Archive for the ‘Models In-Progress’ Category

Bandai 1/100 VF-25S Messiah Valkyrie Complete!

July 9th, 2014 No comments

After completing the Core Fighter I repaired the Wing Gundam shadow box project that had been pretty well wrecked in an earthquake we had a few months back. After that I dusted off a project that had been on hold for about 18 months. I had it all ready to paint but when it came time to give it a white shaded paint job, I lost interest. So I grabbed another one of the 6 decal sets I had created for this neat little kit and made Ozma Lee’s gray VF-25S.

To see the gallery, follow the picture link below:

To see the short Work In Progress report, follow the picture link below:

Big Robinson’s Raiders WIP Update

May 17th, 2014 No comments

I’ve completed the Core Fighter! I’ve updated the WIP with the rest of the In-Progress report for the Core Fighter. Follow the picture link to see how I finished the Core Fighter:

Robinson’s Raiders Project WIP

February 25th, 2014 No comments

This is one of the largets projects I’ve ever put together and will be a 2-Part Diorama Featuring 2 heavily-modified Master Grade G-Fighters, 1 U.C. Hardgraph Core Fighter and several Hardgraph figures. I started work on it over a year ago but it’s been shelved once and I keep bouncing around to different parts of the project so no single part of it is complete yet. Still, it seemed like I was really overdue to post an update on my site so I decided to sum up the work so far.

Click the picture link below to travel to the report:

iDOLM@STER F-22 Work In Progress Report

September 7th, 2013 No comments

I detailed a fair amount of this in a post below but I have added some more progress and done a better job of writing an article and not just a block of random text followed by a picture dump.

I’m supposed to get this kit finished for OrangeCon in less than a month but if I can’t switch off the AMS it’s never gonna happen…

T34/76 Mod. 1941 Cast Turret Soviet WWII-Era Tank COMPLETE!

February 2nd, 2013 No comments

I got this tank cheap off eBay along with a set of Eduard Photoetched parts. I built it relatively quickly and enjoyed it quite a bit.

Here’s the in-progress page:

In-Progress Page

And here’s the photo gallery:

Completed Model

Final Super VF-1D WIP

October 17th, 2012 No comments

With painting finally done it was time to do a few subassemblies. I set up sort of a jig to glue the main parts of the super booster units to the backpack. I got it all aligned by laying the boosters on the table and then backing them up to my X-acto miter box. After a few rounds of test fitting I glued the parts using 5-minute epoxy for the metal-to-plastic joints and testor’s model glue for the plastic-to-plastic joints.

After that I glued the leg armor and arm armor onto the legs and arms. Once that was done I couldn’t resist some dry-fitting of the major parts to see how it was going to look.

The next step was a gloss coat. Notice that I’ve masked off all the metallic parts. It’s a pain but the Alclad looks so nice on its own, it never looks as good with either a gloss coat or a flat coat on it. For the gloss coat I used Mr. Color UV Cut Gloss Clear decanted from the rattle can. The cans are expensive but you get quite a lot of pre-thinned clear out of it and once you get over the first time doing it decanting is really easy. I also wanted to use the UV Cut ion this white model after the whole Unicorn experience, and seeing some yellowing on the decals of some of my older models.

After the gloss coat I broke from my normal order of operations in that I did the panel line wash before the decals. This is because this model has so many fine panel lines and relatively few decals that go over them. I really wanted to make sure I didn’t fill up those fine panel lines with too many clear coats before I got to fill them with the wash. That’s happened to me before and unless you want to re-scribe the lines after you’ve painted the model this is the way to go. I used Testors Dark Ghost Gray for the panel lines on the white parts and rubber (a very dark brown) on the gray armor parts.

After the panel line wash and subsequent gloss coat, there was one crappy thing I had to do. I had noticed as I handled the model that there was something rattling inside the fuselage. I suspected that something in the cockpit had come loose. So I carefully popped it off canopy (fortunately I hap glued it on with Elmer’s white glue) and the photo-etched control handle had come loose from the rear cockpit. I drilled the hole it mounted into out a bit more and glued it back in place. I then glued the canopy back on and as you can see from the masking I touched up the black.

Then it was on to decals. Lots and lots of decals. Decals came from the Super VF-1A kit, the VF-1D kit, the weapons kit, the Hasegawa option decals set 3, and my own designs printed by Samuel Decal. Decaling went quite smoothly and as much as people complain about all the decals in this kit, I was thrilled that they almost all had the pre-cut decal film. I usually decal my models with the Samuel Decals where you have to cut the decal to the exact shape because the film covers the entire sheet. It’s nice to just sloppily cut out the general shape of a decal and throw it in the water. Hasegawa decals, even the Cartograf decals, are THICK compared to the Samuel Decal ones I’m used to. It took multiple rounds of Mr. Mark Softer (love that stuff, btw) and some persuasion using a toothpick to get the big Minmay decals to lay down over the lumps and bumps. In the process of getting the decal onto the leg armor, I scratched up the fin that comes out of the leg so I had to carefully mask it off and touch it up. I masked it using paper and tape so that the paper covered the decals and the tape went onto the paint. I’ve had bad experiences with tape pulling off decals. Clem (Gamerabaenre) actually says he masks over decals that have a couple coats of clear lacquer over them. I have to say that the last time I tried it was with Future so maybe it works with lacquer but I’m not gonna try it unless I absolutely have to.

Once the decals were done, there was another gloss coat over them and then I touched up the panel line wash around and over the decals. Finally I could put on the flat coat, strip off all the masking and put the model together.

Oh no wait, there’s all the clear lenses. I painted these with clear Tamiya paints for the most part and painted the wells behind them with Vallejo silver. They generally fit very well, except for he clear lights inboard on the wings. Those took a fair amount of carving to fit.

Now I could finally assemble the model. I glued the arms together, making sure to scrape off the paint to get a really good bond. One arm gets the post that holds up the model on the base so gluing the two arms together reinforces it considerably. One thing that worried me is that the arms are hollow where they glue to the body, and they glue onto a place where there’s a lot of relief detail so there’s very little surface area to glue. To remedy this, I made a plate from very thin plastic, sanded the detail on the body a bit so it would sit flush and glued the snot out of it. This gave me a good surface to glue the arms to. Once the arms were in place, the legs slid right on with no problems.

Next up was the backpack with boosters. Once I test fit it, I saw that the boosters pointed up too much. This was really exaggerated by the stripes that I had painted on them that were not at all parallel with the stripes on the fuselage. The stripes aren’t really supposed to be parallel if you look at almost every piece of art and model and toy out there the boosters are not parallel to the fuselage but cant upwards. Still it looked really far off and I wasn’t happy with it. So out came the bastard file and sanding stick…

About this point there were 2 weeks until Orange Con, the IPMS show I attend. I wanted to finish this model for it and that would be no problem, but I also wanted to make a display base for my Airfix Spitfire and a couple of new, more manageable dioramas for my GM Assault Squad since they hadn’t been completed by last year’s Orange Con. So from this point on I was splitting my time and attention.

The next thing I started work on was the base. I got an acrylic picture frame from Michael’s, but it’s just a bottomless box with a cardboard insert inside of it. To hide the cardboardiness of it I masked off the front of it and sprayed the inside of the sides black. Next I built a substantial interior for the base out of wood, and raised it up on popsicle sticks so it was pretty close to the acrylic and kept the cardboard from sagging. The whole thing is three parts. There’s the ugly but functional wood base, the pretty acrylic façade with the Minmay Guards and Macross 30th Anniversary logos on it, and the Valkyrie-on-a-stick that slides through the acrylic into the wooden base.

The last “doing it the hard way” thing I did was to jettison the outboard nukes that were too big and ungraceful in my opinion and replace them with drop tanks from a 1/100 scale F-4 Phantom. Sure they aren’t canon but they’re certainly plausible either as drop tanks, ECM pods, or luggage haulers for the pilots (such things exist IRL). I glued and puttied them and then scribed rings around the front and back. I debated putting blue stripes on them but ran out of time. I literally finished them the morning of Orange Con. Once I glued them and the other missiles onto the wings the model was FINALLY done*.

*Well, sort of. It needs a bit of touch up but I ran out of time before Orange Con. That and my hastily-glued-on and probably ever so slightly crooked missiles are probably why I got third place with it.

So there it is. This poor model got shelved several times along the way having been started in November 2010 and completed in October 2012. Along the way I refurbished my GP01 Diorama for Bandai World Cup, I built my ANA Gundam for Anime Expo, I built my share of our massive Gundam Guys GM Dioarama (8 models) for the SCGMC, I totally rearranged half our house and added a new member to the family, I hosted and put the bulk of the work into completely refurbishing the Bandai 7-foot-tall Unicorn statue, I built a mega-Size Zaku for Roy at Robot4Less, and I built an award-winning Airfix Spitfire for me and my sanity. No wonder it took so damn long…

Categories: Models In-Progress Tags:

More Super VF-1D Progress… Between rounds of Gundam Battle Operation

August 22nd, 2012 1 comment

Well it’s been another long stretch without an update. Having a baby in the house certainly curtails model building time. Also, Those Gundam Guys have all been sucked into playing Gundam Battle Operation.


My smoking but victorious GM

It’s a fun game, especially if you like Gundam and have some friends to play with. Piloting mobile suits in the game is similar to the old Federation vs. Zeon but it also reminds me a lot like playing Mechwarrior if you ever played those games back in the day. The action is kind of slow and deliberate. Making your shots count matters because a strong hit will stagger an enemy momentarily, allowing you to move into an advantageous position for the next shot. You and an enemy will tend to circle each other moving in and out depending on which weapons you’re cycling through and you’ll probably fight for about 30 seconds before one MS runs out of HP and explodes. There’s also a Counter Strike element because it’s an online team-based objective-oriented game. We’ve all got mics so we’re calling out how many enemies are where and when their base is wide open or when our base is under attack. We’ve been playing several nights a week.

To play this game you need a PS3, and then you need to create a Japanese account:

Youtube tutorial to make a Japanese PSN Account

Here’s an overview of the game, just Google for more info…

Gundam Battle Operation Info

But here and there I’ve got some time in on this neglected model. So after making my whites whiter, it was time for some serious masking to paint the circles, striped and sunbursts that make up my custom color scheme for this model.

I sliced pieces of tape into long pointy shapes so I could get the shredded look I wanted in the blue.

After painting the blue it was more masking to paint the metallic in the vents and exhausts as well as the black canopy frames and radome nose tip.

Then it was more masking to cover all the metallic areas since I don’t want it to lose its luster when I shoot clearcoats.

Then it was a little more masking as I went over the blue parts with a very diluted white to add some fade to them, just like I did with my Spitfire. You can barely see it in the picture but it makes big difference in person, the blue was way too stark and perfect against the shaded white before this effect.

So with painting finally done, I’m now gluing subassemblies together. I added some internal braces to make this hip stronger, it’s very little glued surface to hold the rest of leg and armor on.

Next up will be a clearcoat. I may decide to do panel lines before decals since I’m concerned too many layers of paint will fill in this model’s very fine panel lines. Then I’ll have to touch it up after the decals but it may be worth it. I lost a lot of panel lines on my ANA Gundam, although I bombed it pretty bad with pearl coats and then clearcoats.

Bug Hunt and a Little Valkyrie Progress

June 15th, 2012 No comments

After a year’s hiatus I’m finally back on my Super VF-1D. It’s not an easy project and with a new baby in the house and an invasion of bird mites it’s been really hard to find time to work on it…

Huh…bird mites?!?!?! Yes, bird mites. I’m going to go on this tangent a while because I had never heard of such a thing (not the mites themselves, but them infesting a home) and I have a degree in Biology and took two Ornithology classes.

To start, never, ever, let birds build a nest on your house. Screw the wonders of nature and the Migratory Bird Act. If a pair of birds makes a nest on your house I doubt they’re that fucking rare anyway. In our case it was some House Finches. Still protected but just behind Rock Doves (pigeons), House Sparrows and maybe Starlings (all of which are non-native and non-protected) in the running for most common damn bird around. Okay, diclaimer: violate the Migratory Bird Act at your own risk. It’s a Federal Offense. Maybe just keep the windows closed…

So when the little birdies leave the nest, the mites they leave behind (which live in the nest, not on the birds) start looking for something else to eat. Like mosquitos they can detect and home in on the carbon dioxide you breath out and this bird nest was right outside my poor daughter’s open window so they just crawled right in during the night.

We thought we were battling lice and the RID shampoo didn’t kill them so we went to the doctor (who also thought they were lice, really tiny immature lice) and got some more powerful stuff (how many of you out there can say you’ve shampooed your hair with Malathion??? My daughter got Nix, less powerful but also did the trick). That got them off our bodies but they were still crawling around my daughter’s room, and a few hitched a ride to other parts of the house. When the ones we saw around my daughter’s room didn’t die like lice were supposed to (they can only live a few days off the host) my wife finally convinced me they were mites and not lice. Okay, I was wrong… Doubly embarrassing as a Bio major. But come on, your five-year old has tiny bugs in her hair and the school has sent three notices home over the course of the year about lice… Occam’s razor.

Having bird mites in the house feels like getting bedbugs. Their strategy is to come out, eat, and then find a nook or cranny to hide in. They can live for weeks without eating, whereas lice only live a few days. Once I realized they were mites and not lice and started doing my research it got very hard to say that lice wouldn’t have been better… There’s one very fortunate difference though and it’s that they don’t drink human blood (they bite, but they don’t inhale, haha) and without the blood they can’t breed once they get in the house. What scared the hell out of me was websites claiming that mites COULD drink human blood and WOULD breed in the house but I realized all those sites had links where you could pay your local exterminator to deal with the issue (jerks). All you boring neutral third party sites all agreed that bird mites pose no long-term threat. They’re just creepy as hell…

Over the course of a very miserable, stressful week and with the help of family we cleaned the whole damn house literally moving EVERYTHING out of our daughter’s room but the curtain rods. We took her furniture all apart and sprayed it down. Everything in the house except for the kitchen where we never saw any mites was either boiled, frozen, washed and dried on high heat, vacuumed (repeatedly), sprayed with copious amounts of Green Works cleaning spray (a damn RAID bug bomb didn’t kill the bastards but this stuff does, we went through 9 bottles of it) and/or bagged and thrown out in the garage. The garage is still a quarantine zone (you can’t walk through it it’s so full of bags like it’s like a hoarder’s livingroom) and as time goes by we’ll either get to washing/spraying what’s in the bags or declare that the last of the bugs must be dead after about 6 more weeks, whichever comes first. Ruby still hasn’t slept in her room yet and while the furniture is back in her room most of her toys and clothes are either in our bedroom where she’s been sleeping or still out in the garage. Once we declared the cleaning done and got the furniture moved back in, we did see two more of them in her room but we haven’t seen one in days so I think she’ll be back in her room this weekend.

So with all of this (plus $2500 shelled out on a new refrigerator, dental work, and termite control) and a new baby I’ve been stressed the hell out and VERY tempted to put aside the VF-1D again on the rationale that with all the demands on my life right now I ought to work on something easier. What’s kept me going is that this year marks the 30th Anniversary of Macross and I’ll be damned if this year of all years I don’t finally finish a Valkyrie.

So… when I left the Valkyrie it was primed but still had some surface flaws to deal with. The picture below is of the parts that still needed work and is sorted out to parts that just need to be reprimed after some sanding, parts that need panel lines rescribed, parts that need more putty and parts that needed punched circles to fill in ejector pin marks:

I got to use my BMC scribers for the first time rescribing panel lines that had been puttied over. They’re easier than the needle-in-the-pinvise because they carve the line without pushing up the plastic at the edges so you don’t have to scrape/sand all of your panel lines after you’ve made them.

Once surface prep was finally done I finally got to painting. I tried the Alclad gloss black base for the first time but REALLY didn’t like it. It says it’s lacquer but it also says it contains mineral spirits, a sure sign of it being enamel. The advantage is it comes in a big pre-thinned bottle. The disadvantage is it’s not as forgiving and doesn’t self-level like my beloved Mr. Color and even worse after a full 24 hours when I went to sand some imperfections, rather than sand smoothly with feathered edges like lacquer paints, the Alclad base flaked and came off in chunks in some places, leaving hard edges that showed through the following layers of paint. First and last time I’m using that stuff.

Fortunatley the Alclad metallics are still great and I used Steel, Pale Burnt Metal and Jet Exhaust on various vents, intakes and thrusters. This is as far as I got right before the Great Infestation of 2012. Afterwards I managed to preshade and paint the main gun pod, head lasers and FAST pack parts. I tried to keep the paint really thin and light so as not to fill in the delicate panel lines and surface detail on the model. In fact my plan for the white (up next) is to use the primer as the preshade and more or less avoid putting any more paint into the panel lines.

Airfix Spitfire WIP and Gallery

May 5th, 2012 No comments

After finishing Bluefin’s Unicorn and Robo4Less’ Mega Zaku I just wanted to do something quick and simple for myself so I chucked all my plans for the ultimate contest winner and set out to build this little Airfix Spitfire.



Gallery is HERE

Check it out!

The Unicorn That Was a Boomerang

March 28th, 2012 No comments

Only in my world would that sentence make sense.

This was going to be a post, but this was a pretty massive project, so I decided to make it into my usual In-Progress and Completed pages.

In mid-January I called up Steve at Bluefin and had him send over the Unicorn (again) for refurbishment. We last left the Unicorn in a case of Star Wars-like “used future” weathering in an attempt to make lemonade once the clearcoat on the Unicorn turned VERY yellow from sun exposure, and it suffered a fair amount of dings and staining in being shipped cross country. We started with this:


We last left the Unicorn looking like this...

Stripped parts - Decals and most yellowing are gone.

Stripped parts - Decals and most yellowing are gone.

And ended up about 6 weeks and 123.5 man-hours later with this:

Love the red!

Love the red!

Completed rearview

Completed rearview

Follow this Link to the Unicorn WIP

Follow this Link to the Completed Unicorn Gundam Gallery