Gangar Diorama for Master Grade Gundam GP01
In Progress Page
After the birth of my daughter, the Jin-Roh Patlabor kitbash proved to be too much for me. I wasn’t satisfied with the tiny amount of progress I was making in each sitting, so I decided to shelf the project until I have more time.
I finished snapping together my Freedom Gundam, but before I could decide on a final color scheme, I got the itch to finish the hangar diorama for my GP01 Gundam, since the GP01’s been sitting on a half-finished hangar for three or four months. The hangar itself has been half-finished for about a year now. The project stalled because I moved, got an airbrush, built a couple models, re-built a new GP01 for the hangar, but then had to stop and build a model for my dad for Father’s day.
Ironically, I’m scratch-building again, which is what stopped me from finishing the JRP. Still, this project is much simpler since it’s made mostly from rectangular and circular cross-section plastic rods and pre-made bits from Wave, Kotobukiya and MechaSkunk. Work is progressing at a reasonable pace.
What I Started With
Detailing Up the Stands
The first thing I did was gather up all the option parts I had bought and started detailing the main hangar pieces. Next, I looked at the still-visible seams and decided some Mr. Surfacer was in order:
Building the Lift
The first big step of the project is to finish the Lift Platform that I had already made a few parts for. I re-made the boring flat-slab platform using a textured floor and copper wire. After it was done, I still wasn’t happy with it. I removed the wavy copper wire and used nice straight brass instead. I also built a stand with a monitor and keyboard so that the platform would look like it had a purpose. I installed a ball joint to allow the platform to pivot at different angles. I built a hydralic piston to actuate the main arm, added a hydraulic pump box, and made a rotating base out of a spare part from my FAZZ Sentinel.
This shows my original platform, and my second attempt:
This shows the final platform, with figure and monitor:
Here’s the finished Lift:
Adding a Back Wall
The next step of the project was to build a back wall to the diorama, since seeing my office wall behind the diorama wasn’t doing it for me. My design for the wall is heavily influenced by (or, ripped off from) Keita’s stand for his Infinite Justice Gundam with its angular panels. I created this artwork in MS Paint as a blueprint:
I spent some time using MechaSkunk’s drill bits to make holes for his 1mm ball bearings and 1mm and 2mm straight tube beads. I also added beads to simulate hinges in my stands.
Once construction was complete, I sanded down the Mr. Surfacer and gave all the stands a good once over to knock down the orange peel from the spray paint I first used.
Deciding on the Color Scheme
On the one hand, there are many small details on this diorama. On the other hand, this is a diorama, and meant to be a background for my GP01, so it shouldn’t be too flashy and upstage the model. I wanted to choose muted colors, but also use enough colors to bring out the details. I made pictures of the floor, background and stands in MS paint and colored them in so I could work out the details.
Masking was the tough part, but the simple color scheme made for a quick paint job once the masking was done. I used Alclad for the first time on this stand. However, I only used it on a few places, so I can’t really make a judgement on it. It does make a realistic metallic finish, but I’ll have to use it more to decide whether it’s worth the extra trouble of priming and cleaning with laquer thinner.
After painting was done, I used Future, then applied the decals. A flat coat was applied then I used oil paint to create some rust stains and dirt on the floor of the hangar. After another flat coat, I added Mechaskunk’s awesome metal beads and balls. I found that the best way to put them in was to push them in with a popsicle stick.
Well, it only took one and a half years spanning two separate GP01 kits and saw me through my transition from spray paint to airbrushing, but it’s finally done. I used a lot of items for the first time in this project, like primer, alclad, and Mechaskunk’s metal parts. The experience should make getting back into the Jin-Roh Patlabor easier.
Click the picture link below to see the completed model.
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