Omega_X_'s Strike Freedom Gundam

My Strike Freedom finally arrived today, so as promised here is my build thread. I’ll be taking the process in stages, starting with the inner frame, which I’ll be respraying metallic gold to cover up the godawful gold plastic the kit comes with as standard (for anyone who didn’t read my previous thread, its the regular MG kit, not the Full Burst Mode.)

And just for anyone who hasn’t seen this kit before, this is what the gold parts look like out of the box:

Jesus Christ, how horrifying.

Ah, this brings back some nice memories when I got back into the Gunpla Hobby. I can’t wait to see you progress man. Have fun with that build, I know I sure enjoyed building mine.

Looks like a cool build,your right a metallic gold will look a lot nicer.

Wow, that “gold” is worse than I expected. It just demands a repaint, haha. Looking forward to your exploits.

Well, I gotta say, the results were better than I expected. The gold paint looks almost as good as the chromed parts on the Full Burst mode.

Just in case anyone’s interested and wants to try my method out, I’ll detail the resources I used to throw together a makeshift spray booth.

First off, I separated the sprues for the inner frame from the rest of the box (I plan to construct the inner frame first in it’s entirety then put the armour on afterwards. Partly out of convenience, and partly because the photos will look awesome.)

At least the gold plastic makes it easy to identify the frame sprues.

I decided to cut out the parts and clean them prior to spraying, as It’d be harder to touch up the nub marks afterward if I were to spray them on the sprue.

I mounted the parts on cocktail sticks using Blu-Tak, and stuck them in a polystyrene block which I taped to a spray booth I made out of a fish tank box cut in half along the diagonal. Note how terrible the gold plastic looks. I can’t see how anyone could use these parts as they are.

Just to illustrate how I mount the parts for spraying using the Blu-Tak on the back side of the part, then sticking a cocktail stick in it.

Since I just ran into the image limit, I’ll double post.

And here is the result:

I’m sure you’ll all agree that the difference is noticeable. Its like a thousand percent improvement on the bare plastic.

Behold the glorious result of half an hour extra work. It almost looks like the Hyaku Shiki. And all it cost was 7 quid extra for some cheap spray paint.

So, that’s the first day of work done. I’m going to build it 1 section per day. Tomorrow I’ll build the arms and post my progress.

Yeah, that looks leaps and bounds better than the original condition. They should include instructions to spray paint the inner frame for the kit, haha.

Are you spraying indoors? And if so, you got good ventilation going?

I spray in the kitchen with the outside door open. But ventilation isn’t great even then, because the weather over here has currently gone completely mental and is scorching hot with barely any breeze. But I don’t think I’m about to choke to death on the fumes.

Case anyone’s interested, here’s the listing for the paint I used:

If you’re planning to buy this kit, buy this or something better, it’s mandatory. Even if you get the Full Burst mode, only some of the parts are coated in shiny gold chrome, meaning unless you touch it up with a gold marker or something, you’ll have shiny awesome gold next to bare, bile yellow/gold. Do not want.

The unpainted gold sprue parts, look more like Werther’s Original toffee colour.

Looking good so far, definitely a fan and mask job when you are using that type of paint, and yeah 80 degrees in England isn’t fun, my parents were telling me how the heatwave has started back home.

Looking really great man. Looks tons better than the gold that the parts were.

Lol at 80 degrees in england. You guys should come to Texas and they to paint in our summer heat

Finished the frames for the arms and waist unit. I was kinda worried that the Strike Freedom would end up significantly smaller than my Zeta 2.0, but after getting the waist on, I can see the kind of proportions the finished build will have. It always throws me how Gundams tend to be long in the leg and at first it seems like they’re pretty small when you’re just putting the torso together. Anyway, enough blather, I have pics.

Quick before and after comparison of the arm components. I decided to put the hands together minus the white backs, as the individual finger components are too small and fiddly for me to bother spraying them individually. I plug any holes for joints up with Blu-Tak to avoid any paint getting into the joints and making them too tight (don’t want a repeat of what happened with the hip joint on my Zeta.)

The finished arm frames. Gotta say, I’m loving the attention to detail put into the frame parts, even though they’ll be covered by the outer armour. Shows Bandai don’t put out half-assed kits.

The finished waist unit frame. I changed the flash settings on my camera to try and capture the effect of the gold better. As you can tell I’m by no means a professional photographer so please excuse the quality of my crappy smartphone pics. I was gonna leave this part til tomorrow until I saw that there are only five components to put together (six counting the back skirt mount, but I didn’t notice that until after the photo was taken. It just slides onto the back of the frame, so its no big deal. There’s a mechanism for turning the side skirt armor to the back but it’s really simple.

I think I’ll use the flash from now on. Compare this to how the bare plastic comes on the sprue and it’s a no-brainer. Everyone should spray their inner frame on this kit.

Thats all for today, tomorrow I’ll have the frame completed so you’ll all be able to marvel at it’s gold-plated glory :stuck_out_tongue:

I like the way the that gold looks, good job man

That is one great looking frame man. Makes me can’t wait to revisit the Strike Freedom.

That is indeed a lovely shine. Can’t wait to see the whole frame together.

Sorry for the late update. Weather was insane yesterday, too hot to do anything at all, let alone paint. Anyhow, here’s the results of today’s building:

As you can see, it’s not quite as finished as I said it would be. Wasn’t expecting there to be so many components to the legs. I always forget that they make up the bulk of the parts for any gundam. Also I went back and did some cleaning up. Turns out I hadn’t shaken the spray can enough when I first started, and the result was that the torso and arms were noticeably duller than the hips and leg components. Also I was sloppy removing some of the nub marks with a metal file without cleaning up with sandpaper and when I sprayed those areas it left horrible scratches where I’d filed. So I ordered some mixed grade sandpaper and went over those areas with 600 grit, followed by a polish with 2000 grit and it looks much more presentable. Also, I’m discovering more and more uses for Blu-Tak. As well as securing parts in place for spraying, it’s also really useful for masking parts. Want to respray an area, but dont want to disassemble the pieces to remove the poly caps? No problem, just cover them up with Blu-Tak and spray over them. It’s far more convenient than masking tape, as it can be broken off and shaped in seconds instead of having to screw about with scissors and tape.

So unless the sun tries to kill everyone again, I’ll definitely be finished with the frame components tomorrow. Well, unless I run out of paint, but I’m pretty sure I’ve got enough for one leg. FYI, I also intend to paint Kira Yamato before putting him in the cockpit, so I’ll be able to put my Warhammer skills to use.

I’m a huge fan of masking with Blu-Tak too, though I use it mostly for smaller jobs and any areas with odd shapes (like circular/rounded areas). It’s strong enough to withstand any hobby paint out there so there are no worries of it disintegrating or dissolving.

Looking amazing man. That is for sure a great looking frame for the Strike Freedom. Are you planning on doing anything with the armor?

Nah, apart from some minimalist panel lining. Maybe it’s because I’m relatively new to the hobby, but I really don’t see the point in painting the armour, unless the idea is to completely change the colour scheme. The only exterior pieces I’ll be painting are the parts of the beam rifle that they give you stickers for (I hate stickers that substitute for coloured plastic. On a MG kit, you should get separate pieces in the proper colours.)

Anyhow, as promised, I have the frame completed:

I’m really happy with how it turned out. The extra time and effort was worth it to end up with a frame I won’t have to be embarrassed to show. The spray paint I selected was perfect for the job, much better than just going over the parts with a gold paint marker.

As you can see I have the head assembled too, minus the V-fin. I think I’m gonna attach the armour going from the right side to the left (purely because it’ll look cool to photo, as if the gundam is ‘under construction’. Well, it is, but you know what I mean.) I’ll try to get the tiny Kira Yamato pilot figure painted and in the cockpit in the next few days too, since I’l have to put him inside before I put on the chest armour.

So far I’m really impressed by this kit. The level of detail on the frame parts is astounding, especially the legs. The mechanism to split the armour plates when you bend the knee is ingenious and the whole thing has been really fun to put together. Definitely my favourite kit so far, at least until my Exia arrives.

BTW, any tips for lining the side vent fins on the head? The lining markers I have don’t make a thin enough line, and it’s hard to get a cotton swab into the nooks and crannies to erase my mistakes.

Wow, yeah, that’s how the SF’s frame is supposed to look. Shiny, brilliant, and obviously gold.

Glad to see you’re enjoying the kit. It’s not surprising that the quality is pretty darn good (apart from the crappy color on the frame) considering it’s one of Japan’s most popular suits.

Regarding the lining, have you tried a really thin pencil?