1/100 Scale Master Grade Freedom Gundam
In Progress Page
While the World Cup is on, I’ll be spending a lot of time on the weekends watching the games instead of painting. So, I figure I’ll use this time to clip and sand some future projects. So far on weekend one (while watching England vs. Paraguay, Sweden vs. Trinidad, and Mexico vs. Iran), I’ve pre-assembled the waist and legs of my upcoming Freedom Gundam.
So far it’s going together very easily. A look through the manual reveals very few seams. Yay!!! Looks like just the head, gun (though most of the top is covered), and the four large cannons. These cannons have a square profile, and should be very easy to putty and sand!
This is the first I’ve built since getting my airbrush that is really new to me, so I’m actually going to pre-build this kit. The Zaku and GP01 were kits I’d built before, and the Zeong had so few moving parts I didn’t bother. I’ll also be looking at it to see if I want to make any modifications. Already, I think I’d like to modify the top of the stand so that it can pivot, allowing the Freedom to lean forward in flight.
I’m not a super-patriotic guy, but my plan is to go with the “Freedom” theme and try a stars and stripes motif. Lots of masking tape cutting will be required, but it shouldn’t be as hard as the flames on my Zeong. I don’t have the whole color scheme worked out yet, I just see a blue chest with white stars and those wings spread with waving red and white stripes… The rest? Not sure. Probably not white because it’ll dimish the red, white and blue trim. I thought of a gray, blue and white color scheme, but after dreaming it up, I realized I had reinvented a gray and blue color scheme similar to the ones in Sentinel (like the Zeta Plus or the G3 Gundam). I still might use it… we’ll see.
Well, I’m back on the Freedom Gundam. It’s been almost a year. It floored me to read that I snapped this kit together back during the World Cup! Stupid Group of Death. Stupid red-card-happy referees!!!
In the time in between, I’ve managed to finalize the color scheme. It wasn’t easy. I went through TWENY-ONE variations of the scheme until I finally came up with this:
Here are the other twenty rejected designs:
Each of those is different, I guarantee. To keep track of all these variants, I had to give them lengthy names, like “Freedom Front Rouge Extra”, “Freedom Front FAZZ Extra Stars Faded”, “Freedom Front Skyblazers Flag”, and “Freedom Front Faded Extra Blue White Shoulder Guns”. The winner’s name is “Freedom Front Freedom Extra Blue”.
I also designed decals for this kit and had them printed by SamuelDecal, as well as ordering the MG Freedom Decals from Bandai. The decals I made had a “Peacekeepers” theme, which I imagine as being something like the “Preventers” in “Endless Waltz”. For me, this tempers the overly-patriotic look of this model and brings it into the Gundam Seed world better. Why am I worried about being too patriotic? I don’t want to get too political, but in the last few years it seems Patriotism = War-Mongering. So, a Stars-and-Stripes Gundam with “Peace” signs on it works for me!
While waiting for paint to cure on my Astray project, I sorted out all the parts that needed to be glued together for seam removal. I made mostly simple mods so that they could be taken apart and painted separately by color. For the most part, this just meant opening up holes so that the pins they held could slide through from the side, instead of having to be sandwiched after painting.
The only “big” mod was on the smaller wings, where I drilled out the regular joint and epoxied in rare-earth magnets so I could slide the wings in after everything’s painted.
That’s probably it for the in-prog. Everything else should be basic painting, decals, weathering etc…
Just kidding!!! After taking the wings off the back for mods and seam filling, I was looking at the rest of the Freedom and realized that without the wings, the Freedom is a really boring mobile suit. It’s tall and skinny, has a really low amount of surface detail, and in general it’s lacking in machismo. So, taking inspiration from E-Day’s Asshimar, Erix’s PG Sword Strike Gundam, Vic01’s Strike Freedom, Wayne’s Freedom, Ezechiel’s ongoing mods and a whole bunch of other great models, I decided to get some really thin Evergreen plaplate (0.010 inch thick) and add some surface plating. I used a trapezoid shape that appears in other places on the model to fill in general blank spaces, and followed contours on the skirt armor and shoulders. I also made some scopes for the hip rail guns and beefed them up with plaplate as well.
I also got my pinvise out and drilled various holes to add Mechaskunk metal beads to the model.
“Wings! I don’t need no steenking WINGS!”
Another thing that bothers me a lot about this kit is the interior of the shoulders. That thruster that pokes down out of them looks a little odd from the outside, but when you look inside the shoulder, it’s much worse. There are some large ugly seams back in the shoulder and the thruster just hangs there with some plastic shapes on the side of it that don’t conform to anything inside the shoulder. It’s just a bunch of pieces in there, and they don’t go together at all.
So, I used some of the Mechaskunk mesh plate to cover the seams. Then I cut and sanded off those dumb pieces of plastic from the sides of the thruster. To fill the empty space they left and cover the ugliness behind them, I used some plastic rod to simulate pipes. It’s very crude since they just end in a taper, but it looks a lot better.
Finally, I sanded down a bad mold line on the vertical surface where the thruster mounts and in those blank spaces installed some 1mm flat tube beads, also from Mechaskunk. I also added a small Kotobukiya thruster inside the oval thruster to make it look interesting and more functional.
Okay,now I’m going to prime and paint…
Two steps forward, one step back…
Painting on this model is done. I am applying decals, but I’m having lots of problems with my SamuelDecals decals falling apart!!!
I tried lots of things to keep this from happening. I really babied these decals, but to no avail. I’ve used decals from many different companies over many years and I’ve never had a problem with decals just falling apart like this.
Well, I emailed Samuel, and he got back to me very quickly. He offered to reprint those decals that got messed up for $5, which is just the cost of shipping. I took him up on it immediately. It’s nice to know that a guy 1000s of miles away (or 2200s of kilometers) will stand by his products.
He also informed me that he doesn’t put ANY sealer on my decals after he printed them. YIKES!!! It’s a miracle I got through my Astray with only one lost decal. I’m going to invest in some of that Microscale film and put a coat on some test decals.
Click the picture link below to see the completed model.
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