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Sunday, December 27, 2015

1/35 Black Tri-Stars Zaku II Head


Introduction:

Welcome to my final completed kit for 2015! I somehow completed 18 kits this year, and I pulled it off despite having some really large commissions like the PG Wing Zero and personal projects like the Metal Gear Ray.

This is one of the last p-Bandai kits still had hanging out on my shelf. This kit doesn't suffer too badly from the p-Bandai tax us westerners get stuck with. The standard kit this model its based on the 1/35 Ramba Ral Commando set, and it typically runs around $40. I've seen a few examples of this version selling for $45-50. The p-Bandai version does omit the 1/35 figures and motorcycle, but it's not much of a loss in my opinion. If you can find this kit I'd recommend picking it up; it's the only version that will allow you to create almost any ace's Zaku II. 



If you like my work and you want to help support me, then consider purchasing from the Amazon links on my blog or by clicking this link. Every purchase you make helps me out tremendously and it doesn't cost you a dime!


Wednesday, December 23, 2015

New Years Resolution: 2016 is the year I end my backlog



"The things you own end up owning you." -Chuck Palahniuk

When I got back into Gunpla in late 2011 I was in a very different place in my life. I had a full time job, and I was working on my masters degree. Most of the money I did make was used to pay for my education or just my cost of living. At the time I found it unbelievable that some builders had closets full of backlogged kits. While I was barely able to scrape the money together to purchase one MG kit or some paint every month or so.

Fast forward almost 5 years and I'm much better off; but, I've found myself falling into the backlog trap. This is the year I've decided to break that habit. 

Beginning January 1st, until my backlog is gone I won't be doing any of the following:

Purchasing kits
Accepting commission work
Purchasing decals for kits I don't already own (decals are my gateway drug)
Pre-ordering P-Bandai releases

Here's my current backlog

In order from oldest to newest purchase date: 

MG Nu ver. ka 12/2012 (built)
MG Sazabi ver. Ka 12/2013
MG Exia R2 2/2014 (built)
Metal Gear Rex black version 9/2014
35th Anniversary Char Zaku Head 1/2015
Star Wars Y Wing 9/2015 (built)
Star Wars Snow Speeder 9/2015 (built)
Star Wars X Wing 9/2015 (built)

Optional: (I haven't decided if I'm keeping or selling these kits yet)

PG Astray Red Frame 10/2015
PG 00 Raiser 6/2014 and again on 12/2015 (long story)

I'm not limiting myself to building this kits in a certain order.

Once I've cleared out my backlog my hope is that I can be a little more spontaneous and current with the kits I'm purchasing and building. There were a lot of new releases in 2015 that I really wanted to build, but just couldn't justify picking up because of the kits already sitting on my shelf.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

HG G-Self Perfect Pack


Introduction:

This is the first kit in a long, long time that I really haven't enjoyed building or painting. Overall the design, part separation and reliance on foil stickers comes off as being extremely lazy. Despite its small stature this kit has over 53 foil stickers. Even the much larger HG Silver Bullet (another kit I criticized for its reliance on stickers) only had 41 foil stickers. If you're a fan of the Perfect Pack's design but hate masking then all you can do is hope that Bandai releases a MG version eventually. 

I'm not familiar with the G-Self Gundam, I haven't watched more than two episodes of Reconguista. I did a bit of research on Gundam wiki, and I was surprised to find out that this MS actually changes colors while using different abilities of the Perfect Pack. I can see builders that are super fans of the design building and painting multiple versions of this kit to cover all of the variations.


Sunday, November 15, 2015

1/12 Darth Vader


Kit Talk:


The 1/12 Darth Vader was a quick build to fill the gap between my last commission the MG Ex-S and the next commission the HG G-Self Perfect pack that arrived a few days ago. I snap built this kit about a month ago, I was able to complete the paint in a few nights.

Build & Paint info:

This kit had a few seam lines on the feet and gloves that needed to be fused. Many of the seam lines on the legs and arms align with the crevasse of the ribbed body suit; I left these as is.

I used the following paints:

Helmet, leg armor and anything else glossy: Alcad II Base Black
Bodysuit: Black with a pinch of blue
Cape. tunic and mantel: Black with a pinch of mohogany
Chest protector: Alcad 2 Steel
Buttons and chest controls: Star Bright Silver & clear red, blue or green over silver

My focus on this paint scheme was to create contrast between the matte leather and the gloss armor. I won't say that this paint scheme is film accurate, but it definitely fits the mental image that I have for Darth Vader.

If you like my work and would like to help me out consider purchasing this and other kits from Amazon using this link or others featured on my site. Every purchase helps me out considerably and it doesn't cost you a dime!


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Saturday, November 7, 2015

MG Ex-s Extraordinary Superior Gundam


Kit Talk:

After almost two months of work the MG Ex-S is now complete! Although the MG Perfect Zeong or The O may still hold the record for the largest MG kits of all time; the Ex-S can't be far behind. This models required many seam lines to be fused, lots of masking and a lot of planing to complete.

Build:

Due to the size of the kit I decided early on to build it in sections. This turned out to be a great choice as it kept me motivated throughout the build. Partway through the process I noticed that the two packs of screws were missing, I was able to find a RC car shop online that sold the 2.6 x 8 and 2 x 8 screws needed to secure many of the parts to the kit. Without the screws it's impossible to connect many parts of the kit, and many others would be too loose and unstable.

This model has a reputation for being a brick, and it's well deserved. Even when the auxiliary fuel tanks and rifle are removed this kit still can't stand on it's own. Bandai offsets the instability with the inclusion of a stand. Pose-ability is limited  the shoulder fuel tanks prevent the arms and shoulders from moving too far in any direction and the legs are limited by the hip mounted beam cannons.    

Painting:

I chose a RG inspired paint job, that is similar to the paint job on my RG GP01fb. I decided early on that I did no want to push the white and off white colors too far; as it would be too easy to end up with a spotty color scheme.

The Ex-S has a large number of "sensor" type surfaces in the heads, knees, chest, hips and backpack. Theses areas were painted using a base coat of superfine silver and a variety of clear coat colors. Most of the sensors around the suit are clear green with a smaller number of clear blue and yellow areas.

 

If you like my work and would like to help me out, consider purchasing this and other kits from Amazon using this link or others featured on my site. Every purchase helps me out considerably and it doesn't cost you a dime!

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2015 Good Guy Competition Winners

After reviewing all of the entries this year the judges have rendered their selections. The judges this year are: Clem from Those Gundam Guys and inventor of Clemstripping, Joe The operator of my favorite hobby shop Modelgrade.net and me Dan owner of GunplabyGoodGuyDan.

Each of the 3 winners will receive a $30 dollar gift certificate to ModelGrade.net!

Best in Show:

Big Daddy Z'Gok by Joe K.

Clem's comments:

The amount of mods and the execution of the mods really put this kit above all the other entries.  The Batman/Robin was VERY close, but just loses out because of the mods and execution of seamlessly melding the mods to create a new and original piece. The motorized drill and LEDs really win me over and put this kit above the other kits in the competition.

Joe's comments:

This build is everything this contest was looking for: a great concept, well built, & masterfully painted. The motorized drill takes this piece above and beyond! Great work!

Dan's comments:

This build impressed the hell out of me. The paint, weathering, LEDs and even the fluorescent paint on the health container were all well planned and executed. This entry would be a serious contender or any GBWC event let alone my humble contest. Great job!

Most Creative:

Tactical Candy Despensir by EducationalDriver

Joe's comments:

All of the entries used some sort of humanoid mecha with the one exception: the Tactical Candy Dispenser. A Base Jabber that delivers candy is definitely thinking outside the box, and that's why it has my vote for Most Creative/Original.

Dan's comments:

When this contestant sent in his registration I was very interested to see what he would do with it. I'm glad to see that they came up with a very unique idea, certainly something I would never have been able to come up with on my own.

Funniest Build:

Bear-ren Marine by Gundariumsmith

Joe's comments: 

I thought putting a petit'gguy head on a Hi-Mock was pretty cute. I love the Terran Marine theme, and while Batman and Robin had me smiling, this guy had me smiling more. Go shoot up some Zerg little beargguy

Dan's comments:

The name Bear-ren Marine elicited the same eye rolling response from me normally reserved for "dad jokes". However the name and idea grew on me. It's a good compromise between the cuteness of the Bearguy and the cliche of using the bear guy for gunpla-cosplay, and it's a great homage to Tycus Findlay (although it could use a cigar).

Participation prize:

One contestant that submitted their completed kit was chosen at random to recieve a $10 gift certificate to ModelGrade.net. The winner is Achturn GH-001AC Grimoire "Polyphemus"

Sunday, November 1, 2015

2015 Good Guy Competition Entries

The winners for the 2015 Good Guy Competition will be announce by the end of next week.

Below are the six entries submitted to this year's contest. They're all excellent builds, but who will win?

Click the images below to be taken to the submission's gallery!

"Bear-ren Marine" by Gundariumsmith 


Builders Explanation:

Using a High Grade Build Fighters Hi-Mock, my original idea was to build a "Bear-Mock," a Hi-Mock imitating a Beargguy. After some brainstorming, I refined the idea and decided I wanted a Petit'gguy in costume instead. With the extra long arms of the Hi-Mock, I could only think of the Terran Marine of Blizzard's Starcraft franchise. Thus the "Bear-ren Marine" was born.

The Headless Horseman by CaptainAmeijin


Builders Explanation:

The Headless Horseman! Most of the build is made of the Avalanche Exia, while the Fuunsaikiand the chest come from the HG Master Gundam / Fuunsaiki gunpla. 

Tactical Candy Dispenser by Educationaldriver


Builders Explanation:

I got the idea for the TCD (Tactical Candy Dispenser) by brainstorming what goes on during the night of Halloween. This particular holiday is known for its sweet side, so I incorporated real candy into the build. The color scheme is of the traditional Halloween colors: orange and black. Halloween also has an arachnid motif, so I included cobwebs made out of a single cotton ball (it also looks like mist in some shots, which is really cool). I took these traits and combined it with the idea that people receive candy on Halloween. Thus the TCD was born.

Big Daddy Z'Gok by Joe K. 


Builders Explanation:

Got my idea after watching some Bioshock speedruns. I was surprised no one had done a Big Daddy inspired gunpla before based on a Google Image search and I liked the idea of revamping an inexpensive kit like the 2001 HGUC Z'Gok. Also liked the potential for a motorized drill mod and a weathered look for my first painted kit.

Grimoire Polyphemus by Achturn


Builders Explanation:

The concept was to have a cyclops/slight victorian horror influence with the Grimoire as the base.
The core has been hollowed out and now features a fully rotating "eye cannon" housed inside of it. The Polyphemus also now wields a heat-tomahawk inspired Meat Cleaver (or "Heat Cleaver" if you're into puns) as a melee weapon, with the beam whip that originally came out of the Grimoire's gun now being mounted to its wrist for mid-range attacks.
The backpack has also been removed, limiting the suit to mostly ground combat

Batman the Bearknight and Robin the Bear Wonder Brian T


Builders Explanation:

My idea gained inspiration from a lot of the batman builds that I had seen on various websites, most prominently gundamguy, but I never saw a batman with his trusty sidekick. I felt as though the Beargguy F would be the perfect kit to modify to achieve this, with the inclusion of the Petitbearguy. I used a combination of canned spray paint, hand brushing, and airbrushing to achieve the recolors on both of the kits, some simple use of plaplating to create their weapons, capes, belt, etc, and cutting of seals to finish off some of their details. Finally, I used heat to melt some of the plaplating and shape them into form, such as batman's chest logo, and also to create the effect of the cape. 

Saturday, October 31, 2015

MG Ex-S WIP part 4

Photos:

The marathon that is the MG Ex-S is quickly coming to an end now that all of the painting is complete! I'll start the detailing and decal process very soon. I don



Video:


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

MG Ex-S WIP part 3

Video:



Apologies in advance but I don't have any WIP photos for this segment of the kit. The previous post I made should make the answer fairly obvious.

As of writing this phase 4 is well underway and should be don within a week. Once phase 4 is complete the detailing and decaling working will continue. I'm hoping to have this kit completed within the next 2-3 weeks if the weather cooperates for painting.

Meta update: hard driver failures and lost data.

It's official, all: of the photos, videos and design files (2 min reviews) I created over the last few years are unrecoverable after a hard drive failure. I had a lot of help from a friend in IT but ultimately the files we were able to recover were corrupt.

The good news is all of the content on the blog is recoverable and I have already backed it up. From your perspective viewing the blog there shouldn't be any changes whatsoever.  

The bad news is it's going to take a while to recreate some of the design files for the 2 min reviews and I had some stuff I would have liked to share, but won't be able to now.

From now on I have decided to back things up on three separate drives just in case something happens again. This was a hard and bitter pill to swallow, and I sincerely hope it's something I never have to experience again.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

MG Ex-S WIP part 2

Video:


Photos:

Phase two of the MG Ex-S is now complete. In this phase I built both legs, feet and completed the waist and torso. Unlike Phase 1 this phase had fewer parts that required seam lines to be fused or parts to be masked. 


As of this post I am still waiting on replacement screws for the kit. Once I have them I will be able to completely armor the legs. Until then they're left it this partially built state.


The Ex-S has sensors in both of the fins extending up from the knees. I painted these areas with super metallic silver followed by a layer of clear blue.



The torso of this mobile suit is very interesting because the core fighter is almost entirely exposed. This design also prevents the suit from making any meaningful bends at the waist.




Painted parts so far...


Waterslide decals


Sunday, October 4, 2015

2015 Good Guy Competition Update 1

The entry period for 2015 competition closed on 9/30. We have a little under 4 weeks until submissions are due on October 31st.


Brought to you in part by...

This year's contestants are:

Gundariumsmith HG Hi-Mock
Things_falling_apart MG Sazabi
Sarra Minovsky HG Gaia Gundam
Morgan H. MG Banshee
XillyRaix HG Char Zaku (Origin)
Joe K. HG Z'Gok Char ver
Brian T. HG Beargguy F
Majorkurn Megasize Zaku 2
Xandcastle Rudolf's Gouf Ignited
CaptainAmeijin HG Master Gundam & Fuunsaiki + HG Avalanche Exia
Achturn HG Grimoire
Razorconcepts HG Hi-Mock & RB-79 Ball (twin set)
Educationaldriver HG Base Jabber

Like many of you I'm very excited to see what this year's contestants have in store!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

MG Ex-S WIP part 1



Unlike most of builds I decided to break the massive MG Ex-S into more manageable sections. In this section I built a lot of the smaller additional assemblies for the mobile suit. This includes the aerodynamic features, fuel tanks, core fighters, support weapons, main weapon and support rigging. I plan on doing two more sections which will include: phase 2, legs and torso and phase 3, arms, head and backpack.

Due to this kit's age a lot of pieces required seamlines to be fused and modification, scribing or other tricks; that is the main reason why things are taking a while on this build!

Video:



You can following the video log I did for this first section to see how far this first phase had expanded from its initial origin.


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Website Update


Hey there Gunpla Guys and Gals I've made a update to the to the blog, you can now easily look at all the kits I have completed on one page. Check the link out and let me know what you think.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

HG Unicorn Gundam [Unicorn Mode]


Kit Talk:

I cannot believe I have made it so far into my Gunpla "career" without building this model. The HG Unicorn (Unicorn Mode) is a model I can easily suggest as a first kit to a newcomer. The predominately white body will hid nub marks well, and the overall appearance can quickly be improved with a few swipes of a panel lining marker. Additionally, the kit hides its seam lines well and it has a good range of articulation for all sorts of poses.

For my take on the kit I knew from the beginning that I wanted to apply the Katoki decal scheme to make the previous MG Unicorns and Banshees I have completed in the past. I was able to locate an official HG decal pack for this kit from ModelGrade.net and they still have some packs in stock!

If you like my work and would like to help me out consider purchasing this and other kits from Amazon using this link or others featured on my site. Every purchase helps me out considerably and it doesn't cost you a dime!

 

If you like my work and would like to help me out, consider purchasing this and other kits from Amazon using this link or others featured on my site. Every purchase helps me out considerably and it doesn't cost you a dime! 
 
Hit the bump for the full photo shoot

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

1/48 Unicorn Head Display


This is the 4th 1/48 Unicorn head I've completed (counting the Banshee version). I really like these head kits. And I hope some day Bandai releases a line of heads or busts. This is the first part of a 2 part build. I purchased this kit in a combo with the HG Unicorn (Unicorn mode) model. You can still purchase official versions these 1/48 models at a fair price by purchasing these combo kits.

Kit Talk:

This model comes molded in two colors, solid white and clear psycho frame red. This also means there's a bit of masking that needs to be done to get all of the colors right.

Masking the collar area is the most taxing part of this build, as there are many small variations and elevations that need to be masked. The V-fin is also a bit of a hassle because of the three colors required and the geometry involved.

I painted the previous 1/48 Unicorn model with a green psycho frame for the "awakened" mode. But I wanted a more classic look for this build. I also varied the eye color on this version. I had previously used an emerald green color, but for this build I wanted the eyes to be a bright yellow; I keep the sensors in the front and back of the head green.

Unlike previous builds I used a panel line chisel to enhance the lines on the face of the Unicorn. On previous builds I noticed this area tended to be shallow, and it didn't hold the panel lining well.

Overall I've very happy with the way the kit turned out. It's much cleaner than the previous 1/48 heads I completed. And it will look great as a stand for the HG Unicorn that will be coming soon!

If you like my work and would like to help me out consider purchasing this and other kits from Amazon using this link or others featured on my site. Every purchase helps me out considerably and it doesn't cost you a dime!

 

Sunday, August 23, 2015

1/100 Overflag


It's been a really, really long time since I built a no-grade kit. The old no-grade 1/144 scale Gundam Wing kits of the late 90s and early 2000s left a long standing bad taste in my mouth. But, I heard a lot of positive things about this model so I decided to give this kit a chance. I'm happy that I did.

The NG Overflag is a straight forward build. It has no real inner frame, and it can transform into the mobile armor mode from the show. There is some reliance on decals to make up for colors that were not molded in plastic.

Suit Lore:

The Overflag is a heavily modified ace unit base on the Union's Flag mobile suit. It's lighter and faster  but also more risky to pilot than the basic version. The Overflags were utilized by Union's Overflag unit lead by the Union  ace pilot Graham Aker to counter Celestial Being Gundams.

The unit I built is supposed to represent Graham's personal unit. It features a blue cover to the linear rifle and a left handed configuration to match the pilot's preferences.

Kit Talk:

This was a tough kit to finish. It was nearly sold twice on r/gunpla's commerce thread before I started painting. I had a very tough time trying to decide if I wanted to paint a kit that was almost entirely black. Eventually however, I pushed through and completed the build.

I fused the seams on the fore arms, shoulders, wing connectors, and head. I took several short cuts on this kit, mostly out of laziness and several seams remain that I opted not to complete.

The Overflag was painted with mr.color GX black for the main body, but a mix of black and white was used in some areas. I  hand painted enamels for the small grey recess on the model and I painted to mono eye above the visor by hand as well.

The decals from this kit come from a variety of sources including the MG GNX and Sinanju deacal sheets among others.

If you like my work and would like to help me out consider purchasing this and other kits from Amazon using this link or others featured on my site. Every purchase helps me out considerably and it doesn't cost you a dime!



Saturday, August 15, 2015

Weekend Wip 8/16/15

Its been nearly a month since I finished the HG Grimorie and since I've started working on personal projects again. In the coming weeks I'm going to announce a new blog that I've started gathering content for. I have also been working on some new content and updates for r/gunpla along with some of the old and new moderators, be sure to stop in if you haven't already.

Finally I have some real WIP project updates. For a project to be a WIP according to my definition, it has to be something I've actually worked on during the last week.

I currently have two kits that are practically done, but, I ran out of topcoat.

1/100 Over Flag 95% complete


A while back I complained that this kit needed a MG version, however after building it, i have to say this 1/100 is a pretty good model. yes, it does have some seam line problems, the detail isn't spectacular either, and its doubtful an inner frame could be crammed into the narrow limbs.


I didn't correct all of the flaws on this build either. The seams on the backs of the legs are still present for example. I simply didn't want to be bothered with fixing the seams, and having to mask or modify the associated parts. It's lazy, but I'm not the type of modeler that thinks every kit needs to be a 10 out of 10.

1/48 Unicorn Head Display 95% complete


I can't help myself when it comes to these head displays This is the 3rd Unicorn head display I have built, (5th if you count the 2 Banshee heads). Despite what a lot of people believe you can still get official versions of this model easily and cheaply.


Like the Overflag, this kit needs a coat of topcoat.

Unlike the other Unicorn head here. I plan on keeping this one in Unicorn mode. The reason for that will be revealed in the next WIP.

1/144 Unicorn Gundam Unicorn Mode 40% complete


I have a vial of a special nuetral gray paint I mixed for the display head I plan to use throughout this build for color continuity. Unfortunatley I am not 100% sure if I actually have enough paint. I plan on doing the ver. Ka decal scheme on this build. I was able to acquire the official 1/144 decal pack for this build, part of which I have already used on the Silver Bullet.

1/100 Sinanju OVA ver. 35% complete


This kit has been in WIP hell since the OVA version of this model was released. Since the initial build I ended up acquiring a full second weapon set and shield. I have also started modifying parts on this kit for additional details and seam removal. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

HG Grimoire Basic Part 5: Detailing


In this the final part of the HG Grimoire start to finish series I will demonstrate some of the tricks that you can use to add that extra level of detail to your kits.

A lot of my favorite marks, stains and grime on this kit are the result of happy accidents and multiple reapplications. Weathering can be very rewarding if you don't expect to get results immediately with your first application.


HG Grimioire



Intro:

Before I get started I realize many of you may be wondering:

"Hey Dan, where's episode 5? I want to see how you did the weathering!"

The short answer is, I'm still working on the video, reviewing, editing and compressing it. However I did not want to keep everyone (doubly so for the commission winner Mike) waiting for the final product!

Obviously this has a custom scheme, and I've weathered the appearance to make it look weather beaten and used. I tried some new weathering techniques like washing parts with white washes and adding stains and textured mud. All together I'm pleased with the model!

If you like this kit and would also like to support me consider purchasing this model from the link below. Every purchase through my Amazon links help's me significantly and doesn't cost you a dime!