GM Group Build
Last month Gamerabaenre and Angel went and got the Dengeki Hobby issue with the GM Wagtail conversion kit in it. They were nice enough to pick me up a copy. Last week I visited the Robot4Less store for the first time and picked up the HGUC RGM-79C GM Ka kit that goes with it.
Gamerabaenre got enthusiastic and decided to start a GM Wagtail group build, with the final idea to build a 0083-era GM team and to pit it against a Zeon unit. This would culminate in a large diorama of a Zeon remnant base about to be swarmed by a herd of assorted GMs.
Believe it or not I didn’t take this kit to the April Thos Gundam Guys build gathering (we’ve named ourselves, we even have a website). I was going to stick to my plans and work on sanding seams on my Valkyrie and maybe start up the little Tamiya 1/48 Sherman tank I wanted to build as an exercise in weathering. But while I was there everybody at my table at the build gathering was excited about their Wagtails and GMs and I thought about it. I had the Wagtail and I had a snapped powered GM I had picked up at the great Gunpla giveaway a year or so ago at Gam’s house. But my third GM kit was a cold-districts type and just didn’t fit.
Well, after having a beer at the gathering I polled the group and eight of us went to Robot4Less. While I was there I figured I was just around the corner from my house where I could pick up my Wagtail and there I was in a Gunpla store with an especially good selection of HGUC kits, a need for a GM and a 21% discount. Now I ask you, what would any sane man do at a time like that???
We all decided we’d have a cheap dinner and spend our money on Gunpla! I narrowed my choices down to a Blue Destiny Unit 1, a GM Quel and a Zaku F2. I ruled out the Blue Destiny pretty quickly just because it was a one-off unit. I debated the F2. It would be kind of cool to have a mixed group and the EFSF was operating Zakus at the time but I went with the Quel. I had seen one painted in regular EFSF colors in one of the earlier AOZ issues and it looked good.
We got back to the build gathering after dropping by my house for the Wagtail. I settled in and joined the GM snap-off. I built my entire wagtail. With the Wagtail I’m going for an in-between Wagtail, I’m not using all of the parts, namely the shoulders and lower legs. I’m going for a look similar to the specially designed GM Ka in Dengeki, but I’m not going to kill myself scratch building every detail, I just want the feel of it.
I worked until dinner on it and then came back and worked some more. Once I finished it, I kind of looked around for a bit. I had brought my blu ray of Evangelion 2.22 to watch and by this time of night usually we’re drinking and playing Rock Band, but several of us were on a mission to make this GM build happen so I opened up the Quel and got the legs and torso done by the time I packed it up around 2 a.m. This was definitely the most Gunpla I had snapped in one day and it was a really nice break from all the detailing and decal rendering I had been doing for the last couple months with my Valkyrie.
Sunday I finished snapping the Quel. We’ll see if I get back to the Valk or just tear through these GMs for stress relief.
So with the original 3 GMs, here’s what I did. The Quel is basically stock, but I’m arming him with 2 machine guns for dual-wielding and put a polycap in the backpack so that I could mount a shield on the back Gundam-style.
I made a second set of the bulkier GM shoulders and for now they’re on the Wagtail. I may end up putting them on the powered GM. I can’t decide. I like the GM Ka shoulders, but the PGM just needs some more bulk in the arms to match the hugeness of the body with that extra gear. I currently have the wagtail shoulders on it, but I think I’m leaning away from that.
I also did a mod to make the arms easier to take apart and paint. I wish I had come up with this when I built the Hazels, because this mod was much easier to do. It involves sawing the upper arm and inserting some plastic strips into the hollows there so that the lower arms will plug into the uooer arms (with glue, of course).
The one thing I am putting on the PGM is the calf thrusters from the wagtail. The PGM seems under-thrustered to me. If you look at all the bulk it has, it doesn’t really have any more thrusters than the standard Ka.
Then, this project has expanded somewhat. I’ve added a fourth GM, my Cold Districts type. It doesn’t necessarily fit because it’s a cold-type, but whether I include it in the final dio or not, I can build it with the rest at a volume discount! And I’m adding the castoff Rick Dom II in my collection as well.
Also, I took some time and made some decals for the build. Mostly they’re just rehashed of other decals I had made, especially for my Ruby Guard GM.
I needed a Zeon unit. It’s funny because I settled on a Rick Dom II. I guess the Rick Dom II doesn’t fit the storyline either. Why is a Rick Dom II in a Zeon remnant base on Earth? I don’t know, maybe the Axis fleet made an attempt to resupply the earthbound Zeon… What really matters is I’ve bought enough kits for this project, I should use one I already have.
I talked with Gamerabaenre about using the RDII and he suggested I just have fun with making it a land-type conversion by stripping it of space gear and adding what would look like field-modded ground-pounding gear.
I started working on it over the next week and really got into it during the May build gathering at my house (forgot to take any pics but it was a good gathering with LOTS of people). We had a little debate about whether the original Dom legs had fan-based hovercraft propulsion or verniers. My assumption (that I think was right) was that they were fans. The Rick Dom had verniers for space.
The point of the debate was that the Rick Dom II would lose its speed on Earth. It could jump with the thrusters but not glide like the original Dom. Why am I worried about this? Well, to make the RDII look ground-modified I wanted to strip it of thrusters since in my mind the RDII would now be stuck walking. Of course since the thrusters are all hidden, I cut down the back of the legs to signify the weight saving.
Without the mobility, I figure the RDII is now a large, high generator-output, heavily-armed but slow MS, so I went in the direction of artillery/long range support. So, I equipped it with the Zaku I sniper gear I wasn’t going to use. That huge backpack looked just right on the RDII and you gotta figure that rifle’s gonna kick ass with the RDII’s generator output.
To the top of the backpack I added what is supposed to look like a field-improvised mounting system. It can either hold 2 leg missile launchers (I used 1/100 scale for extra bigness) or one missile launcher and an “RPG” which is just a Zaku I bazooka mated with a Sturmfaust warhead. Still deciding on final layout. That RPG looks like it sits too high, plus it looks a little cheesy…
Speaking of layout, the six of us in the build got together at the BG and figured out the dio layout using the HUGE board that Angel brought. We’re gonna jigsaw it so that we each get a roughly rectangular-shaped piece.
So what are the rest of you guys doing? I hardly even talked to you all at the BG, I was so busy doing the host thing.
I’m making progress. My wife had major morning sickness this weekend so I was kind of single dad and then Tuesday night was her back-to-school night and yesterday was Ruby’s back-to-school night so it’s been a ball of suck this week. All kits are ready to paint but I thought (OK, hoped) I’d have some serious painting progress done by now but all I have to show is a mock up of the Rick Dom IIs color scheme. I made it while suffering a bout of insomnia last night. I’m glad I did it because I wasn’t sure how it would look, but I think it’s gonna work. It’s you basic colony attack paint job with field-applied brown camo over it, inspired by Sherman tanks:
I’m starting to like this Rick Dom more and more. Like with my Hazel team, the last one built (the hummingbird) was thrown together out of spare parts and ended up being the coolest one. I may focus on getting it done first for OrangeCon and then doing the GMs if I have time. the Dom isn’t going to have any colors or even weathering in common with the GMs so it doesn’t hurt much to do it separately, and then I get to finish something, finally. I should be able to get them all done by SCGMC tho.
Teaser: I’m finally making some progress. At least on the Dom:
Feels very good to say…
PAINT IS DONE!!! Except for a few little details and a beam saber I forgot to paint. @onion22@
4 GMs is a lot of damn parts…
Ready for Clearcoat and decals
These were fun to shade.
Damaged parts for Powered GMs etc…