently,especially with handpaintes, and you pulled it off pretty great!

Shponglefan
August 17, 2014, 9:54 AM
That looks awesome! Though I shudder think of how long it took to do with all those layers and edges. But the result was worth it!

Dlinker
August 17, 2014, 2:11 PM
Yeah, the frame is looking much, much better now. Very curious to see it with all of the armor put on.

thwalker13
August 17, 2014, 6:12 PM
Extremely nice job on the frame man. It looks great!

Halzman
August 18, 2014, 9:40 AM
Thank you all for the comments!

I did end up going back over the frame with a black drybrush, just to redarken the frame a bit. The black mixed with the white/silver edges brought out this real nice metallic shade that made it pop a bit more. I think I'm officially done with the frame though - tonight I'll do a few matte clear coats to seal it all up!

Shponglefan - I think I spent about 12 hours working on this, taking breaks after each layer. I actually had a pretty efficient assembly line going on my desk lol

Dlinker - You just had to tickle that bug lol I did a prop up of some of the torso armor to see how its looks... I don't think I can have the 'brand new off the production line' look that I was going for anymore. After all those pieces get another coat of paint, I'm gonna have to sit down and figure out how to make the pieces fit in with the frame - probably do that this weekend.

Stay tuned tonight for some airbrushing news!

Shponglefan
August 18, 2014, 11:51 AM
Shponglefan - I think I spent about 12 hours working on this, taking breaks after each layer. I actually had a pretty efficient assembly line going on my desk lol

:o Wow, I admire your patience! And it makes me appreciate the end result all the more.

Halzman
August 18, 2014, 2:43 PM
:o Wow, I admire your patience! And it makes me appreciate the end result all the more.

Thank you sir! If I remember correctly, you also had a similar experience when you were doing the visor for the GM, which came out fantastic! I'm really starting to understand how layering is the way to go for ultra realistic details - Unfortunately, there are no shortcuts to be had lol

Halzman
April 6, 2016, 1:24 AM
Sheesh, I can't believe its been 2 years since I've posted!!!! :oops:

Unfortunately, life has a way of getting in the way sometimes, but thankfully I now have the focus and time to continue.

So last I remember, I finished the inner frame to a MG 00 Raiser, got my airbrush to barely work again, started painting the armor pieces, and the airbrush dies (not willing to fix it again). Fast forward to today, and I've made some improvements and upgrades.

A few weeks back, after a lot of research and thinking, I bit the bullet and bought a Master Airbrush TC-20T airbrush compressor w/ 3L tank, along with a new airbrush from the same brand. I also invested some money into getting real airbrush paint, settling on Vallejo Model Air. The setup works fairly well and did a nice job of painting a F-35A and SR-71 model kit - not gundam, but I preferred to test the setup with $20 model kits. Aside from a harsh awakening on what 'properly cleaning an airbrush' means, I shouldn't have anymore painting issues, but i do want to get a better airbrush soon. It was educational building the aircraft models though, as I got to see how those model builders approach it, as opposed to how its done with gunpla.

The most logical thing to do would be to get right back at the 00 Raiser... except that I've built 13 other master grades since then, and they all want to be painted lol I do want to go back to the inner frame and fix some detail/contrast issues I'm having with it - the 'benefit' of looking at an unfinished model collect dust for two years. Rather then tackle that, or any of the other MG kits I have, I decided to go with the HGM 1/550 Dendrobium Orchis. I was about the start off with the RGM-79G, but $16 for the Orchis model kinda sold me on it (and binge watching stardust memory... that ending though :confused:).

http://i68.tinypic.com/mwwal5.jpg

http://i63.tinypic.com/8we51t.jpg

From Left to Right: Wing Proto Zero, Gundam Epyon, HG Reborn Gundam, Exia, 00 Raiser, 00 Quanta, Nu Gundam ver Ka, Jesta, RX-78-2 v3.0, RX-0 Unicorn, RX-0 Banshee, Sinanju ver Ka
Not Shown: Gouf Custom, RGM-79G, Tallgeese II (not built yet)

So tonight I assembled and glued all the major groups together, along with nub and seam removal. Tomorrow I should be good to go with some primer, and i'll take this kit from there.

Darzer
April 6, 2016, 2:25 AM
Very nice paint job.

Halzman
April 10, 2016, 11:51 PM
So over the last few days, I've been slowly getting everything together for the dendrobium.

I primed all the major pieces with vallejo surface primer grey and then painted a 95/5 ratio of vallejo model air white and grey. In hindsight, I should of done a black primer for the parts. All the internal or 'metal' parts were primed with surface primer gloss black and then painted with metal color white aluminium.

I started painting the 'metal' parts of the container and i-field with a 80/20 ratio of vallejo model air gun metal and black. I foolishly did this before puting a varnish layer on the base color. I'll have to go back and touch up some areas, especially on the i-field. Then again, I'm still not sure if I want to keep it clean looking, or do some washes and weathering.

http://i66.tinypic.com/2429bo7.jpg

http://i66.tinypic.com/2lstv8h.jpg

http://i63.tinypic.com/19qjyw.jpg

http://i68.tinypic.com/29blfs4.jpg

http://i68.tinypic.com/3129udw.jpg

http://i64.tinypic.com/15we4co.jpg

I'm probably gonna procrastinate now and catch of on some tv shows, etc. But while I let the parts dry, I want to sit and think about whether I should paint all the white parts a dark grey (same as the front of the containers are painted) and work it back to white. There's enough separation on the panels where I could do a combination of white and ever so slightly different shades of grey - which is what I would like to do.

I also still have a few more pieces to cut off from the runners and get sanded, primed and painted - the container doors, the pose-able claw arms, and the display stand.

- - - Updated - - -

Just a small update - I went back and repainted all the armor pieces black and I did some hand painting for all the 'metal' sections of some of the pieces. I also cut, sanded, and primed the remaining pieces that I had left.

http://i65.tinypic.com/aea2j5.jpg

http://i68.tinypic.com/idenav.jpg

http://i64.tinypic.com/1sy0dv.jpg

http://i63.tinypic.com/346kd1y.jpg

http://i64.tinypic.com/dfaz9x.jpg

http://i65.tinypic.com/2qu7yme.jpg



With the base coat black, any sections I wanted to appear metal I put down a layer of vallejo model air gun metal & black (4:1 ratio). Following this, I put down a light layer of gun metal on its own (somewhere in between drybrush and wetbrush). To finish it off, I used model air steel on select sections. I'm really happy with the way it came out, especially on the containers - I do want there to be more separation between each pod door, but the final black wash should take care of that.

I'm also really glad that I finally have a proper understanding on the use and care of an airbrush lol It was really refreshing to finally be able to do 4 hours of painting, jumping from primers to paints and back, with a quick cleaning in between sessions. I still think that the tolerances on my $30 airbrush is a huge part of the problem - but until I get a better airbrush, I can make it work. As long as I don't fill up the paint cup too much and clean the nozzle and needle after every cup, I don't have to do a full airbrush disassembly and cleaning procedure. Just flush remaining paint with windex, then clean remaining paint from cup and flush again with water, clean needle and nozzle, flush with airbrush cleaner and water, and I'm good to go. Sounds like a lot but I takes only a few minutes.

Unfortunately it's too late to fire up the airbrush without pissing off my roommates, so tomorrow I plan to put a varnish layer on all the metal and black parts - the parts I primed today (container doors, claw arms) will get a coat of black, and the same metal treatment I did tonight on select sections. I'm shooting for everything to have a varnish layer by tuesday night, so I can spend the rest of the week focusing on the main painting (which I'm still not sure how I want to go about it).

Darzer
April 11, 2016, 5:43 AM
Looking good, can't wait too see it completed.

Halzman
April 11, 2016, 12:34 PM
Thanks Darzer! I'm hoping to have it all done by the end of the week.... Anxiously awaiting lol

Zaku
April 11, 2016, 2:25 PM
Wow you do very nice work.

Halzman
April 13, 2016, 12:40 AM
Thank you kindly Zaku! I'm still a screaming amateur at all this, but I'm doing my best to fake it until I make it. The real test is what happens from here lol

Btw, your wip thread is a gold mine of information on scratch building, which is something I'd like to get into.

- - - Updated - - -

In keeping with my schedule, I finished coating all the parts in varnish (vallejo gloss varnish / vallejo metal varnish). I'm pretty happy with the way everything came out and I could start painting tomorrow - I'm a bit apprehensive since essentially I'm going to try and shade between dark grey - grey - light grey - and white for highlights, and I've never done that before. I do still have to mask all the 'metal' sections I painted, but at the very least I'll take the center support piece (the section where the gundam docks/containers join) and give that a go before plunging in.

Aside from varnishing tonight, I also spent some time working on a single thruster, to get a basic plan of action for the remaining metal parts.

http://i68.tinypic.com/10z8sd5.jpg

http://i64.tinypic.com/2j3qpw4.jpg

All paints used are vallejo model air, with no thinning. I applied the paint to the thruster in the following order:

black + gun metal - drybush- thruster interior spokes
scarlet red - drybrush - layering - thruster interior wall
gunmetal - drybrush - thruster exterior wall
black + gunmetal - drybrush - thruster exterior wall
black + grey - drybrush - thruster exterior wall
black - brush paint - thruster center
black - drybrush - interior wall

I then cleaned off some sections carefully with a cotton bud dipped in alcohol (dabbing the cotton bud in a paper towel to remove excess alcohol). I was super thrilled when the varnish layer did its job and protected the white aluminium base during the cleanup process (I messed this up before, which is why everything was repainted black). All in all, I'm really happy with the way it came out. I will probably thin the paint next time, which should leave me with an even smoother look, although I may have to spend extra time layering the color. Speaking of which, I was pleased that when I started applying the red to the interior, the first layer was pretty translucent and left a nice metallic red shine - not applicable to this build, but the sinanju and banshee came to mind. In the end, the part retained a certain level of metallic shine from the base that I think gives it a nice, realistic-ish look.

Darzer
April 13, 2016, 1:04 AM
Looks good. Having seen exhaust from aircraft up close the paint came out well giving it a worn look along the inner walls. A suggestion for the exhaust, just lightly around the exhaust ports, darken JUST slightly around the whole to give it a full boost burn look and then fade. But, I do say to test it first before applying and see if it would fit.

rockpopandchips
April 13, 2016, 4:44 PM
Nice work man but what i want to see is how your going to go about painting the 1/550 gundam you get in these kits. They are very small.

Halzman
April 13, 2016, 6:54 PM
Darzer - Once everything is painted and the entire kit was assembled, I was going to go over everything with a black wash to do exactly what you suggested. I'm afraid that if I do that before, I might have different sections that looked inconsistent with the others when put together.

Wanted your opinion on an F-35A engine I did a few months back - it was the first thing I've painted in 2 years and I tried my best the get the look right, but more importantly, it served as the foundation for my weathering techniques.

http://i64.tinypic.com/295ybmx.jpg

http://i64.tinypic.com/s46i35.jpg


rockpopandchips - To be honest, I haven't even removed those parts from the plate. I'm kind of on the fence as to whether its even worth to do, mainly because of the lack of detail. Eventually I'm going to get the gp01, gp02, and gp03 master grades, and have the 1/550 dendrobium orchis on display next to them.

I'm not opposed to painting both the gp03 and agx-04 figures, just not looking at is as a priority. A few months back when I did a few aircraft model kits (1/72) I had a really great time doing the cockpit details (more exciting then painting a fuselage). At the time, I wanted to get some experience painting fine detail, for when it came time to do the master grade pilot figures and other small odds and ends.

http://i63.tinypic.com/1jnm8w.jpg

http://i68.tinypic.com/ibj4ub.jpg

Darzer
April 13, 2016, 7:10 PM
If you can, PM a few more up close shots of the engine from every angle and the cockpit and I'll offer whatever advice I can to help. :)

Halzman
April 13, 2016, 8:08 PM
Unfortunately, that's all I got ...crappy phone camera pics no less lol. That engine is long ago sealed in the fuselage, as is the cockpit. I appreciate the offer though!

You've got me wondering if anyone sells aftermarket engine models in that scale or similar. I've seen the 1/6 scale engines on amazon from revell and haynes, but never smaller then that. I do remember from some videos, modelers adding parts and kits to make the engine more spiffy but never caught on from where (B-52 fortress engines come to mind).

Darzer
April 13, 2016, 8:21 PM
I looked and found this one

https://www.scalehobbyist.com/catagories/Objects/junkers-jumo-004b1-jet-engine/AHM00004140/product.php?kw=jet,engine

Found this site over in the UK

https://www.hannants.co.uk/search/?search_direction=asc&product_type_id=2570

Then this one

http://www.aviationmegastore.com/cat/aircraft-engines-226.html

Hope those help.

Halzman
April 13, 2016, 8:53 PM
There is sooo much cool stuff on all those websites lol thanks dude!

the engine from scalehobbyist has got my attention, a long with some photo-etch parts... definitely interested in getting a few things from there.

Darzer
April 13, 2016, 9:01 PM
Well, if you plan to build another and want some detail help let me know, I'll add my 2 cents of suggestions.

Halzman
April 18, 2016, 1:00 AM
Just a small update - I've kinda been burned out these past few days, so I still have the masking to finish up on the dendrobium pieces. I've never done this type of masking before, and I gotta say, it sure does test your internal resolve lol I'm just glad I decided to mask this way, instead of how I was going to originally do it - that would of truly been a pain in the ass!

I've also been a little apprehensive about painting the main coat so I got some plastic spoons and primed them not to long ago - this way I can test my paint plan on them, rather then the parts. I received some more vallejo model air paints (mainly different greys) which should help out - also means I dont have to mix my own colors so thats one less thing to worry about (I'm always afraid that I'll mix up to little and then have to make another batch that may or may not come out the same). Hopefully by the end of tonight I can get the spoons to the same point I have the parts and then experiment with those over the weekend.

In addition to getting the paints, I also bit the bullet and picked up an iwata hp-cs airbrush. I used it to prime the spoons, and while the paint came out just as good as the master airbrush, the iwata had a much better feel and cleanup was so much easier, due to how iwata machines their airbrush and the tolerances seem much higher. I cant wait to break that puppy in over the weekend and get a real feel for it (10 minutes worth of painting isn't much to go on).

And now for the real highlight of today - I had ordered a variety pack of 0603 surface mount leds and mounted them up to some protoboard at work to see how they look. Although not applicable to the dendrobium build, I want to add lights and do other effects to my master grade models, and since following this build I'm more then likely going to work on the MG RGM-79[G] GM, I want to light up the eyes. So a side project for this weekend is to hook up the leds to an arduino and see if I can simulate the 'startup' sequence of the eyes (where the eyes slowly ramp up in brightness, flash brightly, and then settle to a low brightness) utilizing the pulse width modulation outputs. When I flesh out how to do that, I'll do a nice write up and share it on the forum.

I took some pics of the setup at work - really happy with the colors and brightness.

http://i66.tinypic.com/2wghaox.jpg

http://i63.tinypic.com/2nau0z4.jpg

http://i64.tinypic.com/2nlb5s2.jpg

Edit: If anyone has electrical questions, let me know and I'll help out if I can.

- - - Updated - - -

So I had a very productive weekend, got off my butt and got the masking done and got most of my painting done... enough to get this together :p

http://i65.tinypic.com/16c598g.jpg

http://i68.tinypic.com/28aq1yr.jpg

http://i66.tinypic.com/119c5eu.jpg

http://i64.tinypic.com/bfgnki.jpg

http://i67.tinypic.com/106jbeu.jpg

http://i63.tinypic.com/11se9p4.jpg

http://i67.tinypic.com/1yqyys.jpg

http://i64.tinypic.com/e8pber.jpg

http://i68.tinypic.com/1zfkfw6.jpg

http://i63.tinypic.com/2lxgkrl.jpg


I still have some things to finish up - tomorrow I'm going to put another gloss varnish layer, and then when that's dry, go over the model and whiten up any areas that seems off. I'm fairly happy with how all the shading came out, just want to balance it out a bit. After that, another varnish layer and then I can work on the weathering and remaining finer details. I still have to paint the movable claw arms and give it the same paint/varnish/weathering treatment.

Each piece was painted with the following colors over the black coat (all vallejo model air). Each color was applied in light coats, enough that it mixed with the previous coat, before turning to its color. When the piece was uniformly shaded, I'd hit certain areas again to give it a highlight effect.

- USAF medium grey
- Light gull gray
- white grey
- white

I had some issues with fitting (due to all the paint layering) which resulted in some pretty bad seam lines (especially towards the top rear thrusters) so I'll have to fix that. But one thing I didn't have an issue with was my airbrush, this new one I got rocks and I was able to airbrush beyond that 30min mark. With only cleaning the tip as needed, and cleaning the airbrush in between colors, I ran this sucker for 4 hours. All in all, not too shabby for a weekend!

Darzer
April 18, 2016, 1:04 AM
Damn spiffy.

Halzman
April 18, 2016, 1:06 AM
haha thanks Darzer, it's certainly getting there!

Halzman
September 5, 2017, 2:55 AM
Another year long hiatus :/ I had a long weekend and something in me just snapped to building so...

I've been meaning to try out a lot of the techniques I've learned over the year, and see if I could apply it to gunpla (PLASMO on youtube was/is a great resource). I had picked up the Albion 1/1700 EX Model during the year, and figured it would serve as a good testing ground, since aside from the mobile suit catapult gimmick (and the very cool mini dendrobium orchis), it didn't have much going for it. I've also wanted to redo the 1/550 GP03 and add more features to it (weapon pods, movable cannon and claws) but didn't want to tackle that just yet.

I really appreciate the detail the mechanical designers put into the ship, especially the mobile suit hanger(s). Because of the scale of the ship, there isn't much room to do much, but I figured I could hollow out one of the hangers, and build up the inside to match the show. Thankfully the construction of the hangers made it easier to do this, but there was a lot of material that had to be removed and rebuilt.

After searching for as much lineart I could find (not much and low res), and grabbing all the screenshots I needed from the series, I was able to create a pretty accurate layout of the hanger bay and its three sections; core fighter launch bay, 3x mobile suit bay, and the catapult lift/retrieval bay. The top of the entire hanger will be removable, exposing the 3 sections. Aside from detailing the interior, I wanted to add some gimmicks of my own if I could. I'd like to have the core fighter bay hatch be movable, and the side retrieval hatch (as seen in ep04 with gp01). I've thought about adding interior lighting, but its not a priority.

I finished up the rough layout to the core fighter launch bay, and still have to figure out the side walls, and then move on to the retrieval hatch and mobile suit bay (and do the remaining PITA mobile suit racks). I'm just glad I only decided to do one of the hangers and not both. Considering this is my first time doing this, I'm pretty happy with hows it going. I'm definitely winging it as I go along, but having a blast learning and gaining experience in this!


http://i68.tinypic.com/k9be2v.jpg

http://i67.tinypic.com/6sazae.jpg

http://i65.tinypic.com/2dlpt11.jpg

http://i67.tinypic.com/2w4i3gl.jpg

http://i68.tinypic.com/xckwuu.jpg

http://i65.tinypic.com/2v95jy1.jpg

http://i66.tinypic.com/rk4kz9.jpg

http://i68.tinypic.com/2vxgnd5.jpg

http://i63.tinypic.com/fbgs50.jpg