Thursday, 22 September 2011

Gundam W.I.P - A surprising amount to do

So for the past week on and off (mostly off because of illness and "stuff") I've been tinkering away at my Gundam SD (SD = super deformed) kit. I've endeavoured to keep things simple and found as things have progressed, that it just isn't that simple.

I started off with a spot of priming, because thats normal and what we do. For those of you unfamiliar with Gundam kits, more or less everything comes on different coloured sprues.  The idea being that you can just snap the kits together, apply the stickers and you will have a figure as displayed on the box.

If you scroll down to the last post and look at the picture of the finished figure (as displayed on box) hopefully you'll appreciate that this is something of an untruth.   The pieces are of whatever colour they are on the sprue, so the purple sprue has purple only bits, the gold sprue gold and so forth. There is no other colour detailing on there. If you just snapped everything together out of the box, you'd have a very dull looking version of the supposed finished product. The plastic is high quality and well moulded, but finished the model would look a bit flat.

So painting is called for! Yay! That's why we do this after all.

So after priming I started painting everything up to what the basic colours were again. On the purple I started with a basecoat of reaper master series nightshade purple, then imperial purple and then a final highlight of amethyst purple. I used my airbrush because I quickly realised that there was a lot of plastic to paint and frankly at this scale, brush painting was going to get old real fast. I then washed everything down with GW leviathan purple. I took a similar approach for the other colours, using dark greys and washes to build up more interesting blacks and the usual techniques for the golds and the steel metallics.

Then I started painting the detail on using the box cover as a guide. After not very much time, I again quickly began to appreciate how much detail there was to paint and, even more, how grossly deficient the default pieces would have been at producing a satisfying model.

And since then I've been just plugging away on getting the detail right. I decided to do away with the stickers as painting the detail on would just look better anyway and its an opportunity to use some paints I've not played with in a while. Such as the reaper master series metallic ruby paint on the helmet detail here.

 And here. The approach for both was a base of mechrite red, washed with baal red, the devlan mud and then careful application of the ruby red. Same for the detail on this random wingy bit thing on the left.

As I mentioned, even on a cheap kit like this, the plastic is high quality and also attached to the sprues neatly.The pieces are not at risk of falling off the sprues, but they clip off very easily and require minimal tidying. Mold lines are similarly not in abundance. 

This is a definite plus compared to a GW kit, where sometimes the pieces really do have to be hacked off the sprues and there is a lot of tidying up to do at times. I don't mind the tidying up, although sometimes it is annoying when I'd rather be painting.

And this last pic is of the sprue I was working on yesterday between getting home from roleplaying and bed. I'd realised late the other night that the metal bits needed a blackish metal finish in the middle of them and gold detailing. I'd completely failed to spot this on the box cover and, after a small amount of sighing, set about painting. Just a few more odds and ends to do and I'll be onto assembly.



  1. i'm actually finding it hard to picture what that sort of cartooney look the box art has will look like in 3D. so can't wait to see it assembled!

  2. Well the picture I posted in the previous entry is one of the images on the box of what the assembled figure should look like. Only I can't see with the parts supplied, how you'd achieve that look without painting.

    I'll take a photo of the box art when I put up the finished piece.

  3. Its very interesting that you end up repainting the parts in the colors of their casting! That is so different to what we usually are doing. Did any of the colors have troublesome finishes? I've had a kit or two where the metallic colored plastic, like gold or silver, was very shiny and needed a bit of encouragement to actually take paint.

    This is a fun divergence from my usual painting type and I'm looking forward to your progress.

  4. The plastic quality is good and I didn't have any problems painting with brush or air, unlike some resin kits where you need to give things a good wash first to get rid of the sealant. Even the metallic bits were fine to bit and I've also encountered those overally shiny finishes in the past.

    It is definitely different to be painting in this way but, from what I've seen this is the norm for Gundam kits. Having said that, you've planted the seed of a thought in my mind of "what would a Deathwing Gundam look like?" Another project for the future I fear.

  5. Excellent! Seed planted! Just add paint!