GP01 WIP

1/100 Scale Master Grade Gundam GP01

In Progress Page


Core Blocks

The unexpected bonus of having two kits is that it allowed me to do some nice things with my display. I used both core blocks, one as the block and one as the fighter and will display them both. I even used a spare ankle, the interior of the hip armor and a bit of scrap plastic to make a core block stand. I was going to use the bottom of the torso of the other kit (the obvious thing to do, since it’s made to fit…), but it just covered up too much of the Core Block.


Seams

Since this is an older MG kit, there were quite a few seams to fill. There were seams to be filled on the back of the ankles, the core block cockpits, the core block “chest” part, the head, the gun, the e-Cap clips, the top of the backpack (with the green sensor lenses in it), and various leg/ankle internals. There were also conspicuous ejector pin holes on the back of the shield, the front gun handle, the beam sabers and the core fighter fins and wings. To be fair, many of these flaws were probably unavoidable given the nature of the core block system. If Bandai is reading, please give us “fixed pose” fighters and blocks as separate pieces for your version 2.0 GPs.

I really lost patience with the seams after several rounds of puttying/sanding (some required by build sequence, others required by having a seam that still showed after one round of puttying), so if you look carefully in the final pics, you may still spot some imperfections. Que sera sera.


Upper Arm Armor Modification

The upper arms of the kit have an armor plate molded into them. Later Gundam designs have this as a separate piece that hangs over the upper arm from the shoulder. I wanted to re-create that look on my GP-01. I cut the armor plate off the upper arms of one kit and sanded them down to be a separate armor piece that looks more like the armor plates seen on the upper arm of the Z-Gundam and S-Gundam. I then took the inner halves of the upper arm (without the armor plates molded on them) from both kits, cut down the male pins and glued them together, making “armorless” upper arm that I could glue my “free-hanging” piece of armor to.


Above is the original look with the armor outlined.


The upper arm without armor.


The look I want as seen on other Gundam designs.


A preview of the final Product.


Front Skirt Armor Modification

I decided to give the super-ugly front mini-skirt armor a facelift. I cut out the “Interesting” part of the front skirt armor, and attacked the gray inner detail piece to it. I had to sand the back of the gray piece down until it was flush with the angle of the whit armor piece. The I glued this assembly onto the back skirt armor off the old kit. With the original detail, the new skirt armor still has the original “feel”, but the Gundam doesn’t look like it’s wearing Speedos.


How I cut out the part I wanted.


You have to sand away some of the back of the inner gray piece.


After initial painting.


The Modification I Didn’t Do…

Experience from my first GP01 taught me that the “old school” polycap joints in the arm and shoulder are not nearly strong enough. . My old GP01 could only hold up its shield if I propped the bottom of the shield on the ankle. If you want your own GP01 to hold up its shield for very long, you will have to beef up these joints. I didn’t bother to fix this problem on my new GP01 because the shield and gun will have their own stands in the hangar scene I have planned


The Color Scheme

The color scheme has several inspirations. At the heart is the stock color scheme. Most of the blue areas are still blue, but I didn’t want red as the other color. The choice of orange and a lighter blue was inspired by Dutch Olympians and their sharp blue, white and orange uniforms. I’ve always liked that color combination. At first, I was just going to follow the original pattern and replace the red with orange. I created this scheme in Corel Photo-Paint, but then I didn’t like the orange feet and made them blue. When that was done, I decided I liked the white backpack look of the NT-1 and GP-03S and made the backpack white.


I still wasn’t satisfied. My interest in models started with airplanes and airplane prototypes have traditionally been very colorful. Look at these prototype F-16s. They have fairly intricate color schemes, while the GP-01 is just too white… boring!


With this in mind, I went to work on the GP01. Here is the color scheme I created on Corel Photo-Paint. In a couple places (like the core fighter tail fins) the thick orange trimmed by a thin blue stripe is kinda reminiscent of the Coast Guard (Doh! No disrespect to the Coast Guard, but a Coast Guard cutter just doesn’t scream high tech high speed futuristic combat…), but overall it’s still an improvement over the original IMHO. I also added the decals to decide where I would put them. The decals are simplified since I had to “re-render” them by “tracing” them from a scan of my decal sheet, but it gives you an idea of the final look of the model:


Hangar

The hangar has been put on hold (again…). I promised my dad I’d build him a P-47 for Father’s Day, so I had to settle for just finishing the GP01. It’ll still be a tight squeeze to get the Thunderbolt done in time… Once the P-47 is out of the way, I’ll finish the hangar.


Conclusion

Building this kit was harder than I expected! With the Core Block gimmick (and my decision to make two Core Blocks), things got very “partsy”. I shattered my record for number of skewers and amount of sticky tack used!

Let’s put it this way, I started cutting out parts while watching the Winter Olympics back in February. When I finished my Zeong in early March the GP01 became my main focus and from that point it took 2 months to finish… In the last weeks I had to put a moratorium on all video-gaming! Must… finish… GP01!

The extra colors also required more masking than I expected (even though I tried to make the colors break on natural parts breaks and panel lines), and the complex shapes meant that there were always tiny gaps in the masking tape that a mist of paint snuck through. Sadly, I’ve also broken my record for touch-up painting with this kit.

If I were to build a similar kit (say the GP-01FB) and I didn’t have 2 core blocks, I would build the block “fixed pose” (i.e. closed up never to see daylight again!) and avoid a lot of filling masking and painting.

I’m sure once my GP01 and hangar are completely finished, Bandai will announce to the world that the GP01 version 2.0 (with included hangar diorama, only 5000 yen!) is their next MG. You know it’s coming someday…

On the positive side, well, look at the completed pictures…


Click the picture link below to see the completed model.

Completed Model

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