1/100 MG Gundam Heavyarms (EW) – Painted Build

This build is a commish project. I got the kit fully assembled and had to clean up some nub marks and dents. Also, a few seam lines needed to be addressed. It’s not entirely an original concept or color scheme but it was a fun project.

Base Kit: 1/100 MG Gundam Heavyarms (Endless Waltz)
Modelling Notes: Custom painted, no modifications
Products Used: Gaiacolor, Mr. Surfacer, Tamiya Enamel Colors, Tamiya Thinners

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Gunpla Newbie Guide: Construction Manual Icons, What Do They Mean?

If you have built at least one Gunpla, you will recognize these icons as they are all over the construction manual. Non-Japanese-speaking (or –reading for that matter) folks like me, could only try and decipher these icons. Although Bandai’s construction manuals are easy to follow—even without any reading involved—it is still useful to know what these icons stand for.

Apply Glue

ApplyGlue

Bandai’s early Gunpla kits require the use of plastic cement or glue. Although today’s kits are snap-built, you may still see this icon in a few construction manuals.

Apply Sticker

StickerNumberThis icon comes with a Japanese symbol that identifies which sticker to use. Unless you will be painting your kit, it is recommended that you apply stickers as you go on assembling your kit.

Apply Decal

DecalLetterMore complicated kits—such as MGs and PGs—come with dry transfer and/or waterslide decals. This icon indicates that you may apply these decals during the construction of a part/section.

Attach Part to Opposite Side

AttachToOppositeSideSome parts are intended to be placed on a specific side of an assembly. This icon indicates that the specified part should be attached to the opposite side of the part related to it.

Attach Identical Parts to Each Side

IdenticalPartWhen you see this icon, attach two pieces of the same part to each side of a section.

Do Not Over-Tighten Screw

DoNotOvertighten

Some Gunpla kits—usually PGs—require screws. This icon warns you not to over-tighten the screw as doing so can crack the plastic and damage the part.

Also Move the Other Side

MoveOtherSide

RG frames oftentimes require loosening or moving a part into position. This icon tells you to also move the opposite side of a part/section.

Cut Off

CutOff

Some parts may have nubs or stumps that should be removed. Remember to only cut parts that are indicated by this icon. Otherwise, stick with cutting parts from the runner gates.

Assemble First

AssembleFirst

Construction manuals provide step-by-step instructions that should be strictly followed. Complete any section that is accompanied by this icon first before you proceed to any other assembly.

Assemble Later

AssembleLast

This icon is the opposite of the above icon. This indicates that the section should be assembled after one or a series of assemblies have been completed.

Multiple Assembly

MultipleSections

You can usually see this icon when assembling multiple parts/sections such as arms, legs, funnels, wings, etc. The value indicates the number of parts/sections you must complete.

Rotate

Rotate

This icon simply tells you to rotate a part to a specific direction as well as how many degrees it should be rotated.

Mind the Orientation

PayAttentionSome parts are a bit tricky to position so you have to pay attention to its orientation when attaching.

Alternative Parts

SelectOne

Some kits include alternative parts. Choose the part that you prefer and attach it. This usually solves the mystery of additional parts that are left over from your kit.

Barnaby Brooks Jr. Becomes a Trendy Stormtrooper – Conversion Build by Acoy Delgado

It’s one thing to build a model kit and do some bad ass customisations. But, it’s another when you create an entirely unique character from a totally different kit. Such are the skills of premiere modeler, Acoy Delgado. One of his latest projects, a Galactic Empire Stormtrooper crafted from Bandai’s 1/8 MG Figure Rise Barnaby Brooks, Jr. kit. See the progression of the build below.

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You’d think that the concept is simple until you look into the obvious details of this build: the red Chucks, double-striped sleeves, mace from a 1/100 Kampfer,  backpack-mounted Gundam rifle, even the Kanji gives the figure much character.

Modeler: Acoy Delgado

Painting Notes: Airbrushed and hand painted with Pylox and Vallejo paints; Washed with MIG products.

Modeling Notes: Modifications  using sculpted AquaStop clayputty, Gundam parts, and plastic plates.

Best Practices for Painting Gunpla

Painting is practically the beginner’s first step into Gunpla customization. If you are brave enough to try and make your Gunpla your own, you’ll find that it’s very satisfying and gives you a sense of accomplishment. Here are some tips on how to get the best results when painting your Gunpla.

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  • How’s the weather? Wet weather causes moisture in the air, which can greatly affect spray painting. Water droplets can mix with your paint while it travels from the spray can or airbrush to the painting surface. This is the common cause of frosting. To avoid ruining your paint job, do your painting during sunny weather. It also helps if you have a spray booth with an exhaust fan. This circulates the air and sucks any moisture out of your way.
  • Do not paint over a dirty surface. Before you apply your paint, make sure that the plastic is free from dirt and dust. Use a brush or your airbrush to blow away any molecules stuck on the surface. Also wipe off oils, stains, and even fingerprints.
  • Agitate your paint pigments thoroughly. Rigorously shake your spray can or stir your bottled paint for at least one minute. Dormant paint lets its pigments settle at the bottom of its container. Agitating paint allows those pigments to disperse making the paint more workable and opaque.
  • Know your brushes. There are basically three types of brushes based on their shape: flat, round, and pointed. Base coats are best applied using a flat or round brush, depending of the edges of the part you are painting. Pointed brushes are good for detailing. It’s also better to use a larger brush for the larger parts to minimize the brush strokes. Lesser brush strokes result in a cleaner finish. Also, brushes with soft sable bristles are better for smoother finishes while hog/bristle brushes produce a rougher texture.
  • To prime or not to prime? Most builders would say priming is not necessary but is recommended. I say, ALWAYS prime. A primer acts as a filler for any minute, invisible blemishes that the plastic may have that may have been caused by unintended scratches or sanding. It also reveals larger blemishes, which allows you to fix before applying your base color. Priming also gives you an even-colored base which makes sure that your colors are as uniform as possible by preventing color bleeding.
  • Maintain proper distance when spray painting. Most modelers will tell you to keep at least ten centimeters between the painting surface and your spray can or airbrush. That is not entirely true. It all depends on the strength of your spray. Model grade spray cans (e.g., Tamiya, Mr. Color) usually have 30-40psi of pressure—for which you can probably apply the 10cm rule—while industrial grade spray cans (e.g., Bosny) can go up to 80psi—which means you have to spray from a greater distance to avoid overspray. On the other hand, you also don’t want to spray too far or you’ll just be dusting the surface and produce a grainier texture. It’s practically trial and error at first until you get a feel for your equipment and the paint products you are using.
  • Paint in multiple thin coats. Rather than finishing your paint job with just one thick layer, apply a thin coat and let it dry. Don’t worry if you do not get full paint coverage on the first coat. The second and third (if necessary) will take care of that for you. You’ll be amazed on how clean and sleek the result will turn out.
  • Let the paint cure before re-assembling your kit. Paint is considered ‘dry’ when its solvents have evaporated, which can take only hours depending on the type of paint you used. Curing is a totally different thing. Paint is ‘cured’ when it has reached its maximum hardness, in which case you can consider it as 100% dry. Letting your paint cure for at least 1-2 days prevents it from chipping when you start to assemble your kit.