Liger Zero Panzer – Zoids – 1/72 HMM Kotobukiya model kit

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There is only one reason I like this kit: the missiles! I’m a missile freak and the more the better.

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Having just finished the MG Black Unicorn Norn, I finally found my motivation to finish up this painful kit by continuing with the “lion” motif. The abundance of missiles also meant the blow up in the number of parts the kit has, which I wasn’t really thrilled with. Fortunately I decided to go with a more radical approach to painting this kit – painting it on the runners! Yup, that go against the common wisdom. You’re supposed to cut off the parts, do surface prep work and paint them in subassemblies. But the number of parts just make it a very tedious process, and I found the constant clipping and unclipping the parts off of the part holders to be very a drag. So I wonder whether just painting them on the runner and do touch up later would save more work?

 

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This type of painting is probably best suited to all these modern kits with huge number of parts, all color separated and with very good fits between parts. In fact I find the Koto kits one notch above Bandai kits in the fit department – the parts are so well-aligned that the seams are not very visible.  Which means you probably don’t even need to test fit, if you don’t mind risking it a bit. Anyway, the final verdict is a definite YES on saving time. The painting process is a breeze for sure, and the touch up wasn’t bad at all, because 1. the parts are layered on top of each other, e.g. armor on inner frames. That means you don’t care about the touch up on the inner frames; and 2. in general these modern kits are very well designed to have the plastic gates not be very visible. So the final amount of touch up is very manageable.  It probably took the painting time off by half! Not much saving here on touch ups like panel lining and drybrushing and applying decals, but I don’t mind those as much.

 

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Now I can see why some people can finish kits up so quickly – after new kits came out you can see some Japanese builder get a painted version out in a couple of days. Not that I want to build kits that way as I still found a lot of value in the final touch ups, but expediting the process allows me to build more complex kits and not lose interest quickly. Lately I’ve been wanting to finish up all these kits that had been bugging me for ages to finish up, all the while dealing with the slow influx of new kits (!@$#!@$), so it definitely helps to improve the process!

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Vatshu the Black Knight – FSS – 1/100 Volks IMS kit

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I had my doubts after Volk’s KOG debut in the injection kit arena, but with the advent of 3D designs they have gotten it right with the IMS line of kits. To be honest I haven’t followed the scene for a long time (stopped buying hobby magazines ages ago) so I didn’t know what these IMS boxes were about! They’re rather expensive for injection kits, but still cheaper than resin and the details rivals or exceed the quality of their resin counter parts. Dunno why but I always like injection kits more than resin? DSC_0619 DSC_0609

The Vatshu was very well-made and is lightyears beyond the Wave kits. More impressively they’re pretty close to Bandai in terms of color-separating the parts that need different colors and I didn’t need to do much (or any?) masking… the Bang Doll released before this required more. The joints are strong but FSS kits are just harder to balance and pose in general due to the design. DSC_0613 DSC_0615DSC_0608

I like this Decors Weissmel version of Vatshu with heavy armor… it looks really awesome and detailed with the layering. The build was rather straightforward, and I used the Volk’s suggested black + purple pearl coat method for the armor. The shoulder discs however were done with Alclad chrome with clear red on top . I opted to pin the swords and use one of those Bandai action bases to support the kit… I thought about making a diorama base for the kit but got distracted 🙂 DSC_0617 DSC_0617-2DSC_0621

 

 

 

 

Sherry – Langrisser 2 – 1/6 resin figure

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This is one of the earliest garage kit I bought. Back then the casting technique was not that great and the pieces don’t fit as well. The 90’s anime characters have these gigantic eyes that are scary.

The kit came from one of Satoshi Urushihara’s game character illustrations. The sculptor did a pretty good job of capturing the art, but in 3D it’s a bit off. Long story short the kit looks good at the intended angle, but isn’t really interesting from other angles.

The chrome are all done with Alclad – I’m getting the hang of it. You need a couple of really thin coats and allow the underneat black enamel base coat to see through, or else it’s already too thick and although it still looks better than other silvers, it’s nowhere close to what it could’ve been. For gold I did some research and ended up with Rustoleum gold. I found it the hard way that it eats my black base coat and had to strip the boots because of that 🙁 I found that to obtain the metal shine, you either brush it on really thick, almost runny, or you have to spray it on, again in an almost runny layer. Airbrushing it didn’t work half as well to my dismay.  In the end it works better than the Alclad pale gold and Mr. Metal gold, both of which suffers from not having that metal texture I was looking for… For the red I did Alclad and then clear Tamiya red on top. I was worried that’d dull the Alclad, but it turned out just great.

I was in the mood to finish up some ancient kits that I put off because of the difficulty, and that’s why I picked Sherry up. I wish the sculpt was a bit nicer though, because I’d have been much more satisfied with the finish.